Matte MonitorsSource: iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple announced the switch from Intel chips last month.
  • The company has already shown how well Shadow of the Tomb Raider ran when emulated using Rosetta 2.
  • And text in an Apple document has suggested that third-party discrete graphics cards won't be any faster than built-in solutions.

Apple announced that it was switch to its own chips and away from Intel last month after years of speculation. Part of that transition means the company is offering Rosetta 2 as a way for x86 code to run on Apple silicon and we've already seen that it runs well. But does that mean that discrete graphics cards are no longer needed?

Maybe.

As Gizmodo discusses, Apple has already told developers that its use of a tile-based deferred renderer (TBDR) might mean that discrete graphics just aren't needed.

TBDR captures the entire scene before it starts to render it, splitting it up into multiple small regions, or tiles, that get processed separately, so it processes information pretty fast and doesn't require a lot of memory bandwidth. From there, the architecture won't actually render the scene until it rejects any and all occluded pixels.

Gizmodo posits that might be why Apple has said that developers shouldn't "assume a discrete GPU means better performance," and it might have a point. By removing the need for a power-hungry GPU, at least for most people and most tasks, Apple could offer great performance without killing battery life and drawing globs of power.

Apple hasn't explicitly said that discrete GPUs won't be part of the Mac's future, but it does seem to be pointing away from them at the very least.