Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel for Mac

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by grimpr, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Hulk

    Hulk Platinum Member

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    This.
     
  2. NTMBK

    NTMBK Diamond Member

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    As pointed out above, the A15 Chromebook shows that ARM has got game in laptop form factors, and Apple has already produced an ARM core superior to the off-the-shelf designs. I can definitely see a super-slim Macbook Air using an ARM chip in a few years' time.

    And don't forget how historically Apple have been very displeased with Intel's graphics performance. The new 13" MBP uses only Intel HD graphics to drive its retina display, and apparently it really struggles. Apple haven't been afraid of chucking vast amounts of die at the graphics on the A5X and A6X, and would no doubt use the same approach for a theoretical retina Macbook Air with ARM.
     
  3. ShintaiDK

    ShintaiDK Lifer

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    The old Chromebook uses an Atom CPU from 2008...

    [​IMG]

    Try with Clovertrail instead ;)
     
    #28 ShintaiDK, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  4. NTMBK

    NTMBK Diamond Member

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    Yes, a dual core Bonell Atom at 1.66GHz, as opposed to a dual core Saltwell Atom at 1.8GHz. And Saltwell is a barely tweaked version of Bonell. Hardly a quantum leap in performance...
     
  5. aaksheytalwar

    aaksheytalwar Diamond Member

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    Exactly. What about the pro Mac users? How will they run professional software on sub par hardware?
     
  6. CTho9305

    CTho9305 Elite Member

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    Isn't media-type stuff embarrassingly parallel? If it moves to GPGPU / HSA / many threads, what would Intel really bring to the table besides their process advantage?
     
  7. Olikan

    Olikan Golden Member

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    and, that power comsuption is inconclusive,
    it's web browsing batery test, many factors (like the display or memory) can screw up the benchmark here...

    ...and we all know who makes the best displays on the market :sneaky:
     
  8. Blitzvogel

    Blitzvogel Golden Member

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    If Apple was to switch to ARM within a couple years for their currently x86 machines, heavy GPGPU would be a main focus since Photoshop, video editing, and other creaive programs highly benefit from it. Interesting that AMD will probably make a huge push into the ARM + GPGPU space, and it may put AMD into better standings with perhaps being a supplier to Apple.

    Trinity right now is pretty damn good, and while it doesn't surprise me Apple skipped on Llano, A10 Trinity is a pretty excellent mobile APU. It's up Apple's alley for the kind of workloads that A10s are natively good at. The biggest issue is that AMD doesn't have a complete line of APUs to replace all the Intel products. Even if AMD managed to get the A10 into perhaps the lowest end Macbook, Intel would probably counter with either extremely cheap i3s or actually raise the prices for the i5s and i7s Apple would need for the MBPs.

    Either/or, AMD has a chance to get a big partner here if they can quickly get a custom 64 bit ARM based APU out, or if by some miracle were able to get four core Jaguar down to ARM like levels of power usage, then Apple may reconsider going ARM in place of x86 (yeah, not likely).
     
  9. Vdubchaos

    Vdubchaos Lifer

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    Are you guys really comparing Phone CPU architecture to PC CPU?

    That's just ridicules

    And for Apple to even be considering this would be a huge mistake.
     
  10. dguy6789

    dguy6789 Diamond Member

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    Most people only use their Macs and Macbooks for web browsing, checking email, Facebook, media consumption, and maybe typing up a paper once in awhile. ARM processors do not have to be as powerful as Ivy Bridge to go into a laptop and perform adequately for that kind of usage.
     
  11. Vdubchaos

    Vdubchaos Lifer

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    But there is SOME that use it for Video/music and phone editing.

    And abandoning these people would be a disaster for Apple.

    Might as well just give Ipad users a keyboard and be done with it.
     
  12. brshoemak

    brshoemak Member

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    Some people have stated the possibility of running ARM where performance is not critical like the Macbook Air and using Intel (or some other x86 variant) on the Macbook Pro's - but wouldn't you have to program for each instruction set?

    I'd imagine that fragmentation would pretty terrible for them.
     
  13. Genx87

    Genx87 Lifer

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    It all depends what is percieved by the end user. A smooth GUI is about all most people need. An ARM processor with a decent GPU could do this. Web browsing, email, and writing a word document doesnt require gobs of CPU horsepower. The bottleneck is the end user in those applications.
     
  14. TuxDave

    TuxDave Lifer

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    http://lowendmac.com/roundtable/11rr/007-arm-macs.html

    Just like 2011. But I guess now that they have a design team they can afford to do a yearly exercise of "What would it take for us to scale our current designs to a Macbook TDP and what would that get us in performance/cost". Repeat yearly until results are positive.
     
  15. joshhedge

    joshhedge Senior member

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    So for essentially for the same as one would use a Windows laptop, right? I don't see why people differentiate between Mac and PC users, it's just a choice between operating systems and superior build quality.
     
  16. Acanthus

    Acanthus Lifer

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    I just don't see single threaded performance getting to a point where Intel has to worry at 20w+ envelopes.

    Sure, they are having problems scaling down to 1-3w, but the desktop and server are their domain.

    Although it is interesting that things like Nvidia Tesla and (very recently) ARM A15 servers are being discussed. Tesla has to be chewing into Intel a bit. If not for supercomputers alone.
     
  17. Acanthus

    Acanthus Lifer

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    I respect apple for the macbook pro build quality, and for pushing ppi up for displays in notebooks.

    I'm just not willing to pay what they want for it.
     
  18. joshhedge

    joshhedge Senior member

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    Fair point. If Apple forays into ARM processors for their lower-end laptops, retaining their build quality, hopefully the price would come down.
     
  19. dma0991

    dma0991 Platinum Member

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    Pigs would not only fly, it will fly backwards when that happens. More likely to retain the current price to increase profit margin from the cheaper ARM SoC.
     
  20. Ferzerp

    Ferzerp Diamond Member

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    They're so cute when they're young.... ;)
     
  21. pelov

    pelov Diamond Member

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    It's Apple. They'll just pocket the cash.

    For a vast majority of users who don't fiddle with productivity applications, an A15 offers a good bit of performance.

    Really this points an interesting didactic schism in modern computing: there's your average user for who an ARM chip would suffice and there's the user who requires more horsepower and needs x86. The latter is becoming more and more rare in the world of computing while the former is numerous and tends to spend a lot more money on sparkly gadgets.

    Think about who Apple and Samsung and the others are marketing to. These people complained that Apple didn't "innovate" enough in their iPad 4 and iPhone 5 yet they made their own SoC and in-house ARM core design. Clearly these people don't know what the hardware is nor could care less what goes on inside their phones or tablets. Add a crappy fembot who can't make out what you're saying and they all lose their sh*t but you create an incredibly complex microarchitecture and they all yawn :p
     
  22. Dark Shroud

    Dark Shroud Golden Member

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    A AMD APU will beat both in performance & soon enough those will come with ARM options using AMD tech on both sides of the SOC.

    ARM will have to compete with AMD Jaguar cores and Intel's new Atom designs.

    Yes they do, a lot of production houses use them.

    If Apple wants a good experience on those laptop Retina displays they're going to need a strong IGP. ARM isn't there yet and won't be for some time.
     
  23. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    When I look around me, at the people in my life who aren't nerds, I saw the same thing happen to them with the camera.

    Affordable/practical digital cameras came along in the mid-90's and all of a sudden everyone in my family was getting them (and using them) for christmas/birthdays/etc.

    Then came along smartphones with even lower quality built-in cameras and the standalone digital camera has nearly become a sight-unseen in all our family get togethers, vacations, etc. When people want to capture the moment they reach for their phone.

    Standalone digital cameras may have led to the land of ubiquitous photos but the smartphone has led to the land of good-enough cheap camera photos.

    I see the same thing with the same group of people when it comes to laptops, they were the in-thing with that group for a long time. Now I rarely see anyone with one, instead they are quick to pop out their phone when they need to google something, check store hours, look at email/twitter/etc.

    It really has been an amazing progression for those folks over the past 20 yrs.

    When I see people saying certain things will never happen, arm will never displace x86, etc, I just can't help but to imagine that there was a time when people had the exact same arguments over the future of the slide rule.

    The age of the smartphone camera, replete with its crappy inferior optical path, is just one example where people will forsake quality and performance for the sake of convenience and form factor.

    It seems to me that outside the workplace, where people will still need compute performance to do their job for their employer, the age of the personal computer is probably drawing to a close as it transitions to the age of the dockable smartphone.
     
  24. Puppies04

    Puppies04 Diamond Member

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    Useful, especially as it would take about that long to do anything.
     
  25. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    As a matter of fact, they didn't. Apple business is not to develop chips, but to develop and sell gadgets that people use.

    With the iPod they started portable music and iTunes. Legal music in your pocket.

    The iPhone redefined what we expect from a phone.

    the iPad created an entire new market, one that is threatening the PC market.

    What did Apple do after that? Essentially, nothing. The new iPhone and the new iPad didn't add anything revolutionary, just more of the same, and more important, nothing that Android or Windows cannot bring to its users.

    For this purpose it does not matter if Apple is developing ARM, x86 or Power, as long as it brings something different to its users. And here Apple is already skidding. Execution is fine, numbers are fine, but the ability to dictate trends that pushed Apple growth to the levels we saw until now isn't there since Jobs departure, and this is why Apple is being questioned by the market.

    I find Apple strategy of ditching x86 for the macbook either a disaster or a strategy to make Intel lower its prices, as the performance gap of the two architectures is VERY big, and if they want some kind of the light macbook, they could go the MS route and make a dock for the iPad.
     
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