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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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#21 Matt Diamond

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 11:07 AM

At first I thought it was a mistake putting this transition so close to the Catalina App-ocalypse. But I'm sure it was very deliberate. Any software left standing now is already using newer frameworks and should be easier to port. I'm sure they will have testimonials from Adobe and Microsoft about how one person ported their flagship product to ARM over a weekend.

Games are another matter of course. But there's a pretty good chance Apple will have an announcement that the Unity engine is already preparing for ARM.
And I think Feral is better positioned for this transition than many- they jumped aggressively onto Metal and 64-bit.

So that's the optimist in me speaking. But just by fragmenting the market again, Apple is making things even more difficult for developers and publishers.

I'm sure Apple will end up with nice, cooler-running machines in the end. Just not sure what software is going to run on it. Some days I'm optimistic, others not so.

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#22 the Battle Cat

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 11:45 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 13 June 2020 - 09:17 PM, said:

Can't wait for the reRISC order. Won't miss any of you windows doofuses. TALKING ABOUT YOU THE BATTLE CAT ESPECIALLY.

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#23 macdude22

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 11:57 AM

View Postthe Battle Cat, on 14 June 2020 - 11:45 AM, said:



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#24 Janichsan

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 01:50 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 14 June 2020 - 11:07 AM, said:

At first I thought it was a mistake putting this transition so close to the Catalina App-ocalypse. But I'm sure it was very deliberate. Any software left standing now is already using newer frameworks and should be easier to port.
I doubt this will be so easy, at least not in all cases. Just because there are Intel 64-bit versions of third-party frameworks, libraries, and middleware does not mean there are corresponding ARM versions as well.

I also expect that performance critical applications will need lengthy optimisation phases when ported to ARM: the complex instruction set of the Intel CPUs wasn't complex just for fun, but because they added specific instructions for specialised tasks. These instructions will have to be recreated with ARM's reduced instruction set, which could lead to worse performance if not done right. Developers working on a higher level (which are probably the majority) might not be aware of these issues right away, but they will see the results.

(Edit: Although, thinking a bit more about it, this is probably more a compiler issue.)

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#25 Matt Diamond

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 09:00 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 14 June 2020 - 01:50 PM, said:

Developers working on a higher level (which are probably the majority) might not be aware of these issues right away, but they will see the results.

(Edit: Although, thinking a bit more about it, this is probably more a compiler issue.)

Right. I'm not up on the state of art, but it used to be true that compilers mostly used only a subset of processor instructions anyway. It was more work to make the compiler smart enough to use more specialized CISC instructions. This was one of the justifications for RISC - make the core instructions faster and cheaper.

Quote

Just because there are Intel 64-bit versions of third-party frameworks, libraries, and middleware does not mean there are corresponding ARM versions as well.
Yes, this is my main concern. Whether I will be able to use ARM for work depends on this, and on support from companies like Citrix whose software I must use daily.

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#26 Tetsuya

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 09:14 PM

View PostUmarOMC1, on 12 June 2020 - 02:19 AM, said:

I'm writing this from Manjaro Linux, downloading BioShock: Infinite (because it doesn't work in Catalina), after a fairly easy setup on a secondary HDD in my Hackintosh...right now I feel like if I didn't need files that are on that MacPro I'd be setting up an eBay auction for it already. I've a lot of tinkering to do but this isn't the headache I remember having when I was trying out YellowDog Linux/PPC

Modern Linux Distros are very usable and friendly.  Especially Ubuntu, which goes out of its way to be common-user friendly.  

Honestly, though, i dont even need that much.  My daily driving is almost entirely watching videos, playing music, storing and reading files (mostly music, PDFs, and other media), and occasionally doing Office like tasks that ive already switched to using Google Drive/Apps for anyway.  

There are entire days when i dont feel like gaming that i dont even go into my office (and therefore, dont use my Mac), and do all my daily driving on this nice Pixel Slate i picked up real cheap (300$ WITH the keyboard cover, for the Core m3 variant with 8GB of RAM), and it does all of that easily and quickly, and it can double as a tablet fairly well.  (And the 3:2 screen is amazing).  

The only thing i'd really need out of a stationary computer (long term file storage/management, like having an organized music library that Google Play Music (or, coming up, YouTube Music) can sync to), i could just add to my gaming rig (since I only occasionally add files to my music library - usually in big batches when i get around to finally buying stuff ive been hearing recently), and still do all my daily driving on a ChromeOS device.  

The very little heavy lifting i do could be accomplished with web apps (basic image editing, basic movie editing, i no longer do anything that heavy).  

Honestly, other than not wanting to currently go through all the effort to make the changes, and the in-grained "i like using MacOS as my daily driver" because im just so familiar with it...

I could probably walk away from Apple tomorrow and after the first few weeks of getting all the files and file management tasks handled and moved to other machines.... i wouldn't notice a difference.

#27 Frost

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Posted 18 June 2020 - 09:56 PM

On the upside, we can probably play iOS games natively. Because those are so good *cough* *cough.*

Hopefully Apple keeps Intel long enough to put out a MacBook Pro with WiFi 6 and a 10nm Intel CPU to bring the power and heat down a few notches, and not go back to those spawn of finger-satan butterfly keys in the process. That's honestly all I want from them at this point. I'll buy that and then use it happily until Mac OS stops supporting Intel.

View Postmacdude22, on 13 June 2020 - 09:17 PM, said:

Can't wait for the reRISC order. Won't miss any of you windows doofuses. TALKING ABOUT YOU THE BATTLE CAT ESPECIALLY.

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#28 Matt Diamond

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 10:04 AM

Might be worth mentioning something that I had completely forgotten: Windows has their own ARM build. For apps that need it it emulates x86 but not x64 (yet). They do not seem to have any plans to replace Intel in the high-end machines.

This is just to say, Apple might be planning to keep Intel in their Pro lineup for quite some time. That way they've hedged their bets with ARM and get better battery life in their low-end machines, without losing Pro users.

Guess we'll know in an hour..

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#29 jos

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 12:58 PM

Apple actually thought about gamers this time. They even showed off Shadow of the Tomb Raider running on their own chip. They said developers can create universal apps that run on both Intel and their own chip (just like when they switched from PowerPC to Intel) and apps that have have not been updated yet will be able to run using Rosetta 2 (again, just like Rosetta when they switched from PowerPC to Intel). They said Shadow of the Tomb Raider had not been updated to a universal app and was running using Rosetta 2, so it's powerful enough to run even high-demanding games.

The first Macs with their own chips should be available by the end of the year, the whole transition should take two years, new Intel-based Macs are still being worked on and Intel versions of macOS will be released for years to come.

#30 Atticus

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 01:05 PM

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#31 Homy

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 01:08 PM

So the first ARM Macs are coming in 6 months and so are the new Intel Macs? I wasn't planning to replace my 2011 iMac yet but seeing the performance of Rosetta and A12Z I doubt I will buy any Intel Mac next. Maya, Shadow of the Tomb Raider and iOS games run directly. Tomb Raider didn't look to have high settings though in 1080p. I guess it's more work for the developers. Feral is busy bringing BioShock 2 Remastered to Catalina and now they must rewrite their catalog for ARM too?

#32 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 01:14 PM

I'm actually quite hopeful and looking forward to seeing what the new chips bring.

Their dev kit is an A12Z inside a Mac Mini chassis, which is what I assume they were using to show off the ARM apps, Rosetta 2, etc.

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.

View PostHomy, on 22 June 2020 - 01:08 PM, said:

So the first ARM Macs are coming in 6 months and so are the new Intel Macs?

Transitions take time. The PPC to Intel transition took a similar amount of time iirc. You will probably see the Mac Mini and Macbook Air get ARM versions first, followed by the "Pro" macs the following year.

I'm curious to see if they stick with AMD graphics in the higher end system like the Mac Pro. No reason why it wouldn't work on ARM I don't think. The graphics card doesn't care what architecture the CPU is, so long as the OS has the appropriate graphics driver.

Regarding Feral, I'm sure they were aware of this and will be buying an ARM mac immediately for testing. They are already using stuff like Metal for their new games so I don't think the transition should be too difficult hopefully.
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#33 nick68k

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 01:28 PM

Hey, Rosetta's back, all new and improved for 2020! Nice bit of friendly, hand-holding reassurance from the Big A there. (Until it's brutally sliced out with macOS Walnut Creek at some unspecified point in the future, and the dirt salted for good measure).

Anyway. Bah. I'm officially on the fence about this. I'm not excited. But it could be worse. (Tim, if you want to use that for ad copy, you know how to reach me).
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#34 jeannot

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 01:58 PM

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.

#35 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 02:10 PM

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.

That could very well be the case. For all we know it could have been running on a 300W TDP 128c/256t ARM Server CPU with a Vega Pro Duo. Hopefully not though. I'm optimistic that it was running on the Mac Mini dev unit, since they did open up "About this Mac" at one point and it had the same specs as the dev kit (A12Z, 16GB RAM) but no way of knowing really.

One thing that I'm not super optimistic about is that they showed zero benchmarks of ARM optimized software. Ex: "watch Final Cut Pro render this scene twice as fast as the Intel Macbook Air". Apple loves throwing up the "X times faster" marketing for nearly everything so you'd think they would have done that if the performance increase was substantial. I'm really curious to know how fast Apple's A series architecture can be when coupled with a more laptop sized TDP and an active cooling solution. Imagine the A12Z with a 30W TDP and some copper heatpipes and a fan. It's already fast inside the passively cooled iPad. You could see running closer to 4GHz (instead of 2.5) and able to sustain the speed for extended periods of time during heavy workloads.
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#36 jeannot

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 02:15 PM

Quote

I'm optimistic that it was running on the Mac Mini dev unit, since they did open up "About this Mac" at one point and it had the same specs as the dev kit (A12Z, 16GB RAM) but no way of knowing really.
We didn't get to see "About this Mac" on the machine running SotTR.
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).

#37 Homy

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 02:21 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 22 June 2020 - 02:10 PM, said:

One thing that I'm not super optimistic about is that they showed zero benchmarks of ARM optimized software. Ex: "watch Final Cut Pro render this scene twice as fast as the Intel Macbook Air". Apple loves throwing up the "X times faster" marketing for nearly everything so you'd think they would have done that if the performance increase was substantial. I'm really curious to know how fast Apple's A series architecture can be when coupled with a more laptop sized TDP and an active cooling solution. Imagine the A12Z with a 30W TDP and some copper heatpipes and a fan. It's already fast inside the passively cooled iPad. You could see running closer to 4GHz (instead of 2.5) and able to sustain the speed for extended periods of time during heavy workloads.

Because they're using a chip from 2018. It's not even A13. They're waiting for a finished product with A14 to present benchmarks.

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).
It wasn't hard to tell. It didn't look sharp so it was low settings

#38 Janichsan

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 02:22 PM

Notably absent from that presentation:
  • Actually showing off taxing tasks in Arm Photoshop. Unhiding a single layer and quickly zooming out is something I can do right now on my four year old Intel MBP, even if it's a large file.
  • Actual release dates for the Arm versions of MS Office and Photoshop. Remember how they showed off a Metal based version of Illustrator at WWDC 2015? Remember how long it actually took before this version was released?
  • Any information what version of Linux there were running in that VM. Debian has several Arm-native versions.
  • No virtualised Windows, which probably is more interesting for more people.
  • Any information how or even if Rosetta 2 works with apps not downloaded from the Mac App Store.
Also:
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider seemed to have run on fairly low settings (although I won't rule out that this was due to the video compression in the stream).
  • Similarly, Maya: showing the preview was nice, though it looked suspiciously pixelated (again, might have been the stream). Also, Maya does not have that high system requirements (it works on as low as OpenGL 2.1). More interesting would have been if they showed Maya actually rendering a scene.
  • macOS Big Sur is version 11.0.
  • Also, Big Sur looks just like iPadOS (same icon shapes, same Dock, same window design, same symbols, etc.).
  • On the other hand, iPadOS looks more and more like macOS (e.g. the sidebars, the "Search" bar)

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#39 jeannot

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 02:42 PM

Quote

  • Any information how or even if Rosetta 2 works with apps not downloaded from the Mac App Store.
Maya is not a MAS app, is it?

#40 macdude22

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 03:56 PM

View Postnick68k, on 22 June 2020 - 01:28 PM, said:

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View Postjeannot, on 22 June 2020 - 02:42 PM, said:

Maya is not a MAS app, is it?

MAS apps will be translated on apple's side before download. Non MAS apps will be translated on first launch on device.
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