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mactinkerlover

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2020
136
110
Alright, so let me explain my question. Back in the powerpc to intel transition days, the first intel macs ran on core duos. Then later that year, they introduced macs with intel core 2 duos. Here's the thing. The Core duos got much less support than the core 2 duos. The core 2 duos got all the way up to lion and some cases el capitain where as the core duos only got to snow leopard. My question is, do you think that the m1 won't get a full support cycle because it's a first generation device and it won't have certain technologies required to run the mac os in the future? Or do you think intel will get 4 more years and the m1 maybe will get 6 more years? What's your opinion on how long the m1 will be supported for?
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
7,994
5,856
Perth, Western Australia
I think these will do a lot better than the core duos.

The Core duos were an unfortunate thing for Apple, they were unfortunately not 64 bit capable and apple needed to switch ASAP. In an ideal world they would have gone straight to the Core 2, but it wasn't available.

The next platform from intel, core 2 WAS 64 bit capable, but Apple needed to switch from PowerPC urgently as there was simply nothing capable that would run in a laptop. If they didn't get something competitive "yesterday" they would have bled so many more sales the Mac would maybe have died. The Core cpu was not ideal but it was much better than what they had available in the PowerPC line-up for portables - and portables are/were the bulk of their sales.

But as Apple (and everyone else to be honest, anywhere cost wasn't the #1 concern) were really wanting OFF 32 bit as soon as possible (for various reasons: larger memory space, better security, better throughput on 64 bit code due to larger/more registers, etc. - all these things were pending due to the size of applications, new network security concerns, etc.), the core machines were prevented from moving forward.

This time: things are different. there's no major upcoming architecture shift required that the M1 isn't capable of, and Apple has had the ability to design exactly what they want, rather than bodge something "good enough for now" in there.

I think the M1 machines will get the standard life cycle of any other regular Apple device. It's not like the M1 is their first processor - they've been building their own processors for 10 years or so at this point, and the M1 is the result of what they've learned during that time in the iPad, iPhone, etc.. It's built specifically for purpose.
 
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Jimmy James

macrumors 603
Oct 26, 2008
5,486
4,065
Magicland
The speed should be sufficient for a long time. Intel CPU’s have been getting faster, if only incrementally. This machine adds multiples to their predecessors. With that kind of increase any early drop in support would be artificial.
 

ght56

macrumors 6502a
Aug 31, 2020
839
810
This is such a different situation than the last CPU transition that I think it is difficult to predict. My inclination is both Intel and M1 models will see a long period of support, and part of my belief on that is due to the volume of refurbished units that Apple now moves (and they may be selling both Intel and M1 Macs in a refurbished state for another 2-4 years from today.) Another part is the PR aspect combined with their tendency to sell refurbs for a while. But it's anyone's guess.
 

Colstan

macrumors regular
Jul 30, 2020
227
471
I owned the original PowerPC G4 Mac mini, and then the Core Duo Mac mini. I wished I had skipped the Core Duo version, because much more capable machines came quickly afterward.

While version 1.0 Apple products often have shorter life spans, it's impossible to tell right now if that is the case with these models. We don't know what Apple has planned for the future. We don't know how future Apple Silicon will support the much fabled ARMv9 instruction set. That may or may not be somewhat similar to the Core Duo to Core 2 Duo 64-bit transition. We don't know what new form factors Apple will introduce. We don't know what the maximal performace is for future Apple Silicon SoCs. It's too soon to say how much support the M1 will receive in the future. Apple doesn't even give us a timeline on macOS support for Intel x86.

Regarding myself, I'm probably going to wait until an M3 model is released, or however Apple markets it. I purchased a 2018 base model Mac mini two years ago as a "stopgap", because even at that time the "ARM Mac" rumors were reasonably strong. I wanted to wait and see what would become available. I've decided to wait another 2-3 years until a few hardware and software cycles have gone by and Apple Silicon is fully established. To tide myself over, I upgraded the Mac mini's system memory to 64GB DDR4 and purchased a Blackmagic RX 580 eGPU. That should last me plenty long enough until I am satisfied that the entire Mac ecosystem has caught up with the transition. At that point I will be able to judge the full range of the Mac product line.

The best advice is to simply buy a new Mac when you need one. The M1 models are the new and shiny, so some folks won't be able to resist. If they have the money and have a positive experience, then I am pleased for them. However, if your current Mac does the job, then there's no reason to jump on the Apple Silicon train just yet.
 

dingclancy23

macrumors 6502
Nov 15, 2015
250
335
If the M1 Macs won't get full support life, then that means software has advanced to leave the Intel Macs in the dust, which means the Intel laptops that we have right now will get cut much sooner.

The reason why I am buying the M1 Mac Mini is this will probably the cheapest it will ever be that has an Apple Silicon.
 
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Arctic Moose

macrumors 6502a
Jun 22, 2017
990
1,105
Gothenburg, Sweden
What's your opinion on how long the m1 will be supported for?
I have a hunch the initial M1 Macs will be cut off from support in less-than-average time. I do not think it will be due major processing power advances, but rather other things that will come with the coming design refreshes. I do not know what these would be, but I can imagine pencil support, "intelligence" that requires more of the neural engine, Face ID or functions that use UWB.
 

George Dao

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2020
7
6
Somewhere on the ground
For whatever the reason that happend with the first Intel Macs, it won't happen with M1. At least the M1 MBP will receive no less updates than the latest Intel MBP. I fear the opposite that the 16" will reach EOL with macOS 15.
 

Yebubbleman

macrumors 601
May 20, 2010
4,693
1,471
Los Angeles, CA
Alright, so let me explain my question. Back in the powerpc to intel transition days, the first intel macs ran on core duos. Then later that year, they introduced macs with intel core 2 duos. Here's the thing. The Core duos got much less support than the core 2 duos. The core 2 duos got all the way up to lion and some cases el capitain where as the core duos only got to snow leopard. My question is, do you think that the m1 won't get a full support cycle because it's a first generation device and it won't have certain technologies required to run the mac os in the future? Or do you think intel will get 4 more years and the m1 maybe will get 6 more years? What's your opinion on how long the m1 will be supported for?
If what you're asking is "will these M1 Macs have shorter support than their direct successors?", then I'd say that it's impossible to tell at this particular point, but that if I had to guess, I'd say the answer is yes. But that's more based on a history of gen 1 Apple products than anything specifically to do with THESE Apple products. Take it with at least a grain of salt.

If what you're asking is "will these M1 Macs have more support than their direct predecessors?", then I'd say that it's also impossible to tell at this particular point, but that if I had to guess, I'd say the answer is yes. But that's more based on the history of Snow Leopard as the first Mac OS X release to drop PowerPC and boast refining and thinning out the OS from the bloat that was Leopard. At some point, it will make sense for Apple to not have the whole OS be universal and for them to make new versions of the stock apps Apple Silicon only and I'd imagine that will come before Apple decides to drop support for M1 Macs.
 

throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
7,994
5,856
Perth, Western Australia
first gen devices always have shorter lifespans

intel macs
iPhone 2g
iPod touch
ipad

Depends how you look at it.

These aren't fully "first gen" really (outside of one specific part of it).

The processors have been built on a decade of experience. The enclosures and base designs are built on decades of experience.

It's not like the original iPad/iPhone/Watch where this is an entirely new product and as above they aren't using "whatever is available" to get themselves out of a bind.

These were developed over a long period of time using bespoke parts to re-implement something they've got decades of experience making.

It's like saying that when Apple went from 32 bit to 64 bit intel that the original 64 bit intel machines would have a short life imho. Its a processor upgrade to something better in every way, not a somewhat sideways/backward step like 64 bit ppc was to 32 bit intel.
 

adib

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2010
578
441
Singapore
If what you're asking is "will these M1 Macs have shorter support than their direct successors?", then I'd say that it's impossible to tell at this particular point, but that if I had to guess, I'd say the answer is yes. But that's more based on a history of gen 1 Apple products than anything specifically to do with THESE Apple products. Take it with at least a grain of salt.

If what you're asking is "will these M1 Macs have more support than their direct predecessors?", then I'd say that it's also impossible to tell at this particular point, but that if I had to guess, I'd say the answer is yes. But that's more based on the history of Snow Leopard as the first Mac OS X release to drop PowerPC and boast refining and thinning out the OS from the bloat that was Leopard. At some point, it will make sense for Apple to not have the whole OS be universal and for them to make new versions of the stock apps Apple Silicon only and I'd imagine that will come before Apple decides to drop support for M1 Macs.

w.r.t to Core Duo, macOS maintains 32-bit application support until Mojave. In other words, the operating system is mostly dual 32/64 bit – all frameworks are universal, except for the kernel. Apple could choose to support Core Duo until 2012 (5-year support) or even Mojave, but chose to drop OS support in Lion's release (2011).
 

thenewperson

macrumors 6502a
Mar 27, 2011
694
581
Good point. But at this point, wouldn't it be licensed out by NVIDIA? (Which historically didn't play well with Apple).
If they start their nonsense this quickly I feel like things may not end well for their purchase.
 

Luposian

macrumors 6502
Apr 10, 2005
309
188
I did a little background research on the PPC->Intel transition. As part of it, I also did a little checking on how long the oldest PPC G3 systems fared. Here is a snippet from my document file:

"Wait a sec… just looked and G3 “Beige” Macs (the version before the G3 B&W) were only officially supported up til MacOS X 10.2.8 (Jaguar)! Hmm… that means the earliest G3 Macs were only supported for about 2 years and 7 months, in MacOS X (as a new OS platform; not including MacOS 9, which was a previous OS architecture)."

So, if we assume the M1 is equivilent to the earliest G3 systems (and we (of course) have no previous "MacOS 9"-type previous support timeline), we can extrapolate a possible "phase out" of support by possibly as early as 11.3. No guarantee it will end that soon, of course, but... we should keep that in mind, just in case... ;)
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
17,152
6,407
Alright, so let me explain my question. Back in the powerpc to intel transition days, the first intel macs ran on core duos. Then later that year, they introduced macs with intel core 2 duos. Here's the thing. The Core duos got much less support than the core 2 duos. The core 2 duos got all the way up to lion and some cases el capitain where as the core duos only got to snow leopard. My question is, do you think that the m1 won't get a full support cycle because it's a first generation device and it won't have certain technologies required to run the mac os in the future? Or do you think intel will get 4 more years and the m1 maybe will get 6 more years? What's your opinion on how long the m1 will be supported for?
These should be supported for the full cycle. The only caveat is that M1 runs the ARM v8 instruction set (ARM's first that supported 64-bit). ARM v9 is coming next year. However, this time around, Apple has so many devices, such as the iPad Air, iPhone 12, and M1 Macs (and everything prior all the way back to the iPhone 5s) that run ARM v8 I don't think they will jettison support so quickly.
 
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throAU

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2012
7,994
5,856
Perth, Western Australia
These should be supported for the full cycle. The only caveat is that M1 runs the ARM v8 instruction set (ARM's first that supported 64-bit). ARM v9 is coming next year. However, this time around, Apple has so many devices, such as the iPad Air, iPhone 12, and M1 Macs (and everything prior all the way back to the iPhone 5s) that run ARM v8 I don't think they will jettison support so quickly.

They're also not "just" armv8

They're armv8 plus all the other new stuff Apple put in there.
 
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acidfast7_redux

Suspended
Nov 10, 2020
567
520
uk
How many years of support does one need?

I just updated my early-2013 rMBP to Catalina before it crapped out. That's 7 years and more than enough.

Honestly, 5 years of OS support is fine. I assume with Big Sur coinciding with the M chip delivery will ensure that the updates last at least until 2024/5.
 

dumastudetto

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2013
4,194
5,538
It's hard to say if macOS will even still be in active development in five years, but that's because I still believe the future of Mac is iPad Pro.
 

Yebubbleman

macrumors 601
May 20, 2010
4,693
1,471
Los Angeles, CA
w.r.t to Core Duo, macOS maintains 32-bit application support until Mojave. In other words, the operating system is mostly dual 32/64 bit – all frameworks are universal, except for the kernel. Apple could choose to support Core Duo until 2012 (5-year support) or even Mojave, but chose to drop OS support in Lion's release (2011).
Except that's not how it works. Supporting the running of an application type and supporting an OS on older hardware are not at all the same thing and are completely unrelated. Furthermore, even 32-bit applications designed to work on Mojave won't necessarily work on a Core Duo Mac capped at Snow Leopard.
 

SlCKB0Y

macrumors 68040
Feb 25, 2012
3,363
497
Sydney, Australia
I think the M1 machines will get the standard life cycle of any other regular Apple device. It's not like the M1 is their first processor - they've been building their own processors for 10 years or so at this point, and the M1 is the result of what they've learned during that time in the iPad, iPhone, etc.. It's built specifically for purpose.
I 100% agree with this. There will be no issues with these getting support for the usual 6 or 7 years. The hardware form factor is sound and proven, the SoC hardware is completely within Apples control and not new tech and it's highly likely they've been running macOS on their own silicon for years.

Because of the vertical integration they were able to just do everything they wanted from the first generation.
 
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