Apple in advanced discussions to adopt AMD chips



  • Reply 81 of 395
    owengoweng Posts: 1member
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

    Um-m-m-m, no. Macs do not ship with Intel Inside stickers. The Intel-based Macs look pretty much like the PPC-based Macs that they replaced. I expect no AMD stickers on AMD-based Macs. Macs with AMD processors will look pretty much like Macs with Intel processors.

    He's talking about performance differentiation, not a stupid sticker.
  • Reply 82 of 395
    jensonbjensonb Posts: 532member
    Well hopefully there'll still be Intel/nVidia models. I prefer Intel CPUs and nVidia GPUs.

    Memo to Intel: BUY nVidia, you dipsticks
  • Reply 83 of 395
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    AND has had Virtualization tech built into ther CPU for years. Pacifica
  • Reply 84 of 395
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    I think AMD chips inside Macs would not see much a performance hit at all, its no longer about the raw speed of the chips anymore. Apple has quality engineers that can and will make a high valued product around any architecture they choose to go with from various vendors. I am glad to hear about this recent development from Apple, the more options afforded to Apple, the more flexibility they will have to deliver us the consumers top quality branded products with some of the best user experience around.

    I for one welcome our new AMD Overlords.
  • Reply 85 of 395
    Originally Posted by sheslikeheroin View Post

    Will an AMD iMac/Macbook be able to run programs like Parallels or Bootcamp.


    An AMD CPU is 100% x86 compatible. Keep in mind that AMD was also the developer of x86-64, the 64-bit computing implementation used in all Intel Macintosh systems with a Core 2 Duo or newer CPU. AMD CPUs also support the hardware virtualization techniques that Parallels depends upon.
  • Reply 86 of 395
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 717member
    I always thought Apple would eventually migrate to Intel, if only because that's their main business and they focus and pour R&D into it and are rewarded with volume chip sales. We enjoyed PPC while it was great and differentiated. Apple made the wise decision to jump ship and we all freaked out and then rejoiced with our faster, cooler intel hardware.

    So really, I don't care as long as it's fast, innovative and energy efficient. If I were Apple, I'd be dabbling and sticking my nose in everything too. Apple was made aware of Intel's plans and changed course for the better. They can do it again. I don't think AMD has the roadmap to sway Apple on their main hardware, but they might learn a thing or two in regards to the iPad and other mobile ventures.

    It never hurts to have plan B. And it's fun to be a spy. Let AMD and others court Apple with their best ideas.
  • Reply 87 of 395
    amdahlamdahl Posts: 100member
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

    No. AMD is the same ISA (X86) . Building in support would be a piece of cake by comparison.

    The ISA is actually AMD64. AMD invented it. Intel realized they had to give up on Itanium-only, and they adopted it as EM64T under the cross-licensing agreement that exists between AMD and Intel.
  • Reply 88 of 395
    clixclix Posts: 10member
    With 40 billion in the bank, with apple move on ipad to go for apple4 chip i wouldnt be surprise to see apple buying amd .
  • Reply 89 of 395
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Originally Posted by pazimzadeh View Post

    With OpenCL in Snow Leopard Apple could switch to AMD and not lose any processing performance, right? Wouldn't apps be able to take advantage of better, ATI, graphics to make up for slightly weaker processor speed?

    Now we just need some apps to start utilizing OpenCL.
  • Reply 90 of 395
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,094member
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

    And what were your thoughts after Apple announced that they were going with Intel processors?

    Seriously, I don't see much wrong with this decision. Throw AMD chips in the plastic MacBook, Apple TV, and Mac Mini. Leave the Intel chips in the iMac and MacBook Pro lines. It's a tossup in the Mac Pro sector IMHO.

    That being said, guys, it's just a chip. Apple knows what they're doing better than you do so chill.

    I think that's basically right, but I'd refine it just a bit. The new 13" MacBook Pro is a very interesting indicator. Apple clearly did not want to deal with Intel's integrated graphics in that model, nor did they want to include a discrete GPU. They were willing to compromise on CPU speed (sticking with the old C2D) in order to get the better integrated graphics from NV. But of course, that plan isn't going to work much longer, because eventually C2D will be retired and then Intel integrated graphics will be the only option. So my best guess for where AMD will show up is in the 13" MacBook Pro and MacBook, where AMD might be able to provide a mediocre x86 chip combined with a very solid GPU. And really, that's the right balance for those products.

    Regarding the Mac Pro, it's hard for me to see Apple switching from Xeon to Opteron for those systems. Xeon is so far ahead of Opteron, particularly for the types of workloads that are most common on Mac Pros. I just can't see the logic of going with AMD there.
  • Reply 91 of 395
    clixclix Posts: 10member
    Lemme rephrase this, if apple buy AMD... Just imagine Steve Jobs leading AMD team, to once again push up industry standards.
  • Reply 92 of 395
    adamwadamw Posts: 114guest
    Whatever the reason, it is good for Apple to explore its options and use one CPU vendor company to negotiate against the other. It is a plus that AMD now owns ATI graphics. Perhaps Apple wants a custom optimized CPU/GPU chip that Intel is unwilling to produce?

    Competition between chipmakers is a good thing.
  • Reply 93 of 395
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,392member
    Originally Posted by zindako View Post

    I for one welcome our new AMD Overlords.

    I think AMD would be the perfect solution for the price sensitive Mac user. AMD is sampling their integrated (CPU/GPU ondie) Fusion technology right now and by the time Apple would deliver AMD based machines we'd be looking at likely second generation Fusion stuff.

    AMD would also be tough on the high end. I wouldn't sneeze at an Opteron based Mac Pro.
  • Reply 94 of 395
    jetlawjetlaw Posts: 156member

    Actually, isn't "advanced" an adjective which modifies the noun "discussions?"

    Well, I suppose it could be, but it seems more likely to me that the intent was to modify "discussions" in a manner suggesting that the discussions were preceding something significant (e.g. using AMD processors).

    If the intent was, in fact, to use "advanced," then it would suggest that the discussions have been going on for quite some time. Perhaps I should not have been so quick to judge. I am curious, though, because it makes a significant difference with regard to what this story really means.
  • Reply 95 of 395
    paulmjohnsonpaulmjohnson Posts: 1,380member
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post

    AMD's entire market cap is $6.5B. Apple could buy them lock, stock, and barrel with cash on hand. Then they'd have fabs for their A5/6/7/8 chip line and a competitive core if they wanted to play carrot and stick with Intel. They'd get former AMD engineers to enhance the iPad/iPhone chip series' GPU options.

    Might be interesting. And it seems at least as likely as Apple going to AMD despite not even using Intel's latest chip offerings when they come out. What's the point of changing suppliers if you're not even taking full advantage of your current one?

    Not that I wish to disagree with your comments that Apple could buy AMD, I do want to point out that AMD would no longer come with any fabs. They spun off their manufacturing in the form of Global Foundries a couple of years ago. Whilst Global Foundries still make all of AMD's devices, AMD are no longer in the manufacturing game.

    Originally Posted by adamw View Post

    Whatever the reason, it is good for Apple to explore its options and use one CPU vendor company to negotiate against the other. It is a plus that AMD now owns ATI graphics. Perhaps Apple wants a custom optimized CPU/GPU chip that Intel is unwilling to produce?

    Competition between chipmakers is a good thing.

    I think you're probably right here - competition is a good thing. I think most of us are reading way too much into this article. Apple make computers. AMD make processors. It would seem kind of strange if they weren't looking at them.
  • Reply 96 of 395
    I think it is Intel locking out Nvidia chipsets that is forcing Apple to look at AMD for chips. Of course Intel has the better cpus, but their integrated graphics are awful. Even worse for Apple, besides just being poor performers, Intel has absolutely atrocious support for OpenGL (nevermind OpenCL). I'm sure Apple wants to continue to move forward with OpenGL 3.3 and even 4.0. Getting drivers from Intel that support the more recent OpenGL specs just isn't going to happen.

    Now none of this mattered when Apple was able to use the Nvidia chipset and integrated GPU. Now with Intel locking out other chipsets makers, Apple would be stuck with the awful Intel GPUs. I think Apple is not excited about having a large portion of the new machines it makes being stuck back on OpenGL 2.1 for years to come.
  • Reply 97 of 395
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post

    BS. No matter what, AMD is considered to be a second tier supplier.

    Sure, if you want a $400 piece of junk, get an AMD machine.

    Why do you call AMD machines 'junk'? Can you be more specific? E.g., do they fail more often? Do they perform less well than advertised?

    As of now, you're not providing any data, just making assertions.
  • Reply 98 of 395
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post

    Except that they aren't exactly the same, as they use different technologies in a number of areas. Developers often code for one chip or the other. In fact, almost all code for Intel, making AMD performance inferior in a number of areas. The only place where that's not true is HPC, and Apple doesn't compete there, unless, very unlikely as it may be, Apple is considering it now.

    Well, what do you mean by "developers coding for Intel", they are both use the same ISA, and compilers would generate the binary machine code for run time. Do you mean that these "developers" actually code in x86 assembly?


    AMD has no leading technologies anymore, and a poor record of presenting product on time.

    I assume you mean process technology, as that would be the standard terminology in ECE. Well, AMD has always been 9-12 months behind in transitionning to smaller nodes at their fabs (when they still owned them). So I'm not sure what do you mean by "anymore".

    [quote]Just look at their problems in the past two years Now, without their own fab, they will have even more problems with optimization.[/quote[

    So what are you suggesting, that design houses such as ARM and Nvidia all output sub-standard products? What are your justifications for such?


    Unfortunately, I have to leave for the day, so I won't be back 'till late. Too bad, this is the most important discussion here in years, if true.

    Well, I have been around looking around in this forum for a long time. But this is the first time that I feel compelled to post in a thread, since it is an interesting topic, and this specific post's assertions seems to warrant some definite answers.

    I am a computer engineer, and I have studied computer microarchitectures for a long time. I actually post regularly on arstechnica and anandtech on these issues. I assume that, since you are able to make these claims, that you are a computer engineer/scientist as well, and that you will have good answers to these.

    Looking forward to you getting back, and your reply.
  • Reply 99 of 395
    Originally Posted by lssmit02 View Post

    Actually, isn't "advanced" an adjective which modifies the noun "discussions?"

    Yes. You are right. It refers to the fact that the discussions are at an 'advanced stage.'
  • Reply 100 of 395
    bregaladbregalad Posts: 816member
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

    Wait we're not using PPCs anymore?!!?

    But that's really what it comes down to... Apple has never been defined by the CPU. Even when they tried to scream to us that it was... Intel, AMD, PPC, ARM, whatever... wake me up when any of this really matters... and remember its clear that Apple isn't about power, otherwise it wouldn't be (almost) exclusively using laptop chips in 90% of the computers it sells...

    The iMac uses desktop CPUs now so your 90% figure is out-of-date.

    There are a lot of reasons why AMD might be visiting Apple and supplying MacBook CPUs needn't be one of them.

    Personally I'm hoping Apple soon stops using the Core 2 Duo in the iMac and goes with Clarkdale Core i5 (2 cores, 4 threads, desktop CPU) in their low end models while retaining the Lynnfield Core i7 (4 cores, 8 threads, desktop CPU) in the high end models. I'm also looking for 5xxx series Radeon graphics.
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