Should Apple notebooks go to ARM chips?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by keysofanxiety, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #1
    I'm hoping for an interesting discussion on this. I think it would be quite good if Apple could go exclusively to Apple-designed ARM chips (which would also be able to run Windows 8, of course!)

    I've always admired Apple in the PPC days. Sure, in the later days they were waining in regards to their performance, and moving to Intel was a really good decision, but they seemed to have 'lost' something that made Apple the 'Think Different' company. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but there was something special about knowing that the computers were completely unique, and that they were incomparable. It was less about 'Mac vs PC' specs, and more about a distinctive user experience that you couldn't get elsewhere.

    I'd really like the idea of Apple-designed chips, Apple-designed hard-drives, Apple RAM, maybe even an Apple GPU. They'd be completely unique, and arguably be able to further their innovation. The only restriction would be Apple's design team.

    What do you all think? Is this something that you'd welcome in the near future?
     
  2. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #2
    Why? In Notebooks and desktops, anything the ARM guys have made is light years behind Intel and AMD performance wise. And they still wouldnt be compatible with x86 software.

    PowerPC and X86 make no difference, run the same program on an Intel Mac and a PowerPC Mac ( assuming it can run the program ), You won't be able to tell the difference, it only made Macs slower and incompatible with everything.

    Its 100% Nostagia.

    I wouldn't, Apple has very little experience in any of these areas, and zero infrastrauce to be able to support it. Intel makes the best CPU's in the world, and they have the best Fabs in the world, they've been doing it for decades, you really think Apple can just jump in and go waalaa?

    Same with Ram, Hard Drives and GPUs, there are companioes that have been doing this for decades, and do a very very good job on at it.

    No, performance and compatibility would be very poor compared to current Intel offerings.
     
  3. Paulywauly macrumors 6502a

    Paulywauly

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    Location:
    Durham, UK
    #3
    Defiantly food for thought. Although, i think you have to ask yourself why it would go for a completely different system architecture when the worlds best performing consumer chips are Intel. Remember, that was the reason Apple moved away from PowerPC in the first place, Motorola/IBM just couldn't create competitive CPUs. The G5 chips ran hot as hell itself and they never managed to produce a mobile version of it.
    The one thing ARM really does have going for it right now is sheer power efficiency, but in terms of performance Intels chips do blow them out of the water.
    Intel are concentrating a lot on reducing the power usage their CPUs and if you look ahead at their future products (such as Haswell) you can see in their strategy that efficiency and power saving are as important as performance increases.
    The only thing that could flip this around in my eyes would be if Apples current approach at making Mac OSX more like IOS went into overdrive & they decided to create a unified "Apple OS" which ran on ALL their hardware. I'd place bets they would stick with an IOS like OS running on ARM, than a Mac like system running on Intel x86. Thats just my 2 pence anyway :)
     
  4. TSE macrumors 68030

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    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #4
    ARM is slowly becoming a serious threat to x86 architecture in mainstream computing. They aren't there yet, but they are slowly getting there. Intel knows this, which is why they have been pretty much focusing all their attention on energy efficiency and heat.

    I say at this point, no. ARM would be much, much slower. But 5-6 years down the road? Possible.
     
  5. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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  6. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    #6
    ARM will stay popular in the mobile world, but for Laptop/Desktop computers? Nothing compares to what intel and AMD can put out in performance, compatibility and roadmaps. The fastest mobile ARM chips are about as fast as a high end Pentium III and a couple can almost match a low end Pentium 4.....chips from over a decade ago.... that should really tell you how HUGE the performance gap between ARM and Current Laptop/Desktop chips.

    And yes, Intel knows this, and that's why they are working on it. They have the best performing desktop/laptop chips ( AMD isn't THAT far behind ), and theres no reason Intel can't start putting out mobile chips that are great to. They are, without a doubt the best chipmakers in the world. There's zero reason for Apple to drop them.
     
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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  8. keysofanxiety thread starter macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #8
    Yeah, I guess I did get a little misty-eyed. I just think that if Apple had the knowledge to do such a thing, it would be good, as they wouldn't be at the mercy of another company's development team. They could issue updates as soon as they're developed. Apple designed CPUs would be great, if they were able to hack it.

    I think the A6 in the iP5 is possibly a stepping stone to a bigger future, at least I hope so. Looks like it's just me, though! :eek:
     
  9. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

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    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #9
    Yeah the thing is, Apple really does not have the engineering resources to build chips like AMD or Intel, nor do they have their own Fabs.

    Intel has the best fabs in the world, and they make the best consumer grade CPU's in the world, if Apple went to make their own chips, I really really doubt they would be able to match Intel or AMD for that matter on performance.
     

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