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Apple CPUs to Replace Intel in Macs?


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#41 Steve Ballmer

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 01:54 PM

Microsoft will still dominate the desktop and backend!
None of this matters.
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#42 the Battle Cat

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 05:34 PM

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#43 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 12:38 PM

An update on this:

Quote

Bloomberg: Apple is planning to use its own chips in Mac computers beginning as early as 2020, replacing processors from Intel, according to people familiar with the plans.

The initiative, code named Kalamata, is still in the early developmental stages, but comes as part of a larger strategy to make all of Apple’s devices -- including Macs, iPhones, and iPads -- work more similarly and seamlessly together, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The project, which executives have approved, will likely result in a multi-step transition.

We're getting closer. And I really don't see what Apple plans to gain from this, other than complete control of... Nothing? I fail to see what they would add hardware wise, and I doubt they could maintain the lead we see for A# ARMs, vs. Intel. Fill me in guys!
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#44 Spike

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:50 PM

Hoping its just rumor. I know I would not buy a non-Intel Mac.

#45 Cougar

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:42 PM

I think/hope Gurman is a bit wrong on the details and this will be its own line but won't replace traditional Macs, like ARM Windows 10 S. I can see ARM MacBooks with insane battery life alongside regular Macs. I might even consider getting one as my road computer if it's not locked down and indie developers port enough games to it. Battery life isn't that good on my 2016.

If it is indeed a transition, I think it will be a lot longer than the switch to intel.

#46 elowel

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:21 AM

I could see the 12" MacBook going ARM, but not really any of their other products. We had Rosetta and the 68K emulator for the previous two architecture changes, but even if it were functionally feasible to emulate x86 on ARM without any massive performance cost (which it isn't), Intel guard their patents like a hawk.

#47 Janichsan

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 07:41 AM

Switching to ARM CPUs would effectively be the end of the Mac and the end of Apple as computer manufacturer to be taken seriously.

And just releasing the lower end Macbooks with an ARM CPU would create an overly complicated support nightmare. How do you explain the average user that his favourite Mac app might work fine on one type of Mac (the Intel equipped ones), but only badly or not at all on other ones (those with ARM CPUs)? Microsoft already tried that and utterly failed.

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#48 Cougar

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:39 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 April 2018 - 07:41 AM, said:

How do you explain the average user that his favourite Mac app might work fine on one type of Mac (the Intel equipped ones), but only badly or not at all on other ones (those with ARM CPUs)? Microsoft already tried that and utterly failed.

I mean, apps already can work fine on one type of Mac and not at all on another. Itís just another system requirement if you thing about it. If Apple limits it to one MacBook as ďthe one you get for simple tasks and 36 hour battery lifeĒ I think it would be fine.

Anyway, the average user uses the Internet and maybe an office suite. Theyíd would use the MAS and like it, and anything on there would be required to run on both. I donít think it would be that of an issue. But it might be a marketing challenge. I think thatís where Microsoft had a lot of its problems.. Windows 10 S means what now? Would Apple call the OS something else? They are pretty bad with naming too. Iím looking at you, MacBook Pro 13Ē (four thunderbolt ports).

BTW, Brad Oliver has some good points up on Twitter, namely that it would be strange given their all-in efforts with Thunderbolt 3. Could Apple wrangle ARM and TB 3 together? Also, ARM Mac to PC cross-platform RTS games would no longer work. :( And he points out itís interesting the report doesnít single ARM out by name...

#49 Janichsan

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:51 PM

View PostCougar, on 03 April 2018 - 01:39 PM, said:

Also, ARM Mac to PC cross-platform RTS games would no longer work.
It's not as if there are too many RTS with Mac/Windows crossplatform multiplayer anyway…

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#50 Cougar

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 02:20 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 April 2018 - 01:51 PM, said:

It's not as if there are too many RTS with Mac/Windows crossplatform multiplayer anyway…

Well, that includes MOBAs, too. Any game that depends on floating point accuracy.

I don’t know why though Blizzard games, for example, always worked cross-platform. Perhaps the engine needs to be designed to be platform agnostic from the start. I remember Brad Oliver saying  it was impossible for AoE II to support it because of the engine.

I wish he would still post here!

Edit: well, I asked him on twitter and he came through:

Quote

Short answer: yes, it's by far best if the engine is designed for this. Blizzard titles definitely are. Older PC-only things like Age2 or Rome Total War only concerned themselves with 32-bit Windows.


#51 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:07 PM

When one considers that Apple is a consumer electronics company, not a computer company for some time now I tend to think the days of the Apple desktop computer line are numbered. Itís probably a large number still but the consumer market is their bread and butter by a long shot now. As such, it also makes sense that notebooks will persist to provide traditional computing in a consumer world that places a high value on portability and small size vs an old fashioned monster like a 27Ē iMac.

Itís about the level of demand and the money. Itís also about the focus Steve Jobs preached a long time ago.

Take desktops out of the equation and going all in on ARM becomes obvious donít you think? Not only that but it would not surprise me to see a convergence of iOS and macOS over time to go along with this. Whatís up with universal apps upcoming? There are already touch screen notebooks but I think Apple can and ultimately will outdo Microsoft here, for a price per usual.

Iím honestly think the writing is on the wall already and it is just a matter of time.

Speaking from a purely consumer standpoint, the iPhone X I just bought is a lot more powerful than most computers Iíve owned and can easily handle all manner of content consumption, high quality hand held gaming and even the kind of basic content creation Joe Consumer (me) might care to do with simple photo and video editing, personal finance tracking, budget spreadsheet with Numbers and itís also an iPod, personal assistant of sorts (Siri needs work), with a very good camera and video camera for my home purposes. Of course there is the GPS, maps and probably more I am forgetting. So, I need a desktop computer because why? Because my thinking is mired in what I was used to for so long? That used to be true until I moved to an iPad and learned I was wrong.

Thereís no doubt about it. The modern iPhones are full blown powerful computers and a lot more that you can conveniently take anywhere. The funny thing I forgot to give it credit for is that it also comes in handy for texting and as a telephone!

Sure, I just went with extreme there but the point remains that many people do just exactly this. The iPhone or perhaps paired with an iPad does it all for a huge number of people. Desktop computers have their place and will for the foreseeable future but that place really isnít the consumer market anymore, gaming PCs excepted.

Would it be all that crazy for Apple to bail on desktops and focus on the consumer market exclusively where they already make the lionís share of their money by far? I donít think so no matter what it looks like right now. They arenít looking at just right now. They are looking at, planning and designing for where they want to be over a many years long roadmap right?

When you take a long view like the above, itís easy to envision them phasing out desktops, keeping notebooks and probably unifying the operating system across a then compatible processor architecture.

Or I could be completely wrong. I donít think so but I expect some folks here certainly will.
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#52 ipickert55

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 10:27 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 03 April 2018 - 09:07 PM, said:

When one considers that Apple is a consumer electronics company, not a computer company for some time now I tend to think the days of the Apple desktop computer line are numbered. It's probably a large number still but the consumer market is their bread and butter by a long shot now. As such, it also makes sense that notebooks will persist to provide traditional computing in a consumer world that places a high value on portability and small size vs an old fashioned monster like a 27" iMac.

It's about the level of demand and the money. It's also about the focus Steve Jobs preached a long time ago.

Take desktops out of the equation and going all in on ARM becomes obvious don't you think? Not only that but it would not surprise me to see a convergence of iOS and macOS over time to go along with this. What's up with universal apps upcoming? There are already touch screen notebooks but I think Apple can and ultimately will outdo Microsoft here, for a price per usual.

I'm honestly think the writing is on the wall already and it is just a matter of time.

Speaking from a purely consumer standpoint, the iPhone X I just bought is a lot more powerful than most computers I've owned and can easily handle all manner of content consumption, high quality hand held gaming and even the kind of basic content creation Joe Consumer (me) might care to do with simple photo and video editing, personal finance tracking, budget spreadsheet with Numbers and it's also an iPod, personal assistant of sorts (Siri needs work), with a very good camera and video camera for my home purposes. Of course there is the GPS, maps and probably more I am forgetting. So, I need a desktop computer because why? Because my thinking is mired in what I was used to for so long? That used to be true until I moved to an iPad and learned I was wrong.

There's no doubt about it. The modern iPhones are full blown powerful computers and a lot more that you can conveniently take anywhere. The funny thing I forgot to give it credit for is that it also comes in handy for texting and as a telephone!

Sure, I just went with extreme there but the point remains that many people do just exactly this. The iPhone or perhaps paired with an iPad does it all for a huge number of people. Desktop computers have their place and will for the foreseeable future but that place really isn't the consumer market anymore, gaming PCs excepted.

Would it be all that crazy for Apple to bail on desktops and focus on the consumer market exclusively where they already make the lion's share of their money by far? I don't think so no matter what it looks like right now. They aren't looking at just right now. They are looking at, planning and designing for where they want to be over a many years long roadmap right?

When you take a long view like the above, it's easy to envision them phasing out desktops, keeping notebooks and probably unifying the operating system across a then compatible processor architecture.

Or I could be completely wrong. I don't think so but I expect some folks here certainly will.

This is the real point right here. I've been seeing this trend for some time now. The fact is that Apple has declared themselves in their own words a mobile devices company, and the reason is because mobile devices make a frak ton of money, much more than desktops, and even laptops maybe (which are included in apples definition of mobile devices). Why waste money a small market thats only getting smaller when you can focus on what everyone will throw their money at you for?
Maybe it really is all cocks in the end.

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#53 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:57 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 03 April 2018 - 09:07 PM, said:

So, I need a desktop computer because why?

Two words: display dimensions.

IMHO, a small mobile device is handy but only suitable for a quick Web browsing session; the small screen is a huge PITA otherwise. Poor multitasking is another issue (though I understand for Granma it's not a big deal).

(Large) tablets are better, but still fall short of a 27" display or even a laptop ; the latter can be good enough, with Full HD displays or better that's perfectly usable, as long as you have good eyesight (or good correction).

#54 Janichsan

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:48 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 03 April 2018 - 09:07 PM, said:

When one considers that Apple is a consumer electronics company, not a computer company for some time now I tend to think the days of the Apple desktop computer line are numbered. …
You make a couple of good points, but you also mention the biggest problem with the idea of moving away from desktop computers for good, maybe without realising it:

Quote

[The iPhone X] … can easily handle all manner of content consumption, … and even the kind of basic content creation Joe Consumer (me) might care to do with simple photo and video editing…
And that's about it what you can do with it properly. Consume content and the most basic stuff. But not create the quality content you want to consume on it. You can watch a multi-million dollar blockbuster movie on it, but you cannot edit it. You can listen to the latest music albums on it, but you cannot produce them. You can play the latest battle royale match-3 clicker gacha simulator, but you cannot develop it.

For all this, you will need a large, clunky, dinosaur desktop, and Apple knows that. Kill the Mac and you kill the stream of content your consumer customers can enjoy on your mobile devices.

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#55 ipickert55

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:15 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 04 April 2018 - 01:48 AM, said:

And that's about it what you can do with it properly. Consume content and the most basic stuff. But not create the quality content you want to consume on it. You can watch a multi-million dollar blockbuster movie on it, but you cannot edit it. You can listen to the latest music albums on it, but you cannot produce them. You can play the latest battle royale match-3 clicker gacha simulator, but you cannot develop it.

For all this, you will need a large, clunky, dinosaur desktop, and Apple knows that. Kill the Mac and you kill the stream of content your consumer customers can enjoy on your mobile devices.

Maybe at the moment, but I see no reason why as tech develops and more and more power goes into mobile devices that people can just move their lives onto there. As it stands you are right but I just think that it will inevitably change as all things do.
Maybe it really is all cocks in the end.

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#56 Janichsan

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:29 AM

View Postipickert55, on 04 April 2018 - 02:15 AM, said:

Maybe at the moment, but I see no reason why as tech develops and more and more power goes into mobile devices that people can just move their lives onto there. As it stands you are right but I just think that it will inevitably change as all things do.
This is far more than just a matter of power. None of these tasks is doable properly without the right input devices (which are not only mice and keyboards), peripherals, and also screen sizes.

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#57 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:53 AM

Keep in mind that Apple is also releasing a full fledged Mac Pro in 2019. It's not like they are going to release that device, and then immediately cancel x86 macs the following year.

I don't doubt that an ARM mac is coming, but that doesn't mean that every Apple device will instantly transition over to ARM. By the time that people are forced to buy an ARM powered computer, it won't really matter since we will be at a time and place where that makes sense for 99% of users. Every year mobile devices grow in sales and traditional computing devices decline. As more and more features are packed into mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android there will be less and less reasons to own a full fledged computer.

Keep in mind that I'm talking about what the 'average joe' needs. Power users, businesses with custom software, and high compute users will still be using x86 for the foreseeable future (unless all of that transitions to just renting cloud computing power).
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#58 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:03 PM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 04 April 2018 - 12:57 AM, said:


Two words: display dimensions.

IMHO, a small mobile device is handy but only suitable for a quick Web browsing session; the small screen is a huge PITA otherwise. Poor multitasking is another issue (though I understand for Granma it's not a big deal).

Youíre talking to grandpa and youíre right. Itís not a big deal.

My whole view is based on Apple going 100% consumer products over time with the transition being a carefully orchestrated and gradual thing. In that view big displays and business use cases aside of mobile business uses do not factor into the equation.
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#59 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:11 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 04 April 2018 - 01:48 AM, said:


You make a couple of good points, but you also mention the biggest problem with the idea of moving away from desktop computers for good, maybe without realising it:

And that's about it what you can do with it properly. Consume content and the most basic stuff. But not create the quality content you want to consume on it. You can watch a multi-million dollar blockbuster movie on it, but you cannot edit it. You can listen to the latest music albums on it, but you cannot produce them. You can play the latest battle royale match-3 clicker gacha simulator, but you cannot develop it.

For all this, you will need a large, clunky, dinosaur desktop, and Apple knows that. Kill the Mac and you kill the stream of content your consumer customers can enjoy on your mobile devices.

That is a great point and youíre right, I did not think of it. However, the further out one thinks about this the less of a problem that may be with future hardware connected to a larger display for development work as one example. Itís admittedly all conjecture this early on but I am definitely thinking in terms of years out minimally rather than anything earth shattering happening soon. It seems more like a natural evolution in a given direction to me that will play out over time.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#60 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 01:20 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 April 2018 - 07:41 AM, said:

Switching to ARM CPUs would effectively be the end of the Mac and the end of Apple as computer manufacturer to be taken seriously.

And just releasing the lower end Macbooks with an ARM CPU would create an overly complicated support nightmare. How do you explain the average user that his favourite Mac app might work fine on one type of Mac (the Intel equipped ones), but only badly or not at all on other ones (those with ARM CPUs)? Microsoft already tried that and utterly failed.

Maybe addressing this was one consideration in the development of universal app support?
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