ARM iMac with custom Apple GPU could arrive in second half of 2021

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This iMac concept reflects what a lot of people want.
Could it look something like this?
Photo: Daniel Bautista

A brand-new iMac, powered by Apple Silicon combined with a custom Apple GPU, will land during the second half of 2021, according to a new report.

Codenamed “Lifuka,” the all-in-one is expected to use 5-nanometer chips manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company — like those destined for iPhone 12 and other Apple Silicon machines later this year.

Why the new iMac is still a great buy, even without Apple Silicon

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2020 iMac: The new iMac looks just like the old one (only faster).
The 2020 iMac is certainly worth your cash.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s newest iMac is by far the fastest yet, with huge increases in both CPU and GPU performance. It also ships with improved speakers and microphones. And yet, it seems a lot of Apple fans don’t care.

The reason? The new iMac is powered by Intel processors, like all its predecessors since 2006, instead of Apple Silicon. Since Apple revealed its plan to switch to its own custom chips at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Intel processors just don’t hold the same appeal.

But there are some great reasons to continue buying Intel-powered Macs in 2020. Here are a few.

No, Apple is not throttling its A-series chips for easy upgrades later

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2020 iPad Pro builds on the 2018 model.
The 2020 iPad Pro offers an additional GPU core, but its chip hasn't changed.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A new investigation into Apple’s improved A12Z Bionic chip inside the 2020 iPad Pro reveals that it features exactly the same GPU found in the A12X Bionic for 2018 iPad Pro units. The one big difference is that an additional eighth core is now enabled, making it slightly faster.

Many fans are now criticizing Apple for what seems, at first glance, as intentional throttling. It is assumed Cupertino is disabling features in its newest chips, only to enable them later and market them as improved — even though they’re essentially the same on the inside.

Could it be that this is a scheme to make quick and easy cash? Actually, no. This is standard practice across the semiconductor industry. Others like Intel and Nvidia use exactly the same approach — and there’s a very good reason for it.

Here’s the real reason why an A12Z is just an A12X with unlocked potential.

AMD’s next-gen Navi 2X graphics could bring beautiful ray tracing to Mac

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AMD-Navi-X2
Nvidia's big advantage will soon disappear.
Photo: AMD

AMD’s next-generation graphics cards could bring ray tracing capabilities to Mac.

The company’s new Navi 2X architecture, coming later this year, will be the first to catch up with Nvidia’s GeForce RTX cards in the ray tracing department. It also promises 3D audio, faster load times, and “a new generation of games.”

iPhone SE 2 will be a low-cost powerhouse, and we talk details, on The CultCast

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CultCast 427
Apple's prepping iPhone SE 2!
Photo: The CultCast

This week on The CultCast: Apple is prepping iPhone SE 2, but trouble in China could mean massive production delays across the entire tech industry. Plus: macOS leaks hint at big CPU upgrades on the way; and a celebrity calls out the MacBook’s troubled keyboards.

Our thanks to Squarespace for supporting this episode. Easily create a beautiful website all by yourself, at Squarespace.com/cultcast, and use offer code CultCast at checkout for 10% off your first purchase.

Big macOS leak hints at future switch to AMD chips

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Apple iMac 2019
The modern iMac is a stunner... and last on our list.
Photo: Apple

Could Apple be preparing to make a surprise switch to AMD processors in a future Mac? References to a number of new AMD microprocessors have been spotted in the latest macOS 10.15.4 beta, which rolled out to developers Wednesday.

The clues hidden in Mac code suggest Apple’s lengthy relationship with Intel could be on the rocks.