Apple Reportedly Switching Back to NVIDIA for MacBook Pro Graphics
In 2010, the MacBook Pro housed NVIDIA graphics. The most recent release, the 2011 MacBook Pro, replaced NVIDIA graphics with Intel HD or Intel HD and AMD graphics hybrids. With the 2012 MacBook Pro refresh on the horizon and all the buzz about the new MacBook Pro lineup supporting the new Ivy Bridge processors and having a slimmer design
, reports are also indicating that Apple could switch back to NVIDIA for graphics on MacBook Pros this year.
The 2010 13-inch MacBook Pro model has much better graphics performance than the 2011 13-inch MacBook Pro model, as the 2010 model had a dedicated NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU). The 2011 13-inch model is using the Intel HD 3000 graphics that come with all the Intel Sandy Bridge processors in the MacBook lineup. As the graphics performance appears to have decreased, this could indicate Apple trying to bring better graphics performance to the 13-inch model MacBook Pro. The 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models contain a hybrid between the Intel HD 3000 graphics and varying AMD graphics cards, which gives them a large advantage in graphics performance over the 13-inch MacBook Pro model.
Apart from better performance on lower-end MacBook Pro machines, the switch could also be a sign supporting the rumor that Apple wants to include retina displays on the MacBook Pro computers. While the 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook pro models should already be perfectly capable of handling the retina display due to the powerful graphics they come with, the 13-inch model with the Intel HD 3000 graphics wouldn’t cut it as the retina display would be too graphic-hungry for the cheap graphics solution to handle.
The NVIDIA graphics switch should be good news for gamers too, as NVIDIA graphics solutions have always provided great performance results for Mac users.
Apple is expected to unveil the new MacBook Pro models at WWDC in June of this year. Any graphics performance to the MacBook Pro lineup is most likely welcomed by all MacBook Pro fans and will likely be worth the upgrade.
Sources: The Verge