Apple goes to ARM

No surprise, but at least it’s official now.

Intel chips are out, and ARM is in.

Best regards,

Gino

6 Likes

huge RIP

2 Likes

They are still going to have Intel mixed in. The switch to ARM will allow iOS apps to work on macOS which should honestly be a huge win.

It is what it is.

3 Likes

I wonder if they will make the apple store mandatory for all software on the new platform. that seems like the apple thing to do but I think lots of developers would completely abandon apple if they did.

1 Like

not surprising considering these are the folks that decided a few years back that you, the owner of the computer, are not responsible enough, to even be the Root user of your own system…

11 Likes

If they did then they can take a %15 to %30 cut of anything developed for a Mac as well.

Unified OS across devices is the goal I imagine.

I think we will see the ipad replace the macbook lines and then we just have a single OS across ipad, iphone (and probably the desktops too)

I can’t see how much longer Macbooks will last with future generations of ipad.

Apple will have a much easier time of creating a unified OS because they can design for the specific screen sizes/specs etc of just their products (compared to Windows and Android which have a much harder time due to the nature of those OS not being tied directly to specific hardware)

2 Likes

technically, good decision. ARM is better than x86 and its successor x86_64.
also, Apple will have even more excuses to make unserviceable devices :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
because ARM==embedded.

4 Likes

Would be quite interested to see the evolution of the Mac following this. I feel they are holding out on some key hardware developments which perhaps having a unified architecture would see some pretty seamless integration. Apple Pencil for Mac OS is something I’d like to see, which could mean interesting things for the trackpad, or that whole lower half below the keyboard. You’d imagine they would also have to have to go touch screen eventually. Probably when the Mac is a magnetically hinged double screen computer. In the end, what is a Mac? To me the answer to that is becoming “software that’s not on the iPad”.

I think Apple took the very smart, long road. What’s the saying. Slow and steady wins the race. They just incrementally move toward their goal and sell products along the way, rather than dumping every idea they have into one product and fixing it as they go.

The Touchbar was an interesting experiment and dabble in that arena, but ultimately unsuccessful I feel. I hope they flesh it out or push the idea more in future. Not much has happened to it since release.

I find this sort of exciting, giving the lower power consumption, heat generation and yet powerful performance of their ARM chips.

Intel’s been stuck in a rut for years now, the fact that AMD surpassed them last year with their Zen architecture tells you everything about Intel’s state of affairs - they seem sort of stuck in the loop of improving their original winning formula, while others (AMD and now Apple) are willing to try new things.

I do worry about developer support for Macs down the line, thinking back to PowerPC times, but the iOS devices may have done enough to ensure that people will develop for this new era of Macs.

4 Likes

I don’t think there will be a big difference if any in power consumption and heat generation. It’s not like ARM has some magic sauce that x86 is lacking. It’s simply the fact that x86 CPU’s (which are used in workstations and laptops) generally run at much higher frequencies and power consumption doesn’t scale linearly with performance.
x86 and ARM are ISA’s, they don’t necessarily say anything about how the CPU actually works. So while x86 is an “old” standard, it’s not like they just kept adding things to the logic design of the processor implementations. Modern x86 cpus from amd and intel cpu’s have been redesigned from scratch many times over, they just speak the same “language” so to speak.

That’s not to say that ISA doesn’t matter, I just don’t think it’s realistic that ARM will provide a significant advantage for high end cpu’s.

Still years away but that dream of Ableton running on iPads and Macs is a step closer. With Apple set to release ARM updates for their suite of apps it’s only a matter of time before Logic drops on iPad now too.

Will be a few years before we see the real benefits of this one. Should time nicely with when I eventually upgrade from my 2018 MBP!

How different is it to develop for ARM as opposed to Intel? I would have thought higher level programming languages would be cross-platform by now… or are there still a lot of apps being developed in lower level languages? I admit I don’t know much about this stuff.

Well C is a low level language and also basically the most cross platform language of all time. But unless you understand the hardware platform you are writing for your code will never be fast.

High level languages have their place on the web or whatever but for performance and latency critical applications like audio programming and graphics/games it’s crap. The important question is how much extra work is needed to optimize the ARM build to a similar level. I don’t program for ARM hardware so I can’t say but it might be a lot or very little. It’s 100% going to be very annoying though.

3 Likes

Not great news for the hackintosh community i suppose…

1 Like

Just made a hackintosh, I think I´ll have to use Mojave and eventually Catalina forever…

i suspect that’s a desired effect.

i also suspect that future ARM chips by Apple might have some proprietary features/extensions that will prevent their OS from working (correctly) on other chips, even of the same architecture.

Apple always was strongly into copyrigths and DRM, at least for last decade or more.

2 Likes

I don t know. Seems to me integration of smartphone/tablet and PC platforms is the main target. I ve been hackintoshing for 10 years and I didn’t have the impression Apple is trying to prevent it very much (though I have t updated to any of the recent OSX versions…)

1 Like

Given the way my iPad performa in relation to my Mac, I am excited about this.

I imagine that I will remain excited until the first time I open a DAW on an ARM mac

4 Likes

You can see a consequence of this being introduction of new ports and the removal of USB-C and Thunderbolt. I’ve probably spent $500 on dongles this generation, that’s tech I hardly want to throw away for no good reason. Even my interface is Thunderbolt 3. I’ll be on my current gen MBP for a good few years yet, I think. Will be riding this tech out till it’s dead.

1 Like