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OK, this time, it’s almost certainly the ARM Mac event, and some other stuff as well.

I’ll try my best to be available to transcribe what’s going on.

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    Anandtech has a really good write-up investigating Apple’s microarchitectural achievements with the M1 processor. It’s been a few years since my university computer architecture classes, and I’m struck by the absurd size of some of these numbers (a 630 instruction out-of-order execution re-order window? Really?). ARM is finally going to be on desktop/laptop-class devices, and it’s not just competing on power efficiency.

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      Like, this is nuts. How have they done this? Is x86 that much of a drag?

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        Then again, Qualcomm doesn’t do great either. I hear A78 and X1 (the “fuck efficiency” version of A78) will be nice, but I have reservations. Even if M1 turns out to be as fast as A14, it’s still a massive improvement over Intel’s mobile attempts. (I don’t put too much stock into Apple’s comparison w/o a mentioned baseline, but Anandtech’s reviews have been impressive.)

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          I always was skeptical of application benchmarks, so I just figured that Apple’s ARM stuff was class leading for phones but still, when the chips so to speak were down, and thermals were unlimbered, x86 would leave it in the dust. I was over indexing Intel’s at this point 10 year old process lead, clearly. But the way the GeekBench tracks with SPEC … well. Uh. Yow. I guess microarchitecture matters?

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          Is x86 that much of a drag?

          RISC is better than CISC, and amd64/x86 are pretty unfortunate ISAs.

          I’m sad it’s Apple doing this, but it had to happen. The next iteration (?A15?) might actually leave x86 in the dust.

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          I like Apple hardware a lot, and I know all of the standard this-is-why-it-is-that-way reasoning. But it’s wild that the new MacBook Pros only have two USB-C ports and can’t be upgraded past 16GB of RAM.

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            Worse yet, they have “secure boot”, where secure means they’ll only boot an OS signed by Apple.

            These aren’t computers. They are Appleances.

            Prepare for DRM-enforced planned obsolence.

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              I would be very surprised if that turned out to be the case. In recent years Apple has been advertising the MacBook Pro to developers, and I find it unlikely they would choose not to support things like Boot Camp or running Linux based OSs. Like most security features, secure boot is likely to annoy a small segment of users who could probably just disable it. A relevant precedent is the addition of System Integrity Protection, which can be disabled with minor difficulty. Most UEFI PCs (to my knowledge) have secure boot enabled by default already.

              Personally, I’ve needed to disable SIP once or twice but I can never bring myself to leave it disabled, even though I lived without it for years. I hope my experience with Secure Boot will be similar if I ever get one of these new computers.

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                Boot Camp

                Probably a tangent, but I’m not sure how Boot Camp would fit into the picture here. ARM-based Windows is not freely available to buy, to my knowledge.

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                  Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft, but this is not based on any insider knowledge and is entirely speculation on my part.

                  Back in the distant past, before Microsoft bought Connectix, there was a product called VirtualPC for Mac, an x86 emulator for PowerPC Macs (some of the code for this ended up in the x86 on Arm emulator on Windows and, I believe, on the Xbox 360 compatibility mode for Xbox One). Connectix bought OEM versions of Windows and sold a bundle of VirtualPC and a Windows version. I can see a few possible paths to something similar:

                  • Apple releases a Boot Camp thing that can load *NIX, Microsoft releases a Windows for Macs version that is supported only on specific Boot Camp platforms. This seems fairly plausible if the number of Windows installs on Macs is high enough to justify the investment.
                  • Apple becomes a Windows OEM and ships a Boot Camp + Windows bundle that is officially supported. I think Apple did this with the original Boot Camp because it was a way of de-risking Mac purchases for people: if they didn’t like OS X, they had a clean migration path away. This seems much less likely now.
                  • Apple’s new Macs conform to one of the new Arm platform specifications that, like PREP and CHRP for PowerPC, standardise enough of the base platform that it’s possible to release a single OS image that can run on any machine. Microsoft could then release a version of Windows that runs on any such Arm machine.

                  The likelihood of any of these depends a bit on the economics. In the past, Apple has made a lot of money on Macs and doesn’t actually care if you run *NIX or Windows on them because anyone running Windows on a Mac is still a large profit-making sale. This is far less true with iOS devices, where a big chunk of their revenue comes from other services (And their 30% cut on all App Store sales). If the new Macs are tied more closely to other Apple services, they may wish to discourage people from running another OS. Supporting other operating systems is not free: it increases their testing burden and means that they’ll have to handle support calls from people who managed to screw up their system with some other OS.

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                    Apple’s new Macs conform to one of the new Arm platform specifications

                    We already definitely know they use their own device trees, no ACPI sadly.

                    Supporting other operating systems is not free

                    Yeah, this is why they really won’t help with running other OS on bare metal, their answer to “I want other OS” is virtualization.

                    They showed a demo (on the previous presentation) of virtualizing amd64 Windows. I suppose a native aarch64 Windows VM would run too.

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                    ARM-based Windows is available for free as .vhdx VM images if you sign up for the Windows Insider Program, at least

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                    In the previous Apple Silicon presentation, they showed virtualization (with of-course-not-native Windows and who-knows-what-arch Debian, but I suspect both native aarch64 and emulated amd64 VMs would be available). That is their offer to developers. Of course nothing about running alternative OS on bare metal was shown.

                    Even if secure boot can be disabled (likely – “reduced security” mode is already mentioned in the docs), the support in Linux would require lots of effort. Seems like the iPhone 7 port actually managed to get storage, display, touch, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth working. But of course no GPU because there’s still no open PowerVR driver. And there’s not going to be an Apple GPU driver for a loooong time for sure.

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                      I think dual-booting has always been a less-than-desireable “misfeature” from Apple’s POV. Their whole raisin de et is to offer an integrated experience where the OS, hardware, and (locked-down) app ecosystem all work together closely. Rip out any one of those and the whole edifice starts to tumble.

                      So now they have a brand-new hardware platform with an expanded trusted base, so why not use it to protect their customers from “bad ideas” like disabling secure boot or side-loading apps? Again, from their perspective they’re not doing anything wrong, or hostile to users; they’re just deciding what is and isn’t a “safe” use of the product.

                      I for one would be completely unsurprised to discover that the new Apple Silicon boxes were effectively just as locked down as their iOS cousins. You know, for safety.

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                        They’re definitely not blocking downloading apps. Federighi even mentioned universal binaries “downloaded from the web”. Of course you can compile and run any programs. In fact we know you can load unsigned kexts.

                        Reboot your Mac with Apple silicon into Recovery mode. Set the security level to Reduced security.

                        Remains to be seen whether that setting allows it to boot any unsigned kernel, but I wouldn’t just assume it doesn’t.

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                          They also went into some detail at WWDC about this, saying that the new Macs will be able to run code in the same contexts existing ones can. The message they want to give is “don’t be afraid of your existing workflow breaking when we change CPU”, so tightening the gatekeeper screws alongside the architecture shift is off the cards.

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                          I think dual-booting has always been a less-than-desireable “misfeature” from Apple’s POV. Their whole raisin de et is to offer an integrated experience where the OS, hardware, and (locked-down) app ecosystem all work together closely. Rip out any one of those and the whole edifice starts to tumble.

                          For most consumers, buying their first Mac is a high-risk endeavour. It’s a very expensive machine and it doesn’t run any of their existing binaries (especially since they broke Wine with Catalina). Supporting dual boot is Apple’s way of reducing that risk. If you aren’t 100% sure that you’ll like macOS, there’s a migration path away from it that doesn’t involve throwing away the machine: just install Windows and use it like your old machine. Apple doesn’t want you to do that, but by giving you the option of doing it they overcome some of the initial resistance of people switching.

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                            The context has switched, though.

                            Before, many prospective buyers of Macs used Windows, or needed Windows apps for their jobs.

                            Now, many more prospective buyers of Macs use iPhones and other iOS devices.

                            The value proposition of “this Mac runs iOS apps” is now much larger than the value proposition of “you can run Windows on this Mac”.

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                              There’s certainly some truth to that but I would imagine that most iOS users who buy Macs are doing so because iOS doesn’t do everything that they need. For example, the iPad version of PowerPoint is fine for presenting slides but is pretty useless for serious editing. There are probably a lot of other apps where the iOS version is quite cut down and is fine for a small device but is not sufficient for all purposes.

                              In terms of functionality, there isn’t much difference between macOS and Windows these days, but the UIs are pretty different and both are very different from iOS. There’s still some risk for someone who is happy with iOS on the phone and Windows on the laptop buying a Mac, even if it can run all of their iOS apps. There’s a much bigger psychological barrier for someone who is not particularly computer literate moving to something new, even if it’s quite like similar to something they’re more-or-less used to. There are still vastly more Windows users than iOS users, though it’s not clear how many of those are thinking about buying Macs.

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                                There are still vastly more Windows users than iOS users, though it’s not clear how many of those are thinking about buying Macs.

                                Not really arguing here, I’m sure you’re right, but how many of those Windows users choose to use Windows, as opposed to having to use it for work?

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                                  I don’t think it matters very much. I remember trying to convince people to switch from MS Office ‘97 to OpenOffice around 2002 and the two were incredibly similar back then but people were very nervous about the switch. Novell did some experiments just replacing the Office shortcuts with OpenOffice and found most people didn’t notice at all but the same people were very resistant to switching if you offered them the choice.

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                          That “developer” might means Apple developers.

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                          Here is the source of truth from WWDC 2020 about the new boot architecture.

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                            People claimed the same thing about T2 equipped intel Macs.

                            On the T2 intels at least, the OS verification can be disabled. The main reason you can’t just install eg Linux on a T2 Mac is the lack of support for the ssd (which is managed by the T2 itself). Even stuff like ESXi can be used on T2 Macs - you just can’t use the built in SSD.

                            That’s not to say that it’s impossible they’ve added more strict boot requirements but I’d wager that like with other security enhancements in Macs which cause some to clutch for their pearls, this too can probably be disabled.

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                            … This is the Intel model it replaces: https://support.apple.com/kb/SP818?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

                            Two TB3/USB-C ports; Max 16GB RAM;

                            It’s essentially the same laptop, but with a non-intel CPU/iGPU, and with USB4 as a bonus.

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                              Fair point! Toggling between “M1” and “Intel” on the product page flips between 2 ports/4 ports and 16GB RAM/max 32GB RAM, and it’s not clear this is a base model/higher tier toggle. I still think this is pretty stingy, but you’re right – it’s not a new change.

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                              These seem like replacements for the base model 13” MBP, which had similar limitations. Of course, it becomes awkward that the base model now has a much, much better CPU/IGP than the higher-end models.

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                                I assume this is just a “phase 1” type thing. They will probably roll out additional options when their A15 (or whatever their next cpu model is named) ships down the road. Apple has a tendency to be a bit miserly (or conservative, depending on your take) at first, and then the next version looks that much better when it rolls around.

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                                  Yeah, they said the transition would take ~2 years, so I assume they’ll slowly go up the stack. I expect the iMacs and 13-16” MacBook Pros to be refreshed next.

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                                    Indeed. Could be they wanted to make the new models a bit “developer puny” to keep from cannabalizing the more expensive units (higher end mac pros, imacs) until they have the next rev of cpu ready or something. Who knows the amount of marketing/portfolio wrangling that goes behind the scenes to suss out timings for stuff like this (billion dollar industries), in order to try to hit projected quarterly earnings for a few quarters out down the road.

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                                      I think this is exactly right. Developers have never been a core demographic for Apple to sell to - it’s almost accidental that OS X being a great Unix desktop, coupled with software developer’s higher income made Macs so popular with developers (iOS being an income gold mine helped too, of course).

                                      But if you’re launching a new product, you look at what you’re selling best of (iPads and Macbook Air’s) and you iterate on that.

                                      Plus, what developer in their right mind would trust their livelihood to a 1.0 release?!

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                                        I think part of the strategy is that they’d rather launch a series of increasingly powerful chips, instead of starting with the most powerful and working their way down - makes for far better presentations. “50% faster!” looks better than “$100 cheaper! (oh, and 30% slower)”.

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                                          It also means that they can buy more time for some sort of form-factor update while having competent, if not ideal, machines for developers in-market. I was somewhat surprised at the immediate availability given that these are transition machines. This is likely due to the huge opportunity for lower-priced machines during the pandemic. It is prudent for Apple to get something out for this market right now since an end might be on the horizon.

                                          I’ve seen comments about the Mini being released for this reason, but it’s much more likely that the Air is the product that this demographic will adopt. Desktop computers, even if we are more confined to our homes, have many downsides. Geeks are not always able to understand these, but drive the online conversations. Fans in the Mini and MBP increase the thermal envelope, so they’ll likely be somewhat more favourable for devs and enthusiasts. It’s going to be really interesting to see what exists a year from now. It will be disappointing, if at least some broader changes to the form factor and design aren’t introduced.

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                                          Developers have never been a core demographic for Apple to sell to

                                          While this may have been true once, it certainly isn’t anymore. The entire iPhone and iPad ecosystem is underpinned by developers who pretty much need a Mac and Xcode to get anything done. Apple knows that.

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                                            Not only that, developers were key to switching throughout the 00s. That Unix shell convinced a lot of us, and we convinced a lot of friends.

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                                              In the 00s, Apple was still an underdog. Now they rule the mobile space, their laptops are probably the only ones that make any money in the market, and “Wintel” is basically toast. Apple can afford to piss off most developers (the ones who like the Mac because it’s a nice Unix machine) if it believes doing so will make a better consumer product.

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                                                I’ll give you this; developers are not top priority for them. Casual users are still number one by a large margin.

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                                              Some points

                                              • Developers for iOS need Apple way more than Apple needs them
                                              • You don’t need an ARM Mac to develop for ARM i-Devices
                                              • For that tiny minority of developers who develop native macOS apps, Apple provided a transition hardware platform - not free, by the way.

                                              As seen by this submission, Apple does the bare minimum to accommodate developers. They are certainly not prioritized.

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                                                I don’t really think it’s so one-sided towards developers - sure, developers do need to cater for iOS if they want good product outreach, but remember that Apple are also taking a 30% cut on everything in the iOS ecosystem and the margins on their cut will be excellent.

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                                            higher end mac pros

                                            Honestly trepidatiously excited to see what kind of replacement apple silicon has for the 28 core xeon mac pro. It will either be a horrific nerfing or an incredible boon for high performance computing.

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                                      and can’t be upgraded past 16GB of RAM.

                                      Note that RAM is part of the SoC. You can’t upgrade this afterwards. You must choose the correct amount at checkout.

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                                        This is not new to the ARM models. Memory in Mac laptops, and often desktops, has not been expandable for some time.

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                                        I really believe that most people (including me) don’t need more than two Thunderbolt 3 ports nowadays. You can get a WiFi or Bluetooth version of pretty much anything nowadays and USB hubs solve the issue when you are at home with many peripherals.

                                        Also, some Thunderbolt 3 displays can charge your laptop and act like a USB hub. They are usually quite expensive but really convenient (that’s what I used at work before COVID-19).

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                                          it’s still pretty convenient to have the option of plugging in on the left or right based on where you are sitting so disappointing for that reason

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                                            I’m not convinced. A power adapter and a monitor will use up both ports, and AFAIK monitors that will also charge the device over Thunderbolt are pretty uncommon. Add an external hard drive for Time Machine backups, and now you’re juggling connections regularly rather than just leaving everything plugged in.

                                            On my 4-port MacBook Pro, the power adapter, monitor, and hard drive account for 3 ports. My 4th is taken up with a wireless dongle for my keyboard. Whenever I want to connect my microphone for audio calls or a card reader for photos I have to disconnect something, and my experiences with USB-C hubs have shown them to be unreliable. I’m sure I could spend a hundred dollars and get a better hub – but if I’m spending $1500 on a laptop, I don’t think I should need to.

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                                              and AFAIK monitors that will also charge the device over Thunderbolt are pretty uncommon

                                              Also, many adapters that pass through power and have USB + a video connector of some sort only allow 4k@30Hz (such as Apple’s own USB-C adapters). Often the only way to get 4k@60Hz with a non-Thunderbolt screen is by using a dedicated USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode adapter, which leaves only one USB-C port for everything else (power, any extra USB devices).

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                                            I’ve been trying to get a Mac laptop with 32GB for years. It still doesn’t exist. But that’s not an ARM problem.

                                            Update: Correction, 32GB is supported in Intel MBPs as of this past May. Another update: see the reply! I must have been ignoring the larger sizes.

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                                              I think that link says that’s the first 13 inch MacBook Pro with 32GB RAM. I have a 15 inch MBP from mid-2018 with 32GB, so they’ve been around for a couple of years at least.

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                                                You can get 64GB on the 2020 MBP 16” and I think on the 2019, too.

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                                              Sorry, calls busy, so I’m trying my best to work two things at once.

                                              • Recap of what was launched before. Didn’t catch this due to overlapping calls.

                                              • It’s time to talk about the Mac. Hagiography. ARM by the end of the year. M1 chip for power efficiency Macs.

                                              • Johny on stage to talk about M1. UMA. 5nm. 16B transistors. Fastest SoC. 4 high-efficiency and 4 high-performance cores. Low-power cores compare to the current MBA. Best CPU performance/W; 2X power efficiency gain at 10W. Intel hasn’t been improving as much. Graphics. 8-core GPU. Similar TDP efficiency than Intel IGPs. Faster than Intel’s IGPs. Lots of uncore, including 11Top/16-core neural engine. Secure enclave. Thunderbolt/USB4.

                                              • Back to John. Mac-specific optimization for M1. Big Sur is optimized for it.

                                              • To Craig to talk Mac OS. Other events have covered what it changes, so I’ll cover platform changes. Instant wake from sleep. ~2X responsiveness improvement (what metric?). Cinema 4D is shown. UMA benefits the IGP. Resolve shown. Power management. Hardware-verified secure boot, runtime protection, automatic encryption. Universal apps; ISVs will offer this. Rosetta 2; games and CAD apps shown in it. Some applications claimed to run better in emulation than native on x86. Run iOS apps on Mac. App developers shown M1; they like it.

                                              • Back to John. An actual Mac with M1. Looks like a MacBook Air. Laura on stage to talk about the new MBA. We get it - it’s fast! 2X SSD perf. Fanless. 15 web browsing, 18 hours video playback, 2X video calls. ISP for camera. 999$ base model, 899 for edu.

                                              • Back to John. It’s faster than 98% of Windows laptops sold, they claim. Another M1 Mac. Mac Mini. Julie on stage to talk about it. 3X faster than x86 version. 6X faster graphics. Seems like the thermals on the Mini allow it to sustain turbo boost? TB/USB4, HDMI1, 10G eth ports wise at least. 699$ base model, 100$ drop.

                                              • Back to John. Another M1 Mac? MacBook Pro 13” with M1. Shruti on stage to talk about it. Same improvements across the board; 5X graphics improvement over previous model. 11x ML workload improvement over prev model. Battery life improvements. 17 hours wireless web, 20 hours video (10 more than before), for longest in Mac yet. Three-microphone array. ISP for camera. Thunderbolt, including that fancy monitor with the expensive arm at full resolution. 1299$ base model, 1199 for edu.

                                              • Back to John. Recap of Mac stuff. Environmentally nice! It’s recycled! Orders start today! Availability next week! Big Sur on Thursday! Hagiography video again before we turn it back to Tim. New Mac chime?

                                              • Tim. 2020, man. That’s it for today. (I guess some people were expecting another launch.)

                                              • Oh, it’s the Mac vs. PC ad guy. They’re doing these events safely, so they say.

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                                                It’s faster than 98% of Windows laptops sold, they claim.

                                                Specifically, those sold in the last year.

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                                                I’m pretty skeptical of the benchmarks - all of them are against 1st party apps. What I’m waiting for are real-life benchmarks (netflix playback in chrome/FF, ffmpeg encode etc).

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                                                  One benchmark was against Davinci which is 3rd party application.

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                                                    Naturally the benchmarks are largely against first party apps. They built a browser and maintain it for power efficiency, partly to market with high battery life numbers in laptops and phones. They built the hardware decoding alongside selecting the video formats of their video streaming service and media store. This is not only a pitch for the Mac, but for Safari and the whole rest of their ecosystem.

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                                                    I’m very ambivalent about this, and many others here probably as well.

                                                    On the one hand, these ARM laptops will blow anything out of the water that’s on the market today. Apple’s silicon-developments are top notch, and it shows with their smartphones, where all other manufacturers are more or less 1-2 years behind Apple, and this is just the first generation.

                                                    On the other hand, one should not fall for any illusion that software-wise this was any more liberal than an iPad. Given macOS’s current trajectory, we’ll be on iOS-levels soon enough and many hackers will probably leave the platform due to this reason, as I also did back in 2012 when the lockdown slowly started. It’s sad because this locked down platform will disincentivize people from using open source software, given everything needs to be signed to run. To give a short anecdote, Apple stopped signing HP’s printer-drivers last month and everyone using those drivers got a warning that said “this software is harmful to your computer” without giving more information. I had quite a few customers who were scared about this message and without some magic Terminal-invocations you have no other choice but to wait for Apple/HP to release new drivers. Given the nature of such signatures, don’t even dream about using any non-supported Apple hardware with macOS anymore, because as soon as all the signatures expire, nothing will work anymore. Brave new world.

                                                    Let’s see how it turns out. If you are able to boot Linux on the MacBook Air, I can imagine this becoming a very successful laptop and a breath of fresh air for Linux, given it is available on ARM compared to Windows, whose ARM-port is still a mess and whose reliance on closed source compiled software makes it very difficult to run x86-software. If you are, on the other hand, unable to boot Linux on the new Macs, this is a turning point for general purpose computing and one more coffin nail in Linux for the common desktop.

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                                                      I see some comments about port and RAM limits, the situation is a bit more interesting than most people appreciate. The M1 has the RAM built into the CPU package which helps space, cost, performance, and power, but of course reduces flexibility. Fine for home and office users, and honestly a lot of developers and other pro users too.

                                                      Here’s where it gets fun: I expect the higher-end chips are going to have move main memory out of the CPU package and instead include GPU-style high speed DRAM for high-traffic memory regions. Maybe two stacks of HBM2E for 1TB/s bandwidth. That will be a big improvement to all kinds of compute-intensive apps and potentially give them access to high end engineering apps. For the first time in 20 years the fastest workstations won’t be commodity PCs.

                                                      Should be fun.

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                                                        What about a multiple-level memory thing? (Well, one more in addition to all the levels there already are.) 16 or 32GB of CPU-/GPU-shared super fast memory on the SoC for stuff that needs it plus a few sticks (or, more likely, soldered) of conventional RAM. Would likely require new smarts at the Darwin layer, of course.

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                                                          Yes, that’s roughly what I’m guessing Apple does. There’s some precedent. Intel has shipped chips with in-package eDRAM, AMD has done work on CPU/GPU unified memory space, and some upcoming Intel HPC-targeted chips are announced to include in-package HBM2E. 16/32GB of HBM + slots to take you up to 1TB+ in DDR4 DIMMS seems like a reasonable answer for a tower Mac. 2/4GB + DDR4 soldered on seems likely for a 16” successor. I doubt there would be many software changes outside the kernel and Metal infrastructure.

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                                                        Best price per performance is a very important server metric. Does this telegraph a move into the server space?

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                                                          ARM on AWS is already extremely competitive and for many workloads is more cost efficient.

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                                                            Not everyone has AWS’ scale to make their own chips. Seems like the little guys might consider buying chips from Apple.

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                                                              I like the idea, but I don’t see Apple earnestly moving into a space unless they really find it exciting. And they just don’t love the backend world; the company treats it like a chore.

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                                                                Not everyone has AWS’ scale to make their own chips. Seems like the little guys might consider buying chips from Apple.

                                                                Given how much Apple is positioning first-party silicon as a differentiator, it’s highly unlikely that they’d sell chips to anyone else. Even if they did, there’s a lot of work to do to make this into a good datacenter chip. Phone, laptop, and tablet SoCs are a lot more similar to each other than any of them are to server SoCs.

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                                                                  AWS chips use stock Arm cores, not any custom design. The only benefit of custom SoC for them is that they can integrate their “Nitro” peripherals (NIC/storage/security) onto the SoC directly.

                                                                  The little guys can buy Ampere (or Nuvia when that happens?) and enjoy better performance (I’m pretty sure Ampere Altra will clock higher than Graviton2 and it has more cores).

                                                                  Though of course it would be a dream if Apple did an ARM Xserve, with full ACPI standard support and everything :)

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                                                                Not a chance. Apple tolerates professional users who aren’t in media production, but they’re a consumer product company.

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                                                                  Maybe for their own datacenters, but I don’t really see them getting back into selling them externally again.
                                                                  They kicked Xserve to the curb back in 2011 – I assume it just ended up not being worth it. Maybe one of: inability to differentiate in on a market segment that is typically only price sensitive (eg. server market is not really UI/UX driven), thinner margins, customers wanting long support lifetimes, longer product lifetimes to ensure capex… who knows?

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                                                                    They kicked Xserve to the curb back in 2011 – I assume it just ended up not being worth it.

                                                                    The Xserve was built for a single customer: Pixar. Back in 2002, Steve Jobs was CEO of Pixar and Apple and, as Apple CEO, was telling the world that Apple made the fastest computer. At the same time, as Pixar CEO, he was buying huge numbers of Dell servers for his render farms. This was incredibly bad for Apple’s marketing. It made sense to create the Xserve so that Pixar could loudly tell everyone that they were buying Apple hardware for their render farms.

                                                                    Disney bought Pixar in 2006 and Jobs took a less active role. The last Xserves were released in 2009 and by then Apple was the iPhone company, no one cared if Pixar render farms used their hardware.

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                                                                      I never made that connection, and this makes a ton of sense. Thanks for sharing!

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                                                                  I were excited about the new Mac mini, but then I checked out the configurator to be met with only 16 GB, HDMI 2.0 and Gigabit ethernet. Guess I’ll wait on the Mac mini Pro then..

                                                                  Also it seems that eGPU is out.

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                                                                    hmm, even if eGPU usage in macOS is out, I wonder if you could PCIe passthrough an eGPU into a VM…

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                                                                    It’s an iPad Pro with the touchscreen removed? Seems like a shitty deal.

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                                                                      I think it’ll be running Mac OS, not iOS.