Imac AMD Zen

AsprineTm

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Original poster
Jun 14, 2014
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So any chance that the next IMac will have AMD Zen instead of an Intel CPU?
 

smelly cat

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2010
132
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Possible, but unlikely in my humble opinion.

The more likely scenario (if Zen is as performance competitive as AMD is claiming) is that Apple uses Zen as negotiating leverage against Intel in order to get lower prices for CPUs and chipsets.
 
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smelly cat

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2010
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I, for one, am kind of rooting for AMD.

AMD is in the best position to deliver low power x86 SOCs that have both decent CPU and GPU performance. Imagine a MacBook/iMac/Mac Mini/whatever with an integrated SOC that has Radeon level graphics and competitive CPU performance.

Might just be a pipe dream, though. It doesn't seem like AMD has the engineering resources to really wring out top performance from its silicon.
 

koyoot

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Jun 5, 2012
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There are people who have had their hands on the Zen CPUs. In theory, based on the uarchitecture description it should be clock for clock on Haswell/Broadwell level.

The only thing that can let down the uarchitecture are the caches, and core clocks. Latest rumor is that 8 core CPU has 3.15 GHz base clock with all core boos 3.3 GHz and single core boost 3.6 GHz.

Now we have to wait for pricing and end products, and benchmarks to confirm this or neglect this.
 
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maflynn

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So any chance that the next IMac will have AMD Zen instead of an Intel CPU?
Apple is a premium brand and it seems (fair or not), AMD CPUs are viewed as lowcost varients of intel. I think it will hurt apple more by using AMD over Intel, from a marketing perspective.

I'm not knocking the AMD processor, but just looking at it from a perspective of how Apple markets its products as premium and AMD has historically been sold in computers as a cheap alternative.
 

AsprineTm

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 14, 2014
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Absolutely. Nobody wants an AMD CPU. People want intel

If Apple actually included an AMD CPU that would be the nail in the coffin. If we haven't already seen it by now.
Not much of an argument there. Besides a fluffy feeling you get from an Intel CPU.
 

maflynn

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Not much of an argument there. Besides a fluffy feeling you get from an Intel CPU.
No, but perception is reality, and the fact is that that apple positions itself as a premium brand and the perception is that AMD is usually in bargain priced computers.
 

AsprineTm

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 14, 2014
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No, but perception is reality, and the fact is that that apple positions itself as a premium brand and the perception is that AMD is usually in bargain priced computers.
Not premium enough to stay with Nvidia for the GPU, so why would they stay with Intel for the CPU?
Most screens are made by LG, talking about a lousy reputation...

Anyway getting off subject. Thanks for the insides.
I think Apple is not ready for a transition yet. And first want to see performing and cool chips from AMD first.
It doesn't care about us customers when making decisions on what goes in a Mac. We already seen enough proof of that. It just want super thin machines and ridiculous profits.
 
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Not much of an argument there. Besides a fluffy feeling you get from an Intel CPU.
My mom knows nothing about computers but she does have two laptops with the same specs one with an AMD and one with an equivalent Intel, if you ask her which one is better she points to the Intel. I've had AMD and hate it. They are known for aiming for performance over stability. Intel sacrifices performance for stability but in the end, Intel beats AMD. If Apple starts putting AMD processors in their Macs exclusively I will write a personal letter to Tim explaining how I will not purchase another Mac until they have a model with an Intel processor and show him the receipt of my new $2000 Windows PC that took it's place on my wishlist.
 
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varian55zx

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May 10, 2012
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My mom knows nothing about computers but she does have two laptops with the same specs one with an AMD and one with an equivalent Intel, if you ask her which one is better she points to the Intel. I've had AMD and hate it. They are known for aiming for performance over stability. Intel sacrifices performance for stability but in the end, Intel beats AMD. If Apple starts putting AMD processors in their Macs exclusively I will write a personal letter to Tim explaining how I will not purchase another Mac until they have a model with an Intel processor and show him the receipt of my new $2000 Windows PC that took it's place on my wishlist.
Same here, I'm not buying a Mac with an AMD CPU.

What a ridiculous concept
 
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varian55zx

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May 10, 2012
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Even if it will be as fast as Intel's, but offer twice the amount of cores?
I'd have to look at the numbers, and the data.

If it's a superior product it is superior and that will be taken into consideration, however as it stands now AMD produces a third rate, budget product.

This reputation has held true for a long time, and as far as I know, is still true

I'm completely open to AMD producing a superior product, but it hasn't happened.
 

brofkand

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Jun 11, 2006
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It's been kind of a mantra for years (really since the Intel Core 2 chips from 2007) that the next version of AMD chips would finally be the ones to take on Intel. So far it hasn't happened. They are great for the price points they compete at, but they are not alternatives to the chips Apple traditionally uses.
 

Malus120

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2002
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AMD CPUs have always been considered third rate, maybe you aren't aware of this.

And frankly they are
That's some bias you got there.
Perhaps you're too young to remember the Athlon XP and Athlon 64?
Those chips not only destroyed the Pentium 4 in clock for clock performance and TDP, they also brought X86 into the modern era with
X86-64
Multi-core X86 CPUs

While it's true that Intel has been (was) on a role since the debut of the Core architecture (until they began to stagnate performance wise after Sandybridge), pretending AMD cpus have always been as bad as Bulldozer/Excavator is just not true.
 

maflynn

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hat's some bias you got there.
Perhaps you're too young to remember the Athlon XP and Athlon 64?
I remember, but fast forward to 2016 and we see AMD being sold in low cost, (lets just say non-premium) machines.

I'm not knocking the processor's power, but perception is key, if a premium brand starts using what the consumer thinks is a non-premium component, then that may hurt sales.
 

joema2

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2013
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Even if it will be as fast as Intel's, but offer twice the amount of cores?
The upcoming 2017 iMac 27 will probably have a 4.2Ghz (4.5Ghz turbo) i7-7700K as the top choice. Early benchmarks show this will be very fast. It is faster -- multicore -- than some 8-core Xeons: https://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/583275

Plus the Intel CPUs have Quick Sync which is very important for video. AMD CPUs do not have that.

The AMD Zen "Summit Ridge" CPU is 8 core / 16 threads but the base clock speed will probably be considerably lower than the i7-7700K, it will probably have lower IPC performance, and without Quick Sync, video encode/decode will be 4x or 5x slower.

Soon more benchmarks will be released for both CPUs, and we'll know for sure then. However despite having 2x the cores, I tend to doubt the Zen Summit Ridge CPU will be faster than the i7-7700K, and it may be considerably slower.
 

koyoot

macrumors 603
Jun 5, 2012
5,751
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I'd have to look at the numbers, and the data.

If it's a superior product it is superior and that will be taken into consideration, however as it stands now AMD produces a third rate, budget product.

This reputation has held true for a long time, and as far as I know, is still true

I'm completely open to AMD producing a superior product, but it hasn't happened.
I am not talking about superior product. Single Core performance clock for clock should be on Broadwell/Haswell level. But the amount of cores should double.

Only thing that can let down the uarchitecture is the cache system, or the core clocks. Already there is speculation about 140W 4 GHz 8 core/16 Thread Zen CPU, priced at around 699$. To give you a little perspective: Haswell CPU with 8 cores and 3 GHz base clock cost 1099$.

Normal, non OC"ed CPUs should be positioned at around 399-499$ for 8 core/16 thread 95W-ish version. The iMac CPUs.

Here is a comparison of resources, and execution between Intel CPUs and AMD, and specifically Zen and Broadwell uArchitecture. http://www.anandtech.com/show/10591...t-2-extracting-instructionlevel-parallelism/7

Compare between those two: Store Queue, Load Queue, Retire rate, Retire Queue, Dispatch/cycle, FP Registers, INT Registers. They are on the same level between two different uArch. So like I have written, only thing that can let down Zen at this moment are the caches, and core clocks.

And one last bit. Depending on core clocks, Zen will not be faster than Skylake/Kaby Lake. If 4 core Zen CPU will have for example 4 GHz base clock, and Core i7 from Intel 3.5 GHz - that will make them both equal in performance. But Overall efficiency, and high performance mark for ST will go to Intel.
 
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varian55zx

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2012
748
260
San Francisco
That's some bias you got there.
Perhaps you're too young to remember the Athlon XP and Athlon 64?
Those chips not only destroyed the Pentium 4 in clock for clock performance and TDP, they also brought X86 into the modern era with
X86-64
Multi-core X86 CPUs

While it's true that Intel has been (was) on a role since the debut of the Core architecture (until they began to stagnate performance wise after Sandybridge), pretending AMD cpus have always been as bad as Bulldozer/Excavator is just not true.
THats fine buddy I don't agree with you and frankly, not concerned in your response at all.

Don't respond to me

Have fun with your AMD ****. I'll keep my Intel machines
 
Last edited:

3568378

Suspended
Dec 30, 2015
129
138
Orlando, FL
Not premium enough to stay with Nvidia for the GPU, so why would they stay with Intel for the CPU?
Most screens are made by LG, talking about a lousy reputation...

I believe Doc Brown said to Marty McFly in 1955: "figures, it's made in Japan" (in derogatory fashion). Companies change and improve. LG is making some of the better displays out there these days and AMD hasn't let me down on the graphics side of things so I really would be interested to see what they can offer processor wise.
 

Malus120

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2002
313
367
I remember, but fast forward to 2016 and we see AMD being sold in low cost, (lets just say non-premium) machines.

I'm not knocking the processor's power, but perception is key, if a premium brand starts using what the consumer thinks is a non-premium component, then that may hurt sales.
I think you and many others overestimate the brand power of Intel, while at the same time vastly underestimating the brand power that Apple commands. I would argue that Apple's brand is so strong that "Intel Inside" (which Apple has NEVER advertised) is almost meaningless to the vast majority of Apple's customers. Most people buying a mac, even professionals won't care whether the chip is made by Intel or AMD as long as it does the job well.

Of course this is all dependent on AMD actually DELIVERING with Zen. If AMD can actually deliver Haswell/Broadwell level IPC with more cores, reasonable clocks, and decent TDP, I can certainly see Apple using them, especially if they can deliver attractive (perhaps even semi-custom) APU's that can deliver significant CPU and GPU power in a TDP far undercutting any CPU + dGPU combo.
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THats fine buddy I don't agree with you and frankly, not concerned in your response at all.

Don't respond to me

Have fun with your AMD ****. I'll keep my Intel machines
Wow, WTF's your problem. This is a forum, a place for debate. If you don't want people to respond to you, maybe you shouldn't post in the first place? Ever thought of that?

Anyway, just for the record, I'm a big a fan of what Intel's been doing with the Core architecture since 2007, and what Nvidia's managed to achieve with Maxwell and Pascel. I just think some real competition (especially on the CPU side) would be REALLY good for the market, and I'd love to see Apple give AMD a chance ASSUMING they've actually earned it with Zen.

What is your hangup on AMD if they actually deliver by the way? Why would you be opposed to Apple using Zen if it actually turns out to be a good or even great chip?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,822
33,794
Boston
I think you and many others overestimate the brand power of Intel,
I'd say the opposite, not so much the brand power of Intel, but the reputation of AMD. When you're seeing AMD being used in 300 dollar desktops, it cannot help but consider it as a second rate processor.
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