Tuesday, July 7th 2020

Apple to Develop the Metal Family of GPUs, Dump AMD Radeon

In the next big step toward complete silicon independence, Apple is planning to dump AMD as a supplier of discrete GPUs in the near future, closely following its decision to dump Intel and the x86 machine architecture in favor of its own SoCs based on the Arm machine architecture. The company is developing its own line of discrete GPUs under the "Metal GPU Family," a name borrowed from its own Metal graphics API.

This explosive bit of information comes from a WWDC 2020 presentation slide posted by Longhorn (@never_released) on Twitter. The slide suggests that along with the processor, Apple is making a clean break with its graphics hardware. The SoCs powering client-segment Macs, such as future iMacs or MacBooks, could feature iGPUs based on this graphics architecture, while larger platforms such as MacBook Pros, Mac Pros, and iMac Pros of the future could feature Apple's own discrete GPUs.
Source: Longhorn (Twitter)
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67 Comments on Apple to Develop the Metal Family of GPUs, Dump AMD Radeon

#1
Camm
I'm not surprised, but it is interesting to see that Apple is willing to pay the insane cost of royalties on graphics patents in order to do so AND it thinks it can outperform Nvidia, AMD & Intel in designing GPU's.
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Camm
I'm not surprised, but it is interesting to see that Apple is willing to pay the insane cost of royalties on graphics patents in order to do so AND it thinks it can outperform Nvidia, AMD & Intel in designing GPU's.
They're just scaling up the graphics IP they already own with the iGPUs inside their A-series SoCs powering iOS devices. Future Mac OS is essentially iOS with a desktop environment.

But yes, all the work Valve put in to get game devs to port their titles to Mac OS will go to waste.
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#3
Flanker
Reminds me of their Metal rendering API. Just like D3D 12, but a wee bit nicer with some helpful features.
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#4
watzupken
This should not come as a surprise. If they are using in house SOC, then there is no room for the AMD graphics.
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#5
ncrs
watzupken
This should not come as a surprise. If they are using in house SOC, then there is no room for the AMD graphics.
AMD has licensed their graphics IP to Samsung recently so it definitely could happen, but is unlikely with Apple.
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#6
Mamya3084
btarunr
They're just scaling up the graphics IP they already own with the iGPUs inside their A-series SoCs powering iOS devices. Future Mac OS is essentially iOS with a desktop environment.

But yes, all the work Valve put in to get game devs to port their titles to Mac OS will go to waste.
I don't think Steam for this new Mac ecosystem will even exist after this.
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#7
BorgOvermind
Intel failed to have competitive GPUs even if they barked about it for years. And they have an yearly research budget infinitely higher than AMD's.
You you really think the marketing scammers will actually come up with something worthy ?
Nah...
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#8
destroyah3034
Well there goes the Hackintosh. Once x86 is dropped along with AMD gpus, you can kiss your Apple PC goodbye.
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#9
Kaotik
Has this slide been confirmed anywhere else to be real?
The fact it mentions NVIDIA just makes it sound possibly fake, since any support for NVIDIA GPUs was already dropped some time ago (last drivers even in beta-form are for macOS High Sierra released Oct 2019)
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#10
lexluthermiester
btarunr
But yes, all the work Valve put in to get game devs to port their titles to Mac OS will go to waste.
GOG as well. Really sad actually.
Mamya3084
I don't think Steam for this new Mac ecosystem will even exist after this.
Agreed.
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#11
Xex360
BorgOvermind
Intel failed to have competitive GPUs even if they barked about it for years. And they have an yearly research budget infinitely higher than AMD's.
You you really think the marketing scammers will actually come up with something worthy ?
Nah...
They don't for this very reason, Mac users are either forced to use it for some apps or aren't savvy so they don't even notice or sheeply buy their products.
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#12
m4dn355
Folks time to dump apple big.TIME
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#13
Vya Domus
Camm
I'm not surprised, but it is interesting to see that Apple is willing to pay the insane cost of royalties on graphics patents
I don't think they are, these are probably some licensed ARM Mali cores that they customize.
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#14
steve360
And the walls of Apple's garden keeps getting taller while the floor space keeps getting smaller.
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#15
tfdsaf
I still don't get why people buy overpriced mac's, when you can have much better laptops from various companies like Asus, Lenovo, ROG, etc...
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#16
ARF
tfdsaf
I still don't get why people buy overpriced mac's
I don't know. Maybe software support ?
tfdsaf
when you can have much better laptops from various companies like Asus, Lenovo, ROG, etc...
Asus and ROG is one thing. You missed Acer which gives the best budget offers.
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#17
Arumio
Mamya3084
I don't think Steam for this new Mac ecosystem will even exist after this.
don't know about "Steam" but new future of gaming on mac is guaranteed
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#18
Andyr
I'm struggling to get my head round the strategy here. Apple's core professional market is traditionally creative/media, where applications depend heavily on gpu acceleration.

I just can't see them delivering Vega Pro II performance from a scaled up SOC.
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#19
juiseman
Andyr
I'm struggling to get my head round the strategy here. Apple's core professional market is traditionally creative/media, where applications depend heavily on gpu acceleration.

I just can't see them delivering Vega Pro II performance from a scaled up SOC.
My thoughts exactly; I think you may have answered your own question, their focus may not be on creative professionals.
I'm no expert, but I don't think they can match AMD or Nvidia... I just cant see how its possible.
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#20
AnarchoPrimitiv
tfdsaf
I still don't get why people buy overpriced mac's, when you can have much better laptops from various companies like Asus, Lenovo, ROG, etc...
I've always wondered that as well, but then again, I won't purchase ANYTHING, even a $40 item without doing as much research as necessary to be absolutely confident I've chosen the best possible product for my money... So you can imagine how much research I do and did for my new build this past November. That's why it baffles me how anyone could walk into a best buy, for example, and spend $1000+ on a computer only relying on what the sales person says.

Unfortunately however, it's seems that the vast majority of people do purchase their computer(s) in this manner, and the Apple customer falls into this category or the category of customer whose only concern is that they want to use iOS or whatever the newest OS for apple is called. At least, that's my theory on what's occurring... I mean, if someone just takes ten minutes and, for example, compares a $2000 MacBook to a $2000 windows laptop, they'll obviously see you get better hardware performance for the same price with the windows laptop... So they either don't take that ten minutes, or don't care to....
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#21
Imsochobo
Camm
I'm not surprised, but it is interesting to see that Apple is willing to pay the insane cost of royalties on graphics patents in order to do so AND it thinks it can outperform Nvidia, AMD & Intel in designing GPU's.
they don't aim to outperform them, their most sold mac is weak AF.
people don't really want performance, they want the mac experience if they can do that themself and deliver that better then that makes perfect sense.
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#22
Fourstaff
tfdsaf
I still don't get why people buy overpriced mac's, when you can have much better laptops from various companies like Asus, Lenovo, ROG, etc...
Once you get to MBA/MBP level of fanciness, XPS 13 and Thinkpad X1 is not really cheaper.
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#23
Punkenjoy
Apple got the money to make something good. It look like their current chip is already quite powerful in the mobile market.

As for game, we will see, it all depend on how much Apple is willing to spend on gaming. If they want, they can just send money at gaming studios to port their games on their platform and optimise for their GPU.

But i bet they will focus more on content creation apps and things like that.


I think if they don't commit to game, they might be out of the gaming market in few years with their GPU due to lack of technology support.
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#24
kaspar737
tfdsaf
I still don't get why people buy overpriced mac's, when you can have much better laptops from various companies like Asus, Lenovo, ROG, etc...
The only competitor to MBP Pro is the Dell XPS series and guess what, with equivalent specs it costs exactly the same as MBP.
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#25
PowerPC
AnarchoPrimitiv
I've always wondered that as well, but then again, I won't purchase ANYTHING, even a $40 item without doing as much research as necessary to be absolutely confident I've chosen the best possible product for my money... So you can imagine how much research I do and did for my new build this past November. That's why it baffles me how anyone could walk into a best buy, for example, and spend $1000+ on a computer only relying on what the sales person says.

Unfortunately however, it's seems that the vast majority of people do purchase their computer(s) in this manner, and the Apple customer falls into this category or the category of customer whose only concern is that they want to use iOS or whatever the newest OS for apple is called. At least, that's my theory on what's occurring... I mean, if someone just takes ten minutes and, for example, compares a $2000 MacBook to a $2000 windows laptop, they'll obviously see you get better hardware performance for the same price with the windows laptop... So they either don't take that ten minutes, or don't care to....
People never make purely rational purchasing decisions. Not even you. Apple sells their products because they aren't actually selling their hardware. Apple is selling a "feeling". So, in other words, they're selling what their customers think will give them the best value. It's a feeling.. When you use mac for a period of time you either absolutely fall in love with the experience and can't have anything else, or you don't. Many people do. They compare the feeling or experience you get from working with a Mac to PC and Macs win in a lot of different ways other than pure hardware specs. The seamless workflow you get on MacOS for one. The immaculate build quality and Bauhaus design of Apple products is another big thing for people. Compare a MacBook with an ugly black standard laptop... It's a totally different world. Some other companies maybe are getting there from copying Apple design, but they are often just not there in terms of build quality. And you can't just replace MacOS with Windows and say they're equivalent. I personally think Linux > MacOS >>>> Windows. For people who aren't total Linux pros, MacOS is honestly the next best thing. And I personally think you have to be a bit crazy to use Linux. It literally has to be your hobby, otherwise you'll probably not have such a good time..
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