Apple Made Chips

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by WrightBrain, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. WrightBrain macrumors regular


    May 30, 2009
    So here's a question. I'm thinking about buying a new mac but the scuttlebutt is they will be moving off of Intel chips and on to Apple made chips in 2020.

    Now I know not all of the software will be optimized for those chips right away and they will basically have to run in emulation mode. The last time that happened with the move from PowerPC to Intel it took about three to five years before they stopped supporting the old chips. So theoretically any Intel mac purchased now would still be useful until 2025 or so.

    What do you think? Is it worth to wait for the new chips or just go ahead and buy the Intel mac?
  2. organicCPU macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2016
    If you think, you can make use of a new Mac... well, just buy one while you´re young and don´t wait until you get old :)
    And after that, you can dual boot an old macOS and a recent Windows on it :D

    If there´ll be an Apple designed processor in a new Mac, it probably will be ARM. As it is RISC architecture, it somehow reminds me of the good old PowerPC chips, that were RISC, too.
  3. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    Yup, emulation will be necessary for a while.

    There will be issues with system level drivers such as those for printers, scanners, audio interfaces, and similar hardware. The system level drivers often can't function inside of the emulation "envelop". A lot of older hardware will be orphaned when the revolution comes. Very few hardware manufacturers will be willing to develop new drivers for old discontinued hardware.

    That said, Apple has pulled off this type of transition successfully twice in the past. First, when they dropped the real MacOS and switched to "a wolf in sheep's clothing" (read: rebranded update of the NextOS, which itself was a GUI update to BSD Unix) and MacOS 9.2 ran in emulation. The second was the already mentioned switch from PowerPC RISC processors to Intel CISC processors where, again, the older software ran in a virtual machine environment. I'm confident that Apple will pull it off again, but there will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth during the transition that will make the current sea change in interfaces (descrete USB, mDP/TB, HDMI, ... <> USB-C) seem trivial.
  4. cruisin macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2014
    If (a big if) they do move, your Mac will still run fine for quite a while. And just how every device that is 6 months away is slightly better, you can spend eternity waiting for the "best" device.

    Get what you want today, and if you absolutely need the latest in tech then you can sell your existing model quite reasonably. Also remember that the new keyboard in their portables still has occasional dust ingress problems (even after the silicon damper) so if you get the newest tech you get to experience the newest problem as well. It is called the bleeding edge for a reason.
  5. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    I do see the transition being different than how the PPC->x86 transition went in terms of what products switched over first. I see the Macbook/Macbook Air being the first ones to change over, then the 13" MBP/Mac Mini, then 15" MBP, then iMac, and finally Mac Pro. Where Mac Pro( Powermac) and MBP( Powerbooks) were one of the first to get the Intel chips. Now if Apple will update the iMac/ Mac Pro with new Intel chips until they feel their ARM chips are ready to take over, I don't know. They did provide small updates to the PowerPC Macs during the transition, so maybe they will.
  6. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    It’s “partially” done already.
    iOS runs on Arm. Microsoft office was “adapted” to Arm.
    Moving to Arm on Mac OS is less of a problem. Highly likely already in testing. Probably could almost say “guaranteed”!
  7. nouveau_redneck macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2017
    They will not be converting all machines at once, therefore the most likely scenario is that they produce two versions of MacOS during the transition years, one Intel, and one ARM. Buy the machine if you want it. There are plenty of Intel MacOS updates coming.
  8. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    I think it's a mistake, but Apple seems determined to blow its own foot off.

    But, yeah, the iMac motherboards are basically notebook boards. The iMac itself is designed like a notebook, or a big tablet. Yet the idea of running iOS for the os on a desk system turns my stomach. I'm glad Windows 8 died because it had the 'tablet design' front end, which drove people nuts. They ended up having to remove it, and go back... It was like replacing the steering wheel and accelerator/brakes with a single joy stick. That 'improvement' would cause millions of wrecks, and deaths, and cost insurance companies trillions.
  9. iluvmacs99, Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019

    iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2019
    I think the transition from Intel to ARM would be quicker since you already have the apps and the accessories for the iPhones and iPads already in place. To the younger generation, the iPhones and iPads are like their laptops and their laptops are their desktops. Running ARM means easy integration between their iPhones and iPads for creative and possibly scientific pursuits. I think we will see a few powerful hybrid Macs (Intel + ARM chip) to accommodate both Intel and ARM apps for those of us transitioning and some ARM Macs without Intel chips in them to lower the entry prices but maintain a much higher profit margin. Right now, their costs are too high for even an entry model Mac Mini (up $300). With ARM, they would have a better control on costs where Intel is no longer involved. Apple is even interested in buying the Intel 5G modem division goes to show what their plans are, I think, will be an ARM computer that has a wireless internet connection rivalling physical broadband right now, allowing Gen Y and future Gen Z as they become adults to create,edit and publish their content on social media. Right now, I see them doing their stuff in trains, buses and in ferries all on those small screens. Why not a laptop ARM where they can sync seamlessly with their iPhone or iPads? This process could possibly take the same time as the transition between PowerPC to Intel, but I think it will be a measured transition mainly biased towards millennials and Generation Z (after millennials). It is the Generation Z would will only use an ARM based computer as they grew up mainly with either iPhone and Android whereas some of us grew up using a physical desktop computer running desktop apps. Gen Y and Z are accustomed to running apps on Android or iOS, so Apple is doing what is necessary to reboot their PC sales, which is floundering at the moment.

    I intend to wait until the announcement of the first hybrids or ARM computer before I buy my last powerful Intel mac at a really good price. The majority of my apps are Intel based except a few that are still Universal binary, so an ARM computer does not really benefit me much at all. Whereas an Intel 4-8 core with a powerful GPU will benefit me more now and for the next few years. I think these will eventually lose their value and I think for us who are the boomer and Gen X people, we would be gravitated towards Intel ARM hybrid, whereas the Gen Y and Z would go all in ARM, especially Gen Z where their methods of communication or expression of themselves is mainly via video and movies as opposed to Gen Y with mostly texts and boomer/Gen X with mostly emails and text blogs.
  10. Cosmosent macrumors 6502a


    Apr 20, 2016
    La Jolla, CA
    I would NOT wait, & I do NOT think it's gonna happen as some suggest.

    I believe AAPL's processors will CO-exist with Intel processors in future Macs, NOT replace them.
  11. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    I agree that this is a possibility, but feel it is somewhat unlikely as this would pose big software problem. There is no way that Intel Macs would survive on the market after the introduction of ARM Macs. It would not only require that Apple compile macOS separately for each platform, but also include both an Intel>ARM emulation component in the ARM versions and a completely separate ARM>Intel component in the Intel version.

    The core OS is relatively easy to manage in a dual processor environment. The two emulation components are a completely different matter. They would require separate development, which is expensive. I think that when they jump they'll jump in with both feet.
  12. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    The only way this would happen in 2020 is if they announce it at WWDC on June 3. Otherwise, it'll be 2021 at the earliest. So, while I normally wouldn't encourage someone to wait for new technology if they can benefit from the current technology, at this point it's just another month.

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11 March 2, 2019