Intel / AMD Partner for Coffee Lake+ Vega GPU Combo

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gadgetfreaky, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. gadgetfreaky macrumors 65816

    Oct 28, 2007
  2. TH3D4RKKN1GH7 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2009
    I feel like this could be a big boost for the 13" MBP specifically. I'd still probably go for the 15" but this is cool AF.
  3. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    Maybe the reason why the Mac mini hasn't been updated in such a long time?
  4. deconstruct60, Nov 6, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Highly doubtful. If look at the Intel graphic that Engadget attached to their story on the topic.


    This is more about consolidating board space that was already in play. This makes Apple's work a bit easier to design a MBP 15" class laptop. The VRAM and GPU are weaved into one tidy package that Apple can just drop onto the an even smaller motherboard ( and perhaps use the space the motherboard gives up to add battery or more system RAM).

    The packaging of HBM2 into this Intel module isn't going to be inexpensive. This will be a top end CPU package part. ( AMD isn't going to sell that GPU die at super deep discounts to Intel either. ). This part is being aimed at systems where there already was a discrete GPU. Not at systems where there was none before.

    This isn't Intel "giving up" on iGPUs. This is Intel basically grabbing more to the motherboard vendor business by subsuming the assembly of several discrete parts into one stop solution. It will keep their average CPU package price higher even as price war with AMD heats up.

    This thing has Apple written all over it though. Easier to do MBP 15" class of laptop is exactly what this aimed at. ( lots of Dell/HP/etc models too in the 15" desktop replacement zone too. )

    This might trickle down to a revised Mac Mini (if it is given a bigger motherboard budget), but it is doubt they were absolutely just waiting for this.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 6, 2017 ---
    Probably not in that this combined package is likely bigger than the current CPU+iGPU package currently in the 13" MBP. See picture above. The MBP 13" doesn't have copious extra motherboard space now and this thing is bigger. This is multiple dies inside of one package.


    That doesn't get you smaller (or small size) chips. What this does is allow multiple dies to be placed with more efficiency. It is smaller from the old multiple discrete chip perspective, not from any one of the previously discrete chip packages.

    The 'Holy Grail' for Intel would be to get almost the entire computer onto one package you buy from them. The CPU package is like a black hole sucking in other formerly discrete parts from a historically typical motherboard.
  5. Appleaker, Nov 6, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017

    Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    So the rumors were true! And I hope this is a good thing, meaning it doesn't add too much to the cost while offering a bit more than a small boost in graphical performance.

    This looks promising although we'll have to wait and see. The worry is that Apple move to this architecture for the 15" and we have a Mac Pro situation. It would be harder to upgrade to dGPU options when refreshing and less hope of a switch to Nvidia.

    However this kind of architecture would be perfect for a 13" MacBook Pro.
  6. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    The GPU and VRAM are soldered to the motherboard now in a MBP 15". Whether attached to the motherboard board or the package isn't much of a material difference as far as after market upgrades go.

    Perhaps more limited options. Going from 2GB to 4GB HBM2 RAM might be harder. How may AMD GPU die variations that Intel will link up with. For the 1st generation I suspect it would only be one. Over time if there is enough volume there could be more.

    A MBP 13" that walked back to the 2013-2015 levels of thickness .... yeah. The current (and likely future tracking along the touchbar model's path) one not so much.

    If Apple forked the "function key", thicker, and heavier MBP 13" and "as thin as MBA" , touchbar MBP 13" then could fit the former.
  7. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    I think you misunderstood and that was down to my poor wording. By upgrades, I meant refreshes that moved away from this embedded CPU/GPU package for reasons such as users desiring more performance or if Intel drops support for this which they may do if it ‘flops’.

    As for the 13” Pro, the recent changes to the Intel lineup really do make it obvious that the best way forward for the MacBook lineup would be a rethink.
  8. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Three things.

    1. It is a tad early to classify this as a flop. (Intel's eDRAM packages didn't work out so well with other vendors besides Apple, but this is bring a different expertise skills mix in. There are a decent number of Dell/HP/etc systems were this should fit technically. It depends on which price point Intel delivers at on how many other vendors jump on board. if they do it flopping is substantially less likely. )

    2. This probably isn't going to be Intel's entire line up of H class chips. if will to give up board size space savings there very well could be options in the MBP 15" models which which a 'regular' H-class package and the same GPU plus GDDR5 like VRAM in picture in previous post or a consolidated discrete GPU + multiple HBM2 stacks. Spread farther apart can crank the GPU TDP higher.

    3. If can get some shrinkage from some other components even this "super sized" H-class package will probably still have the same x16 PCI-e links out as current packages do. So even still could have an optional dGPU+VRAM attached like #2 above. Probably just loose all board space savings in that case.
    ( In other words, I don't think you are necessarily loosing the x16 PCI-e link out with the embed here. The H-class die used here could either have the iGPU stripped all the way out (and use that space in part for this 'on package' GPU connector) or there could be some 'on package' connection used when the iGPU on die is flipped all as a configuration. )

    If embedded dGPU is/was a higher priority than more RAM , more battery , or lighter weight then can still use these packages going forward on upgrade iterations.
  9. Appleaker macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2016
    1) I didn’t, but I said it has the potential to be.
    2) Yes, this will definitely not be for all H-series chips. Having 2 internal designs for this is an interesting thought and not out of the picture as we’ve seen with the 13” MacBook Pro line (although personally I’m not a fan of that).
    3) That’s true although I don’t think we’d see a dual GPU setup like that, but it isn’t unprecedented.
    Like you say, it could provide another option in the lineup and personally I think the lineup needs rethinking to fit these processors and customer needs.

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8 November 6, 2017