AMD Radeon Vega Architect leaves AMD for Intel

iMac Pro with Magic accessories
iMac Pro with Magic accessories (Image credit: iMore)

When you're good at what you do, the big leagues will be coveting your skill set. Raja Koduri, the GPU architect who developed the technology behind the AMD Radeon Vega GPU that's in the iMac Pro, has gone on to supposed greener pastures at Intel.

We reported that Koduri was taking a sabbatical from AMD after the release of the Vega Architecture amid rumours that the leave was due to various unimpressive reviews of the GPU technology in gaming. The fact of the matter is that the Vega architecture actually performs equal to or better than high end Nvidia offerings when using productivity applications. Hence why it will be such a benefit to the iMac Pro.

Intel with AMD, an unholy alliance?

There is more to this move than meets the eye however. Intel announced that new slim profile computers will now use an Intel CPU with AMD graphics on chip. AMD and Intel compete on the CPU battlefield but AMD has IP far beyond Intel's capabilities when it comes to graphics. Intel's new chip is expected to use the AMD Polaris architecture for graphics which will greatly improve graphical performance for those that want to use onboard graphics. Yup, your MacBook of the future will be capable of playing those VR games out of the box, no eGPU needed.

AMD, Nvidia, get ready for a new challenger

What's more, with Koduri's move, Intel now intends to use Koduri's in-depth understanding of GPU technologies to also create discrete GPU hardware. That means it will directly compete with Nvidia and AMD on the high end GPU market that includes not only gaming prowess, but machine learning technologies. Competition drives feature sets up and prices down. Great for everyone.

Does this mean Macs will be gaming rigs soon?

That's up to developers of course but there will be less and less reason why Macs won't be able to play games. In the end augmented reality and virtual reality are coming on strongly albeit slowly and those technologies needn't be gaming related. But they do require powerful graphical capabilities that will no longer be exclusive to PCs.

What's your take?

Are you satisfied with the de-facto Mac graphical capabilities or are you excited about the upcoming improvements to graphical powers provided by Intel and AMD? Personally, I think Apple was long overdue in providing higher end graphics on its high end hardware. It's late but I'm happy it's on it's way. Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Anthony Casella