Apple silicon has been a real boon for the Mac lineup, not to mention the iPhone and iPad. But AMD has some new silicon of its own, and it's pretty pleased with it.
In fact, AMD is so pleased with its new Ryzen 7040 series of chips that it's going after Apple silicon with them. Specifically, it thinks its new chips put the M1 Pro and M2 in the shade.
Of course, M1 Pro is about to be replaced by the M2 Pro, but we'll ignore that part for the moment.
In a press release shared as part of its CES 2023 launch slate, AMD says that it tested a MacBook Pro running an M1 Pro with 32GB of RAM against a machine running its "AMD Ryzen 7040HS Series Mobile processor." In that test, the AMD chip offered "up to 34% faster multithreaded performance over the competition." In terms of gaming, that figure fell to 21%.
AMD also pointed to Ryzen AI as "the first dedicated artificial intelligence hardware in an x86 processor." According to its numbers, Ryzen AI can outperform "the Apple M2 CPU by up to 20% while being up to 50% more energy efficient." Naturally, AMD didn't show any comparison figures for Apple's best MacBook, the MacBook Pro with M1 Max.
As a result, AMD claims that its Ryzen 7040 series processors "add up to richer, real-time user experiences in video collaboration, content creation, productivity, gaming, and protection."
This is, of course, all well and good, but it doesn't matter if you don't want to run Windows. Apple silicon is the only way you'll get macOS these days, but this could be a notable development for those whose workflows aren't operating system specific.
As for Apple, the M2 Pro is expected to be announced alongside new MacBook Pro hardware within weeks. So I'd suggest holding fire on making any purchasing decisions until that happens.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.