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Rumour | Evidence of AMD-powered Apple hardware appears in macOS 10.15.4 beta 1

Could AMD APUs be making their way to the MacBook Pro? (Image source: Apple)
Could AMD APUs be making their way to the MacBook Pro? (Image source: Apple)
With macOS 10.15.4 due to arrive in March, a month when Apple typically refreshes some of its portfolio, people have been scouring the beta 1 build to unearth any hardware-related clues. One leaker has spotted a ton of references to AMD APU and GPUs, in what may be the first hint of an AMD-powered MacBook Pro being in development.

Apple released macOS 10.15.4 beta 1 earlier this week, and the keen eyes of _rogame have spotted some interesting changes to the build's code. Tweeting to their followers yesterday, _rogame demonstrated that macOS 10.15.4 beta 1 introduces a host of references to unreleased AMD APUs and GPUs. According to several tweets, the build adds references to the following:

  • Navi21 Prototype
  • Navi21 Unknown Prototype
  • Navi22 Unknown Prototype
  • Navi23 Unknown Prototype
  • NAVI12_A0
  • NAVI21_A0
  • RAVEN2_A0
  • RAVEN_A0

Moreover, the same account confirmed that Navi 21, Navi 22, and Navi 23 all support Variable Rate Shading, an API-level feature that AMD has confirmed will be supported in RDNA 2 GPUs. Incidentally, macOS 10.15.4 beta 1 removes support for Lite variants of the Navi 10 and Navi 21 while adding a reference to LPDDR4 RAM.

_rogame speculates that all changes could point towards some AMD-powered Apple hardware being in development. Apple, for context, typically releases the fifth version of its current OS every March, making it likely that macOS 10.15.4 will arrive towards the end of next month too. The fifth release is always 10.xx.4, for reference, as the first is the inaugural build. Additionally, Apple tends to announce hardware refreshes in March, as it did with the iPad Air, iPad Mini and iMac last year.

Hence, it would seem likely that Apple will release some new hardware next month, along with macOS 10.15.4. These changes added to beta 1 do not mean we are due an onslaught of AMD-powered Apple hardware, but the timing of their introduction seems rather suspicious. Speculatively, _rogame opined that they could be referring to an AMD-powered MacBook. There have been rumours that Apple would announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in 1H 2020 too, albeit without mention to it being powered by an AMD APU.

Keep in mind that this could all come to nothing. However, dropping a new MacBook Pro out of the blue would be a very Apple thing to do.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Evidence of AMD-powered Apple hardware appears in macOS 10.15.4 beta 1
Alex Alderson, 2020-02- 7 (Update: 2020-02- 7)