Apple Said to Be Exploring Switch From Intel for Mac

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

  1. Cerb

    Cerb Elite Member

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    Idling, sure. So far, every time, there's been a comparison at the same Wh, but the resulting devices never get the same Wh batteries. So it ends up being 2 hours to 10 hours, but by the time you get the smaller device with 10 hours, the more powerful device gets 4 hours--you can usually get a bigger battery for it, too, which you typically can't for the smaller device. For the monumental performance difference, you'll need something else to make that 10 hours worth it.

    There's a middle ground there, somewhere, but at ARM's current progress, and assuming they either (a) integrate big.LITTLE fully into their designs (so it's no worse on the integrator than than a single soft core), or (b) start racing to idle like Intel, we're a good 3-5 years out, right now, in the best case, IMO.
     
    #51 Cerb, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  2. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    It could very well be a disastrous decision, an otherwise fatal one were it made by any other company. But Apple is the one company that can basically put crap in a box, slap on the apple brand icon, and sell it in droves thanks to the reality distortion field that Jobs was so famous for effecting.

    I mean if a company can get away with selling over-priced under-performing PC's based on a lagging PPC microarchitecture while AMD was selling blistering fast athlon x2's for desktop PCs then that company is the company that can be counted on to successfully navigate the turbulence that may come in making a very poor choice or two in terms of the CPU of choice for a few years.

    If we were talking about any other company, DELL, HP, Lenovo, etc, then for sure it would be the death-knell of that business division within that company (if not the whole company itself) but this is Apple we are talking about. They have a way of convincing people cardboard is the new sushi, and at great margins too ;)
     
  3. Ferzerp

    Ferzerp Diamond Member

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    IDC, I don't think anyone is really saying never, but right now, the performance disparity is so great, you couldn't call anything with ARM a laptop with a straight face.

    It's far from inevitable as some would like to say, but never say never.
     
  4. MisterMac

    MisterMac Senior member

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    Yea - but what made apple what it was was the "creative hipster" anno mid 00's.

    Most of those did some creative thing professionally requiring power - and Intel offered that with core2.
    Apple's OS\Eco system (Even back then) - just made the most use of said power effectively and by adding sleak design you got a happy hipster.

    By going ARM now - who's going to radicly defend Apple if they turn the back on their "grass roots" type audience.

    That's why it doesn't make sense to me.

    I have no doubt that "WinTel" would swoop in . and gladly take some macbook sales with ultrabooks if it comes that far.
     
  5. pelov

    pelov Diamond Member

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    The trend is most certainly veering in that direction, whether the typical AT crowd likes it or not.

    And that's a spot on analogy with cameras and smartphones :p Even for my own usage pattern I could get by with an A15. The only issue I'd have is the 2-3 hours a week that I'm gaming on my PC.
     
  6. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    I don't think the case is the same here. I don't think that Apple would ever partner with AMD, as the supply issues of the company come from loooooong ago, well before the X2. As soon as Intel came with a compelling solution they came onboard.

    But I agree with you, if someone can try that sort of thing it is Apple, they have both the cash and the software to weather the storm. But still, I don't think they can afford to go with ARM for everything as they would come hurt severely the user experience in a few areas, such as video encoding and image edition. That impairment of the user experience, something they didn't have in the PPC area, is the reason I see for them not going ARM for everything.
     
  7. Olikan

    Olikan Golden Member

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    the big question is: "WHEN?"
     
  8. Ferzerp

    Ferzerp Diamond Member

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    That question is far more complex than anyone pushing arm is willing to admit.
     
  9. pelov

    pelov Diamond Member

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    I think that's where their openCL agenda could play a potentially big part. They didn't start the openCL trend for no reason. Apple is making some of the biggest GPU % per-die, if they decide to leverage that for compute it could dramatically increase some productivity related tasks. Fixed-function units like QuickSync could play a big part as well.
     
  10. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    Yeah I didn't mean to invoke AMD as an acceptable alternative to PPC for Apple at the time, just meaning that it was the performance bracket itself which AMD defined for which Apple was challenged to sell their slower/inferior products into...and yet they did, with aplomb.

    PPC didn't hold back Apple's financials, they did just fine despite that one strike against them. If they make a poor decision and create a strike against them by ditching Intel and going ARM then it will hurt them, no question, but they are best equipped IMO to weather through such a decision.

    Or maybe not, Jobs made 110% of all the difference in that stuff IMO. With him out of the picture, Apple may be just an overpriced DELL with lots of momentum at the moment and not much long-term future.

    No disrespect to Cook, but Cook didn't start the company in his garage and grow it to become the largest market cap company on the planet either, so we should dial in our expectation of Cook to something a little shy of those we may have had for Jobs. (I feel the same way about Ballmer versus Gates, Sanders vs Ruiz, Grove vs Barret, etc)
     
  11. Dark Shroud

    Dark Shroud Golden Member

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    This is more in line with that I see happening for average people.

    This is the section of the famous D5 conference with Bill Gates & Steve Jobs back in 2007. This 5 minute clip is worth watching.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuhHIqJyjY0

    I think in a few years laptop docs for smart phones will be common like the Motorola Atrix. And it will probably be from Motorola/Google.

    But I don't see normal laptops or desktop becoming a pure niche item. Just because they will always have more power & storage than the phone options. Even if those phones are packing x86/x64 Socs from Intel or AMD.

    I see hybrid/convertible tablets being more common like the Asus Transformer and MS Surface. Where the device is designed to be both with the same OS running in both form factors.

    ARM is a small company being pulled in many directions. MIPS going away gives ARM some tech & breathing room but I don't see ARM taking away full laptops or desktop from AMD & Intel.
     
  12. pelov

    pelov Diamond Member

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    I don't think ARM will have type of potential for years and years in the future, but I'm not sure the question of whether ARM will catch up to Intel/AMD in performance matters if the desktop and laptop are relegated to fewer sales and aren't as broadly accepted as the universal go-to computing platform.

    If ARM doesn't catch up to a current Intel x86 desktop chip in the future, would it really matter if desktops are selling at -50% of current sales? I don't think so. At some point people glance over performance figures and buy the product that has the more convenient form factor + other goodies.
     
  13. mrmt

    mrmt Diamond Member

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    This is what I mean. Microsoft lost a lot of its focus once Gates left, Barret was responsible for the netburst snafu, now Apple. Apple just delivered the roadmap that Jobs gave them and there is nothing else in the horizon. Cook just isn't up to Job' standards, and once leadership isn't, people down in the food chain don't deliver either.
     
  14. ShintaiDK

    ShintaiDK Lifer

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    Apple stocks pretty much also reflect this. Apple is a stagnated company only selling the same thing basicly. -120$ stock in 50 days.

    MS is another company without any direction. Win8, WinRT and WP will most likely cost Ballmer his job.
     
    #64 ShintaiDK, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  15. thilanliyan

    thilanliyan Diamond Member

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    I literally burst out laughing when I read that hahaha :D

    I have never tried it myself, but I saw Apple commercials, and then youtube videos of people doing the same thing and the results weren't so pretty lol. Was there some sort of disclaimer in the Apple commercial that they aren't liable if Siri doesn't understand what you're going on about? :p
     
  16. thilanliyan

    thilanliyan Diamond Member

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    Except Nokia smartphones because they actually put good optics and large sensors in some of their phones. :)

    Nokia N8, 808, and the 920 can compete and even best point and shoot camera pics. And actually I have read that the 808 can even rival some DSLRs.

    Unfortunately, Nokia are a fallen giant in the smartphone space...and have nowhere near the fans and userbase that iOS/Android have.
     
    #66 thilanliyan, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  17. Cerb

    Cerb Elite Member

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    I don't know how they'll fair without jobs, but let's take a look-see:
    1. The iMac, crappy as it was, was unparalleled until at least 2005, if not 2007.
    2. The Mac Mini was small, quiet, and good enough for many uses, and just cheap enough to tempt non-Apple people into buying them. Sure, we can beat it now with ease, but not when it came out.
    3. The iPod included added features that are still often absent on other players, such as gapless playback, offering a true portable CD player replacement that could appeal to typically non-Mac people. The line outs weren't bad, either, and after the hubbub with the Shuffle, they started paying attention to the headphone amp, too.

    They can get people ooing and ahing over overpriced crap, but many of their products could stand their pricing due to offering complete packages that other companies did not have. There is the RDF, but the RDF can't and won't sustain them. Some workstation users might have been stuck with inferior hardware just to have software compatibility, but most buyers didn't care about that. The lack of better CPUs with good battery life, however (those low power 2.5GHz+ PPC970s), was something people cared about (even typical Apple users could appreciate battery life and multiple cores).
     
    #67 Cerb, Nov 6, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  18. dma0991

    dma0991 Platinum Member

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    If Steve Jobs was still alive and kicking I'd still believe that it can be achieved since he has proved many skeptics wrong in the past. Tim Cook however doesn't seem to be delivering the goods and has taken terrible steps along the way. Its always left me thinking, 'What would Steve do' and it often contradicts what Tim Cook is doing.

    Keynotes were a little bit lackluster this year. iPad Mini didn't leave a good impression like iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad did. All of this led me to believe that without Steve, Apple isn't what it used to be. Tim Cook have yet to master the RDF technique from Steve. :p
     
  19. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    One datapoint for consideration:
    I once purchased one of those "CVS Netbooks". ARM CPU, had good battery life, but was so slow at web browsing compared to my regular laptop, that I found myself more productive with the (EDit: X86 - of course) laptop, even with shorter battery life. ARM (or at least THAT ARM CPU) is just THAT SLOW.
     
    #69 VirtualLarry, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  20. Cerb

    Cerb Elite Member

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    That was a specific terrible processor (you also forgot to mention the horribleness of WinCE :)). ARM is not that slow; that ARM SoC is that slow.

    Counter data point: that's Quake 3, running on a $35 SBC--just add an SD card (and make sure it has decent random performance). That's not a spectacular CPU or GPU, by any stretch, but the RPi is a far cry from that Sylvania POS.

    With the A15, they're finally getting to Atom performance levels. Their progress is exceptionally fast, but they haven't needed to be at the cutting edge in terms of performance, and won't need to be, ether.
     
  21. Acanthus

    Acanthus Lifer

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    It was also just overpriced.

    Did anyone seriously believe for a second AAPL and XOM were of the same value?
     
  22. ViRGE

    ViRGE Elite Member, Moderator Emeritus

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    Eh? PPC absolutely held Apple back. The inability for IBM to deliver a laptop suitable G5 processor was not only one of the major factors that drove Apple into Intel's arms, but is widely blamed as handicapping Apple's growth in the laptop segment at that time.
     
  23. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    I was more talking about the business/investor metrics. PPC didn't force Apple to reduce prices (and thus margin and profit) nor did they suffer any long-term harm from the decision in terms of alienating their user-base.

    For sure they could/would have profited even more had they not been held back by PPC, they would have gone two steps forward instead of just the one step forward that they took at the time, but they didn't take a step back IMO.

    But I may be remembering it wrong, to be sure I'm going by recollection of what I remember of that timeframe at Apple and am not basing my sentiments on reseaarched numbers from that timeframe.
     
  24. sm625

    sm625 Diamond Member

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    Apple understands where the trends are leading. And the trends are clearly leading to Wall-E Cart World™

    [​IMG]


    with 99.9% sucking their thumb and voting for obomney. The 0.1% will control all the content. They will use some other product to do it.
     
    #74 sm625, Nov 7, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  25. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    Please don't do this, if you want to shade your posts with hints of political undertones then please be respectful enough of this community to take your posts to P&N. We have enough AMD vs. Intel emotions running around in here, we don't need to inflame that with the added undertones of yesterday's USA presidential elections. I'm begging you, please just don't go in this direction here, please.