Discussion Apple Silicon SoC thread

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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,586
1,000
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M1
5 nm
Unified memory architecture - LP-DDR4
16 billion transistors

8-core CPU

4 high-performance cores
192 KB instruction cache
128 KB data cache
Shared 12 MB L2 cache

4 high-efficiency cores
128 KB instruction cache
64 KB data cache
Shared 4 MB L2 cache
(Apple claims the 4 high-effiency cores alone perform like a dual-core Intel MacBook Air)

8-core iGPU (but there is a 7-core variant, likely with one inactive core)
128 execution units
Up to 24576 concurrent threads
2.6 Teraflops
82 Gigatexels/s
41 gigapixels/s

16-core neural engine
Secure Enclave
USB 4

Products:
$999 ($899 edu) 13" MacBook Air (fanless) - 18 hour video playback battery life
$699 Mac mini (with fan)
$1299 ($1199 edu) 13" MacBook Pro (with fan) - 20 hour video playback battery life

Memory options 8 GB and 16 GB. No 32 GB option (unless you go Intel).

It should be noted that the M1 chip in these three Macs is the same (aside from GPU core number). Basically, Apple is taking the same approach which these chips as they do the iPhones and iPads. Just one SKU (excluding the X variants), which is the same across all iDevices (aside from maybe slight clock speed differences occasionally).

EDIT:

Screen-Shot-2021-10-18-at-1.20.47-PM.jpg

M1 Pro 8-core CPU (6+2), 14-core GPU
M1 Pro 10-core CPU (8+2), 14-core GPU
M1 Pro 10-core CPU (8+2), 16-core GPU
M1 Max 10-core CPU (8+2), 24-core GPU
M1 Max 10-core CPU (8+2), 32-core GPU

M1 Pro and M1 Max discussion here:


M1 Ultra discussion here:


M2 discussion here:


Second Generation 5 nm
Unified memory architecture - LPDDR5, up to 24 GB and 100 GB/s
20 billion transistors

8-core CPU

4 high-performance cores
192 KB instruction cache
128 KB data cache
Shared 16 MB L2 cache

4 high-efficiency cores
128 KB instruction cache
64 KB data cache
Shared 4 MB L2 cache

10-core iGPU (but there is an 8-core variant)
3.6 Teraflops

16-core neural engine
Secure Enclave
USB 4

Hardware acceleration for 8K h.264, h.264, ProRes

M3 Family discussion here:

 
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amosliu137

Junior Member
Jul 12, 2020
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I am not impressed.

It's OK, if that's a MBA with it's limited power budget. But disappointing if that is the new Mac Mini with more power to use, especially with all Apples talk of massive performance increases.

What will be nice is we can finally get away from using Geekbench as a CPU bench...
That is a12z you can see the freq
 

Qwertilot

Golden Member
Nov 28, 2013
1,604
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Apples problem going forward might be that these Low end systems could serve nearly everyone, and it will be hard to up-sell beyond the ego driven buyers.

They'll be OK I would think?

The upsell isn't going to be just the CPU power (which the M1 has vast amounts of!). Things like the extra USB4 ports, ability to specify more ram, extra GPU firepower - obviously useful for the very high res monitors they ship - will all help nudge the dial.

I might look quite hard at the higher tier mac mini whenever that rolls round. Some nolstagia value in an arm desktop :)
 

amosliu137

Junior Member
Jul 12, 2020
22
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But once again, Apple made many, many comparisons to the laptop market as a whole. So that means they should be making direct comparisons to Renoir Windows laptops. But they are not.

They're using qualified statements like "98% of laptops sold this year" or "The latest competing mobile processor". Well gee, the vast majority of normal laptops are $400 dual-core Pentium units. What about the MILLIONS of Chromebooks with super slow Celerons that have been purchased by school districts this year? Additionally, the "latest" competing mobile processors would be from Intel, which still aren't remotely competitive with Renoir MT performance, or MT perf/watt in TDP constrained scenarios.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure this chip will be blazing fast, but it's definitely not the world-ender some are making it out to be. If it was, Apple would be confidently saying as such.

You need to look carefully how they qualified that statement. They didn't say "Faster than 98% of all laptops available for sale", they said "Faster than 98% of all laptops sold in the past year". If HP, Dell, and Acer have sold 25 million Chromebooks, 10 million Celeron and Pentium Laptops, and 1 million Tiger Lake and Renoir systems, that 98% wouldn't be very hard to achieve at all.

If that is real, it sort of confirms my suspicions. R23 scores are about 2.56x higher than R20 scores. A 4700U power limited to 10w will score around 1600 R20 MT points: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1svDb5U2xtju1_sn1pB4hLzeJX3QySIOwf8w2vKyJvD8/edit#gid=0 Which would result in an R23 score of roughly ~4100, which compares very well to that Apple chip.

Edit: Looks like it may be an A12Z chip from a Transition Development Kit. So I suspect the M1 will have quite a bit of performance uplift compared to it. But the Transition Development Kit isn't a 10w TDP constrained Macbook Air either...
4800h is about 9000 pts. I do not believe m1 is better than 4800u. After all, more cores is much better.
 

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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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That is a12z you can see the freq
Ah yes. That makes much more sense than M1.


Agree, no one is rendering on a MacBook Air. But Photoshop, Illustrator, Final Cut, Lightroom, etc all leverage more cores and such apps were heavily featured in Apple's presentation. So I think it's at least reasonable to evaluate whether these single-core claims pan out to multi-core real world usage situations.

As for what's really required, let's be honest, most people aren't going to use even the 13" MBP for the above tasks. For most Western world users, their smartphone is sufficient. But some people like having a proper keyboard, I don't blame them. In that case, honestly, I'm not sure what major benefit the MBA with M1 would have over an iPad + Smart Keyboard for most users. If people are buying a MacBook Air or MBP 13" in the hopes of having a device with an actual keyboard and trackpad, then they'd probably be better-served by an iPad $329 + Smart Keyboard $159 and pocket the $500 difference.

As for evaluating MT capabilities, we should be able to compare a Renoir 4300GE to the M1 - the M1 has 4 big and 4 little, which is somewhat analogous to AMD's 4 big + SMT setup.
I use my 10.5" iPad Pro much more than my 12" MacBook, but that's because the work I do during Covid is different than what I did last year, and my iPad Pro is my go-to consumption machine, with a bit of extra stuff on top. A lot of my business application support just isn't up to snuff yet on iPadOS. For example, my VPN software for remote desktop support on Windows is available for both my iPad Pro and my MacBook, but it's pretty much useless on the iPad Pro, because the interface control doesn't work properly on the iPad Pro, even with Apple's new mouse support. Furthermore, external storage support is a pain on the iPad Pro.

Then there's the fact I run an older version of Office (2016) on my MacBook. Office didn't even work properly on the iPad Pro anyway, because of lack of mouse support. They've added that recently, but I believe only in the latest versions, and I'm not about to subscribe to Office 365 or rebuy the newer version even if that's available.
 

Hitman928

Diamond Member
Apr 15, 2012
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Someone test cinebench r23. Compared with 9750h by “我用第三人称”,apple chip is very impressive.

Very rough calculation shows the A12Z being ~30% faster performance per clock than a Zen2 CPU based on the Zen+ 2990wx in these screenshots. I'll try to run on my 2700 and see what I get as well.
 
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Eug

Lifer
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It is native.
Yes I realize that now. I was just saying Maxon only released the updated Cinebench with M1 support this morning, which explains why I wasn't aware of it before.

Can you provide a link to those pix? I know they're not supposed to benchmark the development kit, but nonetheless the pix are in the wild now.
 

jeanlain

Member
Oct 26, 2020
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If Apple is correct that the M1 has the fastest CPU core in the world, it's got to perform at least 66% better on cinebench that what's on that leaked screenshot. Is the M1 core really 65+% faster than the A12Z?
Also, it's not entirely clear whether that leaked test ran native ARM code or used Rosetta. Results would be a bit too good to be true if it's the latter.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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If Apple is correct that the M1 has the fastest CPU core in the world, it's got to perform at least 66% better on cinebench that what's on that leaked screenshot. Is the M1 core really 65+% faster than the A12Z?
Are those i7-1165G7 scores at stock clocks? I was a little unclear as the end got cut off.

Also, it's not entirely clear whether that leaked test ran native ARM code or used Rosetta. Results would be a bit too good to be true if it's the latter.
Has to be native.
 

amrnuke

Golden Member
Apr 24, 2019
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I use my 10.5" iPad Pro much more than my 12" MacBook, but that's because the work I do during Covid is different than what I did last year, and my iPad Pro is my go-to consumption machine, with a bit of extra stuff on top. A lot of my business application support just isn't up to snuff yet on iPadOS. For example, my VPN software for remote desktop support on Windows is available for both my iPad Pro and my MacBook, but it's pretty much useless on the iPad Pro, because the interface control doesn't work properly on the iPad Pro, even with Apple's new mouse support. Furthermore, external storage support is a pain on the iPad Pro.

Then there's the fact I run an older version of Office (2016) on my MacBook. Office didn't even work properly on the iPad Pro anyway, because of lack of mouse support. They've added that recently, but I believe only in the latest versions, and I'm not about to subscribe to Office 365 or rebuy the newer version even if that's available.
Exactly - but your use case is beyond I'd imagine what even most MBP purchasers use their laptop for. I'd wager the majority of MBA/MB/MBP purchasers don't even know what VPN is. Office is key - but if you're doing work-from-home with an employer-provided Office plan, it may be the case that it'd be fine on the iPad.

The MBA/MB market is a unicorn, because it's so much more driven by wants rather than needs when compared to the general laptop market. So my ruminations are probably entirely useless because many want to be seen with the latest Macbook, not a measly iPad.
 
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gdansk

Platinum Member
Feb 8, 2011
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I'm really interested in the Macbook Air but I'll wait for some benchmarks. I'm curious if the base version is actually slower since they do not list clock speeds.
 

moinmoin

Diamond Member
Jun 1, 2017
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Sure, but 98% are not low end junk. I have no doubt these new "low end" Macs with will be better than most decent mid range laptops as well.
Compared to current PC desktop and Renoir laptops 98% of the current laptop market is low end junk.

That's what I consider lackluster timing on Apple's part, Intel is dropping the balls since 2015. Until 2017 M1 could have wowed all of the consumer market, laptop and desktop, due to Intel artificially limiting it to 4 cores. Until 2019 M1 could have done so in the whole consumer mobile laptop space (sans non-mobile DTR) where Intel is still stuck with 4 cores on the latest node. Now thanks to AMD we have 64 cores on desktop and 8 cores in mobile laptops. Apple finally arrives and offers 4 big and 4 small cores in that market as first step. There is a reason Apple only compares to Intel.
 
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oak8292

Member
Sep 14, 2016
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Just crush my hopes, will ya!
Seriously, while I’m inclined to believe this, do you have a source?

This isn't definitive but one of the first slides from the presentation was

'M1 has its own storage controller, and Apple is using the latest flash technology'

The processor 'map' with the 'features' shows and NVMe controller incorporated in the M1 die. Apple purchased Annobit and started using their own NVMe controllers for iPhones a number of years ago so it would not be surprising if they were doing the same thing here.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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I'm really interested in the Macbook Air but I'll wait for some benchmarks. I'm curious if the base version is actually slower since they do not list clock speeds.
The fact that they don't list clock speeds suggest to me the speeds are the same. They aren't binning by clock speed, but binning by GPU core count.

Interestingly, the #1 difference of the MacBook Air vs the Pro is just the absence or presence of the fan. Here is the list of differences.


Touch Bar: None on Air, present on Pro
GPU: Air has 7-8 cores, Pro has 8 cores
Display: Air is 400 nits, Pro is 500 nits
Size: Air is tapered and weighs 2.8 lb, Pro is not tapered and weighs 3.0 lbs
Audio: Air does not have HDR speakers but Pro does. Pro also gets higher end mic setup.
Battery: Air is 49.9 Whr with 18 hour life, Pro is 58.2 Whr with 20 hour life
Adapter: Air gets 30 W wall wart, Pro gets 61 W.
 

Staples

Diamond Member
Oct 28, 2001
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Some key applications that won’t run at all are ones like VM applications to run Windows x86, and of course Boot Camp won’t work either. Kernel extensions are also toast. I wonder what this will mean for my Citrix VPN client software.
That kind of stinks because Apple only supports updates for 5-7 years before you can no longer update MacOS. I have an old Mac that can't be updated. The version of MacOS is more than 2 years so I can't install anything from the app store. I have it running Windows which I see as extending its life. Now that this isn't an option, I see Macs as having a shorter lifespan.
 
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jpiniero

Lifer
Oct 1, 2010
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That's what I consider lackluster timing on Apple's part, Intel is dropping the balls since 2015. Until 2017 M1 could have wowed all of the consumer market, laptop and desktop, due to Intel artificially limiting it to 4 cores. Until 2019 M1 could have done so in the whole consumer mobile laptop space (sans non-mobile DTR) where Intel is still stuck with 4 cores on the latest node. Now thanks to AMD we have 64 cores on desktop and 8 cores in mobile laptops. Apple finally arrives and offers 4 big and 4 small cores in that market as first step. There is a reason Apple only compares to Intel.

Intel's had 8 core mobile parts for over a year now, even the 16" MBP offers the 9880H as the upgraded model's CPU. Now you'll notice that Apple didn't replace the 16" just yet.
 

samboy

Senior member
Aug 17, 2002
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I read the Apples performance gains with a grain of salt. They have a history of choosing a single "benchmark" as their metric. (such as a specific Adobe filter that was enhanced to use a new PPC vector instruction earlier in the century - Intel was clearly faster at this point).

I do believe the power gains...... Apple has demonstrated they can effectively design hardware and software together and have a custom/optimized SoC to help.

However, I expect performance will be ample in their target market and power savings will be much more important for most users & they will have good products.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next few years. Intel seems to be out of the game and Apple does have a good record of decent performance gains for each new generation. They have lots of cash and if this trend keeps up then they may well end up at the top in the next few years (I just don't believe it today).
 
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Heartbreaker

Diamond Member
Apr 3, 2006
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But once again, Apple made many, many comparisons to the laptop market as a whole. So that means they should be making direct comparisons to Renoir Windows laptops. But they are not.

There is no logic in that. They aren't obligated to make the comparison you want to see.

These are Apples lowest end ARM Mac parts that will ever exist. They will have excellent performance better than the majority of the laptop market.

It's only up from here.
 

Entropyq3

Junior Member
Jan 24, 2005
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This isn't definitive but one of the first slides from the presentation was

'M1 has its own storage controller, and Apple is using the latest flash technology'

The processor 'map' with the 'features' shows and NVMe controller incorporated in the M1 die. Apple purchased Annobit and started using their own NVMe controllers for iPhones a number of years ago so it would not be surprising if they were doing the same thing here.
Yes, it would seem redundant to use an m.2 stick with its own on-board controller. Apple has been rather accommodating with their minis though, seemingly acknowledging it's role as a tinkerers system in their line-up. Then again, a semi-permanent external disk is not nearly as awkward a solution on a Mini as it is on a laptop.
 

Heartbreaker

Diamond Member
Apr 3, 2006
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If people are buying a MacBook Air or MBP 13" in the hopes of having a device with an actual keyboard and trackpad, then they'd probably be better-served by an iPad $329 + Smart Keyboard $159 and pocket the $500 difference.

That iPad combo, has no trackpad, a very tiny screen, and clunky small keyboard. It's not even a contest from a laptop utility comparison. Not sure what they point here is supposed to be, but if you want laptop utility you aren't better served by that combo.

As for evaluating MT capabilities, we should be able to compare a Renoir 4300GE to the M1 - the M1 has 4 big and 4 little, which is somewhat analogous to AMD's 4 big + SMT setup.

That would be a fair comparison. We should soon see all kinds of comparisons since they are shipping soon.
 

amrnuke

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Apr 24, 2019
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That iPad combo, has no trackpad, a very tiny screen, and clunky small keyboard. It's not even a contest from a laptop utility comparison. Not sure what they point here is supposed to be, but if you want laptop utility you aren't better served by that combo.
Not laptop utility. For consumption, writing Facebook posts, occasionally writing emails or word processing. Which is the extent of what most users do.
 

defferoo

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Sep 28, 2015
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If people are buying a MacBook Air or MBP 13" in the hopes of having a device with an actual keyboard and trackpad, then they'd probably be better-served by an iPad $329 + Smart Keyboard $159 and pocket the $500 difference.
No way... a Mac is way more capable than an iPad. I have a 5th gen iPad with bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and it's just not comparable. The flexibility you get with macOS is leagues beyond what iPadOS offers. Multitasking is still hit or miss on iPad in terms of managing apps, support for more complex applications is basically non-existent unless you're a creative. True external display support doesn't exist and there's no CLI. My iPad is MUCH better as a consumption machine than a productivity machine, but a Macbook Air can be both.

Not laptop utility. For consumption, writing Facebook posts, occasionally writing emails or word processing. Which is the extent of what most users do.
If this is all you need to do with your machine, then yes, it's probably more worth it to get an iPad, but your original post didn't really specify.
 

Heartbreaker

Diamond Member
Apr 3, 2006
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Not laptop utility. For consumption, writing Facebook posts, occasionally writing emails or word processing. Which is the extent of what most users do.

Even for a writing an internet post, it's inferior to a real laptop. Just because you don't need CPU power to write a post, doesn't make crappy keyboard and tiny screen good to use.

I don't even like using a laptop to post, when I can use desktop with big screen full size KB and mouse.
 
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