Originally Posted by Majin SSJ Eric
There is no rule that states only x86 architectures can support desktop applications. The problem with ARM has always been that x86 software can't work on it. But most of Apple's biggest desktop apps are in-house designed so they will be able to optimize all of their first-party software on ARM no problem. The issue will be with Windows-compatible applications, legacy apps, etc.
Look at the iPad Pro and its A12X Bionic SoC for instance. The hardware is INSANELY powerful and is EASILY able to rival the performance of comparable Intel setups. The problem with using the iPad Pro as a laptop-replacement, however, is simply iOS and its locked-down nature. Slap a robust file system into it, add support for typical desktop peripherals (such as mice etc), and you can better believe the iPad Pro could absolutely serve as a laptop replacement (at least insofar as a Macbook goes). Apple has built their own Mac ecosystem for decades now and has never depended on compatibility with Windows apps, so I see no issues with them ditching x86 and switching to their own in-house processors moving forward, provided they can continue to provide satisfactory (or hopefully improved) performance of their own Mac software on ARM. (I do realize that this move to ARM would severely limit the already spotty at best support for PC games on the Mac, as well as negating the dual-boot option with Windows)
This is actually kind of exciting news for me as I just bought a new iPad Pro 11" last week and I am absolutely in love with it. The power of that A12X chip really is something special; its just that Apple has intentionally walled-off a lot of its capabilities in iOS to make sure that the iPad doesn't encroach into Mac territory. But if they are going this route, perhaps those walls will start coming down and we might see an actual file system and mouse support on the new iPad Pros in future...
Here's a good one:
Windows apps are designed for a x86/64 codebase only, as are all current OSX apps.
Want to run Photoshop? Doesn't work on ARM.
Want to run full-blood Office? Doesn't work on ARM.
Want to run pretty much anything you would chose a PC over a tablet for? Doesn't work on ARM.
The Surface had an ARM variant and MS provided an emulator to run x86 apps on it. Feel free to cringe at the 70%+ performance loss that comes with it compared to native.
Apple is not exactly a major player in PC space to able to bully all these companies into re-writing their software to support the new CPU arch immediately. This product is effectively an Apple branded Chromebook for at least the first few years.
Originally Posted by The-Real-Link
I'm unfamiliar with ARM architecture compared to x86. If Apple switches to ARM, what kinds of performance would one expect from something like Photoshop, Premiere, Final Cut, or the like? I believe someone in the thread said earlier that the programming was incompatible with each other.
Would these new machines trump a comparable PC build then? It would be odd perhaps that they would keep ARM in their lower products but then still retain Intel at the high end. It makes sense, yet also doesn't. Of course if ARM is good enough for the masses then as was also said, who needs a "real" PC/Mac? Clearly they think us on OCN don't ;p.
Zero performance. There is no ARM version of those applications at this time, so they will simply not work.
ARM has its place doing exactly what it does now, but it can not compete with the absolute raw performance that AMD and Intel can dish out. To be fair, no ARM chip draws 250w+, but that isn't the point either. The archs are designed for different purposes.