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Discussion Quo vadis Apple Macs - Intel, AMD and/or ARM CPUs? ARM it is!

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senttoschool

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Jan 30, 2010
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Apparently you didn't read the thread title. We are, in fact, discussing exactly what I posted about.
Glo. already pointed out the fallacy of No. 3.
As to No. 4


Kuo 'believes' - it doesn't say that Kuo 'knows'? It's a research note and, almost certainly, has a caveat that this note is speculative and bears certain risks. Maybe he's right, maybe not. We do not have any concrete information at this time.
We don't even have leaks of engineering prototypes - nothing concrete at all, AFAIK.

If you have any proof of your claims, please post them. I'm quite fine with being proved wrong on the basis of facts.
1. Let's be clear, we're all speculating here including you, Glo, and myself. Apple hasn't confirmed anything. We often write in a "done deal" way but everything is still speculation.

2. "Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup". Your quote regarding the usage of the word "believes" is actually referring to Kuo's opinion. The report is more confident than just Kuo's opinion. Kuo lists an actual estimated timeframe of when Apple will release ARM based Macs.


Nr 3 is only your speculation. Not a fact, unless you have insider information.

Apple moving to ARM Macs will start happening the moment when they will port Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro to iPads. Not before. So far it hasn't happened, and yet - everybody says that it is a done deal that Apple is moving to ARM on Macs.
The bolded part if only your speculation. Not a fact, unless you have insider information.
 
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Glo.

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Apr 25, 2015
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The bolded part if only your speculation. Not a fact, unless you have insider information.
Good deflection. Unfortunately its not a speculation. Apple HAS to port FCPX and Logic Pro to ARM, first, if they want to move Macs to ARM from top to bottom.

Why? Because both of those Apps are inherent part of Apple ecosystem.

Its that simple.
 

senttoschool

Golden Member
Jan 30, 2010
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Good deflection. Unfortunately its not a speculation. Apple HAS to port FCPX and Logic Pro to ARM, first, if they want to move Macs to ARM from top to bottom.

Why? Because both of those Apps are inherent part of Apple ecosystem.

Its that simple.
Good deflection. And Apple has to provide an x86 emulator when they port over to ARM. Unfortunately it's not speculation.

Why? Because Apple doesn't want to break a significant portion of apps that won't or will be late to update.
 

Glo.

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2015
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Good deflection. And Apple has to provide an x86 emulator when they port over to ARM. Unfortunately it's not speculation.

Why? Because Apple doesn't want to break a significant portion of apps that won't or will be late to update.
Good. When it will happen, and when they will move ALL of their computers, top-to bottom, to ARM?
 

senttoschool

Golden Member
Jan 30, 2010
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The biggest logical fallacy that people genuinely believe, that is true, about Apple porting Macs to ARM is very simple.
No one thinks it's simple. In fact, the general consensus, even for people who don't know anything about software development is that it's going to be a hard transition.


They are making ARM Software run on x86 architecture, not the other way around. If they would be moving Macs from x86 to ARM shouldn't they do exactly the latter: already announce option for porting x86 Apps to ARM?
I don't understand this part. Explain more?

Just FYI, in Xcode, Apple has done major work to make it extremely easy to ship your app for ARM or x86. It's often as easy as selecting a different option from the dropdown. Source: I'm a software developer.


ARM Macs are not going to be the same as MacBook Air/Pro, and iMac Pro/Mac Pro.
Yes. I think that's the point of switch to ARM.

It is 100% relevant. Because if Apple will not port FCPX and Logic Pro to iPads - they are NOT MOVING THEIR MACS TO ARM! Its that simple.
I think this counts as "speculation".


Apple hasn't ported both of those Apps for simple reason. There is not enough performance in ARM CPUs. Remember - porting all of their platforms to ARM would be justifiable only if it would give performance benefits for people who need this, not just toys on which they can watch Youtube.
You don't know what performance looks like for an Apple-designed chip running at 45w or 90w and with a fan blowing over it.
 
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Glo.

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2015
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When will it happen? Kuo reported that it will start happening in 2021.

When will they move all of their computers over? No one knows. I did speculate here: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/quo-vadis-apple-macs-intel-amd-and-or-arm-cpus.2579341/post-40130536
Its not what I asked about. Bad deflection of the question. Im glad that you admit, you don't know, that it will happen, only you speculate.
I don't understand this port.

In Xcode, Apple has done major work to make it extremely easy to ship your app for ARM or x86. It's often as easy as selecting a different option from the dropdown. Source: I'm a software developer.
You do realize that Apple has started a program that is allowing iOS Apps be run on x86 systems that have MacOS installed?

Not the other way around which would indicate that they are moving Macs to ARM, from top-to-bottom.
Yes. I think that's the point of switch to ARM.
Then, it means they are no longer Macs. In Apple design language: form defines function.
You don't know what performance looks like for an Apple-designed chip running at 45w or 90w and with a fan blowing over it.
You do not know also whether Apple actually CAN do this and scale their designs to those Thermal Envelopes, without losing IPC, and scaled performance. And if at those thermal Envelopes, those ARM chips would actually be faster than x86 CPUs.

Apple is releasing ARM based Macs, a laptop and desktop. That is sure. But they won't switch their entire lineup to ARM, from top-to-bottom. There is way too many struggles to overcome, especially considering they have already large ARM-user base in iOS. And there is way too many clues for which it won't happen: Lack of FCPX and Logic Pro ports to ARM, program that allows iOS Apps to be run on x86, not hte other way around, etc...

iOS Apps are not the same as x86, and Apple x86 computers are not the same as ARM. Once again, in Apple design language: Form defines function.
 

senttoschool

Golden Member
Jan 30, 2010
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Its not what I asked about. Bad deflection of the question. Im glad that you admit, you don't know, that it will happen, only you speculate.
So what did you ask? I literally gave specific answers to your very specific questions. :confused:


You do realize that Apple has started a program that is allowing iOS Apps be run on x86 systems that have MacOS installed?

Not the other way around which would indicate that they are moving Macs to ARM, from top-to-bottom.
You're referring to Project Catalyst.

Your conclusion is that because Apple started Project Catalyst, that must mean Apple won't switch to ARM? That's a fallacy.

Project Catalyst makes it extremely simple and easy to compile your app for x86 or mobile. That's it. It does not mean Apple won't switch to ARM.

As a developer, it just means you don't have to write different code for iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS. A single code base works for all 3. Apple needed to do this for Mac based apps regardless.


You do not know also whether Apple actually CAN do this and scale their designs to those Thermal Envelopes, without losing IPC, and scaled performance. And if at those thermal Envelopes, those ARM chips would actually be faster than x86 CPUs.
Correct. I don't know that. I'm just pointing out that you don't know either.


Apple is releasing ARM based Macs, a laptop and desktop. That is sure. But they won't switch their entire lineup to ARM, from top-to-bottom.
Ok. It seems like you're finally convinced that Apple is switching to ARM based Macs.

I think we're done here.
 

Glo.

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2015
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Ok. It seems like you're finally convinced that Apple is switching to ARM based Macs.

I think we're done here.
Apple is not switching Macs to ARM. Don't manipulate my words to fit your agenda. It only shows your toxicity in discussion, when faced with point of view that is not fitting yours.

There is a difference in releasing Mac that is powered by ARM, and Switching their whole lineup to ARM. Which is why I asked you about switching from top-to bottom, porting Logic Pro and FCPX to ARM/iOS.

Apple will release ARM based Macs? Yes. Will Mac Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro be updated with ARM CPUs in upcoming future? No.
 

senttoschool

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Jan 30, 2010
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Glo.

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I'm done. You're just contradicting yourself at this point.
For those who understand the difference in meaning between "Switching to ARM" and "releasing ARM computers" im not.

Do you understand the merit, because if you don't its me who is done discussing this. It was you who claimed that Apple is switching to ARM. And "switching" means, releasing ALL OF THEIR lineup based on ARM CPUs. From top-to-bottom. Porting all of their software from x86 to ARM chips. When I showed you that is not the case, you started typical internet strongman strawman argument with goalpost moving, and ended almost personally attacking me.

Even funnier, you haven't substanced your merit, that "Apple is Switching to ARM".

End of this discussion from me. I hope you finally see the light now.
 

moinmoin

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Jun 1, 2017
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Apple moving to ARM Macs will start happening the moment when they will port Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro to iPads.
Parts of Logic Pro like Alchemy are already part of GarageBand. I have no doubt that other parts in the background are already shared between Logic Pro and GarageBand as well as Final Cut Pro and iMovie. Porting Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro is more a matter of porting the UI, and I'm not sure Apple would even want that, with the point of iPad Pro being a paradigm shift, moving to a system that's more usable than current desktop systems.
They are making ARM Software run on x86 architecture, not the other way around. If they would be moving Macs from x86 to ARM shouldn't they do exactly the latter: already announce option for porting x86 Apps to ARM?
You are thinking of it from the wrong end. Apple is not interested in promoting its MacOS software on iOS/iPadOS, but rather want to promote the development of iOS/iPadOS style software even for MacOS. That's why they approach it the way they actually do, not the way you think they should.

As @coercitiv rightly pointed out Apple essentially seems to very slowly phase out their traditional Mac line, readying their iPad Pro line to eventually supplant it at some point.

Incidentally Apple Macs appear to be among the worst affected by this quarter's PC market downward trend, canalys thinks Apple lost 21%, IDC says it lost 20.7%, Gartner sees a softer loss of "only" 6.2%.
 
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Ajay

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Parts of Logic Pro like Alchemy are already part of GarageBand. I have no doubt that other parts in the background are already shared between Logic Pro and GarageBand as well as Final Cut Pro and iMovie. Porting Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro is more a matter of porting the UI, and I'm not sure Apple would even want that, with the point of iPad Pro being a paradigm shift, moving to a system that's more usable than current desktop systems.
It's not 'just' a port. It's a redesign, and not a simple one at that. Not that Apple doesn't have enough engineers to do it.

You are thinking of it from the wrong end. Apple is not interested in promoting its MacOS software on iOS/iPadOS, but rather want to promote the development of iOS/iPadOS style software even for MacOS. That's why they approach it the way they actually do, not the way you think they should.
Yeah, I get that Apple is trying to sell iPad as 'computers' to consumers. I haven't seen any evidence that they are doing the same with business clients.

As @coercitiv rightly pointed out Apple essentially seems to very slowly phase out their traditional Mac line, readying their iPad Pro line to eventually supplant it at some point.
I really don't see this. The laptop form factor is just more suitable to 'road warrior' needs. Apple would risk losing allot of sales - why would they do that?
 

Glo.

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Parts of Logic Pro like Alchemy are already part of GarageBand. I have no doubt that other parts in the background are already shared between Logic Pro and GarageBand as well as Final Cut Pro and iMovie. Porting Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro is more a matter of porting the UI, and I'm not sure Apple would even want that, with the point of iPad Pro being a paradigm shift, moving to a system that's more usable than current desktop systems.

You are thinking of it from the wrong end. Apple is not interested in promoting its MacOS software on iOS/iPadOS, but rather want to promote the development of iOS/iPadOS style software even for MacOS. That's why they approach it the way they actually do, not the way you think they should.

As @coercitiv rightly pointed out Apple essentially seems to very slowly phase out their traditional Mac line, readying their iPad Pro line to eventually supplant it at some point.

Incidentally Apple Macs appear to be among the worst affected by this quarter's PC market downward trend, canalys thinks Apple lost 21%, IDC says it lost 20.7%, Gartner sees a softer loss of "only" 6.2%.
Apple is not phasing out anything. If they would be phasing Mac line - would they even care about updating and vastly redesigning Mac Pro? Would they care about releasing 6k Monitor?

The probl;em with people not understanding Apple is that they look at their products from Consumer perspective. And that is what Apple is doing with ARM "computers": iPad lineup as a whole - targets it directly at consumers. For this ARM is perfect. But people are forgetting about second part of Apple ecosystem and that is professional branch. Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, 6k Display. Stuff targeted at Musicians, photgraphers, Video Editors, people that create content for Apple ecosystem.

ARM has proven to be working perfrectly for consumers. But has it proven yet itself to be working for professionals?

Apple is not phasing any of their Macs. They are showing that basic stuff can be done on iPads(rightfully so, they are Apple's best products right now), but heaviest lifting has to be and will have to done on x86 Macs, for the foreseeable future.

Why do we even discuss Apple cosystem as a whole, that includes consumers and Professionals, but only from Consumer point of view? This is also a factor that people have to put in their minds. That Apple has to have a platform that will create content for the consumer market.

And if somebody will come up with stupid idea that Professionals make videos on iPads...

Yeah, Disney studios have rendered all of their Animated films on iPads! Why not we all buy ARM based Macs!
 
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NeoLuxembourg

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IMO,

I don't think that Apple will switch (as in replace everything) to ARM like they did with PowerPC.

There was no real alternative at the time, that's why they had to move to x86, but now with the "new" AMD and a "motivated" Intel, it would be a really bad idea to jump the ship.

Apple will certainly continue to evolve their ARM cores for iPhone/iPad and even try to add them into other products like a Macbook Air.

But an ARM iMac or Mini? I don't think so.
 
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jpiniero

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Oct 1, 2010
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Apple is not phasing out anything. If they would be phasing Mac line - would they even care about updating and vastly redesigning Mac Pro? Would they care about releasing 6k Monitor?
Apple could keep the existing x86 products on the market for some time as long as there is demand. They did the same for the PowerPC Macs. In fact they actually released new PowerPC models after the Intel announcement was made.
 
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Ajay

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Apple could keep the existing x86 products on the market for some time as long as there is demand. They did the same for the PowerPC Macs. In fact they actually released new PowerPC models after the Intel announcement was made.
Good point. If Apple does go 100% ARM (about which I'm dubious), a somewhat lengthy transition period would assure that every ISV that wanted to port it's software to MacOS on ARM would be able to do so.
 

Doug S

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Good point. If Apple does go 100% ARM (about which I'm dubious), a somewhat lengthy transition period would assure that every ISV that wanted to port it's software to MacOS on ARM would be able to do so.
OBVIOUSLY they would have a long transition period, not only would it be impractical to redesign the whole line at once it makes no sense when more complex "Pro" software will need a much longer leadtime for porting and for the Pro users to trust the new platform.

I've posted in the other thread that I think they'd do it over like a 24 month period - first you do the low end stuff like the Air and Mini. Next year you do the midrange stuff (everything except the iMac Pro / Mac Pro) and then you do those Pro machines. They'd continue selling the x86 versions for at least a year, so if the first ARM Mac came out in 2021 you'd still be able to buy an x86 Mac Pro until about 2025. That's more than enough time to transition the Mac userbase, without making Pro customers nervous about being forced into doing something they don't want.

Kuo's timeline adds up with what I'd posted previously as well. They need to get an ARM Mac in the hands of developers to begin the porting process at least six months before release, and using the upcoming A14X (whether as is as I expect, or leveraging its cores in a modified chip) makes sense here. So I'd expect to see rumors about ARM Macs in developer's hands before the end of this year, if they wanted a big splash announcement of ARM Macs next year.
 

Tup3x

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Good deflection. Unfortunately its not a speculation. Apple HAS to port FCPX and Logic Pro to ARM, first, if they want to move Macs to ARM from top to bottom.

Why? Because both of those Apps are inherent part of Apple ecosystem.

Its that simple.
They probably could already however, Logic would need rather extensive ui rewrite to be touch friendly. They don't have to port it to iOS before. It's enough that they release ARM version when or if they release ARM laptop/desktop hardware. They don't have to do it before. Also there's no rule that all desktop apps should be ported to tablets as is.
 

eek2121

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You guys can debate this all day. Right now the evidence suggests nothing is changing. Speculation is all well and fine, but until I see Xcode or Final Cut Pro on an iPad, I seriously doubt we will see a Mac with an ARM design. Assuming 30% overhead for an x86 emulator, that would set Apple back drastically from a performance standpoint.

I strongly suspect the iPad Pro is Apple’s way of toying with an x86 replacement. The macOS itself has a better chance of going away than x86 does.

So now that I'm at my desktop, I wanted to provide a bit more context around my thinking.

First, there have been zero leaks or credible rumors to indicate a move to ARM for Apple. If anything, it's the opposite. New betas of the macOS continue to indicate support for future x86 CPUs. Apple has also increased it's wafer orders for iPad SoCs, but there is currently no publicly available evidence of TSMC fabbing a new SoC for an undefined device. Furthermore, TSMC is at capacity currently. There is no way Apple could switch to ARM and have it come off without a hitch. They can't even switch to AMD and have it come off without a hitch.

Second, all of Apple's actions thus far indicate a strong desire to bolster the macOS ecosystem. For example, the ability to run iOS apps on the macOS, the ability to port iOS apps to the macOS fairly easily, etc.

Third, I seem to recall that Apple has a contract with Intel until 2022. I would have to dig up the source for that.

Fourth, I know certain industry partners that would have knowledge of stuff like this, and none of them are aware of anything.
 
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Glo.

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You guys can debate this all day. Right now the evidence suggests nothing is changing. Speculation is all well and fine, but until I see Xcode or Final Cut Pro on an iPad, I seriously doubt we will see a Mac with an ARM design. Assuming 30% overhead for an x86 emulator, that would set Apple back drastically from a performance standpoint.

I strongly suspect the iPad Pro is Apple’s way of toying with an x86 replacement. The macOS itself has a better chance of going away than x86 does.

So now that I'm at my desktop, I wanted to provide a bit more context around my thinking.

First, there have been zero leaks or credible rumors to indicate a move to ARM for Apple. If anything, it's the opposite. New betas of the macOS continue to indicate support for future x86 CPUs. Apple has also increased it's wafer orders for iPad SoCs, but there is currently no publicly available evidence of TSMC fabbing a new SoC for an undefined device. Furthermore, TSMC is at capacity currently. There is no way Apple could switch to ARM and have it come off without a hitch. They can't even switch to AMD and have it come off without a hitch.

Second, all of Apple's actions thus far indicate a strong desire to bolster the macOS ecosystem. For example, the ability to run iOS apps on the macOS, the ability to port iOS apps to the macOS fairly easily, etc.

Third, I seem to recall that Apple has a contract with Intel until 2022. I would have to dig up the source for that.

Fourth, I know certain industry partners that would have knowledge of stuff like this, and none of them are aware of anything.
Apple is releasing two computers that have ARM chips, according to Kuo. A laptop and a desktop.

But releasing two computers does not equate to switch to ARM completely, top to bottom. Whats more as I have been saying all along this thread, and many threads on Macrumors: ARM based Mac is a competitor to Chromebooks.

Basic, web browsing machines that can install Apps from iOS: like Youtube, Twitter, run iOS games, give access to Apple services: Music, TV, and to Apple ecosystem of Apps.

It does not mean that Mac Pro, iMac Pro, iMac, MacBook Pros will get ARM based CPUs.

And last bit, to all of ARM-based-Mac-Supporters, read this, on this topic from Jean-Louis Gassee who was one of Apple executives during the late 80's:
 

jpiniero

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Oct 1, 2010
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First, there have been zero leaks or credible rumors to indicate a move to ARM for Apple.
Kuo is pretty plugged into the Apple supply chain.

Apple is releasing two computers that have ARM chips, according to Kuo. A laptop and a desktop.

But releasing two computers does not equate to switch to ARM completely, top to bottom. Whats more as I have been saying all along this thread, and many threads on Macrumors: ARM based Mac is a competitor to Chromebooks.
The rumor is that the chip that would be used has 8 big cores (+ some amount of small cores presumably). That would be one helluva competitor to a Chromebook. Alder Lake might be Intel's answer to what Apple is doing.
 

Glo.

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The rumor is that the chip that would be used has 8 big cores (+ some amount of small cores presumably). That would be one helluva competitor to a Chromebook. Alder Lake might be Intel's answer to what Apple is doing.
The rumor started by Coreteks? ;) Yeah, I really doubt in that rumor ;).
 

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