Do you think that one day soon that Apple will switch from Intel based Macs to AMD, and how do you think that would impact their market?
Answer by Leapo · Jun 28, 2010 at 06:44 AM
I don't imagine Apple will switch to AMD entirely, but chances are good that they'll begin using AMD processors in some of their Macs.
It all comes down to platforms. Intel offers a complete platform (processor, chipset, graphics card), which makes it cheaper to use and simpler to support. The problem is, Intel offers no high-end video card at present, which means if Apple wants to put a high-end graphics card in one of their systems, they have to go with either ATi or Nvidia.
If they use an Nvidia card, they break up the complete platform no matter what. If they decide to go the ATi route, they have the option of using AMD's entire platform (processor, chipset, graphics card). This once-again gains them all the benefits of offering a single-vendor solution.
It'll probably happen eventually, but not before Apple starts devoting more effort into 3D applications on OSX. They're still using OpenGL 2.1 as the primary graphics library in OSX, which is horribly out of date, and lacking in features, and fairly slow compared to newer versions. I don't imagine they'll make a fuss about using AMD/ATi until their OS can actually use all of the Shader Model 4.0 and 5.0 features available on the latest graphics cards (which means OSX needs full support for OpenGL 4.0).
Answer by Granit · Jun 04, 2010 at 01:33 PM
It's possible, Apple's had an AMD compatible version of the OS as long as they've had an Intel one, developed in parallel with the PPC distribution. Apple is not afraid to change direction and switch to another supplier, Steve Jobs has made that clear from his own words in 2005. Saying this, I find it highly unlikely with the closeness Apple and Intel have become at this point, maybe later down the line, they will. It's also possible Apple will use both, AMD for the loowend / cost Macs like the Mac mini, and Intel for the highend. It may allow Apple to slash the price of the Mac mini as much as $100.
Answer by tsilb · Jun 04, 2010 at 11:40 AM
I think eventually they'll just let MacOS install on any x86/x64/x128 (by then) system. It's a matter of showing Steve the error of his ways. He's slowly starting to come around.
On that day, I will try MacOS. Lots of people will follow. If only we could try it out without having to buy a whole new computer.
Answer by catchatyou · Jun 28, 2010 at 04:48 AM
I think that Apple should use their own custom processors. I think that they wouldn't have to wait until the new i7s are available, they can update their own line of products at their choosing.
I do believe that there is a very good chance that Apple could be switching their processors to AMD so that they can get cheaper graphics cards (anyone ever heard of Portal for the Mac...).
Answer by computerwhiz1 · Jun 28, 2010 at 01:15 PM
I don't see why Apple wouldn't go with AMD or just have both, but most people in the "don't know anything about computers market" probably have no idea who/what AMD is. They at least have probably heard of Intel. Also, keep in mind that with Apple developing their own mobile processors, I wonder if they will develop their own desktop processor as well. It would follow the Apple way of completely closing the platform to their technology.
Answer by Liam Quade · Jun 28, 2010 at 01:23 PM
I think eventually they won't rely on any processor company. They will eventually stop using Intel and start using their own chips again. Apple is that kind of company. They like to have everything happen inside their company. So they will eventually make every part in their computers.
Answer by r0bErT4u · Jun 28, 2010 at 06:39 PM
With the move from the IBM/Motorola/Apple RISC "PowerPC", I suspect there's a exclusivity contract with Intel.
If/when Steve Jobs leaves Apple, a rebirth of Mac Clones will flood the market. They'll be sporting CPUs from A4s, AMD Opterons, Intel Xeons, etc.