New References to AMD Processors Discovered in macOS 10.15.4 Beta

Over the last few months, an increasing number of references to AMD processors have been uncovered in macOS Catalina code, starting with the 10.15.2 beta in November and now continuing in the 10.15.4 beta.

Given that Macs currently use Intel processors, the references are naturally prompting speculation that perhaps Apple plans to release Macs with AMD processors, but this is unconfirmed as of yet. Apple does rely on AMD for graphics in select MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models.


Many of the references contain codenames of AMD APUs such as Picasso, Raven, Renoir, and Van Gogh. APU or Accelerated Processing Unit is AMD's marketing term for a CPU and GPU on a single chip.


A few months ago, an unsubstantiated report from Taiwan's Economic Daily News claimed that Apple plans to announce a high-end gaming Mac at WWDC 2020. If there is any truth to the rumor, then it is certainly possible that the Mac could be powered by an AMD APU, but many gamers are skeptical.

It's worth noting that we haven't heard any rumors about AMD-based Macs specifically, and it is also possible the references are for internal testing only, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina
Tag: AMD

Top Rated Comments

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2 weeks ago


wouldn't it be better to go ARM chips instead?

No.
Rating: 40 Votes
2 weeks ago
Apple should have bought AMD a couple of years ago when they were at $2 per share. Would have given them even more control over the Macs graphics and now (possibly) processors.
Rating: 24 Votes
2 weeks ago
I think this would be great for competition. AMD has been killing it in the CPU market recently, offering comparable performance to Intel chips for way less. If Apple made this move it would really force Intel to improve the price to performance of their chips.
Rating: 20 Votes
2 weeks ago
Apple dumped Motorola and IBM 68000 CPUs like a hot potato when they couldn't keep up with Intel. There's no reason to think Apple wouldn't do the same to Intel if they can't keep up.
Rating: 18 Votes
2 weeks ago
A 16-core Ryzen iMac with a new design and speakers by the team that worked on the MBP16 hardware would be just what the doctor ordered.
Rating: 17 Votes
2 weeks ago
If high end means starting at $2k and having user-replaceable components, shut up and take my money! If high end means $6k (like the new Mac Pro) or the $1k monitor stand, I have no choice but to look elsewhere.
Rating: 17 Votes
2 weeks ago
Just an FYI to anyone unaware of the "hackintosh" (running macOS on standard "PC" hardware) scene, its been possible to run macOS on AMD Ryzen CPUs with very little extra work (vs Intel) for over a year now. The performance is good and everything generally works about as well as an Intel hackintosh aside from a few edge cases (things that require the Intel QuickSync video encoder/decoder for example, but this is already being replaced in Macs by Apple's T series ARM coprocessors.)

Basically, for anyone worried about an architecture change/fragmentation/old software not working etc, that's not what this is. Intel and AMD both produce x86-64 chips that are mutually compatible. This is in no way like the move from PPC to x86 or like a prospective move from x86 to ARM would be.
Rating: 15 Votes
2 weeks ago


I think this would be great for competition. AMD has been killing it in the CPU market recently, offering comparable performance to Intel chips for way less. If Apple made this move it would really force Intel to improve the price to performance of their chips.

Comparable performance? They’ve been crapping all over Intel in multi-threaded work.
Rating: 13 Votes
2 weeks ago
The Mac Pro deserves 64 cores.
Rating: 12 Votes
2 weeks ago
This could be about the Hackintosh market. if($CPU=='AMD') {format($BootDrive);}

:)
Rating: 12 Votes

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