Apple not done yet with AMD GPUs in its Mac computers?

Posted on Tuesday, April 27 2021 @ 11:14 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Since the introduction of the first Apple Silicon, there's been uncertainty about whether the company would continue to use AMD GPUs. Apple has been using AMD GPUs for quite some time now in its Mac computers, partly because the firm doesn't get along with NVIDIA. In the future, all Apple computers are expected to get a GPU made by Apple, but it seems there will be at least one more product cycle with AMD GPUs.

macOS gets RDNA2 support

ExtremeTech reports Apple's macOS 11.4 update adds support for RDNA2-based GPUs like the AMD Radeon RX 6800, RX 6800 XT, and RX 6900. At the moment, Apple's flagship Mac Pro models feature the Radeon Pro Vega II video card. Perhaps this is an indication that a future Mac refresh will get a pro-level AMD RDNA2 GPU option. The alternative, that Apple is merely adding RDNA2 support to give users an upgrade path, doesn't seem likely.
Apple hasn’t really talked about how it intends to handle its GPU transition or the degree to which it will support both Metal and RDNA2. It isn’t clear if Apple intends to replace its existing discrete GPUs with integrated SoCs more powerful than the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, continue to use AMD cards, build its own discrete GPUs, or pivot away from the high-end GPU market with future Mac Pros altogether, and offer more modest levels of GPU performance. Modest, in this context, means something more like a midrange dGPU with 4-8GB of on-package VRAM rather than a 32GB HBM monster with 4,000+ cores and a 250W+ TDP. Only Apple knows its long-term plans, and for now, the company isn’t sharing.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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