Apple documentation says end of third-party graphics cards on Mac

The announcement of the transition to Apple Silicon chips has thrilled most Mac users, but doubts remain about the most professional and successful users. Are you sure ARM chips will have the graphics power of the most powerful desktop computers?

Today we may have an interesting clue about it. In the documentation of one of the sessions given to developers during WWDC20, it was clarified that Macs equipped with Apple Silicon chips will have their own GPUs. That is: there will be no integrated graphics cards from Intel, nor discrete cards from AMD or NVIDIA.

Goodbye Intel, but also goodbye to AMD and NVIDIA

Until now, it has been normal for cheaper and lower graphics performance Macs to use integrated graphics cards from Intel. And in the case of the more powerful Macs, one or more discrete AMD or NVIDIA cards are used. The future, as seen, is unified: Apple’s own GPU on all machines.

The consequence is that macOS would drop support for these third-party graphics cards as soon as the transition to Apple Silicon is complete, which means that external eGPUs will no longer be compatible with Mac. It is not certain, we cannot confirm it at all, but it is currently suspected.

Mac’s dilemma with Apple Silicon: buy a computer now or wait for the first ARMs

I think there are reasons to be optimistic. Of course, the first Mac with Apple Silicon won’t have more graphics power than a Mac Pro, but the first landmarks of the Developer Transition Kit (this Mac mini with A12Z chip) even promises to have been executed under an emulation layer. And also, I remember that this Mac mini was used in the protests of keynote WWDC20 connected to an XDR Pro display. And unless they deliberately lowered the resolution, that means an A12Z chip can handle a 6K display. This is not a joke.

Apple’s documentation is also clear: « Don’t assume a discrete GPU means more performance« , we can read there. “The GPUs built into Apple processors are optimized for high performance graphics tasks. Looks like the Macs we’ll see in a few months are going to surprise us.