New 15-Inch and 17-Inch MacBook Pro Restricted to Discrete Graphics in Windows

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A new support document posted by Apple yesterday notes that the company's new 15" and 17" MacBook Pro models released earlier this week are unable to utilize the Intel HD Graphics package when running in Windows and are thus restricted to using the discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics card under such usage. The restriction affects Windows 7, Vista, and XP.

Windows cannot take advantage of both graphics processors that come with some MacBook Pro computers. By default, Windows uses the NVIDIA GT216 discrete graphics processor when available.

"GT216" is an internal code name used to identify a handful of graphics processors from NVIDIA, including the GeForce GT 330M used on the larger MacBook Pro models.

The ability for the system to seamlessly switch between the integrated graphics from Intel and NVIDIA's discrete graphics has been touted as one of the major feature implementations that has enabled Apple to significantly boost the battery life on its new MacBook Pros. Restricting the machine to discrete graphics only while booted into Windows will certainly have a detrimental effect on battery life for those users.

The news may not be a tremendous surprise given that the automatic graphics switching technology was developed by Apple and is handled by Mac OS X based on the frameworks being called upon by applications. Some users have, however, looked for official confirmation of this fact, and Apple has now provided it in its support documentation.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro

Top Rated Comments

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137 months ago

I personally do not care to use the lower performance card in Windows.

The problem with the new Mac Books Pro is, that it is the reverse, thus they are useless for gaming.

Phew!

I am glad I bought a Mac Book Pro in the late Fall.

Is this some new Apple evil-doing, or just a shortcoming of the hardware? (It doesn't happen with the new 27" iMacs....)

Haha, you made my day. You're just jealous of the new MBP.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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137 months ago

In my case I only boot into Windows when I want to game, so I have no complaints about this limiation in my old MacBook Pro.


I personally do not care to use the lower performance card in Windows.

The problem with the new Mac Books Pro is, that it is the reverse, thus they are useless for gaming.


Eh?

Did you guys even read the post?

It is restricted to the discrete graphics when in Windows. This is no different from the previous MacBook Pro's!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
137 months ago

Phew!

I am glad I bought a Mac Book Pro in the late Fall.

Is this some new Apple evil-doing, or just a shortcoming of the hardware?


You do realise that your MacBook Pro will only use the 9600GT when in Windows via Boot Camp and you can't switch to the 9400M?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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