Apple invites select developers to Apple silicon Mac labs ahead of launch

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 34
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    mknelson said:
    What can they do in 30 minutes?

    That seems too short to do a comprehensive profiling, much less offering significant code advice. There must be something in the way of followup.
    Sounds like about enough time to load an app, runs some test and look for glaring failures.   As for follow ups I don't think there will be a lot of time unless Apple considers your app critical.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 34
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 


    Nonsense!!    First off Apples cores are already the best in the business outperforming Intel and maybe even AMD's cores.   Beyond all of that Apple is looking towards to the future and frankly the ARM cores are not anywhere near as important as other components to the SoC.   All one has to look at is the current A14 chip and the area dedicated to AI technologies.    I'm sure Apple Silicon will have good ARM cores and lots of them but that is not the primary reason for Apple Silicon.

    As for A14 it already performs better than many laptop chips and an A14X chip would only increase the performance.   An easily imagined A14X would be a knock out for the laptop market in ultra compacts like the Mac Book.    Since Apple also has publicity stated that they have other more capable chips coming I have no doubt that their laptops will be the state of the art and will be what all others are bench marked against.
    spock1234argonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 34
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    mattinoz said:
    mcdave said:
    mattinoz said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.   
    I hold a very high standard for Apple, but even I wouldn't say "performance needs to be 3x Intel or else."
    speed, an additional function or both.
    I want gain for the pain. 
    What pain?
    It is a transition that has a version number jump that indicates compatibility breaking changes. 
    There will be pain. 
    It will only be painful if you allow it to hurt.   If you have the habit of making mountains out of mole hills then you will hurt.   If you have a personality that looks forward and understands what Apple is doing, you will feel happiness while navigating the few mole hills you find.
    spock1234rezwitswatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 34
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Apple's invitation actually said "...for Apple silicon Macs" so that does suggest Apple is keeping the Mac branding for the new ASi computers. Although oddly they didn't have "silicon" capitalized. 

    They didn't in the original press release either: https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/06/apple-announces-mac-transition-to-apple-silicon/

    Obviousaly they're keeping the Mac branding.  Don't say it as if it was ever in realistic doubt.
    spock1234rezwits
  • Reply 25 of 34
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    mjtomlin said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 



    While Mac ASi will be based off the A-series, they will not be the same nor used across the different product lines. They will have a lot in common as many of the logical units will probably be the same; ISP, ANE, etc. But I would be very surprised if they used the same CPU and GPU cores - even though it is reasonable that they could - Apple is perfectly capable of designing new Mac specific CPU and GPU cores. And, in fact, they already said the GPU cores would be "bigger". There are other factors that support a new series of chips as well; PCI support, VT-x like capabilities, disparate RAM (hopefully upgradeable), much less need to be energy efficient on the desktop, etc.

    However, I don't think CPU performance needs to be what you think it does. It really only needs to match what we have now. The benefits will come from the other parts of the SoC. I do expect much better performance on the low end, especially in MacBooks. And then just slightly better on the high end. Apple is mainly looking for a smaller thermal baseline than anything else. This is where Intel has utterly failed and why MacBook Pros have had throttling issues.
    As for CPU performance there is always a pressing need for more performance, so I would want to see Apple offer considerably better performance.    I really don't think Apple will have a problem here but I also don't think that CPU performance is the reason for Apple Silicon.

    I frequently say that the reason behind Apple Silicon is to have access to the Silicon itself.   This allows for two things that are frankly more important than the CPU cores in the chip.   First is the importance of special function units like video decoders/encoders, photography accelerators and other special function blocks.   These are extremely important as such accelerators save CPU cycles and greatly lower power usage.   

    The second issue is the future of computing where AI / Machine Learning technology will be of extreme importance.   We can already see that Apple considers this to be important simply by looking at photos of the A14 chip.   Almost 1/4 of the chip is dedicated to these technologies.   Moving forward I can see Apple simply focusing more and more on these technologies as Mac OS morphs into an OS that is highly integrated with AI concepts.    Imagine Siri running locally with far more performance than you see today.
    dewmespock1234argonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 34
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,368member
    wizard69 said:
    mjtomlin said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 



    While Mac ASi will be based off the A-series, they will not be the same nor used across the different product lines. They will have a lot in common as many of the logical units will probably be the same; ISP, ANE, etc. But I would be very surprised if they used the same CPU and GPU cores - even though it is reasonable that they could - Apple is perfectly capable of designing new Mac specific CPU and GPU cores. And, in fact, they already said the GPU cores would be "bigger". There are other factors that support a new series of chips as well; PCI support, VT-x like capabilities, disparate RAM (hopefully upgradeable), much less need to be energy efficient on the desktop, etc.

    However, I don't think CPU performance needs to be what you think it does. It really only needs to match what we have now. The benefits will come from the other parts of the SoC. I do expect much better performance on the low end, especially in MacBooks. And then just slightly better on the high end. Apple is mainly looking for a smaller thermal baseline than anything else. This is where Intel has utterly failed and why MacBook Pros have had throttling issues.
    As for CPU performance there is always a pressing need for more performance, so I would want to see Apple offer considerably better performance.    I really don't think Apple will have a problem here but I also don't think that CPU performance is the reason for Apple Silicon.

    I frequently say that the reason behind Apple Silicon is to have access to the Silicon itself.   This allows for two things that are frankly more important than the CPU cores in the chip.   First is the importance of special function units like video decoders/encoders, photography accelerators and other special function blocks.   These are extremely important as such accelerators save CPU cycles and greatly lower power usage.   

    The second issue is the future of computing where AI / Machine Learning technology will be of extreme importance.   We can already see that Apple considers this to be important simply by looking at photos of the A14 chip.   Almost 1/4 of the chip is dedicated to these technologies.   Moving forward I can see Apple simply focusing more and more on these technologies as Mac OS morphs into an OS that is highly integrated with AI concepts.    Imagine Siri running locally with far more performance than you see today.
    Nailed it. 

    It's all about Apple controlling its own destiny and being able to steer the future development of the most critical hardware components in their desktop product strategy in a direction that is 100% aligned with the needs of Apple, not the needs of Apple and a bunch of other system builders who are complacent to move only as quickly as Intel can move.

    A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and a marching army can only move as quickly as its slowest soldier. Intel has been the weakest link and the slowest soldier in Apple's go-to-market strategy for every Intel based Mac that Apple has ever designed. Early on, after the initial switch from PPC to Intel, Apple could afford to wait for Intel. Once Apple refined their "we own the hardware, we own the software, and we own the integration" strategy and execution they realized that they didn't truly "own" the hardware, at least not the most critical components. Apple could no longer afford to play at Intel's speed or be lumped into the same pool of Intel customers waiting for Intel to deliver new and better components.

    Apple tried to mitigate the inadequacies of their partner by developing "sidekick" silicon to eke out more functionality and performance in areas that Intel didn't serve. They could only do so much and go so far with this approach. Apple ultimately had no choice other than to unleash itself from a partner that has served them well in the past, but a partner who was now slowing them down. It won't always be easy, and it's going to be tremendously expensive, but Apple needs to take control of its own destiny and truly embrace the reality of owning a much greater proportion of the technology stack that makes up their products. They'll obviously still have plenty of partners on the hardware side, but those partners have to earn their place every day and absolutely have to keep up with Apple's velocity and volume. If they don't, or can't, they too will be pushed aside. It has nothing to do with loyalty or the cost of change/replacement, it's all about performance, both at a component level and at a business execution level. 
    roundaboutnowrezwitsargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 34
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,368member
    mknelson said:
    What can they do in 30 minutes?

    That seems too short to do a comprehensive profiling, much less offering significant code advice. There must be something in the way of followup.
    It's really up to the developer to make the best use of the available time. Basically, you know that you only have 30 minutes with an Apple engineer, so you'd better be prepared to ask for very specific help for something that's blocking you or causing you grief, and ideally something that you feel can only be known to an Apple insider, not just something that you could probably figure out on your own with additional research and effort on your part. Whether it's 30 minutes, an hour, or a day, you have to fit your expectations into the available time and make the most of it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 34
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,221member

    For example:   I installed Windows 10 under Bootcamp on my grandson's MacBook and it is good that I did because without it he would not have been able to use it for Cyberschool.    Likewise, last night, he tried doing a math assignment on his iPad -- but it would only display 9 or the 30 problems he had to solve because it wouldn't scroll.   He shifted over to his now Windows 10 MacBook and completed the assignment.

    Personally, I would want to hear all of the pluses and the minuses of an Apple Silicon Mac before sinking a grand or two into one.
    I am having trouble with this. My experience is that some course content delivery sites are not compatible with mobile devices. I have also seen sites that are incompatible with Chromebooks. When it comes to Windows and Macs, I have never seen the need to use Windows to the exclusion of Macs. There are some sites that require the Chrome browser. However, the Mac version of Chrome works as well as the Windows version of Chrome. Microsoft Edge, Microsoft's new browser, is based on Chrome. However, Microsoft offers Edge for the Mac as well as for Windows.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 34
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,318member
    wizard69 said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 


    Nonsense!!    First off Apples cores are already the best in the business outperforming Intel and maybe even AMD's cores.   Beyond all of that Apple is looking towards to the future and frankly the ARM cores are not anywhere near as important as other components to the SoC.   All one has to look at is the current A14 chip and the area dedicated to AI technologies.    I'm sure Apple Silicon will have good ARM cores and lots of them but that is not the primary reason for Apple Silicon.

    As for A14 it already performs better than many laptop chips and an A14X chip would only increase the performance.   An easily imagined A14X would be a knock out for the laptop market in ultra compacts like the Mac Book.    Since Apple also has publicity stated that they have other more capable chips coming I have no doubt that their laptops will be the state of the art and will be what all others are bench marked against.

    Nonsense but then you agree with me... ;-) well sort of..
    Apple ARM cores are the best but they have been designed and tuned to short sharp workloads in mobile devices. While Apple little.cores will be great on a Mac dealling with the same work they do on Apple's other devices will the BIG.core is still designed with the assumptions of a mobile device. So room there to do other things maybe.
    They have other options as well with the other functional parts of the chip on the grounds it is in a different machine than a mobile device so doesn't have to live by the same constraints.

    Apple has plently of ways they can show a Mac with ASi to be amazing but just putting a A14 chip in any Mac isn't one of them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 34
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,318member
    wizard69 said:
    mattinoz said:
    mcdave said:
    mattinoz said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.   
    I hold a very high standard for Apple, but even I wouldn't say "performance needs to be 3x Intel or else."
    speed, an additional function or both.
    I want gain for the pain. 
    What pain?
    It is a transition that has a version number jump that indicates compatibility breaking changes. 
    There will be pain. 
    It will only be painful if you allow it to hurt.   If you have the habit of making mountains out of mole hills then you will hurt.   If you have a personality that looks forward and understands what Apple is doing, you will feel happiness while navigating the few mole hills you find.
    LOL ... Yes must be Zen Duck causing no more than a gentle ripple on the surface to betray the chaos of progress below.


    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    spock1234 said:
    GeorgeBMac said: Likewise, last night, he tried doing a math assignment on his iPad -- but it would only display 9 or the 30 problems he had to solve because it wouldn't scroll.   He shifted over to his now Windows 10 MacBook and completed the assignment.
    Bad example!
    Are you trying to suggest that the scrolling issue could be a potential limitation of Apple SOC? It is clearly a result of poorly written software, and not related with any conceivable limitation of the Apple SOC. 

    I'm not suggesting anything -- just stating a fact.

    And, the fact is:  his iPad could not do the job.  It doesn't matter why it couldn't do the job (whether it was a bad browser or a bad web site or whatever), it couldn't do the job.  He had to switch to a Windows machine to do his homework.
    And, bringing that example back to my original point on the silicon Mac:   It doesn't matter how fast it is IF it won't do the job.   And we have yet to see (in real life) if it will do the job.   We just don't know.   Hopefully it will.  But I won't be sinking a grand or two into one until I do know.
    muthuk_vanalingamargonaut
  • Reply 32 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    aderutter said:
    The A14 performance is kind of equivalent to the top of the line 13” MacBookPro.
    The A14X for the next iPad Pro will be a step up from that.
    The A14T for the first 12” Appke Silicon MacBook will be another step up from that.

    Oh and my son does cyber-schooling on a MBP using Microsft Teams, Safari etc. just fine. 
    No need for windows if a school is competent.


    So, you send your kid to schools based on whether the software they run  is compatible with his computer?
    At my grandson's school (one of the top 5 in the state), kids who run MacBooks have run into trouble where they simply aren't able to do certain things.  My grandson uses one, but exclusively running WIndows under Bootcamp and has had no problems.
  • Reply 33 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    wizard69 said:
    mjtomlin said:
    mattinoz said:
    IF Apple doesn't debut a new ARM core or other suitable function in the ASi family to make the Mac chips a family of their own then performance needs to be stellar (+3x on Intel) or there will be questions.  

    Shove an A14x in job done attitude would sure knock the confidence in the transition. 



    While Mac ASi will be based off the A-series, they will not be the same nor used across the different product lines. They will have a lot in common as many of the logical units will probably be the same; ISP, ANE, etc. But I would be very surprised if they used the same CPU and GPU cores - even though it is reasonable that they could - Apple is perfectly capable of designing new Mac specific CPU and GPU cores. And, in fact, they already said the GPU cores would be "bigger". There are other factors that support a new series of chips as well; PCI support, VT-x like capabilities, disparate RAM (hopefully upgradeable), much less need to be energy efficient on the desktop, etc.

    However, I don't think CPU performance needs to be what you think it does. It really only needs to match what we have now. The benefits will come from the other parts of the SoC. I do expect much better performance on the low end, especially in MacBooks. And then just slightly better on the high end. Apple is mainly looking for a smaller thermal baseline than anything else. This is where Intel has utterly failed and why MacBook Pros have had throttling issues.
    As for CPU performance there is always a pressing need for more performance, so I would want to see Apple offer considerably better performance.    I really don't think Apple will have a problem here but I also don't think that CPU performance is the reason for Apple Silicon.

    I frequently say that the reason behind Apple Silicon is to have access to the Silicon itself.   This allows for two things that are frankly more important than the CPU cores in the chip.   First is the importance of special function units like video decoders/encoders, photography accelerators and other special function blocks.   These are extremely important as such accelerators save CPU cycles and greatly lower power usage.   

    The second issue is the future of computing where AI / Machine Learning technology will be of extreme importance.   We can already see that Apple considers this to be important simply by looking at photos of the A14 chip.   Almost 1/4 of the chip is dedicated to these technologies.   Moving forward I can see Apple simply focusing more and more on these technologies as Mac OS morphs into an OS that is highly integrated with AI concepts.    Imagine Siri running locally with far more performance than you see today.

    Yes, very possibly.
    But the flip side of what you are suggesting is that the Mac line delve even deeper into niche markets (like photography or ai) rather than mainstream stuff like word processing, ZOOM meetings, cyberschool, etc...

    I think that may be too limiting for the line and, eventually, may kill it off. 
    For myself, i am not willing to shell out a grand or two for a machine because it does great photo and video editing.  I don't do that and don't care about it.
    muthuk_vanalingamargonaut
  • Reply 34 of 34
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    mr. me said:

    For example:   I installed Windows 10 under Bootcamp on my grandson's MacBook and it is good that I did because without it he would not have been able to use it for Cyberschool.    Likewise, last night, he tried doing a math assignment on his iPad -- but it would only display 9 or the 30 problems he had to solve because it wouldn't scroll.   He shifted over to his now Windows 10 MacBook and completed the assignment.

    Personally, I would want to hear all of the pluses and the minuses of an Apple Silicon Mac before sinking a grand or two into one.
    I am having trouble with this. My experience is that some course content delivery sites are not compatible with mobile devices. I have also seen sites that are incompatible with Chromebooks. When it comes to Windows and Macs, I have never seen the need to use Windows to the exclusion of Macs. There are some sites that require the Chrome browser. However, the Mac version of Chrome works as well as the Windows version of Chrome. Microsoft Edge, Microsoft's new browser, is based on Chrome. However, Microsoft offers Edge for the Mac as well as for Windows.

    For my grandson:   he uses Chrome on his Windows MacBook (under Bootcamp) but has to use Safari on his iPad for the exact same tasks -- because, if he uses Chrome on the iPad he can do the assignment but he can't submit it.   The submit button simply does not appear!  Weird?  Yes!   But, that's just what happens.

    You just do what you have to do and use what works best.

    His school handed out Dell 3190 2-in-1's.   they work, but they are really crappy.   I was shocked to see them running Celeron processors that I thought were obsoleted a decade ago.  Using a combination of his Windows based MacBook and his iPad his needs are being met quite well.

    In my original post, I mentioned that the crucial thing for the new silicon Macs will be:  Do they do the job?  (Rather than how fast do they not do the job?)
    muthuk_vanalingamargonaut
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