Rumours of the M1X are doing their rounds regarding the refreshed Apple Silicon based Mac’s. Rumour has it that they’re scheduled to be released in the second half of next year. It’ll be interesting to see how everything turns out but I could imagine Apple moving to DDR5 which would give a huge amount of bandwidth when it comes to the more power GPU that’ll he included with it which will required to run a 5K iMac display (not to mention the 16″ MacBook Pro display with support for an external display). I think the interesting part will be what the next version of macOS will bring given that ability for third party kernel extensions to he loaded will most likely be removed and with that I also wonder whether with the tradition to ARM it also marks the beginning of pushing all of Apple’s drivers into user space so that the kernel is a lot smaller than it is today. I don’t see Apple ever getting to a situation of it being a ‘pure Mach kernel’ but I could imagine the kernel getting to the point where only the most essential code is running in the kernel (for the sake of performance and efficiency) with everything else residing outside.

The interesting part will be how the new Apple Silicon based CPUs will perform particularly when it comes to OpenGL games being recompiled for Apple Silicon. Although Apple announced that OpenGL, OpenCL and friends have been deprecated I wonder whether we’ll see OpenCL support removed (it never really caught on) but OpenGL hanging around a lot longer where bugs will be fixed but no new features will be added (yes, I would love to see OpenGL all the up to OpenGL 4.6 implemented on top of Metal API in much the same way that Metal Kit sits on top of Metal API, but I doubt it’ll happen) but if hangs around then at least games such as Simcity 4 might even make its way over to Apple Silicon. Given that the OpenGL stack is based on LLVM (the change occurred around a decade ago) so it’ll be interesting to see whether the complete control over the hardware, drivers and software produces better results than the current situation of having limited access to drivers and hardware specifications while trying to optimise an OpenGL stack that operate in a consistent manner across Intel, AMD and nVidia based GPUs.

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