Why Apple will move Macs to ARM, and what consumers get

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  • Reply 121 of 148
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    The programs we write using XCODE generates code for a virtual CPU. The final step is to translate the virtual CPU code into the real CPU code. This is not new technology though its non-trivial. The virtual CPU would likely need to be enhanced to allow for more efficient and better final step of generating for a real CPU.

    And, it's not like there is no existing software for the ARM. And, you think the new iOS support for keyboards and mice is some accident not related to supporting iOS software on the MacOS ARM laptop? 

    So, maybe the new ARM MBP will have touch screens? Or maybe the ARM MBPs will accept alternate input from connected iPads? The technology is there for both alternatives. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 122 of 148
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    melgross said:
    Soli said:
    melgross said:

    mattinoz said:
    melgross said:
    Soli said:
    melgross said:

    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    jkdsteve said:
    There's also the issue of I/O - PCIe and Thunderebolt etc.

    The consumer will no doubt suffer through quite a lot of teething issues in software and hardware.
    How is Intel making Thunderbolt royalty-free for other chip makers an issue for Apple?
    About 2 years ago, Intel made Thunderbolt 3 a Royalty-Free, Open Standard, and just gave it to the USB Standards Consortium.

    That's what USB 4.0 actually is:

    https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/intel-releases-thunderbolt-to-the-industry.html

    I'll ask again, "How is Intel making Thunderbolt royalty-free for other chip makers an issue for Apple?" Everything you wrote backs up my reply to jkdsteve.
    There is one little problem for Apple if they do move to ARM. How is Thunderbolt going to work with ARM? That’s an engineering problem Apple is going to have to work out, and it’s a real one.
    Again, why do you think USB4 is a problem for Apple?
    It still requires Thunderbolt. Right now, Intel makes TB controller chips, but they’re beginning to put it directly into their x86 chips. At some point, they said they won’t make the controller chips anymore. When that happens, I don’t know. Without a controller, which only works with the PCIe bus anyway, how will Apple implement this in an iPad?

    Apple is fully aware of how thunderbolt works given they were an instrumental part of it. Maybe part of the reason they added PCIe to the Aseries chips a few years ago to support standard USB chips including one with full thunderbolt support. 
    According g to Intel, and later by Apple, the only instrumental part Apple played was to urge Intel to come up with a faster interface, which Intel did.

    please do t tell us what Apple does things, seeing as how you don’t know. What “standard USB chips are out there that support TB? There are TB chips that support USB. And as how Intel said that their CPUs will support TB directly, which they are now beginning to do, and that TB controller chips may go away, please tell me how Apple Apple is going to use that for their ARM based devices?
    This has been discussed ad nauseam at this point, but here's another link:


    Or are you claiming that Apple won't be able to ever support USB4?
    They can support USB 4 without supporting the TB component. It isn’t required.

    Thunderbolt 4.0 will leverage PCI-E 4.x and newer and no Apple won't be switching to USB 4.0 and jettisoning Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt is directly tied into PCI-E which allows all that bandwidth and low latency professionals require. USB 4.0 is offering 40Gbps, while Thunderbolt 4 offers 60Gbps.

    However, in reality PCI-E 5.0 arrives with Zen 4 in one year and in 2021 that is most likely when Thunderbolt 4 arrives, thus Intel will be moving the goal posts again, but since they opened up Thunderbolt to a royalty free protocol AMD can walk in with their own Controller or third party controller with Thunderbolt 4 communicating with their new Infinity Architecture allowing a solution that Intel can not match but will be a me too in the end.

    2022 Computing will change drastically and it won't be ARM.


    Apple is heavily investing into Machine Learning and the Data Center. They aren't going to be using ARM to do all the heavy lifting and Intel can't fill this void. Neither can Nvidia.

    EPYC CPUs are followed rapidly by Ryzen CPUs and this is the year of Milan


    July 2021 GENOA arrives and August it's cousin arrives for Consumers as Ryzen 5000 CPUs, followed by Ryzen 5000 APUs with RDNA 2.x for laptops.

    NOTHING APPLE develops on ARM will ever compete on this scale and they know it. They are augmenting their ARM offerings like the new iPadOS and keyboard solution to folks who want just a bit more Laptop like options, but can leave the keyboard at home.

    ZEN 4 will either default to 12 or 16 Cores and 24 or 32 threads [assuming they don't increase the number of threads each Core can produce per operation]. That means Threadripper will be 128 Core/256 Threads at the top end and 32 Core/64 threads at the low end/entry level.

    12 ARM cores with 8 + 4 extremely low power will do what again? It will provide a new iPadOS optimized and slightly beefier solution giving the OS more multitasking features, but not much more.
  • Reply 123 of 148
    IanSIanS Posts: 41member
    Well at this point we have know idea of how fast the ARM chips could be, with the tiny thermal envelope Apple could be free to ramp up speeds significantly. It all depends if they decide to design a work station / server chip or just use ones developed for iOS devices. It would be nice to get back to the days of Steve Jobs favourite demos
  • Reply 124 of 148
    rob53 said:
    Bigger issue will be GPUs. Does anyone have info on how graphics will be impacted by the change?
    Metal is nearly identical on both current ARMv8 and x86. I expect Apple would want to make a Mac ARM GPU be even more compatible with current Mac GPUs.
  • Reply 125 of 148
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Nice analysis William!   Well Done!
  • Reply 126 of 148
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,421member
    I develop apps on x86 VMs and I hope they will provide decent performance for VMs that require x86. Otherwise, I'll be buying x86 laptops for work.
  • Reply 127 of 148
    AppleishAppleish Posts: 691member
    I'm hoping that my first ARM MacBook Pro doesn't heat up like a furnace like my brand new, maxed out 16-inch model. Whenever I run an Arcade game or even a third party app like Warcraft, the fans spin up like the world is ending.
  • Reply 128 of 148
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,673member
    If Apple wants to ditch their reliance on Intel, then most likely they’ll also want to ditch their reliance on everyone, including ARM and truly “own the whole stack”. There is no reason Apple couldn’t create their own ISA - one that is closely tied to their developer tool chain. Highly optimized for their own hardware and operating systems. If you are going through the hassle of another transition, why not go all the way?
  • Reply 129 of 148
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,198member
    Internally in the late '90s, IBM had ThinkPads that ran Windows, OS/2 and MacOS X.
  • Reply 130 of 148
    What I wonder is what kind of consequences that switch might have on a larger scale. If we see a desktop ARM chip on an imac/mac pro managing to be  50% faster than a x86 cpu, it's probably going to make big waves, and some content creator might just never look at a x86 machine again.

    How are Intel, AMD, and to an extent microsoft going to handle such a gap in speed and efficiency, that might question the big focus that they have on x86 ? are we finally going to assist to a "big purge" of decades and decades  of old code ?

    Computers haven't been exciting for a while, that switch might spice things up if ARM does prove to be vastly superior in real application. 
  • Reply 131 of 148
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    I find it bizarre how nonchalant people are about this, brushing off how much of a nightmare it will be for people using mission-critical specialist tools.

    The past transitions were worked out over a very long time because developers wouldn’t move. Companies wouldn’t move. Many software tools have disappeared forever as a result. The stuff that was updated took effing FOREVER, bringing long-term legacy with them that took even longer to eliminate.

    There were benefits, such as ports from WinTel, but this time around, that will be inverted: all the specialty tools that were ported to Mac OS because it didn’t need an entire low-level rewrite and optimization for a different CPU... you can expect to lose A LOT MORE this time around. 
  • Reply 132 of 148
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    Appleish said:
    I'm hoping that my first ARM MacBook Pro doesn't heat up like a furnace like my brand new, maxed out 16-inch model. Whenever I run an Arcade game or even a third party app like Warcraft, the fans spin up like the world is ending.
    It’s a laptop. It’s too small for full speed usage of CPU & GPU at the same time, for extended periods of time. Why Apple doesn’t want to sell something more appropriate for power users (and moderate gamers) anymore... [sigh]
  • Reply 133 of 148
    rossb2rossb2 Posts: 89member
    MadMat said:
    While a tiny percentage of extreme power users may be able to benefit from a minimal performance boost by switching from Intel to ARM processors, a larger percentage of us that use some Windows-only software (Microsoft Project to name one) and thus need Bootcamp will be left in the cold.  I have owned many Macs (currently a top-spec 2017 MacBook Pro 15"), and I reluctantly will stop buying Macs if Apple halts the Windows compatibility feature.  The current Macs are fantastically powerful in the higher models, and a switch to ARM is not necessary.
    do you really need bootcamp for MS apps? Its not that hard to run a cloud PC for the MS apps that you want. Plus, you won't have to reboot to windows. Just RDP to your cloud PC.
  • Reply 134 of 148
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,417member
    dysamoria said:
    I find it bizarre how nonchalant people are about this, brushing off how much of a nightmare it will be for people using mission-critical specialist tools.

    The past transitions were worked out over a very long time because developers wouldn’t move. Companies wouldn’t move. Many software tools have disappeared forever as a result. The stuff that was updated took effing FOREVER, bringing long-term legacy with them that took even longer to eliminate.

    There were benefits, such as ports from WinTel, but this time around, that will be inverted: all the specialty tools that were ported to Mac OS because it didn’t need an entire low-level rewrite and optimization for a different CPU... you can expect to lose A LOT MORE this time around. 
    We all know that you don't have any mission-critical specialist tools, so why do you care?
  • Reply 135 of 148
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    bnice said:
    I can’t imagine the developers that make products that run on the Mac and other platforms would be happy about transitioning ARM. Do we really think it would be just a recompile for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Java (Oracle), Autodesk, Vmware and ... to bring their products over to a new processor architecture?
    Java is cross platform anyway. Microsoft yes, Adobe mostly with some GPU exceptions which they would deal with anyway if the GPU changed despite this, Autodesk seems web most but probably. 

    Vmware would have to do some work on the new chip but that is their bread and butter. 

    There was a report here a few weeks ago about some discontinued software, tax I think,  which couldn't be updated anymore and couldn't run due to OS X Catalina stopping 32 bit support. That means that all other apps that do run on Catalina  64 bit support, and if you have that you can compile for ARM. 

    knowitall said:
    I don't think there is a need for fat binaries.
    The App store can handle multi platform binaries by uploading the one corresponding to the requesting OS.

    Well, they have to be uploaded as fat binaries, or bitcode,  but that is correct for the App Store. Outside the App Store it may need to be fat.
    edited April 2020
  • Reply 136 of 148
    alanhalanh Posts: 75member
    I rely on Parallels to run a PC only piece of software for my work. Will ARM base Macs still be able to run a virtual windows environment without speed being an issue?
  • Reply 137 of 148
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    dysamoria said:
    Appleish said:
    I'm hoping that my first ARM MacBook Pro doesn't heat up like a furnace like my brand new, maxed out 16-inch model. Whenever I run an Arcade game or even a third party app like Warcraft, the fans spin up like the world is ending.
    It’s a laptop. It’s too small for full speed usage of CPU & GPU at the same time, for extended periods of time. Why Apple doesn’t want to sell something more appropriate for power users (and moderate gamers) anymore... [sigh]

    Yes, I agree!  And, I find it strange!
    Apple is welcoming and encouraging gamers on its mobile platforms but does little or nothing to support & encourage them on its desktop type lines.  But, just like one needs a Mac to do "real work", one needs a desktop type device to do "real games".

    It's not that there is ANYTHING wrong with Apple's mobile lineup.  Rather, they are simply ignoring and missing a large market that they could probably serve well.
    It's just too obvious a missed opportunity for them -- I suspect that they have a long term game plan in place that is unfolding in the background as we speak.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 138 of 148
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    alanh said:
    I rely on Parallels to run a PC only piece of software for my work. Will ARM base Macs still be able to run a virtual windows environment without speed being an issue?
    Maybe Windows ARM.  Probably not Windows x86.
    alanh
  • Reply 139 of 148
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    dysamoria said:
    I find it bizarre how nonchalant people are about this, brushing off how much of a nightmare it will be for people using mission-critical specialist tools.

    The past transitions were worked out over a very long time because developers wouldn’t move. Companies wouldn’t move. Many software tools have disappeared forever as a result. The stuff that was updated took effing FOREVER, bringing long-term legacy with them that took even longer to eliminate.

    There were benefits, such as ports from WinTel, but this time around, that will be inverted: all the specialty tools that were ported to Mac OS because it didn’t need an entire low-level rewrite and optimization for a different CPU... you can expect to lose A LOT MORE this time around. 
    Stop confusing the chip with the OS. Virtually nobody is programming to the chip. Anything, be it C, C++, Objective C, Swift, React Native -- anything compiled using the toolset will just work. The reason why OS X got more tools than the old OS 9 was because it has a POSIX compatible layer. That will also just be a recompile.
    fastasleepGeorgeBMactht
  • Reply 140 of 148
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    alanh said:
    I rely on Parallels to run a PC only piece of software for my work. Will ARM base Macs still be able to run a virtual windows environment without speed being an issue?
    It wold be slower, but only some macs will be ARM. Apple will know who is buying what. 
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