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Anwar

Windows 10 on ARM Support

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With Apple announcing today a transition of MacOS to ARM CPU's over the next two years, when can we expect to see formZ running on Windows 10 on ARM?

 

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In my opinion, only when or if ARM overtakes Intel as the predominant cpu architecture, and that will not happen any time soon.

I read somewhere that ARM has trouble executing certain 64-bit x86 tasks so I wouldn't hold my breath.

Can anyone really see four different versions of Form.Z under development (for ARM + Intel on both PC and Mac)? I certainly can't!

Personally, I can't wait for Quantum Computing to come along. That will be a game changer!

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Posted (edited)

If formZ is using the Windows APIs properly, it should just be a matter of targeting ARM or x64 in the complier rather than maintaining two separate codebases.  However, the biggest problem I see is that Windows 10 on ARM does not support OpenGL greater than 1.1, so AutoDesSys would have to support DirectX for it to work.  Also, plugins like V-RAY would have to be recompiled, and of course there is no ARM hardware with NVIDIA graphics so CUDA and RTX acceleration in V-RAY and Maxwell would be useless.  So rendering is a larger problem than just getting the modeler to work.  As the only machine I take with me anymore when I travel is the Surface Pro X, it would be nice to be able to do modeling, even if I had to render on another device.

It is expected that x64 emulation for Windows 10 on ARM will be available in the first half of 2021, however, unless DirectX is supported, formZ will still not run even in emulation.

 

Edited by Anwar

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Yeah, I believe that ARM will certainly dent Intel's stranglehold when it comes to devices requiring low power consumption, such as laptops, but I can't see it going much further than that.

Look at AMD and it's current Threadripper range. Despite achieving synthetic scores that put top end Xeons to shame, the hoped for uptake is not there.

Organisations are not rushing to switch from Intel, simply because it is "the devil that you know", and therefore trust, despite the cost.

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Adobe has publicly committed to porting its entire Creative Cloud to Windows 10 on ARM, although it has not disclosed how long it will take.

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Posted (edited)

I should add that in my case, the role of a "faster and better" cpu has become almost irrelevant, simply because I rely mostly on gpu acceleration, either CUDA or RTX.

Hopefully, Autodessys feels the same and steers Form.Z in the same direction. Gotta go now!

Edited by santa

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Hi Santa,

While I agree that rendering is usually the longest running operation, and that GPU acceleration is generally more needed than CPU performance these days, there are still some modeling operations that can take a very long time to complete, so CPU optimization is by no means dead...

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Just as a side note… interestingly, the actual #1 supercomputer, Fugaku in Japan, is based on an ARM chip by Fujitsu (Fujitsu's 48-core A64FX).

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Anwar, I agree with your comment regarding cpu relevance for modelling. I didn't mean to infer otherwise.

Have you seen the chip being developed by Cerebral Systems in California? It takes up an entire wafer of silicon (22cm X 22cm), has 400,000 cores and contains 1.2 trillion transistors!

Obviously, it is not intended for mere mortals, like us.

 

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Pretty sure Apple have a plan ;)  ...All the debating about the capabilities of ARM as we know it.... is likely being short sighted.

A lot can happen in two years.

Developing FormZ for ARM? ....(whatever the eventual Mac development is?)  ..... Very likely 

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How about we just ask ADS for consistent communication, consistent development and a focus on being the most compatible, stable design platform that can exchange flawlessly with every major design platform?  The Rosetta Stone of CAD. Would that be nice?  : )

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Some things need to be considered. Mac or Windows.   How much code was optimized in Assembly?  The more that was done, the longer it will take to convert.  Automated software to re-compile won't do any good for such code.  ADS may or may not have optimized their code in such a way... And, that is one thing.  The other, what about the libraries they draw from?  ACIS?  Other APIs fZ uses?  I don't know what other technology they license.  Even if all written in higher-level languages, The APIs may need to be built for the specific silicon too.

It isn't just up to ADS.  Though, I too hope.

 

¢£

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Here's hoping for an Apple Silicon based  v9.5 to run on a Mac and an iPad Pro (I believe that the current iPad Pro would run Z quite well) - would make a lovely little twin screen setup  - and hopefully the maturity of a .5 upgrade would give me the reason to upgrade (I'm without Formz of any version at the mo as none of the versions I have will run on the latest Mac OS).

 

Edited by danshaw

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