Apple processors with Blocs and other apps

My 2010 Mac Pro is still running well and does what I need, but it’s only a question of time before it needs to be replaced and a top spec Mac mini is the most likely contender. The current mini is a good machine from what I hear but that is not enough reason to ditch a computer of proven reliability.

After reading a couple articles just now it seems likely that Apple will be introducing their own processors in 2020, which tend to run cooler than Intel and rapidly catching up for speed. Indeed the iPad Pro already uses Apple processors and likely to out perform the MacBook Pro before long.

Having used Macs since the last century before OS X even existed I well remember the software difficulties when Apple switched to Intel and I would hope they would be better prepared this time for a smooth transition, however I am left wondering if anybody has some insight into how existing software like Blocs will run on these new processors or will it create a nightmare for developers and users while bugs are patched.

Knowing the way these things go, if Apple switches to their own processors I can imagine them placing more emphasis on compatibility than with the Intel processors, which may be a nasty surprise in a couple years time for anybody who has just bought a high end Intel based machine.

You’re really asking a general question: how good will Apple’s QA be in making the transition? I guess they managed that OK when transitioning from the G series of processors to Intel, so I guess it won’t be a major issue when they go the other way around - after all they already have a dual infrastructure supporting Intel and Apple architectures. I think it’ll be quite smooth but maybe existing/legacy apps may need a recompile.

How long they’ll want to support Intel in the long run is interesting and who knows?

I remember that my G5 PowerMac very quickly felt left behind when Apple switched to Intel, but equally there were also significant costs in upgrading software to run on Intel Macs. Showing my age here, but I can also remember running OS 9 apps in Classic on OS X.

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I love the new mini, but I would wait a little longer as the new Apple processors should be here by summer.

Isn’t that part of what Marzipan and Mac Catalyst is for? The new processors will be ARM based. As I understand it iOS apps will be ported over first, then in 2021 everything else will get ported over. MacBook Air will get the new chips first. On a side note Apples A12 and A13 chips are already better than the intel equivalents on the MacBooks. That’s why professional videographers are switching from MacBooks to the iPad Pros. They actually render 4K video faster than the MacBooks can. This should be a very interesting summer for Apple.

And this is where I become reluctant to buy any other Mac right now, as long as the old beast keeps going and still able to run key software. Right now I am on Mojave and cannot run Catalina without some kind of hack. Nevertheless, it feels like the sweet spot with a solid OS and continued access to 32-bit apps.

I figure that when I move on I want it to be with the new processors knowing there will be continued support and focus for several years. Nobody wants to be in a situation though with a shiny new box that is riddled with bugs for 6-12 months while app developers are trying to fix things, remembering that most won’t even have access to the new machines.

I actually have an ancient 2007 iMac sat in a wardrobe that was my emergency backup for a long time, but effectively useless at this point because it is on El Capitan.

I read a really great article towards the end of last year that talked about how Apple has been preparing the groundwork for a near seamless transition of CPUs for many years now with its software. I had a look and couldn’t find it. I’ll keep hunting, I should have book marked it.

I updated to the new 16” MacBook Pro in Dec, I wondered about holding off, but my 2013 13” wasn’t making the grade and slowing my workflow down.

And as @AngelArs said, video editing on an iPad is excellent. I don’t have a iPad Pro but the LumaFusion app is supper fast even on a 2017 iPad. I think @Eldar even uses it.

There is only a “seamless transition” possible for applications, which are using the latest frameworks available for iPad on macOS (one example: Swift UI).

Applications using “old” frameworks only available on current macOS technology aren’t easily able to be converted by the developer (no automatic conversion).

If the Mac Pro was holding me back I would have already switched, but it’s still a pretty fast machine even by today’s standards. One caveat is that Intel are no longer updating the microcode on this processor, so in a year or two it could become much less safe to use on the internet.

With previous computers like the iMac I made the mistake of buying fairly entry level models with not enough ram, so the performance was never stellar even when new. That is why I’ll make sure the replacement is high spec with plenty of ram, then make sure it is set up to run cool. The value of a fast running reliable machine over 5-10 years is huge with any extra cost being easily written off by reduced stress and saved time.

No doubt Apple have been preparing for this transition, but for sure there will be software developers who will either walk away or demand a big upgrade fee. We become very dependent on some apps, so these processor transitions are always nerve wracking when you have clients and run a business with the computer.

Yes. That’s why I said nearly. Interesting the recent changes for developers on the App Store with Catalyst.

Will it be harder for developers who keep their apps off the store in the future? And will adobe take 4 years or 10 years to update :joy::joy:

You are able to add more ram to the 27” iMac. You can even switch out the processor on iMacs as long as it is not the base model. A lot of people buy refurbished iMacs for this very reason.

I see they already have quite good iPad Apps :slight_smile:

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Actually the T1 and T2 security chips that Apple uses in all of their Macs are ARM based, so they’ve already started with the transition. An ARM Mac Mini would be awesome, especially if you used an iPad Pro as a monitor :sunglasses:

I have an iMac from mid-2010, and I still work with it without problems, blocs, affinity, photoshop, hype, all works without problems, which for a machine that is 10 years old is fabulous. :+1:t2::+1:t2:

Macs have a long history of lasting 8-10 years. Many of the ones I work on are much older :+1:

I am pretty sure Apple will not bring out their own processors in desktops until they are demonstrably better than Intel, because it would be a PR disaster going backwards on performance. I do wonder how they will be priced though.

If everything else holds true then they should be much cheaper.

I don’t know, Apple sold some crappy laptops the last couple years. (I realise some of it was to do with Intel missing the mark on their road map), but people still bought them. The main reason I held off replacing mine. Glad I did, I love the 16" MacBook Pro.

Yes but they could blame Intel there and claim they were being held back. They can’t do that so easily with their own processors and get people excited if they are slower.

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Yes. And the track record so far on their own chipsets has been very good.

I don’t know if “crappy” is the right term, but they certainly didn’t live up to normal Apple specs. The lack of any real innovation is what I’m most disappointed with. Everything is just rehashed old tech. Bringing in their own ARM processors is just what the entire industry needs. It will only shake up hardware, but the software industry too. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming changes.

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