Or, are they. Intel Inside is everywhere except running mobile devices and the company still makes money in bitcoin buckets, but there could be more going on with modern computers than just how fast they can be or are not.
Much of my work these days is defined by how fast I can type on an old fashioned keyboard. I’m good, but probably haven’t improved as much as Intel’s chips have improved since the last century. Intel Inside went from 60 MHz inside to GHz inside in less than a couple of decades.
My typing speed hasn’t increased to keep up. As much as I rag against Apple for leaving a Mac mini to rot with a 4th generation Intel Inside while the chip company ships 8th generation CPUs, most of us still point and click and type with the same alacrity we did a decade or two ago.
The transistors in today’s chips may number in the billions but so what? All that power has not been translated into improved capability at the user level. Relative to chip designs of the last century, both Intel and Apple’s own ARM-based A-Series chips are screamers which sip power.
I still type about 60 words-per-minute. Those chips do not make Safari download websites faster. I cannot answer email or send Messages or upload files to work in Pages, Numbers, or Keynote any faster today than I could a decade ago. Apple’s own A11 Bionic chip found in the high end iPhone X and iPhone 8 models benchmarks about the same as a mid-range, dual-core, 13-inch MacBook Pro, but none of that extra horsepower translates into improved productivity or efficiency.
Maybe I place too much of the responsibility on the sad state of Intel Inside the Mac than deserved by Intel. Granted, the company struggles to make 10-nanometer chips while Taiwan’s TMSC– which makes Apple’s A11 Bionic chips– already does 7-nanometers. But isn’t a huge chunk of how fast such chips are truly, madly, deeply based upon the software they run.
Hell, my Mac’s Mail app can’t even make a Reminder to-do item or send an email message to Notes without copy and paste. I can’t blame that lack of integration on Intel, can I?
Still, I do not understand Apple’s reason for not putting newer and faster Intel chips into late model Macs, iMac Pro and Xeon Inside not withstanding. The Mac mini sports a 4th generation Intel Inside and Apple brags about it. But would an 8th generation Intel chip in a Mac mini make it do our work any faster?
Yes, Intel is in a sad place but the company makes so much money that maybe their executives have become like Apple executives. Same old same old works just fine so why bother to improve or change to the latest and greatest?