Apple may drop NVIDIA chips in Macs following contract fight

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  • Reply 61 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I could see where this would be a problem if the port was shared with anything else but the Intel chip would be supplying the PCI Express lanes. So the integration would be different.



    Besides if Apple or Nvidia wanted to we are to the point where it would be possible to integrate video RAM right on the GPU die. Especially if a 9400M class GPU didn't have a bunch of others support logic on board.



    I don't claim that this would be a high performance system but the potential is there for a very lowcost PC board with minimal component costs. Besides if this wouldn't work then why would Nvidia generate all the commotion about the need for a DMI license.





    Dave



    Well any IGP using the DMI link would by definition be sharing bandwidth since any IGP for mainstream Nehalem would have to be integrated on the southbridge. DMI has the bandwidth of PCIe 1.0 x4 and the IGP would be fighting for bandwidth against the SATA hard drives, optical drives, Firewire, USB, gigabit ethernet, etc.



    The alternative of putting a separate IGP on the PCIe links or giving it a small amount of dedicated VRAM may work well for desktop solutions but not for what Apple is targeting in notebooks. Specifically, Apple's major support for IGPs in notebooks is the reduction in PCB space by not having to accommodate a separate GPU chip and VRAM. If an IGP is attached to the PCIe links and has a bit of dedicated VRAM basically acting as a crippled discrete GPU then you might as well just put in a true low-end GPU since the board space wouldn't be much more and the performance would be a lot better.



    In terms of Intel's IGP in Arrandale, there is some hope that at least it won't be a downgrade from the 9400M. The GMA X4500MHD is about half the speed of the 9400M. Intel never took full advantage of the die shrink from 90nm in the X3100 to 65nm in the X4500 since they could have double the shader count but only increased it from 8 to 10. Arrandale's IGP will be further shrunk from 65nm to 45nm, so Intel could easily put in 16 shaders or more and coupled with higher clock speeds to at least match the 9400M. I doubt Apple would go back to Intel IGPs unless they would be competitive with existing solutions. Although Apple did go from the Mobility Radeon 9550 in the last iBook to the GMA950 so it isn't unheard of.
  • Reply 62 of 93
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ulfoaf View Post


    I think Intel and Microsoft kept us stuck on 32 bit systems for far too many years. Intel is even more of a monopoly since macs use their products.



    going 64 bit is useless unless you have 4GB of RAM or more and that hasn't been affordable until very recently. even when AMD's first to market consumer 64 bit chips first came out no one ran in 64 bit mode due to lack of OS and lack of memory. Intel didn't bother to integrate AMD's 64 bit instructions until at least a year or two later
  • Reply 63 of 93
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The 15” MBP only has the Nvidia 9400M IGP on the low end, for the first time. The 15” MBP finally appeals to me because I don’t have to waste money on a GPU I won’t utilize. I’d say the quality display and other components are more important to call it a professional machine, as even those reading text all day can benefit from not having the TN display that the previous 13” unibody notebook had.



    Ever since the keynote, i have been waiting for someone to mention that. It was on the slide but has not been commented on by anyone in the media. Using the old-style definition of Macbook versus Macbook Pro thereis now, for the first time, a 15" Macbook !
  • Reply 64 of 93
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post




    [...]



    Just remove the optical drive and the 13? MBPs will room for a discrete GPU? and then some.




    YES. Considering how much effort they put into squeezing battery and logic board in there, it's amazing to see a Macbook opened up and that giant football field sized space where the optical drive is. Most of that is empty space for a disk to spin in !



    Copyright protection is the issue, but some way of loading a DVD to hard drive in a protected way, or using the new SD reader would be much better. Discrete graphics, bigger battery, etc...
  • Reply 65 of 93
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post


    Yeah, most of Charlie's anti-nVidia rants turn out to be completely untrue

    - time will tell if this is another one



    - it would seem a strange time to dump nVidia as they've just launched some interesting new 40nm parts

    - but nVidia may still be screwed if they can't work there way round the lack of chipset license.



    The later is where Charlie and reality might actually come together. When Intel's mobile platform goes quickpath, they have to choose between Intel CPUs and Nvidia chipsets.



    Though, the one thing I wouldn't discount is Apple pulling a solution from completely out in left field.
  • Reply 66 of 93
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    While not having a DVD drive is a great space saver, the question in today's technology industry is "Is it practical?"



    I love my MacBook Air. I love the thinness and efficiency of the design. But what happens if your hard drive gets corrupted? You need to remote-install Mac OS X from another computer. But you must have a wifi network (not ad-hoc). Does everyone have a wifi network, and a second computer with a DVD-ROM?



    Perhaps for users of a MacBook Air as a second computer. But a full time, desktop-style notebook, requires the drive as its users may need to install their OS.



    What I'd like to see, to enable a non-optical notebook, is for Apple to move Snow Leopard upgrade/install disks to flash drives. Will they do it? I don't know. But I hope so.
  • Reply 67 of 93
    Apple bought a GPU maker last year, they are being used in the iPhone 3GS. I think we may start seeing Apple's own GPU in their systems.
  • Reply 68 of 93
    ddubres79ddubres79 Posts: 101member
    Why anyone would rather have the 9400 which eats system ram (So I guess Apple should say the MBP comes with 3.5GB of ram) just to gain what 5% battery life? Maybe if they could provide a 200% improvement then I might consider it otherwise I'd rather have all my system ram.



    Well, now that I think about it now that Apple took away yet another feature (replaceable battery) maybe that is why everyone would rather have less for more.
  • Reply 69 of 93
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hailstorm View Post


    Well lets hope this doesn't mean a return to Intel's horrible integrated graphics.



    Larrabee



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    Apple bought a GPU maker last year, they are being used in the iPhone 3GS. I think we may start seeing Apple's own GPU in their systems.



    Probably not as they are focused on low power GPU cores for portable devices.
  • Reply 70 of 93
    hattighattig Posts: 858member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post


    Larrabee



    Probably not as they are focused on low power GPU cores for portable devices.



    Let's wait for it to be released - it's already back to 2010 because of driver writing issues.



    I wouldn't touch a first generation Larrabee with a bargepole, given Intel's record with drivers. And that's before the suggestions that it will be mid-range in performance but high-end in terms of power consumption, die size and thus price.
  • Reply 71 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by winterspan View Post


    Similarly, future Nehalem Macbook Pros will no doubt have low-power ATI discrete GPUs, like the 40nm mobile versions of their highly successful 4800 series. In all likelihood the Macbook Pro will use the 32nm dual-core "Arrandale" Nehalem-based chips that have an integrated graphics die on the CPU package. It will be cool if Apple figures out how to use the switchable graphics technology between manufacturers, so that you can run the integrated Intel chipset included on the CPU when you don't need the power of the higher performing discrete card.



    I think the MBPs, especially the 17in, will go with Clarksfield instead of Arrandale. Switchable graphics is already supported by Intel, but Apple still needs to write support into Snow Leopard.
  • Reply 72 of 93
    lukeskymaclukeskymac Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ksec View Post


    Actually, i have always wonder of the Possibly of Triple As. ( Apple, ATI , AMD, ) or Even Quad As ( with ARM ). Apple could buy 50% of AMD fairly cheap half a year ago. But i guess the time has come and gone.



    Me too! AMD and ATI CPUs and GPUs are as good as Intel's and Nvidia's but are way cheaper, aren't they? They also don't come with as many factory problems as Nvidia's...
  • Reply 73 of 93
    Here's just a random thought. What if the Apple bailing on NVIDIA rumors mean that Apple is building their own GPUs? Yes, it is a stretch but let's have a look at a bunch of convenient truths:

    New Hires. Apple has been hiring AMD/ATI CTO-level execs over the past year. Bob Drebin and Raja Koduri are the most notable.

    Bob Drebin was the chief technology officer of the Graphics Products Group within AMD. In this role, he oversaw the technical strategy and direction for AMD's graphics related businesses.

    Mr. Drebin joined AMD with the ATI acquisition in 2006. At ATI, Mr. Drebin led the architecture and design of many of ATI award-winning graphics processors. Before ATI, Mr. Drebin managed the architecture and design unit of ArtX, where he was instrumental in development of the graphics component for the Nintendo Game Cube. Prior to joining ArtX, Mr. Drebin was a chief engineer in Silicon Graphics' Advanced Graphics Division, where he spent nine years developing high performance graphics systems.

    Their new boss? Mark Papermaster, a guy with chip knowledge so important to IBM that they sued Apple to prevent him from joining.
  • Reply 74 of 93
    lukeskymaclukeskymac Posts: 506member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post


    Apple bought a GPU maker last year, they are being used in the iPhone 3GS. I think we may start seeing Apple's own GPU in their systems.



    1-PA Semi was not a GPU maker when Apple bought it.

    2-iPhone 3GS doesn't use anything related to PA Semi
  • Reply 75 of 93
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post


    1-PA Semi was not a GPU maker when Apple bought it.

    2-iPhone 3GS doesn't use anything related to PA Semi



    There is no evidence of any IP from PA Semi at this point.
  • Reply 76 of 93
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Just remove the optical drive and the 13” MBPs will room for a discrete GPU… and then some.



    Heck, you can add two Express Card slots for extra drive space and still have more room. EC34 can be the new style multibay.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by John the Geek View Post


    The trouble with this is that, because of it's CUDA experience, NVIDIA is best positioned to adopt OpenCL the fastest. OpenCL currently runs best on NVIDIA dedicated graphics 8800 GT and better. ATI cards are not so OpenCL compatible. Maybe it's just drivers, but that's the state of the union right now.



    If Apple wants Snow Leopard to be a success, then need at least a few Macs shipping that support it. And those macs are largely NVIDIA-based right now.



    I thought ATI was doing better, but that was with Core Image & Core Video. OCL is probably enough of a different beast.



    It seems to me that the any possible spat can be worked out.
  • Reply 77 of 93
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I can see Apple working on lower end GPU product (which is really the mainstream market that generates $$$$ not the high end stuff)



    Drebin and Koduri have a lot of experience in graphics (very evident) and Dobberpuhl's team has most likely worked on GPU as well since they've done SoC designs.



    Apple's continued interest in Imagination should be watched as well.
  • Reply 78 of 93
    ghstmarsghstmars Posts: 140member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post


    1-PA Semi was not a GPU maker when Apple bought it.

    2-iPhone 3GS doesn't use anything related to PA Semi



    He might be talking about Imagination Technologies.

    Still did not buy them outright just heavily invested in them like around 10%

    Intel owns like 16 % of Imagination as well and they are the makers of the gfx chip

    inside the iphone.
  • Reply 79 of 93
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ghstmars View Post


    He might be talking about Imagination Technologies.

    Still did not buy them outright just heavily invested in them like around 10%

    Intel owns like 16 % of Imagination as well and they are the makers of the gfx chip

    inside the iphone.



    Yeah, I was thinking Imagination, didn't know the vestige they have, but I do know they are hiring all sorts of chipmaker type people like Papermaker, and a couple guys from AMD. I saw that writing on the wall some time ago.
  • Reply 80 of 93
    bigdaddypbigdaddyp Posts: 811member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DHKOsta View Post


    That's an interesting point - particularly because even SL could now be installed from an SD card.



    Yes Leopard and Sl can be installed from an sd card albeit very slowly. And there is no guarantee that an image on a sd card can be stored as long as a good quality pressed dvd. I can see Apple taking a risk and releasing a future os on an sd but I don't see them doing it with Sl. Imho.
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