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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.

  • Sythix
    Mac still sucks.
    Reply
  • asdf634
    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...
    Reply
  • mianmian
    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.
    Reply
  • war2k9
    Everyone is moving away from core2 to corei. Apple should just jump to core13 and save some money instead of paying Nvidia for a custom chip that might be around for three month or so.
    Reply
  • tayb
    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.
    Reply
  • scook9
    This will be weaker at 3D than an Alienware M11x which is cheaper. The CPU difference will not be a deal breaker for most people.
    Reply
  • SpadeM
    asdf634lol 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...I'm not defending Apple, i'm just sayn that Doom 3 was the crysis of it's time (and it still looks good today) plus it's opengl based so you can bench it on mac (you can't play crysis).
    Reply
  • egidem
    Eh...at least now we know where Nvidia has been spending the last months...Instead of focusing on giving us a line of Fermi products that rival ATI's 5000 Series which go from super cheap to expensive in 60 seconds, they've been in bed with Apple all this time...I look forward to playing Crysis on these new macs...whoops, that's right "IT JUST DOESN'T WORK".
    Reply
  • skimage
    I bought an apple because at the time they were the only consumer laptop with a matte screen option. They were the only 15inch worth a darn that weighed less than 6 pounds. They were the only option with a good performance to battery life ratio. I'm so sick of reading comments about how apple sucks because the specs and price are terrible. Ever price a business class laptop? Those are stupid expensive for what you get. Ever look at the HP Envy? Doesn't even have an internal optical drive, and it's stupid expensive too. Laptops are supposed to be portable. That means lightweight with good battery life. It also means "able to see the screen without wondering whats behind that nice mirror you just bought." I hate how much apple costs but NO ONE offers the features I need for a lower price. Your arguments are weak and baseless when it comes to the macbook pro line. If you wanna bash their desktops be my guest. That is why I own a home built win7 desktop. Be informed consumers. Complain about things things that should actually matter in a laptop. Like Macs lack of a full keyboard or stingy ports. But it'd also be nice to hear someone just once point out that an 11 or 13 inch laptop weighing the same as a 15 is dumb, or that plastic shells break more easily, or that having a mirror in place of a screen in daylight or fluorescent lighting is obnoxious. Or that having a massive power brick is silly when you could have a small one. Macs have their problems, but they also have their niche and they are quality. There are some pc laptop manufacturers that can claim the same and many who can't.

    BTW the ilife suit is included with a macbook pro and its WAYYY better than anything microsoft has ever included in windows. Also, macs can play Crysis (an overly bloated inefficient mainly there for benchmarks game) just fine via bootcamp. Yes my macbook pro runs win7 90% of the time.
    Reply
  • egidem
    SkimageI bought an apple because at the time they were the only consumer laptop with a matte screen option. They were the only 15inch worth a darn that weighed less than 6 pounds. They were the only option with a good performance to battery life ratio. I'm so sick of reading comments about how apple sucks because the specs and price are terrible. Ever price a business class laptop? Those are stupid expensive for what you get. Ever look at the HP Envy? Doesn't even have an internal optical drive, and it's stupid expensive too. Laptops are supposed to be portable. That means lightweight with good battery life. It also means "able to see the screen without wondering whats behind that nice mirror you just bought." I hate how much apple costs but NO ONE offers the features I need for a lower price. Your arguments are weak and baseless when it comes to the macbook pro line. If you wanna bash their desktops be my guest. That is why I own a home built win7 desktop. Be informed consumers. Complain about things things that should actually matter in a laptop. Like Macs lack of a full keyboard or stingy ports. But it'd also be nice to hear someone just once point out that an 11 or 13 inch laptop weighing the same as a 15 is dumb, or that plastic shells break more easily, or that having a mirror in place of a screen in daylight or fluorescent lighting is obnoxious. Or that having a massive power brick is silly when you could have a small one. Macs have their problems, but they also have their niche and they are quality. There are some pc laptop manufacturers that can claim the same and many who can't. BTW the ilife suit is included with a macbook pro and its WAYYY better than anything microsoft has ever included in windows. Also, macs can play Crysis (an overly bloated inefficient mainly there for benchmarks game) just fine via bootcamp. Yes my macbook pro runs win7 90% of the time.
    Macs still suck. Period.
    Reply