Jump to content


Apple CPUs to Replace Intel in Macs?


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#21 macdude22

macdude22

    Like, totally awesome.

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Steam Name:Rakden
  • Location:Iowa
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 19 April 2016 - 08:25 PM

Intel is whooping AMD all around these days. AMD had some solid APUs but essentially they have remained the same for years. My popsnizzlebox has an Athlon X4 750K from YEARS back and there isn't much better from AMD these days. Also AMDs TDP is bad, no way Apple would put one of them in anything until they get their power draw under control. Maybe this year something good will drop. AMD used to be aggressive.
IMG Discord Server | http://raptr.com/rakden | http://www.trueachie....com/Rakden.htm
Enterprise (MacPro 3,1): 8 Xeon Cores @ 2.8 GHz || 14 GB RAM || Radeon 4870 || 480GB Crucial M500 + 2TB WD Black (Fusion Drive) || 144hz Asus Mon
Defiant (MacBookPro 9,1): Core i7 @ 2.3ghz || 8GB RAM || nVidia GT 650M 512MB || 512GB Toshiba SSD

#22 Tetsuya

Tetsuya

    Master Blaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2172 posts
  • Location:MI

Posted 19 April 2016 - 08:28 PM

Currently, their APUs are about on par with I tels best iGPU, but that is because like the rest of AMDs lineup, theyre 5+ year old tech being strung out while AMD tries like hell to get Zen out the door.

How good Zen's iGPU/APU setups will be is just as completely up in the air as the rest of Zen's performance.  It might be the best thing since sliced bread.... Or it might fall flat on its face and STILL not catch up to Intel.  No one knows, really, as real-world sightings of Zen have been nonexistent.

#23 Frost

Frost

    Secretary of Offense

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6089 posts
  • Steam ID:CaptFrost
  • Location:Republic of Texas
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 20 April 2016 - 03:23 AM

View Postmacdude22, on 19 April 2016 - 08:25 PM, said:

Intel is whooping AMD all around these days. AMD had some solid APUs but essentially they have remained the same for years. My popsnizzlebox has an Athlon X4 750K from YEARS back and there isn't much better from AMD these days. Also AMDs TDP is bad, no way Apple would put one of them in anything until they get their power draw under control. Maybe this year something good will drop. AMD used to be aggressive.

This would be the new Zen architecture though, not the garbage Bulldozer architecture they've been on the past five years. Supposed to be a vast improvement in both IPC and TDP, although time will tell how much of one. If it's enough to impress Apple away from Intel, though, it must be pretty good (assuming that article is true).

There's also the factor of they're likely willing to do custom x86 chips for Apple, and their capability matches up with what Apple wants going forward. Intel's well known for laughing off anyone wanting custom chips from them, including Apple. They're printing money and all of their competition in the PC market is either dead or stumbling; they don't need anyone's business that much. AMD, meanwhile, needs business like crazy given they've been hemorrhaging cash and marketshare in the GPU space to NVIDIA ever since Kepler dropped and Bulldozer has been a dud since 2011. Could well play a part in it.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#24 DirtyHarry50

DirtyHarry50

    Special Snowflake

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1555 posts
  • Steam Name:DirtyHarry
  • Steam ID:dirtyharry2
  • Location:North Carolina, USA

Posted 20 April 2016 - 03:00 PM

This just in from Computerworld where the word is, ARM is inevitable in Macs...

http://www.computerw...news_2016-04-20
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#25 macdude22

macdude22

    Like, totally awesome.

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Steam Name:Rakden
  • Location:Iowa
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 20 April 2016 - 03:27 PM

*cough* computerworld. This article makes a lot of pointless conjecture. There's nothing specifically tying the Secure Enclave to the A series processors. For space and cost reasons this makes sense on a phone but Apple could make the SE a coprocessor (that's about all it is right now, its own little bit of memory and transistors on the A series silicon).

I had an extensive discussion with an Apple security engineer a while back and this article makes some assumptions about Apple's corporate though process that I think are wrong regarding OS X. Obviously things change but I don't think we are going to see a jump to ARM processors for mac's anytime soon. If anything we'll see more stuff like the m5 and m7.

I did spy this though.https://support.appl...downloads/macos

looks a little different than

https://support.appl...m/downloads/osx. :happy:  macOS is all but assured.

IMG Discord Server | http://raptr.com/rakden | http://www.trueachie....com/Rakden.htm
Enterprise (MacPro 3,1): 8 Xeon Cores @ 2.8 GHz || 14 GB RAM || Radeon 4870 || 480GB Crucial M500 + 2TB WD Black (Fusion Drive) || 144hz Asus Mon
Defiant (MacBookPro 9,1): Core i7 @ 2.3ghz || 8GB RAM || nVidia GT 650M 512MB || 512GB Toshiba SSD

#26 Sneaky Snake

Sneaky Snake

    Official Mascot of the 1988 Winter Olympics

  • IMG Writers
  • 3299 posts
  • Steam Name:SneakySnake
  • Steam ID:sneaky_snake
  • Location:Waterloo, Canada

Posted 20 April 2016 - 03:33 PM

View PostTetsuya, on 19 April 2016 - 08:28 PM, said:

Currently, their APUs are about on par with I tels best iGPU, but that is because like the rest of AMDs lineup, theyre 5+ year old tech being strung out while AMD tries like hell to get Zen out the door.

How good Zen's iGPU/APU setups will be is just as completely up in the air as the rest of Zen's performance.  It might be the best thing since sliced bread.... Or it might fall flat on its face and STILL not catch up to Intel.  No one knows, really, as real-world sightings of Zen have been nonexistent.

I'm kinda of an AMD fanboy, but even I don't think AMD will catch Intel in terms of CPU power. I don't think they have too though, if Zen performs around the level of Haswell then I would call it 'good enough'. We will see I guess.

Intel spends about 10x as much as AMD on R&D, due to their massively larger revenue streams.
2015 13" rMBP: i5 5257U @ 2.7 GHz || Intel Iris 6100 || 8 GB LPDDR3 1866 || 256 GB SSD || macOS Sierra
Gaming Build: R5 1600 @ 3.9 GHz || Asus GTX 1070 8 GB || 16 GB DDR4 3000 || 960 Evo NVMe, 1 TB FireCuda || Win10 Pro
Other: Dell OptiPlex 3040 as VMware host || QNAP TS-228 NAS || iPhone 6S 64GB

#27 macdude22

macdude22

    Like, totally awesome.

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Steam Name:Rakden
  • Location:Iowa
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 20 April 2016 - 04:07 PM

I'd settle for amd locking in the low and mid range price/performance like a few years back. They weren't the best but they had the best price/performance for the dolan
IMG Discord Server | http://raptr.com/rakden | http://www.trueachie....com/Rakden.htm
Enterprise (MacPro 3,1): 8 Xeon Cores @ 2.8 GHz || 14 GB RAM || Radeon 4870 || 480GB Crucial M500 + 2TB WD Black (Fusion Drive) || 144hz Asus Mon
Defiant (MacBookPro 9,1): Core i7 @ 2.3ghz || 8GB RAM || nVidia GT 650M 512MB || 512GB Toshiba SSD

#28 DirtyHarry50

DirtyHarry50

    Special Snowflake

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1555 posts
  • Steam Name:DirtyHarry
  • Steam ID:dirtyharry2
  • Location:North Carolina, USA

Posted 20 April 2016 - 04:30 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 20 April 2016 - 03:27 PM, said:

*cough* computerworld.

But I read it on the internet so it must be true!

Besides, macOS may signal more than just a name change...

I'm just kidding. I don't know what the hell is going to happen anymore than anybody else. In fact, odds are good I know what is going to happen less than anybody else around here in particular. I do see these articles popping up though and it makes me wonder if such a move is possible in the future somewhere.

The point about Computerworld is well taken. Off topic but you know who I absolutely cannot stand that writes there? Preston Gralla. That guy has annoyed the hell out of me since PC Mag ages ago and still does. I usually cannot bear to read more than the opener of any article he writes.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#29 the Battle Cat

the Battle Cat

    Carnage Served Raw

  • Admin
  • 17421 posts
  • Location:Citadel City, Lh'owon
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 20 April 2016 - 05:53 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 20 April 2016 - 04:30 PM, said:

But I read it on the internet so it must be true!

As the official arbiter of IMG Forums I must decide in Dirty Harry's favor.  The vast accumulated knowledge of the Internet Men far far exceeds and outweighs the pitiful knowledge base of a lone Apple insider expert.  Bailiff, whack Mr. Macdude's pee pee.

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 20 April 2016 - 04:30 PM, said:

Off topic but you know who I absolutely cannot stand that writes there? Preston Gralla. That guy has annoyed the hell out of me since PC Mag ages ago and still does. I usually cannot bear to read more than the opener of any article he writes.

Dirty, may I call you Dirty?  Dirty, you need to attend my conflict resolution class.  For 50 bucks you get a plasma induction rifle, a pep talk, 3 shots of 151 Rum and a map to Preston's house.  Guaranteed results every time.  It's win win, I get 50 bucks and you get that burr out from under your saddle.  Erm... and I need the rifle back.  Oh, and burn the map.

Edit: Make sure you burn the map AFTER you dispatch Preston, not before.
Gary Simmons
the Battle Cat

#30 macdude22

macdude22

    Like, totally awesome.

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Steam Name:Rakden
  • Location:Iowa
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 20 April 2016 - 05:55 PM

I get the speculation. Apple has made these sort of "wild" transitions several times in the past. In a way Microsoft never has. But these transitions have always been born from necessity. 68k -> PPC, Mac OS 9 -> OS X, PPC -> Intel. They had to make these jumps. 68k was dead. Classic OS was missing MAJOR modern features for the time. IBM was too busy making console processors. Sure there may be some ancillary benefit (both logistically and software design) by transitioning all devices to ARM processors but seems the pro column is pretty slim there. They have extensive development resources in place already for the current iOS/OS X. Intel's watt/performance across the board is astounding these days. Would an ARM based Mac be "good enough" sure but there's no need, look at the watt/performance of the skylake m series processors. My alarm clock uses more power.

Apple knows pretty well what the Macintosh market will bear, and adjusts their strategy accordingly. This idea that the secure enclave requires an A series processor is proposterous. If Apple desired they would just develop a coprocessor to run along side the Intel hardware. Apple will secure down OS X where it makes sense (SIP, gatekeeper, sandboxed apps, etc...).

The discussions I've had with Apple security personnel, I've gotten the impression they are well aware of real market desire for easy hardware encryption like on iOS devices but there is some trepidation about market fragmentation and backwards compatibility if they were to institute that kind of hardware on the Mac. I.e. People swap out their iPhone's every two years but the Macintosh term of ownership is well known to be much longer. I have a feature request in with Apple (for years now lol) to implement some form of easy hardware encryption ala iOS hardware but these sorts of product decisions all have ramifications in cost, public opinion, marketability.

It's only right if you read it on Usenet.
IMG Discord Server | http://raptr.com/rakden | http://www.trueachie....com/Rakden.htm
Enterprise (MacPro 3,1): 8 Xeon Cores @ 2.8 GHz || 14 GB RAM || Radeon 4870 || 480GB Crucial M500 + 2TB WD Black (Fusion Drive) || 144hz Asus Mon
Defiant (MacBookPro 9,1): Core i7 @ 2.3ghz || 8GB RAM || nVidia GT 650M 512MB || 512GB Toshiba SSD

#31 DirtyHarry50

DirtyHarry50

    Special Snowflake

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1555 posts
  • Steam Name:DirtyHarry
  • Steam ID:dirtyharry2
  • Location:North Carolina, USA

Posted 29 September 2017 - 11:14 AM

Saw this today:

http://www.businessi...s-report-2017-9

The linked articles are worth a read for more in depth information to accompany the main article. I need to review this thread to recall what we'd said some time ago including my own self. I am pretty sure I was thinking this was coming then though because reading this does not surprise me really. I can see why they would want to do this. I can also see another painful (temporarily) transition upcoming although it will be some time if it actually does of course. Ultimately though, aside of the bootcamp loss for some this could be a really great thing in the future in my own opinion. No matter how we might feel about Windows availability on Apple computers, they have the numbers regarding the extent to which it is used I would think or at least a reasonable approximation. I think they know very well what the impact of ditching Windows on Macs would be at the time they'd be able to introduce this kind of change. My own gut feeling and that's all it is naturally, is that bootcamp's days are numbered but the number is still a large one most likely.

Another noteworthy thing about all this is that here we have just one potential element of future computing viewed in its own little bubble if you  will without taking into account everything else that competes with it. So don't get me wrong. I'm no fortune teller either but I find stuff like this very interesting to follow because one way or another we know five, ten and more years out certainly will be different than today is. As such I always find it interesting to think about what that future holds in the fast moving world of modern technology.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#32 macdude22

macdude22

    Like, totally awesome.

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2040 posts
  • Steam Name:Rakden
  • Location:Iowa
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 29 September 2017 - 01:59 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 29 September 2017 - 11:14 AM, said:

Saw this today:
My own gut feeling and that's all it is naturally, is that bootcamp's days are numbered but the number is still a large one most likely.

Ignoring a potential chip platform change, bootcamp's days are numbered because for last several iterations of macOS Apple has made continuous efforts to increase the soup to nuts integrity of the boot process. The boot chain of trust is going to look very much like iOS as soon as Apple feels they can get away with casting off older hardware that doesn't have the necessary components (the components in the touchBar MBP are a first step to this future).

The old 90s power user grognard in me is sad (dem 8500/9500 glory years) but the pragmatist that exists in a world of complex vulnerabilities and attack vectors is 110% ok with it.
IMG Discord Server | http://raptr.com/rakden | http://www.trueachie....com/Rakden.htm
Enterprise (MacPro 3,1): 8 Xeon Cores @ 2.8 GHz || 14 GB RAM || Radeon 4870 || 480GB Crucial M500 + 2TB WD Black (Fusion Drive) || 144hz Asus Mon
Defiant (MacBookPro 9,1): Core i7 @ 2.3ghz || 8GB RAM || nVidia GT 650M 512MB || 512GB Toshiba SSD

#33 Matt Diamond

Matt Diamond

    Master Blaster

  • IMG Writers
  • 2460 posts
  • Location:Holland, PA; US
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 29 September 2017 - 02:07 PM

Lots of people I know use Windows and Linux VMs on their Macs professionally. Anything from VMWare to Parallels to VirtualBox, either because they need the Windows desktop or in order to run Docker, Vagrant or other dev-ops tools.

I see Macs everywhere in computer consulting now because they are so flexible. Throwing all that out would be a HUGE mistake.
Matt Diamond - www.mindthecube.com
Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.

#34 Cougar

Cougar

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1365 posts
  • Steam Name:FuzzyPuffin

Posted 29 September 2017 - 02:33 PM

I don't think they will ever go ARM-only but I think they could make an ARM MacBook with insane battery life alongside the current lineup. With a new name, perhaps (they could not call it a Mac, except for the awkward fact that they just renamed it macOS), and good marketing, I don't think it would be a big deal to have alongside intel Macs.

There are too many people who use MacBooks for basic web browsing/netflix/word, etc, and for whatever reason do not want an iPad, and such a machine would be far better than the current intel MacBook.

#35 DirtyHarry50

DirtyHarry50

    Special Snowflake

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1555 posts
  • Steam Name:DirtyHarry
  • Steam ID:dirtyharry2
  • Location:North Carolina, USA

Posted 29 September 2017 - 07:49 PM

I don't know if you guys had the time or interest to check out the two linked articles at the top of the page which were business focused rather than technology focused. It's all about the money with these guys and which companies will benefit and which will lose as Apple moves to develop more technology in-house while continuing to outsource all the manufacturing. So the topic of ARM processors was part of this but they were also getting into other device components. I forget already to what degree the article covered this vs leaving the details of it to the linked sources.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#36 G_Player

G_Player

    Fan

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 45 posts
  • Location:Great Plains, Merica'!

Posted 01 October 2017 - 02:58 PM

I owned a PPC Mac in the past, and I remember a short video produced by Apple explaining the Intel X86 "pipeline tax" (I think that's what it was called). I also remember when the RISC-based Macs first came out, these machines were beating the pants off of top of the line PCs in rendering tasks, and there was much wailing and nashing of teeth among the PC-users.

But Intel has some of the brightest scientists and a R&D budget that cannot be matched in the industry. The initial success of the PowerPC was short lived. And we all know how that story ended.

So, I would guess that a multi-core RISC CPU running at the same speed as an Intel CPU would still beat its' pants off in any given task?

Your thoughts please.
My computer often beats me in Strip Poker but doesn't stand a chance against my kick-boxing!

#37 Camper-Hunter

Camper-Hunter

    Heroic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 330 posts
  • Steam Name:Rorqual
  • Steam ID:Rorqual
  • Location:Paris, France

Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:42 AM

It's not as simple as RISC vs CISC, far from it. The PowerPC isn't as RISC as people think (Reduced Instruction Set CPU); it's not so reduced. Whereas x86/x64 CPUs have had a RISC core for a long time now.

And if by "same speed" you mean same frequency, the Pentium 4 proved clock rate isn't all that matters (the Core intel architecture is much faster than the P4 at the same frequency).

Finally, the pipeline tax: early PPCs had a short pipeline, true (length of 5), but they had to extend it later when frequencies climbed. While except the P4 with its ridiculously long pipeline, other x86 CPUs have an average pipeline length. The G5 has a pipepine from 10 to 16 depending on the type of instructions, while the Core 2 Conroe has 14.

#38 Frost

Frost

    Secretary of Offense

  • Forum Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6089 posts
  • Steam ID:CaptFrost
  • Location:Republic of Texas
  • Pro Member:Yes

Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:10 PM

View PostG_Player, on 01 October 2017 - 02:58 PM, said:

But Intel has some of the brightest scientists and a R&D budget that cannot be matched in the industry. The initial success of the PowerPC was short lived. And we all know how that story ended.

With PowerPC dominating big iron, continuing to be the best server and cluster CPUs, powering the two upcoming Summit and Sierra supercomputers, and becoming ubiquitous in the embedded industry? ;)

It's an excellent, and definitely more modern technology. The fact that they held pace on the desktop with Intel as long as they did with 1/10th the R&D budget says a lot. IBM and Motorola were both going different places than the desktop market though and did not have a big interest in holding onto it anymore. Looking back, Jobs saw the writing on the wall and made the right call.

Although it would be more correct to call it just plain "Power" these days. IBM unified the PowerPC and POWER ISAs into just Power a while back.
Kestrel (Falcon NW Tiki) – 4.0 GHz i7 4790K / 16GB RAM / 512GB Samsung 950 Pro M.2, 2x480GB Intel 730 (RAID0), 10TB STX BarraCuda Pro / GeForce GTX TITAN X 12GB
Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#39 G_Player

G_Player

    Fan

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 45 posts
  • Location:Great Plains, Merica'!

Posted 03 October 2017 - 11:37 PM

Hummmm… interesting observations, m'lords.

I have not kept abreast of CPU architecture and performance since Apple switched over to Intel and Motorola sold off their chip division.

Thank you for the update.  : )
My computer often beats me in Strip Poker but doesn't stand a chance against my kick-boxing!

#40 AussieMacGamer

AussieMacGamer

    Owner, 2nd Largest Topic

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3087 posts

Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:14 PM

I think Apple is happy to keep beating the iOS drum as far as their ARM adventures are concerned for the moment. Likely once It becomes more profitable to build their low power Macs (MacBook, Mac Mini) atop their A-series chips they will.

I reckon the 180º on "Professional" Macs will be the last big surprise you'll see out of Apple's oldest platform for a while. They've played their hand I think they just need to see how it works out, and so far, slower sales of more expensive Macs seems to be working fine for them.

Really I think they still see the future of portable computers in the iPad. Long term (15-20 years) I think the only Macs they will be selling will be desktops and one performance notebook. Really you must remember, it took some time for the PC/mac to become the hegemonic lifestyle and professional device in our lives/workplaces. It will take some time, but I think the iPad could well take over in a big way.

IMG Resident Crackpot
"What you need is a dog or a girlfriend, or both, or one in the same!" -Gary Simmons Aka. The Battle Cat
15" Macbook Pro C2D 2.16Ghz ATI X1600 3Gb Ram w/Samsung 840 SSD R.I.P

2015 Mbp 13", 256gb SSD

Windows popsnizzlebox with a 5400rpm HD and a GTX 1060

Now Playing: Player Unknown's Battlegrounds/CS:GO/Rising Storm 2/The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine/Shenmue 1