• Last Updated:
  • Jun 7th, 2021 6:35 am
Tags:
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 19, 2020
79 posts
36 upvotes

Death to x86. CPUs ?

With the power efficiency to performance ratio, and naturally the amazing thermal performance to processing performance, ARM-64-bit is a no brainer as soon as more software gets rewrittened for RISC with ARM v8/v9 compatible instructions..

Some of the world’s most powerful computer such as the Fugaku, which uses the Fujitsu A64FX (ARM) processors.

Apple M1 is just the initial push for mainstream adoption (well at least on the MacOS side). Microsoft tried with the SQ series (Qualcomm Snapdragon derived semi-custom ARM solutions) and Windows 10 for ARM.

ARM/RISC processors for mainstream makes sense as the process node shrinks, the heat density/per surface area increases dramatically. ARM processors would most likely help with comparatively cooler designs in comparison to similar x86 processors o the same process node.

How long do you think we’d see AMD or Intel starts to make ARM processors for mainstream computing? 5 years? 10/20 years? Even sooner? Even slower? Idk
Last edited by Sorrosh on Apr 11th, 2021 8:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
28 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 10, 2007
12408 posts
3563 upvotes
Probably never.

Too many legacy desktop apps require x86 arch.

Not to mention the gaming market.
[self promotion rule violation, removed twice already][self promotion rule violation, removed twice already]Trolling or Threadcrapping Trolling - woooooooo 3k on a laptop woooooooo 3k on a laptop woooooooo 3k on a laptop woooooooo 3k on a laptop
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
7137 posts
1471 upvotes
Toronto
I ran Windows on ARM on my RPI4, it can run x86/x64 apps along with native ARM apps. The experience was poor but considering the CPU on the RPI4 is a POS, it was actually very impressive.
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
16623 posts
5238 upvotes
London
Death to x86?
Everyone said the same when SPARC based CPUs came out and where are they now?
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
6671 posts
3000 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
l69norm wrote: Death to x86?
Everyone said the same when SPARC based CPUs came out and where are they now?
I've heard that RISC was going to kill the x86 3 decades ago (I started on DOS PCs with a 4.77 MHz 8088). PowerPC has come and gone too....
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 19, 2020
79 posts
36 upvotes
Prob x86 will live on for at least another decade

I doubt Adobe and other major app devs would have the $ , time resources to maintain an ARM and x86 port for an annual SaS release for pro-level software.. I mean, Adobe is already as buggy as it is with their annual CC releases in the recent years, CC2020 and CC2021 being the buggiest of the buggiest in the existence of Creative Cloud...

Autodesk is doing no better, sure it is more stable than Adobe CC products in general, but maintaining ARM and x86 will be detrimental to annual update schedule and overall software stability and quality.


Apple’s ARM move is evolutionary, more so than Microsoft’s fail attempts in the past with Windows RT and Windows 10 ARM... Though, I understand it will take a while for the software industry to catch up..

I would probably say it will be around a decade or so before ARM will be anywhere near mainstream for the PC market. It may be sooner for Macs, probably ARM Macs will be your only option after 2021.

As high performing phones, tablets ARM based are approaching or exceeding x86 counterparts in performance, performance per watt, performance per surface area (mm2), and hardware companies’ desire to homogenize software on various platforms due to performance and feature parity, I feel this time, the ARM revolution is different, and may actually come to fruition.

Back when the iPad Pro (2018) launched, I was really surprised to find the A12X SoC processor could rival with a i7-8750H/9750H gaming laptop, and with optimization to iOS/iPadOS, some of the same apps ran better than the MacBook Pro (15” or 16”) i7 counterparts.

Apple is the one that made the major move and bet on ARM first mainly due to their own performance advancements and software optimization on Apple A series SoC ARM processors to x86 in comparative to the competition.

If the rumours for the next Mac Pro are true (having a 32-core Apple M1 equivalent processor), we will finally see the performance ratio to heat output, power, size of the ARM based chips in a HEDT platform..

As a HEDT platform user for game asset creation and product visualization work (since 2011), I am stoked. Really curious to see my visualization rendering would be in Keyshot through Rosetta compared to my Threadripper 3970X, Keyshot is a CPU-biased.

x86 or ARM, I am excited, but more so with ARM as it has a better future imo... Though, I am still looking forward to that Threadripper with DDR5 support in 2022 (Threadripper 6000 perhaps).
Last edited by Sorrosh on Apr 11th, 2021 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2014
2296 posts
1335 upvotes
Calgary
thriftshopper wrote: I've heard that RISC was going to kill the x86 3 decades ago (I started on DOS PCs with a 4.77 MHz 8088). PowerPC has come and gone too....
Agreed. Remember that the first versions of Windows NT supported a few RISC platforms too (MIPS, Alpha, and one more I believe). By Windows XP that was pretty much killed off (or was it 2000?) It's like the infamous threat that PC Gaming is dead that pops up every few years.

Remember that Apple has long done its own thing so they aren't easily the benchmark to base everything off of.
[OP]
Newbie
Nov 19, 2020
79 posts
36 upvotes
Devhux wrote: Agreed. Remember that the first versions of Windows NT supported a few RISC platforms too (MIPS, Alpha, and one more I believe). By Windows XP that was pretty much killed off (or was it 2000?) It's like the infamous threat that PC Gaming is dead that pops up every few years.

Remember that Apple has long done its own thing so they aren't easily the benchmark to base everything off of.
Yep, exactly, that is why I opened this discussion. It really is a 50/50 chance at this point whether x86 will exist, x86 and ARM coexist, or ARM will exist... I’m just curious about thoughts based on current advancements in ARM technology... MIPS was never competitive in terms of performance compared to x86 during that era, so the chance were quite slim. Not to mention, the software engineering landscape has changed a lot since then, with multi-architecture deployment of many applications being ubiquitous as ever due to the proliferation of powerful ARM mobile processors, and mass adoption of smartphones in the early 2010s (which is the reason that is fuelling the R&D of more power efficient and powerful ARM chips).
Last edited by Sorrosh on Apr 11th, 2021 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
6671 posts
3000 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
Devhux wrote: Remember that Apple has long done its own thing so they aren't easily the benchmark to base everything off of.
I don't remember what Steve Jobs did after being booted out of Apple by John Scully, other than to start NeXT (which OS became Mac OS X) but I think he was betting his tech would kill the x86. Intel has certainly overcome perceived limitations. Maybe there is a limit to how many times they can do that though. On the other hand, installed base and momentum should never be underestimated. The PC came out over 40 years ago now and the newest machines and OS will, unbelievably, still run quite a bit of stuff written for DOS/Windows machines in the past 4 decades (assuming you have the means to read the media), though some may be at ridiculous speeds. Apple? Apple ][ and whatever mac OS that ran, then Mac with Motorola 68000 then PowerPC and then x86 and now ARM. I doubt if Macs run anything other than what's written for the current OS and no support for anything old. None of my PCs are newer than 7 years and all run Win 10 20H2.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 11, 2009
5983 posts
2493 upvotes
Debtario
About as likely as the QWERTY layout going away. It's de-facto standard, tech history is full of examples of superior/more efficient tech failing to gain a foothold in the market before falling into obscurity.
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
7137 posts
1471 upvotes
Toronto
It is more about Windows than the merits of ARM vs x86. If Windows commits to ARM then x86 will be dead, otherwise, x86 will still be around for a very long time.
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
6671 posts
3000 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
M1K3Z0R wrote: About as likely as the QWERTY layout going away. It's de-facto standard, tech history is full of examples of superior/more efficient tech failing to gain a foothold in the market before falling into obscurity.
QWERTY became the standard layout as it slowed down typists enough to stop typewriters from jamming. Lots of momentum that has stopped KB layouts more efficient for typing such as the Dvorak to be adopted.
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2003
3675 posts
1919 upvotes
I remember hearing this over 20 years ago. Also, around the same time, the other popular thing to claim is that copper and silicon was dead - we'd reached the limit of conventional materials for CPUs.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 27, 2004
13286 posts
2503 upvotes
Vancouver.bc.ca
thriftshopper wrote: I've heard that RISC was going to kill the x86 3 decades ago (I started on DOS PCs with a 4.77 MHz 8088). PowerPC has come and gone too....
Image

If x86 dies, I hope it will be because "they" have decided to go with something more advanced than just one step up.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Nov 15, 2004
19711 posts
3769 upvotes
Toronto
thriftshopper wrote: I don't remember what Steve Jobs did after being booted out of Apple by John Scully, other than to start NeXT (which OS became Mac OS X) but I think he was betting his tech would kill the x86. Intel has certainly overcome perceived limitations. Maybe there is a limit to how many times they can do that though. On the other hand, installed base and momentum should never be underestimated. The PC came out over 40 years ago now and the newest machines and OS will, unbelievably, still run quite a bit of stuff written for DOS/Windows machines in the past 4 decades (assuming you have the means to read the media), though some may be at ridiculous speeds. Apple? Apple ][ and whatever mac OS that ran, then Mac with Motorola 68000 then PowerPC and then x86 and now ARM. I doubt if Macs run anything other than what's written for the current OS and no support for anything old. None of my PCs are newer than 7 years and all run Win 10 20H2.
This is why Apple is going back to ARM. They're a hardware company first and foremost (like Nintendo) and need to maintain their walled garden above all else. They lost a ton of revenue to the Hackintosh crowd after switching to Intel, and its in their best interest that they run on something different than the rest of the market to maintain their exclusivity. Microsoft is a software company that built its empire on x86, and it's in their best interest to maintain as much backwards compatibility as possible.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
21258 posts
8096 upvotes
Socially Distanced
The Pentium will never die.
United we stand, (floating point) divided we fall Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2012
2023 posts
825 upvotes
Hamilton, Ontario
The secret to depreciating x86 processors is the ability to accurately emulate it with almost no loss of performance.
Intel has been shooting itself in the foot with security patches that degrade native cpu performance to the point where you wonder, why not emulate.

That is what Apple is banking on. Arm processors that can emulate x86 good enough that those who still need native performance are rare niche cases where it is worth rewriting for ARM.

We aren't there yet. And less face it the same can be said for 32 bit software running on a 64 bit cpu. Yet. Still you find brand new 32 bit CPUs. And still you find programs with only 32 bit versions.

The x86 architecture will probably be around another 20 years. The question will just be is how long will it be before native x86 processors are main stream. It could be as little as five years and nobody will be buying x86 for mainstream usage. But it could be much much longer.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 11, 2009
5983 posts
2493 upvotes
Debtario
Quentin5 wrote: The Pentium will never die.
United we stand, (floating point) divided we fall Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
Don't give F00F about that!
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
21258 posts
8096 upvotes
Socially Distanced
M1K3Z0R wrote: Don't give F00F about that!
I raise you Spectre/Meltdown.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Fanatic
Jul 7, 2017
6671 posts
3000 upvotes
SW corner of the cou…
Speaking about floating points, when did the x87 become integrated into x86 chips?
I smile when I see container ships sailing past my house laden with stuff made in China

Top