How Apple Just Changed the Entire Industry (related to M1 chipset)

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Orpheus
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Sun Dec 06, 2020 4:54 pm Post

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuF9weSkS68

I saw this the day after I received my new 2020 MBP 16" and promptly returned it for a refund. The Apple support person told me I was not the first to do so. (-:

They also said that that the M1 chipset was currently only available for the 13" MBP. But I can wait till it is available for the 16" MBP.
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johnnyalpha
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:14 pm Post

Let's not fall for the marketing hype. PC manufacturers have been putting faster and more efficient chips in their laptops for several decades now. Someone always has the fastest, somewhere -until the next razzmatazz launch. But feel free to throw money at them. Shareholders love it. :P

ARM licences its designs to many different chip manufacturers, of which one is now Apple.

The trend towards 'PC on a chip' is exemplified even by the latest Raspberry Pi 400 (A Linux desktop PC for less than $100...).

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Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:19 pm Post

Man, I had forgotten how excited I was about RISC back when I was in college in the early nineties, and then how disappointed I was that the PC and high performance server space was ignoring it. It's the reason I abandoned my alternate career path of designing hardware to be a programmer at the application layer--you couldn't have paid me enough to write assembly for x86 back when it was a common need right after I graduated. Even then, I was blown away with how the 32-bit Motorolla chip architecture was so much more streamlined; addressing memory was stright-forward compared to Intels' legacy 8-bit addressing scheme, for one...

These days, it's not the performance that excites me so much (although being able to have a zoom call without my fans spinning up to maximum RPMs would be nice), but the battery life as I move around, doing low-impact computing. I've envied the newer macs getting 10-12 hours on a charge for quite a long time, so upgrading to better than that will be very nice. Plus, my ancient Air is no longer supported for the latest OS upgrade. Maybe I'll get an upgrade next year.
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:28 pm Post

The big win for the M1 appears to be battery life. Which of course is important for mobile users.

But if you're desk-based and bought one of the new Intel-based Mac Pros earlier this year I don't see any reason to regret that choice.

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Orpheus
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:27 pm Post

johnnyalpha wrote:Let's not fall for the marketing hype. PC manufacturers have been putting faster and more efficient chips in their laptops for several decades now. Someone always has the fastest, somewhere -until the next razzmatazz launch. But feel free to throw money at them. Shareholders love it. :P

ARM licences its designs to many different chip manufacturers, of which one is now Apple.

The trend towards 'PC on a chip' is exemplified even by the latest Raspberry Pi 400 (A Linux desktop PC for less than $100...).



"Marketing hype?" It was an independent review done by a self professed PC user.
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:36 pm Post

Orpheus wrote:"Marketing hype?" It was an independent review done by a self professed PC user.


Right, the completely sober, hype-free statement that "Apple Just Changed the Entire Industry" is literally the headline.

"Independent reviews" are just as prone to marketing hype as anyone else.

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Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:05 pm Post

kewms wrote:The big win for the M1 appears to be battery life. Which of course is important for mobile users.

But if you're desk-based and bought one of the new Intel-based Mac Pros earlier this year I don't see any reason to regret that choice.

Katherine


Not just battery life, but lower heat output especially when hooked up to an external monitor,
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rdale
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:08 pm Post

kewms wrote:The big win for the M1 appears to be battery life. Which of course is important for mobile users.

But if you're desk-based and bought one of the new Intel-based Mac Pros earlier this year I don't see any reason to regret that choice.

Katherine

I imagine the regret would never be with a recent Pro desktop, but I think I would be experiencing a lot of buyer's remorse if I'd bought any portable (or mini) model in 2019 or the current intel Mac books or recent Intel Mini models. But those pros have options that are an order of magnitude beyond what you can do with these first M1-based machines; 16G of RAM vs. 100+ G, for instance. Having upgradable, dedicated GPUs, and an architecture that can bleed off all that excess heat.

On the other hand, I imagine in a year or two, the Pro desktops using ARM architecture will be able to handle far more processing with far less heat dissipation required, which limits what's possible to some extent. The video pointed out that for the same processing power, the M1 chips consume 5 watts vs an equivalent Intel systems' 100+ watts. Being able to do do so much with so little means that you could fit the equivalent of a small server rack into a Mac Pro chassis, all running off of a standard tower's power supply and without ridiculous liquid cooling heat sinks, or whatever the current cooling tech is (I haven't been bothered to care about that stuff in over 10 years, so my component know-how is woefully out of date, I'm sure).

This feels we're on the cusp of a leap forward the likes of which we haven't seen since Beowulf clusters were a new idea, all built on RISC architecture that's been around since the 80s.
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:09 pm Post

kewms wrote:
Orpheus wrote:"Marketing hype?" It was an independent review done by a self professed PC user.


Right, the completely sober, hype-free statement that "Apple Just Changed the Entire Industry" is literally the headline.

"Independent reviews" are just as prone to marketing hype as anyone else.

Katherine


What would have been a better title?
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:18 pm Post

rdale wrote:
This feels we're on the cusp of a leap forward the likes of which we haven't seen since Beowulf clusters were a new idea, all built on RISC architecture that's been around since the 80s
.

Maybe that is why the title was "How Apple Just Changed the Entire Industry." Just say'in. 8)
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 8:51 pm Post

My venerable MacBook Air 11's battery just failed, and I'd be lying if I said that part of me isn't hoping it's more than that so that I have an excuse to get an M1 Air…

Don't get me wrong---"Mr Steed" has been a workhorse, and at a mass that equals iPad plus keyboard, I've taken him everywhere. I'll get a new battery if that's all it takes to get him running, but if there's more wrong than that, I think I'll name my M1 MBA "Bond. James Bond." :D

P.S. Yes, I name all my devices after fictional 60's British spies…

P.P.S. Too bad an M1 won't run Catalina, tho.
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 9:56 pm Post

Orpheus wrote:
rdale wrote:
This feels we're on the cusp of a leap forward the likes of which we haven't seen since Beowulf clusters were a new idea, all built on RISC architecture that's been around since the 80s
.

Maybe that is why the title was "How Apple Just Changed the Entire Industry." Just say'in. 8)


But it literally wasn't Apple that drove the necessary changes, so much as picking the right timing of changes that were already coming. That's not to downplay Apple's part and choices, but let's not give them credit for things they don't need credit for. The ARM industry has had a lot of players who have put a lot of work in to break down barriers that have kept it from being a commercially viable option and get take-up to the point that it made sense for Apple to do this.

I mean, the best parallel I can think of is surfing. A great surfer can do amazing things with big waves -- but without the wind and surf being just right, even the best surfer can't do much. Ever since Jobs came back, Apple's been a damn good surfer. Cook might not be quite a great, but he still knows when to take advantage of the market conditions.
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:00 pm Post

Silverdragon wrote:My venerable MacBook Air 11's battery just failed, and I'd be lying if I said that part of me isn't hoping it's more than that so that I have an excuse to get an M1 Air…

Don't get me wrong---"Mr Steed" has been a workhorse, and at a mass that equals iPad plus keyboard, I've taken him everywhere. I'll get a new battery if that's all it takes to get him running, but if there's more wrong than that, I think I'll name my M1 MBA "Bond. James Bond." :D

P.S. Yes, I name all my devices after fictional 60's British spies…

P.P.S. Too bad an M1 won't run Catalina, tho.

Lovely. I had loved the ill-fated Firefly tv series, and named my network Serenity, and my various devices after the main characters. Time soon to come up with a new scheme, I think.

Why too bad about Catalina? I assume there's something that you love using that won't run on Big Sur? I've only given the new OS a cursory glance, since my Air can't run it.
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:20 pm Post

No, I just object on principle to running a new OS until it's shaken out, which probably won't be for 6 months yet. Besides, Scrivener for Big Sur isn't shaken out yet. I used to be required to run the "latest and greatest" when I did software development. Now I'm retired and perfectly willing to let someone else find the land mines.
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 10:44 pm Post

devinganger wrote:
Orpheus wrote:
rdale wrote:
.

Maybe that is why the title was "How Apple Just Changed the Entire Industry." Just say'in. 8)


But it literally wasn't Apple that drove the necessary changes, so much as picking the right timing of changes that were already coming. That's not to downplay Apple's part and choices, but let's not give them credit for things they don't need credit for. The ARM industry has had a lot of players who have put a lot of work in to break down barriers that have kept it from being a commercially viable option and get take-up to the point that it made sense for Apple to do this.

I mean, the best parallel I can think of is surfing. A great surfer can do amazing things with big waves -- but without the wind and surf being just right, even the best surfer can't do much. Ever since Jobs came back, Apple's been a damn good surfer. Cook might not be quite a great, but he still knows when to take advantage of the market conditions.

I'm not sure what you're pushing back against. I'm speculating on how powerful it could be if Apple took the processing power of 10 M1 Minis and just slapped them into the case of a Mac Pro desktop, all without having to add more electrical draw into the system.

But for the sake of getting at what you are pushing back against... The video did say that for the lifetime of the iPhone, Apple has owned a company that designs ARM chips precisely so they can drive the kinds of designs they want. They've been doing that pretty much since the introduction of the iPhone... so how is the M1's design not to Apple's credit at this point?
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