GPU Stories March 22, 2016

AAPL: 106.72

0.81

Update: In a statement to CNBC, Apple has confirmed it is not planning to make an offer for Imagination Technologies. It did however hold some talks with the company about undisclosed topics.

ArsTechnica is reporting that Apple is in ‘advanced talks’ to acquire Imagination Technologies, makes of the PowerVR mobile GPU designs Apple licenses for its A9 and A9X SoCs. The company declined comment about any such acquisition of course. Apple began using Imagination Technologies GPUs since the Apple A4 chip. Rumors have been bubbling in recent years that Apple will eventually start designing its own mobile GPUs, in the same way it designs custom CPU silicon today. An acquisition of Imagination Technologies would be a clear signal the company is moving in that direction.

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GPU Stories October 23, 2015

AAPL: 115.50

1.74

When Microsoft launched its first full-on laptop, the Surface Book, it made a big point of claiming that the machine was twice as fast as a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Benchmark tests by PCWorld show that this claiming is misleading, though the dedicated graphics card available in certain models does pay off for some uses.

The site’s tests showed that in pure CPU benchmarks, the MacBook Pro was actually slightly faster than the Surface Book. This remained true for Geek Bench 3 tests, which simulate real-life usage …  expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

GPU Stories August 31, 2015

AAPL: 112.76

-0.53

Video producer hooks up six (!!) 4K monitors to Mac Pro at 60Hz using only built-in graphics cards [Video]

Video producer Adam Matthews wanted to double the number of 4K monitors hooked up to his Mac Pro, so he built an external GPU to do it. He used a Sonnet Thunderbolt chassis with an AMD 7970 GPU – before discovering that the machine could actually drive all six monitors without it.

When Matthews tried connecting the monitors using only the twin graphics cards built into the Mac Pro, just to see what would happen, he found he was still able to get 60Hz on each, suggesting that Apple has been conservative in its claims.

Of course, it’s possible that the strain of pushing video to six monitors at once might shorten the life of the Mac Pro, so his Plan A is probably the best route to go if you want to emulate his setup.

Future MacBook Pros could themselves drive three 4K monitors at 60Hz, as Intel revealed that its upcoming Skylake processors have this capability. It’s even possible that Apple could create a MacBook Pro with Mac Pro performance, as Intel also announced professional class Xeon processors for laptops. It’s not likely to happen, but a man can dream

GPU Stories March 25, 2015

Buying a Mac is designed to be easy. Apple has a handful of different models, each generally available in good, better, and best configurations. You’re supposed to start with the specific Mac model that fits your needs, pick a configuration that has the price and features you want, and walk away happy with your purchase. (Better yet, do your research online and save money after ordering from Amazon, or use the product guides off to the bottom right of this page.)

One thing Apple tends to downplay are tech specs — important numbers and acronyms that nonetheless confuse many people. Look carefully on Apple’s web site and you’ll find that there’s a Tech Specs page for every Mac Apple sells; they’re the keys to making an informed Mac purchase that will be right for your current and future needs. My latest How-To is here to walk you through each of Apple’s specs with clear explanations, so you can understand what you’re about to buy. This Part 1 discusses the “big 5” Mac specs you need to know about, and Part 2 tackles the rest

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GPU Stories December 12, 2014

Following a petition with thousands of signatures related to GPU complaints and a class-action lawsuit filed in the United States, another class-action lawsuit has been filed north of the border against Apple Canada over the same GPU issues affecting some 15-inch and 17-inch 2011 MacBook Pro models equipped with an AMD graphics chip. expand full story

GPU Stories November 12, 2014

New chip analysis of the A8X powering the iPad Air 2 has revealed that it is even more powerful than it initially appeared.

Further analysis by AnandTech showed that initial guesses as to the GPU specification of the Apple A8X chip, exclusively available in the iPad Air 2, were wrong. In fact, the chip uses a unique 8 cluster design. AnandTech describes the discovery as “even better than I thought”. Although the customizations are limited, this represents a big step for the company as it is now dabbling in both custom CPU and GPU engineering, even if the leap over generally-available components in this instance is small.

Effectively, Apple has engineered a way to stick two Imagination GX6450 PowerVR chips on the same die. A die shot sourced by AnandTech confirmed this theory, although the site is unable to publish the image. Shown above is a mockup of what is going on internally.

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