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What Apple’s move to ARM could mean for PC and console gaming

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This article originally appeared in issue 348 of our glossy magazine. You can get it delivered right to your door by grabbing a subscription, which will also net you special subscriber-only covers.  

You may have missed it, but for the third time in its existence phone company Apple is moving its desktop computers to a new CPU architecture. This time, from the Intel X86-64 chips it moved to in 2006/7 and with which we’re familiar with from our PCs, to its own designs based on the ARM chips we’re familiar with from our smartphones and tablets.

What is ARM?

Arm produces designs for RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing) chips and licenses them for other people to make. They’re in 98 percent of mobile phones. RISC chips have a few benefits over CISC (Complex Instruction etc) in that they are more efficient, use less power and can be easily designed. But they’re more reliant on properly written software and fast memory. Arm has also recently been acquired by Nvidia, although the deal is not yet completely ratified. 

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