In the past I thought maybe the rumored move to ARM could be the reason, but now with the new Mac Pro I doubt Apple will move to ARM except for some of its laptops.
If AMD can keep it up this time (or Intel keeps flopping) then it may very well happen down the road. Until then, the age old investor relations statement rings true: “past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
Note: I have a Ryzen 5 1600 in my gaming rig and a Ryzen 5 2600 in the wife’s, I love these chips - but I also see the reality of Apple’s ecosystem is all.
Just the same as choosing AMD would involve trade-offs in terms of a very slight loss of single threaded performance, or a higher idle power consumption, particularly in laptops.
In either case, you have good options. Neither product is completely devastatingly useless for any task, as was the case with Bulldozer, which had single threaded performance that was nearly half that of Intel's.
With the release of Zen, there was no longer a clear market leader dominating in performance of all classes, or pricing, or whatever other metric you want. That's called "competitive."
Zen 2 looks like it will be "uncontested." It will have the advantage in essentially everything, including single and multithreaded performance, gaming performance, power consumption, and price... if AMD's benchmarks are to be believed. The general sentiment is that AMD's benchmarks were actually conservative.
The benchmark leaked above in this thread is not running at the production boost clock, which would be 9% higher than the benchmark given, making it theoretically uncontested.
Obviously, we will have to wait for extensive third party benchmarking, but Zen has always been competitive, immediately and unequivocally reducing Intel to merely being competitive as well. Zen 2 has the opportunity be more.
Intel opened Thunderbolt up for non-Intel platforms awhile ago, and we're already seeing motherboards that offer it for Ryzen.
I think I lost track of the thread though, because you're not necessarily the one who asked "why" about Apple.
Where AMD does compete is thread-count. A higher number of slower cores did feel a few niches. Except... Many software vendors charge per core (a Windows Server License is limited to 16 cores), so fewer, faster-cores work out better value for most business users. Plus, power usage is a huge issue in data centres, again favouring Intel.
The biggest problem right now is virtual machines can't move (live migrate) from Intel to AMD hardware (and vice versa) without having to be restarted. So AMD is only really a viable option for new clusters, but I would think Intel is still nervous.
Zen 2 raises IPC by 15%, and raises clock speeds by a solid 10% or more. Single threaded Zen 2 performance is not even a slight concern for me.
Add 9% to the benchmark result this entire thread is about, because this engineering sample was not running at the specified boost frequency that the 3950X will have. Intel has nothing to compete against that... it should be uncontested.
On Epyc, their clock speeds were generally comparable to Intel's, and the single threaded performance was already great there, except for a few specialty processors that Intel released for servers that don't care about high core counts. Epyc 2 stands to completely annihilate any advantage Intel had left.
AMD Zen has always used less power than Intel for each unit of work done, which was one of the original surprises, so... power consumption is absolutely not favoring Intel.
I really feel like you're mentally comparing to the old Bulldozer Opteron processors, based on the concerns you listed.
Intel seems to be in a perfect storm, while AMD seems to have all their ducks lined up (architecture, Fabrication Process, clock speeds).
Still, exciting times! Intel has stagnated on quad-core enthusiast CPUs for a decade (Q6600 - 7700k), it's good to finally have some competition again.
Now that AMD is using TSMC and/or Global Foundries, not sure if still the case.
- Don't want to rely too much on a single manufacturer (they already use AMD GPUs). Always keep multiple supplies alive/well.
- Don't take away too much from Intel to not affect other components (they were in the game for LTE modems which Apple needed/needs)
- How good are integrated intel vs amd gpus? Could play a role as well
AMD is clearly better now, but Apple just needs the CPUs not to suck, so Intel it is.
Currently in fanless environments (Such as the iPad Pro) the latest CPU, A12X, outperforms Intel's fanless offerings by a good amount.
I would imagine that Apple could build like performing parts if not better using current A12 Tech and don't forget that Apple is already using TSMC's 7nm process. Additionally, Apple could make sure of big.LITTLE in varying sizes to bring large power consumption advantages to Macs as it stands, along with their Neural Core.
Or who knows, maybe they'll just wait for risc-v to to mature to make any sort of switch.
When I say leapfrog I am implying that I believe this list to be correctly ordered and that Apple will not use AMD chips but wait until they can use ARM.
Just idle speculation