Will Intel share PPC's fate?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by RedCroissant, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. RedCroissant Suspended

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    Aug 13, 2011
    #1
    Iwas watching the keynote for the iPhone media event and was intrigued by some that Phil Shiller said. I'm paraphrasing here but it was something like, "this 64-bit processor is desktop grade."

    This might be a ridiculous suggestion, but.....

    Does anyone here think that perhaps Apple's goal(maybe not for all equipment) would be to transition to their own CPUs to run future laptop lines? I know OS X and iOS are very different, but if you can run a 64-bit CPU with top-of-the-line hardware and software, why couldn't that be transported to their computer lineup?
     
  2. cyberghoser1 macrumors member

    cyberghoser1

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    #2
    You never know with Apple. This keynote was one of the worst ever. I dont know about the 64-bit cpu in the iPhone, but lately i really miss Steve Jobs.
     
  3. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #3
    Well I don't know how it compares to all of the others because I've only seen 3(I think). I just found it interesting that a "desktop class" 64-bit CPU is in the iPhone with another Apple-designed graphics analyzer chip alongside it. That computing power combined with the iPhone's degree of connectivity, I think that the technology could be incorporated into a new MBA that is not only 802.11ac capable, but LTE capable as well. This would make the world's most natively connectable laptop without the need for dongles. Going even further to decrease the size of the sim card(not only to make thinner phones) intrigues me even more. Imagine a MBA with 15-16 hours of battery life, TB ports for displays and other uses that require adapters, and then lightning ports for connecting current and next gen iOS devices to it. Sounds fun to me.
     
  4. ViennaXP macrumors newbie

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    #4
    There were rumors that they want to change to ARM and drop Intel. But ARM is still way less powerful than Intel. So they won't change in the near future.
     
  5. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #5
    "desktop class" can mean many things.

    For example, Intel just announced the latest in the Atom series of CPUs, the slowest of which is likely slower than the iPhone 4S' A5 processor, much less the new A7.

    Is it possible that Apple could go whole-hog and attempt to fully develop ARM-based desktops? Yes. It is possible. But for the time being, and the foreseeable future, Intel still holds a massive R&D and manufacturing advantage over every other CPU designer/manufacturer.
     
  6. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #6
    "desktop class" is just nice PR-speak for "on par with a desktop you might find dumpster-diving".

    Sure it's more powerfull than lets say a Core(2?)Duo, but just as sure it ain't as powerfull as some current Intel or AMD high power desktop CPU.

    Even if Apple wanted to do, I somehow doubt they have the resources and technology to compete with Intel/AMD on that field. Even if they did invest billions of $ to get there it would still take years of catching up and than they would have a terrible ROI considering how few desktop PCs they are selling (when comparing to Intel/AMD).
     
  7. cyberghoser1 macrumors member

    cyberghoser1

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    #7
    I agree, but throw a 64-bit cpu on a phone, well i dont know im dumb, i dont get it.
     
  8. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    #8
    In my opinion it'll go one of two ways;

    1. Apple drops the whole Macintosh line altogether & turns it's complete focus to consumer portables in iPhones & iPads.

    or (more likely) 2. Apple will continue to make OS X as iOS'eque as possible & will switch to ARM chips when the technology is ready. This would also give Apple a fantastic opportunity to sell every single app on the App Store made for the iPhone compatible with their Mac line.

    My business head on = it's a no brainer for Apple. As soon as ARM is ready - go for it. How long it'll take though is another question altogether.
     
  9. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #9
    As of now, sure ARM CPUs are less powerful than Intel's, but I keep noticing that Apple hasn't really ever been RISC-free. Sure, they switched to Intel for their desktops and laptops in 2006, but then they were immediately relying on RISC processors for the first iPhone and then for all of their iOS devices(and the AppleTV). With those CPUs becoming more advanced and more powerful, I think it would be feasible to start utilizing the Apple-designed CPUs in their desktops/laptops. If the CPU is small enough(which it seems to be), then the extra space inside whichever desktop/laptop they decide to begin on could provide for the inclusion of a dual-processor/ 8 core ARM-based RISC CPU. Sure, each core might not be as powerful as Intel or other CPUs, but if you can match the power and efficiency of the popular Intel with multiple processors, then why not?

    Maybe I'm crazy, but I think it's more likely than not.
     
  10. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #10
    Massive multo-core only benefits certain task, thats pretty much why there is "Tirbo Boost" in the current Intel lineup.

    More CPUs -> more complexity -> more cost -> less space for batteries -> etc

    Going ARM would also mean the need for another performance killing Rosetta and would kill Bootcamp.

    -> more people would decide against an Mac.
     
  11. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

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    #11
    Some day it might be possible, the problem is of course the high end not the low end as we already have laptops like Chromebook which utilize Samsung Exynos ARM CPU:

    http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/samsung-chromebook.html#specs

    Probably does what it is designed for but no one buys that for heavy duty work. ARM starts from low performance, low power and Intel from high performance, high power and they move towards each other.
     
  12. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    #12
    They just need to get a low power, Power8 variant. It would make a lot of apple haters cry when they see that a little MBA is faster than their 60lb PC with a 4960X. It would also get a lot of AMD fanboys to get a mac. A mac used to simply be the fastest PC avalible, it isn't anymore. Now a mac has turned into a dell with a cool looking OS, and an apple logo.
     
  13. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #13
    Power8, like Linix, won't solve anything. For general computing, it's vastly slower that the contemporary Intell CPU. Only in specialized server settings and certain floats does it show any advantage. You've been shown to be incorrect about this in the past. Please stop posting about it.
     
  14. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #14
    What are you talking about? I know what you're talking about with the Power8, but saying that Macs are simply Dells with a cool-looking OS and an Apple logo is nuts. The processor(in my opinion anyway) is not what makes a Mac(or any machine really). My Intel machines that I used but had to sell were just as MAC-licious as my PPC Macs that I have now.

    The reason that I posted this thread is not because I hate Intel, but because I finally noticed the difference between the iOS and OS X platforms as far as the CPUs were concerned. I also noticed(as many others have) that Apple is incorporating iOS-type technology and appearances in OS X as well as adding OS X-type apps to iOS. So simply with those realizations and without veyr much real knowledge of RISC architecture, I just decided to start this thread to see what other people thought.
     
  15. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #15
    I get the argument that more CPUs increase complexity and cost, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a board with 2 CPUS on it couldn't fit into a laptop shell.

    And why would ARM kill Bootcamp? I thought that Microsoft was working on using ARM processors for Windows in the future. I also thought(but can't find the article) that even Ballmer said that getting Windows to run on ARM was part of their strategy.

    I disagree that moving to ARM or other non-Intel chips would make people decide against a Mac. Bootcamp was not the main feature of a Mac that made me want to switch.
     
  16. seveej macrumors 6502a

    seveej

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    #16
    I'm pretty sure apple has a super secret vault, where they keep a copy of mavericks for ARM. Sure, it won't be 100%, but it will be at a level, which is 3-6 months from finished. I'm also pretty sure, intel has been shown it exists, so that intel keeps giving apple some preferential treatment.

    I also think ARM has made some nice advances, the last iPad's with the A6X clocks around 1750 on GB. If the rate of advance continues, we'll see ARM breaking the 10k barrier in another 3-5 years.

    How many cores the ARM will need to get there, and where intel's mainstream chips will lie then, is a totally different set of questions.

    I admit, it may make some sense to offer ARM chips for some portable devices, as google is showing, but except for ultrabooks, arm makes little sense and apple won't want to have multiple architectures for OS X to support. Therefore, I'll have to vote nay on this question, at least for 5-10 years to come.

    RGDS,
     
  17. leman macrumors 604

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    #17
    It doesn't have anything to do with RISC or not RISC, they are just using the best tool available to the job. Intel has best CPUs for higher-power scenarios, ARM has the best CPUs for the low-power scenarios. Will it change? Maybe.

    Ok, just to make things clear. OS X and iOS share more then 'some technology'. The are the same OS and are based on the same shared codebase, with relevant parts switched here and there. So as to OS X for ARM - it already exists and its called iOS. Second, it does not make any sense to talk about RISC or CISC CPUs in this day and age. Intel CPUs have not been "CISC" since the Pentium Pro. Internally, Intel CPUs are very sophisticated RISC-like machines. I absolutely agree that x86 instruction set is quite ugly compared to ARM, but this lingua franca is what allows CPU manufacturers to freely experiment with the internals of their CPUs.
     
  18. ihuman:D macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Intel's CPUs are RISC with just a CISC decoder as leman pointed out.
     
  19. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #19
    You do realize that the main reason Apple ditched PowerPC was IBM's refusal to reduce the power consumption of their chips to make them appropriate for use in portables, right?

    Oh, wait, no, you don't. :rolleyes:
     
  20. leman macrumors 604

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    #20
    Yeah, about that... I didn't find any actual benchmark information on Power8 variant, but according to wikipedia IBM states that its per-core performance is 1.6 times better then the Power7 (where a 4.1 Gzh core is claimed to get 33.12 Gflops). This will put a Power8 core at 53 Gflops. Now, a 3.9Ghz Haswell core can max 32 FLOPS/clock * 3.9GHz = 124 Gflops. Autsch. A 4-core Haswell is rated 84W. What is the TDP rating of a Power8? 150W?

    Now, of course, the max theoretic performance is not a very good measure. But even if we assume that the Power8 is much more efficient on executing code and gets double instruction throughput versus the Haswell, Intel still leads in both FLOPS/clock and FLOPS/Watt. A ULV Power8 would be probably half the speed of a ULV Haswell, if at all...
     
  21. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #21
    Hey Leman,

    Thanks for this because I did not realize/know most of this at all!
     
  22. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #22
    Technically totally incorrect marketing bull sh it.

    iLOL

    ----------

    Yeah, the name of the OS is: iOS 7.
     
  23. Bear macrumors G3

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    #23
    The problem with switching to ARM processors is making sure you don't lose major software packages. Adobe (among others) are heavily customized for Intel processors. We'd also lose most of the game support we currently have. And we'd likely lose the ability to run Intel VMs.
     
  24. honam1021 macrumors regular

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    #24
    And IBM lost interest in consumer market, you can tell from IBM sold their x86 PC division to Lenovo.
     
  25. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502

    Bug-Creator

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    #25
    Quite plausible, but what real-world difference does it make ?

    It's no secret that x86 version of OSX has been secretly maintained from early on, heck given that NextStep was only availble on 486 and 68040 (or only in older versions) when Apple bought Next and began OSX I wouldn't be suprised if OSX0.001 actually was x86.

    Thats version of OSX only became available to the public because Motorolla/FreeScale was seriously loosing their ball about 10 years ago, otherwise we would still be running OSX on PPC-based Macs.
     

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