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[Tom's Hardware] Apple Considering Moving Macs Away From Intel Chips - Page 22

post #211 of 278
It could run Windows 8 RT, no?
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post #212 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeles View Post

It could run Windows 8 RT, no?
Yep. But the whole point of Windows compatibility is so you can run all your Windows apps, which is kind of not possible with RT.
post #213 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbom View Post

Hehehehe lol tongue.gif
That's because they were able to... uh... I'm at a loss for the correct words... but run PowerPC apps through emulation... through Rosetta I think? And it was removed in Lion. ARM isn't powerful enough to do that, and even if it was it's hardly ideal. Plus a Mac would no longer be able to run Windows which would suck.
Windows RT can run on ARM and that's not to say that Windows 9 will run on both x86 and ARM, but of course, would not be compatible with x86 applications (unless some emulation layer is introduced).
post #214 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbom View Post

Hehehehe lol tongue.gif
That's because they were able to... uh... I'm at a loss for the correct words... but run PowerPC apps through emulation... through Rosetta I think? And it was removed in Lion. ARM isn't powerful enough to do that, and even if it was it's hardly ideal. Plus a Mac would no longer be able to run Windows which would suck.

It is far more efficient for a RISC system to emulate a CISC system than the reverse. One complex instruction may (and in fact must) break down into several simple instructions (these can then be run on the RISC machine), but it's a lot of effort to arrange (if it's even possible) the simple instructions so they match an existing complex instruction only to break down the instruction into pieces again as soon as the instruction is executed.
post #215 of 278
I used to play quake on my 300MHz PPC750 via virtualPC... Emulated CPU and GPU (if you want to call it that) - no problems whatsoever.
 
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post #216 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubanresourceful View Post

Windows RT can run on ARM and that's not to say that Windows 9 will run on both x86 and ARM, but of course, would not be compatible with x86 applications (unless some emulation layer is introduced).
That's true but yeah it won't run x86 apps which is kind of the point of running Windows on your Mac.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hajile View Post

It is far more efficient for a RISC system to emulate a CISC system than the reverse. One complex instruction may (and in fact must) break down into several simple instructions (these can then be run on the RISC machine), but it's a lot of effort to arrange (if it's even possible) the simple instructions so they match an existing complex instruction only to break down the instruction into pieces again as soon as the instruction is executed.
I see. Even so though... I can't see how an ARM processor could possibly be powerful enough to emulate x86 apps. Even at the same clock speed an i5 3570 would have to be several fold faster in single threaded performance than the Cortex A15, no?
post #217 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbom View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by cubanresourceful View Post

Windows RT can run on ARM and that's not to say that Windows 9 will run on both x86 and ARM, but of course, would not be compatible with x86 applications (unless some emulation layer is introduced).
That's true but yeah it won't run x86 apps which is kind of the point of running Windows on your Mac.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hajile View Post

It is far more efficient for a RISC system to emulate a CISC system than the reverse. One complex instruction may (and in fact must) break down into several simple instructions (these can then be run on the RISC machine), but it's a lot of effort to arrange (if it's even possible) the simple instructions so they match an existing complex instruction only to break down the instruction into pieces again as soon as the instruction is executed.
I see. Even so though... I can't see how an ARM processor could possibly be powerful enough to emulate x86 apps. Even at the same clock speed an i5 3570 would have to be several fold faster in single threaded performance than the Cortex A15, no?

Consider what a typical mac users, let alone, university engineering student in their early years, use for "demanding" applications. There is no issues with running office work and Youtube. Throw in GPU accelerated layers and processes, and even 3d rendering won't be an issue, considering what work we usually get thrown at us in engineering. The code we run isn't even demanding in itself. Not until you start getting into the research fields in engineering and the other sciences where you would even need the horsepower of x86 from a mac user, which isn't even used 90% of the time. Heck, most CAD work isn't that demanding either. Unless you're in civi. But most people will have access to university computers for that work anyways.

Case and point, mac users don't do anything demanding, even in the education sectors. Pushing their own, purchased, and relabeled, ARM arch, clock them much higher to improve performance, which they won't need, is perfectly suited for this application.
Edited by Domino - 10/9/12 at 12:24am
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post #218 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Domino View Post

Consider what a typical mac users, let alone, university engineering student in their early years, use for "demanding" applications. There is no issues with running office work and Youtube. Throw in GPU accelerated layers and processes, and even 3d rendering won't be an issue, considering what work we usually get thrown at us in engineering. The code we run isn't even demanding in itself. Not until you start getting into the research fields in engineering and the other sciences where you would even need the horsepower of x86 from a mac user, which isn't even used 90% of the time. Heck, most CAD work isn't that demanding either. Unless you're in civi. But most people will have access to university computers for that work anyways.

Case and point, mac users don't do anything demanding, even in the education sectors. Pushing their own, purchased, and relabeled, ARM arch, clock them much higher to improve performance, which they won't need, is perfectly suited for this application.
You don't (and can't) know that, you're just speculating. There's over a hundred million Mac users and a certain percentage of them are bound to use intensive applications, and no one knows what that percentage is.

Anyway I don't want Macs getting slower, which is exactly what would happen. Aside from an overall slow down, any application which can really push the processor is going to suffer, e.g., Pro Tools, Final Cut, CS6, etc., to name a few.

The worst of it all though is the loss of compatibility, that's simply unacceptable. It's not worth it.
Edited by steelbom - 10/9/12 at 3:24am
post #219 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by j3st3r View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomfix View Post

The future is AMD's APU's thumb.gif

Thank the lord someone has got it.

Its not going the way of ARM. Its going the way of APU. I'm starting to think that many PC users aren't as proficient in technology as they assume tongue.gif

It could be both, I could see Apple using say, an AMD APU inside the Mac Mini and Macbook Air and moving to ARM as they make high-performance ARM designs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubanresourceful View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

I don't think anyone is suggesting that Apple is going to sacrifice significant performance in the transition.
I think it's almost a given at this point that Apple will make performance competitive ARM parts, probably sooner (within 2-3 years) rather than later.
People talk about ARM like it's a CPU microarchitecture, with some sort of inherent glass ceiling on performance. It's not. It's an ISA, an instruction set, and this says next to nothing about how it must actually implemented in hardware, nor does it say anything about what performance levels it could be scaled to.
If Intel, a 110 billion dollar company, can keep an ISA like x86 performance competitive, then Apple, a 600 billion dollar company, sitting on tens of billions in cash, should be able to work similar magic with ARM, despite their relative lack of SoC experience (which they are rapidly rectifying).
I do not expect to see an ARM Macbook next year, but I would not be at all surprised to see ARM in everything Apple, up to and including the highest end Mac Pros in 4-5.
I am well aware that ARM is an ISA, it's just not there yet, and no amount of money is going to get it there that much faster.

4-5 years, yeah I can see that. Maybe even 3. But if that's the case, the point of this article is moot. Anything can happen in 3-5 years.

Throwing a lot of cash into R&D can get it there faster for a walled garden like the iMac, Apple could just make Fat Binaries the norm again and make a high performance ARM design which could easily be in a new Macbook next year, considering they'd have been working on it for longer than we've known about the possibility.

If Apple was planning to move to ARM, they'd already be working on high performance ARM CPUs with the power consumption and TDP scaled up, as well as having certain portions of OS X ported to ARM already, like Blameless said it takes a long, long time to do a good architectural shift and if we're only hearing rumours of it, then Apple has been working on it for a few years already.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Domino View Post

Case and point, mac users don't do anything demanding, even in the education sectors.

Yes, yes they do. The market is a lot smaller than it was but a lot of Mac users do CPU intensive stuff, if Apple goes ARM it will be an ARM CPU they've scaled up from its current low power niche.
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post #220 of 278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

I don't really agree.
Macs try to specialize in aesthetics, a small form factor, and battery life. Intel CPUs are currently better suited to this because of significantly better performance per watt, allowing a relatively faster part to be crammed into a thinner, form over function, chassis a bit more easily.

That is what they specialize in the hardware aspect. Apple tries, and too often succeeds, to make people think the Macs are better for video editing and such. AMD scores better in this area or at least well enough to where most users would be happy. I don't think any one buys a Mac for performance reasons...it is more because the person likes the operating system, well...or else they fell into the hype wagon. I just don't see any reason why Apple would have for using Intel. Though when they started to use the Intel CPUs it was very understandable why they went with the Core 2 Duo so they may still be on a standing contract.

Plus AMD's IGPs are better so it is very unlikely a Mac would ever need a discrete GPU if it was powered by a A8-3850 for example if they could cool it well enough in a laptop. That there will mean a smaller form factor. Though the Intel 4000 IGP isn't too far behind. Battery life will be about the same I think; especially considering that most of the time it will be in power saving mode.
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