Time for Apple to dump Intel

Intel's revelation that it won't have 7-nanometer processors ready until 2021 should be a wakeup call for Apple.

Is Apple cutting corners in order to cut prices?


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Intel has been stuck in a bit of a quagmire as of late. Its 10-nanometer processors have experienced delays, while the CEO admits that it won't have 7-nanometer parts to compete with AMD out until 2021.

I wonder how Apple – one of Intel's flagship customers – feels about this.

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While Intel has been having a difficult time of it as of late, AMD has been scoring hit after hit, across the desktop, mobile, and server markets with both CPUs and GPUs, and has been putting constant and unremitting pressure on what was once the powerhouse of the chip business.

AMD is also destroying Intel in the prestigious high-end desktop processor market. Yes, this is a low-volume market, but it's important because it's a market that gets a lot of coverage in the gaming arena, and that's a market associated with power and performance.

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Not only does AMD have 7-nanometer chips out there, but they're performance powerhouses. And on top of that, the small architecture makes them power-efficient and run cooler than similar chips built using larger architectures.

AMD chips sound exactly like what Apple needs for its lineup of mobile and desktop computers.

AMD already has its foot in the door at Apple, as it already supplies GPUs for a range of systems (the other supplier being Intel), including the high-performance iMac Pro and upcoming Mac Pro. These are some big wins for AMD, especially considering how competitive the GPU space is and how aggressive Nvidia is, so it surprises me that Apple doesn't have a system powered by an AMD processor.

I know that there's a fair bit of chatter that Apple is planning to move to in-house chips, but in the meantime, Apple needs processors -- some 5 million or so a quarter -- and AMD's 7-nanometer offerings offer benefits that Intel can't match for a couple of upgrade cycles.

I'd love to see a Mac powered by a Ryzen 7 3800X, or an EPYC-powered Mac Pro. These machines would be absolute beasts.

Do you think Apple should dump Intel and switch to AMD chips? Share your thoughts!