No future Nvidia chipsets

SirOmega

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Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
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Fudzilla this morning is reporting that Nvidia has told him directly they wont be making DMI-based chipsets for Clarkedale and Arrandale CPUs.

It appears that Charlie was right, at least partially. In the face of Apple not using their chipsets for Arrandale and the legal battle with Intel over their right to make a DMI chipset, Nvidia may have decided that it wasn't worth it to fight a legal battle if they didn't have a tier 1 OEM to sell them through. Its still be seen if Apple switches to ATI-based GPUs for the laptops.

This means that the Arrandale-based MBPs in Q1 2010 will have the Intel chipset and probably GPU for the lower end MacBook Pros. Of course the higher dollar MBPs will have discrete graphics, but I don't think its worth it to put a slow GPU (GF210M - 14W TDP) to only be twice as fast as the Arrandale GPU when you factor in decreased battery life standpoint (unless Apple figures out how to make it fully switchable so you can just switch between the Arrandale GPU and the 210M without them both being on and consuming energy at the same time). The 240M is about 5x the Arrandale GPU performance at 23W TDP so that will definitely go in the higher end MBPs.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
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Indianapolis
Wow, even after mentions of MCP99 for Nehalem/Westmere.

The Clarkdale/Arrandale IGP competes against the 785G in 3D performance, not up to par with the 9400M G nonetheless, and has good video playback hardware acceleration.
 

Frosties

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2009
980
116
Sweden
Good news for us if it's true. This means no more blinking screens and halted reading of harddrives.
 

OddHead

macrumors member
Jun 11, 2009
41
0
But *****y integrated graphics in machines listed as "Pro" ones.

I really hope Apple will continue with the double GPU thing, one because of battery life and the other by nVidia or ATi giving true performance.
AND please, also on 13" MBP. Even mid-range GPU, but a discrete one.
I'd love to buy an Arrandale 13" MBP, but Apple will force me buying the 15" one if they're going only with poor Intel graphics.
Intel IGPs are perfect for MacBooks and Airs, but they're not "pro" at all. Even 9400Ms are still more powerful.

And most of all I hate the phrase "Intel integrated graphics are not supported" everywhere in system requirements, non only in games.
 

Azathoth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2009
659
0
But *****y integrated graphics in machines listed as "Pro" ones.
Depends what kind of 'pro' you are. Audio pros don't need discrete gfx. Engineering pros don't need discrete gfx...

But of course options are always nice in Appleland....
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Given the progression of moving the GPU onto the same piece of silicon as the CPU, nVidia's days are numbered anyways unless they could couple their CPU with a similar class CPU. That's not going to happen so the long term prognosis isn't good for nvidia. Not sure how everything will play out with clarksfield/arrandale though.
 

SirOmega

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Apr 17, 2006
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I wouldn't go as far as to say Nvidia's days are numbered, but they are going to have to rely on their discrete graphcis boards more. I said this yesterday at Ars, that even on a 150mm^2 CPU that would go into a laptop or cheap desktop, a GPU being given a fraction of that area will still not come anywhere near what Nvidia and AMD/ATI can do on a dedicated GPU at 200mm^2, let alone these new 500mm^2 behemoths at the top end of the GPU range, even if you assume the GPUs will always be a half node behind in terms of fabrication.

Unless Atomization comes to GPUs, where even the hardcore only care that its good enough, and not the fastest or most expensive, then Nvidia still has a business case.

They also have Tegra, which isn't that bad of a chip. But you can tell they are trying to diversify and not just be a graphics company.

Edit: Found benchmarks! The Clarkdale/Arrandale graphics are 50-80% the performance of the 9400M. Thats really disappointing. Maybe if they can get better drivers written the gap closes, but I don't know how far they can close such a huge gap.
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,061
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Given the progression of moving the GPU onto the same piece of silicon as the CPU, nVidia's days are numbered anyways unless they could couple their CPU with a similar class CPU. That's not going to happen so the long term prognosis isn't good for nvidia. Not sure how everything will play out with clarksfield/arrandale though.
For the low-end graphics market, I would be inclined to agree. But I think there will be a high-end/highest-end market around for a while. Intel isn't making any grounds against gaming GPUs or Workstation-class GPUs.

Otherwise, I really don't care much about which GPU (integrated or otherwise) I have in my machine as long as it performs 3 basic functions:

1) Support Apple's Core- technologies - CoreImage, Animation, Quartz/Extreme, etc. Basically, if it's part of OS X, it should render properly. No UI lag.

2) Hardware h.264 decoding - I want to be able to play 1080p videos and Blu-Ray movies without stuttering.

3) Has to handle dual-screens (at least 1-30" ACD).

(4 - Support for basic 3D. I don't need to run any 3D games or anything like that, but if some software want's to do some simple 3D, I don't need it to choke).
 

SirOmega

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Apr 17, 2006
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1. Yes
2. Dual-stream 1080p H.264 decoding is supported in hardware (for blu-ray picture-in-picture)
3. No idea how Intel's FDI works or will what is the maximum supported (dual displays, higher than 1080p, etc).

A good test for 4 is Google Earth. If the graphics card can handle GE at high framerates without issues, then its fine.
 

TH3D4RKKN1GH7

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
727
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In the video realm this move would really screw with video editors that use AVID. AVID doesn't exactly play well with ATi. Oh well.
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,061
200
1. Yes
2. Dual-stream 1080p H.264 decoding is supported in hardware (for blu-ray picture-in-picture)
3. No idea how Intel's FDI works or will what is the maximum supported (dual displays, higher than 1080p, etc).

A good test for 4 is Google Earth. If the graphics card can handle GE at high framerates without issues, then its fine.
Haha. That wasn't really a question. It was more of a statement (or wishlist), but still that's all good to know. Thanks.

i doubt apple will go back to intel,

they will most likely use ATI's alternative chipset.
Has Intel even given ATI a license to manufacture chipsets? I though Intel wanted to move people to Larabee, so unless nVidia has really just pissed Intel off, why give a license to ATI and not nVidia? (Some could even call that agreement anti-competitive).
 

Scottsdale

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Sep 19, 2008
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Anyone who wants Nvidia to be gone from low-end MBPs, MBAs, iMacs, and Mac minis certainly doesn't understand the ramifications of going back to Intel. The Nvidia chipset/GPU is offering great performance and capabilities far superior to Intel's worthless integrated graphics.

I am definitely going to be disappointed if Apple ONLY uses Intel integrated graphics in a single Mac computer. This really is going to require dedicated graphics for EVERY MAC SOLD! We really cannot go so far backwards.

I would be inclined to think that Apple WILL update ALL MACS NOW/SOON with Penryn CPUs to give it six plus months to determine the best route to move forwards without losing performance required to go backwards to Intel.

Just think that every Mac except the Mac Pro has an Nvidia 9400m GPU option...
 

iLog.Genius

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
4,829
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Toronto, Ontario
Anyone who wants Nvidia to be gone from low-end MBPs, MBAs, iMacs, and Mac minis certainly doesn't understand the ramifications of going back to Intel. The Nvidia chipset/GPU is offering great performance and capabilities far superior to Intel's worthless integrated graphics.

I am definitely going to be disappointed if Apple ONLY uses Intel integrated graphics in a single Mac computer. This really is going to require dedicated graphics for EVERY MAC SOLD! We really cannot go so far backwards.

I would be inclined to think that Apple WILL update ALL MACS NOW/SOON with Penryn CPUs to give it six plus months to determine the best route to move forwards without losing performance required to go backwards to Intel.

Just think that every Mac except the Mac Pro has an Nvidia 9400m GPU option...
I agree. For the longest time and as far as I remember, the Intel GPU was one of the biggest complaints more so since Apple wasn't the cheapest computer few years back. When Apple finally ditched the GMA for GeForce M it was definitely a sigh a relief. As we all know, the 9400M isn't the best GPU but it could do a whole lot more than what the GMA offered plus Mac's are more affordable than ever. I would be shocked if Apple went back to Intel's GPU.

Going to ATI would be welcomed but there are questions regarding it. It's been years and technology has come a long way but I found that mobile ATI GPU's always ran on the warmer side. If Apple were to stick with the unibody design (heck, they could maybe go thinner?), how would the heat (if still present) affect things?

I'm not saying that the current MacBook (Pro's) are the best, but it's pretty damn close in terms of price/performance from what Apple has ever offered.
 

daneoni

macrumors G4
Mar 24, 2006
10,803
79
Is the 9400m still more powerful than intel's arrandale/clarkesfield IGP offering?
 

SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 17, 2006
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Yes, as I linked above (Benchmarks found), the Arrandale GPU is about 50-80% the performance of the 9400M. However since its not officially out yet, that may change depending on things like drivers, speeds, etc.

However the trade-off is battery life - the TDP of the 9400M is supposed to be around 12W, so if you take a 35W CPU and the 12W 9400M, thats 47W. The new Arrandale is 35W (or even 25 or 18W) for the CPU/GPU/Mem controller, and the PCH is 4W, so 39W total, a decrease of 8W or 17%. And usually the CPU is where all the energies go in terms of reducing idle power consumption, and not so much on the IO Hubs or MCH. So the more power the CPU uses in the system compared to other components. the better (because at idle, the CPU will drop down to very low power levels, and if everything else in the system is consuming 10W, instead of 25W, the battery will go much further).
 

Scottsdale

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2008
4,391
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U.S.A.
Yes, as I linked above (Benchmarks found), the Arrandale GPU is about 50-80% the performance of the 9400M. However since its not officially out yet, that may change depending on things like drivers, speeds, etc.

However the trade-off is battery life - the TDP of the 9400M is supposed to be around 12W, so if you take a 35W CPU and the 12W 9400M, thats 47W. The new Arrandale is 35W (or even 25 or 18W) for the CPU/GPU/Mem controller, and the PCH is 4W, so 39W total, a decrease of 8W or 17%. And usually the CPU is where all the energies go in terms of reducing idle power consumption, and not so much on the IO Hubs or MCH. So the more power the CPU uses in the system compared to other components. the better (because at idle, the CPU will drop down to very low power levels, and if everything else in the system is consuming 10W, instead of 25W, the battery will go much further).
My God, we are already getting a true six or seven hours of battery life. Why would any more be important... I would prefer more power, and with Nvidia we have it ALL. Intel is a huge step backwards. The Arrandale integrated will probably be 35% as powerful as the new Nvidia GPU 200m. Some are saying 240m is 5x as powerful as Arrandale integrated.

The reason we see the 9400m in nearly every Mac as it is so very capable. There is no way Apple can go so far backwards without considering dedicated for every Mac. Dual graphics with option to boot Intel integrated or a dedicated solution is fine for MBP buyers as they can just boot dedicated. But Intel integrated graphics is not going to be a viable option as sole graphics in MB, MBA, Mac mini, and iMac. Mac users will NOT be happy with 15% faster CPU, and 15% better battery life if losing 70% of graphics capabilities.

Intel is just going to require Apple to use dedicated solutions in every Mac. I had thought maybe Apple would work out a licensing agreement with Intel paying Intel licensing for each Mac using an Nvidia GPU. Apple has invested so heavily in Nvidia GPU/Chipset that I figured Apple may have already worked out an agreement exclusive for Macs.

I still hope, no pray, that Apple doesn't go solely with Intel integrated graphics.
 

tofagerl

macrumors 6502a
May 16, 2006
952
389
Seriously though, how many more years are we going to talk about a graphics chip/GPU? With OpenCL what we want/have is a highly specialized CPU for the OS/applications, and a very general, though oh-so-fast co-processor for the number crunching - be that graphics or hacking your neighbors Wifi.

The question right now is who's going to be delivering the co-processor. Nvidia definitely has the edge, but Intels Larrabee is looking interesting...
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors 604
May 28, 2005
7,984
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Pennsylvania
This really is going to require dedicated graphics for EVERY MAC SOLD! We really cannot go so far backwards
Um... I'm pretty sure that dedicated graphics are more advanced then integrated graphics... I don't get how that would be backwards.



...It's been years and technology has come a long way but I found that mobile ATI GPU's always ran on the warmer side. If Apple were to stick with the unibody design (heck, they could maybe go thinner?), how would the heat (if still present) affect things?
I have an ATI gpu in my desktop right now, but the important thing is that it's passively cooled. it's a 4550, without a fan. If they can do that, I'd hate to think about what they can do with a fan
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
287
Indianapolis
Um... I'm pretty sure that dedicated graphics are more advanced then integrated graphics... I don't get how that would be backwards.
BOM and where are they going to place it on the board?

I have an ATI gpu in my desktop right now, but the important thing is that it's passively cooled. it's a 4550, without a fan. If they can do that, I'd hate to think about what they can do with a fan
I have a passive 4830 and I've seen passive 4850s as well.
 

iLog.Genius

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2009
4,829
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Toronto, Ontario
Hey, if ATI/Apple can keep things cool I'm all for ATI GPU's in future MacBook Pro's. My concern was the Radeon X1600 in the 2006 models. I know there was an issue with heat. If Apple can avoid that and if ATI's mobile GPU's have improved, if NVIDIA doesn't want to manufacture I would be happy with a Radeon.
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
287
Indianapolis
Hey, if ATI/Apple can keep things cool I'm all for ATI GPU's in future MacBook Pro's. My concern was the Radeon X1600 in the 2006 models. I know there was an issue with heat. If Apple can avoid that and if ATI's mobile GPU's have improved, if NVIDIA doesn't want to manufacture I would be happy with a Radeon.
Please do tell about the Mobility X1600 heat issue.