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 Tom Karpik notes that the GeForce drivers included with the latest Pro are already outdated compared to the latest desktop-level drivers, which allow recent NVIDIA cards with 256MB or more of memory to use the newly-acquired PhysX API.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.