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Apple dumping Intel chipsets for NVIDIA's in new MacBooks

post #1 of 100
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Apple will announce as part of its special media event Tuesday a new family of MacBooks that will abandoned Intel's integrated graphics chipsets for those part of NVIDIA's new mobile platform, AppleInsider can confirm.

People familiar with the matter say, at a minimum, the 13-inch systems will adopt chipsets from NVIDIA's MCP79 platform, as was predicted earlier this week by technology journalist Ryan Shrout.

Word of the switch validates claims first published by AppleInsider earlier this summer, speficially that Apple would drop Intel's stock designs for the first time since the transition to x86 processors in 2006.Â* At the time, Apple was understood to be making the switch to give Macs a more distinct and technically superior design compared to most other notebooks, whose size and performance are dictated by Intel's reference components.

Kept uncharacteristically secret by NVIDIA for most of the year, the MCP79 platform is so far considered a substitute for Intel's Centrino 2 "Montevina" platform, offeringÂ* support for the same 1066MHz front side bus, optional DDR3 memory and PCI Express 2.0 interfaces.

Several advantages may tip the balance in favor of the new platform, however.Â* From a physical design perspective, one of the most important factors is NVIDIA's consolidation of all the controller features into a single chip rather than the two necessary for Intel's current architecture.Â* This reduces the total footprint needed for the mainboard in normally tight notebook enclosures.

It will also sport proprietary NVIDIA features such as DriveCache, which uses flash storage to speed up loading times, and Hybrid SLI, which switches from discrete to integrated graphics to increase battery life in low-demand situations.Â* It's not known whether Apple will make use of any or all of these technologies, however.Â*

The greatest leap, though, will come from NVIDIA's expertise in graphics.

MCP79 is believed to use a new set of GeForce 9300 and 9400 series integrated mainboard graphics processors.Â* Regardless of which variant Apple uses, both are expected to support the latest visual effects and will theoretically blow past the performance of not just the Intel GMA X3100 video on Apple's current MacBooks but also the GMA 4500MHD found on newer notebooks using Intel's reference hardware.

While the performance may not compete with most dedicated mobile graphics hardware, the update potentially addresses a common complaint of sluggish video performance with Apple's 13-inch systems.Â* These entry-level portables are often excluded from the requirements for certain demanding games and are even ruled out entirely from Apple's own Final Cut Studio 2 suite, which depends on faster video acceleration to drive visually intensive apps such as Color and Motion.

Moving to NVIDIA's higher quality integrated graphics would also line up withÂ*Apple's plans for Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the next-generation operating system aimed for release next summer. NVIDIA has already touted support for Apple's proposed OpenCL parallel computing standard, a feature of Snow Leopard, in its recent integrated graphics chipsets.

The use of NVIDIA's higher performance integrated video chipset would give Apple's new line of entry level MacBooks both improved general hardware acceleration via OpenCL, as well as making the systems more viable as basic gaming machines.Â*ExistingÂ*MacBooks can't even run the EA games Steve Jobs promoted at Macworld a year ago.

AppleInsider is working to confirm whether or not Apple's radical change in its portables' underpinnings will extend past the standard 13-inch models.Â* However, it's believed Shrout may have valid insight into the directions for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro as well.Â* His claim would give the ultraportable model a low-voltage version of MCP79 that detunes the graphics performance and otherwise takes steps to reduce power consumption.

The MacBook Pro may actually see a relatively modest gain compared to the smaller systems; as it already uses much faster dedicated graphics and is rumored to receive the GeForce 9600M graphics chip.

Apple is expected to make the full extent of NVIDIA's role clear at its notebook event next week.

Separately, Digg founder Kevin Rose is claiming in a yet-to-be-shown live Diggnation episode that the new 13-inch MacBooks will include Blu-ray at some level. Rose previously claimed that Blu-ray support was coming via Mac OS X 10.5.6. Apple is a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association but has yet to officially support the optical drive format.

Again, additional expectations for the new notebooks can be found in a series of reports spanning back to April, when AppleInsider first reported on Apple's plans to makeover its MacBook and MacBook Pro families with new aluminum enclosures that take other designs cues from the MacBook Air and the most recent black & aluminum iMacs.

MacBook, MacBook Pro to get new aluminum designs (April)

Next-gen MacBook Pro casing design revealed, new battery cover (July)

New notebooks will include something other than Intel's Montevina chipset (July)

New MacBooks to follow iPods by several weeks; iMac bumps by mid-November (August)

New MacBooks tracking for mid-October timeframe (September)

First test batches of new MacBooks ship out of China (September)

Next-gen MacBook, MacBook Pro spotted in matching outfits (September)

New photo may reveal more of Apple's next-gen MacBook Pro (October)

Sources: latest MacBook Pro photo is the real deal (October)
post #2 of 100
Fantastic news !!!!
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post #3 of 100
post #4 of 100
They still use Intel processors though right?
post #5 of 100
Here's hoping this chipset doesn't end up with the same issues as NVIDIA has in the MacBook Pro models.
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post #6 of 100
Sorry, I guess Im new to this. If they are moving to a NVIDIA chipset, is the chipset the processor? I didnt know NVIDIA made processors.
post #7 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtomac08 View Post

Sorry, I guess Im new to this. If they are moving to a NVIDIA chipset, is the chipset the processor? I didnt know NVIDIA made processors.

Up until this point MacBooks have used an integrated Intel graphics chipset. The move this article is talking about represents graphics chipsets only... not the processor.
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post #8 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elixir View Post

They still use Intel processors though right?

Does it say otherwise anywhere?

In other words, yes.
post #9 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtomac08 View Post

is the chipset the processor?

No, that's why it's called a "chipset" not a processor. Look at that word: "chipset". It's what it says on the tin: a set of chips.

The motherboard chipset is the set of chips required in addition to the main processor in order to make the computer work. The main components of a modern computer motherboard are:
  • Processor
  • Northbridge
  • Southbridge
  • Graphics processor
  • Wireless networking

Most people know what the processor is so I won't go into that. The northbridge connects to the processor, RAM, and the southbridge, and to a dedicated graphics processor if there is one. If a system has "integrated graphics", the graphics processor core is integrated into the northbride chip. The southbridge chip connects to peripherals such as USB, firewire and audio ports. Wireless networking is pretty self-explanatory too.

Now, nVidia have produced a "chipset" where the northbridge and southbridge are actually one, and so if you go with integrated graphics all you need is a processor and wireless networking and you're good to go.

The processor is still going to be an Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn of some form or other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfRat View Post

The move this article is talking about represents graphics chipsets only.

No it doesn't. It's talking about the whole motherboard chipset, including integrated graphics if relevant. You're right it's got nothing to do with the processor.
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post #10 of 100
Sounds good! I wonder if Apple will get a cost break on logic boards by switching to nVidia. Apple warned back in July about tighter margins due to a product transition and this is probably what Oppy was talking about. Using one controller chip instead of two might reduce heat and increase battery life.

Here's more about the hybrid SLI thing:

Nvidia Releases "Hybrid" Graphics Technology for Desktops & Laptops

post #11 of 100
pretty pictar of a standard motherboard chipset:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipset

Notice the CPU at the top (which will continue to be supplied by Intel).

NVIDIA's chipset differs from this diagram because, as Mr. H noted, the north and south bridge have been combined, reducing the chipset's overall size. There are other differences too, of course, but that's the major one.
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post #12 of 100
Wow, is it really almost Tuesday?


I'm certainly excited.
post #13 of 100
I wonder if the Pro, since it has a discrete GPU, will still use an Intel chipset (PM45)? I bet it will. Also:

Quote:
It will also sport proprietary NVIDIA features such as DriveCache, which uses flash storage to speed up loading times, and Hybrid SLI, which switches from discrete to integrated graphics to increase battery life in low-demand situations.* It's not known whether Apple will make use of any or all of these technologies, however.*

I doubt Apple is going to use any of those things. The Drivecache/Turbo Memory/Readyboost/Hybrid Hard Drive were a gimmick that no one uses, and Hybrid SLI requires a discrete GPU in addition to the IGP anyway.
post #14 of 100
If they do move to NVIDIA I will be waiting until the next revision or until I'm thoroughly convinced that there are no major technical issues before buying a new Mac. This isn't going to really upset my nephew. \
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post #15 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

No, that's why it's called a "chipset" not a processor. Look at that word: "chipset". It's what it says on the tin: a set of chips.

The motherboard chipset is the set of chips required in addition to the main processor in order to make the computer work. The main components of a modern computer motherboard are:
  • Processor
  • Northbridge
  • Southbridge
  • Graphics processor
  • networking

Most people know what the processor is so I won't go into that. The northbridge connects to the processor, RAM, and the southbridge, and to a dedicated graphics processor if there is one. If a system has "integrated graphics", the graphics processor core is integrated into the northbride chip. The southbridge chip connects to peripherals such as USB, firewire and audio ports. Wireless networking is pretty self-explanatory too.

Now, nVidia have produced a "chipset" where the northbridge and southbridge are actually one, and so if you go with integrated graphics all you need is a processor and wireless networking and you're good to go.

The processor is still going to be an Intel Core 2 Duo Penryn of some form or other.



No it doesn't. It's talking about the whole motherboard chipset, including integrated graphics if relevant. You're right it's got nothing to do with the processor.

I fixed it for you. It's a basic Networking structure, not a specific wired or wireless structure. Those are add-ons targeting a desktop or laptop platform, specifically.
post #16 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I fixed it for you. It's a basic Networking structure, not a specific wired or wireless structure. Those are add-ons targeting a desktop or laptop platform, specifically.

The reason I tacked on wireless networking there is because it's part of Intel's Centrino chipset (that Apple doesn't use because it gets wireless chips elsewhere).
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post #17 of 100
Go read NotebookCheck.com review about the new possible GPU in the MB and MBP and you will learn something.
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post #18 of 100
Those nVidia chips mentioned will still not allow MacBook owners to play recent and demanding games. Even the 8600GT in the MBP cannot play the new stuff without toning down the resolution and details.

I hope that the nVidia chips actually consume about the same amount of energy because if they are noticeably hotter and more power hungry, this is bad news, unless Apple gives the MacBook a larger battery.
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post #19 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook View Post

Even the 8600GT in the MBP cannot play the new stuff without toning down the resolution and details.

I'm not a gamer, but why would you need more power than that? Why wouldn't you just get a desktop? If there are more powerful gpu's out there, there is probably a good reason Apple doesn't include one: too much heat would require a larger heatsink and Apple doesn't want to make a thicker laptop, it is not compatible with the current hardware on the MBP, it is too hard/not possible to write drivers for it, etc. At any rate, you can be certain it will not be finding its way into a MacBook!
post #20 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook View Post

I hope that the nVidia chips actually consume about the same amount of energy because if they are noticeably hotter and more power hungry, this is bad news, unless Apple gives the MacBook a larger battery.

If they are hotter then they would need larger heat sinks, fans venting, etc. to dissipate heat, which may mean a thicker case to allow for proper air flow, if a more clever option isn't used.

It's for this reason that I think the NVIDIA option is still very unlikely over Montevina.
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post #21 of 100
Despite the recent problems, NVIDIA is still the king of graphics. NVIDIA have compensated OEM's like apple for the recent issues despite not actually being required to.

Why does a regular user care about this change to NVIDIA? Well, if it means it's going to be cheaper(as rumors have suggested) and faster (because Intel graphics suck) ... then it has to be a good thing in my opinion

NVIDIA hopefully have gotten it right, and we should be able to look forward to cooler, faster and cheaper notebooks.

On the higher end, the developments from NVIDIA and APPLE with CUDA and TESLA have showed 10 - 20x performance gains for certain tasks, and hopefully will allow more advanced (and visually pleasing) functionality, without breaking a sweat ....

Two thumbs up to APPLE and NVIDIA as far as I am concerned, can't wait to get my hands on one of these new models.
post #22 of 100
I can see that happening, just a short thing before Apple make their own Chips.
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post #23 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by AHeneen View Post

I'm not a gamer, but why would you need more power than that? Why wouldn't you just get a desktop? If there are more powerful gpu's out there, there is probably a good reason Apple doesn't include one: too much heat would require a larger heatsink and Apple doesn't want to make a thicker laptop, it is not compatible with the current hardware on the MBP, it is too hard/not possible to write drivers for it, etc. At any rate, you can be certain it will not be finding its way into a MacBook!

That is precisely my point. Those nVidia chips aren't exactly powerhouses, so IF they use 10% or more juice and run noticeably hotter, then they are a bad choice for the MacBook, which should use the most efficient chips available, not the most powerful.
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post #24 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If they are hotter then they would need larger heat sinks, fans venting, etc. to dissipate heat, which may mean a thicker case to allow for proper air flow, if a more clever option isn't used.

It's for this reason that I think the NVIDIA option is still very unlikely over Montevina.

I don't think that the nVidia integrated chips run too much hotter than the 4500HD. If the temps are close, then I see no reason why a new aluminum MacBook cannot effectively use the nVidia stuff.

Apple could also include a 2nd fan in the MacBook.
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post #25 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook View Post

Those nVidia chips mentioned will still not allow MacBook owners to play recent and demanding games. Even the 8600GT in the MBP cannot play the new stuff without toning down the resolution and details.

A friend of mine uses the 8800GT and can run Crysis on high.. So a 8600GT must not be too far behind.

And most games are not that demanding.


But yeah...
post #26 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishyesque View Post

A friend of mine uses the 8800GT and can run Crysis on high.. So a 8600GT must not be too far behind.

And most games are not that demanding.


But yeah...

Yeah it is.

The 8800GT gets about twice as many FPS as an 8600GTS for example.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140&p=8
post #27 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebook View Post

I don't think that the nVidia integrated chips run too much hotter than the 4500HD. If the temps are close, then I see no reason why a new aluminum MacBook cannot effectively use the nVidia stuff.

Apple could also include a 2nd fan in the MacBook.

Anccording to AnandTech, X4500HD have a lower TDP, H.264 decode acceleration, 25% more shade processors and a faster clock speed, over X3100.

I'm not discounting the possibility that NVIDIA has a better option, I just saying that I haven't seen any proof that would make the switch a viable option. You know I love verifiable stats so please post them if you have them. For example, with the PPC to Intel switch we knew PPC wasn't increasing fast enough to be viable in the PC market and that Intel's roadmap was very sound.

And a 2nd fan means more space and more power to run a fan that is trying to cool a chip that is already using more power than other options that means a larger battery or less overal battery usage. None of that sound like a reason for me to switch.
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post #28 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post

Yeah it is.

The 8800GT gets about twice as many FPS as an 8600GTS for example.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140&p=8

Ohhhhh right right right. When building my friends computer we got him a 8800 not a 8600, but I thought it was the other way around and had to double check.

*is still excited for Tuesday*
post #29 of 100
So if Apple starts using NVIDA chipsets does that mean that they can single handedly prevent AMD from going under and Intel having near monopolistic control of the industry.
post #30 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by AHeneen View Post

I'm not a gamer, but why would you need more power than that? Why wouldn't you just get a desktop? If there are more powerful gpu's out there, there is probably a good reason Apple doesn't include one: too much heat would require a larger heatsink and Apple doesn't want to make a thicker laptop, it is not compatible with the current hardware on the MBP, it is too hard/not possible to write drivers for it, etc. At any rate, you can be certain it will not be finding its way into a MacBook!

Perhaps because most people don't want to buy a laptop AND a desktop. Also, we are talking about the Macbook PRO, as in PROFESSIONAL APPLICATIONS. Graphics acceleration is beneficial to MUCH more than just gaming, particularly with professional media applications that use OpenGL/CoreImage for transforms and rendering...

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post

Here's hoping this chipset doesn't end up with the same issues as NVIDIA has in the MacBook Pro models.

I've already commented on this, but I wouldn't be afraid of problems with Nvidia's chipsets. They had a manufacturing issue with solder that would fail at high heat levels and have since switched to a different material without the problems. The units that are having problems are months to years old. Especially given their $250 million write-down for repairs, I'm sure they've made sure everything is working correctly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

I wonder if the Pro, since it has a discrete GPU, will still use an Intel chipset (PM45)? I bet it will. Also:
I doubt Apple is going to use any of those things. The Drivecache/Turbo Memory/Readyboost/Hybrid Hard Drive were a gimmick that no one uses, and Hybrid SLI requires a discrete GPU in addition to the IGP anyway.

Hopefully not. The nVidia chipset will be great, especially if Apple enables "Hybrid power". This will allow the Macbook Pro to shut off the discrete GPU and use the low-power integrated graphics on the motherboard when not under heavy load, thus saving a lot of power!
post #31 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by BB Sting View Post

So if Apple starts using NVIDA chipsets does that mean that they can single handedly prevent AMD from going under and Intel having near monopolistic control of the industry.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but AMD is in the CPU business, not the graphics accelerator cards or other higgledy-piggledy (sorry if I'm getting too technical ) business.

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post #32 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I'm not discounting the possibility that NVIDIA has a better option, I just saying that I haven't seen any proof that would make the switch a viable option. You know I love verifiable stats so please post them if you have them. For example, with the PPC to Intel switch we knew PPC wasn't increasing fast enough to be viable in the PC market and that Intel's roadmap was very sound.
And a 2nd fan means more space and more power to run a fan that is trying to cool a chip that is already using more power than other options that means a larger battery or less overal battery usage. None of that sound like a reason for me to switch.

The "proof of viability" should be the vastly superior graphics performance and video decoding. Nvidia and AMD's implementations of OpenGL/DirectX10/H264 and VC1 video decoding are much superior to Intel's GMA, even the latest version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

If they are hotter then they would need larger heat sinks, fans venting, etc. to dissipate heat, which may mean a thicker case to allow for proper air flow, if a more clever option isn't used. It's for this reason that I think the NVIDIA option is still very unlikely over Montevina.

Intel's GMA has never been known to be incredibly efficient, and it really depends on what process technology Nvidia is making the chipsets on. Also, remember their chipset is a SINGLE chip solution with a combined northbridge/southbridge which should result in a lower TDP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

I can see that happening, just a short thing before Apple make their own Chips.

Highly unlikely. Developing modern, efficient and capable graphics chipsets is obviously not a simple task as shown by the continual struggle of Intel.
post #33 of 100
I smell MXM on the horizon. Cross your fingers.

C
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post #34 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

They had a manufacturing issue with solder that would fail at high heat levels and have since switched to a different material without the problems. The units that are having problems are months to years old. Especially given their $250 million write-down for repairs, I'm sure they've made sure everything is working correctly.

I'm still a bit weary and will be holding off my purchase for a new Mac until I'm certain this is no longer an issue... assuming they do move to NVIDiA for their chipsets, which I still think is is unlikely.

Quote:
Hopefully not. The nVidia chipset will be great, especially if Apple enables "Hybrid power". This will allow the Macbook Pro to shut off the discrete GPU and use the low-power integrated graphics on the motherboard when not under heavy load, thus saving a lot of power!

Isn't this was OpenCL was going to address in SL?
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post #35 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

Intel's GMA has never been known to be incredibly efficient, and it really depends on what process technology Nvidia is making the chipsets on. Also, remember their chipset is a SINGLE chip solution with a combined northbridge/southbridge which should result in a lower TDP.

Then that is excellent news! AnandTech has X4500HD as using a 12.5TDP. If they can lower that plus shrink the rest of the chip size needed than i can see why Apple would consider that route.
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post #36 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Correct me if I'm wrong, but AMD is in the CPU business, not the graphics accelerator cards or other higgledy-piggledy (sorry if I'm getting too technical ) business.

AMD owns ATI, so they are definitely in the graphics accelerator business.
post #37 of 100
The Geforce 9100M is the currently known integrated/motherboard graphics chipset for nVidia laptop motherboards. According to the information known, the macbook 'MCP79' board will have a new integrated graphics chipset based on some version of their discrete Geforce 9300M/9400M cards, but it will depend on the specific motherboard model that Apple uses. If I were to guess, I'd bet the performance will be a bit better than the existing "9300M G" (which would be nearly 2X as fast as the latest Intel GMA). Hopefully the Macbook Pro also uses an nVidia board and Apple implements their "Hybrid Power" technology. It will allow the Macbook Pro to turn off it's discrete GPU when not in heavy use and use the integrated chipset instead to save power.

I put together this graphic just to server as a rough performance comparison between nVidia's latest mobile GPU generation.

notes:
- On the graph I included the 8600GT which is the current Macbook Pro card to show as comparison. I believe the current Macbook uses the GMA X3100.
- SP stands for "Stream Processors" (shaders) which are the SIMD processing units that make up a nVidia's modern GPUs.
- Nvidia GPUs have three separate clock frequencies -- one each for the main clock, shader processor clock, and memory clock. On the graph, only the shader clock is listed.
- 3DMark05 and 3DMark06 are standard graphics performance benchmarks.
- I did the best I could and double-checked the data, but I can not make *ANY GUARANTEES* about the accuracy of the information on the chart.

post #38 of 100
Guys, for mobile gaming, 9300 on a 13", and a 9600 on a 15", is pretty darn good already.

The 9600 of course cannot compete with desktop 8800s but a 9600 with 512MB VRAM is pretty darn good. Medium settings for the latest games, yes, but it can move decent frame rates with 4xAA.

If you can run C&C3 on medium settings, that is, close to the ATI 2400 in iMacs, on the MacBook 9300 13", that's already darn good.

Throw in OpenCL, etc. and the nVidia move makes sense.

Apple just doesn't like "Centrino" because every man and his dog makes laptops off that. Apple is tired of competing on specs with such a wide range of competitors, IMO.

Can you imagine, for the first time, GRAPHICS AND GAMING on the MACBOOK is going to be an Apple Advantage, if this is all true! This is HUGE!

Anyone that wants more than a 9600 mobile chip, well, there's always desktops with an 8800GT, 8800GT SLI, 9800, and GTX 260 or GTX 280 overclocked...
post #39 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by BB Sting View Post

So if Apple starts using NVIDA chipsets does that mean that they can single handedly prevent AMD from going under and Intel having near monopolistic control of the industry.

AMD has been somewhat f*ked for a few years now. There is increasing sell-off to Middle East oil interests.
post #40 of 100
Thanks. Is that data from NotebookCheck? There is some variance in the data, since 3DMark06, especially, is influenced strongly by RAM and CPU. Nonetheless, thanks for the info.

IMO, the most important thing to look at is the 3DMark06 score. I know it's not perfect, but in my view it is the most relevant in modern graphic card comparisons.

Let's take the 8600M GT. By mobile gaming standards, it is really not bad, and pushes 3000 3DMark06. The 9600M GT, goes up to 5000 3DMark06s. That's really pretty impressive for mobile. If you've got Hybrid mode, then that reduces power drain in MBPs a lot.

The 9300, while not great, does 1000 to 2000 3DMark06s. Which means reasonable, acceptable performance on Medium settings for Mac games, and Low-to-Medium settings for latest hardcore 3D Windows games. That really ain't that bad.

Could Apple actually be reversing its haughty stance on games? With the iPhone and iPod become game platforms in and of themselves, now portable Macs??? *shocked*

Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

The Geforce 9100M is the currently known integrated/motherboard graphics chipset for nVidia laptop motherboards. According to the information known, the macbook 'MCP79' board will have a new integrated graphics chipset based on some version of their discrete Geforce 9300M/9400M cards, but it will depend on the specific motherboard model that Apple uses. If I were to guess, I'd bet the performance will be a bit better than the existing "9300M G". Hopefully the Macbook Pro also uses an nVidia board and Apple implements their "Hybrid Power" technology. It will allow the Macbook Pro to turn off it's discrete GPU when not in heavy use and use the integrated chipset instead to save power.

I put together this graphic just to server as a rough performance comparison between nVidia's latest mobile GPU generation.

notes:
- On the graph I included the 8600GT which is the current Macbook Pro card to show as comparison. I believe the current Macbook uses the GMA X3100.
- SP stands for "Stream Processors" (shaders) which are the SIMD processing units that make up a nVidia's modern GPUs.
- Nvidia GPUs have three separate clock frequencies -- one each for the main clock, shader processor clock, and memory clock. On the graph, only the shader clock is listed.
- 3DMark05 and 3DMark06 are standard graphics performance benchmarks.
- I did the best I could and double-checked the data, but I can not make *ANY GUARANTEES* about the accuracy of the information on the chart.

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