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    Apple’s M1 is a fast CPU—but M1 Macs “feel” even faster due to QoS

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 17 May, 2021 - 20:09 · 1 minute

Multiple Apple promotional images are piled on each other.

Enlarge / The Apple M1 is a world-class processor—but it feels even faster than its already-great specs imply. Howard Oakley did a deep-dive investigation to find out why. (credit: SOPA Images via Getty )

Apple's M1 processor is a world-class desktop and laptop processor—but when it comes to general-purpose end-user systems, there's something even better than being fast. We're referring, of course, to feeling fast—which has more to do with a system meeting user expectations predictably and reliably than it does with raw speed.

Howard Oakley—author of several Mac-native utilities such as Cormorant, Spundle, and Stibium—did some digging to find out why his M1 Mac felt faster than Intel Macs did, and he came to the conclusion that the answer is QoS. If you're not familiar with the term, it expands to Quality of Service—and it's all about task scheduling.

More throughput doesn’t always mean happier users

There's a very common tendency to equate "performance" with throughput—roughly speaking, tasks accomplished per unit of time. Although throughput is generally the easiest metric to measure, it doesn't correspond very well with human perception. What humans generally notice isn't throughput, it's latency—not the number of times a task can be accomplished, but the time it takes to complete an individual task.

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    Mac utility Homebrew finally gets native Apple Silicon and M1 support

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 5 February, 2021 - 21:47

Users can install Homebrew via the Terminal in macOS.

Enlarge / Users can install Homebrew via the Terminal in macOS. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Popular Mac tool Homebrew has long been used by developers and others for package management on macOS, but as we lamented in our first M1 Mac review, it didn't support Apple Silicon when Apple's new Macs first launched late last year. Now, with the release of Homebrew 3.0.0, that's no longer the case: Homebrew now supports Apple Silicon natively, albeit not with every package.

The volunteer Homebrew team made the announcement on the Homebrew blog alongside today's release. While the native support is not yet comprehensive, it bridges the gap significantly, and users can still run Terminal via Rosetta 2 to do what they can't yet while running natively on Apple Silicon. The Homebrew blog post says "we welcome your help" in providing bottles for all packages moving forward.

Here's the full bullet point on Apple Silicon in the Homebrew 3.0.0 release notes:

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    New report reveals Apple’s roadmap for when each Mac will move to Apple Silicon

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 7 December, 2020 - 18:27 · 1 minute

Citing sources close to Apple, a new report in Bloomberg outlines Apple's roadmap for moving the entire Mac lineup to the company's own, custom-designed silicon, including both planned released windows for specific products and estimations as to how many performance CPU cores those products will have.

The M1, which has four performance cores (alongside four efficiency cores), launched this fall in the company's lowest-end computers—namely, the MacBook Air and comparatively low-cost variants of the Mac mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro. These machines have less memory and fewer ports than the company's more expensive devices. The Macs with more memory or ports, such as the 16-inch MacBook Pro, are still sold with Intel CPUs.

According to the report's sources, Apple plans to release new, Apple Silicon-based versions of 16-inch MacBook Pro and the higher end 13-inch MacBook Pro configurations in 2021, with the first chips appropriate for at least some of these computers arriving as early as the spring, and likely all of them by the fall. New iMac models that share CPU configurations with high-end MacBook Pros are also expected next year.

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    Apple’s M1 MacBook Air has that Apple Silicon magic

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 28 November, 2020 - 13:15

Hey, my macro lens still works!

Enlarge / Hey, my macro lens still works! (credit: Lee Hutchinson)

The new M1-powered MacBook Air is hilariously fast, and the battery lasts a long-ass time.

If you stop reading this review immediately after this, then know that unless Windows virtualization is a requirement of your workflow, you should probably just go ahead and sell your old MacBook Air immediately and get this thing instead.

Assuming you've got a grand or so lying around that you weren't going to spend on something else. But hey, if you do, then I can confidently tell you that in spite of what a legion of Doubting Thomases (including me!) might have said about Apple's freshman effort at its own PC silicon, it is now my studied opinion that there are far, far stupider ways to part with your cash.

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    Mac mini and Apple Silicon M1 review: Not so crazy after all

    news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 19 November, 2020 - 14:03

Apple is crazy, right? The Mac just had its best year of sales ever, and Cupertino is hitting the platform with a shock like it hasn’t had in nearly 15 years—back in a time when the Mac was not having such a good year. Apple is beginning the process of replacing industry-standard Intel chips with its own, custom-designed silicon.

In a way, we're not just reviewing the new Mac mini—a Mac mini is always a Mac mini, right? We're reviewing an ARM-based Mac for the first time. And this is not exactly the same story as all the other ARM machines we've looked at before, like Windows 10 on ARM—a respectable option with some serious tradeoffs.

Sure, longer battery life and quick waking from sleep are already out there on other ARM computers. But as you may have seen in our hands-on earlier this week , what we're encountering here is also a performance leap—and as you'll also see in this review, a remarkable success at making this new architecture compatible with a large library of what could now, suddenly, be called legacy Mac software.

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