interesting articles about the move to 64-bit

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Zerilos, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Zerilos macrumors 6502a

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  2. Iphone5preorder macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Figures. But I don't care. iPhone has the best touchscreen, best functionality, and best care.
     
  3. Zerilos thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Two words: It's cool.
     
  4. whtrbt7 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    It's a decent read. The move to 64 bit now for Apple is posturing for the next 2-3 years. It's going to allow easier transition for developers to 64 bit for their apps. It also allows for much better hardware to be put into future units. Samsung is currently running 1 year behind in hardware architecture (guts, not their AMOLED screens or the sheer amount of stuff they put in their phones) but the main issue isn't with Samsung who has pretty much hit the ceiling for 32 bit architecture. The main issue is with Android and it's fragmented app development to transition to 64 bit which I think might take an extra 2-4 years. Apple basically created "the idiot's phone" which I think is great because it means that I never have to think about or worry about the guts of the phone. It's just going to be invisibly fast, secure, and reliable. The problem with Apple right now is a PR one due to what seems like a limitation on its market cap. Until they break the image of their limitations/marketing, they won't be seen as prominent as it once was.
     
  5. cirus macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Much of this is propaganda.

    Games are GPU limited much before running into CPU limitations. No idevice uses 4GB+ and no single app uses more than 2GB. 64 bit pointers will be larger requiring more space and bandwidth (game size is not going to really increase as games are primarily graphics) requiring a bit more power. The first 64 bit program were no better or worse than the 32 bit programs they tried to replace.

    Games are not suddenly going to be better. I hope these people realize that pretty much EVERY SINGLE computer game runs a 32 bit binary.

    Its nice but rather pointless at this point in time.
     
  6. eoblaed macrumors 68000

    eoblaed

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    #6
    Too bad we can't have a policy that prevents people that clearly don't understand the full implications of a true 64 bit architecture (from a hardware, software, and hardware/software integration point of view) from posting on this topic.

    I know people mean well when they way it's rubbish, or propaganda, or hype. I know they think they have the whole package when they mention 4GB of ram, or doubling of pointer sizes ... but there is so, so much more to 64 bit architecture than just directly accessing >4GB of RAM, or the fact that pointer sizes double.

    The size of the bus, the reduction in trips out to memory and back, the dramatic reduction in cycles required for any math requiring 64 bit (or larger) data types, the doubling of registers. There is so much that, done right, can take good advantage of the new architecture. Much of the underlying OS that the phone runs on, for example. Many types of applications will benefit. Anything that involves encryption will greatly benefit.

    Don't believe people that say it's just a marketing bullet point. It's not. Will it suddenly make your phone achieve Warp Factor 10? No. But it will have a very real impact and opens up more possibilities not only for the OS but for new hardware, applications, and design considerations.
     
  7. Starfyre macrumors 68030

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    #7
    If 64-bit was as big of a deal as it is not marketing rubbish, Microsoft would have been able to convince much more consumers to run 64-bit windows with less than 4GB of RAM.
     
  8. Zerilos thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Apparently there are some game developers who disagree with you. Keep in mind that much of the benefit will be in the adoption of ARMv8.
     
  9. eoblaed, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    eoblaed macrumors 68000

    eoblaed

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    #9
    Except that, at the time, 64bit hardware wasn't yet ready for the consumer market. It was prohibitively expensive.

    Once the hardware started becoming feasible for the home consumer to purchase, we next ran into the issue that there were no good tools to convert 32 bit software to take advantage of 64 bit. It was a manual, laborious, and risky process. It took a long time to break through the inertia of 32 bit.

    What Apple's done with the 5S and the iOS development tools, though, is remove that inertia. It's a brilliant move on their part. The Infinity Blade developers were able to get a single developer to port their newest iOS game to native 64 bit in /two hours/. That's ridiculously nothing. The PC world had /nothing/ like that. Don't look at how long it took for 64 bit architecture to take hold in the PC consumer market as an indication of its merits and flaws.
     
  10. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    #10
    sheldon's girlfriend brings some 'interesting' points.
     
  11. whtrbt7 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    The problem with Microsoft going 64 bit back in the day was that they didn't enroll their developers. Not a whole lot of people knew what hardware was 64 bit back then. Developers weren't given development tools to make 64 bit applications back in the day. Converting 32 bit applications to 64 bit applications was also really really difficult back then too. It's only slightly easier now.

    Apple does a few things differently. First they think differently about computing. I know that seems like some half-baked marketing concept but it's true. They look at what architecture will help consumers take advantage of their technology first. Apple empowers their developers by making their Xcode development tools free. They also have the App Store which helps to distribute the app after it's complete. They also give higher margins than most other app stores in the wild. When Apple switches to 64 bit, they supply developers with 64 bit authoring tools. Basically the whole argument for 64 bit is efficiency. You do more with less.
     
  12. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #12
    That impressed the hell out of me as well, and I'm surprised that it hasn't been picked up on very much (or at all).

    I also just read a few things in articles that mentioned that the 64 bit CPU is theoretically very useful for the camera processing and image capturing stuff, and also for the finger print ID stuff. They were quite clear that--if implemented correctly--the 64 bit CPU would make these tasks easier and faster.

    I've also read people speculating that this early move to 64 bit on a mobile CPU has a lot to do with moving the macbook airs to the A-series processors.

    Honestly, for anyone who really knew about the CPU industry (pre-swift cores and pre-PA semi acquisition) the move to a custom made, hand laid out CPU was shocking. I read a whole long article saying why Apple wouldn't want to get into the CPU design business just for the cell phones. And yet they did!

    There are two types of ARM licenses. One type allows you to use an ARM core, and from what I can tell it's fairly common and easy to buy. The other type allows you to use the ARM instruction set in your own custom cores. Palo Alto Semiconductor has one of those rare second types of licenses, and is presumably part of the reason Apple bought them, along with the fact that they are said to have over 100 of the best chip designers on the planet working for them.

    The CPU's in both the 5 and now the 5S have had custom designed cores as well as SOC's. It's really quite remarkable. And it allows Apple to be 6 months ahead of the competition in their CPU's. Or so I've read.

    And yet Apple seems to get very little credit for going to all this trouble! Or not on MR, anyway. Well, I for one am freaking impressed. And I do think it's very likely that Apple is deliberately working towards the day when they will make not only their mobile chips, but their laptop ones as well. At least on some of their lineup, e.g. the Airs.

    Who knows what they are up to? But to just write it all off as "marketing hype" is a bit dense. Was there marketing hype in the Sept. 10th address? Certainly there was! Is that the main reason they went to all the trouble to design a 64 bit CPU? I highly freaking doubt it. If Apple went for that, a lot of things would have been presented (and done) differently in the past. There would be a 10 or 12 MP camera in the iPhone, for example. Apple knows what they are doing. They rarely make a misstep.
     
  13. Zerilos thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I think Apple is working toward the day when you phone is your laptop/desktop. Plug it into a monitor, turn on your BT keyboard and your phone is doing everything your PC/Mac did. Apple see the writing on the wall, and OS X has a limited future. Pocketable PCs will be the future.
     
  14. zedzded macrumors regular

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    #14
    Exactly what cirus said. Plus running 64 bit is going to put more drain on what is already a pretty poor battery.
     
  15. Zerilos thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    So you disagree with the articles then? Can I ask why, because they lay out why the opposite it true? Did you read the articles?
     
  16. -js-, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #16
    Except that battery life is quoted as slightly better than the 5. And it is very unlikely that Apple exaggerated in this case. But we'll all know soon enough.

    And calling it a "pretty poor battery" IS propaganda/anti-hype. It's an excellent battery. It's just small because the iPhone is (relatively) small.

    And also here are some relevant quotes from the articles linked to in the OP:

    and

    and, my favorite, under the heading "Don't believe the un-hype":

     
  17. zedzded macrumors regular

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    #17
    No. I've already read enough from credible sources to understand that at this moment in time 64 bit architecture will offer only slight benefits. Additionally there are a number of downsides, which include greater drain on the battery. For every website you find extolling the virtues of having 64bit architecture in the Iphone 5S, I will find 5 that contradict it. Perhaps in 1 - 2 years we will see the benefits, but not at the moment.
     
  18. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #18
    Again, except that this is almost certainly not true--the battery drain issue, that is. Battery life of the 5S is slightly better than the 5 despite the improved CPU and GPU.
     
  19. cirus macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    It has a 10% larger battery. If battery life decreases then something is really wrong.


    And there were/are game developers who said that the PS4 is 'a generation ahead of PCs'.

    Considering that PC devs have had no problem working games such as Crysis 3 on 32 bit executables (which only uses about 1.5 GB ram) and haven't ever felt the need to use a 64 bit executable even though they easily could for the PC port (yes some complain about it but they use 32 bit code anyway and never push the RAM limitations- Metro games use consistently less than 250 MB of RAM, often much less) I'll call BS on this one.

    And you can clearly see from the tone and wording of the article that this is not a technical explanation and is presented in a very non-neutral light.

    Clearly shows this person has no background in electronics or is trying (and trying too hard) to extol the virtues of 64 bit architecture to the masses. We have absolutely no explanation why and must take this statement at face value with no proof whatsoever
     
  20. Zerilos, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    Zerilos thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    I'll personally take the word of the game developers who have develop 64-bit games and say there absolutely is benefit to it currently. The articles admit that move to 64-bit will have more benefit in the future; however when game developers are saying that it is allowing them to do things they couldn't have done on a 32-bit platform, I find that pretty convincing. I doubt Apple is paying Epic to say that.
     
  21. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #21
    Well, no, not if the CPU drain is proportionally greater, right? And, in point of fact, the battery specs are about 10 percent better compared to the 5S. So the battery drain of the CPU can only be greater to the extent that the quality of the battery has gone up. And that hasn't changed that much. Meanwhile, the silicon on the 5S is already showing that it is definitely improved over the 5. Is it a 40 percent improvement? Are graphics 2x better? Let's forget exactly what the increase is for now. The point is that the CPU is doing more with less. Period. So the notion that 64 bit is a drain on battery is quite simply wrong. Or isn't at all significant relative to other sources of power drain.
     
  22. zedzded macrumors regular

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    #22
    I haven't read the articles I will when I get a chance. I'm not disputing that there is potential, but we are talking perhaps 1 - 2 years away. If developers start pumping out 64bit games and apps there's going to be compatibility issues with Iphones 4S, 5 & 5C models, of which there will be plenty around. I think it's a good thing having 64bit architecture in the 5S, but it seems a bit unnecessary and superfluous at this stage. I would have liked to see Apple skip the 64bit and add other more important and useful features to the 5S.
     
  23. Troneas macrumors 65816

    Troneas

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    #23
    the minute i saw the apple guy at the conference babbling on about 64-bit architecture i knew it was a desperate move by apple to disguise the lack of innovation on the new iphones.

    even if the 64-bit technology works as intended in less than 4GB of RAM:

    1. only very few apps will actually benefit from it noticeably.

    2. only the geeks will know what 64-bit architecture is and that it has been implemented on their phone.





    i bet you will never again see a mention of the 64-bit architecture by apple. it certainly won't appear on their forthcoming ads.

    the reason? most people haven't got a clue what it means and what it does.


    looking back previous iphone presentations by steve jobs when they talked about "stuff that matters, stuff that works, stuff that made people's lives easier" to today, when they talk about "64-bits", "pixel micron size" and what not and you realise how their imagination just stopped.
     
  24. -js- macrumors regular

    -js-

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    #24
    According to reports, the developer tools that Apple provides make maintaining code in both 32 and 64 bit easy. That's the incredible thing. A 2 hour port from 32 to 64 bit? HOLY CRAP! That's impressive. So, no, no compatibility issues. Not necessarily, anyway.
     
  25. cirus macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    No.

    The A7 chip is more advanced than the A6X. No one releases a chip in mobile that is worse in perf/watt than its predecessor. The question is not "Is the A7 more efficient than the A6X?" but "Is a 64 bit A7 chip less efficient than a 32 bit A7 chip?" No one is disputing that the A7 is better than the A6X just saying that a 32 bit version may have been better.
     

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