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kscherer
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2020-11-11, 12:15

The future of the Mac is here. And I'm super excited. The new computers are, well, just new computers. But the chip inside is where the fun stuff is at. A complete SOC, including up to 16GB RAM, storage controllers (and everything else the T2 did), along with a bunch of microprocessors and bus-bits.

8-core CPU (4 high-performance, 4 efficiency), including the fastest single-thread core available;
8-core GPU
16-core Neural Engine
Power efficiency like nothing else
Fan or fan-less (fans will contribute to higher sustained workloads and may also allow for higher clock speeds)

Seriously, this is a neat, little chip!

Me so happy!

There will obviously be a transition phase where the M1's maximum RAM is limited to 16GB.

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709
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2020-11-11, 12:46

There's an article over at AnandTech covering some of the geekier stuff. Still a lot of speculation, obviously, but an enjoyable read.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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2020-11-11, 13:41

So the chip thermal throttles itself if I'm gathering this right. Since they all seem to be the same chip across the board but some have fans and others don't. Didn't the iPhone throttle itself when it felt it needed to conserve?

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kscherer
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2020-11-11, 18:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
There's an article over at AnandTech covering some of the geekier stuff. Still a lot of speculation, obviously, but an enjoyable read.
This bit is telling:
Quote:
The performance numbers of the A14 on this chart is relatively mind-boggling. If I were to release this data with the label of the A14 hidden, one would guess that the data-points came from some other x86 SKU from either AMD or Intel. The fact that the A14 currently competes with the very best top-performance designs that the x86 vendors have on the market today is just an astonishing feat.
And:
Quote:
In the overall SPEC2006 chart, the A14 is performing absolutely fantastic, taking the lead in absolute performance only falling short of AMD’s recent Ryzen 5000 series.

The fact that Apple is able to achieve this in a total device power consumption of 5W including the SoC, DRAM, and regulators, versus +21W (1185G7) and 49W (5950X) package power figures, without DRAM or regulation, is absolutely mind-blowing.
And then this bit, coming from people who obviously know what they're talking about:

Quote:
Apple claims the M1 to be the fastest CPU in the world. Given our data on the A14, beating all of Intel’s designs, and just falling short of AMD’s newest Zen3 chips – a higher clocked Firestorm above 3GHz, the 50% larger L2 cache, and an unleashed TDP, we can certainly believe Apple and the M1 to be able to achieve that claim.

This moment has been brewing for years now, and the new Apple Silicon is both shocking, but also very much expected. In the coming weeks we’ll be trying to get our hands on the new hardware and verify Apple’s claims.

Intel has stagnated itself out of the market, and has lost a major customer today. AMD has shown lots of progress lately, however it’ll be incredibly hard to catch up to Apple’s power efficiency. If Apple’s performance trajectory continues at this pace, the x86 performance crown might never be regained.
Good article, 709; thanks for posting it!

And man, what a bunch of nifty tidbits, performance numbers, and technical data—even if the only thing they truly have to work with is the A14.

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Last edited by kscherer : 2020-11-11 at 18:35.
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Quagmire
meh
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-11, 20:04

I know this is for the Macbook Air, but putting this here since I want to focus on the M1.

First geekbench results have been leaked.... And it is impressive. The 10700K in the 2020 iMac with 8 GB of RAM also scores about the same multicore score as the M1. Give the M1 more RAM and could the score still go up? And it is at 15W TDP vs 125W TDP...... Now I doubt the M1 in the MBA will be able to sustain the performance due to thermal constraints, but the Mac Mini and 13" MBP might be real beasts if real world testing matches this benchmark.

https://www.macrumors.com/2020/11/11...rst-benchmark/

giggity
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PB PM
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2020-11-11, 20:04

Very interesting indeed. I figured it would be close if not matching the Ryzen 5000 series in terms of IPC, it would have to in order to beat Intel. Apple's performance per watt figures are indeed off the charts, one can only wonder what they could do if they threw another 5-15w at those chips. Of course it would only matter if they could actually designed a computer with an adequate cooling system, something only the Mac Pro has.
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Kickaha
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Join Date: May 2004
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2020-11-11, 22:19

That was a fabulous article. Two things popped out at me that made me literally stop and pause, re-read, and re-read a couple more times to make sure I wasn't misreading it.

The width and depth of the instruction pipelines.

8 wide, 630 deep??

That's just... insane. When they said it was a 'humongous' architecture, they weren't kidding. I would give murbot's right nut to learn about the bus design that lets them do that at scale, and his other nut to know what the speculation algorithm looks like.

This isn't a fluke, this is a seriously capable architecture that is getting its first taste of open road.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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2020-11-12, 12:28

Yeah, I understood about 2% of it, but I do know a little something abut numbers (2+2=5, and such) and reading through it was eye-popping good stuff. I can only paraphrase the entire article by saying this:

Apple M1 is seriously, gas-sippingly, freaking fast!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-13, 09:49

Not that it matters to me at the moment - I don't have an M1-based Mac and I'm not on Big Sur - but I just got update notifications from the two Affinity apps (Designer and Photo) that both are now Apple M1 and Big Sur compatible/optimized.

It'll be months before Adobe (and others) do the same, I'm guessing. Always is.

So it's nice to know that when I finally do pull the trigger on a spiffy M1 Mac, which will come installed with Big Sur, the only two third-party apps I really use are already set to go! That was something nice to see this morning because I was kinda wondering about that the other day. Everything else I use is Apple stuff - Safari, Mail, iTunes, Photos, Preview, Notes, Messages, TextEdit, Maps, etc. - so I wasn't worried about their stuff being ready or dialed-in.
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kscherer
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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2020-11-13, 12:06

I've been saying it for years: Third party developers were already ahead because of their exposure to iOS devices. And Apple was way ahead with Xcode's multi-platform support.

This transition is going to be slick and quick!

There will be speed bumps, but they will be ground down and paved over!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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Matsu
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2020-11-13, 12:52

How long before these are deployed in some sort of supercomputer farm in order to express the efficiency another way? That is - look how much data we can crunch within the same or smaller footprint?
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chucker
 
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2020-11-13, 14:42

I don’t think Apple is interested in that market any more. Maybe if they can partner with HPE or Promise or someone.
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Ryan
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2020-11-13, 18:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
I don’t think Apple is interested in that market any more. Maybe if they can partner with HPE or Promise or someone.
Agreed. ARM has already started making inroads in the datacenter market.
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PB PM
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2020-11-14, 11:48

Yeah Apple doesn’t have a hope in data centres, not enough modularity.
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chucker
 
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2020-11-14, 14:37

Also, data center CPUs benefit from many cores. Apple’s CPUs are more geared towards relatively few but fast cores.
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Dr. Bobsky
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2020-11-15, 07:07

which is somewhat a shame.... i wonder if the pro desktops will rectify this -- a 32-64 core MacPro would not be out of place in a year or so...
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Kickaha
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hell
 
2020-11-15, 23:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Also, data center CPUs benefit from many cores. Apple’s CPUs are more geared towards relatively few but fast cores.
I'm not so certain of that restriction any longer, to be honest, given some of the things we're peeking at under the hood now.

An 8-wide pipeline is kind of insane to manage, it's much the same problem as a multi-core task allocation bus, especially when you have immediate DRAM access *and* a recompilation on the fly system (caught that in the unveil?) for shuttling tasks between appropriate HW as needed.

And yet... they did it. I have a sneaking suspicion (speculation, mind you) that their multi-core capability has yet to be shown.

On a small device where power sipping is primo, if you can crank up a core when needed and throttle down when not, and have a sufficiently high ceiling of computer power, you don't really need prevalent multicore capability past the immediate (and known bounded) needs.

That doesn't mean the design *can't*, just that they *haven't*. Expanding the pipeline width makes me think they have some serious chops at this that have not yet been put to the multi-core problem.

I could be wrong, of course, but call it an informed hunch.

My other brain is hung like a horse too.
#IRC isn't old school.
Old school is being able to say 'finger me' with a straight face.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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2020-11-16, 00:17

Kick is one of those dudes who always makes me wonder if he knows what the hell he's talking about.

But, he's Kick, so I have no doubt.

Edit: Also, I really think Apple has a rocket on their hands.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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chucker
 
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2020-11-16, 04:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post
I have a sneaking suspicion (speculation, mind you) that their multi-core capability has yet to be shown.

[..]

That doesn't mean the design *can't*, just that they *haven't*.
Exactly — so far, their focus hasn't been on it.

It'll be interesting to see what Apple's bigger Mac CPUs look like. The Air just went from two to four cores (depending on the config) to having 4+4 cores even at the lowest end. The 16-inch Pro will probably at least go to an 8+4 config, maybe even 8+8?

I'm less sure what that means for the Mac Pro, though. High-efficiency cores matter less on it, and I'm also not sure Apple's heart is particularly in 28-core setups.
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kscherer
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2020-11-16, 12:25

Well, their 4+4 in a MacBook Air is spanking Intel's 8-core HT mobile beast, even while emulating x86 code.

That being the case, I suspect that their Mac Pro ptimeline will accomplish a similar feat, and I suspect (1 chip or multi-chip) that they have a solution that will blow away the competition. I have been preaching from the rooftops (for at least two years) that Apple should not be underestimated in this space. They are not going to take some crazy backward step, and would not be going down this road unless they already had answers for 28-core performance questions, GPU support questions, TB timeline questions, RAM upgradeability questions, etc. They know where they are going, and they know they are going to be faster and more efficient.

It's just time, and we have plenty of that.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
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chucker
 
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2020-11-16, 13:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Well, their 4+4 in a MacBook Air is spanking Intel's 8-core HT mobile beast, even while emulating x86 code.
To be fair, if Apple had shipped a Tiger Lake-UP3 CPU (the successor to Ice Lake-U, i.e. something for the 13-inch MacBook Pro), it would sit in between those VirtualApple and M1 scores, at 1422. OTOH, that's for a 28W CPU, whereas the M1 seems to be pegged at around 10W.
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Kickaha
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2020-11-16, 18:50

I think the 10W mark comes from the thermal capacity of the MB Air. The Mac mini is a bit higher, I believe.
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turtle
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2020-11-17, 10:47

Seeing the benchmarks all over the web today make a strong case for most to be willing to upgrade. It certainly is holding its own here.

I also would personally wait for the other MBPs/iMacs to get the "better" chip/configuration though. If the benchmarks are this good for the low lever M1, imagine what the M1x is going to be like.

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kscherer
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2020-11-17, 13:56

The real world tests are beginning to show up, and when the only computer in the lineup that can (barely) beat a $999 MB Air costs $6000 and doesn't come with a monitor, you know you have a good chipset.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-17, 16:32

These are quite a thing. What's the "uh-oh" angle? There's always one.

Are they going to regret not putting a fan in the Air? If I got one and spent more than 25 minutes in Sketchup or Affinity Designer, am I gonna regret it?
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kscherer
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2020-11-17, 16:50

Pay another $300 for a Pro.
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709
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Join Date: May 2004
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2020-11-17, 16:59

The Verge positively drools over the new Air – it's worth a read for those of us still a little apprehensive about new chips/architecture (Motorola > PowerPC > Intel veteran checking in ). There's another review for the Macbook Pro which, as Ken notes above, comes down to the fan:

Quote:
The easiest, best way to think about the new entry-level MacBook Pro is that it is a MacBook Air with a fan.

Seriously. The fan is the most notable difference between Apple’s two new laptops based on its own custom M1 chip: the new Air, which does not have a fan, has to throttle performance as temperatures rise. The Pro can just turn on the fan, which means it can sustain performance for a much longer period of time.

Sure, there are some other small differences: the Pro has a slightly better display and better mics and louder speakers. It has a bigger battery and thus, slightly longer battery life. And yes, it has the hopelessly confused Touch Bar instead of a function row on the keyboard. But in terms of performance, it is essentially the same as the Air unless you push it for long periods of time. And that all comes down to the fan.

So it goes.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-17, 22:25

Who here has ordered one of these new M1-based Macs? I’m looking forward to hearing what folks I “know” have to say vs. just random tech writers, bloggers and YouTube un-boxers.
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kscherer
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2020-11-17, 23:40

We've sold three so far, and done one migration. So far, trouble!

But not the machines. Rather, Big Sur is not done cooking. We had a bit of trouble with the migration, and we bricked our floor model 13" M1 MB Pro. Still working on a fix.

The good news: The silly things are fast as hell! Even the biggest, baddest apps open within 2 bounces, and they just fly through everything. And, so far, we have no idea what the fans sound like.

Oh, and it's absolutely wonderful to hear the chime, again!

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-18, 10:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
But not the machines. Rather, Big Sur is not done cooking. We had a bit of trouble with the migration, and we bricked our floor model 13" M1 MB Pro.
Gee, I'm shocked.

This is why I gave the up the first-day-adopter thing years ago...I spent years doing it - both on my Mac and iPhone - with no trouble at all. But somewhere around 2014-2015, the wheels seemed to come off a bit on the OS/software QC front, so I stopped trying to be among the first. I don't enjoy being a guinea pig or after-the-fact beta tester.

But I'm glad to her the machines themselves perform so well.
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