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Apple Announces The M1 Pro / M1 Max, Asahi Linux Starts Eyeing Their Bring-Up

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  • #11
    Originally posted by spykes View Post
    I believe a big part (not the only one) of Apple technical advance is due to their exclusive access to the best manufacturing node at TSMC.
    I really hope Intel will manage to catchup on TSMC at some point, otherwise X86 PC will never catchup on Apple ARM.
    I think it's also a matter of legacy cruft tho. There's only so much you can cram on the chip, and x86 wastes too many transistors on being able to run your 8086-era calendar.

    Originally posted by Danielsan View Post
    I really missed the point on working for free to make selling more Apple computers...
    Maybe, just maybe, some people like Apple's hardware, and specially the M1 puts everything else to shame (at least everything on consumer range). Those people would most likely still use the M1 if Linux isn't supported, but have Linux as a nice to have. I know that'd likely be the case for me, if I were to earn dollars instead of ARS.

    But mostly, they work for free to have the OS they like on the hardware they like, which is pretty much how free software was born. And in any case, every home hacker that works on supporting their own machine is technically working for free for a different company anyway.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by spykes View Post
      I believe a big part (not the only one) of Apple technical advance is due to their exclusive access to the best manufacturing node at TSMC.
      I really hope Intel will manage to catchup on TSMC at some point, otherwise X86 PC will never catchup on Apple ARM.
      57 billion transistors. That's a huge chip.

      Some quick math puts the CPU side a bit over 10bn transistors, which lines up very closely with a 5950X CPU.

      The GPU is then ~47bn, which is a lot higher than even the high end discrete AMD/NVidia GPUs, which I believe are around 27-28bn transistors. Apple is probably running their hardware at significantly lower clockspeeds to get lower power usage.
      smitty3268
      Senior Member
      Last edited by smitty3268; 18 October 2021, 05:27 PM.

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      • #13
        I guess we know where all the TSMC capacity has been going for the last several months.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post

          57 billion transistors. That's a huge chip.

          Some quick math puts the CPU side a bit over 10bn transistors, which lines up very closely with a 5950X CPU.

          The GPU is then ~47bn, which is a lot higher than even the high end discrete AMD/NVidia GPUs, which I believe are around 27-28bn transistors. Apple is probably running their hardware at significantly lower clockspeeds to get lower power usage.
          The SoC contains more than just a CPU and GPU. It has big caches, memory controllers, IO (w/ Thunderbolt/USB 4), Video decoders (with support for multiple simultaneous streams), neural engine, etc. It’s true that the GPU is a big part of it (especially on the Max), but not that big.

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          • #15
            AnandTech has a nice overview: https://www.anandtech.com/show/17019...ut-performance

            It's insane what talented engineers are able to achieve given unlimited budgets and access to the best fabrication technologies.

            I just wonder where Intel, AMD and NVIDIA are at, because from the look of it, they are all like 3-5 years behind in terms of raw performance and performance per watt metrics.

            The M1 Pro can replace my entire PC (Ryzen 7 5800X + GTX 1660 Ti) in a small form factor while delivering massively better performance.

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            • #16
              apple didn't release a new mac mini btw you can only buy laptops with these chips. Not sure if this is due to the chip shortage or whether apple simple wants to make more profit on these before selling a new mac mini.

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              • #17
                Behold the beast: https://browser.geekbench.com/v5/cpu/10476727

                Almost as fast as Ryzen 7 5800X both in ST and MT performance.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by sinepgib View Post

                  I think it's also a matter of legacy cruft tho. There's only so much you can cram on the chip, and x86 wastes too many transistors on being able to run your 8086-era calendar.
                  Well, you can put an actual 8086 inside a modern CPU and it would only use 29000 transistors 😛. Which is not much in todays billion transistor CPUs.

                  I think legacy doesn’t help, but I don’t think it’s a transistor count limitation. Especially in modern microcoded architectures where the instruction set is independent of the internal microarchitecture.

                  I think Apple just focus on key areas, and they aren’t trying to make profit on the SoC alone, so things like die size and manufacturing process is not as important. But if you are Intel and AMD and your business is only to sell chips then you need to keep the costs down.

                  There’s a lot of other ARM CPUs on the market. But they also fall short when compared with a modern Apple developed core when it comes to performance and efficiency. So I don’t think it’s architecture (ISA) related.




                  amxfonseca
                  Junior Member
                  Last edited by amxfonseca; 18 October 2021, 06:10 PM.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by Danielsan View Post
                    I really missed the point on working for free to make selling more Apple computers...
                    Supported hardware will always make selling things easier for some company.

                    OTOH, unsupported hardware makes it difficult for someone to switch operating systems.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by amxfonseca View Post

                      The SoC contains more than just a CPU and GPU. It has big caches, memory controllers, IO (w/ Thunderbolt/USB 4), Video decoders (with support for multiple simultaneous streams), neural engine, etc. It’s true that the GPU is a big part of it (especially on the Max), but not that big.
                      Unless most of that is doubled on the Max, the GPU is still giant. 57bn for the max - 34bn for the pro leaves the GPU side at ~23bn for the pro and ~46 for the max unless more than just the GPU is getting added on the max version.

                      You're correct that the CPU is probably smaller, though.
                      smitty3268
                      Senior Member
                      Last edited by smitty3268; 18 October 2021, 06:29 PM.

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