Would they allow it if...
She named the album Norman There's a Village in Austria Named Fucking Rockwell?
It may seem counterintuitive to use the launch of a new Apple laptop to argue that the company is trying to kill off laptops altogether but that is exactly what's happening. Today, Cupertino announced a revamped version of its beloved MacBook Air – a lightweight laptop designed in 2010 that hasn't been touched since a small …
Indeed. It's pronounced "fooking", apparently, and the good burghers of the town got so sick of Anglophone tourists stealing their roadside signs that a few years ago they resorted to painting the town name onto a large boulder instead.
(This is from memory, so if it's wrong, bite me. I could look it up on Wikipedia but that would be cheating.)
I recall great hilarity when my youth orchestra went to Germany, on the way from Rotterdam to Hitzacker, possible near the Belgian border with Germany there where a bunch of signs for Wankum.
For a coach full of teenagers that was fun. The trip is also memorable for a tape of "Monty Python, Live at Drury Lane" that was played more or less continuously.
Pull the other one, it's got bells on!
Your mobile, low voltage components will be inherently less powerful, slower, & throttled as to keep the heat to a reasonable level, whereas a full desktop grade chipset will run at full power until either it or the fans seize up.
Your mobile chipset throttles back, downshifts, & plays "These boots were made for walkin'", my desktop upshifts, puts the peddle to the floor, & cranks up "I can't drive 55!" so it can sing along.
Relax, we don't know the context of the "as fast as the fastest PC" quote - the exec might have describing the speed of performing a particular quick task in Photoshop or iMovie or something. Desktop CPUs haven't been getting much faster at single thread tasks in recent years anyway - because they've been fast enough, focus has been on improving energy efficiency and or just adding more cores.
What Apple actually displayed as a bullet point was 'Faster then 92% of the notebook computers available last year" which Anandtech find very plausible:
Apple mentioned during the keynote that the new A12X is more powerful than 92% of the available laptops in the market, which isn’t very surprising given the performance levels we saw on the A12.
@Dave 126 Desktop CPUs haven’t been getting much faster at single threaded tasks in recent years because Intel et al have run out of things they can do to make them faster. Clock speeds have hit limits imposed by the switching speed of silicon vs power consumption. All the optimisations they can think of are implemented (a modern CPU uses a huge number of transistors). Fabrication process improvements have slowed to a crawl. They’re left with stuffing more cores onto a chip and adding custom hardware for specific tasks like video encoding/decoding
It will probably work fine for most users, but I run rather heavy (and well parallellised) image processing code, like stacking 44 1,000-frame 6Mpixel monochrome uncompressed videos (250+ GB of data) to create 44 6 Mpixel panes to stitch into a 100+ Mpixel lunar mosaic. I would be very curious to see how much time that takes on the iPad Pro. On my laptop it takes some 12 hours, on a Core i7 desktop it is quite a bit faster.
Regarding the MacBook Air: no SD-card slot is a definite deal breaker for me. If I want to transfer a lot of photos from my camera to the laptop, popping the SD card into the laptop is the easiest and fastest way by far
but I run rather heavy (and well parallellised) image processing code
How much of this can be done by the GPU? I suspect that RAM and bandwidth might be the limiter here, but, yeah, I suspect it will run significantly slower if at all on I-Pad than it does on your current hardware.
I've nothing per se against the I-Pad route (for many tasks a suitable replacement for a notebook), except that I do want full control of the OS so that I can install my own libraries. Wonder if there will ever be a version of IOS that gives us a terminal and sudo?
@ Steve Todd
Quite right, there have been technical challenges, and Intel's difficulty in moving to a smaller process size has been well reported. My point largely stands though; being 'as fast as the fastest PC' [at some tasks] isn't that high a bar. The amount of money Intel throws at solving their technical issues is determined by the market though, and if gamers are advised that most games don't benefit from anything faster than a Core i5 (since the game engines have evolved with GPUs) then the demand for high end CPUs isn't as high as it might otherwise be.
Intel have a huge budget to work on improved Core and Xeon CPUs (don't forget, they share the same architecture, and business users would snap a significantly improved version up). If they could throw 100% more transistors at the design and make each core even 20% faster then they would do it in a heartbeat. They have AMD breathing down their necks, and AMD are getting close to the same performance per clock cycle. The limiting factor for single threaded performance is clock speed (diminishing returns have long since cut in over improving the design logic), and the max clock speed hasn't changed much over the last three or four process sizes. Yes, you can make the chips go faster, but at the cost of serious heat.
The reason that an i5 is the recommended CPU for gaming is that the single threaded performance doesn't get much faster the higher you go up the range. Most games offload a huge amount of the work to the GPU, but then modern GPUs are very highly parallel so it's not a like-for-like comparison. Game writers work within the limits of what is available, and what their target audience can afford to buy. Most games therefore include a quality configuration setting that adds or removes eye candy, trading against CPU/GPU performance. Try your i5 at 4K extreme settings.
plays "These boots were made for walkin'",
You don't geddit. Wrong song reference. The process which you are observing is described in "Summer Wine" by the same songstress. Just Tim Cook offering you the wine. Listen carefully for a description of where you will end.
How many VMs can I run on one of these iPad Pros?
While I agree that you do have a point, how many people need to use lots of VMs? I suspect that people who really do need a lot of VMs are probably fairly flexible about their choice of host OS. Anyway, as I'm sure you're aware, VM performance is heavily I/O dependent and I think that's going to be the bottleneck here (along with the performance hit if you need other architectures). But could such a device be okay assuming it comes with a good SSH client to your VM park?
My biggest worry with all this is trying to force people to abandon local file systems. Yes, it's convenient if you do work with multiple devices that the relevant files are easily available on them all, but it's not worth the risk of them not being available because you have a shitty internet connection.
I'm watching all of this with interest, including Chromebooks. My laptop was fast enough for the level of CAD work I was doing years back, provided I didn't mind waiting a few minutes for a render (which I only rarely needed to do). Therefore any new machine has not been a necessity, and I can watch these platforms - iPad Pro, Win 10 on Surface, Chromebooks - develop with disinterst.
Back in the day I had no choice over my platform - CAD software essentially dictated I used an Intel Windows machine.
Features that were available but exotic a few years back, such as good stylus support, high Res displays, external GPUs, an alternative CPU architecture - are now or are becomming mainstream.
What my mobile workstation may be in a few years time I really don't know. It would be interesting if Photoshop or a similarly polished and featured alternative was available for ChromeOS.
> Autodesk already have a full 3d cad running in the browser.
Exactly. So do OnShape, using a desktop or Android app as a client. This is important because if it works as advertised I'm no longer tied to any platform - a Linux laptop or Chromebook becomes a viable option. Even MacOSX doesn't have all the main CAD packages available for it, such as Solidworks ( which package a company uses is often determined by its clients and suppliers).
It's worth noting that CAD (unlike video editing with its high IO demands) is suited to being run in the cloud - its descended from the mainframe / terminal model, multiple engineers may be accessing the same model simultaneously, and models hold commercially sensitive information that's best not held on laptops floating about the place.
Whilst charging customers per month is appealling to CAD vendors, it does open the door to competition who might charge per task, or per hour, which would work out cheaper for smaller companies for whom CAD is only a part of their work flow.
"It's worth noting that CAD (unlike video editing with its high IO demands) is suited to being run in the cloud"
Speaking as an experienced design engineer, there's a lot of IO on big CAD models. You can take my machine with 3 SSDs, 26 cores and 128GB of memory from my cold, dead hands.
> Speaking as an experienced design engineer, there's a lot of IO on big CAD models. You can take my machine with 3 SSDs, 26 cores and 128GB of memory from my cold, dead hands
The model is big, but it can worked on remotely - the only data travelling between your terminal and mainframe (or cloud) is user input and video output. Indeed, for bigger models than your's (think of visual effects studios) a render farm of clustered resources is used.
It's not for everybody, but in many circumstances a cloud CAD instance is suitable - plus you can rent more CPU/GPU power as you need it. Then of course there are the collaborative working methods common in many industries - colleagues need to work with changes you've made in real time, so having a model stuck on an individual workstation is not ideal (though there are ways of just uploading your changes rather than the entire model)
By contrast, dumping a day's shoot of 4K footage up to a cloud is impractical over most broadband connections.
Being able to drag around the 3D model of sprocket (fine, three sprockets) in a browser window may be good enough for the 3D-printer-happy "maker" generation but is not something I would call CAD software. Meanwhile out here in the real world even proper, compiled executables running on desktop / laptop class hardware die a thousand deaths as soon as you try dragging a mere component of an assembly in an ever-so-slightly non-trivial design in a parametric CAD.
The open source one I prefer is basically shitting bricks with a single assembly loaded simply because it happens to unluckily fall on the wrong end of the O(n^x) complexity involved in continually re-evaluating moving geometry - badly enough that it managed to get me to try to figure out whether that can be helped at all; and just so nobody gets the wrong idea, as anyone following the construction of the Marble Machine X should well know, its designer hit a brick wall not long ago splatting against the limits of Autodesk Fusion 360 running on real-world hardware.
So 'scuze me if I need to lay down to properly laugh at any suggestions that browser-based CAD running on an ARM-class CPU is "good enough" in any sense of the word.
>Being able to drag around the 3D model of sprocket (fine, three sprockets) in a browser window may be good enough for the 3D-printer-happy "maker" generation but is not something I would call CAD software
@Dropbear. I wasn't for a moment suggesting the CAD software run on ARM, merely that it doesn't matter if the *terminal* runs on ARM. The CAD model itself is running on a load of Xeon in the cloud ( or on your local network) the terminal just needs to accept user input and display the workspace.
Back in the nineties we were using CAD software on a UNIX mainframe accessed through X-Windows from a terminal - before it was practical for standalone workstations.
Conceptually this was no different to accessing computer resources on the cloud. The geographical location of where the model is being processed with respect to the user has absolutely *nothing* to do with how many components, sprockets or otherwise, can be in the model.
CAD can be very resource intensive, especially the kinetic simulations you're attempting. That's *exactly* why Fusion 360 and others work with Amazon Web Services - to bring you even more RAM and processing power than you can fit in your desk. The alternative is to buy your own CPU/GPUs, but then you have to use them enough to justify the investment.
Simulations, like renderings, are a good example of a task that doesn't require human input whilst then computer is crunching the numbers. Depending on which package you're using, you might find that it allows you to install clients on your other machines on your local network so that their CPU/GPUs can be harnessed to speed up the calculations.
NOTHING is "suited" to the cloud except websites. That sort of cloud computing is sheer insanity on some many levels.
I'll do MY computing on NON-rental SW, on a computer I own. I'll do backups not needing the cloud. I'll be able to work without internet and even for many hours with no power.
Real cost, privacy, security, availability.
"models hold commercially sensitive information that's best not held on laptops floating about the place"
It's easier to control a laptop's privacy/access and location than a cloud service. I certainly don't trust MS, Amazon. Google etc.
> Real cost, privacy, security, availability
For an engineering company, the issues of cost, security and availability are *exactly* why they would want their CAD models to sit on their own cloud hosted on their premises, with engineers accessing them via a terminal, X Windows, a browser, whatever. This means their IP doesn't have to leave the premises, and isn't stuck on an individual workstation inaccessible to colleagues.
You're a lone wolf, I get it, but most engineering projects involve professionals from various disciplines working together.
"This means their IP doesn't have to leave the premises, and isn't stuck on an individual workstation inaccessible to colleagues."
...and their IP is not on any kind of device where the manufacturer's cloud storage is the operating system default - like an iPad, Chromebook, etc.
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