Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without Intel inside?

Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without Intel inside?

Summary: One of the main reasons Apple was able to turn around its Mac sales in recent years was the company's decision to switch from the PowerPC to Intel processors. But if the latest rumor circulated by AppleInsider.

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One of the main reasons Apple was able to turn around its Mac sales in recent years was the company's decision to switch from the PowerPC to Intel processors. But if the latest rumor circulated by AppleInsider.com is true, the tech giant is making moves that suggest the partnership may be undergoing a change.

The Web site is reporting that not only has Apple been in high-level talks with AMD about using its processors in the future, but it's even been testing those chips at its labs. AppleInsider is in part jumping to that conclusion after hearing of AMD execs being seen leaving meetings with Apple bigwigs, as well as AMD employees riding the commuter buses on the Apple campus.

Intel's delay in getting its latest mobile processors ready for the MacBook Pro apparently has made unhappy customers of Apple, which also isn't pleased with delays it suffered with Nvidia's graphics solutions. As the second fiddle to its rivals, AMD may be willing to bend to Apple's design wishes more than Intel and Nvidia. It could also be making overtures to AMD as a way to gain some bargaining chips (pun intended) over its partners in future negotiations.

AppleInsider.com says Apple appears to be most interested in AMD's server and mobile parts, not surprising given the success of the Intel Core line of desktop processors. While Intel isn't totally dependent on Apple business, it would be a blow to lose out to AMD for the high-profile Mac systems, which is why it's doubtful that the switch would be made without a big fight from Intel. Then again, it would be nice to see some lower prices on Macs that a changeover to AMD processors could bring.

Would consumers care about such a move? Most of them aren't benchmarking their processors, so the switch would probably go over buyers' heads anyway, as long as it comes wrapped in Apple packaging. And Apple has succeeded with its custom chip in the iPad, so working with AMD to tweak things to improve battery life and graphics performance could wind up being a value add for customers.

For its part, AMD has trailed Intel in the mobile space for some time, and the new mobile Core i3/i5/i7 processors are adding to the lopsided advantage. The company would seem to be desperate to gain a partner of Apple's reputation in order to make a turnaround in the notebook market. Meanwhile, it will be difficult for Apple to move past its current market share for MacBooks with a starting price of $999, as its mainstream PC competitors can provide similar performance for half that amount. Even shaving the price to $799 using cheaper parts would help overcome buyer resistance.

Would you have a problem buying a Mac with AMD, instead of Intel, inside? Or would you prefer Apple to abandon its Intel-only strategy? Let us know in the TalkBack section.

[Via Gizmodo]

Topics: Apple, Hardware, Processors

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Talkback

87 comments
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  • Go for it

    I like AMD and think they've done some nice innovations. Do I think a Mac purchaser cares what chip is inside? Not at all. Did anyone really notice when Apple went from PowerPC to Intel?
    Sure - I'd like to see this happen!
    rossdav
  • Same architecture... different OS and now different chip

    Just because they try to lock you into hardware doesnt mean i am going to buy their stuff.

    I have osx loaded in a VM at my house. Works ok.. still a unix os though. Just a different UI than its linux step brothers.
    Been_Done_Before
    • The hardware is the point

      Frankly, if it weren't for the hardware I'd still be running a Windows
      laptop. I never found a Windows laptop with a screen as nice or trackpad
      as responsive as I get on a MacBook Pro. Even if I were only running
      bootcamp on it and never even touched OSX, I would still buy one over a
      Dell, Sony, HP, etc. The premium price is well worth it for the extra
      comfort on a laptop I'm using for 12-14 hours a day.
      gigabot71
  • AMD Created x64, so why not go with them?

    People seem to forget that this modern age of so-called x64 processors was brought about because AMD developed and produced the x86-64 spec, now called AMD64 and then produced chips for it.

    Intel followed up later by introducing EM64T into its processors, which is mostly compatible with AMDs specification. Unlike earlier generations where Intel led and AMD coppied, AMD innovated what we are using now.

    Besides, if Apple puts their name on it and their usual QA of testing all the parts together, what is the difference?
    The-Bytemaster
  • that would make apple a lesser evil

    since at least the Intel monopolist is getting the shaft.
    Linux Geek
  • Hell Yeah. Don't care for Intel Inside My Mac

    I love my Mac but would rather have AMD inside vs Intel.

    I upgraded from G3/G4 [b]DESPITE Intel[/b] not BECAUSE of them.
    itguy08
  • RE: Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without Intel inside?

    I have not used Intel chips since 2000, AMD all the way and will never look back, AMD outlasts Intel by a long shot.
    xtrmgamr
  • Would you buy without Intel Inside?

    We (Mac users) bought without Intel Inside for 20 years. It's
    all about performance and compatibility. If we lose nothing
    in performance and all of our apps and tools continue to
    work, what difference does it make to the user?
    Timpraetor
  • AMD would cater to Apple better than Intel...

    As Intel has almost a 90% share of the desktop and a bit less on the servers. Apple is just another buyer to them where to AMD Apple would be a MAJOR buyer and would server Apple better.

    My MacBook has an Nvidia 9400M in it and because of that and the Nvidia "bump" problems and Nvidia denying it until they could no longer I bought an AppleCare addl 2 years of warranty because if anything goes out on that it will be the Nvidia graphics chip.

    I say go for it Apple, especially on the graphics side of AMDs house.
    dunn@...
  • RE: Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without I

    Much as I hate Windows, I still have to run a Windows-only
    program so as long as it doesn't affect that I'm not worried.
    pianoman1962
  • RE: Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without Intel inside?

    This is what I thought they were going to do in the first place. It would of been a better fit and they would get better deals and schedules from AMD because AMD needs the business. Also they may be able to help AMD make better chips.
    tymiles
  • Go AMD go!!

    It's accurate to say that the computer industry has a soft spot for AMD because they've really done a lot of innovating (K5, K6, Athlon, Opteron, Turion...) and pushing the envelope against Intel since the late 80s/early 90s starting with their fiery founder Jerry Sanders. {is he still around?}
    I'm all for AMD getting a piece of Apple's pie. :-) They deserve it and I'm rooting for them -- ALWAYS. It's not that I hate Intel per se. It's just that they did some sneaky things back in the 90s to try to screw AMD. Ask former CEO Andy Grove (the "paranoid one"). If it were not for AMD, I'm possitive the pace of chip release would have slowed to a crawl so that Intel could milk us dry.

    - Max "The IT pro"
    http://MaxTheITpro.com
    maxtheitpro
    • GO AMD GO

      Economic AIR and dont know how long it will last ...any reasonably price switch predictably be will accepted specially in the middle class groups loyal to MAC of users who feel that even how small the difference money wise will go a long ways.
      samrey111@...
      • GO AMD GO!!!

        (Let's make it a triple.)

        All the home computers that I have used/owned have AMD, but one. (Well, 6 out of 7 is doing good.) And that was because someone else bought the computer. Plus all my computer have been PC's ... I guess it's time to look in trying a MAC.
        AMD has been my choice of CPU ... forever. It is a personnal choice.
        Some from what I heard what Intel had done.
        Some from what it was going to do (and did).
        Some from what it had planed on doing, but didn't (so they claimed) because of customer's negative response or suggestions Intel shouldn't. (Still some ideas got on to the chip and stayed.)
        PieceofPaper51@...
  • RE: Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without Intel inside?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT! Love the Apple branded equipment, but AMD would be a straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back.
    Tekman
    • RE: Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without Intel inside?

      @Tekman <br>Personally the only reason I won't buy a Mac is that they will not use or even try the AMD products. I have built several machines using AMD products that out performed Intel, and at a cost savings. All I am saying is Maybe Apple should try AMD products. I would love to see a MacBook using a AMD Quad core with an ATI video chipset.
      Sunglant
  • Go AMD! I prefer them to Intel

    I would love to have Apple sell AMD based products.
    One reason it took me so long to upgrade was my dislike of
    anything Intel.
    rickjackson
  • RE: Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without Intel inside?

    Sure. And if Apple could pull off making them interchangeable all the better!. I use AMD and Intel at work, why not at home?
    dmilne@...
  • RE: Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without I

    It depends. Only if MagicJack will work with AMD.
    tom@...
  • RE: Rumor: Apple testing AMD chips for future Macs. Would you buy without Intel inside?

    Apple should sell both AMD & INTEL side by side. If AMD
    models can sell cheaper, let the market show which one
    consumers will buy. I have been building my own PCs
    since the early 90's and have always bought AMD chips
    because I could save hundreds of $s over Intel. I have
    always had to use INTEL at work though and my work PCs
    have always been dismal compared to what I was using at
    home.
    jsanko