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chucker
 
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2021-03-18, 14:07

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Yeah, I guess we've got a year or 18 months before the pandemic stops being a factor in supply chains.

Tech is in a bit of a state right now. Apple Silicon's a bright spot, but Intel seems to have lost their way.
Yup. AMD seems to be doing OK, though.

(I think Intel is on a slow path to recovery, but we probably won't see that for at least a year or two.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
The new game consoles haven't lit the world on fire. SSDs are just not scaling upward in capacity and lower in price the way HDDs did. TVs will stay at 4K for awhile, seeing as 8K in computer setups are still rare.

Looking forward to seeing what the M1X brings to the tech party, hopefully soon.
Seems to me both game consoles and TVs have sort of hit a spot where improvements are marginal. VR just isn't happening yet. 8K will be very hard for most consumer setups to notice.
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kscherer
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2021-03-18, 14:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Did you see Intel's new ads that use the "Mac" guy from the old Mac vs PC ads? Intel must be really butt hurt to be pulling this BS.
Oh, no doubt. They're playing a game of desperation, trying to get as many people scared of Apple's new chips as fast as they can, while they can. Because when the M1X lands later this year, the poop is gonna fly, and Intel is going to get it all over their faces.

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Frank777
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2021-03-18, 16:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Yup. AMD seems to be doing OK, though.

(I think Intel is on a slow path to recovery, but we probably won't see that for at least a year or two.)



Seems to me both game consoles and TVs have sort of hit a spot where improvements are marginal. VR just isn't happening yet. 8K will be very hard for most consumer setups to notice.
Chucker, is there a reason you can see why SSDs are not scaling up in capacity (or lowering in price, depending on your perspective) as fast as previous storage tech?

Like PB, I'm about to buy a 12GB HDD myself because the cost of SSDs is so outlandish.
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kscherer
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2021-03-18, 16:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Like PB, I'm about to buy a 12GB HDD myself because the cost of SSDs is so outlandish.


12GB? No way!

No one will ever need that much space.
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Frank777
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2021-03-18, 16:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post


12GB? No way!

No one will ever need that much space.
I could correct it. But I think I'll let it stand.
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kscherer
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2021-03-18, 16:55

Oh, if you correct it, I'm gonna correct it back. That one has to stand!
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PB PM
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2021-03-18, 17:22

My G4 tower came with a massive 10GB HDD, but that was 20 years ago. I only got 6TB drives to move up from 3TB drives.
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chucker
 
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2021-03-18, 17:23

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post
Chucker, is there a reason you can see why SSDs are not scaling up in capacity (or lowering in price, depending on your perspective) as fast as previous storage tech?
I'm not sure I buy the premise.

SSD pricing has gone from ~69 cents per GiB in 2013 to ~9 cents per GiB in 2020.

(Data source: https://jcmit.net/flashprice.htm)
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Frank777
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2021-03-18, 17:43

Sure, but in larger capacities, even for professionals, they are extremely hard to find.

For example, the LaCie 1 big Dock goes up to 16TB capacity, but the 1 big Dock SSD line maxes out at 4TB.
And of course the 4TB HDD is USD$499, while the 4TB SSD is $3489.

I'm not saying they should be equally priced, I understand an SSD's speed will command a premium.

But in terms of capacity, I'm not seeing much availability in the way of SSDs larger than 5TB.
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PB PM
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2021-03-18, 18:17

I don't buy packaged SSD's (LaCie type things), way over priced. Bare drives are the way to go, and put them in a case of your choice. In the consumer space Samsung is really the only one offering 8TB 2.5" drives, the 870 QVO (QLC nand) is $1099 Cdn, so I'm sure it is cheaper than $3k USD. Micron and Western Digital don't. There are a number of NVMe options, the price is $1600 Cdn, so a $600 price jump. Either way a 8TB SSD is a lot more than sub $200 8TB HDD.
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bassplayinMacFiend
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2021-03-24, 11:36

I think the chip crunch is hitting SSDs too. The 1TB external SSD I bought for my PS5 in January was only $40 cheaper than the 2TB external SSD I bought for my iMac last September. Both were from the same manufacturer and bought at the same store, the only difference is size.
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PB PM
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2021-03-24, 14:57

Odd, SSD prices have been very stable for the better part of the last four months, basically the same price as last summer looking back. There have been discounts on Samsung SSDs lately, as they have been rolling out new models over the past 3-4 weeks. I don’t watch prices of external SSDs though, which are usually $30-40 more than a bare drive.
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kscherer
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2021-03-25, 13:50

And on that note:

These people need to find something better to do with their time!

The complexity of the machines that make the machines is just …

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PB PM
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2021-03-25, 17:45

An it all runs on 0s and 1s, just like your Mac.
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kscherer
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2021-03-25, 17:58

Yeah, it was funny when he said that.

If I'm not mistaken, it's those tools (or others like them) that TSMC uses to build the latest Apple Silicon.

There's a reason why a chip fab is so blooming expensive to build.

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PB PM
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2021-03-25, 19:48

Yup, Samsung spent over $1 billion to get the ball rolling on a new fab last year.
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kscherer
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2021-03-25, 23:03

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Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
…$1 billion to get the ball rolling…
Yes, and it's rolling uphill. Those plants cost $10billion+ these days.
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Frank777
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2021-05-07, 12:46

Okay, this stuff is getting really interesting now.
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kscherer
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2021-05-07, 12:55

That tech is so incredibly expensive (R&D alone is in the billions) that there are only a small handful of companies that can even pretend to do it. IBM (obviously), TSMC, Samsung, Intel, and who else? AMD? Apple dumps billions into R&D but doesn't make any of the stuff. The number of fabs can probably be counted on a couple hands.

It's just mind boggling to me how much money is involved, and how unlikely your chances are at ever getting into the game. The expertise and the money are all owned by, like, 3 people [/sarcasm].

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chucker
 
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2021-05-07, 15:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
That tech is so incredibly expensive (R&D alone is in the billions) that there are only a small handful of companies that can even pretend to do it. IBM (obviously), TSMC, Samsung, Intel, and who else? AMD?
Well, AMD and IBM are both fabless now — AMD spun off their fab business in 2009, naming it "GlobalFoundries", and GF in turn bought IBM's fab business.

I believe only Intel, Samsung, TSMC, and SMIC can manufacture 7nm and 5nm at this point. (Intel apparently can't do either at scale yet.)
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kscherer
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2021-05-07, 15:33

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Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Well, AMD and IBM are both fabless now — AMD spun off their fab business in 2009, naming it "GlobalFoundries", and GF in turn bought IBM's fab business.

I believe only Intel, Samsung, TSMC, and SMIC can manufacture 7nm and 5nm at this point. (Intel apparently can't do either at scale yet.)
Well, I think they can do it in their labs, just not in mass production. Either way, the number of companies that can do any kind of mass-produced SOCs capable of powering modern computers (including smartphones) is pretty small. We might need to add Xiaomi to that list, since I think they are fabbing their own chips at this time? Maybe?

It's a small list.

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chucker
 
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2021-05-07, 15:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Well, I think they can do it in their labs, just not in mass production.
Yeah, IBM still seems interested in the research part of it. Which seems a bit… left-hand-right-hand to me? Like someone forgot to tell them that their semiconductor business no longer exists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Either way, the number of companies that can do any kind of mass-produced SOCs capable of powering modern computers (including smartphones) is pretty small. We might need to add Xiaomi to that list, since I think they are fabbing their own chips at this time? Maybe?

It's a small list.
I don't think Xiaomi has chips. Huawei does (HiSilicon), but they're fabless; most (all?) of their stuff seems to be TSMC. I wouldn't be shocked to see pressure from China for HiSilicon to move from TSMC to SMIC. China can't be too happy about its fabless companies needing to partner with a Taiwanese company.

It's definitely an extremely small list. To be clear, there are other companies still that have fabs. NXP/Freescale (formerly Philips and Motorola), STMicroelectronics, Renesas (Hitachi/Mitsubishi/NEC) and a few others still have fabs. But the smaller the process node becomes, the more companies throw the towel (for example, Panasonic gave up in 2019).
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kscherer
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2021-05-21, 11:04

M1X

Is there anyone here that is surprised by this?
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chucker
 
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2021-05-21, 13:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
M1X

Is there anyone here that is surprised by this?
Somewhat.

Quote:
A source with a decent track record has suggested that the processor in this year’s MacBook Pro models will be branded the M1X rather than the M2, backing Bloomberg suggestions that it will be the same cores, but just more of them, and with a performance-heavy configuration.

Apple is said to be reserving the M2 name for next year’s chips, and that this will likely debut in a new MacBook Air …
That last sentence is weird. What will debut in a new MacBook Air? The M2? That would mean this, right?
  • we see an M1X (Firestorm/Icestorm cores, I presume, but more of them, more ports, more everything) in late summer to fall.
  • we then see either nothing at all or more M1 and M1X products.
  • and then, presumably early?? next year, we see a new Air with the M2

I guess that's possible? But yes, it surprises me a bit.

What I was thinking instead, based on recent rumors:
  • we see an M2 in late summer to fall. The cores are new, and the iPhone gets them later than the Macs do. It debuts in the MacBook Pro, but comes to some other products this year, too, such as the bigger iMac.
  • throughout the next "release year" (that "year" starting in late summer/early fall, here), products move to the M2, perhaps in different variants of core configurations, some stay on the M1 for a while
  • in particular, I'm guessing they'll introduce a new Air design either late this year or first half of second year, at a slightly higher price, with the M2, and leave the M1 Air from late 2020 around for a while at the lower price

Introducing the M2 (meaning: a Mac chip with the A15 generation of cores) not until next year would seem unexpected to me.

Last edited by chucker : 2021-05-21 at 16:16.
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turtle
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2021-05-21, 13:58

Removing the Pro name seems like an odd move too. Seems like it would create a little bit of a head ache with the model names. If it is just cosmetic but the box and marketing still calls it a Pro then fine, but seems odd to remove it from the display. :shrug:

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kscherer
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2021-05-21, 13:59

Chucker, your logic makes sense, but the naming structure/debut of Apple's A-series chipsets refutes it.

The iPhone consistently debuted with the Ax processor. A few months later (sometimes much later) an iPad would pop in with an AxX processor (specifically with more cores). The two were never side-by side, and sometimes there was an iPhone with, say, an A11, while the iPad Pro was running an A10X. So, it is not uncommon for the "slower" device to have a later-generation processor. However, the X-variant is still faster due to having a higher core count.

So, it makes sense to see an M1X with, say, 16 cores and 32 GPU cores (or something) drop into the MB Pro, while a slightly later MB Air update (new design?) gets the 8- or 12-core M2 with 8 or 12 GPU cores. The M1X is still going to be the faster of the two chips by virtue of its higher core-count. Then, in a few months the M2X would drop into a Pro update, and on and on. The setup makes sense to me.

And, yes, I still believe there will be an M2X Pro chip designation for the Mac Pro tower, and that chip will be behind all of them and seemingly make no sense next to the M3, except that the Pro chip will have ~20 and 40 CPU cores, and ~64 and 128 GPU cores.

I guess what I'm saying is that the Mx AS chips are going to get their performance numbers from core-counts more-so than letter designations, i.e. generational debut. The Pro stuff will always "seem" to be behind because of the letter designation, but will be far ahead based on core-count.

The previous iPad Pro is proof of that. The iPad Air (4th-gen) had the A14 Bionic while the iPad Pro (4th-gen) had the A12Z Bionic. The A12Z had more cores and the Pro was faster because of that. Thus, the letter designation should be somewhat ignored when it comes to core-performance, and only the core-count should be considered. Obviously, there are other generational touch-ups to the Neural Engine, the Secure Enclave, etc. to take into consideration, but these have thus far not been enough to overcome much higher CPU and GPU core-counts.

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chucker
 
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2021-05-21, 16:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle View Post
Removing the Pro name seems like an odd move too. Seems like it would create a little bit of a head ache with the model names. If it is just cosmetic but the box and marketing still calls it a Pro then fine, but seems odd to remove it from the display. :shrug:
It's kinda funny, really. The original MacBook Pro (mostly the same as the PowerBook G4 Aluminum) had it. Black on silver.

So did the unibody MacBook Pro, now with black instead of silver bezel. So, white on black.

Then the retina MacBook Pro, which I'm typing this on, did not have it!

But then the Touch Bar MacBook Pro brought it back! Again, white on black.

And now it's going away again?

They're messing with us.
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chucker
 
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2021-05-21, 16:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Chucker, your logic makes sense, but the naming structure/debut of Apple's A-series chipsets refutes it.

The iPhone consistently debuted with the Ax processor.
That's not entirely true — the A4 debuted in the iPad, and the A5 in the iPad 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
A few months later (sometimes much later) an iPad would pop in with an AxX processor (specifically with more cores). The two were never side-by side, and sometimes there was an iPhone with, say, an A11, while the iPad Pro was running an A10X. So, it is not uncommon for the "slower" device to have a later-generation processor.
Yeah. I think that's really just a function of Apple not seeing any point in annual releases for the iPad Pro (yet), and therefore also not for AxX chips. Maybe that changes now with the M-series iPads Pro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
So, it makes sense to see an M1X with, say, 16 cores and 32 GPU cores (or something) drop into the MB Pro, while a slightly later MB Air update (new design?) gets the 8- or 12-core M2 with 8 or 12 GPU cores.
It does, but the part I forgot to add to my post was: we're already late into the M1/A14 cycle. If the MBPs come out in July (and I'm guessing more like August), it'll be 9 months old, so three quarters.

By that point, next-gen cores will be in production ramp-up no matter what.

It could go either way, but the longer we wait, the less likely an M1X seems to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
The M1X is still going to be the faster of the two chips by virtue of its higher core-count. Then, in a few months the M2X would drop into a Pro update, and on and on. The setup makes sense to me.
Yeah, I get that. But I think we're getting close to past the point where "let's do a high-end design based on the Firestorm/Icestorm cores" makes sense, assuming "summer" really means "late summer".

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
And, yes, I still believe there will be an M2X Pro chip designation for the Mac Pro tower, and that chip will be behind all of them and seemingly make no sense next to the M3, except that the Pro chip will have ~20 and 40 CPU cores, and ~64 and 128 GPU cores.
Right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
I guess what I'm saying is that the Mx AS chips are going to get their performance numbers from core-counts more-so than letter designations, i.e. generational debut. The Pro stuff will always "seem" to be behind because of the letter designation, but will be far ahead based on core-count.

The previous iPad Pro is proof of that. The iPad Air (4th-gen) had the A14 Bionic while the iPad Pro (4th-gen) had the A12Z Bionic. The A12Z had more cores and the Pro was faster because of that. Thus, the letter designation should be somewhat ignored when it comes to core-performance, and only the core-count should be considered. Obviously, there are other generational touch-ups to the Neural Engine, the Secure Enclave, etc. to take into consideration, but these have thus far not been enough to overcome much higher CPU and GPU core-counts.
I'm not sure Apple was particularly happy with the "the iPad Pro has an A12 core from late 2018 to early 2021" situation. They did that and it was fine, because the iPad Pro was already plenty fast anyway, but I think they made an exception because they knew the M series was coming. (Plus, the A12Z served as test bed for what later became the DTK.)

I wouldn't extrapolate too much from "the iPad Pro is on a weird ~18-month cycle and they don't shy away from using last year's core" to "they're OK with doing this on high-end Macs".
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kscherer
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2021-05-22, 21:43

It just occurred to me why the M1 is now in the iPad Pro. When you consider that the iPad Pro was already more than capable enough with an Ax chip, adding the M1 improves economies of scale so the price of the M1 can be spread across more devices, thus lowering the per-device component cost of the chip. The more they make, the less they cost, resulting in two things: 1) Short-term cost maintains Apple's margins; and 2) Long-term cost will allow Apple to gradually reduce the cost of Macs in the same way they were able to bring down the cost of the iPad from $499 to $329.

I suspect that in 3-5 years we will begin seeing $700 MB Airs, $500 Mac Minis, and $1000 iMacs—all running Apple Silicon.

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chucker
 
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2021-05-23, 04:28

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
It just occurred to me why the M1 is now in the iPad Pro. When you consider that the iPad Pro was already more than capable enough with an Ax chip, adding the M1 improves economies of scale so the price of the M1 can be spread across more devices, thus lowering the per-device component cost of the chip.
Definitely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
I suspect that in 3-5 years we will begin seeing $700 MB Airs, $500 Mac Minis, and $1000 iMacs—all running Apple Silicon.
Maybe.

If Apple had wanted to do cheaper Intel Macs, they could've. Using Pentium/Celeron, say.
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