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Rumour - Apple to ditch Intel for ARM

Rumour - Apple to ditch Intel for ARM

The next MacBook? It seems unlikely.

Tech gossip site SemiAccurate reports that Apple has already agreed a deal to ditch Intel CPUs from its entire range of laptops, and replace them with ARM processors.

According to the site's sources, ‘Apple is moving the laptop line, and presumably desktops too, to ARM based chips as soon as possible… Short story, x86 is history on Apple laptops, or will be in 2-3 years… it is a done deal, Intel is out and Apple chips are in.

This would be a surprising move for Apple's desktop business, though. Apple still has a market for high-performance users with its Mac Pro machines. ARM processors might be great for low-power mobile machines where battery life is a worry, but they can't currently compete with Intel's Core-branded x86 chips in terms of raw performance yet.

Similarly, while ARM chips have enough power for a mobile device such as the iPad, they currently don't offer the same level of performance as the x86 chips used in Apple's current MacBook range.

If true, this move would also mark the second change in processor architecture in just five years, following Apple's move from PowerPC to x86 in 2006. This would effectively mean reworking Mac OS for a new CPU architecture again, or even developing a whole new OS.

SemiAccurate attempts to back up its story by claiming that Apple has been ‘desperately searching for fab capacity from Samsung, GlobalFoundries and TSMC’ for ARM processors.

However, the latter news could easily be explained by the short supply of iPad 2 given the demand. Apple also might be ramping up production of a new iPhone that’s rumoured to ship in September. One other potential explanation for the rumour, of course, is that someone has their wires crossed, and Apple could be lining up an ARM-based netbook.

Is this a case of 2+2=5, or do you really think Apple is going to ditch Intel for ARM-based CPUs in the future? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

45 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Mankz 6th May 2011, 16:05 Quote
Im rather glad I bought some stock in ARM a few weeks back ;)
<A88> 6th May 2011, 16:07 Quote
Seems a bit silly when Intel are about to start producing 3D transistors which make the CPU 50% more efficient and 37% faster, but I guess if it is true then it's just a case of Apple wanting to take things in-house, like their A4/5 ARM SoCs.
Flibblebot 6th May 2011, 16:12 Quote
Unless ARM have a desktop-class processor that they're not telling anyone except Apple about, I can't see this story being right. As the article states, ARM doesn't have anything that can compete with Intel or AMD on the desktop or the high-end laptop.

Even if Apple were developing an ARM-based netbook, it would have to based on iOS rather than MacOS - I can't see Apple developing MacOS for yet another platform, especially since it would make Universal Binaries even fatter than they are now.

I think this may be a case of someone grabbing the wrong end of the stick (although I'm happy to be proved wrong ;))
r3loaded 6th May 2011, 16:17 Quote
Highly, highly doubt it. They only changed architectures 5 years ago, and I don't think devs would be too pleased at changing again. Plus, a large chunk of Mac owners bought Macs precisely because they came with x86 processors that were capable of running Windows (either natively or in a VM).
jrs77 6th May 2011, 16:31 Quote
This rumor is total rubbish tbh.

Apple won't ditch intel for ARM in either their MacPro, iMac or MacBookPro. They might however go for ARM with their MacBookAir in the future, when newer and more powerful ARM-chips are developed.

For the iPad and iPhone they're allready using ARM-chips, so they don't need to develop a totally new OS there aswell, as they can build up on iOS and simply integrate more stuff etc.

Aslong as ARM can't deliver the raw computing-power of current intel-chips it's totally uninteresting for Apple to implement them into their hardware targeted at people actually working on their machines.

Oh, in addition... intel can offer low-power chips with more raw computing power aswell, if they only would further develop into that direction. And look at intels mobile low-power parts like the i7-2657M in that regard, which is down to 17 Watt including the HD3000 GPU.

Writing intel off at this point wouldn't be a good decision at all.
mclean007 6th May 2011, 16:32 Quote
Agree with Flibblebot and r3loaded. There's no way Apple would do this unless ARM had a CPU which could trounce x86 on native code AND run x86 code at least as fast as current Intel CPUs, at a cost comparable to current Intel CPUs. Bear in mind the number of applications written for x86 which would need to be recompiled to run native, so emulation would be key. They had this with Rosetta Stone when they first went to x86 in 2006 (to run old PowerPC code), and they'd need something similar again.

ARM's current lineup and public roadmap has nothing that would meet these standards. I may be more sceptical than most, but my BS detector is firing off all kinds of alarms right now.
TheStockBroker 6th May 2011, 16:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Highly, highly doubt it. They only changed architectures 5 years ago, and I don't think devs would be too pleased at changing again. Plus, a large chunk of Mac owners bought Macs precisely because they came with x86 processors that were capable of running Windows (either natively or in a VM).

Yes but Windows 8, due in less than a year I think, has gone out of it's way to include ARM support...

Maybe MS & Apple know something we don't...

TSB
mclean007 6th May 2011, 16:34 Quote
I think in this case "SemiAccurate" would more accurately be called "Completely Inaccurate". I'm trying to get to their site but it's unresponsive - I'm guessing they got slashdotted.
leveller 6th May 2011, 16:53 Quote
sorry, bad quote. bugger :|
arcticstoat 6th May 2011, 16:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
May not be as semi-accurate as we think ....

(and Mankz, I don't think we should be selling just yet ;))

That's nothing to do with Apple laptops and desktops - it's about ARM making headway in the low-power mobile PC (netbook-type) segment. I interviewed the guy in charge of the research yesterday, and we'll publish a full article on his predictions shortly.
javaman 6th May 2011, 18:04 Quote
Maybe in the air or something but for high end x86 is still by far the fastest. The rate of progress however I wouldn't rule this out, apple certainly have the software division to make something like that work but it would take complete recodes for multithreading for this to work. In other news Apple bought stock in a company specialising in cloud computing, could that be their solution to "underpowered" machines?
leveller 6th May 2011, 18:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticstoat
That's nothing to do with Apple laptops and desktops - it's about ARM making headway in the low-power mobile PC (netbook-type) segment. I interviewed the guy in charge of the research yesterday, and we'll publish a full article on his predictions shortly.

Sorry! edited.

completely unrelated note: I would love you guys to interview David Braben about his cheap entry PC for kids/starters. Seems like a really exciting project for our young developers of the future, and kinda ties in with modding a PC to a USB stick ...
Evildead666 6th May 2011, 19:05 Quote
Seeing as how far ARM has come in the last few years, i'll give it the benefit of the doubt.
x86 arch has been around for far too long, and ARM may just be what the doctor ordered.
Quad or eight core chips and 2-3GHz would be easily possible in 2-3 years for ARM tech.
The majority of people on laptops woudn't need the enormous power that would be available with desktop chips by then, only the Pro workstations.

I see it as pulling the Netbook up to the level of laptops and better.
Want a gaming laptop ? Buy a gaming laptop, with the CPU and GPU needed.
Want a laptop for everything else, daily usage ? ARM will be perfectly suited.

Its also a 'roll your own' arch, so companies can differentiate through how they rolled theirs so to speak.

Intel and AMD would be left with Desktops, High end desktops (Gaming and workstation), and high end servers.

They might even lose out to some Nettops replacing Desktops for some people.
IvanIvanovich 6th May 2011, 19:20 Quote
while i wouldn't put it past apple to completely change their architecture, operating system and well pretty much everything else again. they love to make old stuff incompatible so you have to buy the new shiny apple thing. i doubt it will be really soon though. after all they just made some heavy commitments to intel arch with their joint effort on thunderbolt.
asura 6th May 2011, 19:32 Quote
I was of the understanding that as part of Apples suing of Samsung as a means to renegotiating contracts, they were courting Intel for their iPhone chips, just to add some apparent pressure... either I've gotten the wrong end of the stick, or semi-accurate is living up to the first part of it's moniker.
Jaybles 6th May 2011, 19:58 Quote
Next iteration of windows comes with ARM support doesn't it? And aren't ARM trying to move into the performance sector more?
HourBeforeDawn 6th May 2011, 20:06 Quote
huh a similar Rumor came about with HP in the next few years will be ditching all their current system structures, laptops, desktops and so forth in favor of ARM based versions runnimg WebOS. Even Dell is working on something similar maybe this is where things are heading too, which for the average user makes complete since, its only like 10% of the market that would go for the higher spec systems and the business side of the industry.
SriRuleZ 6th May 2011, 20:29 Quote
FYI SemiAccurate(SA) is by Charlie Demerjian - the guy who exposed G92 BumpGate. I do believe this story to be true for the following reasons -
1. Apple have always been control freaks with their hardware, anybody still remember Job's versioning fiasco to cut-off mac clones.
2. No mainstream user needs any processing power more than what is provided by an i5 750. Even latest games for single monitor 1080p setups can run decently with just a Phenom ii 955 and AMD 6850/ nVidia GTX 460. If a quad core ARM can provide comparable processing power then it should be more than enough for most users.
3. Graphics integrated in x86 core started only in recent years from Intel/Clarksfield and AMD/Fusion, but most ARM SoC already have integrated graphic cores, so Apple can end their dependency on Intel as well as AMD/nVidia. Not to mention better thermals and even slimmer mac books.
4. As mentioned in the SA article Apple will not be jumping immediately but only when ARM evolves into 64-bit ISA and quad core, which sounds reasonable
r3loaded 6th May 2011, 20:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStockBroker
Yes but Windows 8, due in less than a year I think, has gone out of it's way to include ARM support...

Maybe MS & Apple know something we don't...

TSB
I've got a feeling that Windows for ARM is going to be sold to OEMs rather than to retail customers, and that installing it on an ARM laptop would be beyond most people.
Nikols 6th May 2011, 21:14 Quote
.... and tweaktown report that they have signed up to intel for next gen iOS devices....
Now I'm confused!?!
http://www.tweaktown.com/news/19596/next_gen_ios_devices_to_have_intel_based_cpus/index.html
azazel1024 6th May 2011, 21:17 Quote
I doubt it is true. Oh it might be, but I doubt Jobs is relishing an ever smaller part of the desktop and laptop market place. Even at 10x the power of current ARM processors, the next generation quad core ARM processors might just be able to claim to have as much power as a low end dual core AMD processor.

The best of the best ARM processors have performance about on the level of an Atom. Considering how much slower an Atom is than even a dual core Celeron...well x10 performance improvement might just get it on par with an "old" i3 dual core chip. If 10x performance actually occurs. They are going to need a lot more than x10 performance for SOCs to get on par with current mid level mobile GPUs, let alone desktop discrete GPUs.

So is it possible, maybe, but even the next generation ARM quad core processors still would be woefully underpowered compared to current day offerings that Apple has in their mac book and mac pro machines. This isn't even taking in to account what Ivy bridge seems like it might promise. Can ARM ever "catch up" with x86 architecture? Maybe, but it isn't going to happen in the next year or two. Its unlikely as well, that you are going to have a CPU designed to operate in the 1-10w TDP range that is going to compete with one designed for the 10-100w range. Possible, well there are stranger things that have happened in the history of the world, but very, very unlikely. It is a little like trying to design a 2 cylinder engine to compete with a V8.
azazel1024 6th May 2011, 21:20 Quote
To add I forgot to mention that my level of plausibility with this action is raised just because Jobs often times doesn't really care what people necessarily want or need. He tells them what the want and they accept it, end of story. So it might well be plausible that the story is true.

"Hey look, its our iOS running on your desktop, and the hardware is nifty enough that you can watch a 1080p movie and play iOS games and applications. That is all you need and ever could conceivably need. Nothing to see in the x86 and Windows world where they are emulating your applications on a single one of their CPUs cores. Move along now"
Lenderz 6th May 2011, 21:42 Quote
Well I won't be too fast to rule it out but it does seem a little too good to be true. I seem to remember ARMs public roadmap including server chips to replace intel Xeon/AMD opteron chips and mention of this including x86 hardware emulation. They are talking mid-2013 too which seems rather plausible.

It's possible MS/Apple know something we don't.

It would be interesting that's for sure, delving deeply into speculation it would really make Nvidia happy, they've been losing marketshare hand over fist to AMD and Intel intergrated graphics CPUs this last quarter and it would give them a chance to compete because it doesnt seem likely they'll ever get a x86 licence and they've quite some experience working with ARM designs in their mobile parts.

ARM that superstar of the British tech industry has come a long way since the days of Acorn and it's great to see. I must confess I'm a little excited at the prospect as I got £7K of ARM at 1.60 last year. :D so I do hope there is some truth to this.

Edit: ars has an interesting article on the subject (I was unsure of the ettiqute of posting a link) on the topic.

Frankly I can't see ARM replacing intel in the high end MacBook Pro line, but in the MacBook range for the "average" comsumer there is more potential. The average laptop user needs to plays music and 1080p video, and surfs the web. Little else. I can see ARM competing in this mid market position, the average user has no need of the latest i7, Apple already sells a lot of MacBooks and they're still using Core 2 Duo.

ARM might not take the pure performance crown, but do they need to?
DeadMan 6th May 2011, 23:40 Quote
You gotta love those rumours.
cgthomas 7th May 2011, 00:30 Quote
Please help, I still can't solve this equation 2 + 2 = 5. Can I have a hint please?
aron311 7th May 2011, 00:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by <A88>
Seems a bit silly when Intel are about to start producing 3D transistors which make the CPU 50% more efficient and 37% faster

"50% more efficient OR 37% faster."


It's pretty unlikely the current Intel processors are going anywhere tbh, maybe to AMD on some models but not a new instruction set.

Flash player does work better on my android phone than my macbook pro though.. :P
GoodBytes 7th May 2011, 00:41 Quote
Apple won't leave Intel. You guys have it all wrong (including the rumor). They will ADD the ARM processor to the system.

Where am I going with this?

Very simple!
They will copy the same thing as Dell Latitude ON feature implemented on select Dell Latitude E series laptop

Basically what Latitude ON is: it is a ARM based computer inside a full normal Windows based 14 and13 inch laptop, which boots instantly, and provide (with the 9-cell battery) "All day computing" as Dell states. It's powered by Linux.

I believe Apple will copy this idea, and implement in the MacBook Pro, and power it with a iOS. I won't be surprised if the laptop also has a touch screen, like select Dell Latitude and Precision models.
Snips 7th May 2011, 00:54 Quote
Yawn! no one cares.
meandmymouth 7th May 2011, 02:52 Quote
This is a very interesting rumour. The person behind it has a good track record when it comes to these type of reports and supposedly the sources he has are good. I would hesitate to say it's complete nonsense, but also I can't see Apple scrapping Intel altogether.

In my mind using ARM (as well as but not switching away from Intel entirely) makes a lot of sense. With ARM very confident about their upcoming Cortex A15 design and "Mali" graphics there is no reason why a laptop or Mac desktop couldn't be based on these, especially if a desktop-optimized version of iOS was developed. I wouldn't expect an entirely new OS to be developed however optimising iOS, or a version of it, wouldn't be too difficult for Apple.

What I wouldn't be surprised to see would be a macbook with a touchscreen running a developed version of iOS on, say an ARM Cortex A15 CPU or a desktop all-in-one Mac running the same. The emphasis will be on everyday-use machines rather than workstations, which will for a long time stay x86 based, no question about it (I'll eat my hat if I'm wrong).

Apple did help form ARM in 1990 so there would be a decent relationship there I'd imagine, not that it really matters.
iwod 7th May 2011, 06:18 Quote
Why do people keep posting about ARM performance not anywhere near Desktop Class CPU when you are comparing an ARM Smartphone CPU to Intel's Mobile PC / Desktop CPU?

We are talking about a 64Bit ARM CPU, which give huge boost of performance compare to the Next Gen ARM Cortex A15, and Cortex A15 will great boost of performance compare to current Cortex A9.

Then there is the LP ( Low Power ) Node, which all ARM CPU are using, the lower frequency designed because of power constraint. Afterall, the most powerful desktop processors are using 50X the power then ARM Mobile CPU.

I wouldn't say it would catch up to a Quad Core Ivy Bridge in 3 years time. But it would definitely be way faster then Atom, or a Core 2 Duo. And it would be adequate for most users. After all we haven't been CPU performance constraint for quite a few years. ( Hence the birth of Nettop and Netbook ).

Then there is the cost. Even with Steep discount i guess Intel will still be selling $100+ even for the cheapest CPU. And it would only cost apple less then $40 to make for the whole range! Then is 5% to 20% of extra profits available for Apple to crab. With their tight Software integration, they may just be able to pull it off.

Of coz, may be this rumors is just started so Intel will bent more for Apple flavors.
Pyshtone 7th May 2011, 08:02 Quote
Charlie does have reliable sources, but sometimes misleads a bit. I'd say that Apple is looking for foundry capacity that could replace Samsung (what if... Samsung would cut A4/A5 deliveries?), and plans to occupy relatively high volume market with ~7" sized tablet or maybe some 12" dualtouch AMOLED screen convertible (just my guess/wish ;) ). Mac Air would be the next to forgot x86, with product line slowly shifting towards "fast enough" nextgen ARM from bottom line upwards. Intel dominates when it comes to performance, yet Apple need such performance only in its highend segment. Nextgen ARM designs will saturate lower segments just nicely, it is all about SW in the end. Apple developers must be quite satisfied and if they were reasonable enough, they were already prepping ARM variants of their x-86 apps. Ipad 1 role in such grand plan would be to attract masses, and shift developer focus from x-86 to ARM.... It really makes sense... to me :)
veato 7th May 2011, 09:40 Quote
Macbooks and iMacs run the same OS. So if they move Macbooks to ARM doesn't that mean two versions of the same operating system?
ArcAngeL 7th May 2011, 10:03 Quote
Considering thunderbolt is intel, and to go ARM chips, they would need to re-program their whole OS and all software developers would also need to, it will never happen, only reason why apple would even think about it is, that it would be to make better margins on their already overprised hardware. In doing so they will loose their software developers, and then their consumers.
Consumers buy apple for 3 reasons, their ignorance of thinking they cannot get viruses and are completley safe, and their over priced industrial design, their IQ makes them think that they are easier to use and the consumers who buy them have had bad MS experiences.

As a designer I have many bad OSX experiences in both their operating systems prior snow leopard and their previous architecture.

I'm now a IT Manager, who's considering a large purchase of macs for their cross OS support, if they went down this path it would stop me from buying them.
StoneyMahoney 7th May 2011, 11:22 Quote
I'm a cross-platform (Mac/PC) sysadmin and I can say if Apple ever did this they would be throwing away all their hard work to dominate the media industry. Also, don't listen to rumours like this - it was rumoured (and then repeated all across the Internet, supposedly confirming it) that the Mac Mini a few years ago would ship with an Atom processor. Everyone I talked to about this laughed their arses off at it but still the news sites peddled the rumour and more idiots got to bash Apple for their ridiculous "decision". Never thought Bit-Tech would be silly enough to repost this kind of garbage though.

Getting journalists to spread horsesh*t rumours they're sceptical of? There's (probably) an app for that!
azazel1024 7th May 2011, 15:02 Quote
I guess you haven't used a netbook for much lately. An atom most certain does constrain what you can handle on the platform for processor power. Very, very, very much. It is fine for the most basic stuff, but the difference between an atom netbook and my wife's 3 1/2 year old Turino X2 laptop is like night and day. Curent A9s perform about like an Atom does in some work loads (a little better in some, a lot worse in others). Even a significant performance bump only gets the fastest ARM quad core processors to perform in highly multithreaded applications about on par with a 5 year old Celeron dual core processor. That 5yr old celeron could probably still trample it in single threaded applications.

That isn't to say that isn't incredibly impressive performance still for something that barely uses a drop of power to do it all, but in an environment where power is much less constrained, a full sized laptop or heavens to betsy, a desktop running on Mains...it just doesn't hold a candle to a full on modern x86 processor. Most people living in a city only need a scooter to get around. You still see a lot more people opting for an actual car. For 90% of all camera users 8 megapixels was enough and for 98+% 12 megapixels was enough. Yet you still see tons of people jumping all over 15, 20, 25+ megapixel cameras and you know people will continue buying the latest and greatest because it has more megapixels.

Sure most users the next generation ARM chips probably can do what 70+% of users are likely to ask of it 90% of the time. If you told all those users "yeah this can do most of what you are going to ask of it. But look at this puppy, it is 10x faster and only $100 more!" what do you think they are going to choose? Most are going to shell out $100 more to get that huge amount of extra performance that most of them will never utilize.

An entry level sandybridge chip right now isn't all that expensive. $100 call it. Another $100 for the board, $50 for the memory. In another few months you can probably get an entry level SB chip, inexpensive board and 4GB of memory for under $200 for all of it (maybe under $150 if you really hunt). That is going to be several times better performance than the next generation of ARM chips that haven't even come out yet for maybe only $100 odd more. An entry level AMD Llano chip, board and memory in a few months time might even be less than that.

This is a heck of a long comment, but I guess I just don't see the logic in Apple abandoning x86. Heck there are plenty of rumors that Apple is actually abandoning ARM in their touch, iPhone and iPad line for the next generation of Intel Atom chips. I could maybe, possibly see Apple picking up ARM for some of their mac book line or some entry level all-in-one desktops that are designed to be super low power and run iOS instead of OSX. I just don't see them droping x86 and dropping/redoing OSX anytime soon. Maybe in a few generations if ARM has caught up.

Again, back to the architecture though. Its unlikely you are ever going to be able to match a super low power architecture against a much high power architecture in terms of overall performance. Efficiency might be better, but a power envelope that maybe maxes out at 10W probably is going to hold much a of candle to something that has a power envelope stretching to 100w or more. Maybe with the exception of very specialized taskes. But hey, check out SB and their quicksynch. Intel is figuring it out. Especially with their ever smaller node sizes they can cram more specialized stuff on their dies, such as quicksynch to handle specialized common tasks much faster than the CPU itself can. Its something SOCs have been doing for awhile, but with full on x86 desktop and even CLUV chips have so much more space to add tons of such features AND still have a way more powerful CPU and even GPU on the same die.
Nexxo 7th May 2011, 15:12 Quote
Apple is famous for thinking 5-10 years ahead. What might an ARM chip offer then that an Intel chip might not? Intel makes good beefy CPUs but has been less than compelling in the low power stakes. Arm architecture on the other hand could be scaled up to be more powerful. The future will also hold an increased number of dedicated mobile devices rather than powerful desktop monsters.

I see where Apple is going with this. Won't be ditching Intel for the next five years though.
Anfield 7th May 2011, 15:49 Quote
At the low end there is a chance that apple will indeed move to Arm, why? they can just give the iPad3 a screen attached with a hinge instead of integrating it in the Case and call it a iBook (yes, the flipped screen and the removed hinge are the only "innovation" a tablet has over a notebook).

But at the higher end there is simply no chance Apple would be stupid enough to move away from x86, because what moving to x86 did was open up the possibility that applications everyone is used to may eventually end up being avalaible for the Mac as well which makes switching to them actually possible... or does anyone believe that for example Valve would have bothered bringing Steam to Macs if they would still use different Hardware?
Flibblebot 7th May 2011, 16:19 Quote
Hardware doesn't really make much of a difference unless you're writing applications in machine code - for high-level languages, the compiler manages the differences in CPU architecture. The real problem is the fact that Windows and MacOS are such different operating systems - just because they run on the same CPU architecture, doesn't mean that writing an application to run on each is just a case of recompiling under MacOS.
Yslen 7th May 2011, 16:27 Quote
Hold on, doesn't Apple have a contract with AMD for their next load of laptops etc? Or did I imagine that news story a few months ago?
jrs77 7th May 2011, 16:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Intel makes good beefy CPUs but has been less than compelling in the low power stakes.

What do you consider low-power Nexxo? Isn't 17 Watt for the newest i5/i7 chips considered low-power anymore? And they sure are way more beefy then currently available ARMs.

Intel does have the ability to produce beefy low-power chips imho, they only didn't put that much efforts into that direction during the last few years.
However, looking into the specifications for the current Atom Z-series, they're allready very much low-power with some 2.4 Watt for a 2GHz Z550 -> http://www.intel.com/de_DE/products/processor/atom/index.htm#specifications
Anfield 7th May 2011, 17:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
just because they run on the same CPU architecture, doesn't mean that writing an application to run on each is just a case of recompiling under MacOS.

Yes, however the chances of Mac OS and Windows getting more and more similar (and with it applications) is certainly higher than if they are designed from ground up for different hardware. Sure, it didn't happen for Linux which is still very different from Windows, but Apple wants the Consumer market to buy its products, so they have to move their OS closer to Windows anyway.
Flibblebot 7th May 2011, 17:36 Quote
...but MacOS is based on Unix, so it's a lot closer to Linux than it is to Windows.
Most major applications are available for both platforms anyway, so similarity or not is a moot point.

I think Apple are quite happy being seen as an "elite" brand since it means that they can charge a price premium for their systems, despite the fact that a MacBook is virtually identical in terms of hardware specs to any other laptop.
Horizon 8th May 2011, 04:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStockBroker
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
Highly, highly doubt it. They only changed architectures 5 years ago, and I don't think devs would be too pleased at changing again. Plus, a large chunk of Mac owners bought Macs precisely because they came with x86 processors that were capable of running Windows (either natively or in a VM).

Yes but Windows 8, due in less than a year I think, has gone out of it's way to include ARM support...

Maybe MS & Apple know something we don't...

TSB

what he said, MS has made it known that they are work on a version of Windows 8 the runs on ARM, what possible reason would apple have not to do the same.
Nexxo 9th May 2011, 09:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
What do you consider low-power Nexxo? Isn't 17 Watt for the newest i5/i7 chips considered low-power anymore? And they sure are way more beefy then currently available ARMs.

Intel does have the ability to produce beefy low-power chips imho, they only didn't put that much efforts into that direction during the last few years.
However, looking into the specifications for the current Atom Z-series, they're allready very much low-power with some 2.4 Watt for a 2GHz Z550 -> http://www.intel.com/de_DE/products/processor/atom/index.htm#specifications

As in: suitable for mobile devices. The Atom does not have a brilliant performance to power consumption ratio. This is made even worse by combining it with a chipset that uses five times as much power as the Atom does. Nuts. Meanwhile we have the ARM, VIA Nano and nVidia's Tecra being carefully designed for mobile applications.
leveller 9th May 2011, 09:23 Quote
As far as I know Intel haven't issued a statement to deny this and it would be in their interest to do so ... so it could very well be true!
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