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Solved! ARM Apple High-End CPU - Intel replacement

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name99

Senior member
Sep 11, 2010
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I've kind of had the iPad Magic Keyboard design on my mind too. Is something like this possible on notebooks?

The iPad also has this "canvas mode"

View attachment 27444

But I think something similar to the Surface Studio's "drafting mode" might also be achievable for notebooks:

View attachment 27445

I'm sure artists and designers would appreciate their Macbooks being touch-accessible, and the rest of us will like the compatibility with iOS apps.

Of course, the iPad's flexibility is underpinned by the working parts all being behind the screen, so it can just be lifted away from it and set back down in a new position. The Surface Studio, on the other hand, has a bulky and powerful hinge to connecting the screen to the base, with a second axis at the screen-and-stand connection point:

View attachment 27446

So there are a couple of options here. First, a fanless Macbook with an could just be a tablet running OS X and using an iPad-style Magic Keyboard - basically working the same way the iPad Pro does now. I don't like the idea of it being severable from its base when it's mostly useless without a keyboard and trackpad, though.

The second is some kind of hinge that works like the Studio but is thinner and relies a lot more on magnet tech. They'd still have to run a display cable through it. I don't fully understand how the iPad Pro allows the screen to swivel like the Surface does without having a second axis - magnets, how do they work - but I guess it is possible. Is it possible with the screen glued down to a display cable though? I'd really have to have one in my hands to visualize it and think through whether it's achievable.

EDIT: The trackpad on the magic keyboard is also really small, despite having 8.5 inches of height to work with. This is necessary to accommodate the floating screen not getting in the way of the keyboard as you type. The Macbook 16 also has 8.5 inches of height - but I don't think it can swallow the tiny touchpad, which is a major roadblock to this design.
I think there remains a lot of scope for Apple being even more innovative in how these pieces are glued together. I'm not sure I'm interested in deconstructing the MacBook Pro -- that seems to be (prove me wrong, Apple!) a more or less perfect instantiation of a PARTICULAR usage model.

But for something like the iPad where you may be working a lot less with keyboard and fine pointing, I'd like to see to see the canvas mode you displayed drop the keyboard from the screen, and allow an iPhone nearby to be used as the keyboard for those rare occasions when you need the keyboard for this work. This is what I lamented in my other post above, that for all Apple's lateral thinking in the space (vastly ahead of everyone else, whether it's Intel, MS, Samsung, or Google), there is still so much low-lying fruit to be picked, still obvious ways to make all the existing Apple devices better (and, along the way, therefore sell more of them...)

BTW here's what I was referring to as my iPad reader stand:
Cost about $50 in parts and half an hour in construction, holds an iPad Pro 12.9" stably, can be swung to the side when not in use, can hold the iPad in portrait or landscape, and vertically for reading with your back to the wall, or horizontally if you want to let gravity take over and lie flat against the bed.
 

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RasCas99

Junior Member
May 18, 2020
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I think there remains a lot of scope for Apple being even more innovative in how these pieces are glued together. I'm not sure I'm interested in deconstructing the MacBook Pro -- that seems to be (prove me wrong, Apple!) a more or less perfect instantiation of a PARTICULAR usage model.

But for something like the iPad where you may be working a lot less with keyboard and fine pointing, I'd like to see to see the canvas mode you displayed drop the keyboard from the screen, and allow an iPhone nearby to be used as the keyboard for those rare occasions when you need the keyboard for this work. This is what I lamented in my other post above, that for all Apple's lateral thinking in the space (vastly ahead of everyone else, whether it's Intel, MS, Samsung, or Google), there is still so much low-lying fruit to be picked, still obvious ways to make all the existing Apple devices better (and, along the way, therefore sell more of them...)

BTW here's what I was referring to as my iPad reader stand:
Cost about $50 in parts and half an hour in construction, holds an iPad Pro 12.9" stably, can be swung to the side when not in use, can hold the iPad in portrait or landscape, and vertically for reading with your back to the wall, or horizontally if you want to let gravity take over and lie flat against the bed.
This construction is going to take away 50% of my daily workout , which is holding the 12.9 in the air while reading , gotta workout those arms some how !!
it is hideous to look at , so wife probably going to veto it , but i like , lets see if i can sneak it past her somehow , just install it like nothing happened and when she freaks out ->"Babe we talked about it on our drive to work , you didnt listen because your head was in your goddamn phone".
 

Doug S

Senior member
Feb 8, 2020
326
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It isn't a "claim" it is easy to Google and laptop sales have fallen significantly also. As far as your car analogy? It seems many car manufacturers are planning on phasing out the building of sedans completely. So I would say DEAD.
Name one carmaker that has said they are planning on phasing out sedans completely.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,826
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126
Off topic but:
Name one carmaker that has said they are planning on phasing out sedans completely.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,826
369
126
Intel Core i9-10910 appears to be real.

The leak was 10-core 3.6 GHz. Some claimed the Turbo Boost was up to 4.7 GHz, although I'm not sure where they saw that.

The reality is 10-core 3.6 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 5.0 GHz, released in the new iMac today. This has to be Comet Lake S, but according to Intel, this chip doesn't exist. I presume it's because it's not a 125 W part, but is a 95 Watt part instead to fit the existing chassis.

Same form factor, so I think that settles it. The new iMac form factor will coincide with Arm.
 

Doug S

Senior member
Feb 8, 2020
326
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Intel Core i9-10910 appears to be real.

The leak was 10-core 3.6 GHz. Some claimed the Turbo Boost was up to 4.7 GHz, although I'm not sure where they saw that.

The reality is 10-core 3.6 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 5.0 GHz, released in the new iMac today. This has to be Comet Lake S, but according to Intel, this chip doesn't exist. I presume it's because it's not a 125 W part, but is a 95 Watt part instead to fit the existing chassis.

Same form factor, so I think that settles it. The new iMac form factor will coincide with Arm.
Intel has produced SKUs exclusively for Apple before, this could be another case of that.

Now sure, since Apple has announced they are migrating to ARM you'd think Intel wouldn't have much cause to do that but 1) this would have been worked out well before that announcement and 2) money talks.
 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Intel has produced SKUs exclusively for Apple before, this could be another case of that.

Now sure, since Apple has announced they are migrating to ARM you'd think Intel wouldn't have much cause to do that but 1) this would have been worked out well before that announcement and 2) money talks.
Yes, this is undoubtedly a binned part specifically for Apple.

In fact, some people were using the i9-10910 leak as evidence that Apple would stick to the existing iMac chassis. Since there were no 95 W class Comet Lake S parts, Apple needed a custom SKU to update their high end iMacs in the existing design.

I still say that design is inappropriate for 95 W class parts though. I betcha the i9 10-core is going to be loud as hell under any load. It seems to me that while 95 W chips won't burn out in iMacs, the design from a noise point of view is much better suited to 65 W TDP parts. We shall see if Apple's design vs. TDP philosophy changes with Arm.

On a side note, these machines also have the option of 10 Gbps Ethernet for US$100.
 

Doug S

Senior member
Feb 8, 2020
326
455
96
Intel fits its CPUs into buckets for 65 and 95, but that doesn't mean a 95W TDP CPU is actually 95W. It might be 80W or any other number above 65 that keeps it out of that category.

In addition, OEMs are free to manage the thermals at a higher or lower level. If they have cooling appropriate for 120W they can allow it to maintain turbo a bit longer, or maybe have more cores at full turbo. If they have less cooling, they can restrict turbo for a shorter time, or have fewer cores hitting full turbo.

I really doubt Apple is going to sell an iMac that sounds like a jet engine when it is under load. Heck, maybe they do something weird and have a heat pipe that uses the entire rear surface of the 27" display to radiate heat, so cooling a 95W CPU is easy.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
22,826
369
126
Intel fits its CPUs into buckets for 65 and 95, but that doesn't mean a 95W TDP CPU is actually 95W. It might be 80W or any other number above 65 that keeps it out of that category.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. My point was there is no 95 W TDP Comet Lake S listed in Intel's product line. This is a custom binned SKU, probably because their consumer iMac line is not built for 120 W chips (or IMO even 95 W chips for that matter). Dunno about today's 2020 iMacs, but prior to 2020 none of their non-Pro iMacs have used 120 W chips.

The iMac Pro can handle those TDPs just fine, but for whatever reason (cost?) Apple has not chosen to trickle down the iMac Pro's cooling system into the iMac line. Or at least they hadn't for the 2019 models.

In addition, OEMs are free to manage the thermals at a higher or lower level. If they have cooling appropriate for 120W they can allow it to maintain turbo a bit longer, or maybe have more cores at full turbo. If they have less cooling, they can restrict turbo for a shorter time, or have fewer cores hitting full turbo.

I really doubt Apple is going to sell an iMac that sounds like a jet engine when it is under load. Heck, maybe they do something weird and have a heat pipe that uses the entire rear surface of the 27" display to radiate heat, so cooling a 95W CPU is easy.
You are sadly mistaken my friend. The 2019 i9 iMacs are notorious for being loud under load. OK it doesn't sound like a server but it's still pretty loud. I experienced this first hand with the infamous i7-7700K way back in 2017. It was so bad I returned it and bought a much slower i5.

In fact, there are entire threads on music production on how to manage fan noise on the higher end iMacs. One of the solutions these days has been to recommend buying the iMac Pro instead.

I've posted this before but it bears repeating here, given your post above. A bunch of us tested our 2017 iMacs by transcoding a specific video file using identical Handbrake settings. The iMac i7-7700K would ramp up to full loud fan speed within 30 seconds, and then complete the transcode in 10 minutes. My iMac i5-7600 would be nearly silent for most of the transcode, but by about the 9.5 minute mark was at full blast, and then would complete at the 12.5 minute mark. The iMac i5-7600K behaved closer to my i5-7600 despite being a higher TDP class chip. And the iMac i5-7500 just stayed quiet.

The 2019 iMac did not fix this. If anything it got worse, since more than just the top tier model would exhibit this quick fan ramp up behaviour.

The 2020 we don't know yet. We can only hope the brought better cooling to the 2020, but the mere fact that Apple had to get a custom chip SKU for this iMac argues that Apple has not significantly changed the iMac cooling, and they'll probably be just as loud as the 2019 models.

To circle back on the Arm discussion, my belief, or at least hope, is that Apple will rectify this to a large extent on Arm. This is not just a problem with the iMacs, but is a problem with the MacBook Pros too. The high end ones are disturbingly loud under load, according to many reviews.

EDIT:

Maybe I'm biased because I value silence more than I value raw performance, but you get the idea. BTW, I just picked up a 2006 Mac Pro with 2 x 2.66 GHz dual core Xeon 5150 (TDP 65 W x 2) and just for fun have been upgrading it. This thing has massive heatsinks and multiple big fans, which makes sense given some of the chips this design uses. I tested the power utilzation of some of my machines today:

Mac Pro 2 x Xeon 5150: 258 Watts peak during boot, 168 Watts at idle (!), and 37 Watts for the 20" Samsung LCD.
Windows Phenom II 1055T: 126 Watts peak during boot, 85 Watts idle, and 55 Watts for the 24" Dell LCD.
iMac 2010 Core i7-870: 172 Watts peak during boot, 65 Watts idle. Screen is built in.
iMac 2017 Core i5-7600: 94 Watts peak during boot, 38 Watts idle. Screen is built in and has LED backlight.

I'm going to put 2 x quad-core chips in the Mac Pro, but I was debating getting the 120 W TDP 2.66 GHz quad-core Xeon X5355 quickly (Canadian seller), or else the 80 W TDP 2.33 GHz quad-core Xeon E5345 in who knows how long (overseas seller). I ended up going with the latter since many have reported a necessary increase in fan activity with the X5355 chips for obvious reasons.
 
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vigilant007

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2014
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Thanks for sharing this. I don't take all of JEDEC's info about their own memory at face value, but understand that lower speeds could be used for less power. Still, I recommend you take a look at this study, especially Section 5.3. In broad strokes, you'll see HBM2 using much more power than LPDDR4. As HBM2E uses more power than HBM2, and LPDDR5 uses less power than LPDDR4, this gap will widen in 2021. Let me know if you still think this can be surmounted with lower speeds.


I think the Infinity Link style solution is likely if not simply necessary at some point. I doubt Apple wants to print lots of 200+ mm2 dies. Granted, they could use some more sophisticated smart interposer, but Infinity Link is simple and within immediate reach.

Moreover, Apple has always found creative ways to reuse parts. I don't think they want to design a zillion APUs when they could conceivably get away with 4 parts on different chiplet packages.

A14: Goes in the iPhone and Air.

A14X: The Bloomberg APU, 8 perf cores and 8-16 GPU cores. Goes in the iPad Pro, MBP13, MBP16, Mac Mini, iMac.

GPU: Die with only GPU cores. One goes on package with with the A14X in the MBP16 and upgraded iMacs. Two get slapped on a package together for (i)Mac Pros.

CPU: Die with only CPU perf cores, ~16. (i)Mac Pro part; can slap two on a package for high end configs.
I was having this exact same conversation on another forum.

My thinking is very similar to yours

A14: iPhone. IPad, and iPad Air (not iPad not immediately but it will trickle there)

A14X: iPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, iMac (entry level)

A14P(performance): iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro

A14MP(MacPro): Mac Pro, iMac Pro, Mac Mini

GPU: High Quantity, Possibly Dedicated Memory, with Infinity Style link connecting possibly up to 2 dedicated per card, that links back to the main SOC over wider system Infinity Style Link

AfterBurner: up to 2 per card, with Infinity Style link, that feeds back into the wider system Infinity Style link.

The Afterburner and Dedicated GPU chips could feed a standard A14P in lower core count (binned) on the iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, and iMac.

With the right system bus in place, the opportunities are limitless.
 

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