Will Apple put AMD processors in Macs?

“Apple’s Mac design philosophy change hasn’t been lost on the company’s pro users,” Anthony Frausto-Robledo writes for Architosh. “AMD’s new RYZEN 7 CPUs look to promise more computing muscle per watt than Intel and offer a nicer philosophical fit for Apple. The 1700, in particular, is ideal for a future Mac Pro.”

“The new AMD RYZEN 7 1800X just set a new world record score for Cinebench, a respected CPU performance benchmark,” Frausto-Robledo writes. “Yet, the story isn’t really about sheer performance but that AMD’s new chip line delivers stunning performance per watt compared to Intel’s i7. And that’s where this gets interesting for Apple. You see, for more than a half a decade now Apple’s design philosophy for devices has shifted to being more about economy of energy consumption over maximum performance.”

Frausto-Robledo writes, “This is where there seems to be better alignment. AMD’s new chip is extremely Apple-esque.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s almost as if AMD designed RYZEN with Apple in mind. 😉

As we wrote last week, “At the very least, Apple should be able to use this information to push Intel to some pretty, even-further-ASP-boosting prices.”

AMD’s Ryzen processor overclocked, notches new Cinebench world record – February 24, 2017


      1. Stock price doesn’t assure viability, but often implies future confidence. With that in mind, a yr ago, AMD was sitting at $3.xx and today is priced at $15.xx. Bubble, or relevance?

  1. I love seeing AMD back with a monster performance chip.

    Ryzen whips Intel at half the cost.

    My next build will probably be an AMD and I haven’t said that in 5 or 6 years.

    1. That “half the cost” is the second big consideration, and not talked about here much so far. Yes, the lower voltage makes it look like a product that fits Apple’s vision, but the price should make it fit everyone’s vision! And it often approaches a third the cost!

  2. With their tight GPU partnership who’s to say Apple didn’t lend some of their chip designers to AMD to make these type of improvements? It wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that. While AMD cranks out new mainstream desktop x86-64 cpus, with an assist from Cupertino, apple can continue to make improvements in A-series chips and maybe take a stake in AMD? It seems plausible.

    1. Either that, or AMD wants Apple’s business and designed a processor with them in mind as it would give them the high end of the market by default. What would really be interesting is if AMD has something similar to Intel quicksync for video exporting which Mac’s leverage so well…

    2. That might be a wish of AMD.

      I think mostly they recognized that gaming is the only growth sector left for run of the mill PCs and they wanted it.

      Look at all the press and the early motherboards coming out for ryzen. The majority of it is gaming based.

      1. True. The “enthusiast” segment is the only growth segment in the PC community, but it’s maybe $30 billion for the total industry. If AMD gets into Macs? You’re looking at a $10 billion/ quarter market. By going after both of those segments they could capture the high end and reap the profits even if their ASP per processor is half of Intel. So I think we’re both correct.

        1. Since Apple co-developed Thunderbolt and has been its biggest proponent, I’m quite certain that they retained the rights to use it as they see fit in their own chipsets as they desire. Since Macs aren’t run on an SOC like iPhones & iPads, there is not any reason to think that Apple couldn’t easily implement thunderbolt on their own or AMD chipsets (especially since the motherboards on the AM4 platform support it)

  3. Apple has had some bad experiences with processor manufacturing companies in the past. As a result, pairing with AMD is doubtful. Apple’s main concern right now is to have a reliable supplier. If, somehow, Intel falters, then the entire industry falters, not just Apple. It’s one of the major reason why Apple went to Intel after the PPC.

    It would have to be shown that AMDs’ entire line that Apple might be interested in is so much better than that of Intel for Apple to even think it’s worthy of a look. And so far, we’ve not really seen the line. In fact, all of these pre release tests are questionable. AMD has a bad past involving pre release tests, with their actual production units not meeting the expectations.

    But that reliability is the biggest factor here. AMD doesn’t control their process, as they need to go to outside fabs. AMD has also had a star crossed history there as well.

    They would need to prove to Apple, as a much smaller company than Intel, that they could meet Apple’s processor needs, and be on time. Only after everything is within Apple’s specs would there be any possibility that Apple would consider AMD seriously.

    1. AMD signed an agreement with their foundry that allows them to source chips from both Samsung and TSMC to meet demand if needed. That means AMD can source GlobalFoundries, Samsung, and TSMC to meet demand. Yea I don’t think that’s an issue anymore

    1. I am in the same boat. Currently working on a 2008 Mac Pro. The only thing that saves me is my 2015 MacBook, that often has been my heavy lifting machine when it comes to Premier and After Effects. The rest of the work the Mac Pro is still handling it ok, but for how long?

      1. An ’08 system can only run El Capitan and therefore misses out on Sierra optimizations for the applications you specify. We still have some 08’s hanging around in the server room, but for production they’re not viable much anymore. Our 2012 12-cores and 2013-12 cores are a massive upgrade. We will be selling a few of these off in the next few days as we shutter the US arm of the business and get up to Canada. The other thing you should consider is putting in a flashed Nvidia 980Ti for Premiere and after effects acceleration, it will help you greatly. We use final cut, davinci resolve, motion, and autodesk which all work extremely well on AMD graphics, but for your workflow and given the 08 Mac Pro has pci express 2.0, you should just use a flashed Nvidia 9 series GPU since première leverages CUDA acceleration.

  4. with price performance ratio it offers…..Ryzen is set to shake things up… !!!..
    Imagine the Theoretical mini tower macpro in dual ryzen 1800x…
    or macpro monster with quad 1800x…..
    Yet still be affordable.

  5. The better question is if Apple does not take RyZen, then they don’t have good profit margins unless Intel lowers their prices..

    Second, AMD os the glorious implementation of Apple’s OpenCL, HSA architecture using a hybrid cpu and gpu processor where both cpu cores and gpu cores can be scheduled by the OS.. jumping the overall computing performance and using a very economical fabrication process/architecture..

    Knowing Intel does not have high-end gpus to be able to design a native HSA versatile processor and knowing NVIDIA does not have high end CPU IP.. AMD will rock for the next couple of years in performance and power sonce Intel has to use expensive methods to squeeze performance out of their old archaic architecture..while RyZen architecture has just been born and there is a long way to go..!!

    If Apple buys AMD, they will become the most poweful OS, hardware, and software company in the world..!!

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