Apple says using its own chips gives it a ‘unique advantage’ over the PC industry

It’s been a little over two years since Apple (AAPL) kicked its longtime partner Intel (INTC) in favor of designing its own chips. And with its latest processors hitting the market in its new MacBook Pros and Mac minis, the tech giant says its bet has paid off.

“If you look at just the gains between M1 Pro and M2 Pro and M2 Max, you know, CPU performance has increased by 20%, GPU by 30%,” said Bob Borchers, VP of global product marketing at Apple, at Yahoo. Finance. “It’s not normal for the way platforms like this move forward. A few years ago you would have been happy with 5% here, 6% there, etc.

Apple’s M2 Pro and M2 Max, are powerful versions of his M2, which he presented in June. The company claims that the M2 Max, which incorporates a 12-core CPU and a 38-core GPU, is the most powerful and efficient chip for a business laptop. A MacBook Pro with an M2 Pro, according to the company, is 40% faster than a MacBook with an M1 Pro and 80% faster than a MacBook with Intel’s older Core i9 chip.

But it’s not just about improving product speed, Tim Millet, Apple’s vice president of platform architecture, told Yahoo Finance. Building its own chips also allows Apple to avoid third-party bottlenecks.

Apple's latest MacBook Pro comes with an M2 Pro or M2 Max chip.  (Picture: Apple)

Apple’s latest MacBook Pro comes with an M2 Pro or M2 Max chip. (Picture: Apple)

“If you’re a merchant seller of silicon, and someone like Apple comes along and says, ‘Hey, we want you to put all these transistors in these chips that you’re selling because we want to enable this amazing new product. They’re going to scratch their heads a bit and sort of go, “Well, what’s the return here?” “Said Millet.

“They have to sell this chip to maybe 10 more customers who don’t necessarily care about the same things that Apple cares about. We don’t have to worry about this problem when we build chips for ourselves. And that, I would say, is… the thing that offers a unique advantage.

However, Apple hasn’t always been interested in dumping Intel. In fact, a few years ago the company was content with its relationship with the chip giant.

“Five years ago, maybe we weren’t ready, maybe we were at a point where the relationship with Intel was still strong. We didn’t want to disrupt anything there,” Millet said.

But Intel’s slow progress in improving chip performance and a desire to develop its Mac lineup to its own standards meant Apple had to put the chipmaker in its rearview mirror.

“It was clear that third parties weren’t worried about this issue,” Millet explained. “They worried about maintaining their own competitive advantage with each other by assuming everyone would be happy to take something that was just marginally better. We did the math, we figured out, ‘No, that’s not where the technology is.’ And so you can see the big steps we’ve taken between our latest generation Intel-based Macs and the M1 generation.

Of course, leaving Intel behind also means one less company to pay for parts, helping Apple keep more of its money in its own coffers.

What Millet said helped Apple establish a new baseline for its overall Mac performance.

Still, Apple, like the rest of the computer industry, is grappling with a slowdown in the PC market. The company is expected to report that Mac sales have fallen significantly when it next announces its results on Feb. 2.

With two new chip lines and a faster MacBook Pro and Mac mini, the company might just have the firepower it needs to quickly reverse this decline.

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