Leopard driver install may hint at future MacBook plans

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Few if any details have surfaced on Apple's plans for its next update to the 13-inch MacBook family, though the company may have inadvertently dropped a hint of its own as part of Leopard's standard install package.



Users installing Mac OS X Leopard this past weekend observed that the software included a full set of drivers for Intel's GMA X3100 integrated graphics chipset, which is only supported by notebook-based logic-board designs conforming to the chipmaker's relatively new Santa Rosa platform.



While Apple adopted the Santa Rosa platform as part of its most recent MacBook Pro refresh, those machines forgo Intel's integrated graphics chips for more powerful and dedicated offerings from Nvidia. Instead, the Mac maker has thus far reserved use of Intel's integrated graphics chipsets for its consumer-oriented MacBook family due to their lower cost (and weaker performance).



According to Intel, the GMA X3100 aims to boost 3D performance on systems where dedicated graphics would be too costly or space-consuming. In comparison to the GMA 950 graphics used in today's MacBooks (and Mac minis), the new chipset employs more advanced pixel and vertex shaders, hardware transform and lighting acceleration, and better video decoding.







Historically, Apple has not included drivers for unsupported or unreleased hardware with its standard operating system distributions, leading to speculation that MacBooks will see a near term upgrade to the Santa Rosa architecture.



Meanwhile, several Windows-based notebook makers have been using the GMA X3100 in their own offerings since the chipset was first introduced along with Santa Rosa back in May.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    Perhaps it's for AppleTV2 compatibility?
  • Reply 2 of 42
    Anybody know how powerful this card is? It would be great if anybody could find any chart comparisons with other options...I couldn't find any. Anything is probably an upgrade from the 950 at least...
  • Reply 3 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,426member
    I hope this is so, a new Second Life etc. capable MacBook out soon will be ideal timing for Xmas shopping market and boost AAPL further still.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Perhaps it's for AppleTV2 compatibility?



    That would be nice considering the AppleTV uses Pentium-M technology. If they use Santa Rosa that would be a huge leap.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    Speaking of leopard and macbooks, has anyone had an install problem where it says "you need to change your install settings....." then it asks you to reformat?

    one of the guys in my wing is having this problem and asked me for help, but I really don't know why...

    His Macbook is formatted correctly already...
  • Reply 6 of 42
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThinkExpensive View Post


    Anybody know how powerful this card is? It would be great if anybody could find any chart comparisons with other options...I couldn't find any. Anything is probably an upgrade from the 950 at least...



    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-G...00.2176.0.html



    Quote:

    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100 is an integrated (onboard) graphic chip on a Mobile Intel 965GM chipset (for Merom = Core 2 architecture). It is the successor of GMA 950. Most interesting is the integration of a fully programmable pipeline. Due to the integration of DirectX9 features, HDR and Hardware Transform & Lighning (T&L) - predecessor only had Software T&L - should be ready for Windows Vista Premium (support Aero Glass fully). Respective the data, the peformance should be clearly better than GMA 950.



  • Reply 7 of 42
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    SuperDrive on the base model

    1GB single Stick RAM

    Santa Rosa CPU



    and macbook done (with leopard)
  • Reply 8 of 42
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    double post
  • Reply 9 of 42
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post


    SuperDrive on the base model

    1GB single Stick RAM

    Santa Rosa CPU



    and macbook done (with leopard)



    Don't forget the 0.1mm thiner design with OLED displays and anodized aluminum in the colors of the iPod Nanos. Maybe FW800 for Time Machine usage and DVI-D.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Don't forget the 0.1mm thiner design with OLED displays and anodized aluminum in the colors of the iPod Nanos. Maybe FW800 for Time Machine usage and DVI-D.



    new design without any event? i do not think so



    if the update is tomorrow tuesday with out any event, it just a spec update (no design updates)
  • Reply 11 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post


    new design without any event? i do not think so



    if the update is tomorrow tuesday with out any event, it just a spec update (no design updates)



    The MacBook did not get a special event, it just appeared, so there is no need to give a new case design a special event. This leaves MacWorld wide open for new hardware announcements!
  • Reply 12 of 42
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by troberts View Post


    The MacBook did not get a special event, it just appeared, so there is no need to give a new case design a special event. This leaves MacWorld wide open for new hardware announcements!



    OK, awesome products for this holiday!.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    Finally! -A goddamned refresh for the MacBooks (and possibly minis) that will give the damn thing Hardware T&L & dx10. (-like apple could avoid it anyway)

    If it isn't crazy now, once ppl find that the MBs can finally do at least -some- graphics without completely Blowing, the demand for them should Ex-Plode.

    If they don't kill the Mini, demand for it too will Ex-Plode if they get the x3100 in there.

    -Finally!
  • Reply 14 of 42
    could it just be for an upcoming ultra portable macbook pro rather than new macbooks?
  • Reply 15 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Don't forget the 0.1mm thiner design with OLED displays and anodized aluminum in the colors of the iPod Nanos. Maybe FW800 for Time Machine usage and DVI-D.



    Based on nothing but my own uneducated hunch, I think the new Macbooks will be the same colours as the iPod classics (silver and black). If they release a Macbook Mini/Nano I think that will have the same colours as the iPod Nanos. Product consistency ahoy!
  • Reply 16 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    That would be nice considering the AppleTV uses Pentium-M technology. If they use Santa Rosa that would be a huge leap.



    Moving the AppleTV to the latest CPU with integrated graphics (instead of an old CPU with dedicated graphics card) would cost more, wouldn't it?



    Though I see everyone says this is for the MacBook... when the MacMini is equally likely.
  • Reply 17 of 42
    kreshkresh Posts: 379member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    Users installing Mac OS X Leopard this past weekend observed that the software included a full set of drivers for Intel's GMA X3100 integrated graphics chipset, which is only supported by notebook-based logic-board designs conforming to the chipmaker's relatively new Santa Rosa platform.




    GMA X3100 is not a notebook only chipset. There are tons of desktop-tower motherboards out there with the GMA X3100 video chip.



    Just google "gma x3100 motherboard" and you'll even find Intel's own motherboards: http://tinyurl.com/2cyb2d
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jtaylr77 View Post


    could it just be for an upcoming ultra portable macbook pro rather than new macbooks?



    I don't think a notebook with integrated graphics should fall under the "Pro" line.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    OLED? Give me a break.

    Ultra-portable? Give me a break.

    You think they're going to make macbooks have all the colors of a nano? No way. Thats dell's job. If you want a computer that matches your bedspread, buy a dell. If you want your computer to weigh 3lbs and be really small, get a thinkpad.



    If you're a pro, the macbook or the mbp arent too big, and the ultra-portable would be underpowered. If you're a college student, you don't have the money for an ultra-portable. MacBooks fit on tray tables and in backpacks.



    And the idea of the ultra-portables having multiple colors is hilarious. Who would buys ultra-portables: business men. Who buys pastel-colored electronic devices? Little girls. Business men and little girls are by definition dissimilar. Have fun selling that colorful, overpriced OSx thinkpad. The rest of the market bought a macbook last fall and gave the pink nano to their girlfriends.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    Well this would at least make the MB's usable for almost a year instead of being out dated before you opened the box.

    It is a pretty nice update, but it's still not going to have game. As far as running the OS, movie editing, photos, and core image though it will make things silky smooth.
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