Apple to adopt AMD's new Polaris graphics chips in upcoming Macs - report

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in Current Mac Hardware
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.




Several sources have claimed that an OEM design win AMD secured last year was indeed for Apple, according to WCCFTech. 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. For comparison, Samsung versions of the Apple A9 processor -- used in the iPhone 6s and SE -- are also based on a 14-nanometer process.

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. The company could conceivably introduce new models at http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/04/18/apple-confirms-wwdc-2016-kicks-off-on-june-13-">WWDC in June, but Apple has veered away from launching new Macs at the annual event.

Earlier today Apple updated its 12-inch MacBooks with better CPUs and flash storage, and made 8 gigabytes of RAM the default for 13-inch MacBook Airs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.
    brakkenNathanAdler
  • Reply 2 of 28
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.
    Then again, my 2007 iMac 24" has Radeon graphics that have been running just fine for 8+ years. I guess YMMV.
    Rayz2016chiatdknoxmoreckcornchipjustadcomics
  • Reply 3 of 28
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,142member
    AMD Polaris architecture is far superior to Nvidia and lets not even mention Intel. Not even close.
    lkrupptdknoxmoreck6Sgoldfishjustadcomics
  • Reply 4 of 28
    kaipherkaipher Posts: 23member
    I'm confused as to how Apple expects anyone to be able to use CUDA on an AMD. Surely they can't be this blind to AMD's relevance in the industry.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,880member
    kaipher said:
    I'm confused as to how Apple expects anyone to be able to use CUDA on an AMD. Surely they can't be this blind to AMD's relevance in the industry.
    I'm thinking that they're more focused on OpenCL and Metal so that they can avoid being tied to any one hardware vendor.  Especially since the work also benefits them on ARM.
    edited April 2016 moreckdysamoriaafrodrijustadcomics
  • Reply 6 of 28
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.
    Yep...that's one of the job descriptions of the CEO...pick graphics chips.
    patchythepiratetdknoxmoreckcornchip
  • Reply 7 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,386member
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.

    Your personal experience is irrelevant. Everybody has their favorite objects of hate and derision. Android, iOS, Macs, PCs, Fords, Chevys, Dodges, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Democrats, Republicans, Anarchists.  It’s all bullshit and irrelevant. I trust Apple engineering more than I trust your rantings.
    macky the mackytdknoxmoreckcornchipbaconstangRayz2016iosenthusiastjustadcomics
  • Reply 8 of 28
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,328member
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.
    2011 15" MacBook Pro was eligible for a free GPU replacement. You'd have already proceeded for that. If you were unaware then move immediately... That iMac also may be eligible in a separate campaign.
    edited April 2016 moreckbrakkenjustadcomics
  • Reply 9 of 28
    mcarlingmcarling Posts: 1,106member
    I'm willing to believe that Apple will use a discrete GPU in the 2016 iMacs, but I'm very skeptical that Apple would use a discrete GPU in any 2016 MacBook Pro.  Apple have been incrementally transitioning from discrete to integrated GPUs in the MacBook Pro line for years.  That process is all but complete.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,808member
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.
    My MacBook Pro 3,1 died of NVidia failure. They're all the same. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 28
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 895member
    mcarling said:
    I'm willing to believe that Apple will use a discrete GPU in the 2016 iMacs, but I'm very skeptical that Apple would use a discrete GPU in any 2016 MacBook Pro.  Apple have been incrementally transitioning from discrete to integrated GPUs in the MacBook Pro line for years.  That process is all but complete.
    I would have thought Apple would love to get a discrete GPU in to all the MacBookPros. It's an obvious sales point to the market that wants the pro over the lighter model.

  • Reply 12 of 28
    I had two MacBook Pro die on me for faulty NVidia chips.
  • Reply 13 of 28
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,550member
    kaipher said:
    I'm confused as to how Apple expects anyone to be able to use CUDA on an AMD. Surely they can't be this blind to AMD's relevance in the industry.
    CUDA isn't as widely used as you are implying. The general trend is away from proprietary languages and environments to open and standardized ones. The fact of the matter is that AMD is still strong in professional graphics, especially where compute is important.
    mdriftmeyer
  • Reply 14 of 28
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,550member
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.
    Unless you actually had the machine analyzed you can't blame the chips as any number of things could have happened. Everything from poor soldering by the builder to a support chip of cap failing could cause the video to fail. Lets look at it this way when a problem has been chip supplier related Apple does get the vendors to warrant and deal with the faulty electronics. Over the years this has happened with both Nvidia and AMD. So if there was real problems here with recent hardware Apple would have been after the supplier of chips. I haven't seen this happen recently so I tend to believe that they got most of the issues worked out.

    Honestly I don't think you know what you are talking about. The current machines running AMD chips have been working great and I've not heard credible reports of any of these machine with discrete GPU's having problems. Some machines like the MacPro are basically implementing high performance computing in very small boxes.
    mdriftmeyerjustadcomics
  • Reply 15 of 28
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,561member
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.
    Third party GPUs, AMD and Nvidia, not to mention drivers from said companies, have always been the Achilles' heel of Macs.  I'd love to see Apple come up with their own GPUs and then lean heavily on the games makers to support Mac OS using what ever ground-breaking technologies are developed, as they have with iOS games.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 16 of 28
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 334member
    I wonder. Is WCCFTech 'oft-correct,' 'notably reliable,' or 'usually accurate'? I thought we were all about contextualizing sources for the casual reader, or is it just the one particular source who always needs to be contextualized?
  • Reply 17 of 28
    We have had 4 MacPros go in for faulty AMD cards within the first year of owning them and lack of CUDA support for many graphics applications is a problem right now. It would be nice if there was a choice.
    6Sgoldfish
  • Reply 18 of 28
    Good news. Sounds exactly like what I've been expecting for replacing my 2011 27" iMac. To address a previous commenter, my Radeon indeed malfunctioned -my local Apple Store then replaced it (for free) even after my Applecare had expired. No work and barely any time lost. I'm hoping Apple will also provide more affordable SSD storage and DDR4 RAM compatibility. Can't wait for September. Wishful thinking: a space grey iMac :smile: 
    cornchip
  • Reply 19 of 28
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,142member
    We have had 4 MacPros go in for faulty AMD cards within the first year of owning them and lack of CUDA support for many graphics applications is a problem. It would be nice if there was a choice. Sorry for the double post.

    Apple will never support CUDA or are you new to this reality? Card designs going faulty is a responsibility of Apple as those designs were their custom designs specific to the Mac Pro. Now, with the 14nm FinFET I wager you won't have those problems.
  • Reply 20 of 28
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,142member
    In my office we've had two 15" MacBook Pros (2011) and a 27" iMac (also from 2011) die this year.  All suffered from faulty AMD graphics chips.  The MacBooks that have Intel Graphics or Nvidia graphics are sill working fine.  I sincerely wish Apple would stop using AMD graphics, from my experience AMD degrades the useful life expectancy of Apple products.  I'm not sure I will continue to recommend Apple devices if Tim Cook (and his brilliant calculating mind) keeps using CRAPPY AMD Products.
    Third party GPUs, AMD and Nvidia, not to mention drivers from said companies, have always been the Achilles' heel of Macs.  I'd love to see Apple come up with their own GPUs and then lean heavily on the games makers to support Mac OS using what ever ground-breaking technologies are developed, as they have with iOS games.

    Apple's Metal API stack guarantees that this driver will be in-house, unless they suddenly announce Vulkan support at WWDC 2016. Also, GPUOpen and the entire Radeon Crimson stack, sans proprietary support for legacy OpenGL stuff on FirePro is now all Open Sourced.

    http://gpuopen.com/



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