The Apple Fall 2020 Mac Event Live Blog: 10am PST (18:00 UTC)by Andrei Frumusanu on November 10, 2020 11:23 AM EST
- Posted in
- Live Blog
- Apple Silicon
12:55PM EST - Today Apple is expected to pull the trigger on new ‘Apple Silicon’ Macbooks. Years in the making, today we should be hearing about a lew of new devices from the Cupertino company which ditch x86 processors in favour of their own in-house designs.
12:55PM EST - We don’t know exactly what Apple has in store for us, but an upsized chip variant of the A14, maybe an A14X, is going to be a likely bet. Whatever Apple presents today, following the event, expect an in-depth microarchitectural exploration of the A14 and the Firestorm cores – with us attempting to put into context Apple’s big bet on Apple Silicon and how the competitive landscape might look like.
12:56PM EST - It goes without saying that Apple's transition from x86 to Arm chips is a significant move. Not one without precedence (see: PPC->x86), but a major one none the less. Not even Apple changes CPU ISAs frequently
12:57PM EST - Just as in 2006, Apple is coming to a crossroads in terms of CPU performnace. Long-time supplier Intel has struggled to keep moving forward. Meanwhile Apple's in-house team, responsible for developing their A-series chips for iOS devices, have been able to put together increasingly powerful hardware
12:58PM EST - In fact it's outright surprising in some respects how far Apple has come
12:58PM EST - Apple's latest CPU cores have IPCs higher than Intel's chips, and while IPC isn't everything (clockspeed matters as well), it's evidence of a very strong architecture design
12:59PM EST - So for as messy as an ISA transition is, it's one that makes sense for Apple. They think they can do better than Intel's chips, and they're probably right
01:00PM EST - In fact there's little Iif any) doubt in the hardware side of matters. The bigger question on everyones' minds seems to be the software side: backwards compatibility, bootcamp, x86 virtual machines, etc
01:00PM EST - And with that said, here we go
01:02PM EST - Starting as always with Tim Cook
01:02PM EST - This is Apple's third major event in two months (we've noticed, Tim!)
01:02PM EST - Cook is quickly recapping the past two announcements: iOS 14, macOS 11, new iPhones, iPads, and Watches
01:03PM EST - "There is just one more thing"
01:03PM EST - "It's time to talk about the Mac"
01:04PM EST - Apple's Mac business grew by 30% last quarter
01:04PM EST - Now rolling a video celebrating Mac users
01:05PM EST - "The Mac has always been about innovation and bold change"
01:05PM EST - Now recapping this summer's announcement of the Apple Silicon transition
01:06PM EST - That day is finally here
01:06PM EST - Now up, John Ternus
01:06PM EST - For the past several years Apple has been working on building the next generation of Macs
01:07PM EST - At the heart of this is Apple's SoCs, also known as Apple Silicon
01:07PM EST - Announcing their first chip designed specifically for the Mac
01:07PM EST - Apple M1
01:07PM EST - Designed for low-power, portable systems
01:07PM EST - Now up, Johny Srouji on M1
01:08PM EST - "M1 delivers a giant leap in performance-per-watt"
01:08PM EST - With M1, Apple doesn't just have their own chip, but they're able to go SoC-style and integrate what was previously multiple chips into a single chip
01:09PM EST - Built on 5nm
01:09PM EST - And offers a unified memory pool
01:09PM EST - 16B transistors
01:09PM EST - 8 core CPU: 4 perf cores, 4 efficiency cores
01:09PM EST - "World's fastest CPU core"
01:09PM EST - 192KB I-Cache, 128KB D-Cache, 12MB L2 cache
01:10PM EST - Meanwhile the efficiency cores have their own 4MB L2 cache
01:10PM EST - "World's best CPU performance per watt"
01:11PM EST - M1 delivers 2x the performance of the "latest PC laptop chip" at 10 Watts, the MacBook Air's TDP
01:11PM EST - And 3x performance per watt elsewhere
01:11PM EST - Now on to GPUs
01:12PM EST - Johny is talking up the benfits of an integrated GPU versus a discrete GPU
01:12PM EST - 8 GPU cores
01:12PM EST - 2.6 TFLOPs; nearly 25K threads at once
01:12PM EST - Again 2x performance versus an unnamed PC laptop chip
01:13PM EST - M1 has a neural engine as well with 16 cores
01:13PM EST - And Apple's latest secure enclave
01:13PM EST - Thunderbolt/USB 4 support
01:14PM EST - "M1 is by far the best chip we've ever created"
01:14PM EST - macOS Big Sur has been built to maximize M1
01:15PM EST - Now up, Craig Federighi
01:15PM EST - Recapping everything introduced in Big Sur
01:15PM EST - And wasting no time into getting into what the M1 Macs will be like
01:15PM EST - iPhone-style instant-on
01:16PM EST - Safari is 1.9x more responsive
01:16PM EST - And once again bringing up the unified memory architecture
01:16PM EST - Which means Apple doesn't have to copy data around from the CPU memory pool to the GPU (or in reverse)
01:17PM EST - Craig is also touting better battery life
01:17PM EST - iOS-style security is also coming to the M1 Macs
01:17PM EST - (For better or worse)
01:18PM EST - Apple has of course optimized all of their Mac apps for M1
01:18PM EST - Universal apps will offer binaries for both x86 and Arm processors
01:18PM EST - So the same app will run on all Macs
01:19PM EST - Developers in turn will be bringing universal versions of their apps
01:19PM EST - Big Sur also has Rosetta 2 to run x86 apps on M1 Macs
01:19PM EST - Apple claims some programs even perform better under Rosetta 2 on M1 than they did x86 Macs
01:20PM EST - And M1 Macs can directly run iPhone/iPad apps
01:20PM EST - Now rolling a video about apps that have been updated for Arm
01:23PM EST - Developers talking about what they've been doing with their dev kits (at a very high level and rapid paced)
01:23PM EST - Back to John
01:24PM EST - Now introducing the Macs themselves
01:24PM EST - First out of the gate: the new MacBook Air (with M1)
01:25PM EST - Now up, Laura Metz
01:25PM EST - MacBook Air is Apple's most popular Mac
01:26PM EST - Up to 3.5x faster CPU than the previous-generation MBA
01:26PM EST - Up to 5x faster graphics performance
01:26PM EST - Up to 3x faster than the best-selling Windows laptops in its class
01:27PM EST - 9x faster machine learning performance than the previous MBA
01:27PM EST - Even the SSD is 2x faster. M1 has its own storage controller, and Apple is using the latest flash technology
01:27PM EST - And the MBA is now fanless
01:28PM EST - Up to 18 hours of video playback; 6 hours longer than before
01:28PM EST - And 2x the battery life on conference calls
01:28PM EST - Laura is also touting the M1's ISP to offer better front-facing camera image quality
01:29PM EST - P3 wide color support for the display
01:29PM EST - (No idea if Apple has actually improved the physical camera, however)
01:29PM EST - Starting at $999 (and $899 for education)
01:29PM EST - Up to 16GB of RAM, 2TB of flash storage
01:31PM EST - Next up: Mac Mini
01:31PM EST - Julie Broms to present the M1-powered Mac Mini
01:32PM EST - Up to 3x faster CPU perf than the previous quad-core Mac Mini
01:32PM EST - 6x faster graphics
01:33PM EST - Up to 5x faster than the "top-selling PC desktop"
01:34PM EST - The Mac Mini does have a fan
01:34PM EST - But this means it's capable of sustaining its performance
01:34PM EST - Two USB-C supports with Thunderbolt and USB4 support
01:34PM EST - Can even drive Apple's XDR display
01:34PM EST - Starts at $699
01:35PM EST - $100 lower than the old intro price
01:35PM EST - It's notable that Apple isn't clarifying whether this is Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4
01:35PM EST - "We're still not done"
01:36PM EST - The MacBook Pro 13-inch is also going M1
01:36PM EST - Shruti Haldea to present the 13-inch MBP
01:37PM EST - 5x faster graphics
01:37PM EST - (I'm really curious what the TDP is like)
01:38PM EST - As with the MBA, Apple is talking up all of the creative tasks that can be done with the laptop, and the benefits of an NPU
01:38PM EST - The MBP has a fan, of course
01:39PM EST - 17 hours of wireless web browsing, and 20 hours of video playback (10 hours more than before)
01:39PM EST - Also has "studio-quality" mics in a 3 microphone array
01:40PM EST - And like the Mac Mini, it can drive the XDR display at full resolution
01:40PM EST - Starting at $1299 ($1199 education)
01:40PM EST - Up to 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD
01:41PM EST - "The ultimate expression of what the M1 chip can do"
01:41PM EST - Now back to John, recapping the benefits of M1 and Big Sur
01:41PM EST - Performance, battery life, and security
01:42PM EST - All three Macs available for order today
01:42PM EST - They will be available next week
01:42PM EST - Meanwhile macOS 11 Big Sur launches this week
01:43PM EST - Recapping that the Arm transition will take a couple of years to complete
01:43PM EST - And one last video to roll before turning things back over to Tim Cook
01:45PM EST - "The M1 chip is by far the most powerful chip we've ever created"
01:45PM EST - Cook is expressing his pride in Apple's product teams
01:46PM EST - Looking forward to 2021 and "bringing even more amazing experiences"
01:46PM EST - John Hodgman is back
01:46PM EST - Apple is back to not being a PC, after all
01:47PM EST - And that's a wrap! Check back a bit later today for our A14 deep dive, and what we expect from the M1
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Vik32 - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkAndrei, will there be a deep review of the A14 today?
Andrei Frumusanu - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkYes, I'll be integrating whatever Apple tells us today into the article.
Vik32 - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkThank you very much !
augustofretes - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkWell, at least you didn't have to change anything haha.
SarahKerrigan - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkWonder if we'll get MBP16. Or clock speed info about A14X (or A14T, on the off chance it shows up this early.) Either way, looking forward to seeing what's announced - I probably won't get one, but Apple's cores continued to impress the hell out of me.
The fun begins immediately!
SteveX107 - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkWhat about GPU? Do they have some suprises about them as well?
dotjaz - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkThis looks like (at least spec-wise) a replica of BXT-32-1024MC4 running at 635MHz. Or AXT-64-2048/BXT-32-1024MC2 running at 1.27GHz.
prophet001 - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkZero respect for Apple.
What kind of company would actively oppose right to repair.
Zingam - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - linkGod doesn't make repairable stuff!
SIDtech - Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - link2.6 Gigaflops integrated graphics. I thought the top tier Xe integrated graphics as well as Vega 8 in Renoir is at that same ballpark, if not higher