Apple to adopt AMD’s new Polaris graphics chips in next-gen Macs

“AMD’s latest graphics chips, the Polaris 10 and 11, will make their way into Apple desktops and laptops shipping later this year, a report said on Tuesday,” Roger Fingas reports for AppleInsider.

“Several sources have claimed that an OEM design win AMD secured last year was indeed for Apple, according to WCCFTech,” Fingas reports. “Apple currently uses AMD graphics cards in the Mac Pro, 27-inch iMacs, and the highest-end configurations of the MacBook Pro. The Polaris 10 is believed to be best-suited to iMacs, while the Polaris 11 could make its way into MacBook Pros.”

“On a per-watt ratio, the new chips are expected to be about twice as fast as their predecessors, thanks largely to a smaller 14-nanometer FinFET architecture,” Fingas reports. “It’s unknown when Apple might release updated iMacs and MacBook Pros, but these are likely to ship in time for the start of the U.S. school year this fall, traditionally one of Apple’s best seasons for Mac sales.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Patience, padawans. Today was just the tip of the iceberg, a little birdie tells us.

Don’t give up on more hardware appearing by the time WWDC closes on June 17th, either.

Apple updates MacBook with latest processors, longer battery life and new Rose Gold finish – April 19, 2016


    1. In contrast to some very credible posters (Derek!) I think it is only a matter of time for Apple to introduce A-series Macs at the low end of their lineup.

      The A-series chips we have seen have been optimized for battery life in small mobile devices (lower clock speed, fewer cores, etc.) so their speeds a not an indicator of how an A-series chip would perform in a laptop.

      Intel’s speed advantages come from (1) the massive amount of design effort they put into their chips, (2) their fab technology and (3) their industry standard instruction set.

      For (1): Apple has already demonstrated that they can outdo Intel’s design advantage for the most important class of chips shipping today (mobile).

      For (2): This is where Apple is weakest as it has no fabs of its own. Apple is dependent on partners to challenge Intel’s fab expertise.

      For (3): Apple’s complete development stack, from instruction set, libraries, languages and development tools put them in a good position to transition to a dual chip strategy for laptops. They have successfully managed similar transitions in the past.

      Apple will not transition (in my humble opinion) until all these are true:

      – Apple partners can reliably match Intel’s processor fab expertise.
      – Apple’s A-series designs deliver BIG customer-centric advantages to justify the inconvenience for customers. Secure enclave, much longer battery life, and/or (less likely) a jump in speed.
      – When Apple determines that the costs of fabbing low end laptop A-series chips will let Apple either increase their margins or drop prices (while maintaining margins) in low end laptops.

      My guess is Apple maintains near readiness to greenlight A-series laptops at any time, but the conditions above have not been met.

      “We believe that we need to own and control the primary technologies behind the products that we make.” – Tim Cook

      1. Sad state indeed.

        I’m sure that Cook is happy with the short-term profits of iOS fashion accessories, but long term Apple abandons the high performance Mac market at its own peril.

    1. In selling Apples for the last decade and a half, I only ever sold 2 17″ MacBook Pros PER YEAR. They’re not financially feasible to maintain for Apple, and return very little profit.

  1. Too little, too late. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now, and with the recent QuickTime fuckup, it’s more than obvious how Cupertino wants to get rid of everything even remotely related to professional hard and/or software. Sure, it’s not a secrest that cutting edge professionals are a very demanding lot, and that one doesn’t exactly make tons of profit off people who mainly care about power, expandability, and reliability. Still, this demanding bunch of people often leave a disproportionately large footprint in media and are overall fantastic at tech evangelism in their field. Without going into further detail about all this, Apple has lost touch with the exact group of people who once made the platform so great; the ones who pushed the limits and inspired the masses. Not surprisingly, all this is being carried out in the name of profit.

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