Ever since Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel x86 chips, there’s been discussion about the CPUs that Intel builds for the company and the degree to which any of them are custom silicon. Now, there’s some evidence that Intel may have reserved an entire lineup of parts exclusively for Apple to use in Macs.
Up until recently, Intel had listed a Core i7-1068G7 on the Ark.Intel.com website. Now, that chip has vanished, with the Core i7-1065G7 at the top of the Ice Lake-derived product family instead. The Core i7-1068G7 has quietly moved over to become the Core i7-1068NG7, which reportedly means that the chip is now an Apple-only part.
The Core i7-1068NG7 is a rather nice looking Apple part, at that. With a base clock of 2.3GHz, an all-core turbo of 3.6GHz, and a single-core peak turbo of 4.1GHz, the CPU guarantees a higher overall level of performance than the Core i7-1065G7, which has a base clock of 1.3GHz, a 3.5GHz all-core boost, and a 3.9GHz single-core boost.
As for why Apple wants it? Probably to position itself a little better than any other company on the market. There have been rumors that Apple is unhappy with Intel’s long pause on 14nm, and I think we can assume there’s at least some truth to them — Apple, after all, has been famously burned by a CPU vendor’s difficulty keeping them supplied with chips once before. All of the rumors around the Apple-ARM CPU effort suggest that it began in earnest just a few years ago, which also tracks with what we know about Apple’s overall level of CPU performance and the likelihood that it could field an SoC capable of competing with an Intel x86 chip in the first place.
MacDailyNews Take: It’s nice to see Intel trying to keep Apple happy, but it isn’t going to stop the Apple-designed ARM locomotive from roaring through town.