Apple: M1 vs. M2

Cmaier

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Ah, got it. But in that case I'd say regardless of whether the user would be plugging in cards via PCIe slots or MPX slots, it's effectively the same thing: With either approach, all these extra cards are neatly contained within the case, rather than needing to be external devices connected through cables. So that's really my question: Will the case design of the AS Mac Pro be like the 2013 Mac Pro's, where the expansion was mostly external (resulting in a very compact device), or like the 2019 Mac Pro's, where there was ample room for internal expansion?

My prediction is that the there will be some internal expansion—maybe half that currently available on the 2019 Mac Pro, since they probably won't have pluggable GPU expansion (and thus wouldn't need the slots for that) and, additionally, they'll want the case to be much smaller. At the same time, I don't think they'll go back to the 2013 design, where most expansion had to be done externally. I think many pro's didn't like that, because it led to a messier desk, and made the machine less convenient to move because you'd need to collect your external devices along with the machine. [Whatever the reason, the switch to accommodate internal expansion likely followed the guidance of the Pro Workflow Team Apple assembled.] Internal expansion will also provide additional product differentiation vs. the Mac Studio.
Yes, i think there will be internal expansion. I’m just not sure it will be for anything more than SSD storage cards and maybe 1 or 2 MPX slots. I don’t think there will be traditional drive bays, I don’t think there will be RAM expansion, and I tend to doubt PCI slots, but who knows.
 

citypix

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Will the case design of the AS Mac Pro be like the 2013 Mac Pro's, where the expansion was mostly external (resulting in a very compact device), or like the 2019 Mac Pro's, where there was ample room for internal expansion?

I think providing an internal bus would be an excellent move, giving third party developers an opportunity to create interesting cards (memory, special purpose accelerators, SSD, etc). Without chewing up TB ports many would rather use for displays.
 

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Yes, i think there will be internal expansion. I’m just not sure it will be for anything more than SSD storage cards and maybe 1 or 2 MPX slots. I don’t think there will be traditional drive bays, I don’t think there will be RAM expansion, and I tend to doubt PCI slots, but who knows.

If no internal discrete GPUs, then no need for MPX slots...?
 

Cmaier

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If no internal discrete GPUs, then no need for MPX slots...?
MPX can be used for lots of things - anything that needs PCIe speed/memory bus access and would benefit from the power connection. I believe there are already MPX storage modules, for example.

I can imagine compute modules (encode/decode, ML training, GPU compute modules, etc.), storage, some sort of weird afterburner-like surprise we haven’t thought of…
 

citypix

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If we're talking about an AS Mac Pro, I'm curious about potential physical implementations.

Will it be size-reduced from the Intel Mac Pro? Perhaps. Will there be a rack mount version? if so would it still be 5U high? Or maybe 4U. The latter with an internal pcie bus would be pretty neat. I imagine the current 1.4 KW power supply could be downsized some, helping to make the overall dimensions smaller.

I could see the above being the core of an interesting high speed data/signal acquisition and processing platform for various defense and scientific applications. Unfortunately, I suspect Apple is not thinking along those lines though. Nice to dream a little. :)
 

Cmaier

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If we're talking about an AS Mac Pro, I'm curious about potential physical implementations.

Will it be size-reduced from the Intel Mac Pro? Perhaps. Will there be a rack mount version? if so would it still be 5U high? Or maybe 4U. The latter with an internal pcie bus would be pretty neat. I imagine the current 1.4 KW power supply could be downsized some, helping to make the overall dimensions smaller.

I could see the above being the core of an interesting high speed data/signal acquisition and processing platform for various defense and scientific applications. Unfortunately, I suspect Apple is not thinking along those lines though. Nice to dream a little. :)

There was a bunch of smoke a couple years back predicting a shorter version of the existing tower, so my guess is that’s what we will see. (i don’t think that was referring to the studio, because there was also a bunch of talk about a taller mini, which is probably what ended up being the studio).
 

citypix

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There was a bunch of smoke a couple years back predicting a shorter version of the existing tower, so my guess is that’s what we will see. (i don’t think that was referring to the studio, because there was also a bunch of talk about a taller mini, which is probably what ended up being the studio).

I vaguely remember talk about that.

Without a rack mount option Apple would be greatly missing interesting possibilities in defense/scientific applications.
 

Cmaier

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I vaguely remember talk about that.

Without a rack mount option Apple would be greatly missing interesting possibilities in defense/scientific applications.

They may continue to sell some sort of rack rail kit, like they do for the existing Mac Pro.
 

citypix

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They may continue to sell some sort of rack rail kit, like they do for the existing Mac Pro.

Unless I'm mistaken, the rack mount Mac Pro is a separate/different product.

Edit: I found a vid. It appears to be not very user friendly in terms of access.

 
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mr_roboto

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Yes, i think there will be internal expansion. I’m just not sure it will be for anything more than SSD storage cards and maybe 1 or 2 MPX slots. I don’t think there will be traditional drive bays, I don’t think there will be RAM expansion, and I tend to doubt PCI slots, but who knows.
If they're paying attention to their customers, there should be a ton of PCIe. (or call it MPX if you like, but MPX is just PCIe with an extra inline card edge connector for a second PCIe link and high power delivery through the card edge.)

Here's an example of the kind of things people use all those slots for in the existing 2019 Mac Pro:

 

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MPX can be used for lots of things - anything that needs PCIe speed/memory bus access and would benefit from the power connection. I believe there are already MPX storage modules, for example.

I can imagine compute modules (encode/decode, ML training, GPU compute modules, etc.), storage, some sort of weird afterburner-like surprise we haven’t thought of…

Besides the assorted AMD GPUs, the only other MPX module (the Afterburner card is not MPX) is the Promise Pegasus RAID module...?
 

citypix

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If they're paying attention to their customers, there should be a ton of PCIe. (or call it MPX if you like, but MPX is just PCIe with an extra inline card edge connector for a second PCIe link and high power delivery through the card edge.)

Here's an example of the kind of things people use all those slots for in the existing 2019 Mac Pro:


Though I kind of forgot about him over the last few years, I always enjoyed watching Neil Parfitt's videos. They're all very interesting and instructional. And he's the real deal being a music composer and editor/mixer for various film/TV productions. I need to see what he's up to today.
 

theorist9

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Looks like the embargo has ended. MacRumors summarized preliminary benchmarks from several YouTube videos:


In addition, they also posted scores from Monica Chin at The Verge (https://www.theverge.com/23177674/apple-macbook-pro-m2-2022-review-price-specs-features)

But they didn't do a comparison to show the percentage differences. Here they are. I left out the 4k Premiere export times, which were actually slower on the M2, because Chin wrote: "...the M1 actually finished first in most cases because the M2 kept getting caught on certain graphics. I don’t want to read too much into that because Premiere can be finicky with that kind of stuff, so it’s always hard to know exactly what’s going on."

The relatively small improvement in Cinebench R23 is consistent with reports that CB is poorly optimized for AS. Though the fact that the R23 Multicore looped (30 mins) had the same average score as a one-time run speaks well for the M2's thermals, at least on a CPU-only load.

Here the % Diff. is:
(M2 score/M1 score) x 100 - 100.
...except for the Xcode benchmark, where it's:
(M1 time/M2 time) x 100 - 100.

1655955384161.png
 
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Colstan

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Thanks for the benchmark summary, @theorist9, much appreciated.

As you said, I've seen criticism that Cinebench isn't fully representative of Apple Silicon performance, which appears to be the case here.

Also, I see that reviewers are still using Tomb Raider as the go to bench for the Mac, even though it runs under Rosetta 2. I'm hoping that once Baldur's Gate 3 leaves early access, they'll switch over to that, since it is fully Apple Silicon native. (The developers say that they are still optimizing the Arm code, so it isn't ready yet, but plan for it to be upon final release.)

This is part of why I have been holding off on upgrading from Intel, because the software is still somewhat lagging behind the hardware. As impressive as Rosetta 2 is, I'd still prefer most of my programs to be Apple Silicon native, including computer games.
 

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I just did some cocktail napkin math, like this, using GB5
Code:
( multicoreScore - ( ( singleCore * PCores ) * 0.95 ) ) / ECores

in an effort to look at the E cores. For the base M1 numbers I have, I get an E core score of around 160; for M2, the score is around 400. So, the M2 E cores are looking much stronger ( c. 2.5x ).

( the 0.95 adjustment is to account for natural MC losses )
 

Cmaier

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I just did some cocktail napkin math, like this, using GB5
Code:
( multicoreScore - ( ( singleCore * PCores ) * 0.95 ) ) / ECores

in an effort to look at the E cores. For the base M1 numbers I have, I get an E core score of around 160; for M2, the score is around 400. So, the M2 E cores are looking much stronger ( c. 2.5x ).

( the 0.95 adjustment is to account for natural MC losses )

The E cores apparently have four ALU pipelines, which is pretty wild for a “low powered” core.
 

Yoused

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The E cores apparently have four ALU pipelines, which is pretty wild for a “low powered” core.
That sounds to me like an EU goulash: a bunch of flexible comp units that can each respond to an assymetrical variety of requests, and the pipes find the unit that can handle their need. All put together, based on real-world use statistics, for optimal flow. Not as fast as loading the core down with everything and the kitchen sink, but faster that going all spartan.
 

leman

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That sounds to me like an EU goulash: a bunch of flexible comp units that can each respond to an assymetrical variety of requests, and the pipes find the unit that can handle their need. All put together, based on real-world use statistics, for optimal flow. Not as fast as loading the core down with everything and the kitchen sink, but faster that going all spartan.

The e-cores in Apple designs seem to be your old regular superscalar CPU. If memory serves me right, A15 updated the E-cores to have four int and two FP ALUs. That’s basically Skylake level, only with narrower SIMD.

All in all, there would be nothing remarkable about Blizzard if not for its ridiculously low power consumption. It offers half the performance of Intel’s E-cores at 20x(!!!) lower power consumption.
 
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