Discussion Apple Silicon SoC thread

Page 130 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

guidryp

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2006
2,653
3,503
136
They can't skip M2 for the high end, that's what the Mac Pro will be based on.
No one knows what the Mac Pro will use, or when it arrives. If one can believe rumors that M3 chips arrives as soon as next year, then it could be that the Mac Pro waits for it.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,372
798
126
Professional machines and their users are less concerned with small performance bumps or hardware changes and people won't have a problem buying year old hardware as long as they know it's going to receive long-term support.
Apple had a pretty aggressive cull this year with macOS 13 Ventura. Basically nothing prior to 2017 is supported.

Interestingly, the main single feature commonality to all of these machines I can find is that all the supported Macs have 4K 10-bit HDR h.265 HEVC decode in hardware.

  • 2017 iMac and later
  • 2017 iMac Pro and later
  • 2018 MacBook Air and later
  • 2017 MacBook Pro and later
  • 2019 Mac Pro and later
  • 2018 Mac mini and later
  • 2017 MacBook and later
  • 2022 Mac Studio
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97 and Mopetar

guidryp

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2006
2,653
3,503
136
I have to be critical of Apple here. There is no way a modern laptop that costs that much money should support one display. That's just not acceptable.
These are Apples entry level chips, so one external monitor is sufficient for the vast majority of users.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,372
798
126
These are Apples entry level chips, so one external monitor is sufficient for the vast majority of users.
I'm not optimistic, but I'm hoping the M2 Mac mini supports two 5K displays. Right now the M1 supports two external displays, but one is Thunderbolt at up to 6K and one is HDMI up to 4K. That's an awkward combo for a lot of people. The 6K is too expensive, and you can't run a pair of 5K displays. However, supporting two 5K displays would require having more Thunderbolt ports than the M1 model.

Maybe a hypothetical high end M2 Mac mini would get more Thunderbolt ports and support 2 Thunderbolt displays.


It really isn't. Two monitors should be a basic requirement.
For a MacBook Air, I think support for a single external display makes sense from their marketing perspective. I don't have major complaints with this idea, even though it is restrictive for a small minority of users. The vast majority of MacBook Air owners have no desire to run dual external displays.
 

gdansk

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2011
1,210
1,185
136
Honestly, I'm a fan of the M series chips and I have a M1 Max laptop myself.

However my wife hates macs so I bought her a Samsung Book 2 or whatever it is called. Fantastic laptop. Came with 16GB ram, i7 10 core cpu, 512GB SSD, Full HD OLED display on 13 inches, great battery life that lasts forever, with good port choice and well made, and it supports four external displays. Cost me a grand. Apple need to stay competitive.

I have to be critical of Apple here. There is no way a modern laptop that costs that much money should support one display. That's just not acceptable.
I totally agree regarding the display limitation. Especially in the MBP13. How is that Pro at all...
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
9,030
6,476
136
I totally agree regarding the display limitation. Especially in the MBP13. How is that Pro at all...
There's a better case to be made for the 13-inch MacBook Pro supporting multiple monitors. That model honestly feels like it needs to be cut... it's actually a step backward from the new Air in terms of connectivity, and of course more than a few people hate the Touch Bar.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ZGR, Tlh97 and Eug

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
6,927
4,231
136
Apple had a pretty aggressive cull this year with macOS 13 Ventura. Basically nothing prior to 2017 is supported.

Interestingly, the main single feature commonality to all of these machines I can find is that all the supported Macs have 4K 10-bit HDR h.265 HEVC decode in hardware.

  • 2017 iMac and later
  • 2017 iMac Pro and later
  • 2018 MacBook Air and later
  • 2017 MacBook Pro and later
  • 2019 Mac Pro and later
  • 2018 Mac mini and later
  • 2017 MacBook and later
  • 2022 Mac Studio
I expect we'll see an even more aggressive cull once they have a full transition to ARM. Professionals likely care less about the OS updates as long as their version still sees security updates. Unless you're a software developer (in which case you're going to have ARM-based Macs for testing purposes) you probably don't care about the latest OS version and whatever emoji crap Apple has added to it.
 

Doug S

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2020
1,432
2,122
106
It really isn't. Two monitors should be a basic requirement.
What percentage of laptop owners (especially of entry level / ultrabook laptops) do you think use two external monitors? Or even OWN two monitors sitting next to each other anywhere in their house? I'd bet the number is in the low single digit percentage.

The people who populate these forums are NOT typical users. Come to think of it, *I* am one of those populating these forums and I have exactly one monitor in my house. I could easily afford a wall of monitors like Hollywood thinks all hackers have, I just don't see the point.
 

uzzi38

Platinum Member
Oct 16, 2019
2,358
4,957
116
What percentage of laptop owners (especially of entry level / ultrabook laptops) do you think use two external monitors? Or even OWN two monitors sitting next to each other anywhere in their house? I'd bet the number is in the low single digit percentage.

The people who populate these forums are NOT typical users. Come to think of it, *I* am one of those populating these forums and I have exactly one monitor in my house. I could easily afford a wall of monitors like Hollywood thinks all hackers have, I just don't see the point.
It is becoming increasingly common in work places to want to use two monitors at the same time, especially amongst software developers, but even more generally than that. If we're going off anecdotal evidence, then all the desks at the company I work at all feature at least two monitors, regardless of what role you work in.

Nobody's suggesting Apple need to support 50 displays or something stupid like that, but just the ability to run two external monitors for a side-by-side setup with two external monitors of equal sizes would make the majority of people happy. The ideal situation would definitely be to support 4 external monitors like their competitors, but 2 would be a heck of a lot more acceptable than the 1 they have currently.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97 and gdansk

ashFTW

Senior member
Sep 21, 2020
251
174
86
It is becoming increasingly common in work places to want to use two monitors at the same time, especially amongst software developers, but even more generally than that. If we're going off anecdotal evidence, then all the desks at the company I work at all feature at least two monitors, regardless of what role you work in.

Nobody's suggesting Apple need to support 50 displays or something stupid like that, but just the ability to run two external monitors for a side-by-side setup with two external monitors of equal sizes would make the majority of people happy. The ideal situation would definitely be to support 4 external monitors like their competitors, but 2 would be a heck of a lot more acceptable than the 1 they have currently.
I personally dislike using multiple monitors simultaneously, it causes me neck/shoulder strain. I rather use one large monitor with virtual spaces. Love my two 27” iMac Pro’s. One of them I use remotely using “share screen” feature. My macs don’t support the  XDR display, otherwise I would have considered it, though it’s an overkill and too expensive to justify for my needs.
 
Last edited:

guidryp

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2006
2,653
3,503
136
It is becoming increasingly common in work places to want to use two monitors at the same time, especially amongst software developers, but even more generally than that. If we're going off anecdotal evidence, then all the desks at the company I work at all feature at least two monitors, regardless of what role you work in.
I would bet they wouldn't be equipping their software developers with entry level machines.
 

guidryp

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2006
2,653
3,503
136
I imagine most places issue the same laptop to virtually everybody. Maybe a software developer would get more ram but that's about it.
Even if that were the case, I doubt they would standardize on Mackbook Airs with software developers in the mix.

So the argument that entry level machine like the MBA needs dual monitors because of software developers seems like a weak sauce argument.
 

guidryp

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2006
2,653
3,503
136
I'm not optimistic, but I'm hoping the M2 Mac mini supports two 5K displays. Right now the M1 supports two external displays, but one is Thunderbolt at up to 6K and one is HDMI up to 4K. That's an awkward combo for a lot of people. The 6K is too expensive, and you can't run a pair of 5K displays. However, supporting two 5K displays would require having more Thunderbolt ports than the M1 model.

Maybe a hypothetical high end M2 Mac mini would get more Thunderbolt ports and support 2 Thunderbolt displays.
I doubt there are more than two TB ports in the M2 chip. I think this is the config Apple has considered sufficient for entry level.

But I can't think of a technical reason why they couldn't support dual 5K monitors by using both TB ports for monitor output simultaneously on M2 Laptops/minis if they wanted to. At minimum perhaps requiring to shutdown the internal screen on the laptops when driving dual external monitors.

It just looks like they don't want to.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,372
798
126
I imagine most places issue the same laptop to virtually everybody. Maybe a software developer would get more ram but that's about it.
Even if that were the case, I doubt they would standardize on Mackbook Airs with software developers in the mix.

So the argument that entry level machine like the MBA needs dual monitors because of software developers seems like a weak sauce argument.
I know a guy who worked as a designer for a multi-billion dollar corporation. The coders actually got the lower end machines. The designers all got MacBook Pros, but the coders all got MacBook Airs.

I don't know how many monitors they ran though. Perhaps the Airs were fine because they were Intel and could run multiple monitors. Or perhaps they just didn't run multiple monitors.

However, this is likely a small percentage of MBA users.
 

repoman27

Senior member
Dec 17, 2018
301
410
106
TSMC'S original road map put N3 in 2022 (the public version). So yeah, Apple had to scramble a bit and make A15 an iteration of A14; rather than a more advanced A16 design. So it has affected the bulk of their product line. And of course Apple knew far in advance of almost anyone else given the fact that they have engineers at TMSC that work with FAB giant's Process development group.
And volume production was always solidly in the second half of 2022, in other words, too late for Apple to use it for that year's iPhones.

2019-10-28
Expectations are that the fab will be up and running, mass producing 3nm parts by late 2022 or early in 2023.

2020-4-17
This earnings call marks the first time TSMC started disclosing actual information about its 3-nanometer (N3) node. C.C. Wei says the company’s N3 remains on track with risk production scheduled for 2021. TSMC is targeting volume production in the second half of 2022.

HVM was eventually delayed a further couple months while TSMC ironed out some issues, but N3 was never going to arrive in time for the 2022 A series chips. The A15 on N5P was already fully validated and the iPhone 13 designs locked by September 2020. And the A16 on N4 was probably taped out in Q2'21.
 

repoman27

Senior member
Dec 17, 2018
301
410
106
As someone who is currently sitting in front of an aging laptop plugged into a pair of rather nice desktop displays, I'm a little sad about the lack of support for more than one external display with the M2. Honestly, I would probably order an M2 MBA straightaway if it were not for that limitation.

The problem isn't with the PHYs, as both the M1 and M2 have two independent Thunderbolt 3 / USB4 ports in addition to the eDP output for the built-in panel / HDMI PCON. It boils down to the little M series GPUs only supporting 2 display pipes, and the display controller not being flexible enough to route both display output streams to the Type-C ports—one is always routed to the eDP interface. On the M1, that eDP display output stream is also limited to a maximum resolution of 5120 x 4096 (or "looks like 2560 x 2048" HiDPI), whereas the one that goes to the Type-C ports can do 6144 x 4096 ("looks like 3072 x 2048" HiDPI).

It would have been sweet if the M2 had inherited the M1 Pro's 3x 7680 x 4096 ("looks like 3840 x 2048" HiDPI) output capabilities. Although I suppose Apple will sell a lot of 8 GB unified memory / 8-core GPU M2 MBA configurations which might struggle a little with three 8K displays. Other GPUs tend to combine / consume two pipes for resolutions that would require more than 25.92 Gbit/s without compression, or the equivalent of 4-lanes of HBR3. In the case of Intel's Alder Lake IGPs, that works out to a maximum of 5120 x 3200, 60 Hz, 24 bpp for a single pipe, or 7680 x 4320, 60 Hz, 30 bpp for two, and subject to memory bandwidth availability. It seems like Apple has opted for bigger pipes but fewer of them.

According to Hector Martin, "One display pipe is larger than the die area of two performance CPUs on the M1 Pro."
 

kschendel

Member
Aug 1, 2018
178
101
116
It really isn't. Two monitors should be a basic requirement.
IMO one external monitor is just fine. I actually don't use any, but then I only use the laptop for office-y stuff, not mainline development. I'd bet that 90% of Air buyers / users would have little or no interest in multiple external monitors.
 

itsmydamnation

Platinum Member
Feb 6, 2011
2,423
2,393
136
i find this convo insane ,

Dual screens into a laptop dock is almost 100% standard in many organisation i work with. Desktops have been killed off because of remote working. While you can argue about a nice big ultra wide etc is better then two crap 1080P monitors, two crap 1080P monitors are way cheaper especially when one is already a sunk cost. Laptop in Dock + standalone screen is actually OHS nightmare.

I wonder how many people here work in big org's. I help big organisations design big I.T. things , I have a pretty good view of standard organisational fitouts.

also never underestimate enterprise shitware ( even HTML 5 etc) to only render correctly at one resolution/ Scale setting and that being 1080P, sad but true.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tlh97 and uzzi38

ASK THE COMMUNITY