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GPU physics acceleration on MacBook Pros

updated 10:55 am EDT, Fri October 24, 2008

MacBook Pro PhysX hack

Owners of MacBook Pros with GeForce 8- or 9-series graphics cards can use tweaking to enable physics acceleration in supporting Windows games and applications, an independent hacker claims. Tom Karpik notes that the GeForce drivers included with the latest Pro are already outdated compared to the latest desktop-level drivers, which allow recent NVIDIA cards with 256MB or more of memory to use the newly-acquired PhysX API. A special conversion tool and some file editing are all that is required to turn on PhysX support, says Karpik.

Pro owners must first download and extract the latest XP or Vista drivers from NVIDIA's website, and then run a utility called NVIDIA Mobility Modder, which converts desktop drivers for use with notebook cards. Following this, it is necessary to insert card-specific lines within the "nv4_disp.inf" file, run setup, and finally reboot to enable PhysX.

PhysX, originally developed by Ageia, allows for more elaborate physics interactions in software, primarily within Windows games. The technology originally required a dedicated hardware add-on, but NVIDIA has since bought Ageia and implemented compatibility with future and existing graphics cards.

Apple's newest MacBooks are believed to have another undocumented feature, H.264 decoding, made possible through a combination of new software and hardware support.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Always Outdated

    Video card drivers provided by Apple are ALWAYS outdated, and aren't updated very frequently, if at all. And this includes the BootCamp drivers they provide.

    Video card driver developers at Apple = EPICFAIL


    Joined: Dec 1969


    @ guest

    I agree. There have been times that ATI would release MacOS drivers and there were gains, but they never did this with very many cards.

    Honestly I would think indie developers would step up where Apple falls behind on this, but I do not see much -then again, not really looking...

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    $25 B cash reserve...

    collecting dust and they can't hire a couple of programmers to write some graphics drivers. Somewhat penny-wise and pounds foolish. Please tell me the point of having the latest hardware and being unable to access it's features. Really, how much time would it take to do this.

    I can't even see why Apple can't twist nVidia's arm to do some extra work after getting a chance to have Apple use their devices. It would be good advertising to get the advanced features working. This lack of interest is just so pathetic.

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