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MacBytes
Jul 24, 2006, 07:04 AM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: 3rd Party Hardware
Link: AMD and ATI join forces (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060724080445)
Description:: AMD and ATI announced today a plan to join forces in a transaction that will combine AMDís technology leadership in microprocessors with ATIís strengths in graphics, chipsets and consumer electronics. The result (they claim) is a new competitor, better equipped to drive growth, innovation and choice for its customers in commercial and mobile computing segments and in rapidly-growing consumer electronics segments. The transaction, valued at US $5.4 billion, is expected to close in Q4 2006 subject to approval by ATI shareholders, court approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

Yvan256
Jul 24, 2006, 07:52 AM
I hope they won't go the "exclusive package deals only" way. You know, no ATI GPU unless you use AMD processors... :confused:

If that's the case, I guess all future Macs will have an nVidia GPU.

mcnaugha
Jul 24, 2006, 08:10 AM
I hope they won't go the "exclusive package deals only" way. You know, no ATI GPU unless you use AMD processors... :confused:

If that's the case, I guess all future Macs will have an nVidia GPU.


Hopefully Steve will mention this in his Keynote next month. I don't think they'll be as cheeky as to tie the GPU to the CPU... but it certainly doesn't look like a good pairing [Intel and ATI] anymore.

Does this count as the 2nd kick to Steve's teeth from ATI? :p

The main difference between ATI and Nvidia hardware is the larger number of shaders in the former. I wonder if Mac OS X utilises these, as this might explain why Apple has favoured ATI technology.

Apparently Intel are about to release their next gen GPU which will catch up on Shader technology. So certainly in the next consumer and mobile Apple products, we may see Intel GPUs. As for the Pro systems, if they don't use Nvidia... it won't look so smart for Apple next month.

danny_w
Jul 24, 2006, 08:21 AM
I hope they won't go the "exclusive package deals only" way. You know, no ATI GPU unless you use AMD processors... :confused:

If that's the case, I guess all future Macs will have an nVidia GPU.
I don't think that ATI would be that dumb. Aren't they neck-and-neck with nVidia in the graphics business right now (as far as marketshare)? If they tied themselves like you suggest then that would mean an immediate drop in marketshare for ATI.

confirmed
Jul 24, 2006, 08:31 AM
I don't think that ATI would be that dumb. Aren't they neck-and-neck with nVidia in the graphics business right now (as far as marketshare)? If they tied themselves like you suggest then that would mean an immediate drop in marketshare for ATI.

it's not up to ATI, it's up to AMD now. and they've already announced that they will not supply Intel when the deal is done. now that depends of course, if the deal is allowed to go through, and honestly, i don't know if it will. with only 2 real graphics companies, taking one away from the competition sounds pretty anti-competitive to me.

BOOMBA
Jul 24, 2006, 09:02 AM
This actually sounds like great news for nVidia.
If the deal goes through, won't they get a huge amount of business from non-AMD computers?

REDSRT4
Jul 24, 2006, 09:06 AM
I would guess they wont leave out the macs and intel chips but who knows with AMD and ATI

BenRoethig
Jul 24, 2006, 09:07 AM
If AMD/ATI are smart, they will conduct business as usual. If they don't, the only people they'll be helping are Nvidia and Intel.

Results of this that I see:

1. First party AMD chipsets.
2. Crossfire effectively dead unless they continue to license technology to intel.

MacBoobsPro
Jul 24, 2006, 09:07 AM
now that depends of course, if the deal is allowed to go through, and honestly, i don't know if it will. with only 2 real graphics companies, taking one away from the competition sounds pretty anti-competitive to me.

What about Adobe and Macromedia? I was shocked that it was even allowed to go through. Who is going to challenge Adobe now? And dont say Quark coz that is just too funny.

Yvan256
Jul 24, 2006, 09:07 AM
Since OS X uses OpenGL, wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to go with the GPU that's more OpenGL-oriented? And isn't that nVidia?

Of course, maybe ATI is going the "power per watt" route too...

BenRoethig
Jul 24, 2006, 09:09 AM
it's not up to ATI, it's up to AMD now. and they've already announced that they will not supply Intel when the deal is done. now that depends of course, if the deal is allowed to go through, and honestly, i don't know if it will. with only 2 real graphics companies, taking one away from the competition sounds pretty anti-competitive to me.

What are they going to do, punish Nvidia for AMD/ATI shooting themselves in the foot?

Dont Hurt Me
Jul 24, 2006, 09:13 AM
This shuffles things to a point but looking at Intel and their upcoming integrated(not current) GPU's it seems to me the odd man left out might be Nvidia.

MacBoobsPro
Jul 24, 2006, 10:23 AM
Since OS X uses OpenGL, wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to go with the GPU that's more OpenGL-oriented? And isn't that nVidia?

Of course, maybe ATI is going the "power per watt" route too...

Since ive had my ATI card its been nothing but trouble. I originally had an Nvidia card and never had a problem.

I went back to the place that installed my card because the screen would freeze when any 3D rendering was needed. They told me use an earlier firmware, but doing so stopped the GPU fan from working and I was frying my machine without even knowing it for months. I'd be glad if Apple went the Nvidia route.

Eric5h5
Jul 24, 2006, 10:36 AM
Since OS X uses OpenGL, wouldn't it make more sense for Apple to go with the GPU that's more OpenGL-oriented? And isn't that nVidia?

Not really...apparently Windows OpenGL drivers are faster on nVidia, but that's a software issue. ATI cards have generally worked better on Macs, also due to better software. If nVidia really was somehow inherently "better" at OpenGL, you would think Apple would have used them exclusively years ago, no?

Anyway, I hope this doesn't see the end of ATI cards on Macs. It certainly means there won't be any ATI integrated graphics in Macs, but that's irrelevant since there never were going to be ATI or nVidia integrated graphics in Macs, just Intel.

--Eric

fixyourthinking
Jul 24, 2006, 11:04 AM
Chips & Technologies made the video chip for the PowerBook Duo ... Apple stopped using C&T when Intel bought them out.

Intel completes purchase of ARM (buying majority of shares from Apple)

Apple gets mad at ATI over leaking the Daisy iMac ... Apple starts using Nvidia as a "dual supplier"

Apple licensed USB from Intel ... Intel released USB 2.0 to directlt compete with firewire

AMD starts to have greater than 50% marketshare

Firewire was dropped from the iPod (around the time it was being rumored and obviously happening) when Intel / Apple teamed up for the new Intel Macs.

AMD attempts buy of ATi

Silencio
Jul 24, 2006, 11:34 AM
It would be a pretty dumb business move for AMD to keep ATI's video cards/GPUs tied to its own platform, since Intel still makes up the vast majority of the market out there. Never a wise idea to leave that kind of money on the table.

The whole video card market for the Macintosh is going to turn upside down next month, anyway. The Mac Pros will need their own line of cards; the burning question in my mind is what kinds of differences in hardware/firmware there will be between regular Wintel video cards and those for Intel-based Macs. At worst, the re-engineering required to make video cards for the Intel Macs should be much, much less than for the PPC Macs. At best, it should be much easier to hack "non-compatible" video cards to work in the new Macs.

SiliconAddict
Jul 24, 2006, 11:35 AM
I hope they won't go the "exclusive package deals only" way. You know, no ATI GPU unless you use AMD processors... :confused:

If that's the case, I guess all future Macs will have an nVidia GPU.

No they will prob go the way of having nice PHAT discounts for companies that buy AMD which I don’t expect Apple to go with anytime soon.
And I welcome a full nVidia switch. Like Intel nVidia has seriously gotten its act together over the last 3 years.

Timepass
Jul 24, 2006, 11:37 AM
I can see it as a good think. The I dont see ATI cards being tied only to AMD cpus. Now I do see ATI cards be opimized for the AMD CPU first and then the intel chips right now almost everything is opimized for Intel CPUs first and then AMD.

Also it could be a really good thing for AMD because they may finally start making there own chip sets for there CPUs. For the most part I dont expect to see much of anything change to the rest of us. ATI will be just as easy to get at nVidia and no realy changes. It will just be bussiness as useally. It mostly in just the RoD side it maybe helpful.

srobert
Jul 24, 2006, 12:33 PM
A summary of what is known at this point.

There is a lot of news surrounding ATI at the moment, especially with the AMD buy out confirmed earlier today (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2006/07/24/amd_confirms_ati_buyout/).

Intel has pulled ATI's chipset license (http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33225), meaning that there will be no more ATI (or rather, AMD) chipsets for Intel processors after the end of the year.

There will still be time for one more though, namely the upcoming RD600 chipset (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2006/06/08/ecs_showcases_ati_rd600/), which doesn't look like it will be cancelled, despite the earlier news. However, it is unclear whether the RD600 project will see the light of day though.

Intel has pushed the fact that its 975X chipset supports CrossFire quite heavily, especially with the Core 2 Duo launch. I think it is a fairly safe bet to say that Intel will contine to support CrossFire on its high end chipsets for the foreseeable future.

After all, Intel is keen to sell its own products, especially now it has the fastest chip on the market. Also, I don't believe that AMD would choose to lock CrossFire out on Intel's chipsets either, because it just wouldn't make financial sense - AMD/ATI will still profit from the video cards sold for use with Intel products.

Intel has already dropped support for CrossFire on its 965-series chipsets (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2006/06/08/intel_announces_965_express_chipset/) and it is unclear whether Intel will continue to design chipsets that support multi-GPU technologies. The company has been hinting at moving GPU tasks back onto the CPU for a few months now.

Yvan256
Jul 24, 2006, 12:46 PM
Not really...apparently Windows OpenGL drivers are faster on nVidia, but that's a software issue. ATI cards have generally worked better on Macs, also due to better software. If nVidia really was somehow inherently "better" at OpenGL, you would think Apple would have used them exclusively years ago, no?

Well, I'd think so too, but maybe there's some other price/power facts to consider, too. Or even something as simple as contracts, etc.


Anyway, I hope this doesn't see the end of ATI cards on Macs. It certainly means there won't be any ATI integrated graphics in Macs, but that's irrelevant since there never were going to be ATI or nVidia integrated graphics in Macs, just Intel.

Either you post really confused me or I think you misunderstand what "integrated" means.

The iMac has an "integrated" ATI chip, in the way that it's part of the motherboard. It's not an "ATI card" like most PCs or the PowerMac. You just can't upgrade the "graphic card" on an iMac, a G4 Mac mini, an iBook, a PowerBook or a MacBook Pro. The ATI/nVidia GPUs and their dedicated RAM are part of the computer's motherboard. In that sense, they're "integrated".

The Intel "integrated" GPUs are part of chipsets. The MacBook Pro has both an ATI and an Intel Intregrated GPU. It's just not using the Intel GPU part of the chipset. At least that's the way I understand it as far as the MacBook Pro is concerned.

bluebomberman
Jul 24, 2006, 12:49 PM
Eek. I predict that Intel will buy nVidia to counter. Then we'll see ATI shut out of Apple's offerings...

eji
Jul 24, 2006, 01:11 PM
Well, Intel just pulled their ATI chipset license (http://digg.com/tech_news/Intel_pulls_ATI_chipset_license), "meaning that there will be no more ATI (or rather, AMD) chipsets for Intel processors after the end of the year."

Intel's sour grapes has now led to more limited choice. This is why mergers stink.

BOOMBA
Jul 24, 2006, 01:31 PM
THE SKY IS FALLING!!
THE SKY IS FALLING!!
:eek:

bluebomberman
Jul 24, 2006, 02:03 PM
THE SKY IS FALLING!!
THE SKY IS FALLING!!
:eek:

Uh, no. Calm down. Microsoft buying Apple warrants such a response. AMD buying ATI might not even matter much in the long run.

BOOMBA
Jul 24, 2006, 02:18 PM
I was kidding.
I agree with you, this isn't gonna be a big deal. Calm down everyone.

Timepass
Jul 24, 2006, 08:08 PM
Well, Intel just pulled their ATI chipset license (http://digg.com/tech_news/Intel_pulls_ATI_chipset_license), "meaning that there will be no more ATI (or rather, AMD) chipsets for Intel processors after the end of the year."

Intel's sour grapes has now led to more limited choice. This is why mergers stink.


the real question is if intel is risky a law suit for unfair bussinuess pratic doing that by trying to hurt AMD by locking ATI out. I kind of wondering what the fall out is going to be and I would not be surpised in the end intel getting sued and loosing.

zwilliams07
Jul 24, 2006, 09:07 PM
I started a discussion on the ramifications of AMD+ATI. If anyone cares to join in speculation on Apple will handle it you can find my thread here:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=2646222#post2646222

MacNut
Jul 24, 2006, 09:22 PM
I hope they won't go the "exclusive package deals only" way. You know, no ATI GPU unless you use AMD processors... :confused:

If that's the case, I guess all future Macs will have an nVidia GPU.I would think that would be against SEC rules if they ever tried that. If they don't keep it open I would think we would see a lot of lawsuits.

shamino
Jul 25, 2006, 03:49 PM
The iMac has an "integrated" ATI chip, in the way that it's part of the motherboard. It's not an "ATI card" like most PCs or the PowerMac. You just can't upgrade the "graphic card" on an iMac, a G4 Mac mini, an iBook, a PowerBook or a MacBook Pro. The ATI/nVidia GPUs and their dedicated RAM are part of the computer's motherboard. In that sense, they're "integrated".

The Intel "integrated" GPUs are part of chipsets. The MacBook Pro has both an ATI and an Intel Intregrated GPU. It's just not using the Intel GPU part of the chipset. At least that's the way I understand it as far as the MacBook Pro is concerned.
This is what I understand as well.

We will no longer see Intel motherboard chipsets with ATI video built-in, but this only matters for dirt-cheap computers that don't have any other video.

There is nothing stopping a motherboard maker from putting a separate ATI chip on the board (much like the MBP and iMac do now). It does, however, seem likely that Intel will no longer make any of their own boards with ATI chips - which may be bad for Apple if they continue to use Intel motherboards. Apple may want to seriously consider using a third party (like ASUSTEK) for their motherboards, in order to avoid getting heavy-handed by Intel.

And, of course, this has no impact on PowerMac/Mac Pro users, whose video is on a card.

Dont Hurt Me
Jul 25, 2006, 04:00 PM
I would guess Apple will move everything to the integrated except PowerMac & Book and they will use......? Nvidia. I must admit I have grown fond of Nvidia since using the Geforce3:D My current machine though is now a bastard child with AMD/Nvidia.

danny_w
Jul 25, 2006, 04:09 PM
Somebody over on ZDNet claims that only ATI cards suport monitor rotation. Is this true? I thought that Tiger supported monitor rotation on all Macs that support Tiger (and some of them use ATI, some nVidia, and some Intel). Is there any truth to this? My Macs support monitor rotation, but they all have ATI chips in them.

shamino
Jul 25, 2006, 05:16 PM
Somebody over on ZDNet claims that only ATI cards suport monitor rotation. Is this true? I thought that Tiger supported monitor rotation on all Macs that support Tiger (and some of them use ATI, some nVidia, and some Intel). Is there any truth to this? My Macs support monitor rotation, but they all have ATI chips in them.
It's a matter of software, not hardware.

Any chipset can display a rotated image. In the worst case (with no special rotation hardware) you can simply apply a 90-degree rotation to the end of the display's transformation matrix. (Remember that since 10.3 and the introduction of Quartz Extreme, the desktop is implemented as an OpenGL scene, so this operation is a no-brainer.) This should have only slightly more overhead than the scale-factors that are used to implement Exposť.

The only reason we don't see this available on all chipsets is that Apple has chosen to not include it in the standard displays control panel, leaving it instead up to whoever writes the drivers - which means Intel, ATI or Nvidia.

It's worth noting that even with an ATI chipset, rotation is only available if you buy an actual ATI card and use their driver. The drivers that Apple bundles for their preloaded ATI chips don't support rotation either, even though we're talking about the same chips (and in some cases, the same actual card) as the ATI version.

danny_w
Jul 25, 2006, 06:59 PM
It's worth noting that even with an ATI chipset, rotation is only available if you buy an actual ATI card and use their driver. The drivers that Apple bundles for their preloaded ATI chips don't support rotation either, even though we're talking about the same chips (and in some cases, the same actual card) as the ATI version.
Now I'm confused. Perhaps we are talking about different things here. You state that Apple doesn't support rotation for built-in chips, but the display panel for my PB has a drop-down box for ratoation in 90-degree increments. It works perfectly with my external display.

shamino
Jul 26, 2006, 08:42 AM
Now I'm confused. Perhaps we are talking about different things here. You state that Apple doesn't support rotation for built-in chips, but the display panel for my PB has a drop-down box for ratoation in 90-degree increments. It works perfectly with my external display.
This must be a recent change, or a PowerBook-only thing.

I've seen dozens of reports from people with PowerMacs and ATI video cards, who can't do any rotation until they download and install drivers from ATI's web site.

danny_w
Jul 26, 2006, 11:10 AM
This must be a recent change, or a PowerBook-only thing.

I've seen dozens of reports from people with PowerMacs and ATI video cards, who can't do any rotation until they download and install drivers from ATI's web site.
Apparently it is only "some" graphics cards:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=302291

EDIT: I remember it being a big point in the discussion forums at the time that Tiger was about to come out. It also worked on my G4 mini, and was one of the main reasons that I bought Tiger. My son uses it all of the time on his G5 iMac and external display.