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Apple releases the M1 Chip


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They still have the Intel Mac Mini up for sale. The M1 Mac Mini was the low-end release. I believe (or rather hope) that Apple will support Intel machines a bit longer than they supported PPC. 10 years from now we all will look back at the Hackintosh and remember how awesome it was to {censored} around with our PCs in this manner.

On 11/11/2020 at 3:39 AM, ameris_cyning said:

They still have the Intel Mac Mini up for sale. The M1 Mac Mini was the low-end release. I believe (or rather hope) that Apple will support Intel machines a bit longer than they supported PPC. 10 years from now we all will look back at the Hackintosh and remember how awesome it was to {censored} around with our PCs in this manner.


They most definitely will. It's true that Apple stopped releasing new OSes for PPC after only three years (with two additional years of support), but it was another era, with a much smaller userbase and a pointless, PPC-wise, update (that is, Snow Leopard, even though a PPC beta, nicknamed "The impossible cat", recently resurfaced). Still, five years of support was still decent, especially since most Macintoshes at the time were powered by G4 CPUs: the only ones who suffered from the transition were, in actuality, those who bought the last Power Mac G5 iteration.

Imho, considering Apple recently released a new iMac series, and what with all of the current x86 Macs (and don't forget the small but important Mac Pro userbase too), they'll support Intel with, at the very least, six years of OS updates. Realistically, nobody keeps a PC for more than ten years. I did it with my former hackintosh, despite being a computer enthusiast, because I'm stingy and didn't really need more power at the time: but most of the people I know (especially run-of-the-mill users) replace their machines much sooner.

Therefore, even just six years' worth of updates is enough and, more or less, fair to complete the transition. Besides, it's not like, say, an 11.6 Mac or Hack will be useless when 11.7 comes out, especially since Mac OS updates rarely bring about dramatic changes. That's why I believe both Intel Macs and hackintoshes still have a decade in front of them. 

 

My main concerns about Apple's new chips are the following.

First of all, the unified memory thing. They're basically telling us that GPUs will never have dedicated memory and that RAM is locked down. I'm fine with that, but then 8 GB of RAM might not be enough anymore in 2020, especially for the MacBook Pro line (the 300$ difference is hardly justified for a single additional GPU core and the touch bar). And the inability to upgrade might be a huge problem for pro users, especially when Apple eventually releases an ARM-powered Mac Pro. I recently upgraded to 12 GB on my hack, solely because of Parallels (I don't want to be forced to close my browsers and other stuff, or assign just 4 GB to Windows): but I figure there are many pros who need 12, 16 or even 32 GB for work. 

Secondly, Apple needs to keep improving on Rosetta 2. The Autodesk Maya emulation during the Keynote was nothing short of spectacular: such a heavy and complex x86 programme ran faster on a Mac Mini (driven by the iPad's current CPU, not even the M1) than an i5-powered Surface. That's amazing. But many apps, especially old utilities, and games too, will never be ported to ARM, which is why Rosetta 2 must become an integral part of Mac OS. That is, Apple can't throw it away after a few years like it happened with former Rosetta. There's too much Intel stuff we need that can run perfectly fine under emulation. Of course I also hope we will be soon able to emulate Windows as well through Parallels and VMWare, or Wine at the very least: even with degraded performance (compared to current Intel Macs), it's still absolutely worth it.
 

Finally, we need yearly updates. Apple updates their iOS line every year with new CPUs, just like Intel does with their i-series CPUs. But until now, and this is (better, was) my major complaint about Apple hardware, Macs weren't automatically "refreshed". That is, paying 800-900€ for a Mac Mini might have been still somewhat acceptable at the time of release, when Coffee Lake was the latest available platform for consumer CPUs. But it's not acceptable that a company of Apple's calibre keeps the same machine at the same price without upgrading that CPU to Ice Lake or Rocket Lake. I hope with that with the new, in-house, faster and cheaper CPUs, Apple will finally regularly update specs (and, why not, still sell older CPUs at a discounted price, just like they do with iOS devices).

Personally, I'll wait for at least the 2nd Apple ARM CPUs generation to buy a MacBook. In the meanwhile, my trusty Coffee Lake desktop is going to enjoy Big Sur. By the way, have you noticed that the HDD icons on the Desktop are changing for the first time in 20 years? Feels strange.

Edited by Power Mac
  • 4 months later...
On 11/11/2020 at 4:43 AM, Power Mac said:

Finally, we need yearly updates. Apple updates their iOS line every year with new CPUs, just like Intel does with their i-series CPUs.

An analyst pointed out the iPad Pro get updated about every 18 months and so expect the M series chips to be the same. I'm okay with that as long as they offer SE versions for a lower price same as the iPhone and Watch. Even the base iPad is an older chip, so it's SE in all but name. I really believe a Mac Mini under $500, even with an older chip, would pull a lot of market share.

But does Intel update yearly? I felt they shifted to every year to year and a half. If I am correct that Rocket Lake followed Comet Lake, these were 19 months apart. Not sure how much COVID impacted the timeline, but that's more than a year and a half.

Now I do believe the M1 and AMD will fore Intel to move faster. Just not certain how well they will manage to keep up until they catch up to reduce heat loads.

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