Tuesday, September 1st 2020

Apple's Custom GPU is Reportedly Faster than Intel iGPU

When Apple announced their transition form Intel processors to Apple Silicon, we were left wondering how the silicon will perform and what characteristics will it bring with it. According to the latest report from The China Times, the Apple custom GPU found inside the new Apple Silicon will bring better performance and energy efficiency compared to Intel iGPU it replaces. The 5 nm GPU manufactured on TSMC's N5 semiconductor manufacturing node is supposedly codenamed "Lifuka" and it brings Apple's best to the table. Planned to power a 12-inch MacBook, the GPU will be paired with a custom CPU based on Arm ISA as well. The same chips powering iPhone and iPad devices will go into MacBook devices, with the TDP increased as MacBook will probably have much higher cooling capacity. The first Apple Silicon MacBook will come in H2 of 2021.
Here is the copy of a full report from The China Times below:

In the past, Apple introduced Mac personal computers with Intel CPUs, equipped with Nvidia or AMD GPUs, but industry insiders pointed out that Apple has cancelled support for AMD GPUs in the macOS Arm 64-bit operating system, indicating that Apple will be adopted in the future. Silicon's Mac personal computers may use a GPU developed and designed by Apple. Recently, the industry has reported that in addition to Apple Silico processors, Apple's iMac desktops launched next year will also be equipped with self-developed and designed Apple GPUs.

According to relevant sources, Apple's self-developed GPU is progressing smoothly. The research and development code is Lifuka. Like the upcoming A14X processor, it is produced using TSMC's 5 nm process. Apple has designed a series of processors for Mac personal computers. The new GPU will provide better performance per watt and higher computing performance. It has tile-based deferred rendering technology that allows application developers to write more powerful professional application software and game software.
Source: MacRumors
Add your own comment

19 Comments on Apple's Custom GPU is Reportedly Faster than Intel iGPU

#1
watzupken
This doesn't sound like a good achievement, at least without knowing how much faster and which Intel graphic this is comparing to. The bar is set very low if this is compared with the older UHD graphics.
Posted on Reply
#2
BoboOOZ
watzupken
This doesn't sound like a good achievement, at least without knowing how much faster and which Intel graphic this is comparing to. The bar is set very low if this is compared with the older UHD graphics.
And this is coming out in the second half of 2021, by then both AMD and Intel will have new generations of APU's available.
Posted on Reply
#3
john_
It's 5nm using Imagination's technologies vs 10nm/14nm and Intel, the big joke of graphics(until now).
It's not like it fights Intel's iGPU fair or even that Apple started from zero. Also Intel's iGPUs until now, where never targeting performance. Only features, like support for video codecs and Quicksync.
Posted on Reply
#4
Verpal
The new GPU will provide better performance per watt and higher computing performance.
Computing performance...... such a vague expression, is it actually faster than previous gen Intel iGPU in most task?

Even the Chinese version isn't any better
新款GPU將可提供更好的每瓦性能及更高運算效能
Vague, I don't see this as definitive expression that indicate Apple GPU being faster than Intel iGPU, I mean, not everyone use MAC purely for compute, some people like to play some casual game too.
Posted on Reply
#5
medi01
With solid Lenovo notebooks promising 18 hours of battery with 6-8 core Zen chips, I simply don't see how Apple could stay relevant for anyone but core "apple no matter what" audience after dumping x86.
Posted on Reply
#6
michwoz
Great, but doesn't it suppose to replace mentioned AMD GPU's? What's the point of comparing it to current Intel iGPU, which soon be obsolete even in Intel chips (replaced by Xe).
Posted on Reply
#7
3rold
Honestly, anything is faster than an Intel iGPU. Still a good achievement for a chip that needs much less power to operate.
Posted on Reply
#8
Vya Domus
That's like beating a third grader in a fist fight.
Posted on Reply
#9
lemonadesoda
Turn the news around. Despite the size, r&d budgets, technology patents, and experience, intel igpu is a travesty. EVEN a company like Apple, whose focus in on shopping experience, colour and icons, finger flicking, software, phone/tablet design, cardboard packaging, even apple can do better. Shame on intel.
Posted on Reply
#10
yotano211
How can they compare it when Intel's gpu is based on 14nm and its already 4 years old with something brand new and 5nm.
Posted on Reply
#12
bonehead123
Ferrum Master
Lifuka???

Seriously?
2nd'd..

WTF isssssuppwitdat ????
Posted on Reply
#13
tigger
I'm the only one
Ferrum Master
Lifuka???

Seriously?
Lifuka is an island in the Kingdom of Tonga though why Apple named their GPU this is unknown, unless the Boss likes to holiday there.
Posted on Reply
#14
Houd.ini
medi01
With solid Lenovo notebooks promising 18 hours of battery with 6-8 core Zen chips, I simply don't see how Apple could stay relevant for anyone but core "apple no matter what" audience after dumping x86.
There is also a software side to this equation.
Ferrum Master
Lifuka???

Seriously?
Lifuka is an island in Tonga, which was a GCN 3.0 AMD GPU:D
Posted on Reply
#15
medi01
Houd.ini
There is also a software side to this equation.
Yeah, I mean, all that .x86 crap that would not run on ARM.
Posted on Reply
#16
AnarchoPrimitiv
I wouldn't be surprised if there are some lawsuits with respect to certain companies suing apple for violating GPU IP patents, not saying they'll be legitimate, just saying I wouldn't be surprised
Posted on Reply
#17
Chrispy_
I wonder how many professionals will leave MacOS once Apple move fully to ARM.

We have a 10-man graphics team about half of who use Mac but cannot do their job without access to Windows as well. Their personal machines are all bootcamp unless they have multiple devices.
Posted on Reply
#18
RandallFlagg
Chrispy_
I wonder how many professionals will leave MacOS once Apple move fully to ARM.

We have a 10-man graphics team about half of who use Mac but cannot do their job without access to Windows as well. Their personal machines are all bootcamp unless they have multiple devices.
I suspect just the opposite will happen. Based on what infor is out there on the performance of the A12X dev box, a chip not designed to be a desktop replacement chip, I expect the A14 desktop / laptop variant will be very high performance compared to x86. I don't believe Apple / TSMC will do a hack job of putting a phone/tablet chip in a desktop.

The first people who would clamor for that would be the productivity users, people doing encoding / decoding and video editing. Apple will steal those vertical markets first.
Posted on Reply
#19
Chrispy_
RandallFlagg
I suspect just the opposite will happen. Based on what infor is out there on the performance of the A12X dev box, a chip not designed to be a desktop replacement chip, I expect the A14 desktop / laptop variant will be very high performance compared to x86. I don't believe Apple / TSMC will do a hack job of putting a phone/tablet chip in a desktop.

The first people who would clamor for that would be the productivity users, people doing encoding / decoding and video editing. Apple will steal those vertical markets first.
Our guys do simple editing on their Macs and farm the heavy duty encodes out to Threadripper farms in the server room. I don't think Apple are at Threadripper performance with ARM yet.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment