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

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guidryp

Golden Member
Apr 3, 2006
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There is only one ARM MBP, the low end model at the smallest size. You don't think they want ARM Macs across the whole laptop line for back to school?
I don't think it factors at all. Students will primarily going for the small (I doubt any group actually carries around a laptop more) and inexpensive. So the 13" MPB and MBA would be the most popular MB's with students by far, and of those the less expensive MBA would be the most popular.

The real target audience for higher end models will be working professionals. It would have been nice to show them to developers at WWDC, but really there is no critical date for such machines. They will be ready, when they are ready.
 
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gdansk

Senior member
Feb 8, 2011
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Well, that's interesting. Not sure if this means anything but someone has noted the metadata keywords for the WWDC 2021 YouTube upload include "m1x" and "m1x MacBook Pro", and not "M2". I verified this myself and took a screen grab:

View attachment 45530
That is set by YouTube's analytics of related keywords. On videos I uploaded it suggests all sorts of keywords I did not set.
 
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Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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BTW, I don't know if it has been posted yet, but a while back CPU Monkey posted its fake M1X benchmarks and specs, with probably the wrong number of cores, and which are the exact same specs as its fake M2 specs.

 
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nxre

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Nov 19, 2020
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I've been thinking about it and I highly doubt we will see a M2/M2X based on the firestorm core sucessor.
Apple seems to have a very strict cycle of refreshes with a node shrinking with refined architecture followed by a new architecture. AX designs seem to be on a two year cycle that follows the refined architecture.
A10 - New process / Refined architecture > A10X
A11 - New architecture
A12 - New process / Refined Architecture > A12X
A13 - New architecture
A14 - New process / Refined architecture > A14X/M1
which leads me to think
A15 - New architecture (ARM V9?)
A16 - New process / Refined architecture > A16X/M3

This could mean we will only see improved single core performance in late 2022/early 2023, which could put them at a disadvantage against Intel/AMD with the Zen 3+ refresh and Alder Lake coming late 2021/early 2022. But it would also mean the single core performance improvement would be akin to a two gen improvement, which judging by apple's impecable execution could put it quite ahead of the pack when it does launch.
 
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guidryp

Golden Member
Apr 3, 2006
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I've been thinking about it and I highly doubt we will see a M2/M2X based on the firestorm core sucessor.
Apple seems to have a very strict cycle of refreshes with a node shrinking with refined architecture followed by a new architecture. AX designs seem to be on a two year cycle that follows the refined architecture.
We have already seen AX (iPad Chip ) replaced by M1.

So I wouldn't get too wrapped up in marketing names. They are just a convenience, easily replaced with another convenience. Same for any patterns that you see. Patterns emerge and disappear as circumstances dictate.

The main thing that seems likely is that there will be 8 Performance core SoC later this year for high end Laptops and mid range desktops, and it should be pretty damn great in that role even if it doesn't have a new core.

It really doesn't matter if Apple has a slight core disadvantage. Macs have never sold on having the absolute highest core performance.
 
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Doug S

Senior member
Feb 8, 2020
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I've been thinking about it and I highly doubt we will see a M2/M2X based on the firestorm core sucessor.
Apple seems to have a very strict cycle of refreshes with a node shrinking with refined architecture followed by a new architecture. AX designs seem to be on a two year cycle that follows the refined architecture.
A10 - New process / Refined architecture > A10X
A11 - New architecture
A12 - New process / Refined Architecture > A12X
A13 - New architecture
A14 - New process / Refined architecture > A14X/M1
which leads me to think
A15 - New architecture (ARM V9?)
A16 - New process / Refined architecture > A16X/M3

This could mean we will only see improved single core performance in late 2022/early 2023, which could put them at a disadvantage against Intel/AMD with the Zen 3+ refresh and Alder Lake coming late 2021/early 2022. But it would also mean the single core performance improvement would be akin to a two gen improvement, which judging by apple's impecable execution could put it quite ahead of the pack when it does launch.

What are you basing your claims about which ones are "refined" architecture and which ones are new architecture on? It looks to me like you're trying to fit Apple's SoCs into some sort of Intel tick tock strategy. Where's the evidence for this?

Just based on timing alone I think it is a slam dunk that whatever they call the upcoming chip with more cores that will go into higher end versions of existing products, as well as products that haven't gone ARM yet like the 16" MBP, it will contain "Firestorm successor" cores from the A15. Why would they wait until mass production of A15 SoCs has begun to release something containing A14 cores? Don't you think having a newer core (whether or not it qualifies as a "new" or "refined" architecture to you) makes sense in what will become the "high end" offering for Macs that currently use the M1?

If you have a choice between a Mac Mini with an M1, or paying more for the high end version, wouldn't you expect to get more than improved multicore performance but also get at least a little bit of single thread improvement? I mean, I suppose it could simply be clocked higher due to N5P's process refinement, but I don't expect them to pass up the opportunity to give it IPC gains from a new core also given that the timing makes that an easy decision to make.

Anyway Apple has no reason to care how they stack up against any of AMD's products, that's something for benchmark obsessed Anandtech readers to worry about. Just like people aren't switching from Android to iPhone because Apple's phones have faster CPUs, no one is going to switch from Windows/x86 to Mac/ARM even if Macs beat both Intel and AMD CPUs. Apple's primary goal is to insure every ARM Mac is faster than the x86 Mac. I'm sure their secondary goal is to beat every Intel alternative, just to stop any potential claims of "they are giving up performance by switching they could have used this Xeon xxx or i9 yyy". Since there is no credible claim they ever considered using AMD CPUs in a Mac, I don't think they give a damn how those compare. That's Intel's problem to worry about, not Apple's.
 

nxre

Member
Nov 19, 2020
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What are you basing your claims about which ones are "refined" architecture and which ones are new architecture on? It looks to me like you're trying to fit Apple's SoCs into some sort of Intel tick tock strategy. Where's the evidence for this?
I quote anandtech on this - Over the years, Apple’s design cadence seems to have settled down around major bi-generation microarchitecture updates starting with the A7 chipset, with the A9, A11, A13 all showcasing major increases of their design complexity and microarchitectural width and depth(source).

It makes sense for Apple to use the new core, but Apple is also no stranger to situations like this. Like releasing an iPad Pro in 2020 with a chip that had lower single core performance than a 2019 iPhone. It's weird, but not impossible and I wouldnt be surprised if iPhone 13 ended up having a newer high performance core than an upcoming Macbook Pro 16. They could problably offset the difference by increasing clockspeeds and improving the memory subsystem of Firestorm core however.
The rumours that M1X macbooks were meant to be showed in WWDC but got delayed due to mini-led supply issues also lead me to believe in this theory, given Apple has never introduced a new architecture on a non iPhone device(until, of course, 2020 with the iPad Air, but this was mainly an iPhone supply issue that caused them to delay the iPhone launch rather than a conscious choice to debut a new uarch in an iPad).
 
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