Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Sep 2013 17:46 UTC
Apple

The only review of the iPhone 5S you'll need to read - AnandTech's.

At the end of the day, if you prefer iOS for your smartphone - the iPhone 5s won't disappoint. In many ways it's an evolutionary improvement over the iPhone 5, but in others it is a significant step forward. What Apple's silicon teams have been doing for these past couple of years has really started to pay off. From a CPU and GPU standpoint, the 5s is probably the most futureproof of any iPhone ever launched. As much as it pains me to use the word futureproof, if you are one of those people who likes to hold onto their device for a while - the 5s is as good a starting point as any.

It's a crazy world where the future of Apple becomes apparent not in its software, but in its hardware. The 5S looks like a significant step forward, and in my view, hints at a future where Apple's laptops and maybe even desktops will be powered by ARM, not x86. If I had the spare cash, I'd plonk it down for a 5S in a heartbeat - as it stands now, I have no way of testing iOS 7 myself.

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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Sep 2013 21:02 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

...hints at a future where Apple's laptops and maybe even desktops will be powered by ARM, not x86.


I always chuckle when I see comments like these. It's not going to happen. Apple doesn't have enough volume with laptops/desktops to support it's own chip designs. Motorola couldn't keep performance up nearly enough for the desktop (and after a while not even in laptops), and IBM couldn't scale down to laptop power/thermal limitations.

There's no reason to think Apple will somehow magically be able to design high-perofrmance laptop/desktop chips with such small volumes.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by puenktchen on Wed 18th Sep 2013 21:11 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
puenktchen Member since:
2007-07-27

If anything like that happens at all it will be some kind of a more general purpose version of iOS taking over the consumer laptop market where chips are already powerful enough anyway.

Edited 2013-09-18 21:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Sep 2013 21:31 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Powerful enough for whom? Apple's A7 is nearly 20% slower at Geek Bench 3 than a Core i3 3217u - a chip launched 2nd quarter of last year.

Intel's just-released Atom Z3770 (Bay Trail) is about 15% faster than A7 at the same benchmark, also. A7 might be fast enough if all you do is sit in a coffee shop and blog, but much more than that, not really.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Treza on Wed 18th Sep 2013 22:05 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Treza Member since:
2006-01-11

There's no reason to think Apple will somehow magically be able to design high-perofrmance laptop/desktop chips with such small volumes.


Not magically.
Just with tons of cash.

Apart from a few low volume embedded designs, many PowerPC from Freescale were made for Apple. Now Apple sells more hardware.

I think that Apple could afford to go that route and they start to have the engineering expertise. Whether they will do it or just float the idea to put pressure on Intel, is just speculation for now. Maybe they do not even know what they will do.

There is also a huge difference between laptop CPUs and high end server and workstation hardware. An ARM MacBook Air is doable, a desktop computer is far more challenging and Apple has not enough volume in that niche to compete against Intel.

As a CPU enthusiast (and amateur architect), the fact that they don't publish anything and share nothing about their ideas is quite frustrating and a bit unfair, compared to the normal practices of that industry which is quite open about micro-architecture and implementation details.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 18th Sep 2013 23:34 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Motorola/Freescale chips sucked for a long, long time. Freescale stopped pursuing high-performance desktop chips and repurposed the 7400 series for more embedded uses, because Apple was their only customer for the desktop and weren't selling enough chips to support competing against Intel.

IBM wasn't willing to spend the engineering resources to shrink the PowerPC 970 to fit into a laptop, because Apple didn't have enough volume to support it.

Apple could possibly afford to do it, but can they afford to maintain it? I doubt it. They probably wouldn't reuse the A7, since it isn't as simple as just upping voltage and clock rate. The A7 is soundly beaten by even the lowest-end chip that Apple is using for the Air.

There is also a huge difference between laptop CPUs and high end server and workstation hardware.


Um, this is pretty much false. Intel's highest-end Xeons use the same Haswell core that is used across the MacBook Air line. The differences come in things like cache size, and integrated graphics. Once you get much below the size of chips used in the Air, that's where core designs change significantly. For this, Intel has Atom, which the higher-end tablet-oriented designs trounce the A7.

Now, Apple might be able to scale A7 up to low-end MacBook Air performance and us it there, but that would split the MacOS X ecosystem in two, which would be a terrible thing for users and developers. This means that for Apple to switch to their own in-house Arm designs, they'd have to come out with a chip capable of competing across the whole range of Intel chips they already use.

I simply don't see this happening.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Tony Swash on Thu 19th Sep 2013 12:07 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

There's no reason to think Apple will somehow magically be able to design high-perofrmance laptop/desktop chips with such small volumes.


This comparison is interesting though.......

http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/9797549125/

The only way Apple would do ARM in Mac is if they could use the same processor as is in the iPhone and iPad in which case they would have ample volumes. Using ARM in mac may never be practical and may never happen and and is way off yet, but not as far off as it was month ago before the A7.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Neolander on Thu 19th Sep 2013 17:28 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

This comparison is interesting though.......

http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/9797549125/.

Either there's something very wrong with this guy's Macbook, or something dramatically changed in Geekbench's testing methodology from v2 to v3. Because there's no way a Macbook which was released only four years later would get a five-fold increase in benchmark results, if we consider how slowly laptop performance improves these days.

http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/compare/1952237/1952292

Edited 2013-09-19 17:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by tylerdurden on Thu 19th Sep 2013 16:04 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17


There's no reason to think Apple will somehow magically be able to design high-perofrmance laptop/desktop chips with such small volumes.


That's because Apple wouldn't use an ARM chip for high-performance parts. A low-end laptop or desktop running iOS however...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by darknexus on Thu 19th Sep 2013 16:40 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

That's because Apple wouldn't use an ARM chip for high-performance parts. A low-end laptop or desktop running iOS however...

Is a scary thought indeed, considering what that would represent. Imagine a laptop with no USB connectivity, no support for any external storage, and a gated app community. Creepy, but if anyone could get people to buy something like that it would certainly be Apple. When people start accepting all of that on a laptop or even worse, a desktop, we'll know that the end of free computing is really upon us.

Reply Parent Score: 1