Search Unity

  1. Click here to see what's on sale for the "Best of Super Sale" on the Asset Store
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Good news ✨ We have more Unite Now videos available for you to watch on-demand! Come check them out and ask our experts any questions!
    Dismiss Notice

Unity3D for ARM Macs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bsurya, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,265
    Windows 10 is already capable of being taken anywhere and being instantly available. I recently built two new systems in my house (a budget-oriented desktop for my mom, and a high-end workstation for myself). Both of them boot in under 15 seconds and exiting sleep mode is sub one second with the monitors taking longer to turn back on.

    Furthermore sleep mode is very light on battery life. I have an older Panasonic Toughbook that I typically turn on at the beginning of a trip and keep in sleep mode when I'm not actively using it. I can very easily get many hours out of it and that's with being instantly available.

    All of the above is and has been achievable with x86 hardware for years now. We don't need ARM to do so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  2. IgnisIncendio

    IgnisIncendio

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Posts:
    195
    That's not the point. The main point of the switch to ARM is efficiency, not to increase performance, compared to the current MacBooks. It's not trying to compete against the most performant, power-hungry CPUs. Once again, if the performance stays the same, but the efficiency is better, then why not? Why not have longer battery life, or even just slimmer or less heaty laptops, if they do indeed shrink the batteries? Because...

    ... it might be more expensive. And that's something we'll just have to see when it comes out, though I very much doubt that ARM is so much more expensive than Intel chips, given its prevalent usage already. "Both is hard" is not the only solution to having both performance and efficiency. Maybe the architecture is just simpler, better and more modern. Intel was both faster and more efficient than Power PC, which was why the industry moved over to Intel. Now it's ARM's turn.

    There's some people talking about how they can already achieve good battery life with x86, and they don't need ARM. However unless you feel that ARM is more expensive, or slower, or less compatible (Rosetta 2), it just feels like complaining about change for the sake of it. You have good battery life with x86; now you can have better with ARM.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  3. Tanner555

    Tanner555

    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Posts:
    68
    You do have a good point. I personally had a lot of issues with sleep mode on my desktop, and it seems like even the slightest nudge of the mouse wakes up my computer.
    I'll add that there are Windows 10 tablets that run on X86 and have pretty decent battery life and performance.

    But even then, I think having Windows 10 running well on ARM would be a huge feat. The battery life and performance of high end ARM processors per watt is already miles above what we currently have with low power intel chips. And working with Windows 10 was never as instant and snappy as iOS (yeah I know iOS is a mobile OS). That's why I'm excited about Microsoft experimenting with Windows 10X on their intel tablet (Surface Neo?), as well as getting Windows 10 working on ARM. Apple Silicon is going to be a big competitor in these new ARM portable desktop computers in the future.
     
    IgnisIncendio likes this.
  4. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,265
    Speaking of which I came across this while poking around the Internet for anything related to Windows 10 on ARM. If I had to guess it's an early showcase of the Microsoft Surface X which turned out to not be that impressive.


    And I came across the following article concerning Qualcomm. It's only a day old.

    https://www.neowin.net/news/qualcomm-might-be-working-on-a-snapdragon-8cx-for-windows-10-pcs/
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
    Tanner555 likes this.
  5. Tanner555

    Tanner555

    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Posts:
    68
    I would consider the Surface X an early access product with tons of flaws. The ARM processor itself is actually very powerful and super capable. The problem is barely any software is running natively on ARM, and the X86 emulator absolutely sucks. Even non-native web browsers run terrible on the Surface X.

    While apparently Rosetta 2 on the new Apple Silicon could run games originally ported to Intel Macs (like Shadow of the Tomb Raider) pretty well. They showed a demo of Maya with a complex scene running very well on Apple Silicon apparently running all on Rosetta 2. I think the compatibility and performance of Rosetta 2 will run laps around Surface X.

    Hopefully Apples Silicon pushes Microsoft to improve their X86 emulation compatibility and performance. I'd like to see X86 DX11 games run smoothly on future ARM surface tablets.
     
    IgnisIncendio likes this.
  6. SamFZGames

    SamFZGames

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Posts:
    29
    Ah, your determination makes sense now :p

    Just wait. You'll see. Just cause computers are good doesn't mean they can't be better. This is going to be a big deal.

    I, for one, can't wait.
     
    IgnisIncendio likes this.
  7. IgnisIncendio

    IgnisIncendio

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Posts:
    195
    Tanner555 likes this.
  8. KokkuHub

    KokkuHub

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Posts:
    516
    Also, Microsoft's emulation is limited to 32-bit binaries. You cannot run x64 apps the Surface X (yet: MS is supposedly working on 64-bit emulation). Apple's emulation seems more advanced, at least from what they have demonstrated.

    Microsoft needs to get the people behind the Xbox backwards compatibility into this, that thing is miraculous.
     
    Tanner555 likes this.
  9. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,265
    On the contrary both of the upgrades are merely stepping stones towards the final upgrade. I needed a new workstation or I would have waited, and so I bought a Ryzen 5 3600 to help with the few months left to my end goal which is the 4950X or equivalent CPU, and at least an RTX 3080. Both of these hardware components are far beyond anything based on ARM.
     
    MothDoctor and Joe-Censored like this.
  10. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    9,614
    You realize, Apple makes high end Mac workstations too, right? Apple is replacing all of them with ARM. Do you really think in these workstations Apple is ready to maintain the same performance vs Intel? And Apple is just months away from releasing their first ARM Macs, the designs are complete and would be preparing for mass production at this point. They have undoubtedly been running benchmarks for some time now. Why isn't Apple releasing them? If they looked good that would shut down any criticism in this area.
    I never said ARM is expensive. I was saying being both best in class in performance and best in class in efficiency at the same time is hard and expensive, that isn't limited to any specific technology. We have cars that get 50 MPG, we have cars that can go 0-60 MPH in 2.8 seconds. Why not both? Where is that car? It is really the same problem. You can't just scale up something designed for max efficiency and expect to both maintain that efficiency and compete with the best on performance. It doesn't work like that.
     
  11. IgnisIncendio

    IgnisIncendio

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Posts:
    195
    I guess we'll just have to wait and see if they can indeed put ARM inside their high-end machines, I do agree that is still unproven ground (except for that ARM supercomputer, maybe). However, for a lot of people who don't require high-end performance, and just need something that is good enough, which the A12 definitely is, better efficiency is welcome any day.

    They did say they still have Intel machines in their pipeline -- who knows, maybe ARM for Macbooks, and Intel for Mac Pros, if they really couldn't match high-end performance? That might explain why they have Universal binaries too.
     
  12. Tanner555

    Tanner555

    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Posts:
    68
    There's a lot of technologies from the new Xbox Series X I really want to see in Surface tablets in the future. The obvious one is easy to install, super fast SSDs. The SSD expansions on Xbox Series X would be super handy on a portable tablet, and a high speed SSD would benefit performance greatly. Considering microsoft already put a ton of advanced custom features in Xbox Series X, like Direct X 12 Ultimate Features, custom processors for IO and Audio, and DX12 baked into the silicon. I'd like to see all these same features put on an ARM SOC in future Surface Tablets. This and super powerful X86 emulation, and helping developers port their apps to ARM, would pave the way for a portable Xbox console (Xbox Series Portable?). That would be pretty sick in my opinion.
     
  13. Marble

    Marble

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2005
    Posts:
    1,232
    I'm optimistic about what this transition might mean for Apple hardware capabilities in the future. Their mobile SOC is extremely impressive compared to the competition (and even compared to actively cooled x86). If they do a good job scaling that performance with a higher TDP, then I think we can plausibly expect to be impressed. They also get to jettison Intel's security issues plus the performance penalties that come with fixing them; they also get to tailor their hardware more directly to their software architecture. After their CPU and GPU successes with the A series (and the A12Z that was running Tomb Raider in the demo is last year's processor with an integrated GPU running in emulation), it's nice to feel like it's not worth betting against Apple for once.

    I'm not sure that a lack of information from Apple about the new hardware means that new silicon for the Mac is underwhelming. Apple rarely discusses unreleased products and historically seem perfectly happy to be underestimated. All we can do is wait and see, of course, but the prospect of them hitting another home run in computing is pretty exciting. Without really trying, they've created a thriving mobile gaming ecosystem; if even a little of that success rubs off onto the Mac then it'd be a huge win for me as a user that prefers working on macOS.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  14. RichardKain

    RichardKain

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Posts:
    1,258
    Trying to speculate about power disparities is pointless. Power has never driven the PC market, only the fringes of it. You have to look no further than general consumer trends over the past two decades. Desktop PCs have seen a massive drop-off, while laptops and tablets are now the most common computing devices. I've even had to grudgingly hold my tongue when my mother refers to her tablet as a "computer." Yes, Mom, your diminutive device which does not come with a default keyboard or mouse does indeed qualify as a "personal computer" now.

    Bottom line, the niche market of performance-focused PC gaming has been largely irrelevant for a long time, and that trend isn't changing. Apple's shift to their own in-house CPU solution has nothing to do with either performance or efficiency. It's a matter of control and production. It gives Apple a means of further tightening their grip on their overall platform. It is a move that they've been hoping for for a long time.

    Oddly enough, this shift on Apple's part is going to increase the power and influence that middleware companies have. While Apple can get by somewhat with internal development, the real software money on their platforms comes from third-party developers. The biggest risk in shifting the hardware is in increasing the burden on those developers, and potentially losing some of them. Middleware managers like Unity or Epic help to bridge the gap. They provide a solution that abstracts the shift, absorbing a hefty amount of that burden. Apple needs those middleware solutions, now more than ever, in order to continue benefiting from third-party software.
     
    Tanner555 likes this.
  15. bobisgod234

    bobisgod234

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Posts:
    652
    x86 macro-op fusing has been a thing since 2006. Instruction/data caches have been a thing since probably some time around the late 80's or early 90's. I am not sure of the year exactly, since basically every CPU architecture started doing this around the time that ram/fsb frequencies stopped being tied to the CPU's frequency.

    The whole RISC vs CISC debate is really something that belongs in the last millennium. Modern CPU's (x86, ARM, or otherwise) are too complex to compare in such simplistic ways anymore.

    If you are looking at efficiencies, then the main benefit I can see in moving to ARM is in the GPU. Intel have really been dragging their feet on their GPU's in recent years (in terms of power usage, and processing power). The Xe was probably too little too late.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  16. IndieFist

    IndieFist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Posts:
    425
    Today is the apple event... so, if someone want to use Mac Arm based, need to upgrade to 2020.2 beta really? arf this isnt a good idea
     
  17. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    9,614
    If someone wants to use an ARM based Mac, they probably need to first wait until the product is actually for sale before getting concerned about if Unity for it has left beta.
     
  18. Ukounu

    Ukounu

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2019
    Posts:
    125
    My understanding is that these new Macs support all existing Intel Mac apps through emulation (Rosetta 2, which comes integrated into Big Sur MacOS). So if someone buys a new Mac, they can install any older Unity version on it, and play all existing Mac games. There is no urgent need for apps compiled specifically for ARM Macs right now, neither for developers nor for users.
     
  19. KokkuHub

    KokkuHub

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Posts:
    516
    Rosetta 2 exists mostly so existing apps can run on Arm Macs without having to completely overhaul their codebase. As in any new Mac OS, expect apps that don't update to break left and right. Older versions of Unity won't even run on Catalina anymore.
     
    Ryiah and Joe-Censored like this.
  20. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    9,614
    Considering how often Apple breaks compatibility with apps actually designed for the same CPU architecture, call me skeptical they will pull this off without a hitch.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  21. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,265
    Forget compatibility. Performance is where these devices will truly struggle. Their product page makes a grandious claim concerning performance (a 3.5x increase) but it's a disappointment when you consider they are comparing it to a processor with half of the cores, a very iffy process tech (Intel's 10nm is a failure), and a very low clock speed (1.2GHz base).

     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  22. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Posts:
    7,906
    That i7 MacBook has turbo boost up to 3.8 GHz. Anyway, trusting manufacturer's benchmarks is generally a bad idea. Third party benchmarks should come out in a couple weeks when the devices ship.

    You need to upgrade to 2020.2 beta if you want to build your game as native macOS Apple silicon app. The editor itself works fine in all supported versions (2018.4+).
     
    MothDoctor, IndieFist and Ryiah like this.
  23. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    16,265
    Yes, but with the severely limited cooling it has it can't do it for very long. It's sufficient for the brief burst of time it takes to start an app or load a website, but it's going to sit at a low clock speed for most productivity tasks.

    Agreed, and it's yet another device on the long list of devices I want to see in action this month.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
    Joe-Censored and MothDoctor like this.
  24. IndieFist

    IndieFist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Posts:
    425
    Then, can i use 2019.4.14 with Arm version and do build for Android/iOS? without upgrade my project to 2020.2?
     
  25. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Posts:
    7,906
    Yes. I've no idea what build times will look like though. Furthermore, Unity 2020.2 does nothing for the editor with regards to Apple silicon: upgrading to it wouldn't change a thing.
     
    Ryiah and IndieFist like this.
  26. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    9,614
    At least Apple learned from this and has improved the cooling in their new Apple Silicon Macs.......

    Oh wait....
    https://www.macrumors.com/guide/apple-silicon-macbook-air-vs-macbook-pro/

    They decided to just remove all fans entirely from the M1 Macbook Air, and actually having a fan is now a Pro only feature. Nevermind ;)
     
    Tanner555 likes this.
  27. Tanner555

    Tanner555

    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Posts:
    68
    Are you telling me Unity will be running in emulation mode for the new Apple Silicon Macs?

    If there's no fan in the Macbook Air, than it's more than possible iPads in the future will come installed with MacOS and use the new Silicon Mac APUs.
     
    Joe-Censored likes this.
  28. bobisgod234

    bobisgod234

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2016
    Posts:
    652
    I seriously doubt that iPads will ever use MacOS, even if they are technically capable of doing so.
     
    Tanner555 and Joe-Censored like this.
  29. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Posts:
    7,906
    For now, until we complete the port.
     
    Tanner555, Joe-Censored and Ryiah like this.
  30. IndieFist

    IndieFist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2013
    Posts:
    425
    Sorry, im a bit confused, i need 2020.2 to make build for arm system, or any system?
    I actually use 2019.4.14 for make builds on android/iOS, i need to update my project to 2020.2 for continue working with a new arm computer from mac?
    Best regards
     
  31. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Posts:
    7,906
    You need 2020.2 if you want to target macOS Apple silicon devices natively. If you only want to target Android/iOS, it doesn't matter which Unity version you use.
     
    IndieFist and Joe-Censored like this.
  32. vpacha

    vpacha

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Posts:
    3
    @Tautvydas-Zilys I'm buying a new Macbook mainly for IOS development, is it better to get the new m1 and run Unity editor on rosetta or should I go with the 16 inches MacBook Pro (intel)?
    I'm really concerned about having bugs running unity editor through rosetta, The games are simple so I'm not THAT worried about performance yet
     
    Joe-Censored likes this.
  33. Tautvydas-Zilys

    Tautvydas-Zilys

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Posts:
    7,906
    Honestly, if you bought the new Mac, you'd be an early adopter and it's possible you run into bugs. We have not yet gotten our hands on the new devices so I honestly can't say what issues you will run into. And while we aim to fix any issues that arise, that can take some time and you might end up being blocked sometimes. Going with the Intel machine is the safer bet here.
     
unityunity