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Apple Considering Moving Macs Away From Intel Chips

By - Source: Business Week | B 93 comments

Chips from chief rival AMD supposedly the option Apple may switch to.

Apple has supposedly "deliberated" moving its series of Mac systems away from Intel processors.
However, the move apparently isn't "imminent." The details stem from a profile of Apple's CEO Tim Cook by Businessweek that cite two unnamed sources who are familiar with Apple's internal discussions.

Apple's interest of seeking new chips for its Mac lineup isn't the first time the firm has reportedly expressed it wants a new provider. Back in 2010, AppleInsider had heard that the firm held discussions with AMD, Intel's main competitor, about utilizing their chips instead for future Macs.

"Such a shift would be difficult and isn't imminent, though it would allow Apple to further distinguish its laptops and desktops from competitors that run Intel's chips and Microsoft's Windows software," said authors Brad Stone, Adam Satariano and Peter Burrows.

Although Intel powers Apple's Mac systems, the chipmaker is absent from iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

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  • 33 Hide
    orodos , October 4, 2012 11:05 PM
    macbook+apu=$$. higher perceived performance due to the gpu & higher profit margins
  • 30 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 4, 2012 11:02 PM
    Obviously would be a win for AMD. No real other option for x86 (forget about Via). I doubt they would want to go through the compatibility hassles again like when they abandoned PowerPC devices.
  • 28 Hide
    turtile , October 4, 2012 11:55 PM
    I think Steamroller will make a lot of sense. Since they control the software, they could add GPU compute which would give it a major advantage.
Other Comments
  • 30 Hide
    jhansonxi , October 4, 2012 11:02 PM
    Obviously would be a win for AMD. No real other option for x86 (forget about Via). I doubt they would want to go through the compatibility hassles again like when they abandoned PowerPC devices.
  • 21 Hide
    bustapr , October 4, 2012 11:03 PM
    or maybe theyll just sell new AMD macs at a lower price. this would grab much of the isheep that are aware of macs being too expensive. though I really do believe these macs will still be expensive as hell. just my thought.
  • 33 Hide
    orodos , October 4, 2012 11:05 PM
    macbook+apu=$$. higher perceived performance due to the gpu & higher profit margins
  • 26 Hide
    Anonymous , October 4, 2012 11:08 PM
    Apple and AMD. 2 Companies that get tough love around here.

    I doubt they would move their entire line to AMD, but there could be some interesting applications for AMD APUs, particularly if they build in some OS specific capabilities that really harness the power of the GPUs.
  • 24 Hide
    greghome , October 4, 2012 11:13 PM
    rooseveltdonLol and move to AMD? good luck with that...unless they start making their own chips they are not going anywhere

    a lot of R&D goes into designing CPUs, even Apple's "own" A6 CPUs in the iPhones are just modified Cortex A9.
    It's more likely they'll just get a Trinity APU and rename it Apple A10, rather than actually redesigning a x86 CPU.........they can't legally do it anyways, since they don't own the license and Intel is unlikely to license it so Apple can abandon them
  • 27 Hide
    dyc4ha , October 4, 2012 11:14 PM
    Apple will save a lot of money going with APUs, and can actually truthfully advertise a massive increase in IGPU performance. Then bam a phat profit margin
  • 20 Hide
    crewton , October 4, 2012 11:15 PM
    bustapror maybe theyll just sell new AMD macs at a lower price. this would grab much of the isheep that are aware of macs being too expensive. though I really do believe these macs will still be expensive as hell. just my thought.


    You don't understand apple very well. They will use AMD and then charge more for being new and innovative. Bigger profit margins and then you will here the itards explain how much better AMD cpus are than Intels. It's a brilliant move. They will really stick it to the wintel owners now!
  • 23 Hide
    Yuka , October 4, 2012 11:18 PM
    Actually, since Apple actually is a big partner with OGL and actually uses it in its desktop, might be better of with AMD and the new HSA foundation.

    Apple, like it or not, has very good hardware and software for video and sound, which actually is easy to accelerate with GPU muscle. Besides, Apple has always loved eye candy on their desktop, so going with AMD might help in that regard a lot.

    AMD would just have to step up their driver's game, but other than that, sounds like a pretty good deal for both.

    Cheers!
  • -6 Hide
    _Cubase_ , October 4, 2012 11:30 PM
    Does this mean they will be abandoning their beloved thunderbolt too?
  • 12 Hide
    festerovic , October 4, 2012 11:43 PM
    Apple started making money again when they switched from PPC to Intel, I hope they remember this...
  • 24 Hide
    Anonymous , October 4, 2012 11:47 PM
    You do realise that this could mean:

    Apple: "AMD we want you to be our CPU supplier"
    AMD: "You think we have a chance of producing a working, competing product?"
    Apple: "Here's Eleventy billion dollars"
    AMD: :D 
  • 15 Hide
    alexthager , October 4, 2012 11:48 PM
    I don't think it will ever happen, but I would be interested to see a Macbook Air powered by one of AMD's APUs.
  • 28 Hide
    turtile , October 4, 2012 11:55 PM
    I think Steamroller will make a lot of sense. Since they control the software, they could add GPU compute which would give it a major advantage.
  • -6 Hide
    turtile , October 4, 2012 11:57 PM
    I think Steamroller will make a lot of sense. Since they control the software, they could add GPU compute which would give it a major advantage.
  • 10 Hide
    ekho , October 4, 2012 11:59 PM
    AMD needs to grab its chances. They have to move on quicker, like they do better these days by offering new APUs and remarkable prices.
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