News Apple Will Move Macs to Custom Silicon, Details Transition From Intel

artk2219

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Its not like the writing wasn't on the wall for this one, I wonder if they'll do better this time around vs how the 90's went for them, though I guess itll be less of a blow now given that most of their sales currently come from phones and tablets. I can still see plenty of video production and marketing firms going all up in a tizzy about this though, honestly I do hope it goes well for them. They're building that walled garden that keeps people out to Apple's own detriment in the long run.
 

bit_user

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Its not like the writing wasn't on the wall for this one, I wonder if they'll do better this time around vs how the 90's went for them,
I got the sense that the x86 transition went pretty smoothly.

I can still see plenty of video production and marketing firms going all up in a tizzy about this
Yeah, I guess if you have lots of Macs and can't afford to upgrade them all at once, then you have to manage a mix of machines and perhaps there will be software that's natively-compiled for one flavor or the other. You'd hope software vendors will include both flavors, if they are natively compiled.

To be honest, I don't have a lot of sympathy for Mac users, though. The only reason Apple gets away with locking them in its walled garden is that they put up with it.
 
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artk2219

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I wonder if anyone will build a "Hackintosh", based on a Qualcomm 8cx or similar.
Probably more a question of when, especially given apples "awesome" track record when it comes to security and actually keeping users from doing things they didn't want them to do with their hardware and software. Of course you'll never be able to do updates since im sure they'll issue a patch to kill your hackintosh at some point in the future.
 
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artk2219

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The x86 transition yes, that wasn't the worst, especially if they recompiled the software that you used most often for x86 and offered it to you as a download or mail in disk. I was thinking more of the change from Motorola 68K to PowerPC, that move didnt go well at all, but that was a weird time for apple in general honestly. Also you could get 486 add in cards for your powermac to do x86 dev work on hah.
 

nofanneeded

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I wonder if anyone will build a "Hackintosh", based on a Qualcomm 8cx or similar.
will never happen , The GPU will be different , and the ARM will have security features unlike Generic Chip from intel ... Actually I think the chip will have hardware encryption built in ...

Forget about Hackintosh when this happens ... Just like Xbox One X is impossible to hack.
 

atomicWAR

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I am interested to see how performant they can get the ARM instruction set. Clearly they have made great strides as you can see with benchmarks of thier exsisting silicon for mobile phones/tablets but my concern is the desktop space. I am not as certain they can get the numbers they may want or need but I could well be wrong! I already feel like they overcharge by a lot for their x86 systems compared to BOM costs. They mark up crappy x86 parts, clearly not all models but a lot of them, to well past PC enthusiast pricing levels. There is a reason I have heard the term Crapintosh on more then one occasion. I worry this trend will only get worse with their move to ARM. I guess time will tell...
 

domih

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Motorola -> PowerPC -> Intel -> ARM.

I guess they really do not like AMD :)

This being said, with switching to their in-house developed ARM they'll stop to thermally smother Intel processors in their laptops.
 
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Chung Leong

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I wonder if Parallels will be available. Inability to run Windows apps would be a deal-breaker for a lot of corporate users. Are Windows licenses architecture agnostic?
 
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bit_user

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will never happen , The GPU will be different,
There will presumably still be Macs with high-end AMD GPUs in them, in which case maybe you can also use one and bypass the Adreno GPU.

and the ARM will have security features unlike Generic Chip from intel ... Actually I think the chip will have hardware encryption built in ...
Well, they could certainly sign the OS images such that they can be decrypted only on an Apple CPU. Then again, that's only a minor variation on Secure Boot. I don't really see why Apple couldn't have locked down their existing hardware better, if they'd wanted to.

Forget about Hackintosh when this happens ... Just like Xbox One X is impossible to hack.
You might be right. I don't really care - just wondering.
 
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bit_user

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I am interested to see how performant they can get the ARM instruction set. Clearly they have made great strides as you can see with benchmarks of thier exsisting silicon for mobile phones/tablets but my concern is the desktop space. I am not as certain they can get the numbers they may want or need but I could well be wrong!
Anandtech has done some deep reporting of their CPU developments, over the years. Since they claim the A12z is the same silicon as the A12X, the latest word on the subject is from their review at the end of 2018, which itself references their A12 review.

What is quite astonishing, is just how close Apple’s A11 and A12 are to current desktop CPUs. I haven’t had the opportunity to run things in a more comparable manner, but taking our server editor, Johan De Gelas’ recent figures from earlier this summer, we see that the A12 outperforms a moderately-clocked Skylake CPU in single-threaded performance. Of course there’s compiler considerations and various frequency concerns to take into account, but still we’re now talking about very small margins until Apple’s mobile SoCs outperform the fastest desktop CPUs in terms of ST performance.

Source: https://www.anandtech.com/show/13392/the-iphone-xs-xs-max-review-unveiling-the-silicon-secrets/4


I already feel like they overcharge by a lot for their x86 systems compared to BOM costs. They mark up crappy x86 parts, clearly not all models but a lot of them, to well past PC enthusiast pricing levels. There is a reason I have heard the term Crapintosh on more then one occasion.
So true.
 
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bit_user

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Motorola -> PowerPC -> Intel -> ARM.

I guess they really do not like AMD :)
Ahem. Ever check out whose GPUs they've been using for about the past decade?

with switching to their in-house developed ARM they'll stop to thermally smother Intel processors in their laptops.
Uh, yeah, not Intel processors. Doesn't mean they won't still be thermally-limited.
 
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bit_user

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ARM was shown to be slower core by core vs x86 unless Apple does a miracle.
Source? ARM cores have been advancing at a much faster pace than x86, so maybe that was comparing some older cores.

According to the article I referenced above, Apple's CPU division indeed seems to be a miracle factory. They use full custom cores - not the off-the-shelf designs from ARM (which are also getting pretty good, lately).
 
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Source? ARM cores have been advancing at a much faster pace than x86, so maybe that was comparing some older cores.

According to the article I referenced above, Apple's CPU division indeed seems to be a miracle factory. They use full custom cores - not the off-the-shelf designs from ARM (which are also getting pretty good, lately).
I would phrase it a bit different.
core to core ARM is much slower, BUT arm solutions scale incredibly well with core count AND power, so even phones take 8/10/12 core solutions lately which makes newer things that can utilize them quite snappy.
But laptops are not the place where you don't care about single core performance as a lot of software is older and will be absolutely murdered by that change.

Windows migration was not bad, but ecosystem did fail. Software was translating to x86 AND was depending hard on single core performance which made it feel sluggish like 15y old laptop.

A custom 8-32 core ARM chips should be fine for laptops, but again.
If they change AIR series, it should be fine, nobody sane uses it to work.
But if they change PRO series, a lot of people will have to rethink their work setups or accept halving performance in some older software, If it will work at all.
I am not mentioning desktops, that would be a hilarious choice for first wave.

And that for the migration period that may take a while.

BTW this is most powerful supercomputer (is ARM BASED). by simple proportions it uses like ~13% more cores to get same performance. It's what you're loosing on single core speed for ability to scale, especially that at this scale x86 solutions already degrade, so I expect ~25% on single core speed in laptop scale is to be expected.
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Source? ARM cores have been advancing at a much faster pace than x86, so maybe that was comparing some older cores.

According to the article I referenced above, Apple's CPU division indeed seems to be a miracle factory. They use full custom cores - not the off-the-shelf designs from ARM (which are also getting pretty good, lately).
It was on AnandTech, I think its multicore performance, ARM can have more cores at the same wattage vs AMD and Intel:

https://www.anandtech.com/show/13226/arm-unveils-client-cpu-performance-roadmap

View: https://imgur.com/a/TwrdclZ
 
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bit_user

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It was on AnandTech, I think its multicore performance, ARM can have more cores at the same wattage vs AMD and Intel:

https://www.anandtech.com/show/13226/arm-unveils-client-cpu-performance-roadmap

Thanks for that. So, let's break it down.

First, they're talking about ARM-designed cores, while Apple is using its own designs which implement the same instruction set. So, it's a bit like the Intel/AMD situation is, for x86 CPUs. We could just stop, here, since the entire article is irrelevant to Apple's cores. However, for the sake of curiosity, let's continue.

Next, that graph is showing the estimated performance of the A76 as slightly surpassing an i5-7300U. Luckily, since the A76 has now been shipping for a couple years, we can lookup actual performance data to see how it actually measured up.

This article was published almost 3 months later, and the headline pretty much says it all:

As an aside (or, really, to bring this back on-topic), check out how even the A76 stacks up against Apple's past 3 generations (A13 is their latest):


Finally, devices are now shipping with the A77, which the chart you cited shows convincingly beating the i5-7300U. Here's a brief performance analysis of it (including comparison with Apple's A13):


Performance is exactly where Qualcomm advertised it would land at, and we’re seeing a 25% increase in SPECint2006 and a 29% in SPECfp2006. On the integer side, the A77 still trails Apple’s Monsoon cores in the A11, but the new Arm design now has been able to trounce it in the FP suite. We’re still a bit far away from the microarchitectures catching up to Apple’s latest designs, but if Arm keeps up this 25-30% yearly improvement rate, we should be getting there in a few more iterations.

So, hopefully, that puts a few things in perspective.
 
Thanks for that. So, let's break it down.

First, they're talking about ARM-designed cores, while Apple is using its own designs which implement the same instruction set. So, it's a bit like the Intel/AMD situation is, for x86 CPUs. We could just stop, here, since the entire article is irrelevant to Apple's cores. However, for the sake of curiosity, let's continue.

Next, that graph is showing the estimated performance of the A76 as slightly surpassing an i5-7300U. Luckily, since the A76 has now been shipping for a couple years, we can lookup actual performance data to see how it actually measured up.

This article was published almost 3 months later, and the headline pretty much says it all:

As an aside (or, really, to bring this back on-topic), check out how even the A76 stacks up against Apple's past 3 generations (A13 is their latest):


Finally, devices are now shipping with the A77, which the chart you cited shows convincingly beating the i5-7300U. Here's a brief performance analysis of it (including comparison with Apple's A13):



So, hopefully, that puts a few things in perspective.
Apple is just a customized ARM? Exynos is what?

The 7300U is a very slow and old CPU, I still don't see how ARM even if Apple will compete with 8-64 cores from Ryzen 3000 and the upcoming Ryzen 4000. By the time Apple releases ARM, AMD will be already on Ryzen 5000, at 5nm, DDR5, and more than 64 stronger cores.
 

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