Apple officially bins Intel in favour of ARM

Ahh if only ARM was still owned by a small tech company outside Cambridge… Anyhow.

Major news, if not unexpected. Not sure what to make of it. I always thought it odd that Apple chose to go with Intel during the mid 2000s. I guess the partnership has served them well, but there have been problems of late, for those that follow these things…

  1. Intel’s lack of innovation has meant that new releases of flagship products like the Macbook Pro have been filled with gimmicks. Touchbar anyone?

  2. high-end Mac’s and Macbooks have suffered hugely with high temperatures which leads to thermal throttling and reduced performance.

Not good in a premium (priced) system

Will ARM solve that? Maybe. eventually. By being back in control of hardware development, Apple can do more exciting thing and focus hardware to be best when using certain software… For example, make the CPU specialise in rendering After Effects or Premier Pro faster than any similar system - This would have professionals flocking to it, even though there might be less advantage to the mainstream user.

Secondly, ARM are known for being cool and efficient. This might stop the laptops hitting 100 degrees under load lone they do now.

The question then has to be… What the fuck is happening to Intel? Dominated by Ryzen in the home and gaming market, they were caught napping in the professional workstation market too as high end ryzens and threadrippers piss on Intel Xeon… There are even situations where server providers and cloud farms have moved away from Intel - something they have always had the monopoly on.

I wonder what their sales predictions are this year…

Article:

3 Likes

Just my two cents. The heat issues are due to inadequate cooling done by Apple them selves(specially on laptops) and the poor design/lack of any new design. Have a look at some of the Rossmann group videos.

1 Like

Yeah, I regularly watch Louis - just to get a bike guided tour of New York or to learn about US real estate lol :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

LTT did an episode just a few days ago where the Macbook Air was shown to have inadequate thermal compound and poor connection to airflow. So yes, It is Apples doing because they make the case and heatsinks - but to cram in as much as they do into a chassis as it is, there is only so much you can do with the chips running as hot as they are.

My MBP rarely turbo’d - Only doing so when it ran out of RAM. I think that is what Apple aim for - silent work spaces. Compared to other laptops - Like Hayley’s Dell XPS - it happily goes full turbo when under load… And you know about it.

If ARM chips can be silent (well, cool) and powerful - then Apple might be on to something…

1 Like

I was confused at first until I spotted that Apple are using ARM as a platform to develop their own chips on. I thought you meant they were jumping to off-the-shelf ARM chips and wondered what the hell they were doing.

I’m not making the connection here - how is Intel’s lazy attitude affecting Apple from innovating?

Or do you mean when compared with the strides AMD have made?

I think the fault here is shared. Yes Intel have let their temps creep up and they’ve used porridge instead of thermal under the spreaders of their newer lines, but Apple just don’t seem to understand how much cooling they need when their systems do more than browse the web.

I see that being in control of the hardware means they can focus on tweaking performance and thermals though.

Properly OT: I can see this going very well for Apple. I’ve never been a fan of their stuff, but even I can’t deny that they get a lot out of their own kit.

Well, because at the core of the system is the CPU… and from a designer/creator user point of view what you want is steps forward in hardware architecture. Intel couldn’t offer that, but Apple have to offer something for a new launch.

My point is rather than saying “This is the most powerful Mac ever that is virtually silent and doesn’t throttle! - Oh and we added touch bar to make using some applications easier” - they pushed the touch bar as a primary addition to the range… like “Buy this MacBook! It’s the same as your last MacBook - but with a touch bar!”.

Granted, it’s not all Intel’s fault. It’s a lack of thinking and development from Apple - But they seem to be catching up. They need to make a niche product that attract certain types of people. At the moment, they offer overpriced PCs.

I have been reading more into this: and this is probably the most interesting thing. The current iPad Pro uses an ARM processor that is as powerful as a MacBook Pro from a few years ago. Well, my 2015 MBP was still pretty powerful - so if that ARM chip can handle that without the need for a giant heatsink and a whirling fan, then future developments are going to be really exciting.

1 Like

Yeah I get the CPU is the core of the PC, so whatever you do with a system you’ll end up fighting a pig of a CPU the whole way. I suppose I just don’t appreciate how much Apple can/could get out of getting their hands on things all the way to the metal.

I think it might be my fairly simplistic way of looking at CPUs in terms of system building as grunt and cores for the sake of gaming and some chunky programs.

Regardless, I’m interested to see them run with this.

1 Like

I think AMD has forced a lot of hands here. They have disrupted the market in many areas.

I mean, I’m running an 8-core, 16 thread Ryzen CPU with 32GB RAM - It’s cost me… probably about a grand if you include my new 4K monitors that is as good as an Apple one.

Apple had core fan bois in the creative world that would buy their stuff regardless (or rent in the corporate world) - but even they are moving away from Apple because the cost difference is insane. An 8-core Xeon in a iMac Pro with 32 GB RAM starts at £4,899. That is fucking insane. No other word for it. When you have a project than needs to render and you’re using the same program - which machine do you use?

Intel are losing their market. Apple are losing their market. Apple have one advantage - and that is their OS. If they don’t fuck that up, and they do well with ARM, then they could be on to a winner over the next 3-5-10 years…

They’ve been lazy in that they haven’t made this move sooner. But like I said, their hand has been forced.

1 Like

I’m so friggin happy this is the case. I was team AMD for a long time and hated watching what happened to them. Intel really pushed it with their lazy releases. They deserve a kick in the chops.

1 Like

Apple said it will ship its first ARM Mac before the end of the year, and complete the Intel -> ARM transition within two years

Shit me, that seems crazy quick!

Edit: Especially with the Pandemic…

1 Like

Interestingly Intels share price rose 1% of the back of this.

Really? lol

Of course, we never know the full story - It could be the case that Apple has somehow forced Intel to sandbag development because they knew they couldn’t cool their chips - and now Intel are free, they can actually pursue a better development path… who knows… :stuck_out_tongue:

Think it was specifically of the back of the timeline of 2 years. So it should be something the company can manage to transition from.

Intel’s shares rose 1 per cent in response to the timeline for the change.

https://www.ft.com/content/8d02b979-fe87-4b5c-80a3-72ce575d7dc2

I need a new macbook (did have a 16" MBP on order, but cancelled it when covid19 caused delivery times to escalate from 1 week to 3 months on a built to order machine), so now i’m holding off until I can get one of the ARM models.

We are debating getting a DTK for work, as i’ve recently converted one of our work systems onto MacOS, and it would probably be a good idea to get it moved to working with BS before release.