Arm Processors with Mac Pro Level Performance Possible Today

Former Apple executive and Be Inc. founder Jean-Louis Gassée explores the possibility of Apple's move to Arm-based Macs in the near future.

ampere
The speculation comes amidst of increasing rumors that Apple will be launching Arm-based Macs as early as 2021.

Gassée explains he was previously skeptical about the ability for Arm-based processors to achieve performance parity with current Intel offerings, but now says he was "wrong". Gassée points to a startup called Ampere Computing that offers high-power Arm-based processors that compete head-to-head with high-end Intel chips:

Ampere top of the line chips consume less power, about 210 watts, than a competing Xeon CPU needing as much as 400 wats, for about the same amount of computing power — hence investors' interest in a device that could progressively supplant Intel products in tens of millions of servers around the world. Ampere shows us that the ARM architecture can yield the class of chips a Mac Pro would need.

Apple, of course, designs its own custom Arm processors, but it seems at least one other company is pushing the limits of performance with the Arm architecture. Apple's custom processors have quickly ramped up to performance that is comparable to its recent Mac laptops powered by Intel processors.

Serious rumors about Apple replacing Intel chips with Arm chips in its Macs started in 2018 with a detailed report from Bloomberg. The most recent rumor has placed the transition at stating in early 2021.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

Nozuka Avatar
13 months ago

Will Apple still insult their consumers with ridiculous prices?
Still got around $700 for my Macbook Pro (Retina) after 6 years... which was $2300 when i bought it. So it ended up not being that expensive after all.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheIntruder Avatar
13 months ago

Honestly, I’d rather have Intel compatibility at this point. I don’t really need more performance out of my system. In fact, I’m happy with pretty much everything my iMac does. I don’t sit down and think “man, I wish my processor was 2x as powerful.” I sit down and enjoy my speedy iMac and I’m happy.

The only reason I’d upgrade is to be able to update to the latest macOS, as I get obsoleted.
I've been through the 68K to PPC, and the PPC to Intel transitions, and frankly I don't really relish having to go through another, even if Apple has another emulator in the wings that can make it relatively painless process.

My Mac is already as fast as I need it to be, and bringing the iOS app experience closer to desktop isn't necessarily a good thing either, so I'm having difficulty envisioning a compelling reason to switch.

Now, get off my lawn.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pakaku Avatar
13 months ago

Saw this article on Engadget this weekend

https://www.engadget.com/2020/03/08/amd-cpu-take-a-way-data-leak-security-flaw/

The Intel processors have always worked great for Apple so I don't know why they would want to switch to ARM
That article is about AMD, not ARM

Either way, I hope they stick to Intel as well
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sammy2066 Avatar
13 months ago
Odds are macOS is already living a secret double life on ARM processors! ;)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
13 months ago
Honestly, I’d rather have Intel compatibility at this point. I don’t really need more performance out of my system. In fact, I’m happy with pretty much everything my iMac does. I don’t sit down and think “man, I wish my processor was 2x as powerful.” I sit down and enjoy my speedy iMac and I’m happy.

The only reason I’d upgrade is to be able to update to the latest macOS, as I get obsoleted.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
msp3 Avatar
13 months ago
Make BeOS Great Again!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2021 mbp sd slot feature2

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models With HDMI Port and SD Card Reader to Launch Later This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 8:52 pm PST by
Apple plans to release two new MacBook Pro models equipped with an HDMI port and SD card reader in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who outlined his expectations in a research note obtained by MacRumors. The return of an SD card reader was first reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman last month. "We predict that Apple's two new MacBook Pro models in 2H21 will have...
m1 mac mini

M1 Mac Users Report Excessive SSD Wear

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:07 am PST by
Over the past week, some M1 Mac users have been reporting alarming SSD health readings, suggesting that these devices are writing extraordinary amounts of data to their drives (via iMore). Across Twitter and the MacRumors forums, users are reporting that M1 Macs are experiencing extremely high drive writes over a short space of time. In what appear to be the most severe cases, M1 Macs are sai...
iphone 12 pro display video

BOE Rumored to Supply iPhone 13 Display Panels After iPhone 12 Failures

Monday February 22, 2021 9:54 am PST by
Display manufacturer BOE will be one of the main suppliers of OLED panels for iPhone 13 models, according to a new report today from Taiwan's Economic Daily News. BOE is said to be working with touch panel manufacturer General Interface Solution (GIS), part of the Hon Hai Group to develop OLED panels. Multiple iPhone 12 rumors suggested that BOE would supply some panels for the devices,...
mac security privacy

Apple Takes Step to Prevent Further Spread of 'Silver Sparrow' Malware on Macs

Monday February 22, 2021 6:13 am PST by
Over the weekend, we reported on the second known piece of malware compiled to run natively on M1 Macs. Given the name "Silver Sparrow," the malicious package is said to leverage the macOS Installer JavaScript API to execute suspicious commands. After observing the malware for over a week, however, security firm Red Canary did not observe any final payload, so the exact threat to users remains a...
jon prosser imac 2021colors

Prosser: 2021 iMac to Come in Five Colors, Apple Silicon Mac Pro to Resemble 'Stacked' Mac Minis

Wednesday February 24, 2021 7:26 am PST by
Hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has today alleged that the upcoming 2021 iMac models will offer five color options, mirroring the colors of the fourth-generation iPad Air, and revealed a number of additional details about the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon. In a new video on YouTube channel FrontPageTech, Prosser explained that the redesigned iMacs will come featuring options for Silver, Space ...
whatsapp privacy banner

WhatsApp Reveals What Happens to Users Who Don't Agree to Upcoming Privacy Policy Changes

Sunday February 21, 2021 1:11 am PST by
WhatsApp has revealed how it will gradually limit the features available to accounts held by users who do not accept the platform's impending privacy policy changes, due to come into effect on May 15. WhatsApp's new banner explaining the privacy policy changes According to an email seen by TechCrunch to one of its merchant partners, WhatsApp said it will "slowly ask" users who have not yet...
new airpods leaked image 52audios

Alleged Leaked Image Claims to Show Third-Generation AirPods and Case

Sunday February 21, 2021 2:49 am PST by
A new image claims to offer our first real world look at Apple's next-generation AirPods. The image, shared by 52audio, showcases both AirPods and the charging case for what the site claims to be the third iteration of the wireless earbuds. 52audio has in the past shared images claiming to showcase different parts of the third-generation AirPods. Most notably, the site in November shared...
anker magsafe powercore battery pack

Anker Releases MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack for iPhone 12 Lineup

Tuesday February 23, 2021 7:49 am PST by
Following rumors that Apple is working on a MagSafe battery pack for iPhone 12 models, popular accessory maker Anker has beaten Apple to the punch with the release of its PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wireless Power Bank. First previewed at CES 2021, the PowerCore battery pack magnetically attaches to the back of any iPhone 12 model and provides 5W of wireless charging. With a 5,000 mAh capacity,...
iPad Pro Mini LED

New iPad Pro and MacBook Models With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch This Year

Monday February 22, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Taiwanese company Ennostar will begin production of Mini-LED backlight units for an upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the late first quarter or second quarter of this year, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. Ennostar is a holding company that was jointly established in January 2021 by LED-related manufacturers Epistar and Lextar Electronics. Apple is expected to unveil the new ...
14

iOS 14.5 to Make Zero-Click Attacks 'Significantly Harder'

Monday February 22, 2021 9:05 am PST by
Apple's impending iOS and iPadOS 14.5 update will make zero-click attacks considerably more difficult by extending PAC security provisions, according to Motherboard. Apple has made a change to the way in which it secures its code in the latest betas of iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 to make zero-click attacks much harder. The change, spotted by security researchers, has now been confirmed by...