- Dec 16, 2013
The Raspberry Pis use older generations of the Arm architecture and is probably missing lots of features the latest generations have. It's like trying to use a Sandy Bridge CPU to emulate a Coffee Lake CPU.
I don't want to say it'll be impossible to emulate the GPU in the M1, but I would assume it's a pretty monumental endeavor that would most likely never happen.
I think it's even more difficult than that - as I understand, Apple bases its chips on ARM references as a starter and has licensed some specific version of the instruction set. If Apple stuck to just the instruction set used for that, and all the rest of the parts were off-the-rack (as many/most of the Intel chipsets are), that would perhaps be conceivable.
But Apple has put in significant extensions to that base ARM design including the T2, GPU, neural engine, power management, etc., etc. (Not sure but I think possible apple could extend that instruction set too)
Apple's software (notably the system software) can use that as a reference to always assume that these chips and functions are there. They've notably said the GPU and neural engine will 'work together'.
To me that precludes the likelihood of anyone coming up (without enormous effort anyway) of some kind of translation layer. The only way I can see is if for example the apple developer resources / compilers are sufficiently open or can be reverse engineered, but that does not sound like a trivial task - and it will get worse over time as the system is developed and uses more resources.
I just hope Apple keeps supproting the Intel systems for at least five years (even if reduced features). It's been a good run, but I don't see hackintoshing as viable for long. The one I built recently is probably my last. I really like having a box in which I can stick more ram or off-the-shelf components. But honestly not entirely clear it's entirely needed or the most efficient way for me, partly a fun project and partly no Macs available that appealed to me.
Frankly my only significant complaint for the computers announced is the paltry 8g ram/small SSDs and the prices to go to the next level. I'm impressed iwth the speed/performance but consistently, computer after computer, for me insufficient ram or a too-small system drive is the biggest constraint on speed in real world terms. (I can live with slightly slow systems if they're not choking on the disk swapping).
I don't even think these computers need to go above 16g for now - obviously the true pro models later will need.