ARM Procssors in Mac's and will I Still be Able to Run Windows?

eljanitor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 10, 2011
391
2
It was nice of Apple to change to Intel processors years ago. I was finally able to load Windows on my mac without an emulator. This became useful to me because I would often come across devices that were not Mac friendly, and required Windows, or Internet Explorer to set up, or make adjustments.

Things like routers, and DVR's for CCTV systems still won't let you access their GUI using a Mac. Not to mention they can be a general pain in the rear if you try to use the command line to configure them, or they just won't let you period. So I know that we've all heard about Apple thinking about using ARM processors, and so far I haven't heard much about putting them in things like MacBook Pros.

My question is if Apple decides to put an ARM processor in a Mac will that automatically deny a field tech like myself the ability to use windows without emulation?
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
652
238
Key West FL
...
My question is if Apple decides to put an ARM processor in a Mac will that automatically deny a field tech like myself the ability to use windows without emulation?
Without emulation, not the normal "Intel i386" Windows. Only Windows RT and Windows Phone can run on ARM processor architecture.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Without emulation, not the normal "Intel i386" Windows. Only Windows RT and Windows Phone can run on ARM processor architecture.
Thing is, Windows RT is now all but dead in the water. And even if it were otherwise alive and well, it's not available to install on any device capable of running it like x86 Windows is. You couldn't just slap it on your ARM based Macbook and go on your merry way.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,872
368
Inside
Nope (at least not yet), but it's still something else that can put onto ARM based Macs.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Short, simple answer? Yup. It would.
No it wouldn't. Because Apple hardware is on virtually the same hardware that windows runs on it, you can install windows natively, i.e., bootcamp. or use virtualization.

Apple's ARM processor cannot run windows and MS is all but killing of windows RT. Plus I'm sure there's so much difference in Apple's ARM architecture that RT couldn't run even if it were available.

As for virtualization, that's not possible because what are you virtualizing - another arm processor?

You need emulation, a software application to emulate the intel chipset. That was done before when apple was on the PPC and it ran horribly, I know because I used macs back then and had my own copy of VirtualPC.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
No it wouldn't. Because Apple hardware is on virtually the same hardware that windows runs on it, you can install windows natively, i.e., bootcamp. or use virtualization.
Yup, I know. He was asking if Apple switching to ARM would deny him the use of Windows unless he were to use an emulator, and I said it would. For the very reasons you stated, going ARM would kill Bootcamp.

edit: though here's an interesting thing. Windows 10 is coming to Raspberry Pi 2, which is ARM based.
 
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theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,037
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My question is if Apple decides to put an ARM processor in a Mac will that automatically deny a field tech like myself the ability to use windows without emulation?
Yes - it would be the end of bootcamp and virtualizers like Parallels and VMWare and a return to emulators (anybody remember Softwindows?) - however, emulation would probably be OK for running a web browser to access routers etc.

However - I wouldn't lose sleep over the possibility that Apple will slap ARMs in their pro range overnight. Its not as inconceivable as some people make out, but neither does it sound likely. ARM-based Macs would make most sense in the MacBook Air range or even a new range that "replaced" the iPad now that tablets seem to be soooo half-an-hour ago. ARM-based Pros would be more problematic- dependent on things like Adobe porting Creative Suite and Apple working with ARM to produce pro-class ARM processors.

In fact, having the Air range running on ARM and the Pro range running Intel might be a nice business strategy in an age when an Air packs enough power for the majority of users.
 

firewood

macrumors 604
Jul 29, 2003
7,634
869
Silicon Valley
ARM CPUs emulate x86 PCs too slowly to be really useful. It would likely be faster (except for games) to run your Windows PC in the cloud (using VMWare, Citrix, et.al.) and use your hypothetical ARM MacBook as a remote desktop.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,120
432
Cascadia
It's WAAAY too soon to start worrying about this. Claims of Apple moving to ARM in Macs are pure speculation at this point.

While I do think they could pull it off, I don't see it happening any time soon. Intel still has a LARGE advantage over ARM in laptop-power processors. Even the slowest MacBook Air blows out of the water the fastest ARM tablet CPU.

Yes, in 4-6 years, it might be different, but definitely not in the short term. One of the few "for certain" predictions I'm willing to make about Apple products: We will see Intel Macs sold for at MINIMUM the next 5 years.
 

eljanitor

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 10, 2011
391
2
Emulator is not such a bad thing, but I do remember awhile back pre-intel Macs, Neededing access to a Windows machine, and being told by an employee who was my shadow for that job, something along the lines of, " Well you can just use DOS and log in through the command line." Hmmmm no such thing at that time DOS through Windows emulation on a Mac wouldn't let you log on to the device / computer. Windows laptop was needed. So it's nice to have everything on one computer not having to duct tape my mac to a PC to get paid.
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
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432
Cascadia
Almost every Apple rumor in recent years turned out to be true.
No, you're just remembering the turned-out-true ones. And many of them took YEARS from first rumor to actual release. (The iPhone was rumored for a long time; we've had rumors of an Apple television set for multiple years now; we had rumors of a tablet Mac long before the iPad, and continue to have those rumors go unanswered.)

LOTS of things are rumored for Apple - not all of them become true.
 

AllieNeko

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2003
1,000
57
Thing is, Windows RT is now all but dead in the water. And even if it were otherwise alive and well, it's not available to install on any device capable of running it like x86 Windows is. You couldn't just slap it on your ARM based Macbook and go on your merry way.
They're killing the NAME Windows RT. Windows 10 will be one-Windows-for-everything and will run on ARM hardware (including the Raspberry Pi, and licences of the Raspberry Pi version will be free!).

Now, that said - ARM systems tend to be much more closed than Intel systems and whether Apple would ALLOW Windows on an ARM Mac... I doubt it. It'll probably be possible, but with effort.

Two, this is all theoretical. I'd expect an Intel iPad before an ARM Mac, to be honest. Two years ago, no. But Intel is doing great with low power. That's why Windows RT failed in the market - full Windows app compatibility with similar battery life and similar pricing?

Because, that's the other thing. Windows 10 will support ARM. But forget about most Windows programs.
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
652
238
Key West FL
Yup, I know. He was asking if Apple switching to ARM would deny him the use of Windows unless he were to use an emulator, and I said it would. For the very reasons you stated, going ARM would kill Bootcamp.
...
... and it would kill every single current MacOSX application and all current versions of OSX itself.
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,779
211
UK
... and it would kill every single current MacOSX application and all current versions of OSX itself.
The past has already proven that that won't stop Apple.

Windows already runs on ARM processors, although I doubt there are many apps available. Windows 10 may change that, I guess we'll see.
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Apple has done a processor transition twice they can do it again.
They can do it, but it will be then at the expense of their customer base.

The last transition was done because they had too, PPC platform was such that apple couldn't survive as a company relying on a chipset that IBM was unable to provide a mobile version of the G5, and the G4 wasn't really being developed any longer for laptop/desktop purposes by Motorola.

Now if they transition completly over, Apple will be cutting off all those customers who want/need the intel chipset.

I think instead of a complete change over, they'll do what MS did (and failed). Provide an intel based computer and an ARM based computer (as a low cost alternative).

I also think the results will be the same as MS - utter failure.
 

kds1

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Feb 17, 2013
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314
New York, New York
Apple has done a processor transition twice they can do it again.
Oh God, not again. I can't take it. And I'm sure MS and Adobe et al don't want to do it either. Still, it's always Apple that drags the rest of the industry kicking and screaming into the future. So, it may happen. Who knows.