Report: Apple eyes AMD processors for future Mac lineup

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Move over Intel! Yes, Apple is reportedly negotiating with AMD over the adoption of alternative processors for future Mac products.

According to AppleInsider, a gaggle of AMD reps have been spotted on Apple's swanky Commuter Coach buses, while executives for the chip manufacturer were positively identified on their way in and of conferences with members of Apple's "top brass."

Report: Apple eyes AMD processors for future Mac lineup"The meetings have reportedly included briefings by AMD that have since enabled Apple to begin working with AMD processors in its labs as part of an initiative to position the chips inside some of the company's forthcoming products," wrote AppleInsider's Kasper Jade and Prince McLean.

"While AMD offers a variety of embedded processors, Apple is believed to be investigating the chipmaker's workstation and notebook class CPUs."

The two speculated that Apple was working with AMD to expand its "potential sources" for CPUs to increase its flexibility and broaden competitive options.

However, Jade and McLean also noted that Apple had encountered "problems" with various Intel CPUs.

"These...included limited availability of new processors (which is rumored to have slowed Apple's notebook refreshes) as well as new chipset designs imposed by Intel that have blocked the Mac maker's plans to continue a partnership with Nvidia to deliver a standardized chipset for use with its Intel processors across all of its consumer computer offerings."

So what would AMD processors potentially offer Apple and its overly-zealous customer base? 

  • Multiple CPU sources.
  • Ability to develop customized (AMD) x64 CPUs for Macs.
  • Competitive options for future notebooks.
  • Potentially 80 percent of CPU performance at 60 percent of the cost compared to Intel-based processors.