Contribute
Register

Alder Lake / Big Little Compatibility with Hackintosh

Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
92
Motherboard
MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
Sapphire 5700 XT Nitro+
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Pro
  4. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Does anyone how and if Big Sur Monterey and Opencore will recognize CPUs with Big / Little core setups? There are already two CPUs with this configuration from Lakefield architecture, the i5 L16G7 and i3 L13G4. Both are 1 big core and 4 little cores processors. The Samsung Galaxy Book S laptop actually uses the Core i5 L16G7 processor, however I haven't seen anyone try to install Mac OS on it.

If there's any evidence of these processors working, this would give some solid insight to the upcoming Alder Lake processors.

There's also some solid evidence Apple will be releasing ONE MORE Intel Mac Pro at the end of this year;


The only question is, will it be using a processor with Big / Little cores? Would that require Apple to do a big overhaul of the OS to figure out how to distribute the workload across these cores?

I can think of three scenarios playing out with the announced SKUs (source):
  1. The little cores get ignored, and using the flagship 8+8 big little core i9 setup would effectively make it an 8+0 core setup. You'd basically be limiting your processors performance.
  2. If using a Big Little setup isn't possible, there is an i5 processor with 6 big cores only, I would imagine this would work without any issues.
  3. None of the processors work with Mac OS and Rocket Lake is end of the line.
And finally, there is the issue of how PCI 5.0 will behave with Mac OS and Intels new integrated graphics though with dedicated GPUs, this shouldn't be too big of a problem.
 

Jamesbond007

Moderator
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
6,395
Motherboard
Z390 Designare
CPU
i7 9700KF
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Does anyone how and if Big Sur Monterey and Opencore will recognize CPUs with Big / Little core setups? There are already two CPUs with this configuration from Lakefield architecture, the i5 L16G7 and i3 L13G4. Both are 1 big core and 4 little cores processors. The Samsung Galaxy Book S laptop actually uses the Core i5 L16G7 processor, however I haven't seen anyone try to install Mac OS on it.

If there's any evidence of these processors working, this would give some solid insight to the upcoming Alder Lake processors.

There's also some solid evidence Apple will be releasing ONE MORE Intel Mac Pro at the end of this year;


The only question is, will it be using a processor with Big / Little cores? Would that require Apple to do a big overhaul of the OS to figure out how to distribute the workload across these cores?

I can think of three scenarios playing out with the announced SKUs (source):
  1. The little cores get ignored, and using the flagship 8+8 big little core i9 setup would effectively make it an 8+0 core setup. You'd basically be limiting your processors performance.
  2. If using a Big Little setup isn't possible, there is an i5 processor with 6 big cores only, I would imagine this would work without any issues.
  3. None of the processors work with Mac OS and Rocket Lake is end of the line.
And finally, there is the issue of how PCI 5.0 will behave with Mac OS and Intels new integrated graphics though with dedicated GPUs, this shouldn't be too big of a problem.
"Solid evidence" that Apple will release yet another Intel Mac, eh?

Why does anybody still expect Apple to release yet another Intel Mac given the ongoing Apple Silicon transition? Why would Apple continue to update MacOS for newer Intel CPUs?

This "Alder Lake" is still vaporware, and even if it comes to pass, it is a big question mark whether the current MacOS (Big Sur / Monterey) will work properly with it, since it seems to be a new architecture.

It is interesting to watch, but personally I believe that Apple will just go on with its transition and ignore future Intel hardware.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
242
Motherboard
Gigabyte C246-WU4
CPU
E-2278G
Graphics
WX7100
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
The only question is, will it be using a processor with Big / Little cores? Would that require Apple to do a big overhaul of the OS to figure out how to distribute the workload across these cores?
If Apples does update the MacPro (big "IF"), it will be for IceLake Xeons on LGA4189. The W-33xx variants are still rumorware, tough. This could make sense, as AppleSilicon is still far from matching the number of cores of Xeon Scalable and MacPro customers with Afterburner or other powerful add-on cards are not going AppleSilicon any time soon, but support for IceLake Xeons will not be of much help for hackintoshes with desktop CPUs.

OS X for AppleSilicon has all the required logic to run big-little cores but why would Apple adapt and compile such code for Intel? A new architecture likely requires kernel changes. Apple is already stuck at the 10th generation of Intel desktop CPUs while 11th gen. is out, and here it does not make sense for Apple to update its Intel line-up when AppleSilicon is already competitive.
In all likelihood, RocketLake IS the end of road.
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
92
Motherboard
MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
Sapphire 5700 XT Nitro+
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Pro
  4. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
OS X for AppleSilicon has all the required logic to run big-little cores but why would Apple adapt and compile such code for Intel?
That's the real question in all of this... but, suppose there isn't any kernel change to deal with little cores, I'm wondering if the i5 Alder Lake CPU with only big cores would work. There were some rumours there'd be an 8 big core only CPU as well... Here's to hoping those come out and work.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
242
Motherboard
Gigabyte C246-WU4
CPU
E-2278G
Graphics
WX7100
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
AlderLake is still a different architecture. Addressing AlderLake big cores may be different from addressing cores in the previous generations because there could be little cores—even where there are none.
Also, a different chipset and no hope whatsoever for the iGPUs.

Hackintoshing future Intel CPUs will look more and more like hackintoshing Ryzen, with kernel patches to figure out—but also limitations and/or applications which do not work.
With respect to hacking for the sake of hacking, these may be thrilling days.
To actually use the hack under OS X, the prospects do not look so great, and the countdown to the end of Intel support by OS X is already running.
 
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
1,743
Motherboard
Gigabyte B550 Vision D
CPU
Ryzen 5900X
Graphics
RX 6800
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Air
  4. MacBook Pro
  5. Mac mini
  6. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
  2. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
"Solid evidence" that Apple will release yet another Intel Mac, eh?

Why does anybody still expect Apple to release yet another Intel Mac given the ongoing Apple Silicon transition? Why would Apple continue to update MacOS for newer Intel CPUs?

This "Alder Lake" is still vaporware, and even if it comes to pass, it is a big question mark whether the current MacOS (Big Sur / Monterey) will work properly with it, since it seems to be a new architecture.

It is interesting to watch, but personally I believe that Apple will just go on with its transition and ignore future Intel hardware.
That's because despite Apple's insistence that they are, the truth is their M1 chips still aren't really that powerful for more demanding applications such as high-end video editing, animation and graphics rendering and data analysis. It may be fast and it may be efficient, but raw graphics and processing power is what is needed for most creative and power users. A system designed to do a few lines of Swift and just maybe run the odd video or two is not going to cut it. For comparison, just check out the latest graphics card announced by Nvidia which is the new A100 PCIe accelerator with up to 80GB of HBM memory based on the RTX 30 Ampere chip. While yes this beast is technically mainly for data center use, Apple offers nothing of the sort, not even uniquely close to the RTX 20 or 30 series > https://videocardz.com/newz/nvidia-to-launch-a100-pcie-accelerator-with-80gb-hbm2e-memory

Why do you think they've partnered up with AMD? Because they don't have the products to cater to this area, that is more powerful graphics processing for the power computing crowd. Which is why the i9 Intel Mac rumours could still be true. As it goes I have spoken to more than a handful of creative professionals this past year about the M1 Macs and everyone thinks while it looks great, it still isn't powerful enough for their needs and confirms what I said earlier.
That and the inability to upgrade their system storage, peripherals and RAM is what is turning folks towards hackintoshes and other Linux/Windows alternatives.

That's the real question in all of this... but, suppose there isn't any kernel change to deal with little cores, I'm wondering if the i5 Alder Lake CPU with only big cores would work. There were some rumours there'd be an 8 big core only CPU as well... Here's to hoping those come out and work.
It's possible it may work with Alder Lake but we will have to see.

One thing I do know is that on the Windows front, there seems to be more choices coming to it as a platform. Aside from Lakefield and Tiger Lake, I see Asus has brought out the new Spin 7 series which is an ARM laptop based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon and it has extraordinary battery life. It has about 15 hours of total battery life with this new model compared to a normal Intel CFL/KBL laptop with only 10 hours. It may make for a good potential hackintosh base likewise with the upcoming Samsung Exynos chipset if it could run M1 code.
 

Jamesbond007

Moderator
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
6,395
Motherboard
Z390 Designare
CPU
i7 9700KF
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
That's because despite Apple's insistence that they are, the truth is their M1 chips still aren't really that powerful for more demanding applications such as high-end video editing, animation and graphics rendering and data analysis. It may be fast and it may be efficient, but raw graphics and processing power is what is needed for most creative and power users. A system designed to do a few lines of Swift and just maybe run the odd video or two is not going to cut it. For comparison, just check out the latest graphics card announced by Nvidia which is the new A100 PCIe accelerator with up to 80GB of HBM memory based on the RTX 30 Ampere chip. While yes this beast is technically mainly for data center use, Apple offers nothing of the sort, not even uniquely close to the RTX 20 or 30 series > https://videocardz.com/newz/nvidia-to-launch-a100-pcie-accelerator-with-80gb-hbm2e-memory

Why do you think they've partnered up with AMD? Because they don't have the products to cater to this area, that is more powerful graphics processing for the power computing crowd. Which is why the i9 Intel Mac rumours could still be true. As it goes I have spoken to more than a handful of creative professionals this past year about the M1 Macs and everyone thinks while it looks great, it still isn't powerful enough for their needs and confirms what I said earlier.
That and the inability to upgrade their system storage, peripherals and RAM is what is turning folks towards hackintoshes and other Linux/Windows alternatives.

One thing I do know is that on the Windows front, there seems to be more choices coming to it as a platform. Aside from Lakefield and Tiger Lake, I see Asus has brought out the new Spin 7 series which is an ARM laptop based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon and it has extraordinary battery life. It has about 15 hours of total battery life with this new model compared to a normal Intel CFL/KBL laptop with only 10 hours. It may make for a good potential hackintosh base likewise with the upcoming Samsung Exynos chipset if it could run M1 code.
So you are saying (or rather hoping) that Apple will (should) release a more powerful Intel Mac (iMac / Mac Pro)?

Of course the current M1 Macs are not powerful enough (to the users who you are pointing to), but that does not mean Apple is going to release yet another Intel Mac. Apple could keep selling the currently available Intel Macs together with current and future Apple Silicon Macs until the time more powerful Apple Silicon Macs are ready.

Apple's stated goal is to transition away from Intel CPUs in "about 2 years". I believe last year's Intel iMac (based on Intel 10th generation CPUs) is the last Intel Mac we see. I don't see why Apple will want to support yet another Intel Mac when its objective is to transition away from Intel. I stand by my own opinion, but we shall see.

And concerning those Snapdragon machines (and maybe those future ones based on Samsung) running Windows 10 ARM : What do they offer except "extraordinary" battery life? How about their performance? Software compatibility? And do we really expect them to be able to run MacOS (Apple Silicon version) successfully? The M1 (and future Apple Silicon CPUs) are BASED on ARM but are heavily customized by Apple and it is very possible that since MacOS is designed is run on them, MacOS may not even be able to run on machines using these (based on ARM) CPUs because of CPU differences, or if somehow it runs on them, many functions or apps simply won't work properly (e.g. those requiring the neural engine).

I am pouring cold water, and I don't hold out much hope on this, but I am happy to be proven wrong on this matter, haha.
 
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
1,743
Motherboard
Gigabyte B550 Vision D
CPU
Ryzen 5900X
Graphics
RX 6800
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Air
  4. MacBook Pro
  5. Mac mini
  6. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
  2. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
So you are saying (or rather hoping) that Apple will (should) release a more powerful Intel Mac (iMac / Mac Pro)?

Of course the current M1 Macs are not powerful enough (to the users who you are pointing to), but that does not mean Apple is going to release yet another Intel Mac. Apple could keep selling the currently available Intel Macs together with current and future Apple Silicon Macs until the time more powerful Apple Silicon Macs are ready.

Apple's stated goal is to transition away from Intel CPUs in "about 2 years". I believe last year's Intel iMac (based on Intel 10th generation CPUs) is the last Intel Mac we see. I don't see why Apple will want to support yet another Intel Mac when its objective is to transition away from Intel. I stand by my own opinion, but we shall see.

And concerning those Snapdragon machines (and maybe those future ones based on Samsung) running Windows 10 ARM : What do they offer except "extraordinary" battery life? How about their performance? Software compatibility? And do we really expect them to be able to run MacOS (Apple Silicon version) successfully? The M1 (and future Apple Silicon CPUs) are BASED on ARM but are heavily customized by Apple and it is very possible that since MacOS is designed is run on them, MacOS may not even be able to run on machines using these (based on ARM) CPUs because of CPU differences, or if somehow it runs on them, many functions or apps simply won't work properly (e.g. those requiring the neural engine).

I am pouring cold water, and I don't hold out much hope on this, but I am happy to be proven wrong on this matter, haha.

I am hoping yes, but more so it’s not really my opinion, rather it’s coming from Apple themselves, straight from the horse’s mouth. If you watch the above posted video at exactly 1m30s you’ll see it’s Tim Cook who says from last year’s WWDC event ‘We plan to continue to support and release new versions of macOS for Intel based Macs for years to come. In fact we have some real Intel Macs in the pipeline that we’re really excited about’. That’s the bit that gives me hope.

As for the ARM Snapdragon and Exynos laptop macOS support I really don’t know - that will depend upon the community whether they are interested enough to develop it. But according to some comments I’ve seen, some developers are keen it seems to give it a try and see if it works. It is essentially the same architecture as a M1 but without some of the extra logic. It could work.

I agree me too haha!
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
92
Motherboard
MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
Sapphire 5700 XT Nitro+
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Pro
  4. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Bad news: there's been a leak that the next up-coming Intel Mac is going to use the Xeon W-3300 processor, which DOES NOT have big/little cores. This is rather disappointing as it would give us some hope for the next generation of processors and extend the usability of Mac OS:

Source:
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
20,540
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
This is rather disappointing as it would give us some hope for the next generation of processors
If there is a next Intel based Mac Pro (8,1) in 2022 that is actually good news. That means Apple has to provide support for it within macOS. We can adapt our Intel hacks to use that SMBIOS and get many more new versions of macOS than we had previously expected.
 
Top