More Evidence Next MacBook Pros Use Nvidia's Power-Saving Optimus Graphics Tech

Illustration for article titled More Evidence Next MacBook Pros Use Nvidias Power-Saving Optimus Graphics Tech

Looks like our hunches about what's inside the next MacBook Pros are panning out: AppleInsider hears that Apple's got new MacBook Pros running that can switch between integrated and discrete graphics automagically, which exactly describes Nvidia's Optimus dual graphics tech.

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If you remember, the unibody MacBooks from Oct. 2008 were the first to use Nvidia's GeForce 9400M, a combination chipset/integrated GPU that ridiculously outperformed Intel's own integrated graphics, and the Pro models at the time could switch between power-saving integrated and beefier discrete graphics, though it requires a logout.

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Nvidia got cockblocked from making chipsets for Intel's latest-gen chips (read: Core i3, Core i5, Core i7), ruling out using Nvidia's better integrated graphics; Nvidia canned their chipset business entirely. So! Nvidia's Optimus tech works with Intel's crappier integrated graphics that are built onto the same die as the newer Core processors, but even more seamlessly than before—the computer automatically switches between Intel's power-sipping integrated and Nvidia's monster discrete graphics, depending on what you're doing. No logouts required.

In the demo we saw on a Windows machine, the automatic part of the tech has some drawbacks—namely, it's entirely dependent on software to tell your computer which graphics card to run. But Apple's obviously worked pretty closely with Nvidia on graphics before, so it seems logical they're doing so here, too. Though I don't expect we'll know until the new MacBooks finally arrive, whenever that happens (hopefully, soon). [AppleInsider]

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DISCUSSION

imspartacus-old
ImSpartacus

So we're going to see something with a little more balls than the 9400M?

I mean, the 9400M had power consumption comparable to Intel's offerings. This Optimus tech only makes sense if you are switching to a GPU that has inferior battery life.