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  • Compared: New Apple Silicon Mac mini versus Intel Mac Mini

    k2kw said:
    beeble42 said:
    I'd like to see actual benchmark results, especially for graphics performance, including against a mac mini with an egpu with a reasonable card in it, like a vega64 or something. Saying the integrated graphics are 6 times faster than the previous intel one is fine, but that isn't a particularly high bar when you're removing any option of more powerful gpu technology which the previous one had. The new integrated gpu is competing (from a performance perspective) against the fastest gpu you could get in an egpu box that was supported by the previous model. I doubt the new model is actually faster than that, but it may well be fast enough to beat a moderate egpu setup, and without the expense, meaning a win for Apple. Or maybe it isn't and people will wait longer to upgrade until performance catches up to what they're leaving behind. Or switch platforms.
    Without the eGPU support this feels unfinished.   More like 0.8 version.   And why can’t they have 32 or 64 GB RAM .   Step backwards.   Are they trying for it to be no so successful.
    You're overthinking it.  And you are stuck with your ISA glasses on.  Unified memory is just a buzzword, but what it actually means is the the memory interface is not nearly as constrained as with the ISA, both in width and depth.  Ditto the GPU.

    This is a deeply impressive piece of silicon. Granted it's an 8th-generation design (since the 64 bit Cyclone), but the Firestorm microarchitecture is extremely impressive compared to those of AMD and Intel.  A few examples:
    1) 8-wide decode block (2x AMD, Intel a 1-4); 
    2) 192KB L1 cache (6x Intel , 3x AMD), with a 3-cycle latency (Intel 5-cycle, AMD, 4-cycle);
    3) Re-order Buffer; 600+ instructions (!!!) = Intel Sunny Cove 320, AMD Zen 3 - 256;
    4) 4x FADDs and 4x FMULs per cycle with 3 and 4 cycles latency. 4x Intel, 2x Zen 3.

    There is a bunch of other stuff that the tech sites are unpicking, but as I said, Apple would not BS the numbers, as they have WAY too much to lose.  I expect that you will find the opposite in actual fact, that the chip performers better than expected.  Yes, really.

    Note to the author of the article, you need to make clear that the M1 chip is NOT the same in the MBA as the Mini.  The use of the fan in the MBP and Mini speaks to a different implementation philosophy so you would expect that the M1 is engineered in the MBP and Mini to have higher wattage, 
    which means that the performance will be better on the cooled platforms.
  • Apple's claims about M1 Mac speed 'shocking,' but 'extremely plausible'

    h4y3s said:
    Don’t overlook the unified memory architecture that Apple can deploy, (as they own the whole stack) this will save 2x on a lot of common functions! 
    How so?
    2 ways - Firstly, it's a much wider and deeper memory bus due to not have to following the narrow ISA interface constraints. Secondly, it is clear that Apple has some "magic" in it's chips with regards to memory.  Anandtech thinks it's some sort of really smart pre-fetch, but the reality is that memory intensive benchmarks (429.mcf and 471.omnetpp) on Apple's existing (mobile) chips show huge performance advantage against other Arm chips when using the same LPDDR4X/LPDDR5 memory.  

    The same is true (same or better scores) when benchmarked against "desktop" processors *Ryzen 5950X, and Intel 1185G7.  Note this testing is for the mobile A14 part, the M1 is a different beast, particularly with regards to its wattage.  The A14 mobile part has a device power consumption of 5W, whereas the Intel 1185G7 is over 20w, and the Ryzen 5 almost 50w.  The launch graphic that Apple showed with the M1, had a peak wattage of around 18 watts.

  • What the Apple Silicon M1 means for the future of Apple's Macs

    I think this is notable for 2 things particularly:
    1) The use of a SOC design which shows that the time for the ISA is (finally and thankfully) over. SOC means better integration, power management, and not insignificantly, better security
    2) We are finally seeing an OS able to schedule across disparate CPU cores which the LITTLE.big architecture has enabled on smartphones for years.  This is a big advance in allowing an OS to more efficiently use machine resources.
  • What the Apple Silicon M1 means for the future of Apple's Macs

    "In theory, Apple could increase the clock speed of the M1 for higher computation performance with the same number of cores. In practice, power usage (and waste heat) grows in a nonlinear relationship to clock speed, so it’d be more like an Intel processor for power usage."

    Correct, but also important to remember that this is actually Apple's 8th generation of 64bit microarchitecture (since the Cyclone A7 core).  The microarchitecture of the M1 is very impressive, from what little information can be gleaned by specialist sites (note Apple don't disclose anything about it).  As an example, leveraging the fixed length instruction set of ARM, they run an 8-wide decode which is twice what anyone else is doing on Arm, AMD and Intel.  

    In "old money" that's like running a 4-barrel Holley into your small-block over and above the old 2-barrel Rochester.

    And, t
    he other interesting thing about this chip over the A14 (which also uses 5nm) is the almost 50% increase in transistors. That is like an upgrade from a v6 to a v8 in old money.

  • Apple's claims about M1 Mac speed 'shocking,' but 'extremely plausible'

    Rayz2016 said:
    red oak said:
    Fun seeing washed up “ consultants” out there trying to push back the sea of Apple Silicon performance that is going to wash over x86
    Some are saying that the M1 chip is not an Apple design at all and that they 'bought' it in. Oh well, it takes all sorts does it not?

    Well, if it makes them feel better about things then they can go right ahead believing that.

    Not really going to make any difference though is it?

    I guess what they could do is start GoFundMe campaign to raise money to pay someone to claim that they've been doing all Apple's chip design from their fold-down table in the dining room.
    The first true Apple design was the A4.  This is the 8th generation of 64 bit design. They have led the mobile SOC space since at least the a5, and the A7 (the first 64bit design) was years ahead of anyone else.

    This is all Apple, one of the giveaways is how secretive they are, and also how much they stress "SOC" performance - they are not building discrete CPUs as their competitors do (noting that AMD and Intel have no choice due to the constraints with the ISA), they are building SOC with as much specialisation and as much integration as they can.