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 (Caution)
Related Forum: Mac Pro

Top Rated Comments

Nozuka Avatar
18 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
18 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
18 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
18 months ago
Odds are macOS is already living a secret double life on ARM processors! ;)
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
18 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
18 months ago
Make BeOS Great Again!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
iPad mini pro feature

Next iPad Mini Won't Feature Mini-LED Display, Claims Display Analyst

Friday July 23, 2021 8:07 am PDT by
Yesterday, DigiTimes claimed that the upcoming iPad mini will feature a mini-LED display, but now, display analyst Ross Young is going at odds with that report, claiming that while the updated iPad mini continues to be on track for a release this year, it won't feature a mini-LED display. Young says he "confirmed" with Radiant Opto-Electronics, who DigiTimes claims would provide Apple with...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...