Apple Dumps Intel At WWDC, Promising Faster Macs & Vast Application Options

Apple today kicked off its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) with a keynote event, embedded above, that saw the company introduced updates for iOS, iPadOs, watchOS, privacy, tvOs and macOs.

The event would be notable for many electronic musicians for that alone, but Apple also announced the most significant change to the Mac platform in 15 years, that it is transitioning from using Intel processors to ‘Apple Silicon’.

Apple’s mobile devices – running on Apple’s custom silicon – have long benefited from CPU performance that leads their competition. Their computers, though, use standard Intel processors, and have offered relatively undistinguished price/performance.

Apple plans to change that, and also to make MacOS a much more flexible platform, with its announcement today of plans to transition the Mac to custom ‘Apple Silicon’. The transition promises to deliver more powerful macs at more affordable prices, and to create a common platform for iPhone, iPad and macOS applications.

Apple also introduced macOS Big Sur, which the company describes as is biggest update in more than a decade.

Big Sur includes technologies that are designed to ensure a smooth transition to Apple silicon. Developers can convert their existing apps to run on Apple’s new Macs, while providing compatibility with existing Macs. And for the first time, developers can make their iOS and iPadOS apps available on the Mac without any modifications.

Apple plans to ship the first Macs with Apple silicon by the end of the year and to complete the transition from Intel processors to custom Apple Silicon in about two years.

Apple says that they will continue to support and release new versions of macOS for Intel-based Macs for years to come, and has new Intel-based Macs in development.

What This Means For Musicians

Apple promises a painless transition, similar to their change, 15 years ago, from Power PC CPUs to Intel.

Musicians that went through that transition may remember ‘Rosetta’ and ‘Universal Applications’, which  allowed users to run legacy applications for years on new hardware. These made it relatively painless for many musicians to transition from old Power PC Macs to Intel Macs.

Many Mac-based musicians, though, will also remember losing legacy applications that never got updated by their developers to run on Intel chips. And some may have had to say goodbye to audio interfaces or other peripherals, because it was not worth the effort for some manufacturers to update their drivers to work with Intel-based Macs.

So the downside of the transition is that long-time Mac users may find some of their hardware and software orphaned by the transition to Apple Silicon.

The upside, though, is that all of Apple’s hardware – from mobile devices, to computers to home media devices – will now be based on Apple’s ARM chips. This promises to be a huge change, because iPhone and iPad applications will now run on Macintosh computers. This means that tens of thousands of iOS music apps will now run on Macs. Conversely, it means that desktop-level DAWs may be easier to port to mobile devices. And it should be easier than ever for developers to create applications and platforms that work across Apple’s mobile and desktop platforms.

Applications In Transition

Apple says that it, along with major developers, already have their apps running on the new ‘Apple Silicon’ Mac platform. Based on this, it sounds like there will be a lengthy transition period where your old apps work, while updated apps will deliver new features and better performance.

A less obvious side-effect of the transition for musicians is ‘bloatware’. Apple’s ‘Universal Applications’ essentially deliver two copies of an application in one file One is compiled for the legacy platform and another for the new platform.

This means that – during this transition period – you’re likely to see some application bloat and lose some disk space to version of applications that you do not need.

It also means that some time in the near future, it will not make sense for developers to offer updates for your existing MacOS computers. There will be compelling arguments for creating apps that can run on iPhone, iPad & Macs, but little incentive to update apps that are limited to running on Intel-based applications.

And it means that – at some point in time – Apple will remove their ‘compatibility layer’ and support for ‘Universal Applications’. This should open up a lot of disk space, but also mean that some legacy apps will be orphaned.

Macs based on the new Apple Silicon should be commercially available later this year. Apple expects its transition off of Intel to be complete within 2 years.

95 thoughts on “Apple Dumps Intel At WWDC, Promising Faster Macs & Vast Application Options

  1. Game changing for the future speed and, hopefully, stability performance of music applications. Will be really great to have the investment of all those mobile OS apps I’ve purchased be able to run on my laptop. I’ll probably have to buy a new laptop, though, to really take advantage of it. I wonder if this will change the pricing landscape as we’ve known it?

  2. This will be the slow, expensive, inevitable end of Apple being a part of the professional computer world, and their formal entry into the “consumer electronics” world. Application development will drop off significantly, prices will go up. And running iOS apps on your desktop? What a joke. If you like paying 3-12k for hardware that can run a $3 app that is coded and designed for a completely different interface paradigm…. I guess go for it.

  3. This is a pretty big deal. This means we will lose bootcamp, among other things. And just when devs got everything ported to 64bit intel, the marathon to port everything to ARM begins, bringing more bugs and generally effing up many working systems. I’m not even convinced switching to ARM is going to increase performance of processor-intensive tasks like audio and video rendering, actually guessing the opposite will happen.

    This might mean that I finally ditch Apple going forward and switch back to using Windows.

    1. @jm2c – absolutely. I have gone through two transitions, from Motorola to Power PC (which hailed as the best thing since sliced bread) and then to Intel. Nothing worked really smooth, Universal Binaries were so-so and we are again trying to play catch-up with which software works how and when. Also, no matter how good Rosetta 2 will be, a translation layer will always create overhead leading to slower performance.

      And it remains to be seen how developers like VMware (Fusion) and Parallels react, because a lot of companies, schools and musicians rely on using Windows and macOS virtualization.

      Also, we will see how far Apple will come with their chips. Certainly they are good so far, but they need to compare to high-end xeon CPUs with 24+ cores. And while the team at Apple is certainly brilliant, I think that Intel and AMD don´t sleep either. At some point it will be hard to keep doubling the performance. They area where Apple is when combining other stuff onto the same chip.

      Not that happy …

    2. @jm2c — Yeah, going back to Windows is looking like a good choice for the next 3-5 years I would say. Unless you’re happy with the mac hardware you’re using right now, which most of us aren’t. It’ll probably be at least 3 years until ARM mac hardware is a strong value proposition for audio/music people. Or longer. Or never. I think I’m building an i9 hackintosh for a dual boot system so I can try out modern Windows workflows and also have my OS X security blanket. Then maybe at some point the ARM thing will look attractive. I think it’ll be awhile, though.

      1. I think you are wrong. Apple would not do this transition right now if they were not certain of them being able to deliver great products very soon. So I believe that the stuff they promise for this year will be amazing!

      1. Why? Linux is still very flawed compared to Mac and Windows. Will take years for Linux to become as good as linuxpeople claims it is today.

  4. The Arm CPUs are slow and shitty, the whole architecture is primitive in terms of speed compared to x86. Besides that, the upcoming end of all CPU development (quantum tunneling and 3nm barrier) will guarantee that they will stay on this shitty level.

    They simply gave up on decent processing power in their products. Anything else is just marketing bullshit.

    Slow death for Apple.

          1. Z made an absolute statement about ARM processors (“the whole architecture…”). Five minutes after reading this statement I happened to see the story on The Verge and decided to post the link as a little push back.

            Regarding their use in Macs, I’m not making any absolute claims or predictions, one way or the other.

            1. No matter how good or bad a processor is, you can make a supercomputer with it that’s the world’s fastest. The way supercomputers derive performance is by creating a tight super cluster of tens or hundreds of thousand processors. Most of the magic happens in the interconnections between them (Cray Aries / Infiniband etc) and the software layer (compilers taking advantage of slave nodes well).

              Cray and many other manufacturers experiment a lot with ARM processors, but not for the reason you think, not because they promise higher performance, but because they promise better energy consumption and thermals. Supercomputers draw so much power that they come with an ‘end of life’ date where the cost of the power bill exceeds the cost to upgrade to a new machine.

              Heat production is so plentiful that the exhaust heat from the Cray XC-40 at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden is used to heat the chemistry lab building during winters.

              Technically speaking ARM is a nice platform, but the issue you’ll inevitably see with it in this scenario is what happened in the 1990’s to early 2000’s: x86, no matter if it’s the best platform or not, is just so broadly popular that the cost/performance-ratio kills all other architectures.

              Sun Sparc/Solaris were amazing, for example, and contained many features that we still don’t have substitutes for today. But businesses sacrificed stability for paying half the price for something that ‘worked’ and went x86 resulting in the death of all other platforms including ARM.

              The reason ARM is seeing a resurgence isn’t because it’s a good platform for high performance use, Intel’s i7 processors are actually more power efficient at 100% utilization than ARM is, but ARM is far more power efficient at less than 100% utilization. The reason is simply that their use in phones have pushed the price/performance-ratio of ARM to a very nice level.

              Sum sumarum: ARM being used in a supercomputer that’s the world’s fastest doesn’t mean ARM in itself is fast or good. It just means someone spent the money to put together a bigger supercomputer with more processors.

              1. > “The reason ARM is seeing a resurgence”

                What resurgence? ARM architecture dominates the mobile world but I don’t think it ever had a foothold in the laptop/desktop world, so I don’t know what resurgence you are referring to.

                Since you’ve said it a few times, have you got any evidence for your claim that i7s (which i7?) are more power efficient at 100% compared to .. well, you haven’t even stated what ARM architecture/uarchitecture you’re comparing it against.. Seems a bit vague.

                1. Yes. Here’s the cited, referenced and thoroughly peer-reviewed scientific paper which I (and the rest of the high-performance computing community) use as a basis for what I stated: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258498125_Performance_Evaluation_and_Energy_Efficiency_of_High-Density_HPC_Platforms_Based_on_Intel_AMD_and_ARM_Processors

                  The resurgence I’m talking about is fairly self-explanatory I thought: ARM being used in mobile applications pushes prices down on all ARM chips which can then be repurposed cost effectively for other things, which is precisely what Raspberry Pi did and what now Apple is doing, themselves openly stating that it’s at least in-part due to cost efficiency.

                  1. Oh dear, that is a 7 year old publication and references Cortex-A9, which is a 12 year old design with an old generation (v7) architecture. It’s just not relevant to what Apple are building today. I read up about Cray – you of all people should know the importance of system and interconnect design for chip performance. It’s so much more than just what CPU architecture the application is running on.

                    1. I often come across this, that someone asks for scientific evidence in order to shut down an argument, and when it’s provided (no matter how recent) the argument after is “It’s n years/months old, things have changed”

                      There haven’t been any meaningful developments to warrant a new paper to inform research direction, and when there is, there will be. The underlying reasons for the results in that paper has to do with the architecture rather than it simply being an older generation processor, RISC vs CISC. In fact, the processors it was compared to were also from an older generation.

                      Your argument here no longer stems from any sort of basis in fact or science I’m aware of, and in order to refute the article I linked, you’re going to have to provide a newer article that’s thoroughly cited, referenced and peer reviewed. Just as you required of me.

                    2. That paper is comparing Intel i7/ Xeon E7, 64-bit architectures versus Cortex-A9, a 32-bit architecture. I am not saying it wasn’t a relevant comparison at the time, what I am saying is that it is a meaningless modern day comparison.
                      To say that ARM moving from 32-bit to 64-bit architecture is not a meaningful development to warrant a new paper shows that you do not understand the significance.

                      I only asked you to cite the paper you were using for your claims. I have not made any claims that requires a research paper. You can easily google everything I have said to confirm it.

                      My argument has been to point out the flaws in your argument. What part of my argument is not based on fact or science?

              2. @Cray Dawwg

                You gotta keep up with the times homie.
                That’s why scientific journals exist to keep up with latest research.

                Also gotta compare like for like
                to draw meaningful conclusion or even hypothesis.

                Thus compare A14Bionic vs i7-10th gen intel.
                AMD smokes intel anyways nowadays.
                So the real comparison should be
                AMD vs A14Bionic.

                Peer reviewed is a lot of back slapping :
                look how many articles i got published naaa na nanaa naaa way more than you.

    1. “Slow death for Apple.”

      lol – very slow, apparently.

      Hacks have been predicting the death of Apple for 30 years now. But one of these days, the doomsayers will finally be right!

      In the meantime, Apple’s worth 1.5 trillion dollars and has more cash on hand than God.

      1. They have been dead as a computer company for at least five years. The only reason Apple is alive and has this huge war chest is because they sell phones now. They sell consumer-electronics, not high end computers. Don’t make that mistake. This is just a formal move into the place that makes them more money. They have been dead as a computer company for at least five years. The only reason Apple is alive and has this huge war chest is because they sell phones now. They sell consumer-electronics, not high-end computers. Don’t make that mistake. This is just a formal move into the place that makes them more money.

        1. No matter how many times you repeat yourself, your comment ignores the facts.

          Mac sales reached their peak a few years ago at about 18-19 million per year and have plateaued.

          Sales plateaued because Intel processors, as ‘Z’ noted above, used to get 50% faster every year. Now they get 3% faster each year.

          So there’s not much incentive to upgrade every few years.

          This switch will free the Mac from the boat anchor of Intel processors, because Apple’s chip designs have not been stagnating, they are getting faster and using less power every year.

        2. Sorry but you are véry wrong. Apple is without doubt the greatest computer company today. And thats because of both their hard and software. No doubt!

    2. Z, you’re just making stuff up. ARM architecture is not “slow and shitty,” nor is CPU development going to come to an abrupt end simply because you cannot imagine future developments beyond the 3nm process.

      1. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DUL-DedVoAEC2Xy.jpg

        A couple of remarks:

        1. It’s already happening.

        2. It’s not about the power of anyone’s imagination. It’s about knowledge. Our current knowledge about physics and the workings of the universe present us with a physical barrier. If you think you know better, then please write your theory, so that I could read it instead of Paul Dirac’s.

        3. The only way it would be possible to break through this barrier would be to find an effective implementation of quantum computing. Though this kind of a of a leap forward is not unimaginable, this would need a serious scientific breakthrough. The only problem with this is that the result of a scientific research and the occurrence of a breakthrough is fundamentally unpredictable. It might take only 1 year to happen or it might take a 1000 years to happen.

        4. Yeah, I know: “but Moore’s Law, blahblahblah”. First, it’s not a law, but a prophecy. Second, just think about the 1990’s and you’ll see that the prophecy predicted the CPU speed increase correctly only from 2004-to-2020. Before that, it was both the number of transistors AND the cpu clock speed that doubled every one and the half years. Only since 2004, since the Prescott E tragedy can Moore’s Law correctly describe CPU power development and it will break down after 3nm barrier.

        5. Sure, I think there will be some improvement, but the rate of improvement will be seriously affected by the 3nm barrier.

    3. You are wrong on so many things its hugely amusing! Apples new CPUs will be faster cheaper and cooler than anything Intel can come up with at an affordable price.

        1. Of course they will be faster and much cheaper. Apples ARM processors already outperform Intels in many ways including speed. And when Apple release high end processors they will surely outperform Intels high end ones while being far cheaper more optimized and cooler. If Apple did not know it was possible to compete with and outperform Intel they would not have gone this route! Question is what Intel will do now? Buy Apple? buy TSMC? we`ll see.

          1. “Today, Apple represents about 6% of the global PC market based on units sold and accounts for somewhere around 2% to 4% of Intel’s sales. Based on Intel’s trailing 12-month revenue of more than $75 billion, that means the Apple relationship represents between around $1.5 billion and around $3.0 billion in annual sales for the chip maker. This number is significant, but given the overall size of the Intel business, it is hardly insurmountable.”

        2. My assumption is the real issue is Intel’s graphics, and I suspect Apple has had quite enough with the “good enuf for thinkpads” gpus.

      1. Apple’s processors only outperform Intel’s mid-range mobile processors, and mobile processing is what ARM does well. Intel’s upper bracket desktop processors blow all ARM processors out of the water, and are also more power efficient at 100% utilization.

        The way the ARM architecture works, and why it’s such a good fit for the average mobile use-case is that ARM is far more power efficient at less than 100% utilization, but far /less/ power efficient at full utilization making them a bad fit for desktops for people who actually needs performance.

        In order for these processors to be faster they also need to have software made natively for them. It’s one thing to just recompile software for ARM, that can in some cases be painless and get things working, but that won’t work /fast/. For /fast/ you need optimized code for ARM, and that needs a significant money invested in compilers given the way Apple approach development (high level language abstraction)

        Even with money shuffled into compiler development it will take many, many years for that compiler to come out well. It takes many decades to make a truly good compiler for a new architecture.

        They can re-use some of what they’ve developed for iPad/iPhone and iOS but at the end of the day that’s optimized for a very different use-case, so will likely not be a very good fit for desktop use either.

        Like with previous shifts in architecture, by the time Apple has gotten this to approach nice, they will have moved on to yet another architecture. Most likely either back to x86, or they will just stop making desktop computers altogether and focus on laptops and mid-range “daily driver” web browsing/light gaming machines where ARM works well.

        1. > “It takes many decades to make a truly good compiler for a new architecture.”

          True, except the ARM architecture is not new. Apple, ARM and open source compilers for the ARM architecture already exist and have been in development for decades.

          You’re making a lot of arguments against ARM in these comments but none of the statements you have made include any evidence.

          Intel employee?

          1. Any architecture involving ARM for desktops will inevitably use custom instruction sets and most likely quite a lot of processors on the board. That will in-effect be an entirely new architecture where optimization can’t be carried over from mobile phones. They can, of course, re-purpose some things from their mobile platform, like I said above, but it’s not going to help greatly.

            I’m not sure what Intel has to do with it, no, I’m not an Intel employee. I work with scientific programming, Cray supercomputers and use and have used a plethora of different platforms including being an ARM Accredited Engineer. I’ve got about few dozen ARM SoC’s ranging from Raspberry Pi to Altra myself, which I thoroughly enjoy, but my current favourite architecture is IBM’s newer Power9 due to their CAPI-interface allows for jacking an FPGA-based (hardware programmable) accelerator directly to the CPU for use with things like Fast Fourier Transform or data compression acceleration.

            I sincerely doubt Intel cares greatly about this. Their main concern at the moment is rather AMD’s x86-offerings which beats them in both thermals and multi-core performance, but not single-core performance (at least, not until the 4000-series is released later this year)

            In case you missed it in the other thread, the thoroughly cited, referenced and peer-reviewed paper for my statement about ARM vs Intel i7 efficiency is here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258498125_Performance_Evaluation_and_Energy_Efficiency_of_High-Density_HPC_Platforms_Based_on_Intel_AMD_and_ARM_Processors

            1. Yes, today’s compute is relying more and more on accelerators and custom instructions. That is an argument for saying using any CPU architecture will require optimisation that can’t be carried over from other platforms. There are many layers in a software stack that help to alleviate these pressures. But they are not unique to ARM.

              I agree Intel should be scared by AMD, rather than Apple moving to their own chips. I just don’t agree with your general sentiments, which seems to be that ARM is suited only to mobile, but is inferior to Intel in desktop/laptop workloads – based on a paper comparing decade old designs targeting server/HPC workloads.

            2. @Cray Dawwg

              AMD is the current and forseeable future better cpu architecture performance thermals.

              Intel is old news has been.

              Intel’s EVIL business practices to keep AMD down decades
              thus affecting livelihoods families of so many AMD employess
              has come back to bite intel hard.

              Karma.

  5. That is…I was on the fence to replace my Mac by a PC…they helped me with the decision. Back to windows. This is nonsense.

    1. If it means ‘crap’ like fantastic laptops, the best mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch & Airpods), and better security and privacy than its competitors, I am all in.

      The iPad has been the best new platform for music in the last decade, and I’m looking forward to seeing what developers do when they can make apps that work on multiple platforms.

        1. The iPad is not as good as a laptop at doing laptop/desktop things.

          But applications like Samplr turn the iPad into an instrument in ways that’s not currently possible with Macs. I’d argue that Samplr is better at what it does than any comparable Mac app, as a result.

          Apple sees tablets as a separate platform, unlike Microsoft, and that’s why the user experience is so good on iPads and why apps like Samplr can be so good.

          1. Actually apps like Samplr are developed and tested on Macs before being released on IOS. Its completely possible to run IOS apps on Macs. Apple could’ve made IOS apps available on Macs too but they decided not too purely for business decisions.

            I wonder if they plan to eventually have IOS apps run on Macs or vice-versa now that they will both run on CPUs with similar architecture. But at the same time I remember when they first released the iphone Apple was saying that IOS was based on OSX and it never happened.

  6. well if it means more affordable decently performing macbooks I may switch from PC at some point, especially if it means I can take what I do on my ipad and and port it over so that I can say use beatmaker or aum and export the tracks and\or use plugins I purchased for the ipad in say ableton on the mac – it will make it easier to do stuff on the go and reuse later, I just hope that it doesn’t mean that things that I already own will require an expensive upgrade to get it to mac – if that happens I may just stay with the current…

  7. Glad I got rid Apple hardware TAX last year, happy with my 16 core/2 thread Ryzen, this news is e cherry on he cake! 🙂

  8. The main weakness of Apple is Tim Cook who is no Alpha as Jobs was. Cook led them astray by removing necessities such as USB and headphone jacks from their devices and alienating most of the customers.

    1. “Cook led them astray by removing necessities such as USB and headphone jacks from their devices and alienating most of the customers.”

      Sort of like Jobs alienated all Apple’s customers by removing ADB jacks and floppy drives on the iMac?

      Oh yeah, nobody remembers those criticisms – because the iMac was a huge success and saved the company.

      And nobody really thinks that Cook ‘led them astray’ because Apple’s products are so successful under Cook that Apple’s now the most valuable company in the world.

      And the product lines that Cook introduced after Steve Jobs died, like the Apple Watch and Airpods, have been hugely successful.

      And Cook has made Apple Services so popular that they’re the equivalent of a Fortune 100 company.

      Just imagine how well Apple would be doing if Cook hadn’t alienated most of the customers!

  9. It won’t become more affordable. Have a look at the iphone prices over the last years. If they will deliver superior performance you will be charged for every little bit of it. Sad that this will eventually mean the end of hackintoshs. I’m still curious in which direction it will develop exactly. I’m also using an ipad pro for music production and it definitely has its advantages. After having released the magic keyboard with a touchpad they will most likely release Logic Pro in the near future for the platform. That way they will fuse both platforms in the near future.

    1. “It won’t become more affordable. Have a look at the iphone prices over the last years. If they will deliver superior performance you will be charged for every little bit of it. ”

      Apple’s cheapest iPhone performs better than the top of the line Android phones:

      https://www.androidauthority.com/iphone-se-vs-most-powerful-android-galaxy-s20-ultra-1120575/

      Apple like to position its products as premium products, because that’s where the profits are at. But its mobile devices are very competitive in terms of price/performance.

      Apple laptops have not offered great price/performance for years, because Apple’s been stuck with using the same Intel chips as companies offering stripped-down hardware. That all is going to change with the company shifting the Mac to Apple chips.

      There is literally no way that Apple would be making this change if they didn’t know that ARM Macs will blow away Intel Macs. Apple has prototypes that do this already. This switch has been planned for years. Anyone that thinks that this is wishful thinking is a fool.

      Smart people realize this. Apple’s going to be the first 2 trillion dollar company. Intel’s stock is going to tank.

      1. I pretty much agree with your statement, except for the “Intel’s stock will tank” comment. Apple makes up 2-3% of Intel’s Processor revenue so I doubt this will have much of a long term affect on their business moving forward.

  10. Question: If I want a new Mac Book Pro, should I get an intel and ride it out and hope they keep it updated, or wait and get the new ARM version? When I buy the computer, I’d like to be able to use for 7 years or so like I have been with my other macs. Nervous if I buy intel, I’ll need a new computer in 3 years as it wont be supported anymore.

    I feel like the first iteration of ARM will have problems, regardless of what they say. The ARM is intriguing tho as I have lots of ipad apps that would be dope to have on the mac. Thoughts?

    1. Literally got a new 13″ MacBook Pro with the new (non-shitty) keyboard last week and do not regret it at all. It will undoubtedly be years before everything is running really smoothly in the music production world with the new chip architecture – two years is optimistic at best. I waited for the new refreshed laptops, but I wouldn’t wait on a new chip architecture – that’s years of music making you shouldn’t miss out on. And you still have all those iPad apps in the meantime. Also the world is terrible and anything can happen. Live a little.

        1. Besides, you can always install Linux and run bitwig or reaper or renoise or Ardour or Traction or what not.

    2. “If I want a new Mac Book Pro, should I get an intel and ride it out and hope they keep it updated, or wait and get the new ARM version?”

      I’m bullish on the changes that Apple has announced, because they are smart and well thought-ought.

      And, having lived through the last transition, I trust that Apple will handle it pretty well.

      But personally I would still hold off for a year, get an ARM Mac and force myself to jump in on the future direction. The people that get pissed about these transitions are the ones that invest themselves in the past.

      I’m intrigued by the mac/iPad cross-pollination promise, too, but I think it will be 3-4 years before this really plays out.

  11. What I find annoying is that many people automatically assume that the transition to ARM processors will be a mess, I really doubt that it will be. From what I’ve read, Apple has been planning this for years, so I don’t think they jumped into this blindly. It seems with some people, that no matter what Apple does, they won’t like what they do. If Apple doesn’t plan for the future and be innovative, people complain. If Apple keeps selling the same rehashed technology for many years, people complain. Personally, I’d rather see them innovate like they’re doing, instead of stagnate.

  12. Are they going to do an ARM Mac Pro, even? Or is it about more low end Mac Books and a consumer-based iMac? Are we really talking the entire line?

    1. Probably the entire line after a while. It is possible to do very high performance processing with ARM architecture as someone posted above. Fujitsu designed ARM A64FX processors are used in that Japanese supercomputer.

      1. Cool, thanks for the pointer, that’s very nice. My guess is that they can quickly bring out consumer based stuff and get people with iphones to switch to apple computers, as long as they have ported the main software (MS Office, Logic and Photoshop). But then they might take a lot longer over the pro line.

  13. Aside from all the platform pissing matches going on in this thread, I am curious about the scalability of these ARM processors in a multiprocessor environment. I have seen the Geek bench ratings for overall throughput which look good, but studio applications like large track counts, sample libraries and complex software plugins are notoriously hard on processors, and shine in multiprocessor/multi core environments. The big question is, can the next generation of Apple Silicon be used in a 12 core + system?

      1. Thanks for the info. I’d love to see the processor roadmap for Apple Silicon, much like Intel and AMD do. Since Apple will be an integrate system (no external clients for Apple Silicon), I wouldn’t expect them to be too transparent, but I expect that they generally know what they’re doing. I had to chuckle when they announced “Universal” and “Rosetta,” having gone through all the processor changes since 1985 :).

  14. Smart move for AAPL. They are already more vertically integrated than any other OS maker and controlling their chip production means even better integration, speed, and security. Griefers threaten to switch to Windows over this or that every time AAPL makes a big move yet every pro studio I’ve visited is running Macs.

  15. This is great news for me (maybe). I want to get into iPad development, but don’t want to buy intel (I was hoping for an AMD machine from Apple). Obviously, what Apple puts out this year may be underpowered or not ready for xcode.

  16. They did not say ANYTHING about x86 Macs Mini and Pro support. What a JOKE. I NEED to know HOW LONG x86 Macs will be updated. Give me A SPECIFIC DATE, that is what every serious company is doing these years. Cook’s “couple of years” is just plain STUPID and is showing NO RESPECT to customers.

    1. Two years arw what they said but I am sure there will be support and new updates and programs developed even after that.

    2. Intel Macs will be supported for “years to come” according to Cook. And given the fact that they still have Intel Macs in the product pipeline, There’s every reason to believe that will be the case.

  17. When my first-gen iMac turned out to be a rare lemon (when they switched to Intel), Apple sent techs to my house twice in a bid to revive it & then replaced the blighted one with a newer, bigger model, no added charge. Their warranty is worth its weight in Unobtanium. Ever take a non-warrantied item to a repair shop? Sell the kids for medical experiments, because money will go bye-bye fast. That Mac ran until I upgraded & its still an operational spare for a few things. Guess who’s casually saving for the next gen?

    I agree with a small bit of the hollering, but Apple & Logic have been STABLE when most of the other routes I tried were full of pointless brambles and snakes. The hardware is pricey, but the software is so cheap, its near-free. Quintuple that if you’re building a rig within an iPad. That’s the trade-off. When enough of the dust settles, I’ll barely need Migration Assistant. All of my Logic data is on outside drives, so I’ll be a couple of transfer sessions away from being up & running again. I scream a lot less since I learned proper resource management.

  18. For music making universal apps that run on iOS and Mac OS may be interesting. I used the Mac Book Pro mostly as developer machine using mostly open source software (Java, JavaScript, nodeJS, …) and Intellij. That runs ok also on a Raspberry Pi 4 8GB for less than $100. And a Wintel laptop (I use a Lenovo Y545 with 6 core Intel and 32GB RAM for $1200) runs super fast. No need to buy an Apple product.

    An ARM Mac becomes problematic when using virtualization of Intel operating systems (especially Windows). For Linux and open source there is usually an ARM ports available. An Intel emulator on ARM runs too slow to be really useful. I also run databases like SQL server as Docker images and that is also Intel.

    At the end I will most likely leave Mac OS and switch to Ubuntu running Windows in a virtual machine. For XCode I keep my old Mac Book Pro until it becomes obsolete in 2 years. I won’t spend another $4K for Apple hardware. If they try to sell an ARM laptop for that price I will just laughing …

    BTW you run Catalina under Virtualbox on Windows/Linux (one-click-solution on Github). Graphics performance is not so great and Audio does not work. And there is also Hackintosh, OpenCore, … Support for specific hardware like e.g. Lenovo Legion laptops is available (see also Github). Here you get (when done right) supreme performance.

  19. Bye bye Apple, won’t miss you. Atari, for a certainty, mismanaged itself but it never ever made moves to cripple its own user base. Apple’s current range of laptops with glued in batteries, phones without headphone jacks, software that expires (ReBirth anyone?), bloated OS full of tracking and privacy invasion mean that in 50 years you will still see Atari ST’s from the 1980’s running in studios and nothing from the current crop of Apple. While the Apple II computer was nothing special, it’s accompanying disk drive, the Disk II, is an absolute original masterpiece of computer science. The Disk II and Microsoft launched Apple into where it is today. Yes, Microsoft is what made Apple what it is. As for music, the ARM core Raspberry Pi’s are now mature to where they can be amazing soft synths. Intel based PC’s can run Linux or whatever OS, so many options.

    For music, Apple is already dead. Shame, as there are some very fine iPad synths programs but iPad itself has a glued in battery, is destined to be trash, non-repairable, toxic crap made by slaves in a fascist dictatorship.

    Its a terrible shame that Wozniak did not stay at the helm of Apple. He would have kept it as an innovation centric engineering firm and the shambles it is today.

    Don’t agree with me? Thats fine. I have spent 10’s of thousands of dollars on Apple gear and now I spend nothing. The cutting edge of computer science lies not with Apple.

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