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Apple Plans to Announce Move to Its Own Chips at WWDC

T2 ARM CPU BORG WALLED GARDEN LOUIS ROSSMANN ANTI-RIGHT-TO-REPAIR

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#41 nick68k

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 04:00 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 22 June 2020 - 02:22 PM, said:

  • macOS Big Sur is version 11.0.

OS X is dead. Long live OS XI.




*yes, I know OS X has been dead for a few years now, but give a guy a break.
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#42 Matt Diamond

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 07:42 PM

I was more intrigued by the ARM switch after the keynote than before. So Apple did what they had to with it, marketing-wise. Lots to think about.

It's actually kind of fun to have a big unsettling announcement like this. Apple gives goodies with one hand, takes away with the other. Mysteries are revealed, and are resolved hours or months later. There's going to be some disappointments, but there's also hope that the pleasant surprises will outweigh them.

That being said, I'm thankful that none of this directly affects how I make a living.

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#43 nick68k

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 07:45 PM

The official word from our IT guy* is "Oh no, not again." Put that on a monochrome poster of Maria Callas with an Apple logo on it.



*I say IT guy, but as we're an underfunded University dept he mostly spends the day sitting around drinking coffee. The official policy is BYOD and FYOP (fix your own problems).
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#44 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 05:53 AM

View Postjeannot, on 22 June 2020 - 02:15 PM, said:

I'm very skeptical that an A12Z GPU can run this game at 1080p (much less via some emulation), unless they used the lowest settings (hard to tell) and capped the game at 30 fps (hard to tell too, since the video is 30 fps).

An NVIDIA GTX 1060 (today a medium performance card) runs the game at 56 fps in Ultra at 1080p. Don't expect this kind of performance from an iGPU + x64 emulation. So yeah, the demo was probably running at 30 fps in low quality.

#45 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 06:41 AM

It looked like at least 30 fps to me, but at somewhat low to mid quality settings. And Hair Force One mentioned it running at 1080p himself, so at least we know that.

Given that it was emulated and likely running on an iGPU, I was fairly impressed. Is it sufficient to keep Mac gaming alive? Hell no. But at least it was useable.
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#46 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 06:49 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 22 June 2020 - 01:14 PM, said:

Interestingly it looks like the mac mini with the A12Z can run Shadow of the Tomb Raider better then the normal Intel Mac Mini can. Don't think you would seeing a framerate anywhere close to the one they showed on stream with the Intel HD630 iGPU.
Good observation.

View Postjeannot, on 22 June 2020 - 01:58 PM, said:

Are we certain that Shadow of the Tomb Raider was not demoed on an ARM Mac equipped with an AMD GPU? They didn't specifically say it was running on the Mac mini-like dev box.
We don't know if it was actively cooled either.

They made sure that the GPU wasn't shown in the 'About this Mac' window.

But Apple has also made great strides in the iGPU field since they started using their own. But then again, the bar wasn't too high before.
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#47 ozzy

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 07:47 AM

I agree - assuming this was an iGPU (and not an eGPU) I am quite impressed by that running in virtualization mode. I have/have played the game - the settings were definitely lowish, and it didn't look great, but running at 1080p and in emulation at ~30 FPS is damn impressive. My 2018 13" MBP with integrated graphics would get around 5-8FPS in that scenario I think (could test if desired).

#48 jeannot

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 02:58 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 23 June 2020 - 06:49 AM, said:

They made sure that the GPU wasn't shown in the 'About this Mac' window.
The A12Z is both CPU and GPU. But the "About this Mac" window was not shown on the Machine running SotTR.
Still, the SotU video strongly suggesst that Apple will be developing powerful GPUs for Macs. Possibly, their demo machine was not equipped with an AMD GPU.

#49 Tetsuya

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 05:34 PM

Im unimpressed.  

Particularly since there is a pretty decent segment of people that buy Macs (particularly MBPs) precisely BECAUSE you can get the ease of use of a Mac and then virtualize Windows (or even dual-boot) or Linux if you need those options for a piece of software.  Especially given how seamless Unity mode or whatever it is called in Parallels (or VMWare?, i dont remember which) works if you only need to use one or two apps.  

Dropping one of the strong points of buying a Mac (it literally runs everything if you need it to) seems.... like a staggeringly bad idea.  

My wife works in Medical IT - specifically EMR support for doctors offices who are assosciated with her hospital system - and at least half the offices she works with run Macs almost exclusively, and use Parallels or VMWare to run the EMR software since it is pretty much only available for Windows.  Ive helped several of them set up their VMs (because the Hospital wont support the Mac side of things/setting up the VM).  

Poof.  All those offices are now spending their tech budget on Dells.  

Im sure its not a *gigantic* slice of the pie, but ..

I just dont see the benefit to going to ARM for the consumer.  Less compatability, less power (unless they are sitting on some truly powerful ARM designs that are 4-5x as powerful as their current best), less utility.  ANd its not like Intel and AMD aren't delivering the low power space.  

25W TIger Lake parts with Xe iGPUs exist and are crushing it.  Ryzen 4000 laptop parts (Zen 2 based) are providing 8 cores/16 threads in a laptop with 30w.  

There's probably one more Mac purchase in my life before Apple and I part ways.  In a year or two ill buy a used MBP or MacMini out of the last Intel lineup, and ride it into the "no longer supports Intel" wall.  And then that's likely the end of me and Apple.  

Apple hasnt really made computers for people like me in a while (i basically have to buy used MBPs and re-purpose them as a Mac Mini-eque docked machine), where i generally want MacOS, but need the versatility to occasionally run Windows or Linux apps either via a VM or dual booting.  I can easily build a better machine than Apple sells, in terms of power, repairability, and expandability/upgradeability.  And it wont even have to be a big beige box.  (Check out the inWin Chopin; its barely bigger than 2 Mac Mini's stacked on top of each other; ive got one sitting here now waiting on the mITX board so i can build my wife a streaming rig she cant take with her easily).  

If i have to build my own... the only thing ill be missing is the ability to run MacOS... which, honestly, isn't a giant loss.  The only reason i still daily-drive a Mac is because of familiarity/habit.  

I can use Linux and make it look and behave exactly like MacOS.  Or for 90% of my uses (barring the 10% where i need Windows support) i can just use Chrome OS.  

I think Apple's gonna shed a decent chunk of prosumer and office professional types with this move.  Gutting compatability with corporate IT by removing the ability to virtualize Windows is gonna see a decent chunk of office professionals jetisoning their Macs.

#50 clocknova

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 09:18 PM

View PostTetsuya, on 23 June 2020 - 05:34 PM, said:

Im unimpressed.

I was going to say things.  You said the things.  Thanks.

But I will add that the last decade has been spent only buying Mac games from sources like GOG or Steam (not MAS), which means every game came with a Windows, and sometimes Linux, version.  I will not be giving up my entire software library so that I can play crappy iOS games on a Mac.  If Apple can produce a Mac Mini with an ARM chip for UNDER $500, I might buy one and pair it with a decent gaming PC and a nice, big monitor.  If not, I'll use Linux as my everyday OS and Windows for games.  I've been a Mac user since 1984.  This just might be it for me.
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#51 jeannot

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 01:37 AM

For me, the switch to ARM makes a lot of sense and Apple has made very convincing points in the keynote.
The ability to boot or virtualise windows will go away, but this is IMO a very minor selling point. I know about 20 people using Macs, and I'm not even sure that a single one knows that they can run Windows on it. (Linux is still covered, has Apple has made clear.)
OTOH, the benefits are clear: much better performance/W (Apple is way better than intel currently) and features that only Apple can develop with their custom silicon (neural engine, security, etc.). Having the same architecture for all their device will also greatly help app development.
They will be in total control of their hardware.

I think it's a very good move, although it may not be beneficial for us Mac gamers (which is a mostly non-existant community).

View Postjeannot, on 23 June 2020 - 02:58 PM, said:

The A12Z is both CPU and GPU. But the "About this Mac" window was not shown on the Machine running SotTR.
Still, the SotU video strongly suggesst that Apple will be developing powerful GPUs for Macs. Possibly, their demo machine was not equipped with an AMD GPU.
To expand on this, the Apple engineer said that Rosetta 2 sends GPU commands to the Apple SoC. So SotTR and DiRT Rally were most certainly running on Apple GPUs. Whether it was the A12Z is unknown (I suppose it was). Anyway, the performance on non-modified, emulated games is impressive. I suppose these games would not run that well on intel GPUs, even without emulation!

#52 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 01:46 AM

I've been through two CPU transitions: 68K->PowerPC, then PowerPC->x64. I won't be going through the third since I switched to Windows three years ago already (because of the end of both reasonably priced and extensible Mac Pros, and I didn't want to bother with hackintoshes (which will join Intel Macs in the cemetery a few years from now anyways)).

But what I noticed is that during the first two transitions, is that most Apple users were optimistic about the move and convinced it was the right decision (mostly because in both cases, the CPU switched from had hit a hard wall performance wise and was falling behind the competition). This one? Most users seem very cautious, not that optimistic and don't see the point (for them). There's no performance gap today.

I think the benefit for Apple is mostly financial here. No more outsourcing CPUs (and maybe GPUs too), and a single CPU architecture across the whole product line which will streamline software and hardware development.

#53 Tetsuya

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 01:47 AM

View Postjeannot, on 24 June 2020 - 01:37 AM, said:

I suppose these games would not run that well on intel GPUs, even without emulation!

on the now 5+ years old HD 6XX iGPU - yeah.  Theyll run like a dog.  

However, the Xe cores in Tiger Lake brutalize the old Intel HD stuff.  Like... -5-6x faster.  

Was getting 50-60fps in the new Battlefield game at a mix of med-high settings at 1080p.  

And its not like Apple would be locked into using Intel.  

AMD has had 8 core/16 thread Ryzen 4000 (Zen 2, because for whatever reason they mix and match generation numbers with abandon) and Vega 7 GPUs in them (which ALSO brutalize Intel HD and can run a lot of games at 1080p/medium-high) laptop APUs for a while now.  

Its not like Apple and AMD aren't friends and partners already.  There's absolutely no reason they couldn't use Zen chips.  Especially with Zen 3 shifting to TSMCs "5nm" (i use the quotes because TSMC likes to use... shady practices do define node size - its a lot more like an 8nm node at Samsung or Intel), and packing in a (supposedly) 10-20% IPC uplift.....  

I just dont see it.  

Now, there's always the possibility that Apple has some A15-SUPERCHIP that actually has the IPC and clock speeds to stand a remote chance against X86 waiting in the wings.  But im not holding my breath... and peformance/watt is nice and all...

But when it limits your performance to 1/3 of what was previously possible.... who cares?  Wow, its super efficient, but i cant use it to do what i need it to.....great?

#54 jeannot

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 03:49 AM

Quote

However, the Xe cores in Tiger Lake brutalize the old Intel HD stuff.  Like... -5-6x faster.  
Quite a bit faster, but not to that level. The fastest gen12 GPU should reach 1.8 TFlops, which may be on par or slightly higher than the A12Z GPU. But for what power consumption? The intel chip would consume 28 Watts, which I suspect is quite a bit more than the Apple SoC, which fits in a tablet without fan.
You also have to consider the actual performance under macOS. The Metal drivers written by Intel are probably not as optimised as those from Apple for its own GPUs. Intel probably spend less effort and their expertise in Metal cannot be as good as Apple's. (Apple cannot GPU drivers for intel.)

As for AMD. I believe that Apple can also beat them. As they said in their WWDC videos, they will develop SoC that take advantage of the Mac thermals (and up to the Mac Pro!). These won't be your standard iPhone SoCs.
But raw performance is not the main argument. Adopting AMD CPUs would not allow Apple to leverage the technologies they use in phones and tablets, namely their very efficient GPUs, the neural engine, the image-processing engine. IMO, this is more important than Windows compatibility, which I believe to be anecdotal when it comes to Mac sales.

#55 nick68k

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 05:28 AM

View Postjeannot, on 24 June 2020 - 03:49 AM, said:

this is more important than Windows compatibility, which I believe to be anecdotal when it comes to Mac sales.

I think you're undoubtedly right here (and I'm sure Apple has the numbers), but for those of us who have come to rely on Windows virtualisation/BC, this looks like being the dealbreaker (unless Parallels has something very clever up its sleeve). And, boringly, I don't even play games when I do use Windows on my Macs.
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#56 Atticus

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 07:07 AM

So, let me get this right: Apple shouldn't put its own chips into Macs because of....Windows?

o.O
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#57 nick68k

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 07:18 AM

View PostAtticus, on 24 June 2020 - 07:07 AM, said:

So, let me get this right: Apple shouldn't put its own chips into Macs because of....Windows?

o.O

Apple can do whatever they want, obviously. Similarly, if a tool I'm using becomes an impediment to my work, I'll switch to another one. I suspect people in the same boat as me are a rounding error when it comes to the company, which is fine.
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#58 jos

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 10:49 AM

View PostAtticus, on 24 June 2020 - 07:07 AM, said:

So, let me get this right: Apple shouldn't put its own chips into Macs because of....Windows?

o.O

Yes, that's correct. Isn't it rather funny and interesting how much some Mac users care about Windows?

Windows really is the last thing I care about on a Mac. I don't want to dual-boot or virtualise Windows (or Linux) on my Mac or even use Microsoft Office or Skype. I just don't want anything from Microsoft on my Mac at all. I want to live in Apple's ecosystem, not Microsoft's.

If for some reason you really do need to use Microsoft products, I'd rather buy a cheap second-hand Windows laptop just for that particular purpose than installing Microsoft products on my Mac.

#59 nick68k

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 11:51 AM

I don't 'care' about Windows, and I don't particularly want a big plastic PC on my desk, but I do need to use it from time-to-time for my job. That's just a simple fact of life for me.

i'm reaching the stage of my life now where the path of least resistance for, well, anything really, is the most appealing option, and so if maintaining an Apple-only lab becomes problematic I'll make the switch in a heartbeat. And I say that as someone who's been buying Apple kit for getting on 30 years now.
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#60 Tetsuya

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Posted 24 June 2020 - 01:51 PM

View Postnick68k, on 24 June 2020 - 11:51 AM, said:

I don't 'care' about Windows, and I don't particularly want a big plastic PC on my desk, but I do need to use it from time-to-time for my job. That's just a simple fact of life for me.

i'm reaching the stage of my life now where the path of least resistance for, well, anything really, is the most appealing option, and so if maintaining an Apple-only lab becomes problematic I'll make the switch in a heartbeat. And I say that as someone who's been buying Apple kit for getting on 30 years now.

This right here.  And i think you vastly underestimate the number of people who work in corporate scenarios who use a mac but have to virtualize Windows for that ONE application that just doesnt exist on Mac that they MUST use.  Office meetings are full of Macs that are in that paradigm.  

Are they majority of Apples users?  No, not remotely.  Are they nonetheless a significant market (and, ironically, one with very deep pockets thanks to corporate expense accounts.)?  Yep.  And theyll be universally gone with this move.  As will all those doctors i mentioned.  Again... are we talking a majority here?  Nah.  But a sizeable crowd nonetheless.  Just in the offices ive helped set up (not even all those mu wife or her team supports, just the ones who needed help setting up the VMs to work with the hospital network because they didnt have any staff tech savvy enough to do it) were talking...  300 machines?  Or people like my Aunt, who is a CPA, and currently uses Mac Minis for her office, that boot straight into the VM because the tax software they use is Windows only.  She uses the Macs though because of the better hardware and ability to simplify her backups with Time Machine (backing up VM images daily so if one machine goes down her employee can move to a backup machine immediately, for instance).  Thats 12 machines... gone.  

Etc.  

It adds up.