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#272126 10-Jun-2020 13:43
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Its been rumored for years, but it looks like it's finally possibly happening - the rumors are firming up. There is supposed to be an announcement at WWDC on June 22nd.

 

https://9to5mac.com/2020/06/09/apple-arm-mac-starts-wwdc/

 

All sorts of implications: App compatibility - emulation/software translation. Bootcamp. Device driver compatibility. Apple has heavily leveraged intel's media codec engine in both 1st & 3rd party software.

 

Leveraging the App store (Apple keeps the source code - so could recompile software themselves if the developer didn't/couldn't?)

 

Intel wont be happy - do they then disrupt Apple's supply? Does this leave an opening for AMD at the high end?

 

Normally you might anticipate a cheaper BOM - however Apple is all about that $ margin & designing chips isn't cheap.

 

Or am I too gullible, and its not going to happen?

 

Would you buy one? Microsoft's ARM powered devices are hardly flying off the shelves...


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  #2502238 10-Jun-2020 13:49
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If anyone can do it, Apple can. They went from M68K to PPC to Intel with flawless emulation each time ensuring that existing software continued to run. In this case since iOS and MacOS share a huge amount of common code - the kernel, the low level libraries and even quite a lot of the high level UI stuff - most of it is already completely optimised for ARM, and their in-house ARM chips wipe the floor with anything Qualcomm or Samsung are making. No reason they can't do it again. They should give Intel's ULP chips a good run for their money.





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  #2502240 10-Jun-2020 13:51
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Ahhh, this takes me back to 2005 when they announced the transition from PowerPC to Intel. Does anyone remember Rosetta?

 

Would I buy one? Yes, but my needs are basic enough to not require any third party software so I'm not really affected by the potential issues that you raise. I imagine it will be a different story for power users.


 
 
 
 


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  #2502243 10-Jun-2020 14:01
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alasta:

 

Ahhh, this takes me back to 2005 when they announced the transition from PowerPC to Intel. Does anyone remember Rosetta?

 

Would I buy one? Yes, but my needs are basic enough to not require any third party software so I'm not really affected by the potential issues that you raise. I imagine it will be a different story for power users.

 

 

It basically comes down to making it easy for developers to make the transition, as you mentioned they have been through this already with PPC-Intel, and basically built in emulation into the OS for 2-3 iterations... before the Developers fully caught up with re compiling everything.

 

This time round it would be easier as they have been using things like gatekeeper to make it harder and harder to install "non-trusted" apps in OSX

 

From a development POV it frees apple from Intel's roadmap, and goves them more freedom around hardware release timings...

 

one downside could be the potential loss of Bootcamp for absolute wintel ability...

 

 


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  #2502246 10-Jun-2020 14:13
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I'd be a little surprised if they can make ARM faster than Intel x64, in a single thread anyway. Multi-core, sure, throw silicon at it.


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  #2502247 10-Jun-2020 14:17
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I wonder whether we'll see Arm at the 'consumer' end with Intel remaining at the 'pro' end. While Steve Jobs-era Apple would likely have gone all-in, I think modern Apple isn't as afraid to have multiple product lines.

 

It's certainly been a long time coming; I remember reading a rumour about combined Arm/PowerPC machines back in the 90s!


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  #2502258 10-Jun-2020 14:53
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Behodar:

 

 I think modern Apple isn't as afraid to have multiple product lines.

 

 

You're not kidding! The iPhone, iPad and Mac lines are all getting thicker and more fragmented. 

 

Every time I turn around there's a new size/shape/variant of one of their products. 





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  #2502264 10-Jun-2020 15:04
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Behodar:

 

I wonder whether we'll see Arm at the 'consumer' end with Intel remaining at the 'pro' end.

 

 

 

 

That's my bet for the short term. Medium to long term I wouldn't bet against them to extend the ARM line further and further up the performance curve. A lot of what a real Mac power user wants to do could be GPU-accelerated so a slightly weaker CPU might be less of an issue than it seems.

 

 

 

Personally, until they fix their execrable SMB performance it's still Windows for me.





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  #2502314 10-Jun-2020 15:35
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Codename for new Apple product: Acorn Amiga

 

 


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  #2502364 10-Jun-2020 15:55
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Why Amiga? Do you mean Archimedes? The former was 68k and the latter was Arm.


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  #2502381 10-Jun-2020 16:20
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Behodar:

 

Why Amiga? Do you mean Archimedes? The former was 68k and the latter was Arm.

 

 

Arrghhh.... I'll plead old age and incipient senility. I had a clear memory (I thought) of the Amiga as an ARM machine.

 

 


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  #2502383 10-Jun-2020 16:22
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SaltyNZ:

 

Personally, until they fix their execrable SMB performance it's still Windows for me.

 

 

what does this mean? Genuine question.





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  #2502392 10-Jun-2020 16:47
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Behodar:

Why Amiga? Do you mean Archimedes? The former was 68k and the latter was Arm.



I remember using an Acorn Archimedes A5000, A4000 and A3000 in Form 2 back in 1993. The A5000 had a CD-ROM drive and I thought it was amazing being able to watch videos on a computer.

At home we had a 286 and had a 5.25” drive only and seemed archaic in comparison!

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  #2502396 10-Jun-2020 16:56
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BlinkyBill:

 

SaltyNZ:

 

Personally, until they fix their execrable SMB performance it's still Windows for me.

 

 

what does this mean? Genuine question.

 

 

 

 

It means that if you try to connect an Apple device to an SMB file share - SMB being what Windows uses and therefore the de-facto default - you get absolutely terrible performance especially on Wifi. This extends to iOS: in theory iOS 13 Files app can now connect to a file shares. And it can. But sitting 5m from the Wifi access point connected to a file server with a 1Gbps ethernet link I was getting <60KB/s and it eventually just gave up. There's nothing wrong with the iPad or the Wifi - a third party app that connects to my PC to convert and locally download to the iPad (AirVideo HD, highly recommended) and it can push it down at 11MB/s+.

 

It's just Apple's terrible SMB implementation...





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  #2502556 10-Jun-2020 20:51
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There's a good point well made by Gruber that given the performance of the chip in the iPhone SE, they clearly can do excellent chips as cheap as, erm, chips. Well comparatively anyway. 

 

Rosetta was impressive. PPC to Intel went remarkably well. I still have a Power Mac G5 in the study which mostly works as a space heater - possibly not what the design team had in mind :-)

 

 

 

 

 


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  #2502563 10-Jun-2020 21:10
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SaltyNZ:

 

Behodar:

 

I wonder whether we'll see Arm at the 'consumer' end with Intel remaining at the 'pro' end.

 

 

That's my bet for the short term. Medium to long term I wouldn't bet against them to extend the ARM line further and further up the performance curve. A lot of what a real Mac power user wants to do could be GPU-accelerated so a slightly weaker CPU might be less of an issue than it seems.

 

 

Most of the reports I've seen suggest that it'd be just the Macbook Air to start with. Seems logical.


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