If you have totally missed the technology announcements from last week, we would like to tell you that Apple had a massive WWDC 2020 event last week where they unveiled all the latest versions of their software including iOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS and iPadOS. Not to forget that there was a massive redesign of the macOS along with macOS 11.0 announcement meaning that the macOS X days are going to end very soon.
However, the biggest announcements of them all was the official reveal that Apple is moving away from Intel-based CPUs on all their Mac products and switching to “Apple Silicon”. Yes, this is the name given by Apple for their ARM-based chips that we already see on iPhones and iPad.
Along with that, Apple had to make sure that its new Apple Silicon chips have good development support as well. So the company unveiled a new developer transition kit which is nothing but a Mac Mini powered by the Apple Silicon along with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. This was done by Apple in the last decade when they switched from Power PCs to Intel-based PCs. This time, the Apple developer transition kits are much sleeker and cheaper since they come at $500 but developers have to return those kits once the transition period ends.
Apple says that it expects the transition to end in next two years meaning that you get the kit for a loan of 24 months. Now, Apple has a confidentiality clause with its developer transition kit that there should not be any benchmarks of the device which would reveal its performance. Why Apple would do it is because while it is possible the performance could be better than Intel and give them an advantage, it might turn out to be opposite and there could be a disadvantage.
Also, the Mac Mini is running pre-release hardware and software so benchmarking is not ideal. However, developers have now benchmarked the developer transition kit as reported by 9to5Mac and they score “around 800 on the Geekbench v5 single-core test and around 2600 on multi-core”.
To put things into perspective, the Geekbench score of a 2020 Macbook Air is around 1000 for single-core and close to 2000 for multi-core. Now, we don’t want to draw any conclusions here but it does seem like the current hardware based on Apple Silicon is not as powerful as Intel machines so Apple will have to do some work on that.
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