Apple showcasing first "Apple Silicon" product tonight | PCSPECIALIST

Apple showcasing first "Apple Silicon" product tonight

SpyderTracks

Recluse
Moderator
Hi all

Tonight is a pretty important night for CPU world.

Apple are moving away from Intel, and going to make their own CPU's through TSMC called "Apple Silicon", on the ARM architecture that powers their iphones and ipads.

Benefits to the ARM design are a whole different league of power consumption, peanuts compared to almost any other CPU.

Efficiency is also a lot higher generally.

Early reports are that they may have something up their sleeves which challenges an Intel i9!

They've given a 2 year roadmap to release new products and work towards porting all apps and OS over to ARM as it's a different instruction set to the X86 architecture on Intel / AMD

First device is getting shown off tonight at 6pm:

 

Scott

Modinator
Moderator
I think this is a mistake from them but it will remain to be seen. Having their own chip etc is a good thing but ditching X64/X86 for ARM is a risky move, not to mention a porting nightmare.
 

SpyderTracks

Recluse
Moderator
I think this is a mistake from them but it will remain to be seen. Having their own chip etc is a good thing but ditching X64/X86 for ARM is a risky move, not to mention a porting nightmare.
Absolutely. BUT, they’re one of the few companies with experience in having done it before before they moved to intel back in 2006.

It’s going to be rocky, there’s no doubt about it, and they’ll probably lose a lot of customers in the interim, and I can’t see it fully migrating within 2 years.

But if anyone can do it, Apple can.
 

SpyderTracks

Recluse
Moderator
Now Apple will never publically release any comparison benchmarks between their own IP and X86 like Intel or AMD, so we'll have to wait for 3rd party reviews for that.

So the new SOC is called the "M1"

I can only see this being a MacBook Air or something similar, thin and light portable option rather than a pro option.

It contains a host of previously separate chips such as the security enclave, 16 core neural engine and several others all on the one SOC.

16 Billion Transistors at 5nm

It's a Big-Little arrangement with 4 high power cores, and 4 low power.

Worlds best Performance per Watt at twice X86 laptop chips.

Includes an 8 core GPU at roughly double the performance of X86 integrated graphics, at roughly 1/3 of the power consumption.


Software wise, the new OS, Big Sur is optimised for the new Apple Silicon. They're calling the new coding layer "Rosetta".

The highlights they're talking about like always on OS, programs pre cached etc are all taken from IOS devices, it really is a kind of bridge between the iPad and MacBook.

They're making some big claims on the power applications under the M1 being able to run a lot more, such as able to load 3 times more instruments within Logic Pro X and a similiar claim with Final Cut Pro... we'll have to see how they've come to those conclusions later.
 

SpyderTracks

Recluse
Moderator
The actual device is very much just a standard MacBook Air, design hasn't changed at all.

It's 13" and includes P3 wide colour on the screen if that means anything to you photographers and creators.

I'd hazard a guess and say the chassis and screen is exactly the same from the previous gen Air and they've just updated the Logic Board for the new SOC.

No fan in the chassis at all, that's a serious benefit to the ARM architecture.

Battery life is significantly better at up to 18 hours

Starts at:

$899 for students
$999 for normal customers
 

SpyderTracks

Recluse
Moderator
Ok, now this was unexpected... they've also announced a new Mac Mini on the M1 chip!!!! This I'm very keen about for my music stuff, price to performance is usually so much better than any other form factor!

The previous Mac Mini was configured max on a quad core 8th Gen i7 which kinda sucked, so this I can see will be a real step up!

Again, exactly the same chassis as the previous Mac Mini I'm willing to bet.

For me this is perfect!

Starts at $699
 

SpyderTracks

Recluse
Moderator
Ok, another surprise, a 13" Mac Pro.

Again on the M1 chip, again exactly same chassis from what we can see.

This one does include active cooling.

Starts at:

$1299 for Students
$1399 for normal customers
 

TonyCarter

Gold Level Poster
I'm an Apple fan, and am glad to see these, but as these will be as non-upgradable as iPads and iPhones though, with their integrated memory, you'll have to configure it as you want when you buy it, as you won't be able to upgrade later (which for most MacMini/MacBook users won't be a problem).

What I don't agree with the the £200 increment for 8GB extra RAM, or £200 increment for 256GB larger SSD - wonder if you'll be able to buy a couple/throuple and cluster them into a mini-super-computer? The SSD is simple, as I'd just use a TB3-connected SSD (or USB4), but the RAM is a PITA! Although without real-world app testing you won't know if you need more than 8GB for any heavier-than-normal workload.
 

SpyderTracks

Recluse
Moderator
I'm an Apple fan, and am glad to see these, but as these will be as non-upgradable as iPads and iPhones though, with their integrated memory, you'll have to configure it as you want when you buy it, as you won't be able to upgrade later (which for most MacMini/MacBook users won't be a problem).

What I don't agree with the the £200 increment for 8GB extra RAM, or £200 increment for 256GB larger SSD - wonder if you'll be able to buy a couple/throuple and cluster them into a mini-super-computer? The SSD is simple, as I'd just use a TB3-connected SSD (or USB4), but the RAM is a PITA! Although without real-world app testing you won't know if you need more than 8GB for any heavier-than-normal workload.
Absolutely. The RAM and storage upgrade prices are just too excessive.

3rd party reviews are needed more than ever here, at the moment we’re flying completely blind.
 

TonyCarter

Gold Level Poster
Ok, another surprise, a 13" Mac Pro.

Again on the M1 chip, again exactly same chassis from what we can see.

This one does include active cooling.

Starts at:

$1299 for Students
$1399 for normal customers
Just trying to work out what the extra £300 between the 13" MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro get you.


Looks to be 100 nits extra brightness, a touch-bar, and a slightly bigger battery?
 

Scott

Modinator
Moderator
I hate apple with a passion. They make great hardware, cripple it with software restriction and lock the hardware down just enough to make you have to fork out WAY more than you want to to get a future-ish-proofed system.

This sounds like yet another good hardware leap that they are massively restricting and trying to completely corner. I hate being told what to do by software :ROFLMAO:
 

SpyderTracks

Recluse
Moderator
Just trying to work out what the extra £300 between the 13" MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro get you.


Looks to be 100 nits extra brightness, a touch-bar, and a slightly bigger battery?
This is a very good point, I mean it's the same SOC on each device, so literally everything down to the on board RAM is the same (and not user serviceable), so the frills are kind of pointless really.

UNLESS they've purposefully locked back the chip on the macbook air without cooling, so even though it's the same chip, it's locked to a lower clock in the BIOS?

Seems odd.

Apparently there are compatibility issues on the USB ports as well, none of them will work with an eGPU for example.

 
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TonyCarter

Gold Level Poster
I thought the eGPU issue was due to not having an Intel Thunderbolt chip in the new Apple silicon - so whilst it 'supports' Thunderbolt 3 via Intels compatibility toolkit, it doesn't yet have all the functionality that a full Intel Thunderbolt chipset would.

Maybe the M1.5 (or M1 with firmware update) will enable this down the line...or maybe Apple is so sure the embedded GPUs are already faster than an RTX5950Ti Super ;)
 

TonyCarter

Gold Level Poster
Just seen some synthetic benchmarks of the M1 chip (just Geekbench 5 I'm afraid), and the single core speed is about 63% higher than the entry-level MacPro. Multi-core performance is 8% slower than the entry-level MacPro.

Mac Pro (8-core @ 3.5ghz Xeon W-3223):
- single-core: 1033
- multi-core: 8027

MacBook Air (M1):
- single-core: 1687
- multi-core: 7433

Still slower than a Ryzen 5 5600X though (y)
- single-core: 1707
- multi-core: 8400
 
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