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[Sash thoughts] Apple switching from Intel's x86-64 processors to ARM for their Macs?

Updated: Apr 3, 2021

Further reading from my favourite tech sites in no particular order: Anandtech, VideoCardz

Why does this make me all defensive? I have literally no idea why this makes me really defensive, but it does. I think it's because I really don't like Apple, and/or I have become something of an x86-64 fanboycatgirl. In fact, a lot of Windows desktop PC users with AMD or Intel processors do get defensive over x86-64's supposed "performance advantage". I even went on Twitter to type a half-arsed rebuttal to an Anandtech writer. I do have a point, honestly, in that ARM CPUs in mobile-focused SOCs have little reason to target clock frequencies above, say 3.0 GHz, because performance per watt drops off heavily as you scale up.

So, in pure core to core performance, clock speed alone will likely keep x86-64 processors in the lead for a reasonable amount of time, even if Apple's SoC manages to steal the IPC lead in certain workloads (read: Certain ones). Course, wider SIMD units isn't on the top of Apple's SoC design targets, so there will always be workloads where newer x86 cores like Skylake and Zen2, have a pretty sizable advantage in FPU throughput.

Oh, look. I am defending x86 like a fanboycatgirl, again. Huh. Oh my god, I even feel the need to defend Intel. That is blasphemous and unacceptable in every capacity.

I must now Meditate in front of my Ryzen Shrine.

On a serious note, I think x86's destiny lies in trimming some of the extensions that are holding it back, and moving to a more RISC-based design. I think in the next decade we will see some major changes to x86 cores with that in mind.

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