ARM based MacBook Pro discussion [merged]

ctyrider

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Jul 15, 2012
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Yep. Which is why ARM-based "pro" MacOS computers are a pipe dream, perpetuated by forum nerds. I honestly don't understand why so many people are on this bandwagon, when it makes so little sense to Apple and MacOS users.

The only semi-plausible reason for ARM Macs that I've heard is cost savings on A-series chips versus what Intel chargers for their CPUs. I don't think that's significant enough for Apple to make this leap, which will otherwise do nothing but cause pain to the end users.

What we will likely see iPadOS evolve and expand into new form factors, like dual-screen clamshells. That's is going to be the future of Apple's investments.

However, MacOS and Mac product line is going to remain right where it is - Intel x86 based OS with some peripheral functions aided by ARM co-provcessors (such as T2 chip and its successors). ARM MacBook Pro (in a classical sense) won't be happening.



They aren't going to build an ARM chip that idles lower than 1.3W by a meaningful amount, they aren't going to build one that's enough faster to make up for the effects of emulation (and some software will be emulated unless they are willing to LOSE a lot of software either to just plain not existing or to getting iPad versions instead of the full ones).

Microsoft is running emulated Office on their own Surface Pro X!!!! MS is not going to port Office to ARM on Mac when they can't even get their act together on their own OS - they'll either Catalyst Office for iPad or let Office for Intel Mac run emulated!
 
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jinnyman

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Yep. Which is why ARM-based "pro" MacOS computers are a pipe dream, perpetuated by forum nerds. I honestly don't understand why so many people are on this bandwagon, when it makes so little sense to Apple and MacOS users.

The only semi-plausible reason for ARM Macs that I've heard is cost savings on A-series chips versus what Intel chargers for their CPUs. I don't think that's significant enough for Apple to make this leap, which will otherwise do nothing but cause pain to the end users.

What we will likely see iPadOS evolve and expand into new form factors, like dual-screen clamshells. That's is going to be the future of Apple's investments.

However, MacOS and Mac product line is going to remain right where it is - Intel x86 based OS with some peripheral functions aided by ARM co-provcessors (such as T2 chip and its successors). ARM MacBook Pro (in a classical sense) won't be happening.
I'm skeptical about Arm Mac also, and agree with what you say. But it's Apple, and going ARM gives Apple one good advantage. They can market their Mac detached from easily comparable PC x64 chip generations. They don't have to stick with annual update like now where Apple's constantly under pressure when a new generation of CPU chip is available in market. Going ARM will make Apple easier to market their computer as like generation less and "good enough" Mac for a longer period thus by maximizing their profit. It's evil approach, and I don't have confidence enough in Apple to believe they won't do it.
 
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faust

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I could see a MBP paired with Intel/AMD CPU and ARM CPU if that's feasible, but otherwise? I'd much rather Apple not damn it's customers by using ARM CPUs as the sole CPU in their computers. The PowerPC days are over, and shifting from a processor architecture shared across the computer market to a closed ARM architecture powered computer would be such a bad idea. We can see how awful of an idea it is with how the ARM powered Windows Surface laptop. You'd have to emulate any program not natively designed for ARM, and that would come with a massive performance drop.
 

Howard2k

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We can see how awful of an idea it is with how the ARM powered Windows Surface laptop. You'd have to emulate any program not natively designed for ARM, and that would come with a massive performance drop.
🤣 do you honestly think they’d do that? That they would replace the current Pro with something that performs like the ARM surface laptop? Really? I’m not hugely optimistic, but I’m reasonably certain that they can mitigate the majority of these concerns in the majority of circumstances.
 
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ctyrider

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🤣 do you honestly think they’d do that? That they would replace the current Pro with something that performs like the ARM surface laptop? Really? I’m not hugely optimistic, but I’m reasonably certain that they can mitigate the majority of these concerns in the majority of circumstances.
Mitigate those concerns how? Even if Apple re-wrote all of the in-house MacOS apps for ARM (not likely) - do you seriously expect Microsoft and Adobe re-writing Office and Creative Suite? Microsoft can't even port Office to their own Windows for ARM. And I am not even talking about smaller developers - they barely support x86 MacOS and iPadOS as it is. Twitter won't even release a MacOS app, until that Catalyst junk came along. What makes you think those devs are going to support yet another proprietary desktop OS by Apple? They won't.

And short of native ARM apps - there is no getting around an emulation layer, which is going to be the same garbage user experience as Surface. You can't just hand wave these issues away - "oh it's Apple, they will figure something out". They won't, and hopefully they are smart enough to not go down this rathole.
 

Falhófnir

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Well quite apart from the doom mongers I'm eager to see what Apple can do with their own chips in this space. They've got impressive performance out of their phone and tablet chips, let's see what they can achieve in a laptop form factor. I'm not worried about app support, iOS is a much more active developer ecosystem so even in the unlikely event Apple says jump and some developers don't, new alternatives to their products will no doubt be forthcoming soon after.
 

Stephen.R

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Well quite apart from the doom mongers I'm eager to see what Apple can do with their own chips in this space. They've got impressive performance out of their phone and tablet chips, let's see what they can achieve in a laptop form factor. I'm not worried about app support, iOS is a much more active developer ecosystem so even in the unlikely event Apple says jump and some developers don't, new alternatives to their products will no doubt be forthcoming soon after.
Sorry but 1000 Chinese made fart apps and emoji sticker apps aren’t going to replace a lot of tools people use to make money with Macs.
 

Howard2k

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Mitigate those concerns how? Even if Apple re-wrote all of the in-house MacOS apps for ARM (not likely) - do you seriously expect Microsoft and Adobe re-writing Office and Creative Suite? Microsoft can't even port Office to their own Windows for ARM. And I am not even talking about smaller developers - they barely support x86 MacOS and iPadOS as it is. Twitter won't even release a MacOS app, until that Catalyst junk came along. What makes you think those devs are going to support yet another proprietary desktop OS by Apple? They won't.

And short of native ARM apps - there is no getting around an emulation layer, which is going to be the same garbage user experience as Surface. You can't just hand wave these issues away - "oh it's Apple, they will figure something out". They won't, and hopefully they are smart enough to not go down this rathole.

I'm not a developer (obviously) so I'm not exactly sure how they will mitigate these issues. From what I understand, "much" software developed today is abstracted from the hardware anyway, so Apple needs to have libraries up to date but it should be plane sailing from that perspective. Developers who are creating apps using lower level languages may have more complex issues. Adobe is writing ARM versions of some Apps for Windows. They have also been creating ARM based apps for iOS.

None of that matters though. I didn't say I know how to mitigate the issues, I said that Apple won't follow Microsoft's lead with a crippled ARM laptop. If Apple roll out an ARM based Macbook it will perform like a "Pro", or it will be a lower end lower performing unit and won't be called a "Pro" device. We won't see Apple replace Intel based Pro laptops with substantially poorer performing ARM based Pro laptops.

They won't, and hopefully they are smart enough to not go down this rathole.
Exactly. If this isn't something that they can do "well" (to whatever standard, some people will always complain of course) then they won't do it.
 

MBX

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I absolutely love my iPad Pro. It’s screaming and no fans, no heat, no noise. And feels so ‘next gen’. It’s already almost as fast as a MacBook Pro, now Imagine the A13X or A14.

Can’t wait for Apple ARM Macs.

 

ctyrider

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Jul 15, 2012
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Nope. iOS ecosystem offers no real professional grade apps. Even Adobe Photoshop and MS Office for iOS are still bastardized and dumbed down "mobile" versions. They are fine as supplemental tools, but they are not suitable as full replacements of desktop versions.

Apple's introduction of "ARM laptops" will be an extension of iPadOS into new form factors. I predict something like a dual-screen clamshell with lower part being able to act as soft keyboard (something akin to Surface Duo).

It will NOT be a wholesale porting of classic MacOS to ARM or any kind of ARM MacBook running desktop MacOS apps.


I'm not worried about app support, iOS is a much more active developer ecosystem so even in the unlikely event Apple says jump and some developers don't, new alternatives to their products will no doubt be forthcoming soon after.
 
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MBX

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It will NOT be a wholesale porting of classic MacOS to ARM or any kind of ARM MacBook running desktop MacOS apps.
Ah, you must be working at Apple on that MacOS Dev team since you’re so sure.
 

CE3

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Nov 26, 2014
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🤣 do you honestly think they’d do that? That they would replace the current Pro with something that performs like the ARM surface laptop? Really? I’m not hugely optimistic, but I’m reasonably certain that they can mitigate the majority of these concerns in the majority of circumstances.
No, but I think the Surface Laptop could be a sign that a Mac transition to ARM will be slower than some are expecting.
 
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pratikindia

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There are too many compromises with arm now. They are unable to run 64 bit apps properly. Apple won't put that chip in to Mac anytime son.
 

Howard2k

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There are too many compromises with arm now. They are unable to run 64 bit apps properly. Apple won't put that chip in to Mac anytime son.
There‘s already an ARM chip there (T2). That doesn’t make it an ARM based Macbook, but I think they’re pretty heavily invested already. Maybe instead of a minority of tasks on ARM and a majority on Intel, they transition to a majority on ARM and a minority on Intel, leveraging the availability of thermally efficiency, if that actually is the case in real life (7nm vs 14nm, 5nm vs 10nm etc), and lower powered Intel processors.

Not sure what you mean about them not being able to run 64 bit apps.
 

firewood

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Emulation? Couldn’t care less. All the Intel-locked multi-thousand dollar CAD apps run on corporate servers or AWS, not on my laptop. All my pro full stack development tools either run on macOS or Linux, and are already ported to ARM Linux, or can be by Apple (Xcode, etc.). Adobe tools, Mathematica, Tensorflow, Docker, Kubernetes, etc., all run on ARM systems already.

If Apple dropped some new heat-sinked/turbo-boosted A chip in my MacBook Pro tomorrow, with the usual macOS utilities in arm64, the only problem I might notice might be better battery life.
 

Altherekho

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Aug 29, 2019
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Emulation? Couldn’t care less. All the Intel-locked multi-thousand dollar CAD apps run on corporate servers or AWS, not on my laptop. All my pro full stack development tools either run on macOS or Linux, and are already ported to ARM Linux, or can be by Apple (Xcode, etc.). Adobe tools, Mathematica, Tensorflow, Docker, Kubernetes, etc., all run on ARM systems already.

If Apple dropped some new heat-sinked/turbo-boosted A chip in my MacBook Pro tomorrow, with the usual macOS utilities in arm64, the only problem I might notice might be better battery life.
What about Logic,Reason ,komplete by Native instruments,Omnisphere to name a few,when those will land on Arm then i suppose we could see the shift but not until then
 

Hessel89

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Sep 27, 2017
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Given the time Apple took to transition from 32 to 64 bit I don't think it's likely they're switching to ARM soon. It's not very productive to be worrying about it now too.
 

skipjakk

macrumors member
Jun 24, 2004
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You naysayers seem to have forgotten that this information came from Intel, not forum nerds, so there is some credibility.
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/apple-mac-arm-cpus-2020-intel,38668.html

Also, porting An app from Intel to Arm should be trivial in most cases(I do some development). This does require updated software API’s however, and as Apple seems to be having issues on this front, 2020 may be too early...

Finally, given the differences iin thermal requirements, Apple might create custom silicon for their Mac lineup, without the thermal limitations of the A series chips...
 
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Stephen.R

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You naysayers seem to have forgotten that this information came from Intel, not forum nerds, so there is some credibility.
You meant, this rumour has been beaten up by a series of article 'headlines', right?

Axios reports it as:
Although the company has yet to say so publicly, developers and Intel officials have privately told Axios they expect such a move as soon as next year.
Which TomsHardware then re-reports as:
Intel Confirms Apple Macs Will Switch to Arm CPUs by 2020, Says Report
Which you're then taking as gospel.

Will there be Macs released in 2020 with an ARM processor in them? Yes, because they've been releasing Macs with an ARM processor in them since 2016, in the form of the T1 and T2.

Will there be Macs released in 2020 that use an ARM processor as the primary, sole processor (with no Intel processor)? Extremely unlikely.
 
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skipjakk

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Jun 24, 2004
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You meant, this rumour has been beaten up by a series of article 'headlines', right?

Axios reports it as:


Which TomsHardware then re-reports as:


Which you're then taking as gospel.

Will there be Macs released in 2020 with an ARM processor in them? Yes, because they've been releasing Macs with an ARM processor in them since 2016, in the form of the T1 and T2.

Will there be Macs released in 2020 that use an ARM processor as the primary, sole processor (with no Intel processor)? Extremely unlikely.
Actually, look at my post again, I said ”credible”, did you not read my post? Because you quoted it. Or do you really think the word credible means “Gospel” ??? Maybe read my post again where I said 2020 may be too early..... it seems like you didn’t read my post before you replied.

or maybe look at this:https://9to5mac.com/2018/10/17/apple-custom-chips-macs-apple-car/

Ming-ChI Kuo, well respected and Accurate forecaster also confirmed the move.

I mean do you really expect us to believe you, a random guy on a forum, over industry experts with credible sources who have a pretty accurate track records? Where’s your evidence, where’s your proof?
 
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high heaven

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Dec 7, 2017
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The biggest problem is the amount of apps base on desktop apps.

Who's gonna develop and change their apps to ARM-based Mac? If nobody does that, then ARM-based Mac will fail due to a lack of professional software. At least Adobe is trying something.
 
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Nacho98

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This thread should be in the Macbook forum instead. If there's a full ARM Mac, it won't be a Pro to start with.
 

maflynn

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Who's gonna develop and change their apps to ARM-based Mac? If nobody does that, then ARM-based Mac will fail due to a lack of professional software. At least Adobe is trying something.
That was one major concern with Apple with their PPC to Intel transition, and so they included an emulation so that legacy apps would still run (albeit poorly) while giving the developer the opporunity to recode for the new platform.

I suspect the move to running iOS apps within macOS is the firs step to the migration to ARM.