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Thread: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

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    Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Report says that the first computers to kick Intel outside will be Apple's laptop range.
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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Sounds a lot like Apple want rid of "Hackintosh" PCs.
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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by iworrall View Post
    Sounds a lot like Apple want rid of "Hackintosh" PCs.
    That's one thing... and also means that people who know that an Apple computer specs are often beaten by a cheaper pc equivalent cannot use that argument against them. Vertical integration is the key I think however - their whole line will be more integrated, because they will use the same gfx core in the whole product range - possibly even the same cpu cores. In fact I wouldn't be surprised that eventually everything will be iOS based
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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    I wonder how they're going to handle this switch on their workstation macs. Can even the highest-power ARM cores keep up with x86? For GPUs, I assume a PCI-E bus can be integrated nicely, but how much work would be involved in developing drivers for AMD/Nvidia on ARM?

    I'm placing my bets on them using a custom AMD chip, or at least deriving from one, in this segment. I just don't see how they'll be able to develop a chip in-house that'll keep up with the existing x86 chips created from decades of engineering experience.

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by afiretruck View Post
    I wonder how they're going to handle this switch on their workstation macs. Can even the highest-power ARM cores keep up with x86? For GPUs, I assume a PCI-E bus can be integrated nicely, but how much work would be involved in developing drivers for AMD/Nvidia on ARM?

    I'm placing my bets on them using a custom AMD chip, or at least deriving from one, in this segment. I just don't see how they'll be able to develop a chip in-house that'll keep up with the existing x86 chips created from decades of engineering experience.
    It's their own ISA.
    Throw all existing standards out of the window, they're building from pretty much ground up.
    After all the work they put into getting thunderbolt adopted, you would think there is good reason to license that though?
    There will have to be a strong focus on emulation if it's entirely seperated from X86, otherwise there going to be a lot of software companies under a lot of pressure to rewrite code.

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    So Apple's new CPU is codenamed after a Greek region known for its olive oil?

    What's the A12 going to be named then, 'Kalamari'?

    (Though, oddly, that would make sense: tentacles = cores)
    Last edited by Faiakes; 03-04-2018 at 11:56 AM.

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Will this fail like how Windows moved to ARM with the Surface RT or will they do it properly?

    Big question is whether software will support whatever Apple are doing with the CPUs. Are Apple going to do a WINE-esque emulator? Because WINE falls flat on its face for a lot of what I want to do (not to be rude but if anyone wants to try and change my mind, I really don't care about Linux and WINE at this time).

    It's cool and all doing your own thing, but they've got to make sure all their primary software integrators are on-board or this could be a potential hammer blow to Apple Products.

    Failing that, Apple are going to create a closed book application infrastructure, like on the iPhone, and all developers have to go through an Apple App Store certification and they are sideloaded, not unlike the UWP for Windows.

    This is a great move for control, but it could be a bad move overall unless they really dot the Is and cross the Ts.

    Even if you're an Apple extremist and heavily photo edit using Photoshop, if doing the same task on Apples new processors and GPUs takes noticeably longer or is about as optimised as using a table to dig the earth, then they may start jumping ship!
    Last edited by Tabbykatze; 03-04-2018 at 11:57 AM.

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by afiretruck View Post
    I wonder how they're going to handle this switch on their workstation macs. Can even the highest-power ARM cores keep up with x86?
    There is nothing special about x86, and the current Apple CPUs are pretty good to the point I have always expected they were really aimed at desktop use (after a hike in power usage and clock speeds).

    It will be interesting to see if they try and scale up their own GPU as well, but I'm sure AMD will already have ARM drivers built for their chips given they were working on their own high end ARM server/workstation core not that long ago. still think it's a shame they didn't finish that project, Zen with an ARM front end would have been pretty awesome for those of us writing code on an AMD64 Linux box cross compiling to ARM to just run native.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    Will this fail like how Windows moved to ARM with the Surface RT or will they do it properly?
    Apple have swapped architectures from 68000 to PowerPC, PowerPC to x86. This will be their third swap, they should get it right with that amount of practice.

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Tabbykatze View Post
    Will this fail like how Windows moved to ARM with the Surface RT or will they do it properly?

    Big question is whether software will support whatever Apple are doing with the CPUs. Are Apple going to do a WINE-esque emulator? Because WINE falls flat on its face for a lot of what I want to do (not to be rude but if anyone wants to try and change my mind, I really don't care about Linux and WINE at this time).

    It's cool and all doing your own thing, but they've got to make sure all their primary software integrators are on-board or this could be a potential hammer blow to Apple Products.

    Failing that, Apple are going to create a closed book application infrastructure, like on the iPhone, and all developers have to go through an Apple App Store certification and they are sideloaded, not unlike the UWP for Windows.

    This is a great move for control, but it could be a bad move overall unless they really dot the Is and cross the Ts.

    Even if you're an Apple extremist and heavily photo edit using Photoshop, if doing the same task on Apples new processors and GPUs takes noticeably longer or is about as optimised as using a table to dig the earth, then they may start jumping ship!
    Apple do have previous success in these challenges. They used PowerPC stuff which was a lot more niche than ARM is and did so successfully, convincing others (most notably Adobe,) to write their software for it. They've also migrated from one architecture to another successfully (the aforementioned PowerPC to x86,) AND provided a robust emulation layer called IIRC Rosetta which worked very well for older software compiled for PowerPC. The rumour mill has it that MacOS already has already been ported which only leaves power/speed and 3rd party software as the challenges.

    If they can get the likes of Adobe on board to support the new architecture (with a robust compatibility layer for existing x86 software,) I'm pretty certain a few years of R&D and optimisation (which is MUCH easier to achieve when you control hardware & software sides,) they'll be set.

    I'd imagine they'd start with the portable stuff as it plays best to ARMs strengths like battery life while the performance deficit is less of an issue, nobody is doing serious rendering on a MacBook, then the desktops/AIOs and finally the Mac Pro.

    It might not come off, but if anyone can manage it then Apple can.

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    I appreciate Apples history with migrating architectures but 14 years ago was the last one. Are the people with that experience even still working at Apple in the engineering areas?

    On top of that, the number of users and amount of software integrated at the time of those migrations were tiny in comparison to now. I mean, how many millions of lines of code is just the OS from then to now, how gargantuan is it.

    On top of that, then the third party software companies will have to change how they work and performance optimise all over again.

    It all depends on Apples execution, will they emulate and native or will they do a line in the sand. To me, the line in the sand save costs but will have a far greater impact whereas the emulate and native option is expensive but is better for user migration.

    To me, the line in the sand option with Surface RT is what made it fail for me.

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    This has been rumoured for years, and I'd be surprised if it took till 2020 for apple to work out how to make a folding ipad

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Faiakes View Post
    So Apple's new CPU is codenamed after a Greek region known for its olive oil?

    What's the A12 going to be named then, 'Kalamari'?

    (Though, oddly, that would make sense: tentacles = cores)
    Are you sure it wasn't for that "other" product Kalamata is known for?

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Thinking about this, I wonder if plans have been pulled forward due to the issues with Meltdown/Spectre etc?

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    Thinking about this, I wonder if plans have been pulled forward due to the issues with Meltdown/Spectre etc?
    Considering they use arm cores as the base of their cpu's they were hit with meltdown and spectre on their 'own brand cpu's' too


    As to the original rumour of Apple using arm on their their pc's... honestly I'm not sure I can see it happening purely for one reason and one reason only, arm just doesn't have the scaling or grunt needed (at present) to compete with the multicore x86/x64 cpus that professionals rely on.

    While I'm sure an arm based (consumer) macbook could work quite well performance wise, especially if they took a MS approach of an 'always connected' pc like MS are with their arm powered devices, it would basically mean they'd need to support 'two desktop os's' because of the professional market (assuming they haven't given up on apple by then due to their current stagnation)

    Also I'm not sure Adobe would want to have to change their code again just to support arm, Microsoft have taken an emulation approach to using arm cpu's meaning adobe had to do very little if any to get their software running on the arm based machines. Not to mention they'd have to support both the x86/x64 AND the arm version, at least for a couple of years (imo), due to their subscription model needing to support older hardware....

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by iworrall View Post
    Sounds a lot like Apple want rid of "Hackintosh" PCs.
    I rather like my Hackintosh.

    Actually, proper question here. I have a mid 2011 Macbook Air and frankly I think it's a fantastic bit of kit let down by poor perhipherals (charger breaks regularly and what possessed me to buy a superdrive that broke after 5 uses I won't know) and Apple's dire "we are better than you" customer service. I've been into their store before with over a grand to drop but the attitude of their sales staff meant I walked out with a grand still in my pocket. I probably wasn't dressed poncy enough.

    <Tangent_correct=1>

    Apple have just declared my Air obsolete and the latest update has predictably slowed it to a near crawl. I expect that is since because it is off official support they no longer take that hardware set into account when coding the new OSX updates. It's tolerable to use as once it gets going it's not too bad and given it's 6 years old I think I've had a decent run out of it (poor thing has travelled with me on a motorbike in a top box for probably thousands of miles and still works).

    My question then is once they make these things obsolete, do they withhold updates as well? What I'm trying to ascertain is whether I should be looking to fully switch to Linux (for some reason Kali is also on there, no idea why...) or if I can retain OSX as well and still get updates, just with the acceptance that they'll no longer be guaranteed to work properly?

    I've debated getting a new Apple laptop but the new Macbook has but one Thunderbolt port for everything - if I can't plug a USB stick into it without an adaptor it's a bit much (ironically it DOES still have a 3.5mm socket... HA!). The Air hasn't been updated and so has all the connectivity (you can charge it AND connect your camera to it at the same time, amazing) but still has a lower resolution screen and poorer battery life and the older style keys. I don't like the idea of paying a grand for some new kit for it to be basically identical to what I already have but just for it to be as sprightly as mine was when I just bought it. If I'm paying a grand, I want it to be an upgrade. And then there's the Macbook pro which has an awesome screen, looks really well designed and I love the touchbar (that's gonna come to PCs soon when some kind of standard happens) but it fails in two places. The price is phenomenal, even for Apple and then connectivity.... 4 thunderbolt connectors. Not even one standard sized USB. It'll probably be great in the future but 4 of them?! If I were doing this I'd have had two and then two normal USB ports, not this madness.

    <Set_Ramble=0>

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    Re: Apple Mac computers will use own brand CPUs from 2020

    Apple does not need to convince adobe to port their programs to ARM, because apple has already convinced them to do this for the ipad pro (and android mobile devices). All apple need to do now is a new API for keyboard support (leave in the touchscreen on the ipad-book, for easier compatibility) and to jenga the ARM hardware into a folding unibody chassis (a pretty easy task)

    Quote Originally Posted by LSG501 View Post
    Considering they use arm cores as the base of their cpu's they were hit with meltdown and spectre on their 'own brand cpu's' too


    As to the original rumour of Apple using arm on their their pc's... honestly I'm not sure I can see it happening purely for one reason and one reason only, arm just doesn't have the scaling or grunt needed (at present) to compete with the multicore x86/x64 cpus that professionals rely on.

    While I'm sure an arm based (consumer) macbook could work quite well performance wise, especially if they took a MS approach of an 'always connected' pc like MS are with their arm powered devices, it would basically mean they'd need to support 'two desktop os's' because of the professional market (assuming they haven't given up on apple by then due to their current stagnation)

    Also I'm not sure Adobe would want to have to change their code again just to support arm, Microsoft have taken an emulation approach to using arm cpu's meaning adobe had to do very little if any to get their software running on the arm based machines. Not to mention they'd have to support both the x86/x64 AND the arm version, at least for a couple of years (imo), due to their subscription model needing to support older hardware....
    Not scalable? The ARM cores that are getting packed 48-to-a-chip?

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