Apple has long-preferred Nvidia graphics in its MacBook Pros to Intel's integrated solution, even engineering their own graphics-switching technology to squeeze Nvidia in. But after the upcoming release of Intel's next-gen Sandy Bridge processor, those days may be over.
According to CNET sources, MacBooks with 13-inch or smaller screen sizes will rely solely on Sandy Bridge's integrated graphics, which are said to be about twice as good, graphically, as the current crop of Core i5 guts. 15 and 17-inch models will move to discrete AMD graphics. The AMD part of the rumor has been kicking around since April.
If proven true, the rumor is an extremely positive sign for Intel given how notoriously picky Apple is about the components it uses. Apple would also be in a position to no longer release laptops—like the recent MacBook Airs—that disappointingly house 2009's Core2Duo processors to accommodate an Nvidia GPU.
Of course, this could all be a negotiating ploy! But even if Apple's just using Sandy Bridge as leverage, that's still a sign that Intel's next-gen integrated graphics are worth taking seriously. [CNET]