Despite the switch to Apple Silicon for Apple's Macs, AMD continues to work with Apple and as a result high-end Macs will probably contain dedicated graphics cards.
The M1 Macs that Apple released last November raise some questions about Apple's transition from x86 to ARM chips. The entry-level models do not need dedicated graphics solutions - up to eight graphics cores are already installed and show impressive results in tests that should give GPU partner AMD pause for thought.
However, as mentioned, these are entry-level models; in their predecessors Apple usually used integrated graphics. On the other hand, you find discrete chips in Macs like the 16in MacBook Pro or large graphics cards like the Vega II Duo in the Mac Pro, the question is what the future for graphics inside Apple's Silicon Macs will be. Will Apple continue to support or develop an external graphics card solution or not.
Following AMD's CES presentation AMD CEO Dr Lisa Su spoke about the M1 chip and the opportunities for innovation that it could bring.
When asked the M1 and its impact on AMD's relationship with Apple, she said: "The M1 is more about how much processing and innovation there is in the market. This is an opportunity to innovate more, both in hardware and software, and it goes beyond the ISA. From our standpoint, there is still innovation in the PC space - we have lots of choices and people can use the same processors in a lot of different environments. We expect to see more specialization as we go forward over the next couple of years, and it enables more differentiation. But Apple continues to work with us as their graphics partner, and we work with them."
Intel may have lost one of its customers, but Apple's entry as a desktop chip manufacturer should be good for innovation as competitors will want to keep up with Apple's solutions or even surpass them. As a result Windows users should benefit from it in the long term.
Interesting side note: ARM Holding, on whose designs Apple is based its SoC, has belonged to Nvidia, AMD's major competitor in the GPU sector, since mid-2020. However, Apple had long since broken with Nvidia as a supplier of graphics solutions, so the new ownership structure does not have to mean anything here.
You may be interested to read about how a M1 MacBook was beaten by MacBook Pro with eGPU.
Plus read more about Apple's Silicon graphics plans.
Via Apple Insider
This article originally appeared on Macwelt. Translation by Karen Haslam.