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Thread: Custom NVIDIA Card, Native Graphics Switching on New MBPs

  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Paul Daniel Ash's Avatar
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    Default Custom NVIDIA Card, Native Graphics Switching on New MBPs


    One of the new MacBook Pro models announced today boast a graphics processing unit that was custom-made for Apple's high-end notebook line. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 320M is only used on the entry-level 13-inch model, and doesn't have dedicated memory. Also, a spokesperson for NVIDIA noted today that - despite rumors to the contrary - the graphics switching method used in the new MacBook Pro is not the company's proprietary Optimus technology, but a custom design developed at Apple.

    The new higher-end GeForce GT 330M GPU represents a relatively minor speed bump compared to the 9600M GT, as PCWorld's Matt Beckham observed. In the 3DMark06 benchmark, the 330M got a score of 6126, compared to the 9600M's 5063, which measures the graphics cards running at their rated clockspeed: Apple runs the 9600M 500MHz core clock at about 400 MHz due to overheating concerns, and it's not known if the new chips will be similarly underclocked. However, Apple claims the new chip yields 80% better performance when playing Doom 3, prompting Beckham to quip "Still playing Doom 3? Call of Duty 4? Unreal Tournament 2004? Quake 4? Neither am I."

    The graphics switching technology Apple is using to optimize performance is what allows the new MacBook Pros to claim longer battery life. While NVIDIA introduced a new technology called Optimus that allows CPUs like the Core i5 and Core i7 to switch between Intel's integrated graphics processor and a discrete graphics processing unit, a NVIDIA spokesperson told AppleInsider that Apple had come up with its own solution with no input from NVIDIA. The feature dynamically switches between the 330M for high performance applications, and the integrated Intel HD Graphics for more energy efficient operation, auto-sensing which is needed. The user does not need to manually switch between the two, but can choose to keep the discrete chip running exclusively. Using the automatic switching solution though, gives as much as 8 or 9 hours battery life on the new MacBook Pros, according to Apple.

  2. #2
    And why exactly don't I have an option to choose to run the better card exclusively also? oh right, we're talking about Apple...

  3. #3
    Think ill blow the dust off and play some doom 3 tonight. Im due for a zombie grunt fix

  4. #4
    LOL Hahaaa xD
    I think someone needs to remind Apple that we are in the year 2010.

  5. #5
    nm, wrong thread.

  6. #6
    You'd think with Valve coming on board with Steam this month, and all the publishers that could bring, they'd have some half decent video cards. 512mb dedicated video is flat out lame. Why can't Apple just offer something that has decent gaming cards in them? This is a great deal IF you have an older MacBook. I was very seriously thinking about updating my only 1 year old MBP 17 to one of the new ones but after seeing the dismal video card upgrade I'm going to have to pass. Though the battery bump is REALLY tempting!

  7. #7
    Unreal tournament 2004? call of duty 4? doom 3!!??? I just cant believe apple is this far behind technology, for the same price of an apple notebook, ill just go with alienware or a custom laptop that will run 2010 games, not games made 6 years ago, thats like the xbox and ps2 generation sheesh...

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Why are they using games released 6 years ago for benchmarks? It's real cool that a notebook released in 2010 can get more frames-per-second than a notebook released in 2009, but not when you're talking about a game released in 2004. Apple already knows that anyone who plays any games more intensive than Tetris dual-boots Windows on their Mac and by using examples from 2004 in their performance tests, they're fooling nobody but themselves.

  9. #9
    Good graphics
    Keithsta

  10. #10
    Previously Known as A.T MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
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    Why compare old games?? Get with the times, at least compare MW2!

    MBP 15" 2.66Ghz Core 2 Duo Nvidia 9400M 9600GT 256MB OS X 10.6.4 Windows 7 June 2009
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  11. #11
    Nice graphics.. now, lets put up some pretty graphs with numbers showing the fractional speed percentage that the Macs run against similarly priced PC laptops.

  12. #12
    Considering netbooks can play the games listed here these days, I really find this as a laughable benchmark for a $2000 computer.
    Last edited by Success.Is.Sweet; 04-13-2010 at 10:31 PM.

  13. #13
    iPhoneaholic Kruejl's Avatar
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    I'll stick with my late 2009 13" MPB unibody. I already upped it to 4GB DDR3 RAM and a 320GB 7200rpm HDD. The graphics card bump is too small to justify an upgrade.
    Apples taste good.

  14. #14
    @ultimatexpka
    Call of Duty 4 isn't that old, dude. On top of that, it's still very awesome.

    Did you think CoD4:MW was from the last-gen? You're mistaken. CoD 2 was a PC and 360 exclusive.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by CZroe View Post
    @ultimatexpka
    Call of Duty 4 isn't that old, dude. On top of that, it's still very awesome.
    It came out in 2007. Three years is an eternity in the tech world. I was playing CoD4 on max settings at 1080p resolution with a 7950GT and a 2.0GHz dual core when it came out.

    Like I said, this benchmark is a joke.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Success.Is.Sweet View Post
    Considering netbooks can play the games listed here these days, I really find this as a laughable benchmark for a $2000 computer.
    For real.. my $200 ION nettop could probably compete with this

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by reanimationxp View Post
    For real.. my $200 ION nettop could probably compete with this
    It can. My ION netbook plays all of these games perfectly, and not even on the lowest settings either.

  18. #18
    BWAHAHAHAHAHA....


    *Looks at his sig*

    I called my Vaio F series a Macbook Killer just to be facetious.

    Come to find out, not on is it a Macbook killer, it kills the Macbook Pro Too! Some poor schlep is going to pay $2600 for a 17 incher that can't outpace a netbook. Really Apple, really?

    To add context to my rediculous laughing, I paid 1200 dollars for the Vaio.
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  19. #19
    sweets
    killall Terminal[]

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by cpkirkley View Post
    BWAHAHAHAHAHA....


    *Looks at his sig*

    I called my Vaio F series a Macbook Killer just to be facetious.

    Come to find out, not on is it a Macbook killer, it kills the Macbook Pro Too! Some poor schlep is going to pay $2600 for a 17 incher that can't outpace a netbook. Really Apple, really?

    To add context to my rediculous laughing, I paid 1200 dollars for the Vaio.
    unless your VAIO gets 8 hours of battery life, it's not quite a MBP killer.

    I do, however, think ASUS and Acer have (or are soon coming out with) MBP killers. the Acer Timeline X 15" will get better battery life than the MBP and probably have a better GPU.

    only thing is, none of the above (not the Asus, Vaio, or Acer) have as good a screen.

    the only reason why I continue to consider the 17" MBP is because it has the combination of screen, battery life, and build quality that I value. I can't seem to get that combination anywhere else.

    However, I will reserve my final opinion on that until I see the HP Envy 17. If they launch that with Nvidia Optimus switchable graphics, the Envy will be an MBP killer. Officially.

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