When Apple announced that its new 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros had both the Intel HD IGP as well as a discrete Nvidia GT 330M GPU and it could switch seamlessly between them automatically, we assumed that it was using the Nvidia Optimus technology – but it isn't. Instead, Apple brewed up its own software solution, which works in a slightly different fashion, Ars Technica reports.
While Nvidia Optimus uses a software-driven list of apps that would trigger a system to switch over to discrete graphics, Apple's solution detects on the OS level whenever OpenGL, Core Graphics, Quartz Composer are in use and calls in the discrete GPU to help.
Another way Apple's method differs from Nvidia's system is that Optimus runs the discrete GPU's display through the IGP's frame buffer. This requires that both the GPU and IGP to be active, as well as taking up a lot of traffic on the bus. Apple's solution deactivates the Intel HD graphics whenever the GT 330M is called upon, helping it be a little more power friendly.
Apple credits its control over software and hardware as the main reason why it is able to offer an arguably better solution to automatically switching graphics. In fact, Apple appears to have modified the baseline HM55 Express Intel chipset to accommodate for this more advanced switching technology, according to a teardown done by iFixit.
Sadly, Apple doesn't offer the user full control over which graphics part run and when. The quoted battery life is 8 hours when running the GT 330M and 9 hours when it's Intel HD IGP only. Although the user can select between auto switching and having the GT 330M run full time, the option to disable the discrete GPU for the sake of prolonging battery life (like being able to switch off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi) doesn't exist.
But this looks neat. I don't see what's wrong with that, save the fact that you can't disable the 330 for battery purposes. Maybe we'll see a driver update in the future.
Looks interesting nonetheless.
It was a joke......
It's hard to tell over the internet.
add Tegra that isn't doing too well, GTX4xx that are out of stock everywhere (newegg, etc) or not even in stock at all:
Amazon.com for example says "The item has not yet been released" (both GTX 480 and 470):
Whereas Amazon.co.uk says they will dispatch within 1-2 months (yes, not 1 to 2 weeks, they are talking months, Semiaccurate was right all along)
Don't believe it? Check it out: both GTX 480 and 470:
Nvidia is in deep trouble. This is bad for the competition. Good for business though. Intel might buy it in a few months.
This is great. They built in a better solution into the core of their OS to improve the end user experience, and made it completely transparent.