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AMD: Nvidia/MacBook Debacle May Hurt Industry

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 18 comments

Could the Nvidia/MacBook Pro heat issues mean problems for the rest of the graphics industry?

Recently, reports came out that some new unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops form Apple are experiencing heat issues, specifically with its Nvidia GeForce 9600M graphics card. Purple and green artifacts pop up on the screen, evidence that the discrete GPU is not receiving proper cooling.

According to CNET, AMD's Stan Ossias is worried about this newest Nvidia debacle. "In the case of Apple's product," said AMD's director of mobile graphics marketing, "I don't know what happened with Nvidia's GPU but we'd like to avoid having the negative aspects taint the entire industry."

Ossias also inferred that Apple may have made a mistake in choosing the 9600M for its notebooks. "Somebody may choose a GPU that doesn't necessarily have the best operating characteristics or doesn't deliver the optimal power consumption in all operating ranges," said Ossias. Whether or not Ossias is right, this kind of statement, coming from the upper management of a rival, should always be taken with a grain of salt. "I don't think Apple does a bad job of this in general. They are extremely meticulous generally." Ossias continued, "A product decision is made (where) maybe there is more emphasis put on performance characteristics than on another characteristic. Again, that's another choice that can be made," Ossias said.

This isn't the first time Nvidia has seen problems with its mobile graphics offerings. Last year, the company came under heavy scrutiny after several of its models experienced heat-related issues, stemming from improper soldering. While this newest round of issues may be related to fan control and not soldering, other graphics companies are worried that this seemingly continuous stream of GPU problems could spell bad news for the GPU industry overall.

As for Nvidia's previous faulty GPU's, Ossias said AMD/ATI had to assure its own customers repeatedly that its offerings were not subject to the same sort of issues. This kind of damage control is likely the source of AMDs concern. As for Ossias's current stance on the matter, it's hard to believe that Nvidia's problems could be anything but good news for AMD. Any major customer (in terms of computer manufacturers), expressing concerns over AMD's offerings because Nvidia is having problems with a discrete GPU is a hard story to swallow.

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  • -4 Hide
    curnel_D , March 12, 2009 4:44 PM
    " Any major customer (in terms of computer manufacturers), expressing concerns over AMD's offerings because Nvidia is having problems with a discrete GPU is a hard story to swallow. "

    I think you're missing the point here. (I'm not suprised)

    When Nvidia's products keep failing, ATI has to spend time and resources showing it's manufaturing partners that they've invested research into preventing this from happening in any of their products.
  • 3 Hide
    deltatux , March 12, 2009 5:02 PM
    Just because of these debacles, I've withdrawn all NVIDIA cards as an upgrade option from all my desktops. They now are all ATi cards.
  • 6 Hide
    Fadamor , March 12, 2009 5:14 PM
    deltatuxJust because of these debacles, I've withdrawn all NVIDIA cards as an upgrade option from all my desktops. They now are all ATi cards.
    LOL that makes PERFECT sense! "There are problems with an on-board mobile graphics processor, so I'm banning all desktop cards from the same company - even though everything about them is different". Way to further the hysteria. I applaud you for your illogical thinking.
  • 3 Hide
    tayb , March 12, 2009 5:14 PM
    Maybe if the MacBook Pro had some vents on the bottom of the device and the only fan didn't blow directly into the display there wouldn't be a cooling problem.

    AMD has a concern and a valid one. Every time Nvidia screws up AMD has to take extra tie to reassure its customers that their mobile GPU's aren't piles of crap like Nvidia's are.
  • 4 Hide
    gm0n3y , March 12, 2009 6:38 PM
    MithosCome one... how asked AMD of any opinion on this. Are you guys from Tom's getting mony from AMD. Is a bad story no subject no sens... seems like a comercial.


    I understand that you probably have ESL, but I had to vote you down because your comment hurt my brain to read.
  • 8 Hide
    KITH , March 12, 2009 6:50 PM
    I imagine any cooling issues are because of apple design of the case. Their laptops just run hot.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , March 12, 2009 7:00 PM
    Apples laptops have always had overheating issues due to poorly engineered heatsink & fan designs. The 13 macbook had this issue. And anyone who's had a macbook pro on for any length can tell you how hot that got. It's really poorly designed emphasizing cosmetic appearance.
  • 5 Hide
    zerapio , March 12, 2009 7:37 PM
    Yup, Mac Book Pros run very hot. It also doesn't help that NVIDIA's chip outputs a lot of heat too. That's the price NVIDIA pays for cramming all those gates to get better performance.
  • 0 Hide
    SneakySnake , March 12, 2009 11:15 PM
    um...

    I don't know how many of you own macbook pros. "I imagine" - what kind of response is that?!? I imagine the my macbook pro owns my gaming rig in crysis - doesn't mean its true.

    my macbook pro runs cod4 at about 65-70 degrees celsius. Its hot but not a serious temp. Also who games with the laptop on their lap. The macbook pro uses the 9400M unless you fire up a GPU excessive program, unless of course you set your computer to always use the 9600 which is just stupid.

    It most likely nvidia's fault. their 8600M series failed a year or so ago - probably still haven't learned their lesson in mobile computing
  • 2 Hide
    tayb , March 13, 2009 12:32 AM
    SneakySnakeum...I don't know how many of you own macbook pros. "I imagine" - what kind of response is that?!? I imagine the my macbook pro owns my gaming rig in crysis - doesn't mean its true.my macbook pro runs cod4 at about 65-70 degrees celsius. Its hot but not a serious temp. Also who games with the laptop on their lap. The macbook pro uses the 9400M unless you fire up a GPU excessive program, unless of course you set your computer to always use the 9600 which is just stupid.It most likely nvidia's fault. their 8600M series failed a year or so ago - probably still haven't learned their lesson in mobile computing


    No, your MacBook Pro doesn't run Call of Duty 4 at those temps. I own a unibody MacBook Pro and it does not run at those temps especially not during a demanding game like Call of Duty 4.

    This thing is sitting on glass desk, its 33 outside and I'm two feet from a window, doing nothing but surfing the internet with the fans at 2,000 RPM and this thing hovers around 55 C. If I put this on my lap and just surf the web the temperature will climb to the range you claim you get when maxing out the machine. Playing Mass Effect on here brings the temperatures in the range of 85 C and the fans kick up to 6,000 RPM.
  • 3 Hide
    Mucke , March 13, 2009 7:08 AM
    Quote:
    Recently, reports came out that some new unibody 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops
    form Apple are experiencing heat issues[...]


    An issue? I would call it a problem.
  • 3 Hide
    scarpa , March 13, 2009 7:37 AM
    Why didn't Apple choose AMD/ATI and gone with Nvidia, didn't they knew that last year Nvidia had the same problems, Nvidia is not reliable, it's like gambling if you buy one.
  • 0 Hide
    raden_muaz , March 13, 2009 8:32 AM

    metalmania31Apples laptops have always had overheating issues due to poorly engineered heatsink & fan designs. The 13 macbook had this issue. And anyone who's had a macbook pro on for any length can tell you how hot that got. It's really poorly designed emphasizing cosmetic appearance.


    LOL.
    My dad's macbook has its cd drive jammed for some unknown reason. So does my dad's friend's. And also that unibody macbook. Have no idea how to fix it.



  • 1 Hide
    curnel_D , March 13, 2009 10:18 AM
    raden_muazLOL.My dad's macbook has its cd drive jammed for some unknown reason. So does my dad's friend's. And also that unibody macbook. Have no idea how to fix it.

    Search out one of the very few Apple service centers, try and explain to the incompetant service technicians what's wrong, give them your 1800 dollar laptop along with another 3-400 dollars to fix it, wait 6-8 weeks, call to confirm that they're actually working on it, wait another 6-8 weeks, and walk in and demand that they do it now, at which point they'll pull it off their shelf and fix the entire problem in less than 15 mins.
  • -2 Hide
    falchard , March 13, 2009 11:17 AM
    Ironic AMD is stating this considering the XBox360 Red Ring of Death.
  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , March 13, 2009 3:23 PM
    Lol, why the negs on my first post? It makes total sense, and also explains exactly why AMD is saying this falchard.

    Then again, I guess I cant expect much from the average TH reader. *yawn*