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iMac 2017 Having AMD Ryzen And Polaris GPU Conform To Apple’s Performance-Per-Watt Approach; VR Capabilities A Possibility


The iMac 2017 is expected to be unveiled anytime soon and Apple may be bringing AMD into the fold to provide its processor and graphics solution, which is aligned to its current energy economy with maximum performance approach. The AMD Ryzen is known for its performance-per-watt value while the Polaris 10 GPU is designed to potentially reduce consumption and waste heat as well as usher in Virtual Reality capabilities for the first time in the iMac.

A Best Buy posting way back in October last year hinted of what is to come in the newest and long-overdue new iMac 2017. The said posting revealed a 27-inch iMac with Intel's latest seventh-generation Core i7-7700K, 32GB of RAM and 2TB Fusion Drive for the price of $3,199.99. Though unconfirmed by Apple and may just be a placeholder, the said post fueled the rumor that the coming iMac will sport an Intel Kaby Lake chip. This was a logical step for the Cupertino giant until Ryzen came to steal the limelight.

Apple choosing AMD over Intel for its newest iMac 2017 is not only based on benchmark scores or multi-threaded performance. Architosh reveals that Apple's focus is now more on energy economy vis-à-vis performance, which fits AMD chips to a tee even going as far as saying that Ryzen is very "Apple-esque." He further illustrates saying that the 1800X and 1700X have the same 95 watts thermal design points (TDP) versus the 140 watts in the i7 rival. That will translate to more than 30 percent savings in power consumption further beefed up by the competitive pricing of the $499 top tier AMD chip as compared to the $1,089 Intel chip.

Moreover, the AMD Ryzen technology offers features that will bring more than just a significant spec bump to the iMac 2017 with its last significant update going two years back when it received the Retina-class screen. Ryzen utilizes the 14nm FinFET technology packing more transistors in one core and the Neural Net forecast that enables forecasting instructions to speed up processing. It also has the Smart Prefetch that predicts future locations of data and stores it in a cache. In fact, some reports say that AMD may have been eyeing Apple when it developed its Zen architecture.

On the GPU side, MacWorld reported that AMD won a contract to provide its Polaris set to Apple's new desktops and notebooks. Apple may be considering the Polaris 10 to provide its graphics solution since the GPU is designed to substantially reduce power draw and waste heat. Based on the 14nm process node the graphics card is able to pack more transistors in every given space, making it ideal for the ultraslim design of the new iMac 2017. As transistors are more close together, there is less power consumed to send signals across.

Current iMac lineup already has the AMD Radeon graphics chipset and Polaris in the new iMac 2017 could bring potential VR capabilities. Existing iMacs are still incapable of supporting VR, but things could change and Apple may bring a Pro version of the iMac according to PC Advisor. This could be a possible scenario with Tim Cook's assurance in a recent internal employee network session that "great desktops" remain in their roadmap reiterating that the iMac 5K has the best Retina display in the world. He further adds that "nobody should worry about that" making the wait for the latest iMac 2017 even more exciting.

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