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October 19, 2021

Daily Tech News 19 October 2021

Top Story

  • Apple announced the new 14" and 16" MacBook Pro models based on the new M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs. (AnandTech)

    These CPUs are what the original M1 needed to be and what the Tame Apple Press pretended it was.

    For background, the M1 has 4 fast cores, 4 slow cores, and 8 GPU cores, with a 128-bit memory bus and up to 16GB of RAM.

    The M1 Pro has 8 fast cores, 2 slow cores, and 16 GPU cores, with a 256-bit bus and up to 32GB of RAM. For all intents and purposes, its double the M1; the slow cores don't matter a great deal except when your laptop is idle.

    The M1 Max raises the stakes further; the CPU is the same as the M1 Pro, but it has 32 GPU cores and a 512-bit bus with up to 64GB of RAM.

    In fact it's mostly GPU; the die photo looks more like a PlayStation or Xbox chip than a typical laptop CPU. It has 57 billion transistors, which is more than a high end desktop CPU and graphics card combined. That's possible because Apple has basically bought out TSMC's 5nm production capacity.

    But TSMC's rapid growth and the 5nm process itself have basically been funded by Apple's shiny toys, so I can't complain about that too much.

    The problem is, while this is one of the fastest mainstream laptops around, it only runs MacOS, and Apple's guiding corporate principle is controlling everything its users do. In a few short years they've taken MacOS from possibly the most developer-friendly operating system around to one that I take pains to avoid.

    The other problem is that this technology is only possible because the CPU, GPU, and memory are sandwiched onto a single unreplaceable and unrepairable module. You can't upgrade the RAM, you can't opt for less CPU and more GPU. You get what you're given.

    Oh, and no Four Essential Keys either.

    The 16" MacBook Pro is probably better than my Dell Inspiron 16 Plus, but with the same configuration - 8 CPU cores, 32GB RAM, 1TB of SSD, and on the Dell, an RTX 3060 - it costs exactly twice as much.

Tech News

  • We already know that AMD's Rembrandt APUs - most probably with 8 Zen 3+ CPU cores and 12 RDNA2 graphics cores - are coming early next year. Those are likely single-chip devices just like their current laptop chips.

    Coming up after that is Raphael which will bring 16 core CPUs with integrated graphics to laptops. (WCCFTech)

    This isn't expected for 15 months and we don't know much about it yet, but it appears that all of AMD's next-gen CPUs will have integrated graphics, and low-power models of the desktop chips will be sold for high-end laptops.

  • A person or persons unknown hijacked the Tor nodes used by the REvil ransomware group. (Bleeping Computer)

    Apparently they got control of the domains and have the hacker group's private keys and payment data.

    Sometimes bad things also happen to bad people.

  • How to enable Windows 11's God Mode. (Bleeping Computer)

    Not God Complex, mind you. That's enabled by default and indeed no-one has yet found a way to turn it off.

    God Mode gives you a single window with every possible configuration option available. Which, since I cannot currently change the brightness of my secondary display for some reason, might come in handy.

Disclaimer: Inspector Gadget, I choose you!
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