mac use intel processor

Does Mac Use Intel Processors? (Explained With Examples)

Many Mac users wonder which processor their device had, whether it is Intel CPU or something else?

I researched this topic, and here in this article, I will explain this topic. 

So, Does Mac Use Intel Processors?

Yes! Apple has been using Intel processors inside Macs for years now, but they began the transition towards Apple silicon processors. A couple of Mac devices still support the Intel processors inside Macs, like the Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and iMac. 

After getting the answer, you might wonder why Apple supports the Intel processors inside Macs when they have a good quality processor. 

There are a couple of reasons behind this & the reasons are explained below. So keep reading this article till the end.

Why Does Mac Use Intel Processors?

There are plenty of reasons why Apple uses Intel processors inside Macbooks, and here I have explained some of the important reasons behind this. So, let’s take a look at all the reasons-

Market Ratio

The first thing is that Apple is making processors for their iPhone devices, but they are using Intel processors inside Macbooks because the Macbboks market is not even closer to the iPhone market. The market ratio is probably around 1/10.

Apple is generating a good net profit on their iPhones even though they are spending money on research & development because they are selling numerous iPhones.

Now the same strategy cannot be applied to Macbooks because fewer devices are being sold, so spending a lot of money on developing PC chips is not logical.

That’s why Apple is still using Intel processors inside Macbooks, but they began transitioning from Intel processors to Apple silicon.

Market Competition

For about a decade now, MacOS has been coded on the X86- 64 CPU architecture since they switched away from PowerPC when the G5 could not scale to higher clock frequencies or some in a workable laptop variant.

Apple switched to X86 because they couldn’t get competitive PPC CPUs anymore. They could use an x86- 64 CPU from AMD and have made prototypes of AMD- based models in the past.

However, AMD hasn’t been competitive with what Intel could offer for most of the time frame since Apple switched to x86, which meant Intel was their best choice.

Compatibility with Multiple Environments

The Mac devices still support the ability to dual boot your Mac using the different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, etc.

This is such an essential feature for a specific key user segment like developers who need to work across multiple environments.

Apple could make its own chips, but it doesn’t ensure that these chips will work with the operating systems mentioned above.

Lacking TPM Chip

TPM stands for trusted platform module; it is a kind of cryptographic chip that enhances the computers’ privacy and security.

Microsoft clearly stated that without the support of the TPM 2.0 chip, the Windows 11 operating system would not run.

You can run the Windows 11 operating system inside Macbooks by using a virtual machine or parallels software. But to do that, you need the TPM 2.0 chip support.

Most Mac devices don’t have the TPM inside their motherboards and CPUs, so it becomes difficult for the users to install the Windows 11 operating system inside Macbooks.

But the Mac devices that come with Intel CPUs have the firmware TPM support, and therefore users can download the Windows operating systems by using virtual machines.

These are some reasons Apple still supports the Intel processors inside Macbook devices.

But, in late 2020, Apple began the transition from the Intel processors to Apple silicon processors.

Also Read: Do Macs have TPM?

Which Mac has Intel Processor?

Apple began the transition from Intel processors to Apple Silicon processors in the late 2020s. Since that period, several Mac devices have come with the Apple silicon instead of Intel CPU support.

But despite the transition or expansion, there are still few Macs available that run the Intel processors. So, let’s take a look at these devices-

  • The iMac 27-inch (2020)
  • The Mac Mini (2018)
  • The Mac Pro (2019)

These 3 devices still support the intel chips; apart, all the other Mac devices support the Apple silicon chips.

Let’s take a look at some of the Mac computers that supports the Apple Silicon chips-

  • Mac Studio (2022)
  • MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021)
  • MacBook Air (M1,2020)
  • MacBook Pro 13-inch, M1 (2020)
  • MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021)
  • iMac 24-inch, M1(2021)
  • Mac Mini M1 (2020)

Is it Worth Buying an Intel Mac?

There are such diverse opinions among the users about buying an Intel Mac because some peoples think that Intel Macs are outdated and it is worthless, while some other people say that Intel Macs are still worthful to buy.

Here we will explore some of the pros and cons of buying an Intel Mac. So, let’s take a look-

Pros

Some people think that the Intel Mac devices are still worth buying because-

  • If you run Windows on your Mac via Apple’s Boot Camp software and want to continue, then you must buy an Intel Mac because Boot camp won’t be available on Macs with Apple processors.
  • The Apple silicon processors are impressive, but that doesn’t mean that Intel Macs are automatically obsolete. The Apple Macs are more than adequate for demanding tasks.
  • Several applications can’t run on the M1 Macs; therefore, Intel-based Macs are essential for the users to run these types of applications.

Cons

  • Intel Macbooks are drastically and noticeably slower than the M1 Macs.
  • Secondly, the price of the Intel-based Macs and Apple silicon processors is almost the same; therefore, there is no need to spend money on old tech.
  • Using the Apple silicon processor also improves the battery performance.

After exploring all the pros & cons, it’s understandable that Intel Mac is a worthy choice for you if you are a developer who works in multiple environments.

But, if you are planning to get a Macbook for better performance, then Apple silicon-based Macbooks are an excellent choice because these processors are fast and will also provide excellent battery performance.

Also Read: How to Open Exe Files on Mac?

What Generation Intel Processor Do Mac Supports?

Apple is slowly shifting towards the Apple silicon chips; still, there are few Intel-based Macs are there.

The left Intel-based Mac devices have the Intel 7th- and 8th-generation Intel processors.

For instance, some Mac Mini devices have the 8th generation intel processor, while some Mac pro devices come with Intel Xeon CPUs.

How To Know If Macs have Intel Processors?

It is straightforward to check whether your Mac device has an Intel processor or an Apple silicon processor. To check that, just follow the steps mentioned below-

Choose Apple menu- Click About this Mac- If it is an Intel-based Mac, it will show an item labeled processor. If it is an Apple silicon-based Mac, then it will show an item labeled chip. 

When did Will Apple stop Supporting Intel Macs?

Apple already started the transition from Intel Macs to Apple silicon from the end of the 2020s. Initially, they stated that the transition to Apple silicon would take around two years until the end of 2022.

But, it doesn’t mean you cannot run the Intel bad Macs anymore. Usually, Apple provides service and parts for Macs for up to 5 years.

This means even if you bought a new Intel-based Mac today, it would likely still receives the OS updates till 2027. So, there is no need to worry about these things.

Final Thoughts

Based on all the facts and examples, it has to be said that there are few Intel Macs available on the market; apart from that, all other Mac devices come with the support of an Apple silicon processor.

I hope this article is helpful for you & clears all of your doubts regarding this topic. Follow this blog regularly if you want to know more about Intel Processors, Mac devices, PC components, and other tech-related things.


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