Has Intel Processor performance peaked?

Many have complained that the performance of the latest and greatest Macbook Pro’s is barely better than the previous generation which many complained was using a dated processor, they then lamented that Apple should have used KabyLake processor models.

The trouble is the only improvement on the chips Apple used is minor improvements in power consumption and while they boast a 25% increase in performance the clock speed was hiked by 25% by Intel for their “blurb” when they first released or announced the chips and even then the battery life improvements was based on purely watching a 4K Video held on an SSD played over and over as opposed to real life usage and as Leo Laporte would say, his 8 hour Microsoft Surface Book has a real life usage battery life of barely over 2 hours.

The only conclusion we can come to is that Intel is struggling to eak out any more performance from their processor designs and they are focusing on trying to improve battery life when used in mobile platforms.

My 2012 iMac (purchased a couple of weeks before they did the refresh in 2012) still has plenty of performance and doesn’t have trouble with updates to macOS.   I can hold off purchasing a new device for at least a year or more unless the iMac quits working and others have said the same that their Mac’s are all performing quite well and those that have purchased the 2016 Mac have been a little disappointed expecting a huge increase and the only improvement seems to be in the graphics performance.  

Meanwhile ARM based processors continue to creep up in performance and Apple have excelled at improving performance and chip design.  What will happen when the advantages of reduced instruction set processors and Apple making 4 or 6 high powered cores alongside 2 or four low powered cores?   Apple are really leading in their own chip design and using multiple low powered co-processors for auxiliary features leaving a main processor to do the donkey work and switching between high power and low power processing for tasks that don’t need mammoth computing power.

The coming two to five years ahead will be interesting to see what Intel does and what Apple does in their processor designs, especially now that Intel are looking at ARM based chip designs too.

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