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NVIDIA chipset anticipated in upcoming MacBooks

updated 04:10 pm EDT, Sat October 11, 2008

NVIDIA chipset in MacBooks

The speculation that Apple will be moving away from Intel chipsets and transitioning to NVIDIA components appears to have gained more solidity, according to Ryan Shrout of PC Perspective. His previous theory that Intel's Montevina technology would be "stale and unexciting" by the fall release, and subsequently not considered for the new products, has been reinforced by NVIDIA's announcement of new mobile chipsets and GPUs, which may be perfectly timed to create buzz right before Apple's October 14th notebook refresh.

The likely new platform for the notebooks is NVIDIA's MCP79MX (GeForce 9300/9400) for the MacBook and 15-inch MacBook Pro -- offering HDMI and an integrated DX10 graphics core -- while the Pro would also have a version featuring a GeForce 9600 graphics processor. The new MacBook Air is anticipated to feature a low-power consumption MCP79U chipset, trading off reduced graphics performance for longer battery life.

NVIDIA will be releasing the GeForce 9300/9400 chipsets a day after Apple's announcement, potentially indicating that they have been hushed until their major contract has had a chance to unveil the products first.

All of NVIDIA's IGP chipsets support OpenCL acceleration, which could make the line an attractive option for users that need the devices for graphics-intensive tasks, such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere. Shrout claims he is certain of a move to MC79 chipsets in all of the new MacBooks that will be announced next week.

This could be a step in mending a relationship between Apple and the chip manufacturer may have been strained by the recent problems involving graphics hardware failures on the MacBook Pro. In response to inquiries, Apple blamed the problems on defects in certain GeForce 8600M GT cards, claiming that while NVIDIA admitted problems with hardware failures earlier in the summer, it had reported to Apple that the Macs were not involved.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Arty50

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I dare say this would be more shocking than their transition from PPC to x86. No way Apple goes to bed with AMD who's in a state of massive flux.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    just what we need...

    ...a new platform that most software will be unable to exploit without a paid-for upgrade and one which Apple will abandon within two years anyway. Here we go again!

  1. cvbcvb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You two above should read the article... its about Graphics Processors not CPUs:

    In late July I posted an editorial that described how Apple would soon be migrating away from Intel's chipsets (though keeping their CPUs of course)...


  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    nVidia is not the ATI brand owned by AMD. AMD is indeed in big trouble, but that's got nothing to do with nV.

    Apple using nV rather than "built-in" GPU's makes a lot of sense (although it's happening just as Intel's offerings are starting to look reasonable.) If nothing else, it shows Intel that Apple isn't a captive customer.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    read it..

    ...the article is about chipsets not just about GPU's. BTW, I think both Arty50 and myself know the difference between a CPU and a GPU, where cvbcvb in his (or her) haste to appear clever, obviously doesn't know the difference between an entire chipset and just a GPU (or CPU for that matter). Ar5eh0le!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It is amazing people know even less than I do!

    Dimmer, when you say Apple using nV rather than "built-in" GPU's makes a lot of sense

    What is your definition of 'built-in'? Because the article states "offering HDMI and an integrated DX10 graphics core", which sounds 'built-in' to me. It isn't about whether the graphic core is integrated, it is whether it's any good. The biggest concern is whether the integrated graphics includes its own memory or sucks your RAM off the motherboard.

    Oh, and I must be living in the wrong world. Because the article says this:
    which may be perfectly timed to create buzz right before Apple's October 14th notebook refresh.

    Exactly in what circles does a chipset create 'buzz'? Because i can't say I recall mac users going "OMG! We're getting the Intel P945 chipset! Yes! Life is worth living again!!!"

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The last paragraph mentions a chipset supporting OpenCL. Is this that useful for us now? Or just "Hey, look, when you buy Snow Leopard, you'll be able to take advantage of this technology you're buying today!" kind of things?

  1. dimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969



    AKA integrated, Intel style; versus a discrete GPU with it's own memory etc. To date, integrated graphics have been poor for some applications (games, for instance). True enough though, if a good integrated solution comes along that is comparable or better, go for it.

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