Oh lord what a train wreck Windows 10 is becoming

Not too sure I do it, a kink for others suffering because the decisions they make or whether it is a form of self confirmation of the decisions I’ve made based off the misfortunes of others but none the less it appears that Windows 10 is pretty much what one expects from a Windows release – nothing more, nothing less. I’m running El Capitan (OS X 10.11) Public Beta 5 on my laptop and things are pretty stable so far with minimal issues appearing. The big change has been the introduction of Metal and moving large parts of the UI stack (WindowServer, SystemUIServer and friends) are being moved over to Metal and it is interesting to note how the architectural changes that AMD introduced with its new GCN based GPU’s are now bearing fruit in terms of strong performance gains against nVidia even when compared GPU designs that are a year old when compared to nVidia’s latest. From what I understand the current crop of nVidia GPU’s are VLIW based which is great if you want straight bat out of hell performance but as games become more sophisticated and developers want more lower level access with flexibility then something like the RISC architecture employed by Intel and AMD are more suited particularly when it comes to utilising OpenCL which is where AMD really has the performance lead over nvidia.

Intel had their conference where they unrelieved the latest CPU code named Skylake and it appears that they’ll remain with the 14nm die size with the introduction of of ‘Kaby Lake’ which will mean three releases based on 14nm and ‘Cannon Lake’ being the move to 10nm in mid 2017 but that comes down to whether they’re able to get 10nm working but also yielding product in sufficient quantity to fill the supply chains for retailers and OEM’s such as Apple. The other big move is the introduction of XPoint 3D which will open up huge possibilities going forward and I could imagine that as Apple gains access to it they’ll eventually kill off all spinning hard disks given that the new technology for Intel is not only faster but also can scale up to larger sizes and longer life span which will hopefully provide that perfect balance that so many OEM’s look for when sourcing parts. The big thing for me is waiting for the iMac 5K refresh in 2016 that not only includes the Skylake CPU but also a new GPU from AMD with a die shrink to 16nm which should mean cooler running, more power efficient and greater performance.

For me the big game changers that’ll convince me to upgrade my iMac and MacBook Pro will be the move to DDR4, XPoint 3D SSD, possibly a Cannon Lake CPU and either a nVidia or AMD GPU die shrink that’ll translate into better performance and less power usage which will mean less heat being generated. Until that happens I think El Capitan will give many people’s computers a new lease on life especially once we start seeing developers doing comparison between OpenGL and Metal in terms of comparing the efficiency of one against the other that’ll hopefully also translate into a combination of better battery life as well as better performance whilst also saving power at the same time – down clocking the GPU and CPU to save power yet still getting very good performance because of how efficiently things can be achieved. 

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