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Apple Could Unveil Arm-powered MacBooks on November 10

Apple late Monday sent out a public invite to an online launch event dated November 10, without revealing what it is. With new generation iPhones and Watches and iPads already announced it's likely that the November 10 event could deal with Macs, specifically, the company's very first MacBooks powered by a non-Intel processor since the company embraced x86 some decade-and-a-half ago.

Apple, having gained in-house expertise in designing powerful Arm-based SoCs, is likely to debut a new Arm-based processor with sufficient muscle to drive MacBooks, in what will be a "client-first" strategy of replacing x86 with Arm for Apple. This will likely see the most client-segment products, such as MacBooks and Mac Mini, get the processor, followed by MacBook Pros, iMacs, and lastly workstation-segment products such as the Mac Pro and iMac Pro. The November 10 event will likely only cover the very first Arm-powered MacBooks. Apple has been selling Arm-powered Mac Minis to ISVs along with a special version of macOS "Big Sur," so they could port their Mac software to the new platform. Arm-powered Macs could also see some form of unification between the iOS and macOS software ecosystems.

Intel's Apple-exclusive Core i9-10910 Geekbenched

Intel designed an Apple-exclusive Core i9-10910 10-core processor for its new-generation iMac, with an interesting set of specs. The chip has a base frequency of 3.60 GHz - much higher than the 2.90 GHz of the i9-10900 - but a lower max boost frequency of 5.00 GHz (against 5.20 GHz TVB max of the i9-10900). The TDP of the new chip is rumored to be higher, at 95 W, giving its boosting algorithm more breathing room. Leakbench, a twitter handle that tracks interesting submissions to the Geekbench online database, fished out one of the first Geekbench 5 submissions of the i9-10910.

The i9-10910 serves up 6.9% higher single-threaded performance than the i9-10900. It however, falls behind the i9-10900 in multi-threaded performance by 9.6%. These results as surprising. Normally, we'd expect the i9-10910 to have a lower single-threaded performance and higher multi-threaded performance. As its max boost frequency is lower, and the i9-10900 is able to run single-threaded workloads on its favored cores at frequencies of up to 5.20 GHz (as opposed to 5.00 GHz on the i9-10910). On the other hand, with a higher TDP (higher PL1), the i9-10910 has more power budget for its cores to sustain higher boost states, which should give it a slight edge over the i9-10900 in multi-threaded performance. The raison d'être of the i9-10910 appears to be in giving Apple a variation of the 10-core "Comet Lake" die that macOS can make the most of, as it probably lacks optimization for Turbo Boost Max 3.0 and Thermal Velocity Boost.

New AMD Radeon Pro 5000 XT Series GPUs Bring Exceptional Graphics Performance to Updated 27-inch Apple iMac

AMD today announced availability of new AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series GPUs for the updated 27-inch iMac. The new GPUs power a wide variety of graphically intensive applications and workloads, unleashing creativity and productivity for consumer and professional users alike. The new AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series GPUs are built on industry-leading 7 nm process technology and advanced AMD RDNA graphics architecture. They feature up to 40 compute units and up to 16 GB of high-speed GDDR6 memory while delivering up to 7.6 teraflops of single precision (FP32) computational performance.

"AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series GPUs bring new levels of performance and flexibility to the updated 27-inch iMac," said Scott Herkelman, corporate vice president and general manager, Graphics Business Unit at AMD. "The new AMD GPUs offer the optimal combination of compute performance, energy efficiency and outstanding graphics features to power a wide range of applications - from consumer to pro - wherever graphics matter the most."

Apple Updates 27" iMac With 10th Gen Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro 5000 GPUs

Apple today announced a major update to its 27-inch iMac. By far the most powerful and capable iMac ever, it features faster Intel processors up to 10 cores, double the memory capacity, next-generation AMD graphics, superfast SSDs across the line with four times the storage capacity, a new nano-texture glass option for an even more stunning Retina 5K display, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, higher fidelity speakers, and studio-quality mics. For the consumer using their iMac all day, every day, to the aspiring creative looking for inspiration, to the serious pro pushing the limits of their creativity, the new 27-inch iMac delivers the ultimate desktop experience that is now better in every way.

"Now more than ever, our customers are relying on the Mac. And many of them need the most powerful and capable iMac we've ever made," said Tom Boger, Apple's senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing. "With blazing performance, double the memory, SSDs across the line with quadruple the storage, an even more stunning Retina 5K display, a better camera, higher fidelity speakers, and studio-quality mics, the 27-inch iMac is loaded with new features at the same price. It's the ultimate desktop, to work, create, and communicate."

Apple to Develop the Metal Family of GPUs, Dump AMD Radeon

In the next big step toward complete silicon independence, Apple is planning to dump AMD as a supplier of discrete GPUs in the near future, closely following its decision to dump Intel and the x86 machine architecture in favor of its own SoCs based on the Arm machine architecture. The company is developing its own line of discrete GPUs under the "Metal GPU Family," a name borrowed from its own Metal graphics API.

This explosive bit of information comes from a WWDC 2020 presentation slide posted by Longhorn (@never_released) on Twitter. The slide suggests that along with the processor, Apple is making a clean break with its graphics hardware. The SoCs powering client-segment Macs, such as future iMacs or MacBooks, could feature iGPUs based on this graphics architecture, while larger platforms such as MacBook Pros, Mac Pros, and iMac Pros of the future could feature Apple's own discrete GPUs.

Apple ARM Based MacBooks and iMacs to come in 2021

Apple has been working on replacing Intel CPUs in its lineup of products for a while now, and the first batch of products to feature the new Arm-based CPUs should be coming soon. Having a completely custom CPU inside it's MacBook or an iMac device will allow Apple to overtake control of the performance and security of those devices, just like they did with their iPhone models. Apple has proved that its custom-built CPUs based on Arm Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) can be very powerful and match Intel's best offerings, all while being much more efficient with a TDP of only a few Watts.

According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple has started an "aggressive processor replacement strategy", which should give some results by the end of 2020, around Q4, or the beginning of 2021 when the first quarter arrives. According to Kuo, the approach of doing in-house design will result in not only tighter control of the system, but rather a financial benefit, as the custom processor will be 40% to 60% cheaper compared to current Intel CPU prices.
Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Updated for Back-to-School Season

Apple today updated MacBook Air, adding True Tone to its Retina display for a more natural viewing experience, and lowering the price to $1,099, with an even lower price of $999 for college students. In addition, the entry-level $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro has been updated with the latest 8th-generation quad-core processors, making it two times more powerful than before. It also now features Touch Bar and Touch ID, a True Tone Retina display and the Apple T2 Security Chip, and is available for $1,199 for college students.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are also part of Apple's Back to School promotion, which includes a pair of Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones with the purchase of a qualifying Mac notebook or iMac. With their sleek, portable designs, Retina displays, great everyday performance, all-day battery life and running macOS, Mac notebooks have never been more popular in higher education, with Student Monitor data showing nearly 60 percent of US college notebook buyers own a Mac.

OWC Releases iMac 27-inch Memory Upgrades

OWC has confirmed support for 128GB memory upgrades for the new 2019 27-inch iMac 5K; doubling the maximum factory offered memory, 64GB, in the 3.1GHz, 3.6GHz and 3.7GHz models and quadrupling it in the 3.0GHz, 32GB base model. OWC high-performing memory kits enable customers to boost performance levels and run more apps, work with larger files, speed up render times, and manipulate larger data sets.

Apple offers 32GB and 64GB memory options in the 2019 27-inch iMac 5K. OWC has certified and supports up to 128GB memory for all 2019 27-inch iMac 5K models, giving users up to four times the factory-available memory. This upgrade is exclusive to OWC and allows users to take new iMacs to their maximum potential, to create with endless possibilities.

Apple iMac Gets a 2x Performance Boost

Apple today updated its iMac line with up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors for the first time and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. From consumers to pros alike, users will notice their iMac is faster for everyday tasks all the way up to the most demanding pro workloads. This boost in performance, combined with its gorgeous Retina display, sleek all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave, makes iMac the world's best desktop.

"Customers are going to love the huge boost in iMac performance. With up to 8-core processors and powerful Vega graphics, the iMac lineup is stronger than ever," said Tom Boger, Apple's senior director of Mac Product Marketing. "With its stunning Retina display, amazing design, twice the performance, and macOS Mojave that our customers love, iMac is by far the best desktop in the world."

AMD "Navi" GPU Code Surfaces in Latest Apple MacOS Mojave Beta

System software code used for detecting and installing AMD's upcoming Radeon "Navi" family of graphics processors surfaced in the latest Apple MacOS "Mojave" beta. Version 14.2 beta of the operating system packs preparation for AMD's next-generation GPUs through a device identifier "0x73101002." A similar piece of code surfaced on early versions of MacOS "Sierra" some 6 months prior to Radeon "Vega" family launch, which perfectly aligns with this release of Mojave preceding the speculated mid-2019 launch of "Navi."

The code makes four references, Navi 16, Navi 12, Navi 10, and Navi 9. We're not quite sure if these are brand names or ASIC codes pointing to the number of next-generation compute units enabled on the silicon. If they are the latter, and assuming AMD hasn't changed the number of stream processors per NGCU, we're looking at the possibility of these chips being mid-range performance successors to the "Polaris" family, and it's likely they'll find place in Apple's upcoming generation of iMac, and possibly even MacBooks.
Many Thanks to theoneandonlymrk for the tip.

Apple Event on October 30th: New iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini Could Be Announced

We've been seeing rumors for months about the new iPad Pro and especially the successors to the MacBook Air, and we'll soon be able to confirm whether those rumors were true. Apple has issued media invites for an October 30 event in New York with the tagline "There's more in the making". The company is expected to announce the new iPad Pro, which could be based on a processor more powerful than the Apple A12 Bionic used on the new iPhone XR, XS and XS Max. This new tablet would have both 10.5 and a 12.9 inches models with slim bezels and Face ID. The rumors suggest the new iPad Pro will ditch the Lighting connector and replace it with a USB-C port.

Even more promising is that theoretical successor to MacBook Air (not necessarily called this way) that has been talked about for months. In August Bloomberg pointed out that this machine would have a Retina display whose size is not entirely clear: while DigiTimes talked about a 13-inch screen, Ming-Chi Kuo, analyst at TF International Securities, spoke of a replacement for the current MacBook that would therefore have a 12-inch screen. There is no info around its CPU/GPU, but the recent launch of 8th Gen U-Series and Y-Series processors makes guessing a fun exercise.

Apple Updates MacBook Pro with 8th Gen Intel Core Processors

Apple today updated MacBook Pro with faster performance and new pro features, making it the most advanced Mac notebook ever. The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar feature 8th-generation Intel Core processors, with 6-core on the 15-inch model for up to 70 percent faster performance and quad-core on the 13-inch model for up to two times faster performance - ideal for manipulating large data sets, performing complex simulations, creating multi-track audio projects or doing advanced image processing or film editing.

Already the most popular notebook for developers around the world, the new MacBook Pro can compile code faster and run multiple virtual machines and test environments easier than before. Additional updates include support for up to 32 GB of memory, a True Tone display and an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing. And with its powerful Radeon Pro graphics, large Force Touch trackpad, revolutionary Touch Bar and Touch ID, dynamic stereo speakers, quiet Apple-designed cooling system and Thunderbolt 3 for data transfer, charging and connecting up to two 5K displays or four external GPUs, it's the ultimate pro notebook.

Apple Deprecates OpenGL and OpenCL from MacOS

Apple, at WWDC 2018, announced that with the latest update to MacOS, its operating system for iMac desktops and MacBooks, the company is deprecating two of the industry's leading APIs, OpenGL and OpenCL, in a bid to boost adoption of its own Metal API. OpenGL and OpenCL applications will continue to function on MacOS 10.14, but the APIs themselves will be deprecated going forward. The removal of OpenGL from future MacOS releases breaks most AAA cross-platform games playable on the Mac, particularly distributed over Steam. The deprecation of OpenCL comes as a surprise to the scientific community, as several computational applications running on Mac Pros will be affected. Adobe Creativity Suite applications take advantage of both APIs. Apple is pushing for Metal's compute-shader features to replace the API.

Promise's TD-300 is the Perfect Thunderbolt 3 Dock for Creative Professionals

Promise Technology Inc., a leading storage solutions provider for creative and IT applications, today announced the addition of a Thunderbolt 3 dock to its comprehensive lineup of solutions for rich media workflows. Through the new dock, users can add two 4K displays, charge devices, daisy-chain Thunderbolt 3 hard drives, connect USB devices, transfer SD card content, and more -- over a single connection. The new TD-300 brings it all together to expand the capabilities of Thunderbolt 3-enabled macOS and Windows 10 platforms. The TD-300 is also an ideal choice for small office/home office users.

An ideal complement to Promise's industry-leading Pegasus3 series of desktop RAID storage solutions, the TD-300 provides several connectivity options that set it apart from the competition, including five USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader and HDMI 2.0. It also features two Thunderbolt 3 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and an audio in/out port. Creative professionals working with Windows workstations, iMac and MacBook Pro can now simply connect the TD-300's Thunderbolt 3 port to any Thunderbolt 3-enabled PC or Mac. There are no drivers to download or install, and no additional utility software is needed.

Ethereum Mining Wipes Out Radeon Inventory, AMD Stock Rallies

AMD Radeon graphics cards have always been too good at GPGPU for their own good. The new Ethereum block-chain compute network, with the Ethereum crypto-currency, works really really good with AMD Radeon Graphics CoreNext architecture-based GPUs (that's every AMD GPU since Radeon HD 7000 series). As a result, not only have Ethereum prospectors bought out nearly all inventory of AMD Radeon graphics cards from the market, but also forced an inflation of used AMD Radeon graphics cards on online tech-forums, and used-goods stores on eBay and Amazon. Some of these used cards are priced higher than even launch-prices.

Every $1,000 spent on AMD Radeon hardware towards Ethereum mining is recovered within 2 months, and then as long as your hardware lasts and you're paying your power bills, you're swimming in crypto-currency that can be converted to Bitcoin and even US Dollars. One Ethereum (ETH) exchanges to USD $265 at the time of this writing. There's already $330 million worth Ethereum being traded, and that number is only going to grow as people sell USD or BTC to buy ETH and pay for entry into the Ethereum network, and use ETH as a crypto-currency.

Apple iMac Pro, the Most Powerful Mac Ever, Arrives This December

Apple today gave a sneak peek of iMac Pro, an entirely new workstation-class product line designed for pro users with the most demanding workflows. The all-new iMac Pro, with its gorgeous 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, is the most powerful Mac ever made. Featuring a stunning new space gray enclosure, iMac Pro packs incredible performance for advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering. iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December starting at $4,999 (US).

In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display. "We're thrilled to give developers and customers a sneak peek at iMac Pro. This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever, which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for the first time," said John Ternus, Apple's vice president of Hardware Engineering. "We reengineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love - iMac Pro is a huge step forward and there's never been anything like it."

Apple iMac Receives Major Update

Apple today updated its iMac line with up to three times more powerful graphics, faster processors, Thunderbolt 3, faster storage options and brighter Retina displays, and added a Retina 4K display and discrete graphics to the $1,299 (US) 21.5-inch iMac. With its incredibly thin and seamless enclosure, fast processors and storage and stunning Retina display, iMac sets the gold standard for desktops. iMac delivers powerful performance for 3D graphics, video editing and gaming, and with macOS High Sierra coming this fall, iMac becomes a great platform for virtual reality content creation. Apple also today updated MacBook and MacBook Pro with faster processors, added faster SSDs to MacBook and introduced a new $1,299 (US) 13-inch MacBook Pro.

"With major updates to iMac, and a refresh of our MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, the Mac is stronger than ever," said John Ternus, Apple's vice president of Hardware Engineering. "Today iMac gets a huge graphics performance increase, faster CPU performance, Thunderbolt 3 and a brighter Retina display with support for 1 billion colors. We're also increasing CPU and SSD speed on MacBook, adding faster processors and making faster graphics standard on our 15-inch MacBook Pro and introducing a new $1,299 (US) 13-inch MacBook Pro."

AMD Announces Radeon Pro 500 Series for iMac

AMD unveiled the high-performance, power-efficient Radeon Pro 500 series graphics, fueling beyond-UHD creativity in All-In-One computing. Available in the updated 21.5- and 27-inch iMac, Radeon Pro 500 series graphics enable extraordinary computing experiences, including stunning gaming, immersive VR on select models, and fluid content creation with exceptional performance and support for GPU acceleration across a range of creative applications on the Mac platform, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Photoshop and the Foundry Nuke, Mari and Modo. Moreover, Radeon Pro 500 series provides accelerated performance for the Radeon ProRender photorealistic ray-tracing rendering technology which is enabled for Autodesk Maya, and Maxon's Cinema 4D.

Radeon Pro 500 series graphics harness up to 5.5 TFLOPS of performance, unleashing the creativity of artists, designers, photographers, filmmakers, visualizers and engineers, and aspiring creative types across high-resolution canvases in the most popular creative applications, powering through the most demanding games, and bringing fantastic worlds to life in VR. The Radeon Pro 500 series makes use of the critically-acclaimed "Polaris" GPU architecture, delivering the perfect balance of performance and operating efficiency that makes them ideal for All-In-Ones.

OWC Announces New Memory Upgrades with up to 32GB for Latest Apple iMac

Other World Computing (OWC), a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company, announced today a new OWC Memory Upgrade Kit with up to 32GB of memory for the Late 2015 Apple iMac 27" with Retina 5K display announced today by Apple. OWC 1867Mhz DDR3 memory, compatible with the new iMacs, will begin shipping on Friday, October 16. While the new iMacs are available in configurations up to 32GB of memory, OWC is testing for support of up to 64GB of memory.

New iMac owners seeking to max-out their RAM can select the 32GB OWC memory upgrade from OWC and save $336 compared to the 32GB factory cost of $600. For even more savings, iMac with Retina 5K display owners can trade-in the two factory base 4GB memory modules.

Apple Readies New iMac Desktops for Q3-2015

Apple is readying a new generation of iMac desktops, which it plans to launch in Q3-2015, likely at its September press event. The new Macs are expected to come with faster processors (likely Intel "Skylake,") faster DDR4 memory, and an increase in display resolutions across the board, including a 21.5-inch model with 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) resolution, besides its 27-inch 5K (5120 x 2880 pixels) model. The display panels in these macs will feature a new LED phosphor material called KSF (K2SiF6:Mn), which improves color saturation. The displays will offer 30-bit (10 bpc) color depth, with the ability to produce 1.07 billion colors.

Apple Introduces 15-inch MacBook Pro with Force Touch Trackpad & New $1,999 iMac

Apple today updated the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display with the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage, longer battery life and faster discrete graphics, delivering even more performance and capabilities to the MacBook Pro line. Apple also today introduced a new $1,999 configuration of the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display featuring a breathtaking 14.7 million pixel display, quad-core processors and AMD graphics, and lowered the price of the top-end iMac with Retina 5K display to $2,299.

"The response to the new MacBook and updated 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been amazing, and today we are thrilled to bring the new Force Touch trackpad, faster flash storage and longer battery life to the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "Customers love the groundbreaking iMac with Retina 5K display, and now with a new lower starting price, even more people can experience the best desktop we've ever made."

Dell to Price its 27-inch 5K Monitor Under $2,000

Dell plans to launch the first consumer 5K monitor some time in December 2014, priced at just under $2,000 a pop. This comes in the wake of Apple launching the first consumer product with a 5K display, its latest iMac Retina all-in-one desktop. Dell's UltraSharp UP2715K is a 27-inch display with 5K (5120 x 2880 pixels) native resolution, which lends it a staggering 218 ppi of pixel density. Compare that to the 157 ppi of 28-inch Ultra HD monitors. 5K is four times as many pixels as WQHD.

The UltraSharp UP2715K features a 10-bit IPS panel, with 99 percent Adobe RGB and 100 percent sRGB palette coverage, and a 12-bit LUT. It offers viewing angles of 178°/178°, 8 ms response time, 350 cd/m² maximum brightness, and 1000:1 static contrast-ratio, with dynamic mega-contrast. The display needs two DisplayPort connections for sufficient bandwidth, to beam those many pixels at 60 Hz. There's also a mini-DisplayPort, but using that would either cap resolution at 3840 x 2160 @ 60 Hz, or drop refresh-rate at the native resolution.

Apple Introduces 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display

Apple today unveiled the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, featuring the world's highest resolution display with a breathtaking 14.7 million pixels. At this amazing resolution, text appears sharper than ever, videos are unbelievably lifelike, and you can see new levels of detail in your photos. With the latest quad-core processors, high-performance graphics, Fusion Drive and Thunderbolt 2, iMac with Retina 5K display is the most powerful iMac ever made - it's the ultimate display combined with the ultimate all-in-one.

"Thirty years after the first Mac changed the world, the new iMac with Retina 5K display running OS X Yosemite is the most insanely great Mac we have ever made," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "With a breathtaking 14.7 million pixel display, faster CPU and graphics, Fusion Drive, and Thunderbolt 2, it's the most beautiful and powerful iMac ever."

8K A Great Challenge: NVIDIA and AMD

Even as 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) is beginning to enter the consumer mainstream, with 28-inch displays being priced around $600, and Apple toying with 5K (5120 x 2880), with its next-generation iMac Retina desktops, Japanese display maker Sharp threw a spanner in the works, by unveiling a working prototype of its 8K (7680 x 4320 pixels) display, at the CETAC trade-show, held in Japan.

Two of the industry's biggest graphics processor makers, NVIDIA and AMD, reacted similarly to the development, calling 8K "a great challenge." Currently, neither company has a GPU that can handle the resolution. 8K is four times as many pixels as 4K. Driving an Ultra HD display over DVI needs two TMDS links, and DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 have just enough bandwidth to drive Ultra HD at 60 Hz. To drive 8K, both NVIDIA and AMD believe you would need more than one current-generation GPU, the display should connect to both cards over independent connectors, and somehow treat the single display as four Ultra HD displays. We imagine Sharp demoed its display at a very low refresh rate, to compensate for the bandwidth limitation. After 10 years of Full-HD tyranny, display resolutions are finally beginning to see their normal rate of development. It's time now for GPU developers and display interconnects to keep up.
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