Apple namedrops next-gen AMD hardware in macOS beta code

mongeese

Posts: 408   +63
Staff member

Unreleased and unannounced AMD products and supporting infrastructure are appearing frequently in newly published, official MacOS Catalina 10.15.4 code. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen some of these products in a beta version of macOS, but they’re looking increasingly polished this iteration.

Most notably, the code extensively references AMD’s Navi 12, Navi 21, Navi 22, and Navi 23 graphics cards that are expected to break new ground in the gaming GPU world. The four models have been confirmed multiple times by Linux updates, and they’re expected to utilize RDNA 2.0 and AMD’s first hardware ray tracing implementation.

Rumors suggest that Navi 12 and 21 are budget and mid-range chips, while Navi 22 and 23 are the flagship parts that could challenge Nvidia’s RTX series and potentially dethrone the RTX 2080 Ti.

While the mention of these products in Apple’s software doesn’t prove much – AMD could have provided this driver and included them by accident – it is reasonable to expect Apple will take advantage of them. Apple has used Polaris and Vega chips for years, and there’s no reason why they wouldn’t use Navi as well. What’s a little less likely, and all the more intriguing for it, is the possibility of Apple using AMD processors.

Mentioned in the code are five generations of mobile AMD processors. The first three are existing generations, but the fourth is Renoir, which AMD announced at CES 2020. Renoir uses 7nm Zen 2 processing cores and Vega graphics.

Model Cores/
Threads
Base Clock Boost Clock TDP
Ryzen 7 4800H 8/16 3.0 GHz 4.2 GHz 45W
Ryzen 5 4600H 6/12 3.0 GHz 4.0 GHz 45W
Ryzen 7 4800U 8/16 1.8 GHz 4.2 GHz 15W
Ryzen 7 4700U 8/8 2.0 GHz 4.1 GHz 15W
Ryzen 5 4600U 6/12 2.1 GHz 4.0 GHz 15W
Ryzen 5 4500U 6/6 2.3 GHz 4.0 GHz 15W
Ryzen 3 4300U 4/4 2.7 GHz 3.7 GHz 15W

Renoir has nearly identical specs to the four CPUs Apple uses in its MacBook Pro series. What a strange coincidence.

Model Cores/
Threads
Base Clock Boost Clock TDP
Core i9-9880H 8/16 2.3 GHz 4.8 GHz 45W
Core i7-9750H 6/12 2.6 GHz 4.5 GHz 45W
Core i5-8279U 4/8 2.4 GHz 4.1 GHz 28W
Core i5-8257U 4/8 1.4 GHz 3.9 GHz 15W

Apple’s software also labels a new Van Gogh architecture. Van Gogh is often referenced in conjunction with Navi, leading to speculation it will be the first APU with RDNA graphics.

If Apple is going to launch a product with new AMD hardware this year, they’ll likely do it at WWDC in June. They’ve usually announced updates to macOS there, and generally, bring some professional hardware like the Mac Pro or iMac along, too.

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TheBigFatClown

Posts: 811   +304
Renoir? Who thought that up that name? Pass! Just because of the name. Van Gogh I can accept. Picasso I can accept. But not Renoir. Famous artists names, I know but still.
 
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mrvco

Posts: 85   +71
What a win for AMD if their new mobile CPU(s) are up to Apple standards. Would love to see a MacBook Air and 13/14" MacBook Pro with some more GPU horsepower under the hood as well. The big unknown that I'm looking forward to knowing is whether they'll finally give the iMac a proper update rather than just another proc refresh.
 

Suisam

Posts: 25   +43
What a win for AMD if their new mobile CPU(s) are up to Apple standards. Would love to see a MacBook Air and 13/14" MacBook Pro with some more GPU horsepower under the hood as well. The big unknown that I'm looking forward to knowing is whether they'll finally give the iMac a proper update rather than just another proc refresh.
Only standard Apple has is their insane idea of overpricing their products....
 
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Evernessince

Posts: 5,337   +5,804
Give credit where credit is due, they've mastered profit margins
Apple actually hasn't been doing too well in that department. They currently sit at 37.8%. They have never really reach Nvidia or Intel levels.

Just for comparison, Nvidia and Intel both sit at above 60%.

Nvidia saw an explosion in Gross Margin growth in 2012 from 39.8% to 51.4% just in a single year. This is the year the launched Kepler (which went up against AMD's 7000 series that was pretty competitive). This is the single biggest margin growth for Nvidia. I can't say that Kepler accounts for all of it. It was good but certainly not a bigger jump then Pascal. Interestingly enough, AMD failed to secure additional Gross Margin when Nvidia was stuck with Fermi and the fermi refresh. In fact despite how bad Fermi was, Nvidia still maintained around the same margin as AMD.

Gross margin is a good indicator of how well a company is performing. If you look at Intel over the last 3 years, you'll see AMD hasn't had a major immediate impact (to be expected). That said 2019 did see a notable drop for Intel. We are yet to see the result of the price cut of HEDT and Server parts on these number but I expect it to show up when 2020 is over. Intel has enough margin and capital that I would not at all be worried of the immediate future. I'd be more worried about their culture and what they are doing to change it in the long run.
 

marees

Posts: 6   +3
Navi 12 is unlikely to be RDNA 2

It is more likely Navi 10 lite (8 teraflops) with 4gb of HBM, to replace (mac only) Vega 16 & Vega 20 released 2 years ago

It might go into thin form factor devices such as all-in-ones (imacs), NUCs (apple TV) or the rumored gaming laptop
 

Lounds

Posts: 540   +390
I can see Apple dropping high core count CPUs in their Mac Pro workstations and some APUs in laptops.
Can you imagine how fast rendering would be on an optimised Mac with high core count. I can totally see them doing their for their high end machines.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,031   +2,562
Can you imagine how fast rendering would be on an optimised Mac with high core count. I can totally see them doing their for their high end machines.
It depends on the workload. In many cases a threadripper workstation with even more cores should be better. I don't think Apple will add TR CPUs to their lineup, at least not yet.
 

Dosahka

Posts: 218   +83
Just to sums it up: Pro +30% price, Plus/Max +10%, Gaming +20%.
This AMD APU thing might relates to Apple's statement that they want to be in the Gaming/HEDT, therefore they "can" (will) experiment with the 13" MBP on how much they can gain.
It does make sense before nuke their 16-inch platform, which (I personally think) performs better than the previous 15-inch ones (configure times are down by up to 60% with MDM), installing Office 365 from an offline installer takes 3-5 min which was 12-16min on a prev gen 15-inch (both setup as new).
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 2,997   +1,180
Apple wants $6000 for a computer with an RX 580 inside. I dont see lower prices by going AMD on GPU and CPU, but we'll see.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,380   +2,914
Apple actually hasn't been doing too well in that department. They currently sit at 37.8%. They have never really reach Nvidia or Intel levels.

Just for comparison, Nvidia and Intel both sit at above 60%.

Nvidia saw an explosion in Gross Margin growth in 2012 from 39.8% to 51.4% just in a single year. This is the year the launched Kepler (which went up against AMD's 7000 series that was pretty competitive). This is the single biggest margin growth for Nvidia. I can't say that Kepler accounts for all of it. It was good but certainly not a bigger jump then Pascal. Interestingly enough, AMD failed to secure additional Gross Margin when Nvidia was stuck with Fermi and the fermi refresh. In fact despite how bad Fermi was, Nvidia still maintained around the same margin as AMD.

Gross margin is a good indicator of how well a company is performing. If you look at Intel over the last 3 years, you'll see AMD hasn't had a major immediate impact (to be expected). That said 2019 did see a notable drop for Intel. We are yet to see the result of the price cut of HEDT and Server parts on these number but I expect it to show up when 2020 is over. Intel has enough margin and capital that I would not at all be worried of the immediate future. I'd be more worried about their culture and what they are doing to change it in the long run.
I was talking about on their products, not general profitability. Just look at the MacPro
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,337   +5,804
I was talking about on their products, not general profitability. Just look at the MacPro
Apple doesn't disclose individual product margins. A high price tag doesn't instantly translate to high profit margins, there are many other factors in play. For all we know, Apple stores, R&D, and other factors could be costing them massive overhead.

You have the perception that Apple has high profit margins and that may or may not be true but the fact is, even if it does, it clearly isn't translating to their gross margin like it should.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,380   +2,914
Apple doesn't disclose individual product margins. A high price tag doesn't instantly translate to high profit margins, there are many other factors in play. For all we know, Apple stores, R&D, and other factors could be costing them massive overhead.

You have the perception that Apple has high profit margins and that may or may not be true but the fact is, even if it does, it clearly isn't translating to their gross margin like it should.
Go watch some Louis Rossman videos
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,380   +2,914
Any specific video recommendations? I see he has quite a few.
Any of his repair videos, really. He does component level repair on Apple devices. He constantly talks about how the cheap components apple uses allowed him to create a million dollar business repairing apple devices.

He's a total prick but his videos are interesting and informative if you can get past that.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,337   +5,804
Any of his repair videos, really. He does component level repair on Apple devices. He constantly talks about how the cheap components apple uses allowed him to create a million dollar business repairing apple devices.

He's a total prick but his videos are interesting and informative if you can get past that.
Thanks, I'll take a look.
 
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