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silence_kit
Jul 14, 2011


BobHoward posted:

It's just a specification document defining what instructions and registers and so forth a physical implementation must have to be called an Arm v9 processor. (Though choices in that spec do affect how easy or hard it is to design highly performant implementations.)

How much does ISA design affect computer chip performance?

Is it really that important, or is the implementation a more important driver of computer chip performance? Computer-level guys would have you believe that the ISA is maybe the most important thing, but of course, they would tend to attribute successful designs to computer-level concepts.

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Pulchritudinous
May 19, 2005
It means "to reduce by one-tenth."





Apologies if this was answered earlier and I missed it (didn't see it in previous 10 pages), or should've been directed elsewhere!

I have a mid-2012 15" retina MBP that I love dearly (updated OS), but the battery is getting pretty bad, which is to be expected given its age. It's not critical, but it is a touch inconvenient (even with the long cave). I don't want to get a new one just yet (hoping the rumors about mag safe et Al are true), so I'm looking at a battery replacement.

Based on what I've found, I'm going to go with either the ifixit or OWC kit. It seems like ifixit has better service but OWC has a better battery (searching leans heavily towards OWC). I was wondering if anyone had any (recent-ish) experience with either that could help with my decision.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





Welp, lol

MarcusSA
Sep 23, 2007




Grimey Drawer


Bulging battery?

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





Yeah, it popped the face right off while I was ordering taco bell

Inner Light
Jan 2, 2020





Ouch. Evidently looks like that cable cannot support the weight of the screen, not that I thought it would. You can see right where it snapped.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





Yeah, the whole thing popped off at once, there was no dangling by a ribbon or anything. In fact until just now I had thought the whole face was powered by press-fit contact somehow, which is ridiculous what the gently caress.

BobHoward
Feb 13, 2012

The only thing white people deserve is a bullet to their empty skull


silence_kit posted:

How much does ISA design affect computer chip performance?

Is it really that important, or is the implementation a more important driver of computer chip performance? Computer-level guys would have you believe that the ISA is maybe the most important thing, but of course, they would tend to attribute successful designs to computer-level concepts.

This is an incredibly complicated topic and I wrote a book about it which I mostly deleted since I didn't want to post a wall of text that seems a bit out of place here. Have a relatively short piece on decoders.

arm64 has a single instruction word size (4 bytes long), requires all instructions to be 4-byte aligned, and has only a handful of instruction word formats. This makes the basline decoder trivial, and decoding multiple instructions in parallel is trivial. You don't have to know anything about instruction N to start work on decoding instruction N+1.

x86 has a variable length instruction word, a huge number of possible instruction word formats and sizes, and it's not simple to decode even a single instruction. Just look at the source code for a software implementation of "how long is the x86 instruction at this pointer" in this Stack Overflow answer, and keep in mind that this covers only 32-bit x86. Things have gotten worse.

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/23788236/get-size-of-assembly-instructions/23843450#23843450

This makes it really hard to do extremely wide x86 decode. Intel typically stops at 4 wide. Apple's M1 has an 8-wide decode unit, and it's probably a fraction the size, power, and implementation effort of a 4-wide x86 decode unit.

So yes, ISA design is important. But so is implementation, and implementation can make up for poor ISA design (to some extent).

The x86 ISA is kind of a mess, but it's managed to not be so much of a mess that it's impossible to make it work reasonably well. Combine that with a long stretch of Intel manufacturing technology leadership (meaning: they got to have faster transistors than anybody else) and market demand (Windows monopoly effect) and you have x86 succeeding in spite of the ISA's well known flaws.

Binary Badger
Oct 11, 2005

Trolling Link for a decade




https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/04/03/retired-leaker-claims-imac-with-bigger-screen-is-on-the-way

l0vetodream, though claiming to be retired now, says the upcoming Apple Silicon iMac will have a screen larger than the current 27 inch model.

Here's hoping it gets one of the 16-core GPUs that have also rumored to be in the next Mx iterations.. gonna need it for such a big screen (5K? 6K?)

Binary Badger fucked around with this message at 17:05 on Apr 3, 2021

mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Excuse me, pardon me, sheer perfection coming through


there have been rumours of a shift to 24/30-inch imac sizes. i would personally like to see apple push for a move to higher frame rates; there is a seductive smoothness at going beyond 60

RoboBoogie
Sep 18, 2008


Proteus Jones posted:

It's overkill unless you're a major klutz, working on a construction site, or doing fieldwork.

How about living and travelling around Africa

nitsuga
Dec 31, 2006

It's the only way to live.

RoboBoogie posted:

How about living and travelling around Africa

That's probably not the worst use case for it. You would know best what you're doing, but that case should give you plenty of protection and the ability to set it up just about anywhere.

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

We dance for socialism!


So would it be a good idea to buy a Macbook Air now, or would it be better to wait for the next refresh?

I realize there is the saying "if you keep waiting for the new version you will be waiting forever", but the new Apple CPU has me worried that the first generation could just be a beta test.

MarcusSA
Sep 23, 2007




Grimey Drawer

punk rebel ecks posted:

So would it be a good idea to buy a Macbook Air now, or would it be better to wait for the next refresh?

I realize there is the saying "if you keep waiting for the new version you will be waiting forever", but the new Apple CPU has me worried that the first generation could just be a beta test.

You are roughly mid cycle so if you are going to wait it’s going to be till fall (ish)

The M1 is fantastic and even if it’s a “beta” it’s pretty drat amazing.

nerdrum
Aug 17, 2007

where am I


punk rebel ecks posted:

So would it be a good idea to buy a Macbook Air now, or would it be better to wait for the next refresh?

I realize there is the saying "if you keep waiting for the new version you will be waiting forever", but the new Apple CPU has me worried that the first generation could just be a beta test.

I use it daily for zoom meetings, google sheets, office and lightroom and even the garbage 256/8 configuration has been so beyond usable with battery life that still stuns me. If this is their "Beta" then I feel deeply regretful for the entirety of previous laptops I've literally spent thousands of dollars more on.

Last Chance
Dec 31, 2004



haha, yeah I remember when people were calling the M1 a beta product. It's pretty hilarious in retrospect.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Ok Comboomer posted:

let’s all do it and signalboost each other

like Goon Smutbux all over again

Smutbux still works!

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



LionArcher posted:

Smutbux still works!

cool, let’s start a smutbux podcast where we get stupid preachy about Macs, like Rene does

I wanna be able to buy a Mac Pro for shits+giggles and then be able to write it off

this post is brought to you by Squarespace

FCKGW
May 21, 2006



punk rebel ecks posted:

So would it be a good idea to buy a Macbook Air now, or would it be better to wait for the next refresh?

I realize there is the saying "if you keep waiting for the new version you will be waiting forever", but the new Apple CPU has me worried that the first generation could just be a beta test.

It’s been 14 years since Apple made their first SOC and it’s in a chassis they’ve been using for almost a decade, it’s in no way a beta product.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t update the M1 this year, they still have a lot of product lines left to refresh and wouldn’t want a new “M2” taking away of whatever souped up version of silicon the 4-port MacBook Pro is going to get.

davidbix
Jun 14, 2016

Wow, Bix. First K.Rool, then Steve and now SEPHIROTH? Your dream game is real!


For what it's worth, the normally pretty trustworthy MacRumors buyer's guide has the Air at a "neutral" right now. If you need to get a new notebook soon, then get it now. If you have no compelling reason to get a new notebook right now, then you might be better off waiting.

FuturePastNow
May 19, 2014




Apple will come out with better processors but I'd guess the Air and Mini will be last to get second-gen updates as they are, frankly, the lowest priority for higher performance

Mu Zeta
Oct 17, 2002

Me crush ass to dust



Might as well wait for WWDC in June if you don't absolutely need the Mac right now. Slight chance there's an update.

Krispy Wafer
Jul 26, 2002

I shouted out "Free the exposed 67"
But they stood on my hair and told me I was fat



Grimey Drawer

FCKGW posted:

It’s been 14 years since Apple made their first SOC and it’s in a chassis they’ve been using for almost a decade, it’s in no way a beta product.

The beta part was the software. Specifically Rosetta 2 and how well the ARM chips handle Intel instructions in emulation.

Last Chance
Dec 31, 2004



Uh huh.

punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

We dance for socialism!


Mu Zeta posted:

Might as well wait for WWDC in June if you don't absolutely need the Mac right now. Slight chance there's an update.

If there is an update what would they likely add/change?

MarcusSA
Sep 23, 2007




Grimey Drawer

punk rebel ecks posted:

If there is an update what would they likely add/change?

Possibly mini LED screen.

Mu Zeta
Oct 17, 2002

Me crush ass to dust



punk rebel ecks posted:

If there is an update what would they likely add/change?

moar butans, ports maybe? Personally I'm just looking for an updated case design to differentiate it from the Intels and maybe get rid of the touch bar on the pro.

Mu Zeta fucked around with this message at 17:53 on Apr 6, 2021

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





According to a Surface Pro ad I keep getting served, what they really need is to go full touchscreen!! Why can't they give you a whole touchscreen instead of just this little bitty bar??

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




punk rebel ecks posted:

If there is an update what would they likely add/change?

14 inch display. Return of some version of MagSafe. SD card slot. Maybe HDMI. No Touch Bar. Maybe better display. It’s the holy grail laptop.

64bit_Dophins
Jan 2, 2014
https://www.cars.com/articles/how-much-oil-consumption-is-normal-1420682864535/

admiraldennis posted:

My brother had (still has!) the 1st gen w/ the mechanical wheel. I always liked the mechanical wheel. I do think the touch wheels got better over time.

My first iPod was this one-off oddball design scheme:


A polarizing design; I find it charming. Beautiful in the dark with the orange glow buttons and the blue-tinted screen.

I kept a silicone case on it which "pocketed" the buttons and really helped avoid the accidental button touches.

I had this one as well. It was a situation where a friend owed me money in highschool and offered the iPod instead.

At that point it was already really old (this would have been 2010).

I honestly kept using it until 2014 at which point it was stolen from the center console of my old beat up Honda accord

I also really liked using the first gen iPod video with Rockbox.

Man I never thought I would get all nostalgic for iPods like that. It's crazy to think the 256gb SD card I have in my cheap android phone has 51x the storage of the old mechanical wheel iPod... I couldn't imagine ever needing that much space.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



LionArcher posted:

14 inch display. Return of some version of MagSafe. SD card slot. Maybe HDMI. No Touch Bar. Maybe better display. It’s the holy grail laptop.

I still kinda wish they had a bigger lower-end laptop, even tho I probably would never buy one (but somebody like my dad probably would!)

Imagine a 15” or 16” MBA coming in at like $1200-1700, the same internals as the smaller computer but just with a larger display

Mu Zeta
Oct 17, 2002

Me crush ass to dust



64bit_Dophins posted:

Man I never thought I would get all nostalgic for iPods like that. It's crazy to think the 256gb SD card I have in my cheap android phone has 51x the storage of the old mechanical wheel iPod... I couldn't imagine ever needing that much space.

When I worked at an Apple store in ~2005-ish all the customers would call it the iPod store. People had no interest in buying the Macs. As a result something like 75% of the store was iPod and iPod accessories.

Data Graham
Dec 28, 2009





And now it's the iPhone store.

Also, MAC is the company that makes the computer called an "Apple"

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Ok Comboomer posted:

I still kinda wish they had a bigger lower-end laptop, even tho I probably would never buy one (but somebody like my dad probably would!)

Imagine a 15” or 16” MBA coming in at like $1200-1700, the same internals as the smaller computer but just with a larger display

Well yes. Hell, a 14 inch air with just one more port would be my day one buy laptop. But I’ll take the pro if it’s got those specs and I can grab a 2TB 32 gig one for around $2500

64bit_Dophins
Jan 2, 2014
https://www.cars.com/articles/how-much-oil-consumption-is-normal-1420682864535/

Mu Zeta posted:

When I worked at an Apple store in ~2005-ish all the customers would call it the iPod store. People had no interest in buying the Macs. As a result something like 75% of the store was iPod and iPod accessories.


I did not know macs even existed as a kid until my mom bought me an iPod mini when I was in middle school.

I then got a first gen white intel macbook as a hand-me-down from my cousin for highschool. At the time Windows PCs really sucked as this was the highest of the "Vista" Malaise.

Having a mac was actually really awesome at that point even though pretty much everyone on the internet loved to poo poo on them lol.

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



64bit_Dophins posted:

I did not know macs even existed as a kid until my mom bought me an iPod mini when I was in middle school.

I then got a first gen white intel macbook as a hand-me-down from my cousin for highschool. At the time Windows PCs really sucked as this was the highest of the "Vista" Malaise.

Having a mac was actually really awesome at that point even though pretty much everyone on the internet loved to poo poo on them lol.

we were a Mac house until 1999.

b/w unibody Macintosh—>pizza box style Mac Performa—>DELL XPS—>DELL XPS

and then I went to college in ‘07 and got my polycarb MacBook—>MBA—>MBP

my first experiences online, playing FPSs (Wolfenstein 3D), messing around w/ KidPix and a bunch of other edutainment (Math Blaster, etc) were all done on that Performa. Hell, my first gaming ever was done on the little Macintosh (BusyTown and Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster, how the gently caress do I still remember this?).

Not that switching to a computer that could run Rogue Squadron and Diablo 2 wasn’t revelatory in its own way.

I’ve mentioned all of this before, but when the second XPS (purchased ‘04) finally couldn’t be dragged across the finish line to do its job (seriously, it was loving terrible—nigh unusable by like 2006, but my parents insisted on getting 5 years out of it) it was replaced with a 2009 C2D 21” iMac—which is still my parents’ main home computer to this day (

tbf, Dad got in on the ground floor on iPad with iPad 2, and they do the bulk of their home computer poo poo on iOS—especially now that they have Spotify so my dad doesn’t have to pirate all his poo poo from the library

64bit_Dophins
Jan 2, 2014
https://www.cars.com/articles/how-much-oil-consumption-is-normal-1420682864535/

Ok Comboomer posted:

we were a Mac house until 1999.

b/w unibody Macintosh—>pizza box style Mac Performa—>DELL XPS—>DELL XPS

and then I went to college in ‘07 and got my polycarb MacBook—>MBA—>MBP

my first experiences online, playing FPSs (Wolfenstein 3D), messing around w/ KidPix and a bunch of other edutainment (Math Blaster, etc) were all done on that Performa. Hell, my first gaming ever was done on the little Macintosh (BusyTown and Mercer Mayer’s Little Monster, how the gently caress do I still remember this?).

Not that switching to a computer that could run Rogue Squadron and Diablo 2 wasn’t revelatory in its own way.

I’ve mentioned all of this before, but when the second XPS (purchased ‘04) finally couldn’t be dragged across the finish line to do its job (seriously, it was loving terrible—nigh unusable by like 2006, but my parents insisted on getting 5 years out of it) it was replaced with a 2009 C2D 21” iMac—which is still my parents’ main home computer to this day (

tbf, Dad got in on the ground floor on iPad with iPad 2, and they do the bulk of their home computer poo poo on iOS—especially now that they have Spotify so my dad doesn’t have to pirate all his poo poo from the library


My parents spent a bunch of money on some Windows 95 Dell Machine (came with the altec lansing speakers, monitors and everything) and had no idea how to use it.

I used it to play some of those childhood edutainment games for a few years until the thing unceremoniously died. My parents then bought a $400 catalog dell machine that also came with a lovely monitor in 2004 which I used until I got the hand-me-down polycarb mac from my cousin.

That dell computer was so awful it forced me to actually learn about computers lol. I upgraded the ram and installed Debian on it. That computer is responsible for exposing my dumb rear end self to the internet so it was either the best or worst thing that has ever happened to me depending on how you look at it

Ok Comboomer
Oct 20, 2007



64bit_Dophins posted:

My parents spent a bunch of money on some Windows 95 Dell Machine (came with the altec lansing speakers, monitors and everything) and had no idea how to use it.

I used it to play some of those childhood edutainment games for a few years until the thing unceremoniously died. My parents then bought a $400 catalog dell machine that also came with a lovely monitor in 2004 which I used until I got the hand-me-down polycarb mac from my cousin.

That dell computer was so awful it forced me to actually learn about computers lol. I upgraded the ram and installed Debian on it. That computer is responsible for exposing my dumb rear end self to the internet so it was either the best or worst thing that has ever happened to me depending on how you look at it

yeah, the XPSs died hard but that was also the time period (lol early 2000s internet)- they were pretty beastly when new, though I was almost never allowed to get new PC games that weren’t <$20- or if I did then it meant I couldn’t get an Xbox game. But really I’m lucky my dad was always such a nerd about that and pushed computer literacy in his kids.

The ‘99 one had a 17” Trinitron flat panel CRT- that thing was glorious, and like now it’s kind of a holy grail display for hobbyists.

Still remember the day we took that (working) CRT to the recycling station because “nobody would want it”

My dad is very much an Apple FanDad tho. He wasn’t always like this.

Pakistani Brad Pitt
Nov 28, 2004

Not as taciturn, but still terribly powerful...



LionArcher posted:

Well yes. Hell, a 14 inch air with just one more port would be my day one buy laptop. But I’ll take the pro if it’s got those specs and I can grab a 2TB 32 gig one for around $2500

This but you know we'll be spending $1K more on that buildout

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mediaphage
Mar 22, 2007

Excuse me, pardon me, sheer perfection coming through


Ok Comboomer posted:

yeah, the XPSs died hard but that was also the time period (lol early 2000s internet)- they were pretty beastly when new, though I was almost never allowed to get new PC games that weren’t <$20- or if I did then it meant I couldn’t get an Xbox game. But really I’m lucky my dad was always such a nerd about that and pushed computer literacy in his kids.

The ‘99 one had a 17” Trinitron flat panel CRT- that thing was glorious, and like now it’s kind of a holy grail display for hobbyists.

Still remember the day we took that (working) CRT to the recycling station because “nobody would want it”

My dad is very much an Apple FanDad tho. He wasn’t always like this.

the hot crt is the sony fw900

so mad mine got thrown out by my parents, i'd still be using that sucker today

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