Here’s why you should wait to buy a new Macbook

by birtanpublished on October 3, 2020

Apple has finally announced at the wwdc keynote that it is transitioning its mac products macbooks imacs things like that away from the intel platforms they've been on forever and to what they call apple silicon and what does that mean that means chips that apple is designing that are very similar to what you would find in iphones and ipads basically arm-based chips so what does that mean that means for

The first time there may be a non-intel powered macbook apple actually introduced the concept and name macbook when they switched from power to pc to intel way way back when back when i started working at cnet so you know it was a long time ago and we have gotten used to having intel powered macs it's laptops like the macbook it's desktops like the mac mini and the mac pro and the imac so now apple says throw all those out the window we're going to bring in all kinds of new equipment running our

Own chips which means apple will control the hardware design the software design and mac os and now the actual platform itself using its own using its own chips that's important because that's how they get a lot of the efficiencies that you find in iphones and ipads by controlling each stage of the process and not having a big outside vendor like intel controlling when they can get chips and what those chips can do now if you're out there shopping for a macbook or another mac

Product this of course raises a lot of questions should i buy one now should i wait when are the new ones coming will they work with the old ones apple does not have all of those answers yet they do say however that the very first arm based or apple silicon based macs are coming by the end of 2020 but the transition itself will take two years to complete and during that time they're going to continue to sell and support intel based macs in fact they have some new intel based macs in the works that

Have not even been announced yet i'm gonna bet those are probably imacs which have been rumored for a long time especially because the macbook air and the macbook pro were very recently updated uh the larger macbook pro the 16 inch dates from last fall that's not that old uh the imac is a design that's been sitting static really for a long time and could definitely use a refresh now if you're thinking of buying something you have to say to yourself

Is it worth waiting for the apple silicon the arm-based version of let's say a macbook or should i get a new one right now if i really need it if you have an immediate need and you're thinking of getting a 13-inch macbook pro or a macbook air i would feel fairly comfortable by now because those were both updated very recently in fact in march and april of 2020 so those are about as new as you're going to get for a little while i would suspect that the product that they will launch in

2020 by the end of 2020 is probably something like a mac mini because they are already offering mac mini transitional development kits to app developers which will help you take your software and make a version of it that will run natively on this new apple silicon so that you're not translating it through rosetta two uh basically trying to emulate the software on a new platform where it may work but it may not work as efficiently or as well you may not get

The same performance and those initial kits are mac minis so i bet that's going to be the first thing across the line you know if you're buying something because you really are mission critical on things like photoshop on final cut maybe i would consider waiting to see when those are coming up in the lineup with the new versions because big companies like adobe already have access uh to create new versions of things like photoshop for the apple silicon versions

Of macs and going forward the development of that software might lean very heavily towards those platforms so you probably get the best versions uh if you get the version that works with again the new mac hardware not the intel mac hardware if you're looking for extraordinary battery life i would wager that the new versions the arm-based macs may have better battery life because macbooks currently they have pretty good battery life but they're not blowing windows laptops out of the way

Everything kind of works the same and that may be in part because of that intel chip it's the same whether you get it in a mac or in a pc and it's as efficient as it is and there's only so much you can do in the operating system and the hardware to change that once apple can control the entire ecosystem hardware operating system and platform well that gives you a lot of options for efficiency if you use a lot of apps on your mac not

Web-based apps things that you do like netflix or shopping on amazon or using gmail things you do through a browser if you use a lot of actual native apps especially older ones or ones that are not fully supported anymore maybe they don't make the app anymore and you have an old version maybe stick with what you have or buy an intel mac while you can because while most of these programs will work on future platforms in an emulated translated kind of way if you're a small developer and you don't have the

Uh bandwidth to make a new version for a new apple platform well then you may not get to that especially if let's say your company's not even around anymore i'd say something similar about bootcamp for max if you're very concerned about running windows on your mac hardware which is what bootcamp people do we have not heard anything about the support for boot camp on these future macs i don't know if we'll hear it then again there are plenty of windows-based laptops running arm chips

Right now i'm not going to say they run them well but it is technically possible so that is something that could happen i would not bet the farm on it i also thought briefly about mac gamers what are they going to do if you are a mac gamer yes one of the few uh i think this puts an end to the still weak experiments in bringing more traditional pc gaming's to mac i will never uh see my dream of having fallout 76

Native on the mac platform uh come to life but because it's running essentially the same platform as iphones and ipads you could see a lot of those really cool apple arcade games transition really well to max get even more ambitious especially if you pair it with a controller i think that's potentially interesting there but for core gamers no not really the key to all this advice of course is that there are so many things we don't know

We just know now that apple is transitioning their lineup to these arm-based chips the transition will take two years there'll be a lot of overlap between the intel versions and the arm versions but you will apparently see the very first arm products coming at the end of this year i would bet based on things like the mac pro in previous years at the very very decembery end of the year and again if i was going to put money on it i'd say probably a mac mini but they could surprise us with even

More stuff that said current macbooks are great if you really need one right now for yourself or for a student in your life i would not feel particularly apprehensive about buying one

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