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cmaier

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I think he's asking about the "upper tier" (4-port, 10th gen Intel) MBP13 replacement, not the lower-tier (2-port, 8th gen Intel) replacement, which we got today...

Still don’t think the upper tier will get 14” any time soon. I think a year from now, when they go to mini-LED. Wouldn’t make sense to simultaneously sell 13, 14 and 16 so soon after the announcements today.
 
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fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
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Wouldn’t make sense to simultaneously sell 13, 14 and 16 so soon after the announcements today.
Yeah, probably not. But also doesn't make a whole lot of sense w/ the product lineup they have for MBP13 right now either. The "upper tier" Intel machines are probably going to be outdone in a lot of tasks by the lower-tier M1s, but you also can't get more than 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD, or 2 TB ports on the newer/faster machines.
 
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cmaier

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Yeah, probably not. But also doesn't make a whole lot of sense w/ the product lineup they have for MBP13 right now either. The "upper tier" Intel machines are probably going to be outdone in a lot of tasks by the lower-tier M1s, but you also can't get more than 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD, or 2 TB ports on the newer/faster machines.

I think it’s just a matter of time. The higher end 13” (and the 16”) need bigger caches (probably. To support more RAM, you typically want to increase the size of the caches a bit), more memory address bits, and more I/O bandwidth. Possibly will add a couple CPU cores, too. This “M1X” is probably coming next - they probably need to get the 5nm yields up first. (Heck, the “M1” may just be down-binned versions of this chip. Who knows). Anyway, that will get us 4 USB-C ports with TB3, 32GB RAM capability (at least), and probably higher graphics throughput to more efficiently drive higher res displays. That wouldn’t be much of a jump over M1 in terms of difficulty in producing the chip, but would then cover the iMac range, and the higher end MBPs.

After that, we’ll see what apple decides to do about the Mac Pro, and if there will be a new iMac Pro or the like.
 
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Kierkegaarden

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2018
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Still don’t think the upper tier will get 14” any time soon. I think a year from now, when they go to mini-LED. Wouldn’t make sense to simultaneously sell 13, 14 and 16 so soon after the announcements today.
Do you think it will take that long until mini-LED makes it way to the MacBook line? I was hoping the 16 inch would feature this, but maybe this isn’t coming out until next fall.

What do you think of mini-LED vs 4K/5k iMac displays?

Do you think future Macs will utilize multiple M1 chips running in parallel as a way of boosting performance or will the more powerful systems run a variant of the M1?
 

thingstoponder

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2014
834
832
No chance. Expect a solid year at least. Rumor is late 2021. They also wouldn’t bother to update it unless they had a new chip (a15 based) for it. The M1 and 13” just came out.
 

Andropov

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2012
703
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Spain
(Heck, the “M1” may just be down-binned versions of this chip. Who knows)

Apple showed a photograph of the M1's die during the keynote, a labeled version it's on the Anandtech review. Looks like it only has 4 high perf. cores there, so not binned down (at least not in core count).

M1_575px.png


Anyway, how difficult would you say it is to include >16GB RAM support and more bandwidth for additional Thunderbolt/PCIe ports when designing the SoC? It's the only thing where the M1 has fallen a bit short compared to Intel's offerings, and I would hope that the M1X greatly exceeds those limitations.
 

cmaier

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Apple showed a photograph of the M1's die during the keynote, a labeled version it's on the Anandtech review. Looks like it only has 4 high perf. cores there, so not binned down (at least not in core count).

M1_575px.png


Anyway, how difficult would you say it is to include >16GB RAM support and more bandwidth for additional Thunderbolt/PCIe ports when designing the SoC? It's the only thing where the M1 has fallen a bit short compared to Intel's offerings, and I would hope that the M1X greatly exceeds those limitations.
Assuming the annotations here are right, this may already support >16GB RAM. I think 8 channels of LPDDR4X can handle at least 32GB, and probably more (i think each channel has a 6 bit command/address bus, but I’ve never worked with that standard). They may need to play with the timings and cache size, though - my understanding is that the RAM is on the same physical plane as the SoC (to enhance cooling), which means that if the 32GB or more of RAM takes more space then the read/write times get worse, which you’d need to compensate for in order not to lose performance. Any updates should be minimal. A bit more work would be increasing the i/o bandwidth to enable 4 USB-C/TB 3 ports. Still, not a ton of work. The sort of thing that takes one or two engineers 6 weeks. I’m guessing it’s already taped out and that’s why the 16” hasn’t been announced yet. (I’m also guessing it includes more firestorm cores)
 
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cmaier

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Do you think it will take that long until mini-LED makes it way to the MacBook line? I was hoping the 16 inch would feature this, but maybe this isn’t coming out until next fall.

What do you think of mini-LED vs 4K/5k iMac displays?

Do you think future Macs will utilize multiple M1 chips running in parallel as a way of boosting performance or will the more powerful systems run a variant of the M1?

I’m just going by the rumors re: timing. I think by march we see a iPad Pro with mini-led and an a14 or m1. And then it goes to macs around the end of next year or early 2022, when they start rolling out form-factor refreshes.

I think mini-LED will be nice, but OLED is generally better if what you care about is image quality (mini-LED will likely still have halos, depending on how many LEDs they use). Apple’s own super-expensive display has good image quality, but it’s beaten by many other displays (though they generally cost a lot more).

I doubt any macs will run with multiple CPU sockets. It’s not very efficient, it complicates the design quite a bit, and I’m not sure that it really even works at all for things like the neural engine. It’s far more likely that there will be a M1X, a m1Z, etc. The whole point of SoC design methodology is to allow re-use of on-chip design components to make that easy. This means each block is designed to be agnostic as to latency between it and other blocks, and you use on-chip buses that handle routing and signal contention to make sure it all works right. You give up performance vs custom design (example: when i designed multiple core designs, there were differences between the cores, because one core is closer to, say, its L1 cache than the other, so I could reduce driver power on one), but it allows you to iterate much faster, which for this sort of product is a net win.
 
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UltimateSyn

macrumors 601
Mar 3, 2008
4,162
6,820
Massachusetts
It's an interesting situation. The 14" (presumably replacing the 'upper tier' four-port 13") and 16" ASi MBPs were rumored to come out in Q2-Q3 of next year. I was thinking they were going to be delayed until the Fall when COVID kept churning, but another 10-12 months would be a very long time for those current Intel machines to sit with inferior battery life and other attributes to the more expensive models.

The 16" was last updated back in November of last year, and it doesn't look like it's getting another Intel update, so are they really going to let their flagship laptop sit for nearly two years without an update? Anyway, my hope is that all of this means that the 14" and 16" models will be accelerated to the earliest possible months of the 'Q2-Q3' window that Kuo gave earlier this year. Maybe they can ship in April? For bonus confusion Mark Gurman recently reported that the 16" ASi MBP is already in the early stages of production, implying a somewhat imminent release, so... February? March? I don't know. None of us know; it's all conjecture.
 
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Andropov

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2012
703
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Assuming the annotations here are right, this may already support >16GB RAM. I think 8 channels of LPDDR4X can handle at least 32GB, and probably more (i think each channel has a 6 bit command/address bus, but I’ve never worked with that standard). They may need to play with the timings and cache size, though - my understanding is that the RAM is on the same physical plane as the SoC (to enhance cooling), which means that if the 32GB or more of RAM takes more space then the read/write times get worse, which you’d need to compensate for in order not to lose performance. Any updates should be minimal. A bit more work would be increasing the i/o bandwidth to enable 4 USB-C/TB 3 ports. Still, not a ton of work. The sort of thing that takes one or two engineers 6 weeks. I’m guessing it’s already taped out and that’s why the 16” hasn’t been announced yet. (I’m also guessing it includes more firestorm cores)
Oh I see. Thanks for the insight! I was kinda worried since there are quite a few new limitations with the M1 (just 2 USB4/Thunderbolt ports, just one external display for the M1 MacBooks and 16GB RAM max). Not deal-breaking for the "low" end, but I hope there are no regressions for the high end in I/O compared to Intel.
 

yanksrock100

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2010
673
244
San Diego
My best guess is that the 14 inch will come out in September/October of 2021. I think whether or not the 16 inch will get an Intel processor upgrade is up in the air...
 
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