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

Following 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

(View all)
Avatar
113 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)
Avatar
113 months ago
Bad news.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 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)
Avatar
113 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)
Avatar
113 months ago
I think there is more politics at play here than graphics problems.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 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)

Top Stories

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...

MagSafe Charger Teardown Reveals Simple Design With Magnets and Charging Coil Encircling a Small Circuit Board

Friday October 23, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
iFixit has today shared a teardown of Apple's new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. An X-ray of the MagSafe charger courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the internal charging coil surrounded by a circular arrangement of magnets within the puck. The only seam that iFixit was able to leverage to open the device was where the white rubber circle meets the metal rim,...

PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

Friday October 23, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W. The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow. We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...