Apple is rethinking how components should exist and operate inside a laptop. With M1 chips in new Macs, Apple has a new “Unified Memory Architecture” (UMA) that dramatically speeds up memory performance. Here’s how memory works on Apple Silicon. How Apple Silicon Handles RAM In case you haven’t already heard the news, Apple announced a new slate of Macs in November 2020. The new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini models are using an ARM-based processor custom-designed by Apple called the M1 . This change was long expected and is the culmination of Apple’s decade spent designing ARM-based processors for the iPhone and iPad. The M1 is a system on a chip (SoC), which means that there’s not just a CPU inside the processor, but also other key components, including the GPU, I/O controllers, Apple’s Neural Engine for AI tasks, and, most importantly for our purposes, the physical RAM is part of that same package. To be clear, the RAM isn’t on the same Silicon as the fundamental … [Read more...] about How “Unified Memory” Speeds Up Apple’s M1 ARM Macs
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Microsoft’s 21H2 update will debut in the second half of 2021. This is a bigger update with more new features and follows the 21H1 update planned for Spring 2021, which is focused on stability and polish. This article is up-to-date with the latest changes as of Windows 10 Insider build 21313 , which was released on February 12, 2020. No Guarantees! As usual, Microsoft offers no guarantee that these features will appear in the final version of 21H2. They’re currently in the development builds of what will become the 21H2 update, but Microsoft may pull these features and spend more time working on them—or never release them. With that in mind, let’s look at what Microsoft is working on. RELATED: What's New in Windows 10's 21H1 Update, Coming Spring 2021 Weather and News on the Taskbar Microsoft is adding a “News and Interests” pane to the taskbar. You’ll see the local weather to the left of your notification area icons on the taskbar. Click it and you’ll … [Read more...] about What’s New in Windows 10’s 21H2 Update, Coming Winter 2021
Anybody looking for serious graphics power needs to have a graphics card from AMD, NVIDIA, or (someday soon) Intel. Not everyone wants that kind of power, however, especially when it comes at a price tag of $150 to more than $1,000. How Good Are Integrated Graphics? So what do you do if you aren’t interested in shelling out for a graphics card, but you’d still like to play the occasional session of Civilization VI or The Witcher 3 ? All is not lost. You can get usable, or sometimes even outstanding, performance from your CPU’s built-in or integrated graphics. It all depends on which games you want to play , what graphics settings you can accept, and how old your CPU is. Gaming is the main thing you need to be concerned with here. Integrated graphics will work just fine for most other typical uses of a PC. There are professional tasks that rely on a system’s GPU, too. These include video editing, graphics rendering, and GPU-accelerated computing with standards like … [Read more...] about When Are Integrated Graphics Good Enough on a PC?
Microsoft released Windows CE in November 1996 as a new version of Windows. Designed to run pocket-sized computers, CE brought the user-friendly Windows 95 interface to mobile computing for the first time. Its architecture also formed the basis of Microsoft’s later mobile computing and smartphone products. Here’s why it was needed. A Compact, Portable Version of Windows Windows CE was necessary because full desktop versions of Windows, then tied mostly to the Intel x86 CPU architecture, weren’t practical to run on the pocket-sized devices of the time. As a result, Windows CE represented an entirely different platform from its desktop OS cousins. It couldn’t run programs designed for Windows 95 or Windows NT. Windows CE’s design emphasized low power usage, compatibility with flash memory storage, and relatively low memory requirements. It also retained a user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) similar to Windows 95 , complete with the Start menu, and even a built-in … [Read more...] about What Was Windows CE, and Why Did People Use It?