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Report: Apple Considering Switch Away from Intel CPUs

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November 6, 2012 1:41:18 PM

Didn't they try that before and it failed?
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 1:44:34 PM

I was hoping they'd be switching to AMD. They need the money.
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November 6, 2012 1:50:33 PM

Isn't an ARM core inside these chips? If yes, they are licesing it, not developing it.
November 6, 2012 1:50:42 PM

ARM finding new ways to get under Intel's skin?
November 6, 2012 1:51:01 PM

what are they doing at apple?
November 6, 2012 1:51:09 PM

Go Apple, do it, and it will seal the doom of the Mac.
November 6, 2012 1:51:36 PM

So here comes another software incompatibility on MACs.. first from the move from Power PC to Intel CPU now this :) , ofc they will charge money again for the new software and god knows what for hardware.
November 6, 2012 1:52:17 PM

They wont be able to make x86 compatible hardware. Intel wont license that.
They can make only ARM chips. Added advantage : OSX for ARM incompatible with x86 hardware. So people who want new OS, have to buy new hardware.
EPIC WIN
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 1:53:28 PM

Once upon a time the Motorola 68000 series compared very favorably to their 286/386/486 contemporaries, and the early IBM PowerPCs could beat the Pentiums clock for clock, but the architecture started to fall behind around the year 2000 and was so thoroughly obsolete by 2006 that Apple had no choice but to go x86.

Today, however, Apple really doesn't care about performance. The new desktop with an iPad CPU in it would have a brushed aluminium case, a glowing LED Apple logo, and millions of people will happily shell out $3000 for it even if it takes half an hour to open a .jpg
November 6, 2012 1:54:12 PM

Motorola 68xxx -> PowerPC -> x86 -> ?
November 6, 2012 1:56:07 PM

Will whatever Apple makes be able to handle multi-media editing? If they're going the ARM route, I don't think its architecture has enough performance for real-time editing. Unless they make an APU.

Just a thought.
November 6, 2012 1:56:16 PM

buy AMD -> invest $10B in R&D -> dethrone intel.
November 6, 2012 1:58:09 PM

Yeah Apple. Be a good lad and go with AMD, and save the industry.

ARM whatever won't even get near the same performance Intel or AMD can give you.
November 6, 2012 2:00:44 PM

CryioYeah Apple. Be a good lad and go with AMD, and save the industry.ARM whatever won't even get near the same performance Intel or AMD can give you.


This is true - the move from PPC to x86 was painless because of the huge increase in performance from their old architecture to x86. Unfortunately, it will be a very painful and poor performance path. If I know Apple, they may not even include an x86 emulator and tell users to learn to love it.
November 6, 2012 2:03:53 PM

I saw this coming. I've posted about it on here before. Apple loves the idea of going vertical with their business. They want to control the supply chain in addition to the sales channels they currently operate with their digital and physical stores. I would not be surprised at all to see Apple move away from Intel in the next 5 years. They don't care so much about performance anymore. It's all about battery life and design these days.
November 6, 2012 2:05:25 PM

If Apple ditches x86, you can officially mark the event as the day Apple started it's journey away from world-class tech company back to niche tech company (what they once were). It'll be a nice tidy, uniform, pretty ecosystem, that will sell to a limited group of very loyal users.

It's looking increasingly like Apple is destined to return to the company it was in the 90's, only with today's tech (mobile devices) as it's bread and butter.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 2:09:55 PM

Then I will continue with Windows machines as my current computer is super fast hackintosh at half price of mackintosh
November 6, 2012 2:11:17 PM

Is ever single Apple article comment section on Tomshardware a circle jerk of Apple haters?
November 6, 2012 2:11:42 PM

zzz_bIsn't an ARM core inside these chips? If yes, they are licesing it, not developing it.


They license like other vendors ARM's architecture but then make changes to it with their engineering team to make something slightly different.
November 6, 2012 2:11:53 PM

x86 is no longer a push-point. With so many cloud-based services for satisfying most general uses, x86 programs are less and less relevant. Not entirely, of course, and not relevant to the enthusiast/niche users (graphical processing, rendering, etc.).

Regardless, this is nothing more than a rumor. If Apple is migrating away from x86-based processors/systems, I expect it won't be for quite some time still.
Anonymous
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November 6, 2012 2:12:42 PM

Another epic yet ignorant move. Apple is intent on isolating itself. Every five years or so, Apple decides to think different in a fit of ignorance and stupidity. Oh well.

So many people have short memories of what happened the last time Apple told Intel to shove it.

ARM? ROTFLMAO. 10 bil and dethrone Intel? What brainchild figured that one out? 10 bil for R&D doesn't begin to cover it. Not even close.
November 6, 2012 2:13:46 PM

Who cares? They both sell over-priced products. They both have iron-fisted business practices and try to stifle competitition through evil means. (I wonder if Intel also makes money off of the broken backs of the poor like Apple).
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 2:14:08 PM

The MAC OS X is not capable compete with new iOS devices and it is going to be ditched in faivour of new iPad MAXI 46'' Full HD product line, it is going to be the best choice for computer professionals and corporate users, it should drive Apple's capitalization up to $2 TRLN.
November 6, 2012 2:22:10 PM

PPl that said they should buy amd or go with amd, maybe are something similar, they fire some person of amd working on kernel linux, maybe there is a move to work in apple and doesn't like someone have information related to apple and linux, just speculations but can be true.
November 6, 2012 2:22:41 PM

I like intel, but if Apple can do it on their own they are going too. And what about AMD? Isn't AMD chips for poor people? :) 
November 6, 2012 2:28:29 PM

LOL!
Another money pit rather than riding the commodity market.
Power failed as the PowerPC was literally 2 generations behind the then current Power technology & IBM could not justify expending the money & resources to update an effectively dead technology for such a small return.
And the only thing that saved Apple's posterior in the OS department was the decision to junk a proprietary OS in lieu of simply installing a GUI on top of open source FreeBSD UNIX.
Apple should focus more on releasing an unsupported MacOS for use on PCs in order to increase market penetration while simultaneously reducing the cost of its OVERPRICED laptop PCs - yes, Intel Roadmap compliant PCs - in order to increase sales of its units. ~$3500 for an anything But over-performing MacBook Pro is a joke. Apple should also configure a workstation class laptop that is priced competitively as well.
November 6, 2012 2:37:06 PM

tolhambuy AMD -> invest $10B in R&D -> dethrone intel.



Are you out of your mind. Intel is waaaaaaaaaaay better than Apple. If they somehow dethrone intel then we will never ever be able to buy cheap chips. Dont think AMD so weak. If it can survive two more architecture then it will be in tough competition with Intel.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 2:41:16 PM

I do hope Apple does this so that people will stop buying their product. My guess is they won't. By the time ARM comes out with 64-bit products in late 2014, Intel will have Broadwell full ramped up and the next iteration waiting in the wings. Intel will have a 14nm processor with extreme graphics performance that will likely fit in a 35 watt envelope. Apple will e trying to re-engineer the 64-bit ARM product into their own chip which will be strong, but probably in the same 35 watt envelope, but with less performance. People will buy PC's again over Apple computers.
November 6, 2012 2:42:29 PM

Love the Idea !
Apple cutting itself of from the mainstream computing world creating it's own even more closed world.

What's next?
Apple ditches the Internet and creates it's own version called the iNET ?
only Apple products can connect to it of course!

Go Apple, glad I do not own any of your stock.
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 2:48:35 PM

tolhambuy AMD -> invest $10B in R&D -> dethrone intel.


Apple doesn't buy companies that are failing. They just enter the market and crush them.

Buying AMD would be the equivalent of them having bought Palm a few years ago. It would have been a bad choice, and this would be too.
Anonymous
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November 6, 2012 2:50:53 PM

News just in. Apple have sued ARM over the invention of ARM - it turns out it was Apple all along that created the ARM instruction set and are now seeking damages....... ;) 
November 6, 2012 2:51:51 PM

The day this happens, it is good-bye Mac for me. I could just see all the software issues, particularly with development tools and tools such as MATLAB saying Mac is not supported.
November 6, 2012 3:04:13 PM

CUDA > GPGPU
November 6, 2012 3:22:35 PM

Try the A7, it's got great profit margins. BAM!
November 6, 2012 3:28:09 PM

TeveTobsOnce upon a time the Motorola 68000 series compared very favorably to their 286/386/486 contemporaries, and the early IBM PowerPCs could beat the Pentiums clock for clock, but the architecture started to fall behind around the year 2000 and was so thoroughly obsolete by 2006 that Apple had no choice but to go x86.Today, however, Apple really doesn't care about performance. The new desktop with an iPad CPU in it would have a brushed aluminium case, a glowing LED Apple logo, and millions of people will happily shell out $3000 for it even if it takes half an hour to open a .jpg


That is because IBM dumped developing Processors for Apple's Macintosh. Why stay with a company that sold so few desktops?

Instead they developed processors for the 3 major game systems. The 360, Wii and PS3 all use a Power PC processor.
November 6, 2012 3:28:39 PM

Well the idea of own custom 64bit ARM prosessor is the most likely that has been allready discussed. Is it fast enough? For normal user... yes, maybe... for professional movie and picture editing... most propably not... It will allow them better margins and allso an opportunity to tune the chip to their liking as they did in iPhone5. Is it wise move... most propably not. But it is hard to tell about the Apple, it has allways been a bizarre company with big highs and deep lows...
November 6, 2012 3:32:48 PM

If apple leaves x86 say bye bye to Bootcamp and Windows when you want to run PC games on a new Mac. It doesn't affect me because I don't buy macs, however I know a lot of people who do this.
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 3:40:55 PM

Let's take a large format positive or negative piece of film like 15"x15" (they dont necessarily come in this size) which requires a large format scanner (up to $10,000), we'll pop that into various digital art software programs to produce a masterpiece of a poster, and now we're going to print it to a wide format printer (up to $10,000) for a 96" wide print.

So what platform/processor do you want to drive all of this, and shouldn't Thunderbolt technology be one of your first considerations?
November 6, 2012 3:44:22 PM

PseudopsiaKite said:
If apple leaves x86 say bye bye to Bootcamp and Windows when you want to run PC games on a new Mac. It doesn't affect me because I don't buy macs, however I know a lot of people who do this.


Hmmm... It may be one of the main reasons Apple is considering moving of the Intell...
November 6, 2012 3:48:46 PM

deadlockedworldApple doesn't buy companies that are failing. They just enter the market and crush them. Buying AMD would be the equivalent of them having bought Palm a few years ago. It would have been a bad choice, and this would be too.

Yea AMD is going nowhere and no one will buy them. One thing people seem to forget is that buying AMD will invalidate the x86 license they have from Intel, it was only with a lot of reassuring that they won't be competition that VIA got the license from Cyrix years ago. If anyone buys AMD (which I am sure Intel would try and block anyway) they would not get the x86 license so they can't make those CPUs anyway. Intel can't let a random company buy AMD since they both need each other Intel owns x86 (along with all the SSE extensions) but AMD own x86-64 both of which are needed to make a modern x86 CPU, Intel allowing a rogue company to buy AMD would be disastrous for them as well.
November 6, 2012 4:16:41 PM

apple buys ARM?
November 6, 2012 4:20:04 PM

I think people are missing the point of what Apple is trying to do (not arguing the pros or cons, merely an opinion about their motives). A move to an ARM based CPU in their Mac computers essentially means bringing all their devices, iPad/iPod/iPhone/Macs, under the same umbrella and running the same OS. this means all apps someone buys on iTunes plays even on the Mac computers. And since Microsoft is developing an ARM version of Office for the surface, shouldn't be any issue to port that to an ARM version of Mac OS/iOS whatever it will be called, which is one of the largest 3rd party programs run on the Mac OS right now.

blakbird24If Apple ditches x86, you can officially mark the event as the day Apple started it's journey away from world-class tech company back to niche tech company (what they once were). It'll be a nice tidy, uniform, pretty ecosystem, that will sell to a limited group of very loyal users.It's looking increasingly like Apple is destined to return to the company it was in the 90's, only with today's tech (mobile devices) as it's bread and butter.


They have always been a niche company in the PC market. What made them what they are today isn't their PC hardware but rather the iPod in conjunction with iTunes and then the iPhone really made them take off. In fact, they may actually increase their userbase with people who only use computers for web browsing, checking email, etc by getting them to ditch a Windows PC because all their iPhone/iPad apps will be available on their Mac PC.
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 4:22:14 PM

Some NASCAR guys would be super-pissed. They have mini print labs in their vans selling fresh photo prints right in the parking lot. They'd have a high end Mac for production/printing. That Mac has to keep the wide format printer's buffer full so the printer never stops because, if it stops, there will be a slight loss in quality because it has to wait for the buffer to fill so it can resume. He wouldn't be able to produce his photograph while the previous one is printing. Does he need to grab another mid-range Mac, find room for it in the van, and dedicate it to the print jobs? Time is money here. The more he prints in the time people are willing to wait in a parking lot is very important.

Before the x86 move, this was not always possible. It could be linked up via usb 1.0/2.0, firewire, or ethernet. There were the fiery rip stations, which were just low-end boxes dedicated to managing print jobs. Then the option was to buy a decent iMac, and use fiery rip software to turn the iMac into a dedicated print job manager. Already you see moves in the market to encourage people to buy multiple Macs and go with software instead of dedicated hardware.

Macs finally have the juice (Intel) to get stuff done in short order and with thunderbolt, you'd have such a nice wide highway to your peripherals. I can't see anything from ARM's or Apple's R&D creating a chip that can compete in the high-end market. It's already really expensive, but then again, if you are selling prints for $50 - $75,000, buying ink for hundreds per cartridge, and rolls of paper for hundreds as well, you want to get it right the first time and as fast as possible.

Why do I even care? IDK, I'm a PC guy. Sorry for rambling.
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 4:24:41 PM

Apple is doing this so that they only have to write one OS. Combine this with Apple's cut-em and leave-em style of legacy support, they will piss off every dev in the universe.
a b à CPUs
November 6, 2012 4:33:06 PM

iknowhowtofixitApple is doing this so that they only have to write one OS. Combine this with Apple's cut-em and leave-em style of legacy support, they will piss off every dev in the universe.


Well then I highly suggest to Apple that they begin to create their own versions of Adobe's software that is somehow miraculously just as easy (cloned, enter IP suit) to use and as powerful. I'm not saying its impossible, just that it'd need to be ready to go on Day 1 for the early adopters/fanatics.
November 6, 2012 4:40:19 PM

TeveTobsOnce upon a time the Motorola 68000 series compared very favorably to their 286/386/486 contemporaries, and the early IBM PowerPCs could beat the Pentiums clock for clock, but the architecture started to fall behind around the year 2000 and was so thoroughly obsolete by 2006 that Apple had no choice but to go x86.Today, however, Apple really doesn't care about performance. The new desktop with an iPad CPU in it would have a brushed aluminium case, a glowing LED Apple logo, and millions of people will happily shell out $3000 for it even if it takes half an hour to open a .jpg


do we need that powerfull cpu anymore?
most of what a cpu use to be needed for has been offloaded to the gpu, now the cpu in many computers never really goes past 20% use.

sure i prefer power when i need it approach, but if you really only do facebook and crap, or if you are in a pro realm, most of what you do can be handled by an arm or already offloaded to a gpu.
November 6, 2012 5:05:53 PM

All those people who bought Macs being told they could run Windows with Parallels are going to be left in the dust. Apple says FU maybe if you are nice I will let you run Windows RT on a $3000 iPad with an iWorkProDock with a proprietary Odin interface port.
November 6, 2012 5:18:49 PM

Because it worked so well for them in the past... Here's to hoping the new elitist snobs in charge post Jobs drive the company in to the ground.
November 6, 2012 5:28:21 PM

I hope Apple switches to VIA chips.
!