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Apple M3 Ultra Chip Could be a Monolithic Design Without UltraFusion Interconnect

AleksandarK

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As we witness Apple's generational updates of the M series of chips, the highly anticipated SKU of the 3rd generation of Apple M series yet-to-be-announced top-of-the-line M3 Ultra chip is growing speculations from industry insiders. The latest round of reports suggests that the M3 Ultra might step away from its predecessor's design, potentially adopting a monolithic architecture without the UltraFusion interconnect technology. In the past, Apple has relied on a dual-chip design for its Ultra variants, using the UltraFusion interconnect to combine two M series Max chips. For example, the second generation M Ultra chip, M2 Ultra, boasts 134 billion transistors across two 510 mm² chips. However, die-shots of the M3 Max have sparked discussions about the absence of dedicated chip space for the UltraFusion interconnect.

While the absence of visible interconnect space on early die-shots is not conclusive evidence, as seen with the M1 Max not having visible UltraFusion interconnect and still being a part of M1 Ultra with UltraFusion, industry has led the speculation that the M3 Ultra may indeed feature a monolithic design. Considering that the M3 Max has 92 billion transistors and is estimated to have a die size between 600 and 700 mm², going Ultra with these chips may be pushing the manufacturing limit. Considering the maximum die size limit of 848 mm² for the TSMC N3B process used by Apple, there may not be sufficient space for a dual-chip M3 Ultra design. The potential shift to a monolithic design for the M3 Ultra raises questions about how Apple will scale the chip's performance without the UltraFusion interconnect. Competing solutions, such as NVIDIA's Blackwell GPU, use a high-bandwidth C2C interface to connect two 104 billion transistor chips, achieving a bandwidth of 10 TB/s. In comparison, the M2 Ultra's UltraFusion interconnect provided a bandwidth of 2.5 TB/s.



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Also

The flaw, called GoFetch, is based on the microarchitecture design of the Apple Silicon, which means that it cannot be directly patched and poses a significant risk to users' data security. The vulnerability affects all Apple devices powered by M-series chips, including the popular M1 and M2 generations. The M3 generation can turn a special bit off to disable DMP, potentially hindering performance.

 
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I'm glad you waited till April 2nd to bring this forward or I wouldn't have believed it. This is and interesting post indeed as I'm intrigued by what Apple plans to do with the Ultra. I'm currently on the M3 Max and I'm in awe of the performance. I can't wait to see what magic they will try to unleash.

Also

The flaw, called GoFetch, is based on the microarchitecture design of the Apple Silicon, which means that it cannot be directly patched and poses a significant risk to users' data security. The vulnerability affects all Apple devices powered by M-series chips, including the popular M1 and M2 generations. The M3 generation can turn a special bit off to disable DMP, potentially hindering performance.

Horse is dead bro...
 
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Just picked up an M3 macbook air for my SO...can't believe the performance... yea it was expensive for the 512GB and 16GB version but dang this thing should last a good 5+ years... This pretty much beats out my couple year old 4900HS running at 65W TDP... benchmarks it doesn't but the software sure makes the experience smooth as butter.... Very impressed by the M generation chips from Apple, especially with the passive cooling.
 
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Just picked up an M3 macbook air for my SO...can't believe the performance... yea it was expensive for the 512GB and 16GB version but dang this thing should last a good 5+ years... This pretty much beats out my couple year old 4900HS running at 65W TDP... benchmarks it doesn't but the software sure makes the experience smooth as butter.... Very impressed by the M generation chips from Apple, especially with the passive cooling.
People give them crap for a locked eco system and no upgrades but the advantage of that is everything can be completely optimized and they can be sure only stuff that's working is on it.
 
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People give them crap for a locked eco system and no upgrades but the advantage of that is everything can be completely optimized and they can be sure only stuff that's working is on it.
Let me tell you, I was one of those lowkey MacBook haters because I couldn't wrap my mind around the cost. If I was going to spend $3000 plus on a laptop, I'm going windows as I get more hardware for the money. Since I need to learn how to use MacOS for future employment opportunities...I bought dove in and bought one. I had everything else but the MacBook and now the ecosystem is complete - phone, watch, ipad, and MacBook. This addition really unlocked so many additional features I could only wish Microsoft or Android would have come up with. I've already stated the performance... My desktop doesn't even feel as snappy as this laptop. Everything works seamlessly with Air Pods and all...its one of the best computing experiences I've ever had and I've been at this for three decades.
 
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It’s nice to see apple invent yet another groundbreaking technology. Maybe NVIDIA or AMD will adopt this “monolithic die” concept in the future :laugh:
 
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People give them crap for a locked eco system and no upgrades but
There is no but, 8GB RAM and 512GB storage as base specs on a 1600$ laptop is beyond atrocious.
 
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I'm really interested in a macbook air but the +$200 for 8GB more ram has me considering windows options
 
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I'm really interested in a macbook air but the +$200 for 8GB more ram has me considering windows options
While I'm the last person who'd ever 'recommend' or 'defend' Apple anything...
I'd presume that the memory usage and management is entirely different than w/ a Windows PC. (Kinda like how the iPhones got/get away with so little RAM vs. Android devices)

My issue w/ the latest MacBook Air is, the thing is a lil hotbox. Many board-level components have efficiency and MTBF 'curves' based on their thermal operating conditions.
What I'm getting at: The design is implicitly 'eating into' the thermal tolerances of everything inside the Air.

Like everything Apple makes, it's built to fail in a highly 'calculated' manner, and 'technically excusable' once the issues become known.
 
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There is no but, 8GB RAM and 512GB storage as base specs on a 1600$ laptop is beyond atrocious.
Actually its $1,499 for that configuration (15-inch). $1,699 for the 16GB/512GB (15 inch). 8/512 13-inch ($1,299). I bought my son the M3 Air 8GB/256GB (12 years old) for $989. Not even 45 mins ago I installed Roblox on his laptop and the responsiveness and how fast his games loaded even using a Rosetta for translation was remarkable. The games load faster and play smoother than his desktop (5600X3D, 32GB RAM, Fury X, 2x 1080p monitors). Clearly these machines do not operate the same. For storage issues, I got him a thunderbolt 4 1TB external drive - problem solved. I won't lie, I really wish SSD and RAM were cheaper...but this unified memory seems to act pretty different. I would still opt for the 16GB RAM version for anyone doing any real work tho.
 
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Actually its $1,499
Doesn't make it any less egregious. LPDDR5 is cheap, like under 5$ per GB, it's not like they use some exotic type of memory yet they ask 200$ for an extra 8GB, insane.
 
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Further to this EUV has an even smaller theoretical maximum die size than DUV, so for M4/M5 no way they could do a die > 600mm^2. This alos means ulitmately Nvidia has to move desktop xx90 class to MCM for sure.
 
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Let me tell you, I was one of those lowkey MacBook haters because I couldn't wrap my mind around the cost. If I was going to spend $3000 plus on a laptop, I'm going windows as I get more hardware for the money. Since I need to learn how to use MacOS for future employment opportunities...I bought dove in and bought one. I had everything else but the MacBook and now the ecosystem is complete - phone, watch, ipad, and MacBook. This addition really unlocked so many additional features I could only wish Microsoft or Android would have come up with. I've already stated the performance... My desktop doesn't even feel as snappy as this laptop. Everything works seamlessly with Air Pods and all...its one of the best computing experiences I've ever had and I've been at this for three decades.
As a former Apple user myself (Snow Leopard to Lion and so on), I get it. The Apple ecosystem is second to none when it comes to interoperability and user experience. There's a reason why so many people have the same experience you do.

Unfortunately when you need to work with other ecosystems or use their ecosystem in a "non-approved" way that you start to run into issues. And from a business/enterprise perspective, trying to get support for macOS from IT is a pain. "We don't know how to use or support Macs".

And I say this as the only Mac-savvy person in my office (which is a curse, believe me).
 

Qwerty101

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There is no but, 8GB RAM and 512GB storage as base specs on a 1600$ laptop is beyond atrocious.

Have YOU used such a config with Apple Silicon?

One of my computers is the M1 MacBook Pro 13” 8gb with 256GB storage.

I am using so many Firefox windows with tons of tabs it is ridiculous.

Machine learning flies and I rarely need to transfer tasks to my M2 Max 32GB studio or Amazon EC2 instances.

The only time I have hit issues with the ram is when I try to do a stupid Python data processing that tries to load all the input AND output data in RAM. Using more intelligent methods like chunking etc. solves this while Firefox, safari, vlc, vscode, jupyter etc are running.

I am always astonished how I have practically no RAM issues considering the 8GB.

Have I build my Windows and Linux PCs, FreeBSD ZFS NAS boxes and OpenBSD routers/firewalls? Yup. But having a TOOL that works without me having to do a thing and allows me to concentrate 100% on the actual task I am doing is fantastic.

Unfortunately when you need to work with other ecosystems or use their ecosystem in a "non-approved" way that you start to run into issues.
Use the right tool for the right job.

Would you use OpenBSD for desktop publishing or serious audio/video work?

Would you use a Windows PC for a router/firewall/VPN Concentrator?

Would you use a FreeBSD box for gaming?

We might want to have a tool that does it all 100% and yesterday, but the reality is using the best tool and OS for the job is a great way to get things done.
 
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As a former Apple user myself (Snow Leopard to Lion and so on), I get it. The Apple ecosystem is second to none when it comes to interoperability and user experience. There's a reason why so many people have the same experience you do.

Unfortunately when you need to work with other ecosystems or use their ecosystem in a "non-approved" way that you start to run into issues. And from a business/enterprise perspective, trying to get support for macOS from IT is a pain. "We don't know how to use or support Macs".

And I say this as the only Mac-savvy person in my office (which is a curse, believe me).
You'll never hear me dispute that from a work place perspective... All government agencies I know of use Microsoft. I'm only just learning OSX and which is still in the infant stage as I haven't even touched the Terminal yet. LoL At this point, its only my initial impressions and those impressions are something shocking to me. I slept hard on OSX, but have gained a lot respect.

Doesn't make it any less egregious. LPDDR5 is cheap, like under 5$ per GB, it's not like they use some exotic type of memory yet they ask 200$ for an extra 8GB, insane.
I don't like their RAM tiers or the storage tiers... What I have come to realize, 8GB on OSX does a hell of a lot more than 8GB on a Windows system. How or why, I can't answer that question. Most people will NOT need more than 8GB and that is a fact. My M3 has 48GB of RAM and my son's Air has 8GB... When it comes to daily usage, I can't tell the difference. Working on Windows, I would NEVER tell or build a system for anyone with 8GB and that has been that way for at least 10 years. I am reevaluating what 8GB actually means on OSX.
 
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I don't like their RAM tiers or the storage tiers... What I have come to realize, 8GB on OSX does a hell of a lot more than 8GB on a Windows system. How or why, I can't answer that question. Most people will NOT need more than 8GB and that is a fact. My M3 has 48GB of RAM and my son's Air has 8GB... When it comes to daily usage, I can't tell the difference. Working on Windows, I would NEVER tell or build a system for anyone with 8GB and that has been that way for at least 10 years. I am reevaluating what 8GB actually means on OSX.
16gb or bust for me. The lack of ability to repair or upgrade anything on Apple laptop hardware infuriates me to no end.
Have YOU used such a config with Apple Silicon?

One of my computers is the M1 MacBook Pro 13” 8gb with 256GB storage.

I am using so many Firefox windows with tons of tabs it is ridiculous.

Machine learning flies and I rarely need to transfer tasks to my M2 Max 32GB studio or Amazon EC2 instances.

The only time I have hit issues with the ram is when I try to do a stupid Python data processing that tries to load all the input AND output data in RAM. Using more intelligent methods like chunking etc. solves this while Firefox, safari, vlc, vscode, jupyter etc are running.

I am always astonished how I have practically no RAM issues considering the 8GB.
It's swapping like no tomorrow. Like it will do it but will be slower as a result due to using it's storage drive as a buffer. Good thing MacOS has generally better memory management than Windows.

Overall fuck Apple. I hope the DOJ rips them apart.
 
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You'll never hear me dispute that from a work place perspective... All government agencies I know of use Microsoft. I'm only just learning OSX and which is still in the infant stage as I haven't even touched the Terminal yet. LoL At this point, its only my initial impressions and those impressions are something shocking to me. I slept hard on OSX, but have gained a lot respect.


I don't like their RAM tiers or the storage tiers... What I have come to realize, 8GB on OSX does a hell of a lot more than 8GB on a Windows system. How or why, I can't answer that question. Most people will NOT need more than 8GB and that is a fact. My M3 has 48GB of RAM and my son's Air has 8GB... When it comes to daily usage, I can't tell the difference. Working on Windows, I would NEVER tell or build a system for anyone with 8GB and that has been that way for at least 10 years. I am reevaluating what 8GB actually means on OSX.
The whole Apple doesn't need more than 8GB has been debunked. Apple's claim's are spurious and have been tested
 
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The whole Apple doesn't need more than 8GB has been debunked. Apple's claim's are spurious and have been tested
Two people who have the 8GB models will tell you for the vast majority of daily tasks - 8GB is enough. My son isn't running any insanely demanding tasks. I've also stated I would still recommend the 16GB version for anyone who buys one. Simple tasks and light gaming, I see no difference between mine and my son's with a 40GB difference.

16gb or bust for me. The lack of ability to repair or upgrade anything on Apple laptop hardware infuriates me to no end.

It's swapping like no tomorrow. Like it will do it but will be slower as a result due to using it's storage drive as a buffer. Good thing MacOS has generally better memory management than Windows.

Overall fuck Apple. I hope the DOJ rips them apart.
We all know that it is swapping...that's been stated for years. The part that is amazing is, its still snapper than the desktop doing the exact same tasks while using Rosetta. You can hate it all you want, it doesn't change the fact that what it does with 8GB is phenomenal.

I hope the DOJ fails, the arguments are pitiful. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you don't care about it, don't swarm Apple posts. Simple.
 
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Doesn't make it any less egregious. LPDDR5 is cheap, like under 5$ per GB, it's not like they use some exotic type of memory yet they ask 200$ for an extra 8GB, insane.
Tim Apple is all about those margins. They used to be a time when the Mac was actually a decent deal for the price, but that never occurred under Tim leadership. Dude realised that there's enough people who are so deep into the mac, that they would pay x4 the market price for storage and memory over making the switch.
 
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The only time I have hit issues with the ram
8GB on OSX does a hell of a lot more than 8GB on a Windows system. How or why, I can't answer that question.
There is no special macos magic, it just swaps stuff in out of memory, macs have much faster storage than your average PC so it's more tolerable. I use my PC for development, I have software consuming 30gb+ of both RAM and VRAM regularly, there is no doubt in my mind that would come to a crawling halt on a mac with 8GB. I get why people want macs, I don't get why people pay so much money for underspeced hardware, macbook pro being advertised as a computer for "pro" use with such dismal base specs is a joke no matter how you spin it.
 
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Further to this EUV has an even smaller theoretical maximum die size than DUV, so for M4/M5 no way they could do a die > 600mm^2. This alos means ulitmately Nvidia has to move desktop xx90 class to MCM for sure.
It's still 26 x 33 mm with EUV. Only High-NA EUV will halve that to 26 x 16.5 mm.
 

Qwerty101

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Mar 20, 2024
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4 (0.15/day)
I get why people want macs, I don't get why people pay so much money for underspeced hardware, macbook pro being advertised as a computer for "pro" use with such dismal base specs is a joke no matter how you spin it.
For me this is simple.
Macs make my development work easier and smoother. Quantifying the “creative” process is difficult.

When the problem only needs more performance/brute force as in more cores or terabyte+ RAM i can just spin up EC2 instances and pass the dumb processing there.

Creatively solving problems works much better for me on macOS. And I use various other operating systems: Windows, various Linuxes, OpenBSD and FreeBSD.

Also, why are people so upset that others make different purchasing and equipment choices?! Apple, Nvidia, Microsoft, Amazon etc offer various products and everyone is free to buy whatever one seems good for the specific use case.

For some a maxed out 96 cores Threadripper workstation with a terabyte of RAM is the best purchase, for another a Mac is the best purchase. Both can be 100% right depending on the specific use cases.

If someone needs the absolute best single thread performance for a specific use case an i9-14900KS with 1-2 performance cores enabled only and OC applied might be the best choice bar none.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2017
Messages
8,924 (3.36/day)
System Name Good enough
Processor AMD Ryzen R9 7900 - Alphacool Eisblock XPX Aurora Edge
Motherboard ASRock B650 Pro RS
Cooling 2x 360mm NexXxoS ST30 X-Flow, 1x 360mm NexXxoS ST30, 1x 240mm NexXxoS ST30
Memory 32GB - FURY Beast RGB 5600 Mhz
Video Card(s) Sapphire RX 7900 XT - Alphacool Eisblock Aurora
Storage 1x Kingston KC3000 1TB 1x Kingston A2000 1TB, 1x Samsung 850 EVO 250GB , 1x Samsung 860 EVO 500GB
Display(s) LG UltraGear 32GN650-B + 4K Samsung TV
Case Phanteks NV7
Power Supply GPS-750C
why are people so upset that others make different purchasing and equipment choices
Good question, I am not upset, just pointing out that saying it's "fine" to have this little memory and storage is cope.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2017
Messages
134 (0.06/day)
Good question, I am not upset, just pointing out that saying it's "fine" to have this little memory and storage is cope.
To be fair, professionals don't buy the base macs. If you look at refurb MacBook pro, you'll actually have a hard time finding the 8Gb base model. It's all about upselling. It's a shitty strategy, but it works for them. I'm seeing enough people who made the switch not being 100% satisfied, and wanting to get back to the mac as soon as it's going to be possible, even if they have to pay a premium for it. Best Price/performance ratio be dammed as long as they don't have to deal with "PC BS"
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