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It seems less likely to me that we'll see ARM-based Macs as much as we start seeing iPadOS-based products rolled out in form factors that resemble laptops and desktops as the primary offering for mainstream consumers. A smaller selection of Macs would remain to keep specialists and old-timers happy, probably at a luxury price point. This seems indicated by iPadOS's increasing computer-like capabilities, such as "desktop Safari," file management, and external device support. iPadOS already gives Apple what they want – a closed, highly secure, revenue-generating platform, nearly identical in both usage and third-party support to their phone OS, with a robust touch-screen interface to compete with Windows-based products. Making iPadOS Apple's primary consumer operating system also spares them the pain of having to actually transition macOS to a new architecture; why modernize a legacy product? It's easier to gradually sideline it, as iPadOS establishes itself as Apple's OS of the future.
In your scenario, Apple morphs iPadOS and iPad hardware into a Mac. In my scenario, Apple switches the Mac to ARM and modifies macOS.

Either way, Apple ends up with ARM running on hardware with the Mac's ports and internal hardware.

From my experience, switching the Mac and macOS to ARM would be the path of least resistance. My previous posts detail why I believe modifying macOS for ARM is not that great a task.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple's own ARM chips will be a lot cheaper than buying from Intel.
Perhaps, but developing and manufacturing new CPUs is an extremely expensive process, especially in terms of start-up costs, even if Apple outsources manufacturing to TSMC. Does Apple really want to spend that much money and take that much responsibility/risk when it's Intel's core competence and Apple just lost a critical ARM CPU expert?
 


Perhaps, but developing and manufacturing new CPUs is an extremely expensive process, especially in terms of start-up costs, even if Apple outsources manufacturing to TSMC. Does Apple really want to spend that much money and take that much responsibility/risk when it's Intel's core competence and Apple just lost a critical ARM CPU expert?
Apple is already developing new ARM processors yearly for new iPhones and iPads. The ARM in the iPad Pro is very powerful, Apple may not need to develop a separate processor for most Macs.

If the lower power ARMs were used in MacBooks they'd get longer battery life and being able to run at higher loads (since there's less thermal energy to dissipate). These would make very strong marketing points against Intel/AMD laptops and may be a reason for ARMs to appear in MacBooks before iMacs.

Given Intel's bloated instruction set, defects in their chips, and security issues I'm not convinced Intel's competency is first rate. AMD is beating Intel in mass producing 7nm chips, my understanding is Intel is still about a year away from getting their 7nm yields to match AMD's.

The situation is certainly not the same as the PowerPC's stagnation and dead-end. Apple likes to control its destiny, one way is to do things in-house. I think Apple would want to break free from their reliance on a single CPU manufacturer. An example is when Apple bought Intel's modem business.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple is already developing new ARM processors yearly for new iPhones and iPads. The ARM in the iPad Pro is very powerful, Apple may not need to develop a separate processor for most Macs.
I don't believe that even an iPad Pro CPU would work as a Mac CPU without major revisions (e.g. to support Thunderbolt 3 and other major differences between the hardware architectures), and if Apple makes any mistakes in those revisions, it could be an extremely expensive problem for the company. (It's also not like Apple is going to save money by manufacturing the silicon itself; it's still contracting that out, if not to Intel, then to TSMC or some other billions-dollar fab.)
An example is when Apple bought Intel's modem business.
Intel's modem business cost Apple $1 billion and was viewed as a bargain.

I wonder how much Microsoft has spent on the ARM-based Surface Pro X so far? I also wonder how much more Microsoft will spend trying to get it to the point where people actually want to use it....

At this point, though, we need more hard facts and less speculation, or we just need to wait and see what happens. (I don't want to keep rehashing the same points.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... and Apple just lost a critical ARM CPU expert?
At this point, though, we need more hard facts...
Here's one that may bolster Sam's argument:
Bloomberg said:
Apple Hires Key Chip Designer From ARM as Own Efforts Ramp Up
Apple Inc. hired one of ARM Holdings Inc.’s top chip engineers as the iPhone maker looks to expand its own chip development to more powerful devices, including the Mac, and new categories like a headset. ... Prior to his work at ARM, Filippo was also a key designer at chipmakers Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp.

... The company initiated a plan several years ago to replace Intel chips in its Mac computers with processors based on the ARM architecture as early as 2020. Filippo’s experience in more advanced chips like those in servers would assist in that effort.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple is already developing new ARM processors yearly for new iPhones and iPads. The ARM in the iPad Pro is very powerful, Apple may not need to develop a separate processor for most Macs.
Microsoft had to do quite a bit of custom processor work to get Windows running (even in a mediocre way) on its ARM system, though Apple may have a bit of head start:
The Verge said:
Inside Microsoft’s new custom Surface processors with AMD and Qualcomm
... Microsoft and Qualcomm are both promising “PC-class performance” for the Surface Pro X, and if it delivers something close to what we see with the regular Surface Pro then it could be a viable option for many. “For us to be able to do this, we’ve had to redesign the entire SoC and even the tools you associate with the SoC itself with Qualcomm,” reveals Davuluri.
IT World Canada said:
What is the Microsoft SQ1 chip? Surface Pro X’s secret explained

... “The previous Snapdragon PCs that shipped with the 835 and the 850. That was just a reuse of the phone chip in a PC configuration. Where’s this chip is, is designed specifically for the computer workspace. So it’s got significantly broader IO (input and output), it’s got nine lanes of PCIe, it was designed to be able to make a PC.”

Delving further, Barnes alluded to Apple’s mobile chipset performance tiers.

“Just like as Apple has an A12, where a 12 was born with memory on top, a 12X is bigger, more memory on the board. This is like the X version of the [Snapdragon] 855. It’s got twice as much GPU, it’s got the DRAM down on the board, it has a 128-bit wide memory interface, then the thermal envelope has gone from a phone size – two to three watts – out to an eight with the peak of about 20W.”
 


One of the big problems with a port like this [moving Macs from Intel to ARM] is that it's not just the CPU you've got to port. It's the entire core-logic chipset.

On any desktop/laptop system, the core-logic chipset is an extremely complex piece of silicon that connects the CPU to all of the peripheral buses (RAM, PCIe, USB, GPU, etc.)

On a mobile device, the core-logic chip set can be simple, because it doesn't need to support any hardware beyond what's built-in to that device. In many cases, it can be integrated with the CPU in a single SoC (system-on-chip).

On a desktop device, you don't have that luxury - you've got a much broader selection of I/O ports and built-in peripherals. You need to support extremely large amounts of memory and PCIe (whether via expansion slots or Thunderbolt). In other words, it can be a pretty formidable piece of silicon.

Apple probably has the skills to develop such chips. I think they were doing this back in the PowerPC days (and were definitely doing so in the 680x0 days), but they've been able to offload all this engineering on Intel and probably realized substantial cost savings in doing so. To produce a proper ARM-based desktop/laptop, they will have to get back into that business. That may cost as much as the CPU/GPU development, and the first few iterations will probably have problems, simply because it will take time to build those skills back up to where they need to be.

I won't say that ARM is impossible, but I think the cost of doing so will be high enough that it's not going to happen unless Intel does something that forces the situation (e.g. when IBM stopped producing the kind of PowerPC chips Apple needed).
 


... At this point, though, we need more hard facts and less speculation, or we just need to wait and see what happens. (I don't want to keep rehashing the same points.)
I agree, too much rehashing. Hard facts are not forthcoming from Apple since they're so secretive about future products and plans. Let's wait and see what happens in the next couple of years.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... Let's wait and see what happens in the next couple of years.
It occured to me that Apple could very well be working on major ARM-based systems not for Macs but for servers for its massive datacenter requirements (Cf. iCloud, Apple Stores, iTunes, Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Messages, Apple Mail, Apple Pay, Apple Card, Apple ID, Siri, apple.com, internal operations, etc.)... where more power/thermal efficiency might really pay off.

Then there's the secret Apple car, VR headsets and whatever AI projects are going on. Microsoft's ARM-based Surface Pro X has extra AI processing power, as do Apple's recent iPhone/iPad ARM designs.
 


It occurred [sp] to me that Apple could very well be working on major ARM-based systems not for Macs but for servers for its massive datacenter requirements... where more power/thermal efficiency might really pay off....Then there's the secret Apple car, VR headsets and whatever AI projects are going on....
Bingo. Building custom PCBs [printed circuit boards] for data centers is already a common theme among the biggest data center users for the reasons you list. The PCBs only contain what's needed... and may be designed to survive large swings in ambient temperatures to enable cooling with unconditioned (but clean) air.

The benefit of such a server infrastructure is that the OS can be extremely limited, ditto the hardware, to just do a few things really well. The surrounding infrastructure (communications, I/O, etc.) will still be a heavy lift, though, unless that kind of knowledge can be copied/licensed from ARM or others. Apple may very well be buying more nodes for its data centers at this point than it's selling Mac Pros.

The AR headset, etc. also makes a lot of sense re ARM usage. It's another extension of the iPhone/iPad platform and will require some pretty heavy lifting to process, manipulate, etc. the audio/visual feeds, and so on to provide intelligent updates. The neural engine is likely a step in that direction.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This isn't really new information, but for what it's worth:
EDN said:
Hackintosh: Another path to a high-end Mac
... Stepping back for a second before diving further into the details, keep in mind that the “Hackintosh” (aka “OSx86“) premise starts with PC hardware and an associated UEFI (the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, which succeeded BIOS) that is as close as possible to those of an official Apple computer, and/or has solid third-party MacOS driver support, and from there strives to fake out the operating system installer into thinking that it’s actually interacting with an official Apple computer instead of (in this particular case) an HP PC. The 6300 Pros and Elite 8300s are based on Ivy Bridge-generation Intel processors (just like any number of different portable and desktop Apple computers) along with either an Intel Q75 Express (for the 6300 Pro) or Q77 Express (for the Elite 8300) chipset.

I went with the Elite 8300 because it was only a smidge more expensive than a Pro 6300 form factor equivalent and offered a somewhat richer feature set … specifically dual 6 Gbps SATA 3 ports on a Q77 Express-based motherboard (optimal for dual-SSD setups) versus only a single SATA 3 port for the Q75 Express (both chipsets support up to six SATA 2-and-3 ports total, motherboard design-dependent). The PCI Express support offered by both chipsets is Gen 2. And which system form factor did I choose? Three of the four (CMT, SFF and USDT, to be exact), to be honest, because each of them offered a unique implementation spin on the “Hackintosh” concept, and because each of them was so inexpensive: third-party refurb prices begin at $150 (or less) on Amazon, Ebay, and elsewhere.

#hackintosh #HP
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Dell announced new XPS 13 and Latitude laptops:
Ars Technica said:
Dell updates popular XPS 13 laptop with 16:10 screen, IR camera
... I got a few minutes with the new XPS 13, and the experience of using the device—particularly a model with a 4K display—feels much better. When the old and new XPS 13 are placed side by side, it's hard to imagine using the squished panel on the old XPS 13, as the new 16:10 panel looks like it was always meant to sit in its place.

... The new Latitude 9510 is a 15-inch machine in a 14-inch chassis, and it will be available as a laptop and a two-in-one. Both models will be available with Core i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB PCIe SSD, a battery that can last up to 30 hours on a single charge, and ports that include a smart card reader, HDMI, and Thunderbolt 3. The machine will also support optional LTE and Dell Optimizer, an AI-based program that learns how you use your machine and does things like open your most used apps faster, adjust audio settings automatically when conferencing, and more.
plus new displays, iPhone support and more:
Dell Inc. said:
Dell Technologies Launches New Era of PCs and Displays with 5G, AI and Premium Design for Work and Play
... Since its 2018 launch, Dell Mobile Connect has helped more than one million users avoid splitting attention between their PC and smartphone. This spring Dell Mobile Connect will expand its wireless transfer and app mirroring capabilities beyond Android phones and bring these functions to iOS phone users12. XPS, Inspiron, Vostro, Alienware and G Series users with iOS phones will be able to directly access their favorite mobile apps, from rideshare to social media, and take advantage of drag-and-drop file transfer and content mirroring straight from their Dell PC.
And Samsung also has some interesting laptops/displays in the works:
Ars Technica said:
Samsung’s new Galaxy Book Flex Alpha has QLED display, costs just $829
... The star of the Flex Alpha is its 13.3-inch, 600-nit, QLED display—a signature of the Galaxy Book Flex and the Ion, and arguably even more impressive on the Flex Alpha considering its price tag. QLED displays can rival OLED panels with their rich colors and deep blacks, and the panel on the Flex Alpha will likely be one of its biggest selling points.

The Galaxy Book Flex Alpha will last 17.5 hours on a single charge, and it supports fast charging for getting a decent amount of juice in a short period of time. As far as specs go, the Flex Alpha will support 10th-gen Intel processors, up to 12GB RAM, up to 1TB PCIe SSD, as well as Wi-Fi 6 and inking with an optional active pen. The notebook will have one USB-C port, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, a microSD card slot, and a headphone/mic combo jack.
 





[The Ghost Canyon NUC] is like a PC Mac Mini but with upgradeability of storage (M.2 NVMe), memory, and (limited size) GPU. Heck, add an eGPU chassis, and you have something that can compete easily with the Mac Mini. (Say, $1500 potentially for Core i5, 16GB RAM and 512GB M.2... and then a GPU with 4GB-6GB VRAM): Mac Mini killer indeed. And if someone gets macOS running on it (crosses fingers)....
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
[The Ghost Canyon NUC] is like a PC Mac Mini but with upgradeability of storage (M.2 NVMe), memory, and (limited size) GPU. Heck, add an eGPU chassis, and you have something that can compete easily with the Mac Mini.
I don't think the Mac Mini can compete at all with this, given the new NUC's more powerful CPUs, far more powerful internal graphics options, and neat, modular upgradability – especially given the Mac Mini's high prices. Of course, the Mac Mini is smaller, but there are already equally small NUCs at lower prices, equal or greater power, and easy upgradability.
 


I don't think the Mac Mini can compete at all with this, given the new NUC's more powerful CPUs, far more powerful internal graphics options, and neat, modular upgradability – especially given the Mac Mini's high prices. Of course, the Mac Mini is smaller, but there are already equally small NUCs at lower prices, equal or greater power, and easy upgradability.
The Razer Tomahawk is one of the third-party designs that is being built around the new Intel NUC 9 Extreme (Ghost Canyon) concept. Expect this to be the more complete build, with a variety of memory configurations, drive sizes, and discrete GPUs.

There is another from Cooler Master, as well, but nothing official on their web site as of this moment.

We will probably not see shipping versions of either until April. Buyers will thus have at least three choices as to how much DIY they care to perform to get up and running.
 


I don't think the Mac Mini can compete at all with this (Ghost Canyon NUC)
The real guts of that new Intel system are entirely contained in that (expensive?) compute module. The only way to upgrade the CPU component in the future is to buy a new module.

By comparison, it is possible to substantially upgrade a computer with the AMD AM4 socket motherboard. First- and second-generation Ryzen chips offer a lot of power and are deeply discounted compared to the current third generation.

Or start with the currrent $55 AMD Athlon 200GE processor with Radeon Vega graphics and upgrade all the way to the $494 over-clockable 12-core, 24-thread AMD Ryzen 9 3900X with Wraith Prism LED cooler [Amazon].

Planning is required as you select components, if you want an upgrade path, but you'll be able to assemble flexible systems, whether small form factor or giant gaming towers.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
AMD and Intel both have interesting mobile CPU updates:
Ars Technica said:
AMD’s third shoe finally drops at CES 2020—7nm Zen 2 mobile CPUs
Ryzen 4000 mobile is here, and it brings AMD's recent trademark of high core and thread counts and jaw-dropping low TDPs to the mobile arena. The flagship U-series part, Ryzen 4800u, offers eight cores/16 threads on only 15W TDP, and although we've got nobody's word for it yet but AMD Performance Labs', it appears to whip the high-end Ice Lake i7-1065G7 solidly across the board in tests ranging from Cinebench R20 to 3DMark, Adobe Premiere, and more.

... We do like the fact that we're seeing already-built Ryzen 4000 laptops at the show from Asus, Lenovo, Acer, and Dell—along with AMD's brag that we'll see 100+ systems by the end of the year. Hopefully, this marks the end of a long, dark period for AMD's mobile prospects.
Ars Technica said:
Put a Tiger in your Lake: Intel’s next-gen mobile CPUs pack a punch
Yesterday at CES 2020, Intel previewed its next-generation line of mobile CPUs, code-named Tiger Lake, in several new form factors while running brand-new (and impressive) software designed with the platform in mind.

... After the entire set of demos was complete, we got the reveal that Levine had been performing them live using a Tiger-Lake equipped 13-inch ultralight notebook. All of the automatic selection, cropping, and panning work shown uses Intel's OpenVINO AI framework and is greatly accelerated by its DLB x86 instruction-set extensions—so while the same tasks should run on non-Intel (and/or non-DLB-capable) hardware also, they'll likely run several times slower.
 


The Ars article Ric linked gets enthusiastic about how Adobe AI can outline objects to extract from backgrounds:
Ars Technica said:
Put a Tiger in your Lake: Intel’s next-gen mobile CPUs pack a punch
... the demonstrations were impressive—an automatic boundary selection of a bird in the foreground of a complex photo, another of a rose with significant light bloom muddying up its edges...
Stepping into the MacInTouch time machine and setting the dial for October, 2019:
Adobe is promoting easy object removal in the new version of its non-subscription, non-professional Photoshop Elements 2020, just released. There's a video of the "tool" at work on Adobe's site that makes it truly seem like magic.
Didn't look as magical in this real-life test by ExtremeTech:

There's no doubt that dedicated AI chip features are coming to all our devices. Users may get some benefits, but I do have to wonder if they won't mostly end up being used as Apple does, to gather data about you and your use of the device, process it on the device, then phone the highly processed shorthand version home? Why pay for a giant cloud infrastructure when your customers will pay you to watch them, and you can pitch it as privacy: "What's on your iPhone stays on your iPhone."
 




Much like the dilution of today's meanings for the terms "craft" and "organic", the term "pro" as it pertains to computers and other electronic devices is basically ubiquitous and mostly meaningless. What is "Pro?" Are the current lineup of MacBook Pros really professional laptops or what professionals are looking for in such a device? What is unique about the current MacBook Pros that the MacBook does not have?

Perhaps a professional laptop might have additional features that would separate them from their less expensive brethren, other than price. For example:
Linus Tech Tips said:
 


What is "Pro?" Are the current lineup of MacBook Pros really professional laptops or what professionals are looking for in such a device?
It's all marketing. Remember the four-quadrant diagram Steve Jobs describe years ago? Today, Apple's still working (more or less) according to that model and "Pro" is simply the buzzword to mean the higher-power variation of that category:

CategoryLower-endHigher-end
LaptopMacBookMacBook Pro
Headless desktopMac MiniMac Pro
Integrated desktopiMaciMac Pro
TabletiPadiPad Pro
PhoneiPhoneiPhone Pro/Pro Max

There really is nothing further than that implied in the name. There really is no implication about suitability for professional use, which itself is very fuzzy and subjective.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Memory, drives and the battery are easily replaced by the user. Not so much anymore, I'm afraid.
Not for Macs, but those things are easily accessed and replaced in many Windows/Linux laptops (e.g. Dell Inspirons).
Unlike Apple, Microsoft seems to be getting it...
CNBC said:
Microsoft is taking big strides to make Surface devices easier to repair
At Microsoft’s annual hardware event in October, product chief Panos Panay wanted to show the audience just how easy it is to repair the company’s new laptop. Pacing the stage while holding a Surface Laptop 3, Panay lifted the keyboard case right off the device, revealing removable storage and internal parts held together with simple magnets instead of unwieldy adhesive.

The audience cheered. It was a big moment for Microsoft, whose Surface devices have been panned for years for being difficult for consumers and service providers to fix, relative to rival devices from Dell and HP.

“Being able to repair and service a product without at all impacting any of the beauty of that, and the elegance, is critical,” Panay told the crowd of Microsoft enthusiasts and employees.
 



We often focus on comparisons between high-end Macs and high-end PCs, but sometimes it's interesting to look at the lower end. Today I came across a nicely equipped Dell Vostro 15 3590 laptop on sale for $659. At 4.8 pounds, it's no lightweight, but it weighs about the same as a traditional 15" unibody MacBook Pro, it is easily disassembled and upgradeable (with a detailed service manual), and it has quite a selection of ports:
  • Quad Core i7-10510U
  • 15.6" display with AMD Radeon 610 with 2G GDDR5 graphics
  • 8 GB RAM (officially upgradeable to 16 GB)
  • 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe (upgradeable)
  • Micro SD Card Reader
  • 1 USB 2.0 port
  • 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports
  • HDMI and VGA ports
  • Optical Drive
  • Headphone/Microphone Jack
  • Power Jack
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 4.1
It would have been nice if the machine had a USB C or Thunderbolt port, but this is a lot of dongle-free capability and a very solid CPU packed into a rather inexpensive package. No one would call this machine "sexy," but it looks like it would be an excellent workhorse for many business use cases.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
We often focus on comparisons between high-end Macs and high-end PCs, but sometimes it's interesting to look at the lower end. Today I came across a nicely equipped Dell Vostro 15 3590 laptop on sale for $659. At 4.8 pounds, it's no lightweight, but it weighs about the same as a traditional 15" unibody MacBook Pro, it is easily disassembled and upgradeable (with a detailed service manual), and it has quite a selection of ports...
Perhaps even better ($650 just after Christmas) is this Dell 5491 2n1 (Inspiron 14" 5000):

https://www.costco.com/dell-inspiron-14-5000-series-2-in-1-touchscreen-laptop---10th-gen-intel-core-i7---1080p.product.100513828.html

Undo a few screws for full access to dual RAM slots, M.2, plus 2.5" SATA bay, removable battery, WiFi card. Great (backlit) keyboard, nice screen (1080p), 2-in-1 touchscreen design works as a (heavy) tablet too, HDMI 4K/60Hz external support, good trackpad, SD card slot, runs Linux, feels pretty quick (faster with two RAM cards than with just one), usually silent.

Dell Inc. Inspiron 5491 2n1 - Geekbench Browser

It doesn't have Thunderbolt 3, GPU, Ethernet jack, or great built-in speakers, and the USB-C port is limited to 5 Gbps.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's a Geekbench 4 comparison of two Dell systems, where the Inspiron 14 5000 has a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 while the XPS 15 has a 9th-generation Core i7 with two more cores – 6 vs. 4 - and a higher base frequency.


Here's a comparison of the $650 Inspiron 14" 2-in-1 vs. a 2018 MacBook Pro 13" that cost four times as much (but offers only a touch bar instead of a touch screen). This MacBook Pro 13" uses an 8th-generation quad-core i7 with a higher base clock rate.

 


I recently purchased a "business" edition Surface Laptop 3 with 10th gen i7/16GB/512GB and I can confirm that taking it apart is quite easy. I will wait until someone releases a 1TB M.2 2230 form-factor SSD which I will replace the current 512GB SSD with. But having looked at the internals, the swap out will be quite readily performed.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I recently purchased a "business" edition Surface Laptop 3 with 10th gen i7/16GB/512GB and I can confirm that taking it apart is quite easy. I will wait until someone releases a 1TB M.2 2230 form-factor SSD which I will replace the current 512GB SSD with.
There's the 1TB Toshiba BG4 but I can't find any place that's selling it.
 


There's the 1TB Toshiba BG4 but I can't find any place that's selling it.
If you can find a used Dell Latitude 7480 that has 1TB M.2, it's likely the SSD is KBG40ZNS1T02, which is the Toshiba BG4 part number. However, the BG4 series is for OEM sales only; that is why you can't find it for sale to consumers.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Something very interesting just happened with cloud computing, highlighted by the Mac's gaming limitations vs. this cloud-based alternative from Nvidia:
Macworld said:
GeForce Now is probably as good as Mac gaming is going to get
Here’s something I never thought I’d say: I’m playing Blizzard’s Overwatch on macOS Catalina on a 13-inch MacBook Air from 2012. I’ve got the graphics cranked up as high as they can go, and I’m still getting 60 frames per second. And even though I’m playing on a relic from the halcyon days when you could find USB-A ports on a Mac, my team is winning—and I think it’s safe to say it’s largely because of me.

All of this isn’t happening because Mac gaming suddenly went from “sucky” to “super” overnight, and it sure as heck isn’t because Blizzard finally released a Mac port of its popular team shooter. Instead, I’m playing with a new Founder’s Edition account of Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service, which has at last made its way to the public after a couple of years in beta.

With only a few reservations, I love it. You’re never going to catch me saying it’s good enough to replace a gaming PC, but I’d say it’s about as close to that experience as you can get on a Mac, especially on one as old as this one. And I think it’s time to face the music: This is probably what the future of Mac gaming looks like. This is as good as it’s going to get. (Our sister site, PCWorld, has a news article on GeForce Now you can also check out.)
 


I was never able to get Linux working on a 2018 MacBook Pro, but it apparently works very nicely on Dell's XPS 13 competitor, which is getting Intel's latest processors to go with excellent screen options, long battery life, etc.
I've deployed some XPS 13 and XPS 15 laptops here at work...they're very nice machines and certainly excellent alternatives to Apple's current laptops. I'm also a fan of the Inspiron series of laptops as good budget-minded systems. They're not quite as swanky as an Apple laptop, but they're offered in a multitude of different configurations, have all the ports you need built-in, they're fully upgradeable, and they cost half of what an Apple laptop costs. I've deployed several of these as well. For my Linux users, I usually buy System76 laptops with Linux pre-installed, but a Dell with Ubuntu is a totally acceptable choice as well.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
The latest example...
Motherboard has details about Apple's secret demands on independent repair shops...
Apple really doesn't seem to be the kind of company you'd want to have as a business partner...
The Verge said:
Developer suing Apple for stealing idea calls on others to join the fight
Blix is not the first company to be “Sherlocked” by Apple, which is when Apple integrates functionality that was previously offered by third-party software directly into its operating systems. The name dates back to 2002 when Apple updated its Sherlock desktop search tool with features that had previously appeared in the third-party Watson app. There are numerous other examples of Apple’s iOS and macOS borrowing functionality, which critics claim can happen at the expense of apps on its platform.

What’s changed this year is at least one big company is trying to push back against Apple. Last month, a Tile executive testified before a congressional antitrust committee that Apple is making the company’s Bluetooth trackers less usable at a time when Apple is rumored to be preparing to launch a competitor.
Reuters said:
iPhone app makers questioned in U.S. antitrust probe of Apple
The U.S. Justice Department has reached out to app developers as part of its investigation into Apple Inc., one of the four big tech companies being probed for alleged anti-competitive behavior, according one of the developers and another person familiar with the investigation.
#appleabuse
 



More of the same regarding Apple's business practices.
iMore said:
The former Apple exec being sued for poaching talent is now suing Apple for poaching talent
Gerard Williams III is the former Apple chip exec that the company accuses of poaching talent for his new chip design firm. The matter is working its way through the courts now, but Williams is fighting back. He's accusing Apple of poaching his people in a counter-suit.
"Gerard Williams III, who last year left his job as lead chip architect at Apple and co-founded Nuvia Inc., fired back with counter-claims against his former employer over its breach-of-contract lawsuit. He claims Apple tried to stop his firm from hiring its engineers while simultaneously recruiting staff from Nuvia."
Williams is also going out all guns blazing, saying that Apple's lawsuit is designed to suffocate creation in the chip industry, according to a new Bloomberg report.
 


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