The End is Near

Discussion in 'Apple/iOS' started by dstrauss, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Chris_Kez

    Chris_Kez Reformed Lumia Fan

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    So the A12Z is putting up the same Geekbench scores under emulation as the Surface Pro X does running Geekbench natively. In terms of further performance gains, who do we think is likely to do a better job— Apple tuning their silicon for their first laptop chip, or Microsoft+Qualcomm on their second iteration? If I was a betting man I’d put all my chips on Apple in this scenario; I’d borrow chips from my neighbor and put those in the pot as well.


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  2. Chris_Kez

    Chris_Kez Reformed Lumia Fan

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    [mention]Marty [/mention] that post was just ... {chef’s kiss}.
    Apple defined the BYOD wave while giving barely a thought to the needs of enterprise users. It didn’t matter; people loved their iPhones and wanted to use them for work, starting with executives and tech enthusiasts then eventually everyone. Sure there will always be places they can’t go, but never underestimate the power of the user experience.


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  3. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    I have a couple of lovelaptops-duh-questions. Realizing some are very basic, and you all are way ahead of me, a link to an article will suffice. Fundamentally, I want to know if the ARM vs "other" cpu platform debate is over, and it's only a question of when all personal devices will utilize them, or just the way the industry is going at present.

    The specific questions (can be answered w/general stmnts):

    1) What is driving Apple towards ARM for the Mac?
    1a) Is it primarily to enable IOS apps to run on the Mac or primarily for other reasons?
    1b) If for "other reasons," what are the major other ones: energy usage (is that really a driving problem on Macs, vs PCs?), what other advantages does ARM provide for cpu architecture (graphics?)
    2) I get why Apple wants to leave Intel/AMD x86, and why they want to design/mfr their own silicon, but related to 1,a,b), above, why ARM?
    2a) Is ARM the only alternative cpu platform to x86? (If so, just say so and ignore all the other questions, above!)

    Thanks for letting me play, cool kids :cool:.
     
  4. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    RISCV is an alternative architecture. & this is like Qualcomms & MS 3rd gen if we Ignore the WOA 835 & 845 devices & if we go back the Samsung Ativ RT, which was the only RT device to running a dual core Qualcomm cpu. Single core it was faster than Tegra 3, but multicore was slower as T3 is quad core.
     
  5. soh5

    soh5 Wait and Hope (Bronsky et al.) Senior Member

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    interestingly, ive completely migrated to the ipad for almost all my work.

    office, tiny form factor, fanless, the pen just works so well..

    The only thing that keeps me wanting to come back is the keyboard from Thinkpad and Wacom EMR (Thinkpad tablet 2) @dstrauss That was our unicorn, too bad it never got realized completely in future generations.
     
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  6. doobiedoobiedum

    doobiedoobiedum Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I'm no computer scientist but my best guesses are
    1) For good or bad, Apple have been going for thinner, lighter devices for a long time and Intel's chips have overheating problems which mean Apple has to throttle the CPU.



    Apple probably believe they can solve these issues with their own CPU and produce thinner, fanless devices that give longer battery life. There are peripheral reasons too - they can kill the hackintosh market and OS11 will be unable to run on Intel chips without emulators. I think there've been enough videos of people showing they could build cheaper, faster "Mac Pros" on an AMD system to drive the message home.

    1a) A developer friend told me the day he could run Xcode on an iPad would be the last day he owned a Macbook but this announcement has stopped him thinking this and he's holding off buying his next Macbook until the 2nd iteration of the new A12z laptops. Apple makes a ton of money from the App Store but I don't think they are looking to the laptop / desktop market for new customers for iOS apps. That sector just isn't big enough to make this move worth while and most macbook / desktop owners are already in the ecosystem with iPhones etc. I'll get back to your "other reasons" below.

    1b) Personally - and I think all the PC guys and developers are thinking differently from me here, so I will probably be wrong - I think the big clue is in what Sony are thinking and doing with the upcoming Playstation 5.
    When you first read what is happening and how Apple's little A12 compares to an Intel - it doesn't show any vast improvement in speed / processing etc and the move doesn't make sense unless Apple are simply out to force Mac users to buy a new Mac (but remember - we Macbook owners are a tiny market in worldwide laptop sales). When Sony's new approach was first announced - the claim of "best in class data access" was ridiculed against SSD data access understanding.



    But Sony weren't doing a faster SSD for gaming purposes, they were doing something technologically different that would become a game changer and it took a major games company exec to spot this and talk about it.
    So... while comparisons of the A12z against Intel shows no advantage - it's the other bits that go along with the A12z and future that I think is what Apple are all about. It's not the A12z alone that is the reason for such a "gamble" - I'm thinking neural engine and all the other things talked about in that promo video alltogether will allow the new laptops / desktops to do what Apple are talking about.

    That's just my "uneducated / non programmer but interested tech watcher" perspective on this.

    2) They have experience with ARM now after so many years with the iPad. To branch out in other directions or go to AMD Ryzen would not be the "Apple way" - I personally wondered why they didn't go with more powerful Ryzen chips as that right now is where most people want to be but in terms of designing a whole new X86 type competitor means jumping into a crowded market vs AMD and Intel and more importantly - if they did create an Apple x86 type CPU - what's to stop Windows users putting Windows OS onto that CPU? Apple don't like to make hardware for others / competitors full stop.

    2a) without quickly researching it - I think there will always be technological CPU alternatives. PowerPC never went away after Apple left it - I believe IBM still runs POWER and I remember SPARC which a lot of banks used.

    On the consumer front, I believe it's just the Windows market is so huge that unless that new technology allows Windows and Windows backward compatability - it won't gain enough market share to grow. Even if it is 10x faster simply because people have invested money / brain cells in becoming familiar with Windows way of working or doing things. Apple are the same - OS11 is an evolution of OS10 which was in itself very similar in user experience to OS8 and OS9.

    All of the above is largely personal speculation so take with a large pinch of salt.
     
  7. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The single biggest reason that they left intel is that they want to control the entirety of the experience for their devices. And I think that some of the same reasons they left the Power PC platform for intel exist now are the albatross of intel . Back then it was a stalled development in faster clock speeds/performance with Power PC as well as power consumption (the Power Pc based Mac portables never had more than mediocre battery life). Now its lack of 10nm intel when ARM is well in to 7nm

    Yes it's true that the Power PC platform still exists to day but it's primarily an enterprise /server room chip (despite a dalliance in a couple of consoles earlier)

    And controlling the chip gives them much more design flexibility potentially. The current A series chips are all passively cooled, but what about the potential for an actively cooled dual/quad chip 4-5 GHZ configuration in something like a next gen iMac Pro?
     
  8. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    If they did license a Zen 2/3 based design from AMD, it would proprietary and exclusive to Apple devices, much like PS5 and XBox chipset customizations are specific to their own platform. To link to another of Linus’ videos, users would not be (easily) able to install Windows, because of those customizations:



    However, Apple is not going the AMD route because they committed to a 2-year transition for all of Mac, including presumably their workstation lines (MBP16, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro), the segment where switching to AMD would yield the greatest cost and performance advantage.

    This is where all the tech analysts got prediction of Apple’s switch to their own silicon wrong. Everyone expected a limited rollout to just the MacBook Air (and maybe the 13” MBP), while the 16”, iMac, and Mac Pro would be gradually phased in over many years. But Cooked shocked everyone by committing to 2 years flat.

    It could just be marketing bluff, but knowing Apple and how fast they managed the switch from Power PC:

    (Wikipedia)
    “Apple's initial press release indicated the transition would begin by June 2006, and finish by the end of 2007, but it actually proceeded much more quickly. The first generation Intel-based Macintoshes were released in January 2006 with Mac OS X 10.4.4 Tiger, and Steve Jobs announced the last models to switch in August 2006, the Mac Pro available immediately and with the Intel Xserve available by October 2006.”

    ...and with how readily Mac developers ‘get onboard, or get left behind’, I would not put it past them to do it even faster.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  9. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Yes, that device with 2020 internals would bring me back to Windows tablet in a hearbeat. As it is now, I see my Windows tablet days slipping away, even in the face of a possible Surface Neo - I just fear for its life...
     
  10. dellaster

    dellaster Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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