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      /  The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
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Poll : The beginning of the end for x86?
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Yes
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RISC V
What’s this got to do with Amiga?
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amigang 
The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 8-Jun-2024 21:28:11
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 2048
From: Cheshire, England

Sorry for being slightly off Amiga topic, but just seen some vids on the upcoming Snapdragon arm Pc laptops and Windows 11. This might be the beginning of the end for old x86.

This is kinda a follow up to this thread when Apple moved to arm
https://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=43830&forum=17&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=0

I think this quite different this time, compared to last time they tried to get windows on to Arm, this time they basically copied Apple silicon route and got Snapdragon to have x86 emulation built into arm chipset and the performance match Intel i7 mobile speeds.

The battery life and cost of the new range of laptops also might be less than most Intel / amd offerings.

Some benchmarks and info
https://www.xda-developers.com/snapdragon-x-elite-vs-intel-core-ultra-7-155h/

So could this this time be the end of the x86 platform. Dont get me wrong for now I think it can hold its ground, specially in the high end market, but as more software gets ported I can see it getting squeezed and this will undoubtedly hurt x86 companies margins and Intel has not been doing very well recently.

Plus just to make this Amiga related, WinUAE I guess might need to make the switch to arm version.

Last edited by amigang on 08-Jun-2024 at 09:31 PM.

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vox 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 8-Jun-2024 21:42:00
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Jun-2005
Posts: 3755
From: Belgrade, Serbia

@amigang

Well, it is not over yet. We need to see next gen Intel and AMD offerings, but surely ARM
is getting increasingly competitive.

One big dislike of Apple ARM transition is severing users from ability to upgrade
RAM, SSD and especially GPU, making model difference exactly on that. While
cheapest Macs are cheaper then in Intel era, decent ones with 16GB RAM and lets
say 1TB storage seem more expensive then ever, as Apple is making significant
bucks solely on storage and RAM while CPU gen does not seem to increase price that much.

We ll see will these new ARM era fair better.

While I don`t have anything against price reduction
of SOCs and even death of traditional desktops to All In one computers, laptops
and handhelds, need for bigger monitors, expand ability or better GPUs is still on
Intel/AMD desktop side, until they decide to built most impressive GPUs in CPU/SOCC.

Seems that era of built your own computers is also ending.

Also, osbolete-bility of hardware is now more then ever driven by faster software obsoletion cycles. In turn it should bring better optimizations for new gen hardware, hopefully.

AmigaOS and concepts of user controlled, optimized and not so fast obsolete hardware and software seems to loose importance even more as the wheel spins faster.

UAE exists for ARM, wherther WinUAE will make a port as best version is up to its maker.

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DiscreetFX 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 2:29:44
#3 ]
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Joined: 12-Feb-2003
Posts: 2519
From: Chicago, IL

@vox

Here’s a big monitor for you linked below. It’s not an AIO, just a monitor, but it’s plenty of big size extra goodness.

https://www.samsung.com/levant/monitors/gaming/odyssey-ark-2nd-gen-g97nc-55-inch-165hz-1ms-curved-uhd-4k-ls55cg97wnmxue/

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Kronos 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 5:21:56
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2614
From: Unknown

This is at best step1 (everything prior was worse then not trying at all) and they would need:

-"big" laptop and desktop parts
- improved compatibility with exotic code as 99% means it will suck in the 1% that matters for so many companies
- at least 5 years of beating anything Intel/AMD may offer


Quote:

amigang wrote:
this time they basically copied Apple silicon route and got Snapdragon to have x86 emulation built into arm chipset and the performance match Intel i7 mobile speeds.


Neither Apple's M chips nor these have anything x86 builtin, otherwise they'd be sued already.
What Apple has is a good "recompiler" which translates the binary on the 1st start and maybe some small features in the silicon geared towards running those reworked binaries.

No idea wether Windows does the same or if it is still some form of run time emulation, but it surely has finally gotten to the point of usability.

Last edited by Kronos on 09-Jun-2024 at 05:22 AM.

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Hypex 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 10:58:54
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 11280
From: Greensborough, Australia

@amigang

The end of x86/32? Sure. The end of x86/64? Nope.

I'm not sure I understand what Apple is trying to do here. I can understand using ARM for mobile market as ARM is a major player in the mobile market. But I don't understand why they'd want to migrate their entire line up including laptops and desktops to ARM. Plus using an uncommon CPU on desktop is proven to be expensive. Even after going Intel Apple couldn't get the price right and Macs were still expensive!

The point of going to Intel in the first place is to use the fastest CPU available at the best price. Because PPC RISC was too expensive to produce, too slow, and 64 bit was too hot. Now they want to migrate away from Intel, it's like cutting off their nose despite their face. They are already on the fastest CPU on the planet and now they want to stuff it up!

Sure, they have engineers customising ARM for them. But still, Apple is not a CPU company. They don't have the experience or expertise of being the best CPU producer in the world. The way I see it, why are Apple trying to compete with Intel? It doesn't make sense! The only thing Apple has in common with Intel, that I can see, is they are gradually refining a CPU over time they didn't design in the first place.

Apple already went from the can't beat them, join them phase by going Intel. This is like a step backwards to PPC again. All RISC has proven is that new CPU ideas are all well and good, for a modern CPU, but are in the end useless since no one has the money or resources to go against Intel on the desktop And AMD isn't going to do it. Imagine if OS4 was ported to x86, gained 64 bit, then they decided to backport it to POWER10 PPC/64. People would not be impressed!

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Kronos 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 11:19:01
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2614
From: Unknown

@Hypex

Wow, so much wrong in one post, thats quite an achievement

- this not about Apple, this is about Windows going ARM

But lets ignore that...

- prices of consumer Mac have gone down while increasing Apple's margins and being much better than anything Intel

- Apple has been "a CPU company" ever since they bought PASemi and went with inhouse chips for the iPhone soon after

- Apple doing their own chips means the scale them from the Apple Watch to quite capable desktops

- the only place were they can't compete is "might also work as a space heater" segments


ARM is an overall superior architecture over x86(64 or 32) and thats why MS tries to go there, the question is wether being that much better is enough when there is so much legacy code and more and more of the new code operates outside int or float but on parts of the chips that designed from scratch (GPU, media engines, NPU etc).

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kolla 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 14:01:23
#7 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 3064
From: Trondheim, Norway

@vox

Quote:
RAM, SSD and especially GPU


How do you replace something that’s built into the same chip as the CPUs? This is the way things are going, all the components we are used to replace are going into the one chip.

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vox 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 14:47:35
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Jun-2005
Posts: 3755
From: Belgrade, Serbia

@kolla

I ment expand ability onboard i.e PCI-X bus. I loved when basic system components
started integrating onboard (e.g. LAN, sound, IDE/SATA controllers ...) and I do understand
that SOC/CPU integration is next step in cheaping it.

Its that GPUs Intel (e.g. Intel UHD Graphics 770 or AMD Vega, even Apple GPU) aren`t much overall faster then i.e. nVIDIA GTX 1660/1660Ti) even being "couple generations younger".

Integrated graphics is becaming way more usable for Office and daily use, even low res gaming but cant compete further to eliminate graphics cards. Thus eliminating PCI-E bus expand ability
ruins system potential.

@discreetfx

I did not mean 55" even its nice it exist. For many purposes people do need larger monitors then
17" which are most common on laptops today. 22" to 27" is desktop norm today, TVs are even larger :D

@hypex

CPUs for Apple were already there - in 8 core plus iPhones. They just upscaled it.
In house development and production means less cost and reliability on others.

Last edited by vox on 09-Jun-2024 at 02:48 PM.

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Kronos 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 14:53:07
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2614
From: Unknown

@vox

Quote:

vox wrote:
daily use, even low res gaming but cant compete further to eliminate graphics cards. Thus eliminating PCI-E bus expand ability
ruins system potential.



The Snapdragon chip used in those thin&leight laptops has 4 Gen4 PCIe lanes unused, so putting in a bigger chassis with an discrete GPU is possible.

For proper desktops it's the wrong chip and we will just to wait if and what they might end up offering there.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 17:30:56
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12856
From: Norway

@Hypex

Every trick in the book has been done on x64 to make what is today, there is really just one thing they can do, to make less hot and more energy efficient, and this is to make it less complex. This manes doing something about the instruction decode stage, this means the old instruction set has to go. Variable length instructions must go. Variable length instructions are also tricky regarding cache misses, and chance alignment, so there is speed benefit of having 4bytes aligned instructions.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 9-Jun-2024 17:42:03
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12856
From: Norway

@Kronos

Well Apple invested into PowerPC, as well but real problem is that they want exclude others from using their technology, this means that Apple must take majority of the investment cost, I believe this what killed of PowerPC in the first place. Apple killed the clone market, resulting in that stopped piracy but, in the end, it killed their hardware platform. Now they are doing the same with ARM, but perhaps this time they are not going to be the only one switching to ARM.

Microsoft has open to ARM long time, and more and more their business software is moving to the web, as it also becomes more popular with cloud computing. Redundancy and off-site servers, means better up time, for companies, but it also comes with huge risks, regarding hacking, and trust. imagine a world where foreign government can block your access to your servers. Data can be traded or stolen, and AI can be trained on your business secretes.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 09-Jun-2024 at 05:42 PM.

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amigang 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 10-Jun-2024 5:05:45
#12 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 2048
From: Cheshire, England

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
imagine a world where foreign government can block your access to your servers. Data can be traded or stolen, and AI can be trained on your business secretes.


Are we not already in that world?
Very recently here in the uk, nhs hospitals got hacked cause disruption and the military data got hack, both have Russian and Chinese links.

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Hypex 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 10-Jun-2024 7:32:59
#13 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 11280
From: Greensborough, Australia

@Kronos

Quote:
Wow, so much wrong in one post, thats quite an achievement




Quote:
- this not about Apple, this is about Windows going ARM


My response was main about this reference even if old by now:
Quote:
- this not about Apple, this is about Windows going ARM


It's about time the price of Macs went down! It was supposed to happen when they dropped PPC as PPC is known to be number 1 blame of Macs and Amiga hardware being expensive.

It's no coincidence they bought PASemi, who were working on PPC, so they could kill off PPC for good. Apple almost killed off the X1000. Despite not producing any Macs using a PASemi PPC.

However, one feature they gained with Intel, was ability to run Windows apps. Be that on hardware or VM in MacOS. They lose that. I don't think replacing it with ARM Windows compatibility can cut it as that doesn't have the huge base of x86.

Quote:
ARM is an overall superior architecture over x86(64 or 32) and thats why MS tries to go there, the question is wether being that much better is enough when there is so much legacy code and more and more of the new code operates outside int or float but on parts of the chips that designed from scratch (GPU, media engines, NPU etc).


ARM does have the usual RISC limitations. Like PPC. Limited addressing modes and obsessive use of registers. So what is usually performed by CPU internally needs to be broken into external code sequences. x86 is so refined now that it almost doesn't mater. Though I would have liked to see a hybrid architecture that combined features of both CISC and RISC.

However, MS could port Windows to ARM, for the same reason they ported it to PPC. ARM is little endian so it can run easily. Windows is a little endian locked OS. But, being endian non-portable, doesn;t hurt it. On PPC, Windows ran in little endian mode, which is why it could work at all. And not even Windows could save PPC by running on it.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 10-Jun-2024 8:49:07
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12856
From: Norway

@Hypex

Well, there is the same number of registers on x64 as its on PowerPC, have look here:

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/drivers/debugger/x64-architecture

why is that? well because of Instruction pipelining:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instruction_pipelining

pipeline only works, if next operation, does not depend on previous, if you have many registers you can have multiple instructions stacked, do not depend on each other. Out of order execution, is a way to execute instructions to maximize the instruction pipelines.

It's X64 that caught up with PowerPC, kind of, this is why the switch to PowerPC/Power did not happen. Because ARM and PowerPC is a lot similar, one is not needed, so PowerPC has been killed off, in favor of the ARM CPU has been used in mobile phones and tablets. PowerPC has been going backwards, regarding SIMD, and Cache Coherence. With its flirted with embedded industry market. they do not need the multimedia instructions.

Not because its not needed, but because they do not process images and audio.

Quote:
Though I would have liked to see a hybrid architecture that combined features of both CISC and RISC.


RISK “reduced instruction set.”
CISC “Complex Instruction Set Compute”

Well you can’t have a complete instructionset, not have a complete instructionset at same time.

If you remove an instruction, you end up with exceptions and performance hits.

If you have a CISC CPU and you want it to become a RISK, then the CPU is going to suck.

Existing code does not change, and you likely can’t recompile code, and get it to use new instructions, custom routines, can be messy.

if you switch out the FPU with different FPU, you get A1222, lots of issues. Its best to see the instruction set as fixed, but possibility to extend, you can’t simply remove instruction whenever you want. if you do, your make life hard for the poor software developers who now has remove optimization, compile with out fpu support, or do other stupid stuff to make it work.

It's like the lack of Amigs chipset, in the AmigaONE, because we do not have hardware we are stuck with exception handlers. To try catch memory exceptions. It definitely does not work as well as having the chipset.

The reason why i386 instruction is not removed from x64 is because micro-opcodes used in the i386 instructions are the same micro-opcodes as used in x64 instructions. So you do not really save any transistors by removing this. and this extra instruction does not slow down the decode stage.



Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 10-Jun-2024 at 09:55 AM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 10-Jun-2024 at 09:34 AM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 10-Jun-2024 at 09:31 AM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 10-Jun-2024 at 09:28 AM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 10-Jun-2024 at 09:20 AM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 10-Jun-2024 at 09:16 AM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 10-Jun-2024 at 09:14 AM.

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Hypex 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 10-Jun-2024 14:09:55
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 11280
From: Greensborough, Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
Every trick in the book has been done on x64 to make what is today, there is really just one thing they can do, to make less hot and more energy efficient, and this is to make it less complex. This manes doing something about the instruction decode stage, this means the old instruction set has to go. Variable length instructions must go. Variable length instructions are also tricky regarding cache misses, and chance alignment, so there is speed benefit of having 4bytes aligned instructions.


There was a discussion about this on hackaday. Why X86 Needs To Die. But it was misleading as it wasn't about X86 needing to die but to refine it like you say. Which isn't the same thing. However, this has been discussed here and other places. And those with the technical knowledge have explained how it's all microcoded so backwards compatibility has a minimal impact on the core design.

Quote:
Well, there is the same number of registers on x64 as its on PowerPC, have look here:


Except for x64 it has 16 GPRs. Well, as general as you can get, with 16 main registers. PowerPC has had 32 GPRs with FPU and vectors being in separate files. Not counting the embedded variants.

Quote:
It's X64 that caught up with PowerPC, kind of, this is why the switch to PowerPC/Power did not happen. Because ARM and PowerPC is a lot similar, one is not needed, so PowerPC has been killed off, in favor of the ARM CPU has been used in mobile phones and tablets. PowerPC has been going backwards, regarding SIMD, and Cache Coherence. With its flirted with embedded industry market. they do not need the multimedia instructions.


When the G4 was produced it had the needed extensions for multimedia. However, not enough work was put into promoting it as an embedded CPU. PPC should really be where ARM is now. It had a head start and had some success. But, when scaled down to embedded variants, there were too many variations that were incompatible with the core architecture. In addition, PPC lacked good backwards compatibility. Each CPU requires a custom kernel. You boot a Windows install CD and it will work on a full range of x86 PCs. A Mac install CD needs specific CD and a Mac test CD will only work on one model or crash. The AmigaOne needs a custom kernel despite using a common G3 or G4.

Quote:
Existing code does not change, and you likely can’t recompile code, and get it to use new instructions, custom routines, can be messy.


Well, in the case I'm proposing, there wouldn't be any existing code because it would be a new CPU design.

Quote:
It's like the lack of Amigs chipset, in the AmigaONE, because we do not have hardware we are stuck with exception handlers. To try catch memory exceptions. It definitely does not work as well as having the chipset.


In addition, having the hardware, say hanging off the PCI bus wouldn't solve all the issues. Because most games banging hard take over OS. The emulator isn't designed for that. So an independent CPU emulator would need to be running. That or just putting a 68K on board that can take over when 68K code trips the hardware somehow.

Quote:
The reason why i386 instruction is not removed from x64 is because micro-opcodes used in the i386 instructions are the same micro-opcodes as used in x64 instructions. So you do not really save any transistors by removing this. and this extra instruction does not slow down the decode stage.


That's said to be why x64 can support it all without a ton of overhead

Last edited by Hypex on 10-Jun-2024 at 02:12 PM.

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agami 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 11-Jun-2024 2:40:43
#16 ]
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Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1716
From: Melbourne, Australia

@amigang

I answered: No. Mostly because the question doesn't provide enough context. End of x86 in Laptop/Notebook computers? End of x86 as a mainstream consumer computing CPU? End of x86 as a common ISA within contemporary computing, in the same way Alpha, PA-RISC, and Zilog have disappeared?

I think x86 will stick around until quantum computing becomes the norm. It may no longer be in consumer devices, but it will be behind the scenes in many applications. That said, I'm convinced the same fate awaits ARM, RISC-V, and POWER.

While there will always be a cohort of people who will specialize in the hardware interfacing layers, for the most part end users and developers will care less and less about what ISA is present in the majority of contexts.

The same way most of us currently aren't concerned with the source of the silicon, copper, or aluminium that goes into our computing devices, future end users will not give two hoots about x86, ARM, etc.
Already there are over a billion laptop users in the world who don't care what CPU it is running, if the RAM uses sockets or is sodlered to the board, if the storage is PCIe 3.0 or PCIe 4.0, which specific wireless chip it uses (Intel, Realtek, Broadcom), and so on.
Most end users care if the computer can run the apps/games they want to run, at the performance level above which they are unwilling to compromise, and at the price they're willing to pay.
Caring about brands, design and architecture, something which I habitually do, is considered by many a luxury.

The coming 3rd computer revolution will be defined by ubiquitous computing, among other things. In this landscape the human interface takes primacy. And in the world wide mesh of computing behind it all, there will still be x86.

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fishy_fis 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 11-Jun-2024 14:49:31
#17 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Mar-2004
Posts: 2163
From: Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
Every trick in the book has been done on x64 to make what is today, there is really just one thing they can do, to make less hot and more energy efficient, and this is to make it less complex


Absolute nonsense.
Other than Intel's higher end desktop skus power consumption and heat dissipation continues on a downward trend while concurrently becoming considerable more complicated.
Nigh on the exact opposite of what you've spewed.

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Hammer 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 11-Jun-2024 15:38:18
#18 ]
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Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5600
From: Australia

@amigang

Nonsense. ARM has yet to prove platform longevity. Many ARM-based solutions are dead-end door stops and they talk about being green and they are the major throw-away ewaste hypocrites.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 11-Jun-2024 18:28:55
#19 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12856
From: Norway

@Hammer

Anyway, it’s easy to see the politicians are in the pocket of industry lobby,
its kind interesting that only the valuable stuff being recycled.

Just look at all packaging in plastic, that is only used once, and can’t be recycled. It should be possible to packing more foods in glass or wood / paper and demand more recycling. Like what is being done with bottles. The amount of micro plastic in the environment is scary.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 11-Jun-2024 at 08:37 PM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: The end of x86? Pt2 (Arm Snapdragon X)
Posted on 11-Jun-2024 20:29:51
#20 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 12856
From: Norway

@fishy_fis

You always going to retch physical limitations, nothing to do about that, even if they keep going a few more years, it will eventually happen.

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