Macbook Pro - Graphics Card "Road Map"?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Laco, May 12, 2012.

  1. Laco macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    There has been a great deal of discussion of the intel processor road map. I am curious as to what the future holds for Macbook Pro suitable graphics cards. Whether there are road maps for example for Nvida that may apply to Macbook Pros.
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    Not really.
    The thing is there is a rumor of a thinner design that might limit the possible TDP more.
    Generally there is always a sort of TDP Part from AMD or Nvidia. They don't disclose the real TDP and often make arbitrary switches between Model numbers especially Nvidia. Below 35W range is it for MBPs.
    As for the next gen. 650M with GDDR5 is the fastest you can expect in a current MBP. 640M is also possible. 384 new architecture cuda cores
    On AMD side Chealsea Pro or XT are the replacements of the current ones. 7750M or 7770M. Both have 512 GCN cores which sounds like not so much more (compared to 480 on the old 67X0M) but it is a different architecture.

    If the Notebooks gets thinner it is possible that the GPU gets worse and all we get is the equivalent of the current GPU performance. I wouldn't rule it out.
    Anything faster seems very unlikely. Maybe they deliver something they call a 660M but then downclock it to 650M levels.

    There is nothing publicly known about anything further in the future.
    On the Intel GPU side. Haswell is rumored to come with a GT3 GPU variant with up to 40 EUs up from 16 which should deliver a healthy boost and put it right next to todays mainstream dedicated GPUs. AMD Fusion will probably do this this year with Trinity but they don't deliver on the CPU side. I doubt Apple would switch on any model to AMD.
  3. Ulf1103 macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2011
    I thought the 650m was an undeclocked version of the 660m :p
  4. w00t951 macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2009
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The 660M and the 650M are architecturally similar cards, but the 660M has met higher quality control standards that allow it to run at a higher clock speed. The 650M is of lesser quality, which means more heat output, which means slower clocks.

    I would expect a 660M in the high end 15" and a 650M in the low end. The 660M should have either 2GB to 3GB of GDDR5, while the 650M should get 1GB.

    Both cards are immensely capable, and since they are built on the 28nm Kepler architecture, they consume significantly less power and produce significantly less heat for the same amount of processing power.
  5. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    It is but Apple also used a 330M that was downclocked to be closer to a 325M and called it a 330M. I wouldn't put it past them.

    @w00t951 binning can only do so much. In mainstream parts the difference between a 650M and a 660M is as much TDP as it is clockspeed. Both GPUs are rumored to have a too high TDP for a MBP.

    3GB won't happen because it is 4x 64 bit IMC which means the memory will be a multiple of 2 not 3 like with 384 bit IMCs.
    660M seems too hot for a MBP which already in its current version runs at the absolute limit of cooling power. A new MBP will potentially be thinner rather than anything else and the Ivy Bridge Quads don't run any cooler under full load.

    Maybe it will be 650M 1 or 2GB GDDR5 in the high end, 640M 1 or 2 GB DDR3 in the low end 15". 17" gets the high end.

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