According to an article on the AppleInsider a little while ago, we could be seeing a new relationship between Apple and AMD. This is big news, considering Intel has been the only type of processor used in the Apple notebook (and desktop) computers since 2006.
As stated in the report: “Representatives for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD have recently been seen on Apple’s Commuter Coach buses, and executives for the chipmaker have been spotted on their way out of meetings with members of Apple’s top brass, according to people familiar with the matter. 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.”
After having spent quite a lot of time on AMDs Austin, TX campus a few weeks ago, I cannot say I am surprised by this turn of events. I know from first-hand experience what AMD has coming down the pipeline. I have to agree with the article when they speculate at the end about having excellent performance with AMD at a fraction of the cost they have with Intel.
ATI is a part of the AMD family. That side of the company produces graphics chips that Apple already uses in some of its models. This means that Apple could deliver a total package of AMD and ATI components which will give you good performance (along with excellent graphics performance) at a much lower price than they can currently offer with Intel.
I currently have the new Acer Ferrari One on my desk. This little machine is powered by the Turion line of AMD processors. “Good” performance? Hardly. This thing is a workhorse of a machine. In the past, I’ve had the pleasure of using a machine running with the quad-core Phenom 9700 processor from AMD. I was more than impressed with how well the system ran. There is no way I can agree with AppleInsider’s report when they say that “AMD currently offers few advantages in terms of performance or efficiency.”
It’s going to be interesting to watch this story develop. I am all for opening things up and offering more choices for consumers, as you well know. And hey… who would complain if a great processor was included at a lower price?