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Report: The first Apple Silicon Macs will be the MacBook Pro and Air


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On 11/11/2020 at 7:07 AM, ort said:

I really want to know more about what the fan in the Pro does or does not do.

 

Are we looking at the kind of deal where it doesn't matter at all and the Air and the Pro are equals and paying more for the Pro is silly and the fan is never used or barely matters?

 

Are we looking at the Air being seriously handicapped and not being able to get anywhere near the Pro due to the lack of heat dissipation?

 

Surely the truth is in the middle, but where?

 

Apple really didn't give us many real world numbers on these things. Hopefully reviewers have them now and the embargo lifts sooner rather than later. It should since they ship next week.

From the reviews I've read it seems the answer is that it takes something like 10min of sustained high level compute before the Air begins to throttle performance. Until then, it's just as fast as the Pro.

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After looking through some reviews, I'm seriously impressed. I'm shocked they hit basically every goal you could ask for in a first release of a new architecture. It's faster, it's far more efficient (which means better battery life), and the emulation is good enough to be perfectly useable until everyone gets their native apps out. Even the IO is compatible thanks to USB4. Unless these things start to melt after a week of use or something, this could be the most successful architecture change ever.

 

I was skeptical of the emulation performance only because I don't think it's ever been done that well. I was also skeptical they would achieve both better performance and better battery life, expecting them to sacrifice one to meet the other, but it sure seems like they nailed both. I don't even own a Mac right now and I'm in awe of that they've done. Talk about a serious return on investment.

 

 

The only real questions that remain are how well future M chips will scale to the high end. I'm not dubious about their ability to build bigger or faster chips, but I'm just curious if Apple will stick with the complete SoC design for a Mac Pro. 

M1_575px.png
 

Now, if they can simply separate the GPU into a discrete chip, they'll have plenty of space for additional CPU cores, and they'll be able to expand the GPU into a real powerhouse. However, if the (quite impressive) GPU performance is dependant on being so tightly integrated, it could be a tougher nut to crack. The unified RAM also becomes a question here. While we've only seen an M1 paired to a max of 16GB of total memory, the Mac Pro is offered with GPUs that have between 8-64GB of video memory each, plus you have the max 1.5TB of system memory. I'm sure they've got a plan, I'm just so curious as to what they'll do.

 

I also don't really see the PC space responding to this anytime in the foreseeable future.

 

With their expertise in GPUs and their acquisition of ARM, nVidia seems to be best positioned to build a an M-series competitor, but even if they wanted to they'd likely be years away. Qualcomm has been building their 8cx chips for a couple years now, but they've never impressed. Meanwhile the gap between Apple's A series and the rest of the ARM mobile world seems to have grown. Google is said to be building chips that could debut in the Pixel 6, but even if they get close to A-series performance (a dubious proposition at best), it would likely take years to build any kind of competitor for the PC space, assuming they even had any interest in doing so. Samsung is in a similar spot of maybe being able to build something, but probably not anything too competitive.

 

Even if any of those companies did start making up ground, they'd still have to face the fact that they'd only be building part of the stack, and would then have to rely on Microsoft to make sure Windows for ARM doesn't find itself back in the grave. I suppose Google could put out a Chrome OS device, but that's not terribly exciting.

 

Hopefully I'm wrong, and some crack ARM/nVidia skunkworks team is poised to really compete with Apple, but at this point it's hard to imagine. I'm so impressed by what Apple has done here, and I really hope the rest of the industry finds ways to compete.

 

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Yeah, the initial reports are all amazing. It's kinda funny how Apple seemed to drop these with so little fanfare compared to how big of a leap these are.

 

I think I'll be going with the Air. I want the 16GB of RAM and I need a 1TB drive, so saving the extra $300 will help. I honestly don't need the extra speed and the battery life is so good, the extra on the Pro won't matter. I'm 100% neutral on the Touch Bar.

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On 11/17/2020 at 4:05 PM, TwinIon said:

After looking through some reviews, I'm seriously impressed. I'm shocked they hit basically every goal you could ask for in a first release of a new architecture. It's faster, it's far more efficient (which means better battery life), and the emulation is good enough to be perfectly useable until everyone gets their native apps out. Even the IO is compatible thanks to USB4. Unless these things start to melt after a week of use or something, this could be the most successful architecture change ever.

 

I was skeptical of the emulation performance only because I don't think it's ever been done that well. I was also skeptical they would achieve both better performance and better battery life, expecting them to sacrifice one to meet the other, but it sure seems like they nailed both. I don't even own a Mac right now and I'm in awe of that they've done. Talk about a serious return on investment.

 

 

The only real questions that remain are how well future M chips will scale to the high end. I'm not dubious about their ability to build bigger or faster chips, but I'm just curious if Apple will stick with the complete SoC design for a Mac Pro. 

M1_575px.png
 

Now, if they can simply separate the GPU into a discrete chip, they'll have plenty of space for additional CPU cores, and they'll be able to expand the GPU into a real powerhouse. However, if the (quite impressive) GPU performance is dependant on being so tightly integrated, it could be a tougher nut to crack. The unified RAM also becomes a question here. While we've only seen an M1 paired to a max of 16GB of total memory, the Mac Pro is offered with GPUs that have between 8-64GB of video memory each, plus you have the max 1.5TB of system memory. I'm sure they've got a plan, I'm just so curious as to what they'll do.

 

I also don't really see the PC space responding to this anytime in the foreseeable future.

 

With their expertise in GPUs and their acquisition of ARM, nVidia seems to be best positioned to build a an M-series competitor, but even if they wanted to they'd likely be years away. Qualcomm has been building their 8cx chips for a couple years now, but they've never impressed. Meanwhile the gap between Apple's A series and the rest of the ARM mobile world seems to have grown. Google is said to be building chips that could debut in the Pixel 6, but even if they get close to A-series performance (a dubious proposition at best), it would likely take years to build any kind of competitor for the PC space, assuming they even had any interest in doing so. Samsung is in a similar spot of maybe being able to build something, but probably not anything too competitive.

 

Even if any of those companies did start making up ground, they'd still have to face the fact that they'd only be building part of the stack, and would then have to rely on Microsoft to make sure Windows for ARM doesn't find itself back in the grave. I suppose Google could put out a Chrome OS device, but that's not terribly exciting.

 

Hopefully I'm wrong, and some crack ARM/nVidia skunkworks team is poised to really compete with Apple, but at this point it's hard to imagine. I'm so impressed by what Apple has done here, and I really hope the rest of the industry finds ways to compete.

 

 

AMD was pretty much there like five years ago. The Opteron A1100 was a fantastic CPU. I still have one in production because I can't find a faster 32bit ARM CPU. No OEMs signed up 5 years ago and AMD then abandoned the line. Sucks because it was a genuinely great CPU back then.

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1 hour ago, ort said:

I ordered one. A MacBook Air with 16GB RAM and 1TB Hard Drive.

 

Very excited... 2-3 weeks for delivery though... boo...

 

Is it the one with the 7 or 8 core GPU?

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I just stuck with the 7-core model.

 

The more I read the more I feel like I probably didn't really need the 16GB of RAM either.

 

It sounds like we kinda need to rethink how much RAM we need with these machines.

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