Would AMD and Intel die Soon or they will evolve rapidly after Apple launched M1 silicon?
In late 2020 when Apple finally launched their own silicon as an M1 CPU, I was taken aback by the kind of performance and energy efficiency it brought in. The leap was so large that it outperformed all the Intel & AMD based portable computers even in 2022. I being a fan of Ubuntu was convinced that my next computer would be MacBook because I knew after 2020 it will take Intel and AMD at least 5 years to come up with something that could compete with Apple M1 and their future silicon.
Let's handle dragon in the room first: Intel
Intel is a fantabulous company whose cofounder gave us Moore’s law.
Moore Law states that every year number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles.
If H2O is water then the transistor is CPU/GPU. Theoretically higher the number of transistors higher is the processing power but there is a catch that each transistor draws power and dissipates heat.
The higher the power consumption, the higher is the heating dissipation and the better and heavy cooling solution you need in a portable computer. Higher power consumption brings weight, less battery life, irritating fan sounds, the lower shelf life of electronic equipment, and heating up of devices.
Obviously, every laptop manufacturer wants higher performance at the lowest power consumption. Intel is the pioneer in chip manufacturing and innovation and even Steve Jobs was mighty impressed and they decided to move to Intel in 2005 for their computer lineup. But a few years later Intel innovation stagnated badly as there was no one to compete with them. They latched on to 2010 technology for almost a decade and obviously, few laptop manufacturers and consumers were disappointed and some of them took things into their hands.
Here comes AMD
The last 5 years were driven by AMD’s innovation in the CPU market. There was a time in 2010 when AMD was a bad choice by any parameter. I knew a few friends who made the bad decision of buying AMD laptops and those laptops were pathetic in terms of performance and they were marred with heating issues and faulty electronics.
The last few years witnessed AMD's resurgence with new leadership. With their new Zen architecture, AMD was giving bang for the bucks, and Intel was caught napping.
Apple silicon revolution
You can hate Apple for so many things but you should appreciate they have begun the same old revolution of chip innovation of the early 2000s in the chip market. Apple's latest M1 silicon is the best in the market in terms of sheer performance per watt. Let's look at the Cinebench CPU score of different CPUs in the market.
It is mind-boggling that the Macbook air just costs $800 and it comes in super-thin chassis with no fans. Even if you don’t understand these charts, it simply forces Intel and AMD to shame. Apple innovated in their chips in iPhone and iPad for a decade and this is the result of innovation which Apple did.
What Apple has changed for its customers?
The customers who were dependent on MacOS as their daily driver, new Apple chips are added bonus. They get raw power starting from Macbook Air. Intel Macbook air was pathetic in performance and was only limited to very light day-to-day usage.
The customers who are dependent on Windows OS are forced to think if this is the right time to move to macOS due to the superpowers Apple hardware has and no matter how tall claims Intel/AMD make, the reality is that before 2025 it will be difficult to beat Apple in terms of performance and power efficiency. If you are stuck on Windows OS due to some reason then you will have to wait for a few years before the same hardware power & efficiency comes to your laptops.
What about Ubuntu or any other Linux-based OS user?
I used Ubuntu for at least 8 years as my daily driver and love UNIX/Linux world. Why I switched to macOS a few years back is a different story but MacOS has helped me conquer different worlds in Software Engineering. On macOS, I can run Ubuntu/Windows in a virtual machine if needed and I can develop both iPhone and Android apps and can develop the backend using any technology, etc. If you are just looking for UNIX/Linux feel then macOS will suffice for almost all of your needs unless you are a Linux developer. Today I cannot think of buying a Dell or Lenovo or system76 laptop because they are not value for money today after apple launched their own silicon.
Will Intel/AMD die?
I would say No. Windows OS still capture more than 70% of the laptop market and they all run on Intel and AMD chips. Now that Intel is awakened and they both have their task cut out and they will match the performance in a few years I would say. But there is a void that is difficult to fill and it is a time when you look at MacOS because you can’t go wrong with Apple for the next few years.