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Question New Apple SoC - M1 - For lower end Macs - Geekbench 5 single-core >1700

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lobz

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Feb 10, 2017
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I think that we all realize that the universe, assuming that it has actual bounds, has a finite number of electrons in it, this putting a ceiling on any talk of "infinity" with respect to computing. Thusly, any statement about infinity must be figurative in nature.
To quote Two and a half Men: when you're assuming, you're just a *****. 😶😶😶
 

Doug S

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Feb 8, 2020
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You tell me guys, how would Linux ever recieve support for anything in this machine, especially gpu?
It probably won't be, but you'll be able to run Linux in a VM. With some work (i.e. if enough people cared about it to put forth enough effort) they could probably get it to boot and run with a dumb framebuffer.

The question is why put in that effort, but supposedly there is an effort to run Android on the iPhone so I guess people with more free time than sense are relatively plentiful...
 
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moinmoin

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The question is why put in that effort, but supposedly there is an effort to run Android on the iPhone so I guess people with more free time than sense are relatively plentiful...
A lot of minor driver support under Linux is still driven by volunteers/hobbyists. Obviously M1 is on a completely different scale though.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry Review.
Notebookcheck
1129 euro for M1, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD.
Screen Shot 2020-12-06 at 2.07.58 PM.png

So, it drops just over 1000 points from 7409 to 6401 once throttled. IOW, the fanless Air loses a maximum of 13.6% performance in this test due to throttling, but it takes many cycles of Cinebench R23 to get to that maximum throttling.

On the third cycle of R23, it had dropped to 6682, so that's a drop of 727 or only 9.8%.

The current M1 13" Pro seems kinda pointless for 95% of users in this tier. The Air in contrast has the advantage of a design that is potentially more comfortable for your wrists, lighter weight, no noise, and proper function keys.
 
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guidryp

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A lot of minor driver support under Linux is still driven by volunteers/hobbyists. Obviously M1 is on a completely different scale though.
They usually also have access to documentation. Apple is VERY unlikely to provide any. Extremely difficult to write useful drivers without documentation.
 
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moinmoin

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They usually also have access to documentation.
No that's wrong, publicly available technical documentation for the vast of majority consumer electronics is "usually" terrible, incomplete or downright non-existing. In many cases you are better off looking at Linux driver code documentation (thanks to somebody having reverse engineered it already, or some company's official Linux support) than looking for official documentation.
 

guidryp

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Apr 3, 2006
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No that's wrong, publicly available technical documentation for the vast majority consumer electronics is "usually" terrible, incomplete or downright non-existing. In many cases you are better off looking at Linux driver code documentation (thanks to somebody having reverse engineered it already, or some company's official Linux support) than looking for official documentation.
Terrible is better than none. Writing drivers for a complex part like a GPU without any documentation is not really practical.

For work, I updated some driver code for a Fiber optic I/O card. Just one of the chips on the board had a ~300 pages of documentation detailing every HW and SW specification. Setup was controlled and switched via both physical (control lines) and SW (control registers) which changed the meaning of other registers. It would be borderline insane to attempt write a driver without some kind of documentation.

Nearly any I/O boards will use off the shelf HW chips, and those will have documentation like this unless it's considered some kind of specific in house proprietary device (those are rare). How else would they even sell these parts if they didn't document them?

So when the Open Source community writes drives, they will sensibly find out what chips are on the board, get the manufacturer documentation for those chips, to use as a starting point.

Even Linus Torvalds thinks this is the case, but what would he know. ;)
"The main problem with the M1 for me is the GPU and other devices around it, because that's likely what would hold me off using it because it wouldn't have any Linux support unless Apple opens up."
 

amrnuke

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Apr 24, 2019
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View attachment 35186

So, it drops just over 1000 points from 7409 to 6401 once throttled. IOW, the fanless Air loses a maximum of 13.6% performance in this test due to throttling, but it takes many cycles of Cinebench R23 to get to that maximum throttling.

On the third cycle of R23, it had dropped to 6682, so that's a drop of 727 or only 9.8%.

The current M1 13" Pro seems kinda pointless for 95% of users in this tier. The Air in contrast has the advantage of a design that is potentially more comfortable for your wrists, lighter weight, no noise, and proper function keys.
Did they happen to run single-thread on a loop, or GB5 on a loop?
 

LightningZ71

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Mar 10, 2017
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As a more accessible example of a similar issue (Linux on a SOC with poor driver support), Intel partnered with PowerVR for the cedar view atoms. The sgx545 gma units barely got one working driver release out of Intel for Windows 7. After that, it was all but abandoned. PowerVR released no documentation on it, same for Intel. We're now most of a decade later and Linux has a barely functioning driver with almost no acceleration. This system is nowhere near as locked down as Apple's gear is.

Linux is going to be very difficult to make work WELL without apple supporting it.
 

guidryp

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Apr 3, 2006
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As a more accessible example of a similar issue (Linux on a SOC with poor driver support), Intel partnered with PowerVR for the cedar view atoms. The sgx545 gma units barely got one working driver release out of Intel for Windows 7. After that, it was all but abandoned. PowerVR released no documentation on it, same for Intel. We're now most of a decade later and Linux has a barely functioning driver with almost no acceleration. This system is nowhere near as locked down as Apple's gear is.

Linux is going to be very difficult to make work WELL without apple supporting it.
No one is as closed as Apple. NVidia has released extensive GPU documentation many years ago, and Imagination released full ISA documentation in 2014:

Imagination Releases Full ISA Documentation For PowerVR Rogue GPUs

From Apple there will be the sound of crickets. Apple has ZERO interest in making Third party HW drivers work on Apple Silicon. There will be ZERO documentation or help from Apple and thus an Apple Silicon GPU driver will go nowhere.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Up to 16 performance CPU cores for iMac and MacBook Pro.

Up to 32 performance CPU cores for Mac Pro.

Up to 32 GPU cores for iMac.

Up to 128 GPU cores for Mac Pro.

However, not guaranteed all of these will make it to market immediately if ever. eg. May start with 8-12 performance CPU cores for MacBook Pro and iMac.

Also working on Mac Pro mini. o_O
 
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guidryp

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-07/apple-preps-next-mac-chips-with-aim-to-outclass-highest-end-pcs
Up to 16 performance CPU cores for iMac and MacBook Pro.

Up to 32 performance CPU cores for Mac Pro.

Up to 32 GPU cores for iMac.

Up to 128 GPU cores for Mac Pro.

However, not guaranteed all of these will make it to market immediately if ever. eg. May start with 8-12 performance CPU cores for MacBook Pro and iMac.

Also working on Mac Pro mini. o_O
Need huge grains of Salt with that rumor. They also cover all the options so aspects will be true no matter what.

They say the next iMac Chips will have either 8, 12, or 16 high performance CPU cores. Way to cover all the bases...

For the Mac Pro. The only way they get to 128 GPU cores, is with multiple discrete chips. A 64 Core part, would be similar sized to NVidia/AMD largest parts, so possible. But I would expect they would go for something like 32 core part, and use 1-4 of them if they really aim to achieve a 128 core top end part, that would be 1 tape out they could share in multiple configs for multiple models.

Where does it say anything about Mac Pro Mini?
 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Need huge grains of Salt with that rumor.
Mark Gurman has an 89% accuracy rate, the same as L0vetodream. Both of them are significantly more reliable than the Wall Street Journal.

They also cover all the options so aspects will be true no matter what.
This is the first I've heard of them working on a 32 performance core part. It makes sense, and some of here predicted in this thread that that was likely in the lab, but no big media outlet has ever said it before in print AFAIK.

Where does it say anything about Mac Pro Mini?
"For higher-end desktop computers, planned for later in 2021 and a new half-sized Mac Pro planned to launch by 2022, Apple is testing a chip design with as many as 32 high-performance cores."

I don't know if he's suggesting it means all new Mac Pros will be smaller, or if there will be a second Mac Pro line that's smaller than their main line. But it will be "mini" compared to the current Mac Pro line.

Anyhow, I'm good for now with my lowly quad-core Kaby Lake i5 iMac, but in the future I might get a Mac mini with 16 performance cores, 32 GB RAM, and 10GigE.
 
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guidryp

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Apr 3, 2006
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Easy to be accurate when you say things like 8, 12, or 16 cores. Because one of those is sure to be correct.

Basically they have covered everything from doubling to quadrupling the M1 for the iMacs next year.

Doubling up on a 16 Billion transistor part is really the likely limit for next year. Quadrupling it is unlikely in the extreme. Unless they going to separate chips on the iMac next year.

For higher-end desktop computers, planned for later in 2021 and a new half-sized Mac Pro planned to launch by 2022, Apple is testing a chip design with as many as 32 high-performance cores.
Ok. It's a smaller Mac Pro. Not a Pro version of Mini. Even half the size of the current Mac Pro will be a sizable computer, and it won't be called Mini.

Not an in between model, but a the newer, smaller Mac Pro, likely with less expansion capability. But more expansion than the Trashcan Macs.
 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Easy to be accurate when you say things like 8, 12, or 16 cores. Because one of those is sure to be correct.
You haven't followed Mark Gurman very much I take it. He's definitely not perfect, but as far as rumours go, he has a lot of street cred.

And it's one thing to publish a blog, and another to put it in print for a site like Bloomberg.

And yeah, his article does cover all bases, but it is nice to see the big media outlets printing the same thing we in this thread have been predicting.


Ok. It's a smaller Mac Pro. Not a Pro Mini. Even half the size of the current Mac Pro will be a sizable computer, and it won't be called Mini. It will just be the newer, smaller Mac Pro.
Of course it won't be called a mini. That was a joke. However, I was just emphasizing it wouldn't be a behemoth like the current Mac Pro.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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I know Gurman has an above average record, but when you publish something that just covers all the bases, it's kind of meaningless.
Actually, my outta-my-ass prediction for an actual 2022 Mac Pro was that they might release a 24-performance-core model, for maybe a total of 28 CPU cores with 4 efficiency cores, or maybe no efficiency cores. I wasn't sure if that would be the top end or not, but I was not restricting the possibilities to 16 and 32. It would be 16, 24, and (possibly) 32.
 

LightningZ71

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Mar 10, 2017
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Having gobs of gpu cores us one thing... But how are they feeding that beast? If they maintain their current setup, those chips will require packages surrounded by 8 or more LPDDRX stacks, or a couple of HBM stacks. They're going to look more like Consoles and less like traditional desktops...
 

amrnuke

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Apr 24, 2019
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Having gobs of gpu cores us one thing... But how are they feeding that beast? If they maintain their current setup, those chips will require packages surrounded by 8 or more LPDDRX stacks, or a couple of HBM stacks. They're going to look more like Consoles and less like traditional desktops...
They may get away with just enlarging the SoC -- at an estimated 120mm2, you can pretty easily double it and you're still under 250mm2... but once you start getting up to 16 +8 layouts, assuming they keep the cache sizes, NE, ML, and all that the same, almost 500mm2 on N5 EUV... that'll probably make them consider a chiplet design, which should be child's play for them.
 
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awesomedeluxe

Member
Feb 12, 2020
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Up to 16 performance CPU cores for iMac and MacBook Pro.

Up to 32 performance CPU cores for Mac Pro.

Up to 32 GPU cores for iMac.

Up to 128 GPU cores for Mac Pro.

However, not guaranteed all of these will make it to market immediately if ever. eg. May start with 8-12 performance CPU cores for MacBook Pro and iMac.

Also working on Mac Pro mini. o_O
Wow. This is written by Gurman, but it reads like a Macrumors thread. The claim that Apple is making a 16x firestorm core part for laptops is kind of hard to believe on its face.

It does survive a baseline viability test. Clocked at iPhone speeds, 16 perf cores would use about 40W. Clocked at Mac Mini speeds, 32 GPU cores would also use about 40W. I have serious heat/area concerns about putting this in a 16", but total power consumption is lower than the ~90W of the current Intel+AMD solution.

If I had to think about how this chip actually looks... I guess there's no IGP? If "unified memory" is still a thing, I guess it's M1X - 4x LPDDR5 - GPU?

Easy to be accurate when you say things like 8, 12, or 16 cores. Because one of those is sure to be correct.

Basically they have covered everything from doubling to quadrupling the M1 for the iMacs next year.

Doubling up on a 16 Billion transistor part is really the likely limit for next year. Quadrupling it is unlikely in the extreme. Unless they going to separate chips on the iMac next year.
This is a bolder prediction than that, though. They're saying it's a 16 core part with cores disabled. Which is weird, but they are staking themselves out to the idea a 16-core part exists and is intended for the MBP16.

Agree that the ballooning size of the chips in these predictions is pretty sus but it's not impossible. The M1 is only 120mm2 and less than a quarter of that is from the four firestorm cores and their memory. Remove the GPU cores, move to N5P, and you can probably make a 16 firestorm core part that is 150mm2 or less. Yield on this is probably kind of sucky at this size on a new process, but if you're planning on disabling as many as half the CPU cores anyway and your die is mostly comprised of CPU cores maybe that doesn't matter.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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Wow. This is written by Gurman, but it reads like a Macrumors thread. The claim that Apple is making a 16x firestorm core part for laptops is kind of hard to believe on its face.

It does survive a baseline viability test. Clocked at iPhone speeds, 16 perf cores would use about 40W. Clocked at Mac Mini speeds, 32 GPU cores would also use about 40W. I have serious heat/area concerns about putting this in a 16", but total power consumption is lower than the ~90W of the current Intel+AMD solution.

If I had to think about how this chip actually looks... I guess there's no IGP? If "unified memory" is still a thing, I guess it's M1X - 4x LPDDR5 - GPU?


This is a bolder prediction than that, though. They're saying it's a 16 core part with cores disabled. Which is weird, but they are staking themselves out to the idea a 16-core part exists and is intended for the MBP16.

Agree that the ballooning size of the chips in these predictions is pretty sus but it's not impossible. The M1 is only 120mm2 and less than a quarter of that is from the four firestorm cores and their memory. Remove the GPU cores, move to N5P, and you can probably make a 16 firestorm core part that is 150mm2 or less. Yield on this is probably kind of sucky at this size on a new process, but if you're planning on disabling as many as half the CPU cores anyway and your die is mostly comprised of CPU cores maybe that doesn't matter.
Well, 16+4 would be fine in an iMac. The other thing is that you're assuming a 16+4 part would be running at the same clock speed as their 4+4 part.
 

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