This year has brought us a ton of Apple products. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is Apple announcing moving away from Intel’s x86 processors to its own custom ARM-based silicon. There is a lot to unpack here, especially for consumers who generally don’t need to know much about processors beyond, “Is this one faster than my old computer?”
I’m not even saying most people need to understand the exact nuance between Apple and Intel silicon. A lot of this is for developers to understand. There are, however, a few things everyone should know, and if you are looking for a new computer or are about to start shopping, Apple’s announcement might have an impact on your decision.
Keep in mind that this isn’t the first time Apple has made a huge computing change. Back in 2005, Apple revealed plans to move from IBM’s PowerPC to the current Intel processors. On the surface, this is Apple doing a very similar thing, and the reason appears to be the same: improved performance.
Apple ARM versus Intel x86
Most computers use Intel chips these days, and the x86 has become the default. This means that right now, everything is built and optimized to run on its architecture. Talking about architecture, this is where we get into some super technical differences between ARM and Intel x86.