NVIDIA Issues Leading Apple to Pursue Integrated Intel Graphics for Mid-Range Notebooks?

nvidia logoFollowing reports from late last year indicating that Apple would be switching back to NVIDIA for graphics chips in its next MacBook Pro update, SemiAccurate now reports that NVIDIA's issues with GPU production are apparently leading Apple to rely more heavily on Intel's integrated graphics.

Apple has reportedly been ordering beefed-up integrated graphics from Intel on its Ivy Bridge platform, a development the report claims would be pointless if the chipsets were to be paired with discrete graphics chips from NVIDIA.

Apple upped their SKUs from parts bearing awful Intel GPUs to variants with more of those awful shaders. Since those Ivy Bridge CPUs are going in to laptops that have a GPU, upping the shader count from 6 to 16 should be a waste, they will never be turned on.

If they are going to be turned on, that would mean that the discrete GPU in those machines is either going to be much higher spec’d, or it won’t be there.

With NVIDIA struggling to produce even lower-end Kepler graphics chips, the report suggests that the latter option is more likely and expects that Apple may be bumping integrated-only graphics into the mid-range of its notebook lines. Integrated-only graphics have typically been reserved for Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro form factor, which lacks the space necessary to also house a dedicated graphics chip.

Our analysis indicates that the lower end MacBooks will simply do without a GPU, the higher end parts will remain unchanged, and the middle ground will have some models with and some without a GPU instead of almost all with a discrete Nvidia GPU. Those without will make a much larger portion of the mix than they would have at this time last month, if there were any at all.

One other factor that may also be at play is rumors of a significant redesign of the MacBook Pro to yield a form factor more in line with that of the popular MacBook Air. A slimming down of the chassis may see Apple seeking to reduce size and power consumption in certain areas, requirements that may result in the company bringing lower-powered CPU and graphics options to its mid-range machines than might have otherwise been seen.

Top Rated Comments

NutsNGum Avatar
156 months ago

Edit: And I don't even want to hear the "I don't play games I am a media artist" pitch either because I work with heavy editing of extremely large photographs frequently in pixelmator

Wow, you're a real pro, bro.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NutsNGum Avatar
156 months ago
Bad news.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arkmannj Avatar
156 months ago
What's the big deal? Even the 3000 is excellent for a laptop part. Yes I know there are faster out there, and if you want that you can go buy an Alienware laptop. Right now I'm playing Path of Exile, Diablo 3, Dragon Age 1/2, DDO, and lots of low horsepower adventure games at wonderful smooth framerates @ 1440x900 on my MBA 2011 i5 1.6ghz with the 3000. Sorry but I just do not see why everyone complains about the new Intel GPUs as being awful because in fact they are not.

Edit: And I don't even want to hear the "I don't play games I am a media artist" pitch either because I work with heavy editing of extremely large photographs frequently in pixelmator

I pay a premium price for a Mac, I want it to be a premium product, even if Intel's graphics are "good enough" for now, they won't have the longevity in the future, and many of us don't want to have to replace our laptop every year (or even two years) becasue Apple didn't put in hardware that was adaquit for several years. We have incvreasingly put more off onto the GPU (with CLI, CUDA, etc...) so I think it's fair to expect every bit out of the GPU that we can get. Not to mention that many people are used to havign a laptop that switches between multiple GPU's depending on the work load needed, etc...

Now if Apple wants to drop the price of the laptops, and remove the "pro" from the name, I guess we can start talking about having just Intel integrated graphics.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
156 months ago
All I know about graphics cards is that every mac graphic card, ever, has sucked according to everyone. Also, I've been happy with every Mac I've owned.

I assume this is just more of the same?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Peace Avatar
156 months ago
I think there is more politics at play here than graphics problems.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lukarak Avatar
156 months ago
This has been done before. MBP 15'' was available with the 9400m. It's not that much of a shock.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...