News MacBook Pro 16-inch M1X chip just leaked — and it's game over for Intel

Nov 27, 2020
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Microsoft tried it with the Surface and Google tried it with the Chromebook. Having an ARM CPU is risky. Both the Surface and Chromebook flopped. WINTEL is the standard to beat and Sun's SPARCStations, Netscape's NetPC, and others just failed to meet the low costs of WINTEL technology. Even if Apple pumps up the M1X to 12 cores the Apple MacBook is too expensive for an ARM based system.
 
Nov 27, 2020
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Microsoft tried it with the Surface and Google tried it with the Chromebook. Having an ARM CPU is risky. Both the Surface and Chromebook flopped. WINTEL is the standard to beat and Sun's SPARCStations, Netscape's NetPC, and others just failed to meet the low costs of WINTEL technology. Even if Apple pumps up the M1X to 12 cores the Apple MacBook is too expensive for an ARM based system.
How is it too expensive for an ARM based system when its proving to be much faster than any intel system doing the same tasks and even faster when using Rosetta to translate it. 20 hour battery life, much more performance, less noise, everything about the ARM Macs make intel look like joke. X86 may be well on its way out the door. Check out this video for some perspective
 
Reactions: mwerneburg
Nov 27, 2020
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I wonder what is gonna be the price of the 16-inch one. I bought Macbook Pro 15-inch, 2011 Early Spring version, the AMD graphic card burned out about 6 months ago, running on the Intel 3000 graphic card only. It has 4GB memory. So I am kind of limping right now. I paid for it close to $2000 (little over $2000 incl. tax) nearly 10 years ago. I am used to at least 15-inch laptop so I am excited for the 16-inch version M1X. I am not doing any high video editing (at least not for now) or playing any resource demanding games. But I always like to buy a laptop that is fast and powerful, a latest technology (I prefer the quality over quantity idea) and then keep it for a while. I do a lot of internet streaming/browsing, using the built-in cam. Besides the price I also wonder if they replace the 720p cam with a better one, such as 1080p cam.
Thanks.
 
Nov 12, 2020
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How is it too expensive for an ARM based system when its proving to be much faster than any intel system doing the same tasks and even faster when using Rosetta to translate it. 20 hour battery life, much more performance, less noise, everything about the ARM Macs make intel look like joke. X86 may be well on its way out the door. Check out this video for some perspective
This is exactly what I've been led to believe. We are in for an Apple joyride after all these years. Wishing them well...
 

varase

Honorable
Oct 29, 2016
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Microsoft tried it with the Surface and Google tried it with the Chromebook. Having an ARM CPU is risky. Both the Surface and Chromebook flopped. WINTEL is the standard to beat and Sun's SPARCStations, Netscape's NetPC, and others just failed to meet the low costs of WINTEL technology. Even if Apple pumps up the M1X to 12 cores the Apple MacBook is too expensive for an ARM based system.
M1 has 4 high performance Firestorm and 4 high efficiency Icestorm cores - it was designed for the low-end MacBook Air (fanless) and 13" MacBook Pro models as part of their annual spec bump.

Rumor has it the M1x slated for later this year will have 8-16 Firestorm cores (depending on binning) and will be targeted at machines like the 14" and 16" MacBook Pros and possibly the low end iMac (and maybe a high end Mac Mini).

In 2008, Apple acquired PA Semi and worked with cash strapped Intrinsity and Samsung to produce a FastCore Cortex-A8; the frenemies famously split and Apple used their IP and Imagination's PowerVR to create the A4 and Samsung took their tech to produce the Exynos 3. Apple acquired Intrinsity and continued to hire engineering talent from IBM's Cell and XCPU design teams, and hired Johny Srouji from IBM who worked on the POWER7 line to direct the effort.

This divergence from standard ARM designs was continued by Apple who continued to nurture and build their Silicon Design Team (capitalized out of respect) for a decade, ignoring standard ARM designs building their own architecture, improving and optimizing it year by year for the last decade.

Whereas other ARM processor makers like Qualcomm and Samsung pretty much now use standard ARM designed cores - Apple has their own designs and architecture and has greatly expanded their own processor acumen to the point where the Firestorm cores in the A14 and M1 are the most sophisticated processors in the world with an eight wide processor design with a 690 instruction execution queue with a massive reorder buffer and the arithmetic units to back it up - which means its out-of-order execution unit can execute up to eight instructions simultaneously.

x86 processor makers are hampered by the CISC design and a variable instruction length. This means that at most they can produce a three wide design and even for that the decoder would have to be fiendishly clever, as it would have to guess where one instruction ended and the next began.

There's a problem shared with x86-64 processor makers and Windows - they never met an instruction or feature they didn't like. What happens then is you get a build-up of crud that no one uses, but it still consumes energy and engineering time to keep working.

AMD can get better single core speed by pushing up clocks (and dealing with the exponentially increased heat though chiplets are probably much harder to cool), and Intel by reducing the number of cores (the top of the 10 core 20 thread 10900K actually had to be shaved to achieve enough surface area to cool the chip so it at 14nm had reached the limits of physics). Both run so hot they are soon in danger of running into Moore's Wall.

Apple OTOH ruthlessly pares underused or unoptimizable features.

When Apple determined that ARMv7 (32 bit ARM) was unoptimizable, they wrote it out of iOS, and removed those logic blocks from their CPUs in two years, repurposing the silicon real estate for more productive things. Intel, AMD, and yes even Qualcomm couldn't do that in a decade.

Apple continues that with everything - not enough people using Force Touch - deprecate it, remove it from the hardware, and replace it with Haptic Touch. Gone.

Here's another secret of efficiency - make it a goal. Last year on the A13 Bionic used in the iPhone 11s, the Apple Silicon Team introduced hundreds of voltage domains so they could turn off parts of the chip not in use. Following their annual cadence, they increased the speed of the Lightning high performance and the Thunder high efficiency cores by 20% despite no change in the 7nm mask size. As an aside, they increased the speed of matrix multiplication and division by six times (used in machine learning).

This year they increased the speed of the Firestorm high performance and Icestorm high efficiency cores by another 20% while dropping the mask size from 7nm to 5nm. That's a hell of a compounding rate and explains how they got to where they are. Rumor has it they've bought all the 3nm capacity from TSMC for the A16 (and probably M2) next year.

Wintel fans would deny the efficacy of the A series processors and say they were mobile chips, as if they used slower silicon with wheels on the bottom or more sluggish electrons.

What they were were high efficiency chips which were passively cooled and living in a glass sandwich. Remove them from that environment where they could breathe more easily and boost the clocks a tad and they became a raging beast.

People say that the other processor makers will catch up in a couple of years, but that's really tough to see. Apple Silicon is the culmination of a decade of intense processor design financed by a company with very deep pockets - who is fully cognizant of the competitive advantage Apple Silicon affords. Here's an article in Anandtech comparing the Firestorm cores to the competing ARM and x86 cores. It's very readable for an article of its ilk.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/16226/apple-silicon-m1-a14-deep-dive

Of course these are the Firestorm cores used in the A14, and are not as performant as the cores in the M1 due to the M1's higher 3.2 ghz clock speed.
 
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