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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051498 06/28/20 01:52 PM
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I'm a bit different from most musicians here, in that my Macs were originally bought to expand my computer business, which had focused only on Microsoft in the past. That has benefited, although not hugely. Hardware service, of course, is not going to happen on later models, due both to difficulty in disassembly & reassembly, and to availability of parts, without going through the unjustifiable significant expense involved. However, I do have a specialty in my small town area in "Making Apple and Microsoft PLAY NICE" - that being setting up environments where both are used, and making them work well together in sharing data. My original Mini was very helpful in learning the differences between environments (both have to really do most of the same things, they just have different naming and processes to do that).
The MacBook Pro was purchased mostly as a field-service device to carry with me to client sites. Always want at least one machine that you know works. What I particularly like is the use of Parallels to run virtual machines. That way, I can have a single device that is usable with both Mac OS and Windows (and for that matter, Linux has now entered the usefulness, since I install and service NAS devices). I have found that, for deep network troubleshooting, I still need a hardware Windows notebook, because a VM doesn't respond in the same manner. Of course, I still had the little 12" HP EliteBook that I bought just to have something small to carry around (but now I need a larger screen, so I bought a used 17" HP Zbook, with ALL the bells and whistles at a very attractive price. I also have recently setup a hardware Linux computer in my shop, for such things as formatting drives (although I have a software program on the Zbook which will read or write to the Linux format).

I personally will keep my MBP running as long as possible. Parallels is an essential part of my business environment. The ability to run mixed Mac OS and Windows programs on the same machine is important to me.

My Macs run under the same Apple account, but I ALWAYS setup two local users in ANY computer. Way too useful as a way of "getting in" when the occasional problem happens with my regular user account, and that happens on Windows and the Unix/Linux/Mac OS environment.


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
hardware #3051503 06/28/20 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by hardware
App£€ could make a custom OS for Logic and EXS that would be so much better than iO$ or Micro$oft.
...

Well,- possibkly a bit too early for all the speculation.
Apple already might have some ace in the sleeve for the high-end pro solution(s) and will let the ones who need pay for,- p.ex. Apple Pro - multi ARM (multicore-) processor - computers.

It was already mentioned in the other forum (and under different topic) -
Apple Logic´s channel strips and busses all run inside their dedicated threads.
I dunno how Apple´s plugins behave,- but I guess they could too.
This is not that big deal when running on Intel processors, but MIGHT become big deal when using Apple´s new multi-core ARM chips and when they rely on high core count.

So, I have at least the impression they have something already being optimized, beginning w/ OS11,- and/or at least enough stuff in the pipeline and being on the way for the upcoming switch.
There´s still some time left.

3rd party stuff might become problematic for a period of time, but Apple´s own stuff,- Garageband, Logic, Mainstage and included plugins will run, I guess.
And possibly they plan coming up w/ much more high quality plugins and some cloud based rental or such.

Already now, I know enough users doing pro work w/ Apple (hardware), Logic and included plugins alone and talk about "that´s the sound people expect to hear today".
Well, I don´t fully agree,- but when it came to MIDI,- LOGIC, as successor of ancient Commodore (Super Track), ATARI (Creator/ Notator SL / Logic ATARI) was always the very best MIDI application,- for a period of time together w/ Opcode Vision,- and today still is the king of the hill for MIDI work.


A.C.

Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
MoodyBluesKeys #3051505 06/28/20 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MoodyBluesKeys
I have found that, for deep network troubleshooting, I still need a hardware Windows notebook, because a VM doesn't respond in the same manner.

A few years ago I had a Windows partition on my MacBook Pro set up with Boot Camp. I also had a VM app (Fusion or Parallels, I forget) and could choose whether to boot into Windows or run it in a VM while in OSX. The VM ran the Windows on my Boot Camp partition, so it didn't need the large virtual disk file with its own Windows install.

Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051525 06/28/20 06:01 PM
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Posted by Chris Randall, Audio Damage developer:

https://www.patreon.com/posts/definitely-whole-38639438

Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Reezekeys #3051530 06/28/20 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Reezekeys
Originally Posted by MoodyBluesKeys
I have found that, for deep network troubleshooting, I still need a hardware Windows notebook, because a VM doesn't respond in the same manner.

A few years ago I had a Windows partition on my MacBook Pro set up with Boot Camp. I also had a VM app (Fusion or Parallels, I forget) and could choose whether to boot into Windows or run it in a VM while in OSX. The VM ran the Windows on my Boot Camp partition, so it didn't need the large virtual disk file with its own Windows install.
I believe the current info out there is that an ARM Mac won't be able to virtualize an x86 OS, meaning Windows VMs are a non-starter, unless you're specifically running the ARM flavor of Windows. I don't know how much Windows software will actually run on that though. I think this is likely going to be the deal breaker for a lot of IT types. It's unfortunate, because the current Intel Macs are sort of an IT Swiss army knife right now.


"If you can't dazzle them with dexterity, baffle them with bullshit."
Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051532 06/28/20 06:42 PM
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Step 1 - Time to get a new external drive and make a boot drive out of it with all my current goodies and current OS (Catalina).

Step 2 - Find a cheap used Windows computer for surfing the interwebz.

Step 3 i- Disconnect my current Mac studio setup from the internet and continuing to use it. I like it.

Step 4 - Wait out all the transition pain and then some. Maybe at some point I'll consider another Mac but I tend to keep and use my Macs for a long time and it hasn't been a long time yet. It is a 2014 model but came with a new SSD and "refurbished". It was well treated by the previous owner, looks and works new.

I'm happy here, I can do what I want easily. My only concern and it will take some time - Internet browsers will leave Catalina behind, eventually.

I'll deal with the rest of it if and when...


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051536 06/28/20 07:06 PM
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If I need to run Windows again for personal reasons I'll just get a low to medium cost Windows laptop. Every time I've had to use Windows for professional reasons, I had a Windows laptop provided by the employer.

I've used Parallels and another Windows emulator on a Macbook Pro before - not fun really.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 06/28/20 07:09 PM.
Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051554 06/28/20 11:48 PM
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It would be ideal if some enterprising souls or group of companies would take the real-time Linux distribution, strip it out, and use it to make a public domain, real-time music kernel. This could be deployed on any of the modern multicore machines. By reserving even a couple cores, we would finally get a music production space that wasn't dependent on left over cycles from general purpose computing. Being able to dual boot the machine would mean anyone could also use it for gaming, or whatever else. This would do more good than anything Apple or Microsoft would do.

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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051559 06/29/20 12:50 AM
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ELK music OS - Runs on Rasberry Pi

https://elk.audio/elk-audio-os-for-everyone/

The problem is - you won’t get commercial development the likes of Apple, Steinberg, Avid, etc. on a platform like this. It’s highly nerdy and therefore very niche and how does one make any $ developing for a platform used by few people. Linux has been around forever and the only DAWs I can name for it from the top of my head are Rosegarden and Tracktion. For hardware developers though, Korg has already shown you can use a Pi in a commercial product like the Wavestate.


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051572 06/29/20 01:50 AM
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Reaper runs on Linux. Elk seems to just put music onto Rasberry Pi's. Clever, but not very useful. Correction, I see that it is actually a full real-time OS diving deeper into the pages. I wonder if the Reaper people would do anything with it?

RT Linux has the controls to reserve cores and such, I believe. A clever DAW company (even Reaper) could build a distribution, package it as an ISO, and it would essentially create a music appliance on whatever box loaded that image. Odds are low, I know. But it would be great for music creation and production.

Last edited by Nathanael_I; 06/29/20 01:54 AM. Reason: correcting myself
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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
ElmerJFudd #3051578 06/29/20 02:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
ELK music OS - Runs on Rasberry Pi

https://elk.audio/elk-audio-os-for-everyone/

The problem is - you won’t get commercial development the likes of Apple, Steinberg, Avid, etc. on a platform like this. It’s highly nerdy and therefore very niche and how does one make any $ developing for a platform used by few people. Linux has been around forever and the only DAWs I can name for it from the top of my head are Rosegarden and Tracktion. For hardware developers though, Korg has already shown you can use a Pi in a commercial product like the Wavestate.

Just a detail but Tracktion is now Waveform, on version 11. There is a free version of it as well, a very good DAW at that price if somebody wants to experiment with all of the above.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
GovernorSilver #3051585 06/29/20 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
I've used Parallels and another Windows emulator on a Macbook Pro before - not fun really.
Not to pick nits, but Parallels is not a Windows emulator. Maybe you're thinking of Wine? Parallels is a virtualized BIOS, but the Windows you run on top of it is real genuine, licensed copy Microsoft Windows™.

I use VMWare Fusion - similar product to Parallels - and frankly it's amazeballs. I'm surprised that it works at all, let alone as well as it does. It's fantastic.

Currently, I am running Keil uVision5 - an embedded software development IDE, with USB real time debugger - in Windows 10 hosted within VMWare Fusion, on a ten-year old iMac with an external 30" monitor. Blows me away how well it works. About two months ago, at the same time I was running Keil, I was *simultaneously* running Rowley Crossworks (a competing ARM embedded development environment), in a separate virtual machine running Windows 7. My work files are all on shared volumes hosted within the Mac's native file system, so everything gets backed up hourly by Time Machine. And the virtual machine itself is a single file - a sparsebundle - that I can back up very easily. About to make a potentially-scary change to my Windows environment? Back up the file and if things go sideways, just delete and restore the old version.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Windows runs better in a virtualized environment than it runs on actual hardware. It will be very hard to walk away from this.

Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
OB Dave #3051604 06/29/20 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by OB Dave
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Windows runs better in a virtualized environment than it runs on actual hardware. It will be very hard to walk away from this.
Part of me is still hoping that Parallels or VMware (or VirtualBox?) will go through the trouble of figuring out how to virtualize x86 on Arm. I'm not even sure it's technically possible (or maybe it's possible, but perform so badly to not be worthwhile), but I'm guessing that without it the bottom will fall out of the virtualization on Mac market. I just don't know if the market is big enough to warrant the investment to make it work. IT folks and developers would be all over it, but I don't know what percentage of the Mac market that is. For a lot of developers, Linux on Arm may be enough, but again, I don't know if that's enough of a percentage to make it worth it for the virtualization companies. I'm hoping I'm totally wrong and people will crack this.


"If you can't dazzle them with dexterity, baffle them with bullshit."
Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051607 06/29/20 01:41 PM
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I don't recall if Apple and it's bionic chip use the well known ARM licences for their processors, or if let's say there's object code compatibility with AWS A1 nodes or raspberry-4 libs or something. Neon is capable, but still the number crunching chip real estate space isn't necessarily similar with power greedy x86 processors of similar chip tech. Things like virtual memory facilities on a RISC processor are a little different, also depending on the exact instruction pipeline depth and lookaside table capabilities (the cache levels are comparable but a little less thus far compared with the larger CPUs). Inherent advantage of reduced instruction set processors should be short turnaround time for letting a machine instruction rip, whereas the advantage of huge out of order instruction execution and branch predicting pre-fetching with a long instruction pipeline can be more exploitation of parallelism with more chip estate available per thread processor than smaller chips (like more than one floating point and integer compute pipeline).

I like energy savings but a good Linux on x86 isn't defeated by a good A.R.M. compatible machine, even in the sense of faster UI interactions or (virtual) multi processing granularity and threading overhead necessarily, though specific facilities can be improved, like NEON or another well known accelerator part of the riscs can do 4k video encoding on a phone processor that would cost a hell of a lot of power on a big PC graphics card.

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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051610 06/29/20 01:47 PM
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I have built every PC I had ever owned until my last one in 2015. At work, I started using a MacBook in 2011 and am currently using a 2015 MacBook Pro. As much as I hate to say it I may be a Mac convert. The Eco-system of the Mac OS, especially in a house with iPhones and iPads is simply hard to beat. Everything is synchronized, text message, browser bookmarks...etc so all the devices work together. Add the convenience of Airdrop and the simple fact that this 2015 MacBook runs as perfect as it did when I got it.

With the beginning of this quarantine, I started using the Logic Trial and eventually bought Logic which once upon a time I used on Windows back in the day. Although I'm not ditching having a Windows computer in the house...and still have to figure out a way to get all my old music projects off of that computer and migrated into Logic, I can't honestly say that I'd buy anything but a Mac moving forward. Despite the expense, despite the proprietary crap. The only thing that pisses me off about Apple's move to ARM is my own ability to build a Hackintosh - which maybe I should get started on sooner rather than later.

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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Mike Martin #3051611 06/29/20 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike Martin
I have built every PC I had ever owned until my last one in 2015. At work, I started using a MacBook in 2011 and am currently using a 2015 MacBook Pro. As much as I hate to say it I may be a Mac convert. The Eco-system of the Mac OS, especially in a house with iPhones and iPads is simply hard to beat. Everything is synchronized, text message, browser bookmarks...etc so all the devices work together. Add the convenience of Airdrop and the simple fact that this 2015 MacBook runs as perfect as it did when I got it.

With the beginning of this quarantine, I started using the Logic Trial and eventually bought Logic which once upon a time I used on Windows back in the day. Although I'm not ditching having a Windows computer in the house...and still have to figure out a way to get all my old music projects off of that computer and migrated into Logic, I can't honestly say that I'd buy anything but a Mac moving forward. Despite the expense, despite the proprietary crap. The only thing that pisses me off about Apple's move to ARM is my own ability to build a Hackintosh - which maybe I should get started on sooner rather than later.

That's their market, Mike. Yeah, loss of bootcamp and hackintosh is a disappointment but enough for me to say I'd want to leave the ecosystem where they are killing it? Nope. I'm excited to see what products come of this - and the notion that 20 million registered iOS app store developers can easily bring their apps to Apple's laptops and desktops? It's always about the software.


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Theo Verelst #3051617 06/29/20 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Theo Verelst
I don't recall if Apple and it's bionic chip use the well known ARM licences for their processors, or if let's say there's object code compatibility with AWS A1 nodes or raspberry-4 libs or something. T
If I remember correctly, ARM offer two different licences. One of them is the "here's the instruction set, but you can do what you like - add GPUs, wireless radios, whatever". Apple do that with their A-series ARM processors for iPhones and iPads, so I would imagine they would continue that strategy.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Mighty Ferguson #3051673 06/29/20 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mighty Ferguson
Part of me is still hoping that Parallels or VMware (or VirtualBox?) will go through the trouble of figuring out how to virtualize x86 on Arm.

Microsoft already supports x86 code on the arm64 versions of Windows, so there's not necessarily a need to wait for someone else to figure it out. Presumably Apple's virtualization approach plays well with the arm64 builds of Windows, you're good to go - for strict x86, meaning 32-bit apps. As far as I'm aware, Microsoft doesn't support x86-64 code running on arm64 hardware. It's strictly a provision for older software that's less likely to be recompiled for modern CPUs.


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051687 06/29/20 07:51 PM
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Interesting to hear about abandoning Macs because you won't be able to run Windows... I'm sure that will be the case for some, but it's not like a switch will be thrown on a certain date and no Mac user on any of their computers will ever be able to use Windows again. From what we've been told it's gonna be a drawn-out process that will take a few years to fully implement. Apple said they have new models with Intel processors in the pipeline. Also, older Macs remain viable computers as many of us here can attest to. New MacOSes will continue to be released for Intel Macs (yes I know, that will stop somewhere down the line).

Somehow we all lived through the transition from OS9 to OSX (first will dual-booting Macs, then with Classic). Then we somehow survived with dual-binary apps and Rosetta when Macs went to Intel processors. I'm older so I remember this stuff. Of course my computing needs were exclusively in the music field. Remember when OSX 10.0 came out? It was pretty much useless for midi applications. So what, OS9 still ran so we stayed there until the good stuff started happening. According to Apple, recompiling for their Silicon is not gonna be that tough a deal, and the fact they have Logic running on it shows that this transition may not be as painful for devs as previous ones.

For the IT guys needing a robust & fast Windows environment and wanting it to be on a Mac, well yea, you might think about getting the latest & greatest Intel Mac you can right now, or sticking with it if you already own one – but do you really see it suddenly turning obsolete because of this announcement? I think you'll have plenty of time to plan what you need to do.

Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Theo Verelst #3051689 06/29/20 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Theo Verelst
I don't recall if Apple and it's bionic chip use the well known ARM licences for their processors, or if let's say there's object code compatibility with AWS A1 nodes or raspberry-4 libs or something.

They license the core instruction set and collaborate on extensions, even though the actual silicon implementation is their own. That said, object code compatibility relies on more than the instruction set. The underlying libraries and ABI can and do vary across implementations. Apple's calling conventions, for example, derive from the standard but there are both points of divergence and areas left open for platform vendors to define that were always going to vary. So no, in general you can't count on object code compatibility. Object file format is another point that isn't specified by the standard, and Apple's use of Mach-O for binaries is relatively unusual (though it has some lovely advantages, like being able to package multiple architectures in a single binary.)

Quote
Neon is capable, but still the number crunching chip real estate space isn't necessarily similar with power greedy x86 processors of similar chip tech. Things like virtual memory facilities on a RISC processor are a little different, also depending on the exact instruction pipeline depth and lookaside table capabilities (the cache levels are comparable but a little less thus far compared with the larger CPUs). Inherent advantage of reduced instruction set processors should be short turnaround time for letting a machine instruction rip, whereas the advantage of huge out of order instruction execution and branch predicting pre-fetching with a long instruction pipeline can be more exploitation of parallelism with more chip estate available per thread processor than smaller chips (like more than one floating point and integer compute pipeline).

Again, paper comparisons of architectures can be wildly misleading. It's easy to fall for marketing and even people who design CPUs for a living can be surprised by what improves performance in real-world conditions and what does not. Apple's designs embrace out-of-order execution and offer sophisticated branch prediction. These are not 1990s-era RISC architectures, but aggressive high performance modern computing devices built with scalability and efficiency in mind. The SIMD implementation present in iPhones and iPads isn't as wide as Intel's, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that change with the presumed A14 derivatives to be launched later this year. It already seems like the A12 family has a respectable SIMD design to start with.

Back to the theme of my prior post: look at the actual, real-world performance of a design rather than the paper specifications to understand whether it's going to work for you. At this point, of course, that's not yet possible so some speculation is reasonable - presuming it's grounded in well-founded assumptions. We don't know what's going to wind up in the next generation of Macs, but it's only a matter of months until we will. People are going to post comparisons of Final Cut and Logic running across Intel and Apple Silicon, and I think it's foolhardy to assume that Apple would launch something new that doesn't compare favorably to what they're preparing to replace.


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Lady Gaia #3051716 06/29/20 10:09 PM
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I would be surprised if Apple's ARM Macs aren't using the as-yet unannounced ARM v9 ISA and with it SVE2:
https://twitter.com/andreif7/status/1275147754424225794
https://www.anandtech.com/show/15875/apple-lays-out-plans-to-transition-macs-from-x86-to-apple-socs

I also am not convinced that there won't be x86 emulation on ARM Macs. Craig Federighi has been making the rounds on the Mac blogs and he has been quite circumspect in his comments.

Personally, I think the ARM Macs running Logic and MainStage are going to scream. There may be some pain with 3rd party audio software, though.

Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
OB Dave #3051722 06/29/20 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by OB Dave
Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
I've used Parallels and another Windows emulator on a Macbook Pro before - not fun really.
Not to pick nits, but Parallels is not a Windows emulator. Maybe you're thinking of Wine? Parallels is a virtualized BIOS, but the Windows you run on top of it is real genuine, licensed copy Microsoft Windows™.

I use VMWare Fusion - similar product to Parallels - and frankly it's amazeballs. I'm surprised that it works at all, let alone as well as it does. It's fantastic.

You are probably correct about Parallels. Whatever you want to call it, I used it, as well as VMWare, on my employer-provided Macbook Pro. We only used these two apps to run a couple of Windows-only apps.

I've only ever had to use Windows because I had a job that required it, and the employer always provided an applicable machine anyway, so I've had no incentive at all to invest in Windows on my own.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 06/30/20 01:52 AM.
Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Reezekeys #3051731 06/29/20 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Reezekeys
Somehow we all lived through the transition from OS9 to OSX (first will dual-booting Macs, then with Classic). Then we somehow survived with dual-binary apps and Rosetta when Macs went to Intel processors. I'm older so I remember this stuff. Of course my computing needs were exclusively in the music field. Remember when OSX 10.0 came out? It was pretty much useless for midi applications. So what, OS9 still ran so we stayed there until the good stuff started happening.
Ah, but we knew that the guy who'd been in charge of OMS had been hired by Apple, and the mothership had also demoed the multi-channel audio capabilities built right into the system!

The excitement was palpable, at least, where I was standing (I was just a hobbyist at the time, though). OS X 10.0 felt like a glimpse of the future. :-)

Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
analogika #3051740 06/30/20 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by analogika
Originally Posted by Reezekeys
Somehow we all lived through the transition from OS9 to OSX (first will dual-booting Macs, then with Classic). Then we somehow survived with dual-binary apps and Rosetta when Macs went to Intel processors. I'm older so I remember this stuff. Of course my computing needs were exclusively in the music field. Remember when OSX 10.0 came out? It was pretty much useless for midi applications. So what, OS9 still ran so we stayed there until the good stuff started happening.
Ah, but we knew that the guy who'd been in charge of OMS had been hired by Apple, and the mothership had also demoed the multi-channel audio capabilities built right into the system!

The excitement was palpable, at least, where I was standing (I was just a hobbyist at the time, though). OS X 10.0 felt like a glimpse of the future. :-)

Is it not exciting to be getting all the amazing iOS music developers, their existing apps plus their creativity and imagination suddenly about to hit on Apple’s MacBook, iMacs, Mac mini, and Mac Pros?


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
ElmerJFudd #3051742 06/30/20 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ElmerJFudd
Originally Posted by analogika
Originally Posted by Reezekeys
Somehow we all lived through the transition from OS9 to OSX (first will dual-booting Macs, then with Classic). Then we somehow survived with dual-binary apps and Rosetta when Macs went to Intel processors. I'm older so I remember this stuff. Of course my computing needs were exclusively in the music field. Remember when OSX 10.0 came out? It was pretty much useless for midi applications. So what, OS9 still ran so we stayed there until the good stuff started happening.
Ah, but we knew that the guy who'd been in charge of OMS had been hired by Apple, and the mothership had also demoed the multi-channel audio capabilities built right into the system!

The excitement was palpable, at least, where I was standing (I was just a hobbyist at the time, though). OS X 10.0 felt like a glimpse of the future. :-)

Is it not exciting to be getting all the amazing iOS music developers, their existing apps plus their creativity and imagination suddenly about to hit on Apple’s MacBook, iMacs, Mac mini, and Mac Pros?
Having witnessed the relative onslaught of truly SHITTY software following the Intel transition from scores of developers who obviously had absolutely no clue how a Mac should work (or why it even existed) — the latest in my field of experience being DeMix Essentials, downloaded about six months ago — I am feeling extremely trepidatious about giving developers who've done mediocre jobs at touch interfaces the keys to the mouse-pointer-interface castle.

Yes, there will be the odd gem, but the developers who actually care about user experience mostly already develop for the Mac, anyway.

It will be good for the numbers; it won't be good for the Mac.

Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Lady Gaia #3051750 06/30/20 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Lady Gaia
Originally Posted by Theo Verelst
I don't recall if Apple and it's bionic chip use the well known ARM licences for their processors, or if let's say there's object code compatibility with AWS A1 nodes or raspberry-4 libs or something.

They license the core instruction set and collaborate on extensions, even though the actual silicon implementation is their own. That said, object code compatibility relies on more than the instruction set. The underlying libraries and ABI can and do vary across implementations. Apple's calling conventions, for example, derive from the standard but there are both points of divergence and areas left open for platform vendors to define that were always going to vary. So no, in general you can't count on object code compatibility. Object file format is another point that isn't specified by the standard, and Apple's use of Mach-O for binaries is relatively unusual (though it has some lovely advantages, like being able to package multiple architectures in a single binary.)

Quote
Neon is capable, but still the number crunching chip real estate space isn't necessarily similar with power greedy x86 processors of similar chip tech. Things like virtual memory facilities on a RISC processor are a little different, also depending on the exact instruction pipeline depth and lookaside table capabilities (the cache levels are comparable but a little less thus far compared with the larger CPUs). Inherent advantage of reduced instruction set processors should be short turnaround time for letting a machine instruction rip, whereas the advantage of huge out of order instruction execution and branch predicting pre-fetching with a long instruction pipeline can be more exploitation of parallelism with more chip estate available per thread processor than smaller chips (like more than one floating point and integer compute pipeline).

Again, paper comparisons of architectures can be wildly misleading. It's easy to fall for marketing and even people who design CPUs for a living can be surprised by what improves performance in real-world conditions and what does not. Apple's designs embrace out-of-order execution and offer sophisticated branch prediction. These are not 1990s-era RISC architectures, but aggressive high performance modern computing devices built with scalability and efficiency in mind. The SIMD implementation present in iPhones and iPads isn't as wide as Intel's, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that change with the presumed A14 derivatives to be launched later this year. It already seems like the A12 family has a respectable SIMD design to start with.


Back to the theme of my prior post: look at the actual, real-world performance of a design rather than the paper specifications to understand whether it's going to work for you. At this point, of course, that's not yet possible so some speculation is reasonable - presuming it's grounded in well-founded assumptions. We don't know what's going to wind up in the next generation of Macs, but it's only a matter of months until we will. People are going to post comparisons of Final Cut and Logic running across Intel and Apple Silicon, and I think it's foolhardy to assume that Apple would launch something new that doesn't compare favorably to what they're preparing to replace.

A huge thanks to Lady Gaia for all this great insight, obviously from a point of expertise. We're lucky to have you on the forum thu


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Dave Holloway #3051771 06/30/20 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Holloway
A huge thanks to Lady Gaia for all this great insight, obviously from a point of expertise. We're lucky to have you on the forum thu

Much appreciated, Dave. Musically I'm a rank novice compared to virtually everyone here, though enthusiastic and hopeful that I can continue to learn this beguiling form of expression that captivates me so. Technology, though? That's squarely in my professional wheelhouse, so I'm happy to share what I can.


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051794 06/30/20 01:09 PM
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About Windows and Mac ARM: well, there was no mention of WIndows in the keynote; and this was clearly intentional; when they shown Parallel, they talked about other OSes, and there was Linux running on it.
If they wanted to support Windows, it would have been a central point of the presentation; my personal opinion is that they will abandon that specific market.
And not for a technical reason: it would be perfectly possible to integrate Rosetta technology within a virtualisation environment, and it wouldn't even be the first time to integrate processor emulation and virtualisation (actually, emulation is a technology used often within virtualisation), may be with some help from Microsoft.

Try to answer this question: are there more people that will live the Mac because they cannot run Windows application, or more people using Mac because it can run iPhone and iPad applications ?

The switch to Apple Silicon is a lot more than a technology change; there is a shift of market vision: the Mac will not be anymore a smarter/better PC, but the high end of a platform composed by all the other Apple computing device.

Windows and PCs are irrilevant compared to smartphones.

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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051817 06/30/20 02:15 PM
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I'll leave the tech speculation on how marvellous ARM is to others, but I see being able to use $4.99 apps like Galileo as being similar to being able to now play 128k mp3's on a $3,000 plus laptop for the first time. Good luck to all the AU developers like GSI who have previously been getting $99 plus for a top of the range AU. The race to the bottom starts now as Apple pursues its dream of owning all your bases.


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Re: Apple moves from Intel to ARM and from macOS X to macOS 11
Geoff Grace #3051824 06/30/20 03:05 PM
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What I completelt miss and was preparing to say some essentials about is the actual difference between a Complex Instruction Set CPU machine and a Reduced Instruction set processor, let's say on comparable silicon. The theoretical and practically measurable main differences, for which it is necessary to have more in depth understanding of computer hardware, mainly in this case it comes down to having to decide what the effect will be of the smaller set of more basic instructions the A.R.M. uses compared with the larger set of more space consuming machine instructions that have been around since the early 8086 CPUs (or in mode 0 of an I7).

When I programmed some C based hardware interactions on a very early ARM-7 from Analog Devices in my digitally controlled analogue volume control project much much earlier in the 2000s than we are now, the simple instruction set and the provided compiler would be a little like an advanced C based micro controller, IIRC with a 16 bit architecture.

Apparently, some how the renewed A.R.M. architecture gained popularity since that time and gained momentum as a standard for phone processors, which until today is the case, and of course that led to enery friendly CPU design, and specific accelerators getting developed, like basic graphics and video encoding. That path of development isn't directly connected with the advancements in super computing on a desktop, and isn't necessarily a good starting point for an optimal desktop experience. So you can take a recent Raspberry 4 or clone of the same, test it as a desktop and get amazed at the extremely low price combined with advanced facilities like dual HDMI 4K screens. SSD drive connectivity, a windows-lookalike Linux variation and be happy with that for years, but if you're used to an early generation hefty I7 and want to play the modern day version of Doom on a heavily cooled graphics card, the little system might as well be non-existent.

That's not a theoretical given, maybe you could place a thousand small ARM chips in a machine to be actually faster with some scientific computation than a contemporary server blade, using a little less power. How the actual RISC advantage will play out depends on the technology where it is implemented, and the chosen parameters like pipeline depth, the problems being solved, and the implemented virtual memory management system from the A.R.M. resources or otherwise. Because that latter is a main source of slowness in many systems/OS-es, which however requires a higher computer design knowledge level to properly appreciate.

The simpler instructions of the A.R.M. should have a shorter turnaround time in the instruction execution pipeline of a tread/processor, which should make shorter loops more efficient. Also the computations of a physical address could be more efficient. Engineering a system, and a well working compiler (probably Apple can use existing gnu complier tech without having to do much work) might as well be simpler and cheaper on these systems.

I'm not a fan of the archaic backward compatible I7 architecture history, thought I'm glad my software keeps working, and must say that any tech that's not the Intel processor when taken to the same level of investment and industrial effort and chip size and integration level probably could defeat it in more than a few ways.

T.

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