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News Apple confirms switch to Arm-based architecture

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by bit-tech, 23 Jun 2020.

  1. bit-tech

    bit-tech Supreme Overlord Staff Administrator

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    Read more
     
  2. Er-El

    Er-El Member

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    This is the beginning of the end for Apple.
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Pfft. This is the... fourth time the company's done an architecture switch? Let's see, 6502 to 68000 to PowerPC to x86 to Arm. Yeah, five architectures, four switches.

    Fancy a wager?
     
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  4. Osgeld

    Osgeld Active Member

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    the vast majority of users will probably never notice as the ecosystem is mostly app driven, where people would care is in the markets apple abandoned years ago (professional non art related type things like engineering and server stuff)
     
  5. Er-El

    Er-El Member

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    On second thoughts, you're right. They're experts in it now.
     
  6. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Will the switch remove the existing flock from the Cult of Apple?
    No.

    However the marketshare of MacOS will be in the single digits just like that of OS X due to most 3rd party software still being unavailable on Macs.
     
  7. edzieba

    edzieba Virtual Realist

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    I guess one concern would be if the remaining holdouts of 'Mac-only creative apps' will look at the choice between porting their software from OSX-on-x86 to OSX-on-ARM, or to Windows-on-x86, and decide "well, Windows has the larger market share so we'll go with that instead".
     
  8. jb0

    jb0 Active Member

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    Honestly, I'm glad this is happening.
    Not because I think it is the right business move, or because I am affected in any way(the only Apple product I own is a 68K-based laptop). But it means Apple isn't just making overpriced IBM clones anymore. They are making their own personal computer architecture again.
     
  9. sandys

    sandys Well-Known Member

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    Which is probably why they are doing it, then they can reduce costs and maximize profits.
     
  10. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    The different type of people who buy macs:

    - Those who want a laptop to do standard ms office & web based stuff
    - Those who have owned a couple of terribly underpowered PCs full of bloatware, crashing drivers and gawd-awful track pads
    - Those who need a Mac for Mac specific software (EG they are a developer who targets iPhones)
    - Those who don't want to run a hackintosh for their MacOS specific needs
    - Those who are after a premium experience (In their opinion) and they get drawn to the biggest player in the room
    - Those who have had an iPhone for years and feel locked into the ecosystem so tightly they even buy an Apple laptop.

    I don't think there's many people around who are into the 'cult of apple'. I rock a google Pixel as my phone, a Ryzen built workstation / VR workhorse as a desktop but my go-to machine is my 2012 MacBook pro as it's still a great machine (Quad core i7@3.4Ghz), it works just fine and runs everything I need. All three play nice together so that's not an issue.

    If it was to die, I'd buy a PC laptop as I don't need to run Xcode these days. Microsoft have come a long way from crappy trackpads, poor battery life and OEM installed bloatware.
     
  11. Osgeld

    Osgeld Active Member

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    Microsoft has nothing to do with preinstalled bloatware or crappy trackpads
     
  12. dark_avenger

    dark_avenger Well-Known Member

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    No but they do have lovely pre-installed spyware and tracking for you instead.
     
  13. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Bit of a necro, I know, but in my defence I wasn't the first - but, err, Microsoft does have trackpad issues and packages so much crud with Windows 10 now - Game Bar! Xbox! 3D Builder! Bing Food and Drink, Health and Fitness, News, Sports, Travel, and Weather! FarmVille 2: Country Escape! Duolingo! IHeartRadio! March of Empires! Minecraft! Pandora! Royal Revolt 2! Zune Music! Twitter! Microsoft Office Hub! Flipboard! CandyCrush! CandyCrushSoda! Caesar's Slots Free Casino! AND MORE! - much of which cannot be removed using Add/Remove Programs that people have made specific tools to try to get rid of it all.

    So, strong disagree on that one: Microsoft has its share of hardware problems and is responsible for a huge amount of bloatware in Windows 10.
     
  14. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    I know about ARM and its architecture for all sorts of low power systems, phones, tablets etc; but is there a ready to go and sufficiently powerful X86 replacement chip system?
    I wasn't aware of any ARM setups with that much grunt.
     
  15. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    Nope, nothing powerful enough out of the box.

    But the ARM license does allow them to modify the design (like for example get around the power / thermal constraints of the mobile designs, raise clocks etc).
    Of course Apple like everyone who isn't Intel is bound by whatever TSMC is capable of manufacturing, so there are still plenty of hard limits.
     
  16. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    For single-thread performance? Maybe not. For multithreading? Oh, absolutely: Amazon has its in-house Graviton and Graviton2 chips, which it claims offer its cloud computing customers "40% better price/performance over comparable x86-based instances"; if that's not proof enough Arm chips have grunt, the world's fastest (publicly-disclosed) supercomputer is powered by 48-core A64FX processors running at 2.2GHz. Okay, 2.2GHz might not sound that much, and there's "only" 48 cores per chip (plus two or four cores for background tasks)... but they're energy-efficient enough that the thing packs 152,064 of 'em. It's nearly three times faster than the closest competition, an IBM POWER9-based system.

    Oh, and the IBM system uses Nvidia Volta GPUs for the bulk of its compute - the POWER9 cores are just there to feed the GPUs data; Fugaku is driven solely by the Arm chips, there aren't any GPUs or accelerators in there.
     
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  17. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    Thanks GH, you have quoted 2 sufficiently convincing use cases there, I'll believe you

    “Arm processors have emerged as an exciting and mainstream alternative to x86 processors for a wide variety of existing and emerging workloads,” said David Brown, VP of Amazon EC2


    'nuff said I guess, unless mainstream Mac computing is that different to Cloud computing.
     
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  18. Osgeld

    Osgeld Active Member

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    I think a lot of that is overblown, and to be fair if you look at what apple has bundled in OSX its 5 pages of just crapware as well but its not as in your face crapware

    my response was to the history, if one is going to compare a 2012 macbook its fair to compare that to 2012 microsoft, which afaik wasnt making pc hardware at that time and windows 7 was a pretty clean install off the disk (this all changes with windows 8 and no one complained until 10)
     
  19. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I don't - the first thing I did when I got the Surface Pro was look up how to get rid of all the crap Microsoft had put in there.
    Funny you should say that: over the four years I struggled to use a MacBook Air, I slowly removed almost every piece of Apple software until I was only using Mail.app...
    Surface, later known as Surface with Windows RT then Surface RT then No We Didn't Release an Arm-Based Laptop Nobody Liked That's Crazy Talk. Announced: June 2012. Launched: October 2012.
    Windows 8 launch date: October 2012.

    People definitely did complain prior to Windows 10, though: United States vs. Microsoft Corp, 2001.
     
  20. Osgeld

    Osgeld Active Member

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