AMD Mac tipped in code (and Intel should be terrified)

Chris Burns - Feb 7, 2020, 4:11pm CST
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AMD Mac tipped in code (and Intel should be terrified)

Code from the latest version of the MacOS suggests that future desktop machines from Apple may use AMD processors for future Mac computers. This could include MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iMac Pro, all of which currently use AMD graphics processors. This might be a big point of change for Apple with respect to Intel – if Apple drops Intel CPUs in favor of AMD CPU/GPU action, the boat shall be rocked.

The latest MacOS code version 10.15.4 Beta 1 included references to at least 5 different APUs from AMD. Thanks to some sleuthing from silicon investigator @_rogame a few different iterations of AMD references were revealed this week. Down deep in the code could be found the following list of AMD code-names for APU hardware:

• NAVI12_A0
• NAVI21_A0
• PICASSO_A0
• RAVEN2_A0
• RAVEN_A0
• RENOIR_A0
• VANGOGH_A0

Raven1, Raven2, and Renoir Golden Settings could be found in the MacOS 10.15.4 Beta 1, as well as UCODE and Feature Support for Renoir. Dali also appeared with Golden Settings and feature support. Added since MacOS 10.15.3 were several references to Navi21, 22, 23 “Unknown Prototype” hardware, as well as “supportsVRS” – aka Variable Rate Shading.

SIDENOTE: Remember that time Apple hired AMD trinity genius John Bruno back in 2012?

With the release of macOS 10.15.4 beta 1, references to Navi 10 Lite and Navi 21 Lite are removed, while added is a reference to LPDDR4 RAM. So let’s take a peek at what Apple’s likely launching in March.

Consider MacOS Pro Mode for a near-future desktop refocus on gaming. It feels like rumors have swirled around the gaming focus for Apple so long that we’re at a statistically impossible point of no return, so cross your fingers there.

There’s a MacBook Pro with Magic Keyboard coming up – possible with a 13-inch display. There’s also a MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (14-inch) refresh likely in the wings – which just leaves the MacBook Pro 16-inch model on the back burner just a bit.

Will a new AMD-centric MacBook Pro be able to out-do the likes of the $6,000 16-inch MacBook Pro with all its bells and whistles? Or is this next-generation AMD horde set to keep high prices in check as Intel re-assesses their future?

Remember how the first A-series MacBooks were predicted to come in 2020? Things might not be going as AMD-centrically as previously suspected, but the A might still be in the air – we shall see!


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