Intel will not be the only one affected by Apple’s transition to its own ARM SoCs, and is that the apple company also will stop using GPUs from AMD to push their own graphics solutions, a move that, frankly, does not surprise us, although we must analyze it to better understand the impact it could really have.
I am sure that many of our readers will remember the controversy that arose when Apple decided abandon PowerVR GPUs to use your own designs. Many believed that the apple company was not going to have anything easy, and yet the opposite happened, you just have to see the power offered by the graphics core integrated in the Apple A12Z chip, to give a recent example.
If we talk about AMD GPUs, things change dramatically. We are not referring to low-power solutions for mobile devices, but rather a set of graphic units that offer very high performance, and which are designed to integrate seamlessly into professional environments where power is essential. Think, for example, of the latest generation Mac Pro, which can mount up to two graphics cards Radeon Pro Vega II, each equipped with 4,096 shaders and 32 GB of HBM2 memory.
Ok now think in all the work that Apple has ahead to be able to abandon those GPUs from AMD and shape a chip that is capable of offering similar power. I know what you are thinking, that seems impossible. I’m not going to deny that it’s complicated, but it also seemed crazy to us to think that the company could use its own GPUs, and much more that it dared to abandon Intel, and here we are.
AMD GPUs and Apple GPUs: Optimization as the Core
It is clear that the performance of a GPU is defined by aspects such as its architecture, the configuration of its rasterizing, shading and texturing engines, and also by its clock frequencies, its data bus and the amount and type of memory it integrates, but optimization and support At the driver level it also plays a fundamental role.
There is no doubt that Apple plays an advantage in this regard, since Maintains tight control over your software ecosystem, a very marked closed character that has important advantages when facing changes as profound as the transition to a different CPU architecture, and also when it comes to optimizing, that is, in everything that concerns polishing the software-hardware pairing .
By this I mean that Apple may not be able to abandon AMD GPUs and launch a series of substitutes that are entirely on the same level as those, but it could compensate for this lack of raw power with “perfect” integration and optimization. . Optimization and support largely determine the actual performance of a graphics cardRemember, without going any further, what the Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX Vega 56 improved thanks to the constant improvements they received at the driver level.
It is certainly not crazy, on the contrary, it seems to us a movement with a lot of common sense, since would completely eliminate Apple’s reliance on third parties on two fundamental components, CPU and GPU, and would allow you to keep cutting costs and leaving more money at home.
The end of third-party hardware on Mac computers will have serious implications for giants like Intel, NVIDIA, and AMD, will allow Apple to reinforce the control it has over its product ecosystem, reduce its expenses and improve its revenue, and could also mean the end of the Hackintosh.
The future will be very interesting. macOS arm64 according to Apple removes support for AMD GPUs too, Apple GPUs all the way. pic.twitter.com/2hF8RwsO4C
– Longhorn (@never_released) July 6, 2020