Apple Silicon Mac mini dev kit looks like a desktop iPad Pro

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 76
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member

    ...
    However, the more we learn about Apple's existing SoCs, and the Apple Silicon effort as a whole, the more confidence we have that Apple is indeed beating Intel in many respects already. The idea that Apple's custom silicon can only handle "mobile" workloads is the same sort of disparaging presumption that fueled the dismissive notion that iPads were only "media consumption devices" and not "real" on some level.
    Sorry, but without an external keyboard and mouse or trackpad the iPad WAS mostly just an output device and not a "real computer" capable of "real work".
    Fortunately, that is no longer the case -- iPad is wearing big boy pants now -- and ready to challenge MacBooks.  In fact, with yesterday's announcements, one wonders why one would choose a MacBook over the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.
    Incorrect. iPad supported physical keyboards literally from the day it was launched. I had one. A mouse is not required for a computer to be real — I also had computers without them.

    I have used my ipads for real work for my personal business for years. Email, Numbers, presentations, etc. Also enjoyed editing videos on it for family. 
    Sure.  But until now they've been half-assed implementations.  The Magic Keyboard is finally a worthy keyboard attachment.
    When do we get to the part where you insist the iPad isn’t a real computer because it doesn’t have a SCSI port?

    jdb8167chiafastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 42 of 76
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,557member
    Rayz2016 said:

    ...
    However, the more we learn about Apple's existing SoCs, and the Apple Silicon effort as a whole, the more confidence we have that Apple is indeed beating Intel in many respects already. The idea that Apple's custom silicon can only handle "mobile" workloads is the same sort of disparaging presumption that fueled the dismissive notion that iPads were only "media consumption devices" and not "real" on some level.
    Sorry, but without an external keyboard and mouse or trackpad the iPad WAS mostly just an output device and not a "real computer" capable of "real work".
    Fortunately, that is no longer the case -- iPad is wearing big boy pants now -- and ready to challenge MacBooks.  In fact, with yesterday's announcements, one wonders why one would choose a MacBook over the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.
    Incorrect. iPad supported physical keyboards literally from the day it was launched. I had one. A mouse is not required for a computer to be real — I also had computers without them.

    I have used my ipads for real work for my personal business for years. Email, Numbers, presentations, etc. Also enjoyed editing videos on it for family. 
    Sure.  But until now they've been half-assed implementations.  The Magic Keyboard is finally a worthy keyboard attachment.
    When do we get to the part where you insist the iPad isn’t a real computer because it doesn’t have a SCSI port?

    How about reading and actually understanding what I wrote.  Or is that too hard for you?
    muthuk_vanalingamGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 43 of 76
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,430member
    In another thread people were discussing the significance of the absence of thunderbolt On the developer Mac mini. My initial assumption was that Apple surely would be including it since leaving it off would be too big of a compromise In functionality, but as I’m reading this story I’m wondering about it again - if the Mac mini is meant for developers to get their software going, doesn’t the absence of TB hamstring that goal? Of perhaps it’s just because they ‘crammed an iPad into a mini box’ because that’s all they have ready right now? 
  • Reply 44 of 76
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,816member
    MplsP said:
    In another thread people were discussing the significance of the absence of thunderbolt On the developer Mac mini. My initial assumption was that Apple surely would be including it since leaving it off would be too big of a compromise In functionality, but as I’m reading this story I’m wondering about it again - if the Mac mini is meant for developers to get their software going, doesn’t the absence of TB hamstring that goal? Of perhaps it’s just because they ‘crammed an iPad into a mini box’ because that’s all they have ready right now? 
    Not necessarily.  Thunderbolt is a hardware solution, not software.  Apps for the most part don't care if a mounted drive is via USBc or TB, so I'm not sure what "compromise" you're referring to.

    Now, does that mean that I will not be able to connect my two Promise RAID TB2 arrays into an ARM Mac?  I'd be concerned as there is a huge ecosystem of Thunderbolt drive/dock options.  I would be surprised if Apple left those vendors out in the cold by not including Thunderbolt in the ARM Macs.
    edited June 2020 watto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 76
    The GPU side of things
    Companies usually license each other's IP's. Apple did with Imagination for their GPU chip design, until 2017 when they terminated it. Back then, we had years of laps where APPLE thought that they could design better GPU them selves. Not needing PowerVR for their GPU. If you think about it, its pretty bold. A company that doesn't do GPU, takes GPU chip design all in-house. The fruits bared from that decision is evident them selves on their year-year GPU performance gains. 

    Funny enough, recently they reactivated a new license agreement with ImgTec. That new license agreement is reported to be for the RAY TRACING chip design "optimized for Mobile" IP's. ImgTec's way of doing Ray Tracing is to offer Ray tracing capability that uses the least power as much as possible. Which aligns with Apple's move to ARM for the Mac. Performance per Watt. 

    Nvidia and AMD both have their roadmaps regarding beefy GPU with Ray tracing. Ampere and RDNA2. Both aimed at tech like DLSS which will help with efficiency in Ray calculations using AI without having to keep adding hardware to scale calculations. Max power for max performance. These are things that Apple have to either compete with or simply just license them and add onto their chip. But looking at how things are going, I don't think that's going to happen. Apple don't want power-hungry chips. Its going to be a different approach. x86 based CPU/GPU is power driven. Apple's ARM is least power but more performance. I foresee Apple taking the GPU in-house fully. They clearly were focused on Machine learning, I think they have something like DLSS that we don't know about (Although kinda had a hint in Developer's Video in WWDC19 when they talk about Raytracing on Metal API). If Ray tracing and brute force GPU is name of the game in 2020, then Apple have a lot to do to match or exceed in what's about to come from AMD and Nvidia. I foresee Apple taking the same path as Xbox Series X CPU/GPU combo solution for the bigger MacBook Pro. I don't know much about CHIP fabrication or engineering limits, but to place say, 40-50 GPU compute units onto the same die isn't too far fetched. If Microsoft and Sony are using custom APU chips with setups like that, I don't see why Apple won't. It just that it will be their own architecture instead of say AMD's. Forget Nvidia. That relationship is long gone.

    Either way, Apple knows that the 16" MacBook Pro has to perform. Giving customers underpar GPU solution is a death sentence which I don't think they are willing to risk. The pattern here is Apple realizes that they can't keep pissing PROSUMERS off. Like the 15" MacBook pro thermal throttling, the keyboard, the screen. etc. I think they know what's at stake. The birth of the 16" MacBook Pro is the prove of that. When you ask customers to join a complete brain transplant with you, you need to have something to back it up. Particularly the PRO's. They are hard to convince. SO they gotta to deliver. This mysterious chip is so tightly guarded, we all are scrambling for any juicy details possible. I for one, believes in Srouji and is positive to what he will bring to the table. 

    What could happen is something that maybe too out there (my opinion). Apple could increase the SOC die and house all the guts (on their WWDC 2020 slide) with massive CPU and GPU and memory. But by doing so, created many space available for other things on the logic board like..... "COOLING". If ARM is so good at thermal efficiency, then fitting everything inside the SoC and retain the fans and cooling could allow the Mac Laptop to really go beyond. A laptop with the power of a desktop. A sales pitch that they could really gloat. We saw some evidence of the 50Watt envelope for the AMD Radeon 5600m GPU on the 16" MacBook Pro. Max the compute units, but keep everything cool. And it performs excellent from what I can see. The fact that Apple asked AMD to custom build this chip, kinda gives a glimpse of what's about to come I believe. Nvidia and AMD has to create a different GPU die, simply because they don't make the CPU's them selves (Apart from AMD APU's). Or that Intel blocked them. 

    Apple stands at a different position to bridge what AMD and Nvidia couldn't. We always have the belief that a dedicated GPU will always be better than an integrated GPU. But what about if we are witnessing an industry transition? Where instead of having the oh so many components spread out across the entire motherboard replaced by a single large chip. You remove latency. The very first guy who thought of the first Silicon probably had the same idea and people probably thought he was nuts. On a grand scale of things, I believe that this is going to change how motherboards are designed and built. SoC's have existed for sometime. But to push it at the forefront of mainstream market is something rather exciting. These are all speculations and personal predictions obviously. But it is worth thinking about. 
    edited June 2020 patchythepirateDan_DilgerfastasleepGG1mattinozMplsPwatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 76
    jdb8167jdb8167 Posts: 621member
    This makes it pretty clear that the developer transition kit isn't a Mac mini outfitted with an Apple Silicon SoC, but rather an iPad Pro logic board hooked up to multiple USB ports, Ethernet, and HDMI for convenience. It sports the same Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac WiFi, and can attach to an SSD for storage using USB-C.

    This jumped out at me. The 2020 iPad Pro does not have 802.11ac WiFi but instead the latest standard 802.11ax WiFi 6. It is weird that this Developer Transition Kit doesn't support WiFi 6 when clearly Apple has the silicon to support it. It must be a driver problem. They have an iOS driver for whatever chipset they are using but not a macOS 11 driver.

    Obviously, this isn't a serious lack on the DTK. I just found it interesting.

    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 76
    Sorry, but without an external keyboard and mouse or trackpad the iPad WAS mostly just an output device and not a "real computer" capable of "real work".
    Fortunately, that is no longer the case -- iPad is wearing big boy pants now -- and ready to challenge MacBooks.  In fact, with yesterday's announcements, one wonders why one would choose a MacBook over the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.
    The original iPad had an external keyboard. And while the trackpad cursor is an interesting development, it hasn't materially changed the usefulness of the platform. The core value of iPad is its mobility and the fact that it can be used without setting up any "desktop" to work from. 

    Apple is obviosuly not trying to "challenge" MacBooks. On what planet does that even make sense?

    And lots of people buy a MacBook to use it as a conventional, light & thin notebook used for typing. That's not new either.  
    You, and others missed the point:   I was responding to the author who stated that iPad was always a [fully functional] "real computer" rather than just an output device.  

    But, to respond to your points:
    The external keyboard without a mouse or trackpad was of very limited utility.   As I said, with the addition of the trackpad, the iPad grew up into a real computer.
    And, whether Apple is trying to challenge MacBooks or not, the iPad now does and will.   Yes, the MacBook does have a somewhat more robust OS.   But the general user likely never takes advantage of that.


    Surprised that you are not aware of this - DED posts in the forum with name "corrections". Earlier, he used to post under the name DanielEran. For some reason, the name was changed. It has been that way for more than an year.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 48 of 76
    glindonglindon Posts: 21member
    eriamjh said:
    I look forward to the “developer” who breaks the agreement and does a tear down on the Apple silicon mini.  

    I want to see just how they shoehorned 16gb of RAM onto an iPad.  
    iPad Pro uses Package on Package, so there's 2 - 2gb ram chips stacked on top of the cpu. They can easily be 8gb chips. Also the ram chips could be soldered next to the cpu since a Mac mini  doesn't have the space constraints of an iPad.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 49 of 76
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    Rayz2016 said:

    ...
    However, the more we learn about Apple's existing SoCs, and the Apple Silicon effort as a whole, the more confidence we have that Apple is indeed beating Intel in many respects already. The idea that Apple's custom silicon can only handle "mobile" workloads is the same sort of disparaging presumption that fueled the dismissive notion that iPads were only "media consumption devices" and not "real" on some level.
    Sorry, but without an external keyboard and mouse or trackpad the iPad WAS mostly just an output device and not a "real computer" capable of "real work".
    Fortunately, that is no longer the case -- iPad is wearing big boy pants now -- and ready to challenge MacBooks.  In fact, with yesterday's announcements, one wonders why one would choose a MacBook over the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.
    Incorrect. iPad supported physical keyboards literally from the day it was launched. I had one. A mouse is not required for a computer to be real — I also had computers without them.

    I have used my ipads for real work for my personal business for years. Email, Numbers, presentations, etc. Also enjoyed editing videos on it for family. 
    Sure.  But until now they've been half-assed implementations.  The Magic Keyboard is finally a worthy keyboard attachment.
    When do we get to the part where you insist the iPad isn’t a real computer because it doesn’t have a SCSI port?

    How about reading and actually understanding what I wrote.  Or is that too hard for you?
    I did. I watched you word squirm trying to prove the iPad wasn’t a real computer by claiming it didn’t have something it’s had from day one. And when someone pointed out that it did, you then tried to claim it wasn’t the right kind of something. 

    You really should’ve gone with the SCSI port.  


    chiafastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 50 of 76
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member
    melgross said:
    An error in this article. TB doesn’t not come with USB4. It’s optional. It required Intel TB controller chips, and work to get them to function. Having USB4 doesn’t not automatically mean you have TB. I hope Apple will do it. We’ll see, it’s not a slam dunk.
    That's not an error. If Apple implements USB 4 it will obviously support TB. Intel has provided the TB spec to the USB org so that expensive licensing isn't required. Sure, USB 4 on another device doesn't mean that it supports TB, the same way USB-C doesn't mean TB3 is supported.   
    fastasleepFidonet127watto_cobra
  • Reply 51 of 76
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member

    mretondo said:
    Apple made it perfectly clear that ARM is slower than Intel. In fact they screamed it out load if you were listening. There wasn’t a single side by side demo of FCP X running on two Macs doing a long task like rendering. Intel takes 2 minutes while ARM takes 1.5 minutes. That’s all it would’ve taken to show how fast ARM is. The reason, ARM is slower!
    Apple has no reason to benchmark its transition kit hardware, and it isn't selling any Apple Silicon Macs for months. Trying to establish that "ARM is faster" would be futile now, and would open things up to allow Intel and PC makers to spend months denigrating Apple's work before it goes on sale.

    If you pay attention, you'll note that Apple doesn't generally overbrag and underdeliver. There is a reason for that. Demanding to be coddled now is just naive to how Apple works. 
    fastasleepGeorgeBMacFidonet127muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 52 of 76
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member
    mretondo said:
    Completely disagree, the ARM chip could have been compared to a Mac mini or whatever Mac they saw fit but they didn’t! They showed FCP and said it’s fast but didn’t even say it’s X times faster than XXX. I’ve been with Apple since 1980 and been an Apple ][, Mac and iPhone develop. They are definitely hiding real speeds. The ARM MAC would be great for a low end Mac Book to get the better battery life buts that’s it. 
    You can provide your real name and the basis for believing your authority as an insider, and then if you're right we can cite you as having known all along. Or if you are wrong we can point out how much people overthink the value of their opinions before there's enough information to really say. Your call. 
    fastasleepFidonet127muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 53 of 76
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member
    MplsP said:
    In another thread people were discussing the significance of the absence of thunderbolt On the developer Mac mini. My initial assumption was that Apple surely would be including it since leaving it off would be too big of a compromise In functionality, but as I’m reading this story I’m wondering about it again - if the Mac mini is meant for developers to get their software going, doesn’t the absence of TB hamstring that goal? Of perhaps it’s just because they ‘crammed an iPad into a mini box’ because that’s all they have ready right now? 
    As the article states, Apple's SoCs don't and can't support PCIe or Thunderbolt 3. They are Intel-licensed technologies that require special hardware, and neither has made sense on an iOS device. The article points out that TB3 is leaving Intel's proprietary control to become a feature optionally supported in USB 4. So at some point, Apple Silicon Macs and other iOS/iPadOS devices could deliver TB3 functionality using Apple's SoCs. But existing chips don't, so there's no way to put TB3 ports on an Apple SoC Mac right now. 

    If there were functional TB3 ports, it would indicate that the DTKit was instead a Mac mini with an A12Z bolted on the side, instead of basically an iPad Pro with much more RAM installed. 
    fastasleepFidonet127muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 54 of 76
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,836member
    So basically the new MBP will be an iPad without touchscreen with build-in keyboard and more ports. 
    No. It'll be a Mac running macOS and running Mac software.

    Memory, storage and would be all packed on a few large chips on a single small motherboard.  
    It will be thin, light, with battery lasts a whole week.  
    Sounds great! 

    If Apple feels more adventurous, maybe a modular Mac pro with Lego like expansion boxes and accessories.

    Christ, this again? Why does a processor change make a Lego Mac more probable than any previous adventures in imagination explored here before in this realm? Is this because it's based on a chip used in mobile devices that people think Macs are just going to be a bunch of iPhones duct taped together?

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 55 of 76
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 5,836member
    [snip]
    But it is worth thinking about. 
    Excellent first post! Please stick around.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 56 of 76
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member

    jdb8167 said:
    This makes it pretty clear that the developer transition kit isn't a Mac mini outfitted with an Apple Silicon SoC, but rather an iPad Pro logic board hooked up to multiple USB ports, Ethernet, and HDMI for convenience. It sports the same Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac WiFi, and can attach to an SSD for storage using USB-C.

    This jumped out at me. The 2020 iPad Pro does not have 802.11ac WiFi but instead the latest standard 802.11ax WiFi 6. It is weird that this Developer Transition Kit doesn't support WiFi 6 when clearly Apple has the silicon to support it. It must be a driver problem. They have an iOS driver for whatever chipset they are using but not a macOS 11 driver.

    Obviously, this isn't a serious lack on the DTK. I just found it interesting.

    Yes - Apple just added WiFi 6 (80211.ax) support to iPhone 11 a few months ago, and to the A12Z this year. No Macs support it it yet. But beyond support in the SoC, WiFi 6 also needs the right supporting hardware and antennas to actually call itself WiFi 6. If the DTKit is just a temporary hack to enable non-public development for a few months, that would certainly explain why Apple shipped it with only "802.11ac" even if the SoC itself could support ax. Why would Apple develop and certify a temporary Mac Mini design it will never ship just to slightly improve WiFi on a test box that most developers will be using over Ethernet anyway?   
    fastasleepmuthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 57 of 76
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,690member
    Rayz2016 said:

    ...
    However, the more we learn about Apple's existing SoCs, and the Apple Silicon effort as a whole, the more confidence we have that Apple is indeed beating Intel in many respects already. The idea that Apple's custom silicon can only handle "mobile" workloads is the same sort of disparaging presumption that fueled the dismissive notion that iPads were only "media consumption devices" and not "real" on some level.
    Sorry, but without an external keyboard and mouse or trackpad the iPad WAS mostly just an output device and not a "real computer" capable of "real work".
    Fortunately, that is no longer the case -- iPad is wearing big boy pants now -- and ready to challenge MacBooks.  In fact, with yesterday's announcements, one wonders why one would choose a MacBook over the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.
    Incorrect. iPad supported physical keyboards literally from the day it was launched. I had one. A mouse is not required for a computer to be real — I also had computers without them.

    I have used my ipads for real work for my personal business for years. Email, Numbers, presentations, etc. Also enjoyed editing videos on it for family. 
    Sure.  But until now they've been half-assed implementations.  The Magic Keyboard is finally a worthy keyboard attachment.
    When do we get to the part where you insist the iPad isn’t a real computer because it doesn’t have a SCSI port?


    Nice sarcasm.   But not a nice response -- or a valid one either. 
    Apple has spent the past few years making the iPad into a real computer able to do real work with multitple upgrades to the OS (to the point it had to be split from iOS and renamed) and, finally, a trackpad and cursor.

    It was a fine machine before, but hobbled.  Now, for most average, everyday non-power users, it has surpassed MacBooks in functionality.  Its last limitation being a smaller screen -- but that limitation will likely remain because making the screen larger (except by eliminating the bezels) will make it harder to use as a tablet -- so that will remain as a balance between needing a larger screen for laptop mode or an easier to handle one for tablet mode.
    edited June 2020 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 58 of 76
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,690member
    ...

     The pattern here is Apple realizes that they can't keep pissing PROSUMERS off.
    ....
    Neither can Apple survive depending on their miniscule contribution to sales.
    Apple, running its own software house and extensive ecosystem, has enormous fixed costs going into every machine.   Those fixed costs can only be covered by either a high selling price or high volume.  But, if the volume is low enough, the price will be forced to be too high even for so called ProSumers.  That was one of Steve's problem in the early days:  great machines that only a few could afford.  It's also the problem that took down OS2 -- nobody could afford the hardware it took to run it.

    SkylightActive
  • Reply 59 of 76
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,684member
    MplsP said:
    In another thread people were discussing the significance of the absence of thunderbolt On the developer Mac mini. My initial assumption was that Apple surely would be including it since leaving it off would be too big of a compromise In functionality, but as I’m reading this story I’m wondering about it again - if the Mac mini is meant for developers to get their software going, doesn’t the absence of TB hamstring that goal? Of perhaps it’s just because they ‘crammed an iPad into a mini box’ because that’s all they have ready right now? 
    As the article states, Apple's SoCs don't and can't support PCIe or Thunderbolt 3. They are Intel-licensed technologies that require special hardware, and neither has made sense on an iOS device. The article points out that TB3 is leaving Intel's proprietary control to become a feature optionally supported in USB 4. So at some point, Apple Silicon Macs and other iOS/iPadOS devices could deliver TB3 functionality using Apple's SoCs. But existing chips don't, so there's no way to put TB3 ports on an Apple SoC Mac right now. 

    If there were functional TB3 ports, it would indicate that the DTKit was instead a Mac mini with an A12Z bolted on the side, instead of basically an iPad Pro with much more RAM installed. 
    Except they do support PCIe just not many lanes nothing stopping Apple adding more lanes more bandwidth or even going to PCIe 4.0 or 5.0
  • Reply 60 of 76
    Rayz2016 said:

    ...
    However, the more we learn about Apple's existing SoCs, and the Apple Silicon effort as a whole, the more confidence we have that Apple is indeed beating Intel in many respects already. The idea that Apple's custom silicon can only handle "mobile" workloads is the same sort of disparaging presumption that fueled the dismissive notion that iPads were only "media consumption devices" and not "real" on some level.
    Sorry, but without an external keyboard and mouse or trackpad the iPad WAS mostly just an output device and not a "real computer" capable of "real work".
    Fortunately, that is no longer the case -- iPad is wearing big boy pants now -- and ready to challenge MacBooks.  In fact, with yesterday's announcements, one wonders why one would choose a MacBook over the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard.
    Incorrect. iPad supported physical keyboards literally from the day it was launched. I had one. A mouse is not required for a computer to be real — I also had computers without them.

    I have used my ipads for real work for my personal business for years. Email, Numbers, presentations, etc. Also enjoyed editing videos on it for family. 
    Sure.  But until now they've been half-assed implementations.  The Magic Keyboard is finally a worthy keyboard attachment.
    When do we get to the part where you insist the iPad isn’t a real computer because it doesn’t have a SCSI port?

    Because every office secretary I know would refuse to work on a device with no mouse / trackpad support.  It does not matter what the scientific definition of a real computer is.  However, up until the latest Magic Keyboard, previous iPad keyboards had *zero* penetration in offices for secretarial work loads.
    GeorgeBMac
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