Nvidia Custom-Made the 320M IGP for Apple

While we're still wondering why Apple would keep the latest Arrandale chips away from its 13-inch professional laptop, the company enlisted Nvidia to make a custom graphics part.

Nvidia told AppleInsider that the 320M integrated graphics part was made especially for Apple as a suitable replacement for the 9400M in the 13-inch MacBook Pro. While the 320M isn't as capable as the GT 330M in the bigger MacBook Pros and other PC laptops, the 320M is a notable improvement over the 9400M.

Apple boasts that the 320M is up to 80 percent faster than the 9400M in Doom 3, while in other games, such as Quake 4, the gains are just 30 percent. The 320M is supposedly based on the GT216 core, which gives it 48 shader cores. While the spec sheet does boast 256MB, it is shared with the main system memory.

Clearly, the 320M isn't really going to play Crysis with any satisfactory results, so the real achievement here is that the 320M is 40 percent more energy efficient over the previous IGP while also being faster.

What's interesting is that Apple's choice to stick with Core 2 Duo CPUs, and thus been able to keep Nvidia on-board for the chipset. Perhaps the conditions so happened to be that Apple would stick with Nvidia for its 13-inch MacBook Pro offering as long as it would get a custom IGP, even if it meant not taking the leap to Nehalem-based Core iCPUs.

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    Top Comments
  • Mac still sucks.
    27
  • lol Doom 3, how about some Crysis benchmark? Oh that's right, it doesn't play Crysis!

    Seriously Apple, make your tax actually worth something, not just the privilege to use your product...
    27
  • I'm sure Apple would love to put an i3 or an i5 into the 13" MBP but doing so they would either have to throw in a dedicated GPU or stick to the crappy Intel IGP. The dedicated GPU would raise the price and decrease battery life while the Intel IGP would provide a noticeable downgrade from the 9400m. The obvious solution here if you want to keep the price the same (or lower) is to stick to the Core 2's and get an upgrade from the Nvidia IGP. You can thank Intel for that one.
    13
  • Other Comments
  • Mac still sucks.
    27
  • lol Doom 3, how about some Crysis benchmark? Oh that's right, it doesn't play Crysis!

    Seriously Apple, make your tax actually worth something, not just the privilege to use your product...
    27
  • If Apple use core I3, and a separate GPU, it probably will increase price and lowers battery life. And lower the profit margin!
    I think Apple better lower the price from 1199 to 1099. That looks more reasonable.
    0