The presentation of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus and especially the iPhone X has left many debates open, and one of them focuses on the powerful processor, an Apple A11 Bionic that promises spectacular performance.
That’s what the leaks of the performance tests made with GeekBench, in which these Apple phones are already competing in power with the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The question, of course, is why Apple does not decide to take out a MacBook based on these ARM-based mics?
A bestial processor
Our companions already gave all the details on the new Apple A11 Bionic, some microphones of which the filtration of their performance in Geekbench has caused that the expectations shoot up.
Boom There you have it: those performances in Single-Core are double (100% more) than those obtained by the Snapdragon 835, while the Multi-Core performance is 50% higher than the more powerful processors that are now integrated in Android smartphones.
In fact, comparisons can once again be extended not just to competing phones, but to laptops like the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The models of 2017 with Intel microphones (architecture x86-64) dual-core obtain 4592 points in Single-Core and 9602 in Multi-Core, which puts them at the level of the Apple A11 Bionic (ARM) although the comparison is as always odious.
Comparing pears with apples
It is for several reasons. The first, by the number of cores and the working frequency of these processors : the Intel Core i7-7567U are dual-core microphones at 3.5 GHz with a TDP of 28W manufactured in 14 nm. The Apple A11 Bionic are hexa-core microphones in which the two most powerful cores work at 2.5 GHz (we do not have data on the frequency of the four lower-power cores) and an unknown TDP, although its manufacturing technology is 10 nm, which gives them an advantage in terms of efficiency.
The second, because comparing architectures is also complicated. While the processors of the ARM family are included within the so-called RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing), the x86 of Intel do so within the CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computing).
The set of instructions used by ARM is simpler and simpler, while in Intel that set of instructions is much broader, in addition to having to adapt all the inheritance of the past so that the microphones remain retro compatible with what they offered predecessors.
That makes trying to raise an equivalence between one and another is much more complicated than what seems to be perceived from those results in Geekbench. Each architecture and each processor has its virtues and its orientation, but it seems clear that Apple’s ARM micros are more prepared than ever to make the leap to the desktop … if they want to give it.
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An idea that has long pursued us
The idea, of course, is not new. The Apple A10 that were launched last year also raised that issue, and the truth is that in a way we had the answer to that concern.
Not in the form of MacBook as such clear. What they did arrive were an iPad Pro that with the A10X already competed in gross performance with the MacBook Pro basics of 2016.
The arrival in a few weeks of iOS 11 will make all that power is even better exploited thanks to those improved options for productivity in a few tablets that are increasingly working teams.
There is already a MacBook ARM: It’s called iPad Pro
The debate on the potential launch of a new MacBook based on these mics is renewed every time we see how Intel CPUs do not stop to gain power and performance, but that machine would also raise another essential question: the operating system that would govern.
For some time there has been talk of a hypothetical secret project to port macOS to ARM. The idea is not preposterous, because Apple already did the same with MacOS (when “Mac” was written with eme capital letter) at the beginning of the last decade, when abandoning their PowerPC and making the jump to Intel microphones in all their PCs and laptops.
The problem is that it does not seem too interesting, especially considering that the improvements received by macOS in recent years are testimonials. Apple bet essentially on iOS 11, something that has been seen especially in the latest version with this “macosificasión” of iOS, which is the Dock or the file explorer (my God! File explorer in iOS!).
That makes us think that if at some point Apple decides to launch that MacBook ARM, it will do so with iOS as the operating system. Here we lack a detail, and is the support of mouse and keyboard on a platform that currently only fond of the stylus. It does not seem crazy to think that Apple is working on that plan B, but at the moment there is no indication that the shots are going to go around.
In fact, Apple may simply not want to consider this possibility, because the MacBook ARM already exists and it is called iPad Pro. The tablets of this manufacturer have managed to win many integers in their latest revisions and will do even more with the aforementioned iOS 11, and that can make them versatile colleagues in many scenarios.
Not all, of course, because for many other areas the commitment to macOS and Mac / MacBook traditional is still essential, and in fact it is very likely that it is difficult to convince users of these machines to migrate their entire workflow to iOS. Some believe that macOS is doomed, but until that happens we will continue to propose options like those inspired by that powerful Apple A11 Bionic.