Discussion Apple Silicon SoC thread

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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,584
998
126
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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jamescox

Senior member
Nov 11, 2009
637
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I don’t have time to read 100 pages on the benchmarks and whatever, but considering the cpu/gpu performance and quality of other components (like the screen), what other laptops are going to come even remotely close?

I could use a new laptop and was thinking of getting a framework laptop, but the new Mac pros make that seem pretty obsolete. I don’t like everything soldered on one goes and glued shut, but I think the framework laptop just has a 4 core intel chip with integrated graphics. That probably isn’t going to compete even with the low end Mac Pro. I also want a larger laptop, so the 16 inch pro might be the machine to get. To compete with Apple, it seems like AMD or Intel would need to make an APU with some HBM stacks or at least some graphics memory. I don’t know where the software stack is at for unified memory architectures. I would likely run Linux.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
21,596
10,792
136
I see them running a bunch of Windows specific applications, plus some cross platform stuff like GIMP which may or may not have a macOS port and a lot of the Windows stuff probably lacks a Windows/ARM port too. What are you expecting Anandtech to do, port a bunch of Windows stuff to the Mac so they can give you more benchmarks?

You are making this too complicated. One article has a variety of benchmarks. The other has . . . two.

Two benchmarks.

Yay?
 

Gideon

Golden Member
Nov 27, 2007
1,618
3,635
136
To compete with Apple, it seems like AMD or Intel would need to make an APU with some HBM stacks or at least some graphics memory. I don’t know where the software stack is at for unified memory architectures. I would likely run Linux.

Even just 4 channels of LPDDR5 would be plenty. If there are enough CUs just add in some sort of SLC/Infinity cache to memory controllers on die (like on the M1) and you could easily performance way above 3050 Ti.

If you're worried about pins, just put the memory on package like apple does.

Considering the mining craze, current GPU prices and the fact that Apple does huge integrated graphics now - OEMs should come around soon-enough for the amounts of money they can save alone.

Yeah that premium SKU might cost a bit and might not sell in crazy-volumes. But considering that it can be assembled from existing blocks and AMD makes more in a quarter they made in the whole 2016 (and Q4 will probably rival 2017), it should be worth it for mindshare alone. I mean, just look how relatively small the 128-bit memory controller and 8MB of extra cache is, it shouldn't be all that big of a problem:

Mf2IBG4.png
 
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biostud

Lifer
Feb 27, 2003
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The question is, and maybe not for this thread, if AMD could make their future APU's for Xbox and Playstation as a laptop CPU. As we can see here a very powerful SoC can be made for laptops, but if it would make sense for the diverse x86 market as well?
 

Shivansps

Diamond Member
Sep 11, 2013
3,848
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The question is, and maybe not for this thread, if AMD could make their future APU's for Xbox and Playstation as a laptop CPU. As we can see here a very powerful SoC can be made for laptops, but if it would make sense for the diverse x86 market as well?

The 4700S makes it clear that AMD is not allowed to do that.
 

Gideon

Golden Member
Nov 27, 2007
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Some Rust compilation benchmarks:


Deno: M1 Max: 6m11s, M1 Air: 11m15s
bat: M1 Max: 42.9s, M1 Air: 1m23s
hyperfine: M1 Max: 23.1s, M1 Air: 42.2s
ripgrep: M1 Max: 16.1s, M1 Air: 36.5s

Some comparisons from the reddit thread
Compiling deno from scratch on my 5950X (with everything RAMdisked) took 5m 05s. This is with full unlocked PBO and some of the best cooling I could cram into this case.
ASUS Zephyrus G15 with a 5800HS, compiling on the solid state drive with lld as the chosen linker (which may make a significant difference, I don’t know and was too lazy to disable that temporarily): 6m43s.

So not earth shattering, but looks pretty darn good for software development
 

Heartbreaker

Diamond Member
Apr 3, 2006
4,223
5,225
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The 4700S makes it clear that AMD is not allowed to do that.

It only makes sense that AMD can't directly sell Sony/Microsoft SoCs that they paid for the design of, to others. MS and Sony each own their unique design.

But nothing is preventing AMD from making their own design, of a big GPU SoC for general usage, or building another custom design, for anyone else who wants one.
 

simas

Senior member
Oct 16, 2005
412
107
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If you use a specific app then by all means compare how that app performs on various hardware, and if some hardware is saddled with a poor quality port or has to run under emulation that's a disadvantage you want to know about - you should get what performs best for you.

If however you are trying to compare two platforms against one another, doing your comparisons in that way makes the results much less useful. If you and I had a contest to see how many pushups we could do in a minute, and you do proper military style pushups with someone watching you and only counting the ones you do with proper form, and I'm just doing whatever I consider a pushup and counting them myself, would you consider that fair? That's basically what you're suggesting by "it should reflect the ecosystem" - so in our bet if we do them differently well that's too bad for whoever is following stricter form.

i think you are (correctly) hitting on why the whole 'cross platform' comparison are essentially meaningless along with 'best for XYZ task' marketing messaging.

- if you have tasks that you doing (video encoding , whatever) that you want to do in particular ecosystem and that ecosystem has dedicated hardware for that tasks , awesome! good for you! go enjoy it! it has nothing about such ecosystem (arm, x64, apple, google, whatever) being "better" , it is just more suitable to your task within your limits you have set. i.e. i dont remember last time I had to do transcode/encode in CPU if nvenc exists and that is much faster than anything CPU could do when run on modern graphic card with appropriate application.

- if you have tasks that you are doing that just dont exist in specific ecosystem (i.e. gamepass I care about, AAA computer games), then that ecosystem is not for you (or me). Does not mean it is "bad" or "inferiors" or whatever.

in short, I dont understand what all of the noise is about - ok, apple made another APU, so what? intel has been making them for at least a decade in CPU+GPU on same chip.. AMD would sell you modern APUs today from your local retailer that would be vastly cheaper, superior in actual games you can play, and much more compatible with anything you want to run..

being Apple
- it is ARM so different architecture
- it is walled garden ecosystem
- it is limited to single OS (if I want to play with OSX , I spin it up in VM in my Proxmox host cluster)

however, if that works for you and that is what you want - absolutely enjoy your purchase and have fun with it. no questions asked, no issued raised, no concerns. happy for you.
just skip on the childish holier than you posturing or pretending this is somehow new cure from cancer. it is not.
 
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Hitman928

Diamond Member
Apr 15, 2012
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I don’t have time to read 100 pages on the benchmarks and whatever, but considering the cpu/gpu performance and quality of other components (like the screen), what other laptops are going to come even remotely close?

I could use a new laptop and was thinking of getting a framework laptop, but the new Mac pros make that seem pretty obsolete. I don’t like everything soldered on one goes and glued shut, but I think the framework laptop just has a 4 core intel chip with integrated graphics. That probably isn’t going to compete even with the low end Mac Pro. I also want a larger laptop, so the 16 inch pro might be the machine to get. To compete with Apple, it seems like AMD or Intel would need to make an APU with some HBM stacks or at least some graphics memory. I don’t know where the software stack is at for unified memory architectures. I would likely run Linux.

If you like, or at least don't mind, the Mac eco system then these laptops are basically as good as you can get from performance to noise to battery life. The only downside is that they are a bit thick and heavy compared to most of their competition so if you want light and thin that might be an issue.
 

Heartbreaker

Diamond Member
Apr 3, 2006
4,223
5,225
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If you like, or at least don't mind, the Mac eco system then these laptops are basically as good as you can get from performance to noise to battery life. The only downside is that they are a bit thick and heavy compared to most of their competition so if you want light and thin that might be an issue.

And you can add the Screen, Speakers, and microphones to that as well. In almost every dimension that matters, these are the best laptops you can buy.

Gaming being a notable exception. Don't buy a Mac for gaming rule, still holds.

I never owned an Apple product, or a Laptop, but these laptops are so impressive, it makes me want to, but they are so expensive that I won't.
 

simas

Senior member
Oct 16, 2005
412
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The raw GPU compute power of the M1 Max is far greater than any APU.

Thank you

and that is usable how ?? what games can it play? what cards does it outdo in Cyberpunk (or any other recent game)? is this information available?

And how is it different from people worshipping IBM chips because "raw power" ignoring that fact that outside few (very narrow) cases, it is totally useless and irrelevant to anyone else? exactly the same cult mentality to me..

if you have specific tasks that are suited to IBM chips -> yes, go play with IBM chips. You are paying for what you are getting and have very little use outside of that ecosystem.
if you have specific tasks that are suited to Apple implementation -> yes, go play with Apple chips. You are paying (dearly) for what you are getting and it has very little use outside of that ecosystem.

for the rest of us , 'raw <anything> power' that can not be used (at least in tasks _we_ care about) causes quick lose of interest..

is this another 'if you build it they will come' Apple marketing?

i.e. I would totally buy this if
a) if it provides value in PC gaming (which my understanding it is not since Apple ecosystem is dead for anything outside of few use cases and very dead for gaming). Value is price/performance.
b) if it provides value in say bringing this to homelab as virtualization host. can that we done? would say proxmox run on this? what about esxi? hyper-v server? again , it is about price/performance. if nothing really works on it, 'raw power' is rather meaningless..
 

jpiniero

Lifer
Oct 1, 2010
14,562
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Thank you

and that is usable how ?? what games can it play? what cards does it outdo in Cyberpunk (or any other recent game)? is this information available?

I don't know if there are any actual OSX ARM native games, but anything available for x86 OSX should work with varying results. iOS games should also work although that would be super overkill.

The GPU compute power is more for pro apps than games.
 

insertcarehere

Senior member
Jan 17, 2013
639
607
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If you like, or at least don't mind, the Mac eco system then these laptops are basically as good as you can get from performance to noise to battery life. The only downside is that they are a bit thick and heavy compared to most of their competition so if you want light and thin that might be an issue.

Depends on the competition, comparing these with pure ultrabooks make little sense given how much power is on offer (wouldn't stop people with more money than sense do so however):
- The 14-inch is purportedly 3.5lbs, which compares well with say, a Zephyrus G14 (3.7 lbs) or a Blade 14 (3.9 lbs).
- The 16-inch is purportedly 4.7-8lbs, which compares well with a Legion 5 Pro (5.7lbs), a Razer Blade 15 (4.8lbs), and ok with a Thinkpad X1 Extreme (~4lbs).
 
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Heartbreaker

Diamond Member
Apr 3, 2006
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Thank you

and that is usable how ?? what games can it play? what cards does it outdo in Cyberpunk (or any other recent game)? is this information available?

These aren't gaming laptops. Mac's are a poor choice for gaming and that isn't changing anytime soon. You aren't bring some kind of revelation that gaming is kind of dead on Macs.

These really are laptops aimed at working professionals. So software developers, Video editors, that kind of thing, not for gamers.
 
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Hitman928

Diamond Member
Apr 15, 2012
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Depends on the competition, comparing these with pure ultrabooks make little sense given the sheer power on offer:
- The 14-inch is purportedly 3.5lbs, which compares well with say, a Zephyrus G14 (3.7 lbs) or a Blade 14 (3.9 lbs).
- The 16-inch is purportedly 4.7-8lbs, which compares well with a Legion 5 Pro (5.7lbs), a Razer Blade 15 (4.8lbs), and ok with a Thinkpad X1 Extreme (~4lbs).

Thanks. I don't really shop laptops with discrete GPUs so I wasn't aware of the competitive landscape. I was mostly going off of reactions from twitter folk and some reviewers who were commenting on how thick and heavy it was, but they were probably using the M1 laptops as a reference point versus the x86 competitors.
 

jeanlain

Member
Oct 26, 2020
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in short, I dont understand what all of the noise is about - ok, apple made another APU, so what?
The performance of this APU kinda explains the noise.
On SPEC tests, the CPU cores are 4-6x more power efficient than what the current market leader has to offer. GPU-wise, the M1 Max may be at least 2x more power efficient that competing solutions, when using native 3D apps that take advantage of the hardware. This advantage may be even larger in workflows that require regularly transferring data between RAM and VRAM (like video editing, colour grading, etc.).
 

StinkyPinky

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2002
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This may come us a stunning revelation to some people here, but not everyone is a serious gamer. Yes, macs are terrible for games. So what? Any enthusiast gamer already knows that and doesn't buy one. So saying macs aren't great at gaming is a bit like saying a Ferrari is bad at towing a trailer so you should be buying a Ford F-150. No one is buying it for that purpose.

In saying that, Baldur's Gate 3 which is a pretty intensive game and m1 native, runs at 120fps at 1440p ultra on the 32 core GPU.
 
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Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
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One thing I've been wondering about since Apple has made a massive GPU is whether or not they'll target other professional markets. There's no reason that Apple would need to disable GPU functionality through drivers and could easily snatch up the CAD market that often pay more for a GPU than the cost of an entire Mac.