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Rumour: Apple M1X SoC will boast 12 CPU cores

by Mark Tyson on 27 November 2020, 13:11

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaepti

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The new Apple Macs based around 'Apple Silicon' have earned their fair share of headlines with the majority of column inches not really focussed upon the machines as a whole but on the small 5nm M1 processor within. At the Apple 'One More Thing' launch event we were treated to some difficult to believe performance claims from Apple's PR department but since the machines became available to third party reviewers these first gen transitional computers (but mostly the M1 chip inside) are genuinely impressive.

An Apple M1 SoC looks unusual with its truncated heatspreader and on-package memory

So, Apple launched its first trio of 'Apple Silicon' Macs pretty firmly into the lower end of its market. That leads one to wonder what processors will be deployed to address its mid-range and top-end target markets in the coming months. Well, we might be waiting some time for 'Apple Silicon' high-end Mac computers but earlier this week there was an indicative leak about the next rung up from the likes of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13, and Mac Mini.

According to a Twitter tipster called LeaksApplePro, via NotebookCheck, Apple will follow up the M1 with the M1X SoC. First of all the M1X name isn't final, says the tipster. The following are the key features of this beefier processor:

  • 12 CPU cores: 8 performance cores / 4 high efficiency cores
  • It will be launched as the powerplant of the 2021 MacBook Pro 16

LeaksApplePro added teasingly that the source of the information, who had used a prototype, said "if you think M1 is fast, you haven’t seen M1X".

As well as extra performance (Firestorm) cores we could see the MacBook Pro 16 up the power budget and enable faster clocks. There are other questions of course; what about the on-package memory sizes with the M1X, will there be more GPU cores, etc?

The Apple MacBook Pro 16 with an Arm-based processor at its heart is expected to debut sometime in Q1 next year.

 


HEXUS Forums :: 12 Comments

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And this is why I strongly suggested people don't buy the last of the Intel macs. The R&D is going to be firmly focussed on this stuff now. And with good cause. Whilst, yes, there's excellent x86 emulation, the native stuff is still 30% faster or so.
Looks like it was made in someones garage. Glue squeeze-out and all.
BTW,this guy is generally a reliable leaker of Apple stuff,and he says LeaksApplePro tends to make stuff up:
https://twitter.com/L0vetodream/status/1310212741626359808

philehidiot
And this is why I strongly suggested people don't buy the last of the Intel macs. The R&D is going to be firmly focussed on this stuff now. And with good cause. Whilst, yes, there's excellent x86 emulation, the native stuff is still 30% faster or so.

I wouldn't really get the first generation of any Apple device. At previous workplaces where I worked where we had mostly Macs,we had enough issues doing this. Shockingly enough the Dells workstations despite being looked down at seemed to be mostly fine. Go,figure.

The Intel ones won't be locked to one OS,ie,Windows and Linux will work. Those ARM based Macs will be totally locked down,and like a tablet or phone probably only have a 4~5 year actual lifespan,and will be disposable devices. Also emulation performance won't be consistent at all between applications,as much as the polished marketing will tell you. So you really can't say its excellent based on very limited tests,and Apple has a history of deceptive marketing claims. I suspect they wlll profile a bunch of applications which they feel will be popular,but if you are outside that circle,who knows??

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the last Intel based Macs hold their value quite well - it certainly happened for the last of the PowerPC ones.

But why go that far - an 8C/16T Renoir laptop is much cheaper than any of these. Zen3 based APUs are soon coming out. Not sure unless you really need one or two pieces of Apple software,why you would want one,especially after seeing some of the Apple repair channels and their shoddy design decisions. One of them being not cooling voltage regulation properly,so it overheats and blows the CPU. Then on purpose removing any means to pull data off the soldered SSDs they used,because they want you to use iCloud.
CAT-THE-FIFTH
BTW,this guy is generally a reliable leaker of Apple stuff,and he says LeaksApplePro tends to make stuff up:
https://twitter.com/L0vetodream/status/1310212741626359808



I wouldn't really get the first generation of any Apple device. At previous workplaces where I worked where we had mostly Macs,we had enough issues doing this. Shockingly enough the Dells workstations despite being looked down at seemed to be mostly fine. Go,figure.

The Intel ones won't be locked to one OS,ie,Windows and Linux will work. Those ARM based Macs will be totally locked down,and like a tablet or phone probably only have a 4~5 year actual lifespan,and will be disposable devices. Also emulation performance won't be consistent at all between applications,as much as the polished marketing will tell you. So you really can't say its excellent based on very limited tests,and Apple has a history of deceptive marketing claims. I suspect they wlll profile a bunch of applications which they feel will be popular,but if you are outside that circle,who knows??

It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the last Intel based Macs hold their value quite well - it certainly happened for the last of the PowerPC ones.

But why go that far - an 8C/16T Renoir laptop is much cheaper than any of these. Zen3 based APUs are soon coming out. Not sure unless you really need one or two pieces of Apple software,why you would want one,especially after seeing some of the Apple repair channels and their shoddy design decisions. One of them being not cooling voltage regulation properly,so it overheats and blows the CPU. Then on purpose removing any means to pull data off the soldered SSDs they used,because they want you to use iCloud.

Oh I would absolutely advise against a mac these days unless there's an outright need. But I get ignored as their marketing is just so good. Someone bought a Macbook pro and then complained he couldn't upgrade the SSD due to the bespoke… everything. He told me I was talking rubbish when I assured him they had it all locked down to ensure you couldn't do what he wanted to do. This is the guy who has an ancient Apple RAID set up with spinning discs, claiming it must be faster than anything because it's Apple and he spent £80 a drive. You can't tell him that he is wrong or that Apple are rip off merchants. It must be superior because… APPLE! The sad fact is that, for his use, a brisk USB stick stuck in his mac is probably better (of course, dingle dangling from a dongle as most USB sticks are USB-A and the Mac is the only thing he owns with USB-C…)

As for the emulation performance, I'm going on the Anandtec benchmarks which were fairly thorough. The true test for me is to just run the same process on both machines - rendering something or whatever. Real world stuff and time it. That shows you the real life difference between two machines which are fairly similarly priced, and that is what matters to the end user.

I doubt the Mac customers Apple wants to promote will care about putting an alternative OS on it. Those are people who want to use the machines in ways Apple has not sanctioned. I suspect you have missed the most crucial issue here… because they are going full ARM and canning x86, Apple will be able to ensure all sales are through their own store, ensuring they take a cut and ensuring you can't install anything of which they disapprove. There will probably be ways to sideload things on but what do you wanna bet that they go so far as to lock these down ala tablets and phones and to load anything outside of the store, they will require it to be jailbroken (almost certainly violating warranty conditions and, worse, ensuring they can remotely brick it with an “update” that “wasn't compatible” with jailbroken devices).

Regardless of this, I strongly suspect that these Apple chips will be superb performers and be a real threat to Intel in years to come. Whether that is a threat due to Intel's lack of progress any everyone and their dog excreting better chips, or if that's due to Apple being amazing, who knows.

One thing is for sure, the way Apple treated me when I had a hardware problem with a very expensive laptop with an extended “Apple Care” warranty (that I got free with it), I won't be handing them a penny ever again. Part of spending over a grand on a laptop is the assurance that you'll get adequate support if it all goes wrong. Not only do they treat you like something on their shoe, they also ensure you can't get repairs done anywhere else.
philehidiot
Oh I would absolutely advise against a mac these days unless there's an outright need. But I get ignored as their marketing is just so good. Someone bought a Macbook pro and then complained he couldn't upgrade the SSD due to the bespoke… everything. He told me I was talking rubbish when I assured him they had it all locked down to ensure you couldn't do what he wanted to do. This is the guy who has an ancient Apple RAID set up with spinning discs, claiming it must be faster than anything because it's Apple and he spent £80 a drive. You can't tell him that he is wrong or that Apple are rip off merchants. It must be superior because… APPLE! The sad fact is that, for his use, a brisk USB stick stuck in his mac is probably better (of course, dingle dangling from a dongle as most USB sticks are USB-A and the Mac is the only thing he owns with USB-C…)

As for the emulation performance, I'm going on the Anandtec benchmarks which were fairly thorough. The true test for me is to just run the same process on both machines - rendering something or whatever. Real world stuff and time it. That shows you the real life difference between two machines which are fairly similarly priced, and that is what matters to the end user.

I doubt the Mac customers Apple wants to promote will care about putting an alternative OS on it. Those are people who want to use the machines in ways Apple has not sanctioned. I suspect you have missed the most crucial issue here… because they are going full ARM and canning x86, Apple will be able to ensure all sales are through their own store, ensuring they take a cut and ensuring you can't install anything of which they disapprove. There will probably be ways to sideload things on but what do you wanna bet that they go so far as to lock these down ala tablets and phones and to load anything outside of the store, they will require it to be jailbroken (almost certainly violating warranty conditions and, worse, ensuring they can remotely brick it with an “update” that “wasn't compatible” with jailbroken devices).

Regardless of this, I strongly suspect that these Apple chips will be superb performers and be a real threat to Intel in years to come. Whether that is a threat due to Intel's lack of progress any everyone and their dog excreting better chips, or if that's due to Apple being amazing, who knows.

One thing is for sure, the way Apple treated me when I had a hardware problem with a very expensive laptop with an extended “Apple Care” warranty (that I got free with it), I won't be handing them a penny ever again. Part of spending over a grand on a laptop is the assurance that you'll get adequate support if it all goes wrong. Not only do they treat you like something on their shoe, they also ensure you can't get repairs done anywhere else.


Well using essentially the same hardware as their iPads,means Apple can save on R and D costs for the two lines which are slowly slowing down in sales,and as you say they can get a cut of each software sale,as MacOS slowly becomes iOS. As Apple said they are now a “services company”.Also like the phones they can stop updates after a few years,so make sure they follow the upgrade cycles of phones and tablets which are shorter. The main problem with Intel is them relying so much on their fabs being on time with node transitions,but OTH I am still kind of surprised Skylake after 5 years and essentially being on the same ancient 14NM nodes,still seems to have lasted as well as it did. So if Intel does manage to get past its fab problems,we might see a speedup on the X86 side again. Apple like AMD have gotten a bit lucky due to Intel's woes.