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Thread: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

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    Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    The long-rumoured transition will actually happen next year, reckons KGI analyst.
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    Headless Chicken Terbinator's Avatar
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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    Isn't this going to screw with a bulk of programs which are presumably built with x86 in mind?
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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by Terbinator View Post
    Isn't this going to screw with a bulk of programs which are presumably built with x86 in mind?
    No more than switching to x86 messed with PowerPC binaries, or switching to PowerPC messed with 68000 binaries before that.

    This wouldn't be their first CPU architecture change. Previous changes didn't have such a well Internet connected world either so updating to the latest native binary from an interpreted x86 one could be fairly seamless for them.

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    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    Analysts have been saying ARM based Macs are going to be around the corner for years,just like there are persistant rumours of AMD powered Macs too. A bit like Rollo saying Fermi was always around the corner too!

    Apple is also mostly catering for the poser market nowadays,and I am uncertain whether their actual Mac Pro desktops would make such a transition so quickly even if it were to happen. Moving from PowerPC to X86 happened as Motorola/IBM were not able to deliver - a lot of these "analysts" seem to conveniently ignore AMD even existing. It makes as much sense for Apple to get AMD CPUs if Intel is not delivering.

    Edit!!

    Also the media always gives Apple products an easy pass - oh the next designs will be quicker,etc,etc and seemingly ignoring ARM,Samsung,Intel and AMD will be out with new and improved products too in the same time period.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 27-03-2020 at 02:17 PM.


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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    I can see this happening - Apple is a total mess at the moment, they seem to be all over the place making strange decisions....they seem a very confused company.

    Lets add some more confusion to the mix and switch CPU architecture *again*, sure why not.

    Maybe there is a slim hope that they would re-invent themselves again and phoenix out to become a good competitor - the Apple of 2008 was amazing, making brilliant hardware that brought innovation (often heavily inspired by someone else) to the mass market, and typically at a lower price point that others making the same quality of kit.

    Now they pump out poorly thought out products with major flaws and trust that people will buy them based on their past reputation..and that does happen for the most part, but it won't last forever. They are also intentionally crippling performance of their machines if you are not running MacOS, making the main benefit of x86 for consumers (the ability to run Windows & access its huge software library) kind of not there. If you only run MacOS and you buy apps from their store - you'd probably never noticed the switch. They may include some kind of rosetta style emulation too for those who need it.

    Apple do need to change and recapture some of the magic they used to have - maybe a switch like this could become a catalyst, who knows. It worked last time, but they had Steve J at that point....

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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Also the media always gives Apple products an easy pass - oh the next designs will be quicker,etc,etc and seemingly ignoring ARM,Samsung,Intel and AMD will be out with new and improved products too in the same time period.
    It isn't about fast though, for Apple it is about control. Supposedly the biggest driver in Intel graphics etc has been Apple complaining it isn't good enough. This would get Apple the exact chip they want, with better integration allowing better power management and possibly improving their purchasing power sharing common support components with tablets & phones.

    High end Apple ARM chips have had a bonkers issue width for years that doesn't really make sense for mobile devices. I'm sure they have had prototype ARM laptops for some time, just in case they had to change over. With Intel products stagnating as they are, I can see sense in jumping ship. Given how good the Apple chips are, that only really leaves AMD as a possible CPU source. I don't think Nvidia's ARM core is as fast as Apple's (recent benchmarks are hard to come by) and others seem to offer A76 which Apple have moved beyond. Could AMD even supply enough CPUs to keep Apple running?

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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    It isn't about fast though, for Apple it is about control. Supposedly the biggest driver in Intel graphics etc has been Apple complaining it isn't good enough. This would get Apple the exact chip they want, with better integration allowing better power management and possibly improving their purchasing power sharing common support components with tablets & phones.

    High end Apple ARM chips have had a bonkers issue width for years that doesn't really make sense for mobile devices. I'm sure they have had prototype ARM laptops for some time, just in case they had to change over. With Intel products stagnating as they are, I can see sense in jumping ship. Given how good the Apple chips are, that only really leaves AMD as a possible CPU source. I don't think Nvidia's ARM core is as fast as Apple's (recent benchmarks are hard to come by) and others seem to offer A76 which Apple have moved beyond. Could AMD even supply enough CPUs to keep Apple running?
    Because most of the articles always go on about how much faster they will. Its like Anandtech's article on Graviton2. They go on how Intel and AMD will be doomed with Graviton3,but didn't bother testing any Zen2 based equipment. They forgot in the same timeframe that Intel would probably have moved to 10NM/7NM designs with better performance and lower TCO,and AMD would have long released Zen3,and would be on the verge of Zen4. Its always best case scenario for one companies products and worst for the others.

    Plus all these analysts just seem to act like AMD does not exist. Its all about Intel,even when AMD is winning major supercomputing contracts.

    Also this article is about Apple's laptops and desktops which are much lower volume BTW - so yes AMD would be fine,as they sell less of those than bigger companies such as HP and Lenovo. But for how many years have people talked about AMD based products and ARM based laptops/desktops?? Its always around the corner just like Rollo kept saying Fermi was around the corner for yonks. Its become a meme. Even the analyst they quote in the article has had to revise his date from 2020 to 2021.

    Its always "one slight slip" in dates every year. Its been happening since 2012:
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/0...ac_osx_on_arm/

    Another one in 2014:
    https://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/25...agic-trackpad/

    As far back as 2011/2012 there were rumours AMD would be in a Mac.

    Its more likely that Apple will just drop its MacBook range and just push the optional keyboard for its iPad Pro like Hexus reported:

    https://hexus.net/mobile/news/tablet...lidar-scanner/

    They will most likely slowly phase out OS X for a version of iOS. OS X is really not ideal for Apple's business model at all.

    They can't control the apps on OS X and won't get a cut of all of them. Its much easier when you control the app store,which is done on iOS and get a cut on each app sold.

    Also built-in obsolescence is much easier on iOS - within 5 years they can stop updates and access to the app store due to an unsupported OS version,and that is the end of your device,forcing you to buy a new one.

    Want to install another OS,well tough luck!
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 27-03-2020 at 03:01 PM.


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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Also this article is about Apple's laptops and desktops which are much lower volume BTW - so yes AMD would be fine,as they sell less of those than bigger companies such as HP and Lenovo.
    There's the thing, I just tried buying a couple of work PCs. They are for compiling code, which Ryzen excels at, and in the end I went with... PC Specialist. They won the gig from being quite literally the *only* supplier I could find in this country. Actually that isn't quite true, I could have dragged a machine out of Scan by specifying every component and paying through the nose in their custom build service. But everyone else the best I could get was a 3400G with integrated graphics. No 3900X options available. I almost ordered the parts from Amazon to build the damned machines myself but this isn't for a hobby, these are work machines, and my time isn't cheap. For most companies self build and no warranty beyond parts quite reasonably isn't an option.

    The first machine turns up on Monday, will be interested to see what it is like. Fingers crossed, given I don't like plan B.

    So if Apple became a Ryzen PC supplier, that would be a massive change to AMDs supply chain compared to currently drabs of eg Alienware PCs only available in America. Very happy for you to prove me wrong here, I would love a better plan B. Was quite shocked that I couldn't find anything from HP for example. Basic spec I wanted: 3900X, 32GB of ram, dual 1440p 27" monitors.

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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    I suspect that, in order to encourage quicker upgrading and remove the problem of supporting legacy Intel machines, there will be plentiful updates for those machines which include performance destroying "enhancements". Or they could just wait for the next lot of Intel security problems to trash their existing customer's performance.

    That being said, once the Samsung S20 came out I got an update for my S8 and lo and behold, the screen brightness slope appears to have changed, making it brighter for a given background light intensity. And when you try and override it by dragging the slider down, it just goes straight back up again. It's almost as if they were trying to destroy the battery life of the older phones and get people to spend £1K+ on a new phone they don't want. Big companies would NEVER do such a thing, right?

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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    TBH the writing's been on the wall for this to happen since they become ARM licensees and are allowed to design their own chips etc if I'm being honest.

    IPad OS is gradually being turned into a 'desktop' replacement albeit very limited still, not to mention restrictive...but then Apple's main target market isn't really the pro's any more imo.

    Apple have been 'pushing' Adobe to make their main programs ARM compatible and Adobe started doing this a while ago. Adobe Photoshop on ARM (hopefully they're dong the same for windows too) is available now but very limited but Adobe have said it's being worked on.

    IF Apple are going this route they'll be rewriting their code behind the scenes to work on arm cores, actually I wouldn't be shocked if they're doing this for the iPad Pro.. I'd also expect them to have some software where they can either convert iPad apps (think there is now) for desktop or even x64 to arm instructions.

    Another thing to consider, MS have shown that ARM can run a full x86 program in emulation and if MS can do it I'm sure Apple can manage it too.

    A new Macbook Air with arm would have been my first thoughts but I can also see Apple doing an iMac then basically going 'thinnest pc ever' type marketing etc, the 'trendy people' will lap it up, the pro's will moan they've been forgotten again.

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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    High performance ARM chips (Snapdragon 855) costs so much money compared to a mobile intel i3 which outperforms it! Its upto ARM to come up with architectures that favour the high performance segment and are cheaper

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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by lumireleon View Post
    High performance ARM chips (Snapdragon 855) costs so much money compared to a mobile intel i3 which outperforms it! Its upto ARM to come up with architectures that favour the high performance segment and are cheaper
    Isn't that due to Qualcomm though, rather than Apple who'd presumingly be doing their own chips for themselves.
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    for all intents it seems to be the same card minus some gays name on it and a shielded cover ? with OEM added to it - GoNz0.

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    Re: Arm-based Apple Mac laptops and desktops tipped for 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by lumireleon View Post
    High performance ARM chips (Snapdragon 855) costs so much money compared to a mobile intel i3 which outperforms it! Its upto ARM to come up with architectures that favour the high performance segment and are cheaper
    Except Qualcomm have released the Snapdragon 7c and 8c as low cost 'pc' chipsets and they're designed for windows emulation etc. While not perfect there's nothing stopping Apple doing their own version where it would literally be at cost for them to use in their products, unlike qualcomm where they're after their 'slice of the pie' profits too.

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