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Forums Creative Community Conversations Apple to ditch Intel?

  • Apple to ditch Intel?

  • David Mathis

    April 2, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Just saw this on Facebook:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-mac-intel/apple-plans-to-replace-intel-chips-in-macs-with-its-own-bloomberg-idUSKCN1H91N5

    Questions that come to mind:
    1. What does this mean going forward?
    2. Is this why the new Mac Pro is being delayed?
    3. Will we be able to upgrade our existing machines?

    From what I read this will not happen until 2020 so at least we have two years to make guesses.

  • Oliver Peters

    April 2, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    General wisdom is 2020 or later starting with the low-end MacBooks. But who knows? Certainly no one here.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters – oliverpeters.com

  • Bill Davis

    April 2, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    The amount of interest Apple has demonstrated in controlling their own chipsets makes this sorta inevitable, I’d think.

    The iPad Pro (and the new little one!) seem to be just fine with those A-series chips, so those devices do a LOT of computing and I/O functions without a big traditional outside CPU.

    I noted years ago that with the whole “modular” approach could lead to someday our just buying and hanging “sub-boxes” off the main buss to take care of boosting performance.

    Imagine a future A-15 or A-20 strong enough to run the full blown MacOS. Then maybe the user just piles the GPUs up in order to scale raw computing power for stuff like we need?

    Somebody needs a monster CPU for some reason? Hang one on the system and let any program that needs it use it.

    I kinda imagined that’s what the Grand Central idea was for.

    Playing traffic cop for all sorts of I/O stuff?

    Creator of XinTwo – https://www.xintwo.com
    The shortest path to FCP X mastery.

  • Oliver Peters

    April 2, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    [Bill Davis] “The iPad Pro (and the new little one!) seem to be just fine with those A-series chips, so those devices do a LOT of computing and I/O functions without a big traditional outside CPU.”

    iPads can live in their own walled garden and developers do not need to worry about common instruction sets. Not so in the desktop world. Most software companies were glad when Apple standardized on Intel, however, were not happy with the pain it caused them to make the switch. If Apple switches away from Intel on their most powerful desktops, I suspect you will have a lot of high-end software developers facing that tough decision of whether or not the pain of change is worth the return. I would expect to see a bit of an exodus.

    [Bill Davis] “Then maybe the user just piles the GPUs up in order to scale raw computing power for stuff like we need?”

    Well, maybe. Especially since the software in general does not support a pile of GPUs, unless you are mining bitcoin. I think it’s actually more likely that Apple would also abandon AMD in this move and not have a separate GPU partner. Maybe eGPUs would be viable, but maybe not. Especially when the Windows/PC option becomes more attractive for that traditional user.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters – oliverpeters.com

  • Michael Gissing

    April 2, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    If this latest rumor is true, then I guess it spells the end of a dream for an ongoing MacPro or similar performance machine. I would see the main advantage for Apple being that they could have a single OS and better power consumption that says much about the direction to portable computing not desktops. They would also be very much on their own with GPUs also which again matters more in the grunt box world. I would say this is basically a surrender of that arena to Win & Linux.

  • Greg Janza

    April 2, 2018 at 11:28 pm

    [Bill Davis] “Somebody needs a monster CPU for some reason? Hang one on the system and let any program that needs it use it.”

    Perhaps FCPX is different in it’s architecture but the Adobe programs rely heavily on CPU power to maximize efficiency. A kickass GPU is great to have but if your CPU doesn’t match the power of the GPU it’s not making the most of the technology.

    Also, if an add-on GPU is sharing bandwidth with a Thunderbolt raid/drive and also potentially a monitor is that a limiting factor in it’s overall performance?

    Windows 10 Pro
    i7-5820k CPU
    Nvidia GeForce GTX 970
    Adobe CC 2018
    Renders/cache: Samsung SSD 950 Pro x2 in Raid 0
    Media: Samsung SSD 960 PRO PCIe NVMe M.2 2280
    Media: OWC Thunderbay 4 x 2 Raid 0 mirrored with FreeFileSync

  • Bob Zelin

    April 3, 2018 at 12:04 am

    this is my opinion, and of course, I am looking to “start trouble”.

    Way back when, when Apple first purchased Final Cut from Macromedia, the “concept was to plug in a Firewire 400 cable into your DV camera, and capture your video media. And of course, “the professionals” said “what kind of piece of crap is this – this is not an AVID”.

    It was not until AJA and Blackmagic got involved (and Pinnacle and Matrox) that FCP was considered a professional product. Translation – THIRD PARTY MANUFACTURERS.

    As time went on, Nvidia got involved, and released the Quadro 4000. So now, we had a GPU, wonderful I/O, cards from Sonnet, Cal Digit, etc. and things were wonderful, and we all loved the Mac Pro – why ? THIRD PARTY MANUFACTURES.

    When FCP X was first released – no shared storage, but you could “Share” to iCloud. With a lot of kicking and screaming, with FCP X 10.3, all of a sudden sharing to a network drive with SMB became possible.

    And with macOS 10.13, (and with new MacBook Pros and iMacs), its becoming obvious that Apple wants to “close the doors” and not allow for THIRD PARTY MANUFACTURERS who are the ones that actually make these products viable (for the person that says “I made my living with FCP 1, and a DV cable – just shut up and go away).

    If Apple continues with (what appears) to be a closed door policy of things to come – where if they don’t directly make money (like in the App Store) then YOU are not plugging anything into an Apple product – well, that may be the end (for many of us). Hopefully this will not be the case.

    It would be like Ford saying “you will use Ford tires, Ford Gas, Ford oil filters, Ford technicians for repairs, etc. or you are NOT driving this car”.

    Bob Zelin

    Bob Zelin
    Rescue 1, Inc.
    bobzelin@icloud.com

  • Craig Seeman

    April 3, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    I’d be concerned about what dropping Intel also means for Thunderbolt and USB support.
    Would we be headed for another proprietary interface?

    Unless there’s a very easy way to developers to compile existing apps along with an easy way to program, it’s creating a hurdle that many cross platform developers may balk at. Unless sales are big I think a proprietary interface is not something hardware manufactures will want to deal with.

    Given that Macs are a small part of Apple’s revenue and their past move to cross platform hardware standards, this really makes no business sense to me. Of course maybe the “Uber lighting connector” will be some compelling compared Thunderbolt “v2020” that everyone will want to support it.

  • Oliver Peters

    April 3, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    So far this is only a Bloomberg rumor. If this 2020 prediction becomes a reality, I can’t imagine it would be across the board. Probably low end machines only, even if that includes an entry-level iMac.

    Of course, if that transition became successful, then past 2020, it could be mean all the machines. That’s assuming Apple is even making full-blown desktop machines at that point – let’s say 5 years from now.

    But I’m not so sure Apple is all that interested in cross-platform compatibility in lieu of greater ecosystem synergy and supply chain control.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters – oliverpeters.com

  • Craig Seeman

    April 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    [Oliver Peters] “But I’m not so sure Apple is all that interested in cross-platform compatibility in lieu of greater ecosystem synergy and supply chain control.”

    The success depends on third party development as Bob Zelin says so emphatically.
    As 2021 hits the end of Apple’s “10 year plan” for FCPX they can easily move that but Adobe, Blackmagic, Affinity, etc aren’t on board Apple is going to have some mega holes to fill
    Heck there seems to be some exodus from the Mac App Store by developers as well.
    A lack of “bio diversity” does not make a good ecosystem

    And regarding hardware if developers don’t take advantage or possible proprietary then a bunch of adaptors to less capable (in Apple’s view at least) interfaces isn’t particularly compelling.

    Of course Apple can experiment and with their processor advancements. How close might a 12.9″ iPad Pro with keyboard and pencil is to a full fledged laptop computer and Wacom tablet in one? That may happen by 2020 (but it’ll have to have more than the current lightning connector).

    I think a trickle up will be more likely than trickle down as iPads become laptops and perhaps there would be market motive to make a desktop version. I don’t think this is the same or as “simple” as soothsayer allusions to a sudden shift to a new CPU/GPU.

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