Andy Ihnatko: “What Happens If Apple Dumps Intel?”

(Infinite Vortex) #21

There are ARM laptops right now with 20+ hour battery life.

Sure. But that’s akin to saying (and I know I exaggerate here) there are 60+mpg cars out there today so there’s no reason Cadillac can’t do the same with an Escalade by swapping out the motor for a hybrid.

As a MacBook stands, Apple needs to replace significantly more than just the processor to attain a 20+ hour runtime. Some serious compromises with the rest of the computer’s sub-system needs to be made, and if Apple were prepared to make them, they would have already done it. I would think less than half of the required energy savings will come from a swap to ARM.

To reiterate, if the Intel processor uses 50% of a MacBook’s power, cutting that 50% in half by going ARM will only gain you 50% more runtime at most. Far from doubling it!

(@lbutlr) #22

But this is a number you are inventing, not a number based on any real calculations. And yes, the majority of the power draw for a laptop comes from two sources, the CPU and the display, and Displays have gotten much more energy efficient in recent years. The processor is such a massive draw that one of the ways that Apple has increased battery life is to turn the processor OFF and then batch requests so that it is drawing power only part of the time.

But you can check the specs on the 20 hour ARM based laptops. Or, you can see the specs on a iPad Pro. It would take very little additional batter (and weight) in laptop terms to increase those to 20 hours, and they make quite capable laptops themselves.

Macintosh To Ditch Intel CPU's