Question What do M1 desktops do with small CPU cores?

Vegasus

Member
Jul 27, 2016
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The M1 chip has big and small CPU cores. In a battery powered device, the small cores are useful for extending battery life when the device isn't doing much, but what do they do in a desktop? Allow the device to be slightly thinner? Save a few pennies per year off the electric bill?
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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Sep 15, 2004
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In MacOS Big Sur, almost all background tasks are shunted to the Efficiency cores, so when it comes time to do something more serious, the High Performance cores kick in and everything feels faster. The Efficiency cores handle the little stuff, which is valuable from a Quality of Service standpoint, because it makes the rest of the system feel more responsive.
 

Justinus

Platinum Member
Oct 10, 2005
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In MacOS Big Sur, almost all background tasks are shunted to the Efficiency cores, so when it comes time to do something more serious, the High Performance cores kick in and everything feels faster. The Efficiency cores handle the little stuff, which is valuable from a Quality of Service standpoint, because it makes the rest of the system feel more responsive.
But on desktop, they could just have more big cores....
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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Sep 15, 2004
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But on desktop, they could just have more big cores....
1: Having the background tasks managed by the efficiency cores means the fans kick on less frequently (beneficial), and more demanding tasks launch quicker and are more responsive (again, beneficial)
2: That will almost certainly happen, but the way M1 was designed doesn't allow for that.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
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But on desktop, they could just have more big cores....
That would imply Apple had chips designed exclusively for desktop Macs, which they never will.
The current rumour for M1X is 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores. So, that would mean not only more performance cores, but also less efficiency cores. These would not be exclusive for desktop Macs though as they would be used in MacBook Pros as well.

However, there are other rumours of chips with up to 32 performance cores. The number of efficiency cores is unknown. Such a design would be desktop exclusive, as in specifically for the Mac Pro.

We'll see if these rumours pan out, but they make sense to me.
 

manly

Diamond Member
Jan 25, 2000
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The current rumour for M1X is 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores. So, that would mean not only more performance cores, but also less efficiency cores. These would not be exclusive for desktop Macs though as they would be used in MacBook Pros as well.

However, there are other rumours of chips with up to 32 performance cores. The number of efficiency cores is unknown. Such a design would be desktop exclusive, as in specifically for the Mac Pro.

We'll see if these rumours pan out, but they make sense to me.
I'm holding out for an iPhone 30 UberPro Max with 32 performance cores and 8 efficiency cores. :p
 

biostud

Lifer
Feb 27, 2003
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Having the same hardware available, makes it possible to optimize the OS to a higher degree, than running on different hardware. And no matter what, if the task can be handled by efficiency cores, no reason to use performance cores.
 
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Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
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I dont know. The 2 new M1 macs I received today at my job are sluggish as crap. O365 chugs, CS chugs as well. Not seeing much performance gain from my 2013 but hey, it looks good. And thats what apple cares about.
 

gdansk

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2011
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I dont know. The 2 new M1 macs I received today at my job are sluggish as crap. O365 chugs, CS chugs as well. Not seeing much performance gain from my 2013 but hey, it looks good. And thats what apple cares about.
Are you running ARM Native versions?
Even then... my M1 Pro seems exceedingly fast compared to my old 9750H
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,391
496
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Are you running ARM Native versions?
Even then... my M1 Pro seems exceedingly fast compared to my old 9750H
I'm talking about the m1 imacs. They are sluggish IMO and now we have noticed that the very expensive program we use automatically smooths system fonts. Its a designing fabric software that I now have to have the developers tweak because the new imacs won't let you turn off smoothing or mess with any resolution settings. I find the 8 year old imacs these are replacing to be a better product overall.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
21,391
496
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I'm talking about the m1 imacs. They are sluggish IMO and now we have noticed that the very expensive program we use automatically smooths system fonts. Its a designing fabric software that I now have to have the developers tweak because the new imacs won't let you turn off smoothing or mess with any resolution settings. I find the 8 year old imacs these are replacing to be a better product overall.
My LORD! These are the CRAPPIEST computers I have ever had to deal with! They are so slow and sluggish. The design dept. totally regrets getting these. Adobe CS runs like ass, Chrome is garbage, basically anything not programmed by some d-bag apple coder just runs like garbage. I guess is all you do is IG then these are for you!
 

radio3

Junior Member
Mar 19, 2022
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You gotta be trolling. Why would you use Chrome rather than Safari on a Mac, and I heard Adobe has been sceaming on Apple silicon for years. Photoshop and Lightroom on iPad Pro were already faster than their equivalents on Intel Mac years ago.
 

nathanjo

Junior Member
Mar 22, 2022
15
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The M1 chip has big and small CPU cores. In a battery powered device, the small cores are useful for extending battery life when the device isn't doing much, but what do they do in a desktop? Allow the device to be slightly thinner? Save a few pennies per year off the electric bill?
The M1 chip has big and small CPU cores. In a battery powered device, the small cores are useful for extending battery life when the device isn't doing much and allowing the device to be slightly thinner.
 

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