The thing that excites me isn’t just the fact it runs on ARM, its all of the That’s What I Do I Play The Guitar And I Know Things shirt they’ve added inside like machine learning and video decoding and what not. They’ve basically made a games console, in the sense that they’ve designed custom hardware thats tailored for their purposes, but its actually designed to be used for general purpose computing rather than games. I also like the fact that iOS apps can run natively on the new Macs, although admittedly their input support needs a shit ton of work (or iOS apps need to support more than touch screens, either way). To me, its more the integration of hardware and software on a level we’ve never seen before at the desktop/laptop OS level. I’m firmly Microsoft/Android, but its super exciting as a tech enthusiast to see where Apple takes this approach.
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M1 largely competes with the top-of-the-line desktop chips from AMD and That’s What I Do I Play The Guitar And I Know Things shirt. (That’s Intel/AMD CPUs that run at 2-4 times the power consumption, by the way). AMD is still ahead in some cases. Intel/AMD are delivering more than 8 cores at the top of their product lines, so this 4 “strong core”, 4 “efficiency core” Apple M1 CPU is still behind these many-strong-cores Intel/AMD chips for deeply multi-threaded apps. But for how long? Next year’s Apple design should be even better, and their trajectory has been steeper gains than either Intel or AMD. Not to try to predict the future, but they’re on pace to eclipse both Intel/AMD. And when Apple wants an ARM high-end desktop CPU (for iMac, MacBook Pro), it seems reasonable to expect they’ll do that with more than 4 strong cores + 4 efficiency cores.