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NVIDIA Exits Chipset Business for Good? Apple to Continue to Use Old NVIDIA Chipsets

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An Xbitlabs report from November provides quotes from NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang about their seemingly permanent exit of the chipset business.
We are not building any more chipsets, we are building SoCs now. We are building Tegra SoCs, and so we are going to take integration to a new level. [...] The chipset business [has] not grown largely this year because we have not really been expanding the sales of it,
We had known that NVIDIA had exited the chipset business due to ongoing litigation with Intel over licensing, but there had been a belief that the issue would be settled. This quote preceded reports of a possible settlement between Intel and NVIDIA in December. That settlement discussion led to speculation that NVIDIA's return to the chipset market could help boost processor speeds in future MacBook Airs and MacBooks.

NVIDIA CEO, however, had this to reveal about Apple's business:
The second thing is the MCP89, the latest and the last generation of Intel chipset that we built was just a really wonderful piece of engineering and the work that we did with Apple was great, and they are going to continue to use that for some time.
The MCP89 is the chipset that has been used in older MacBooks as well as the new MacBook Air. Apple's use of this NVIDIA chipset limits its choice of processors to the previous-generation Core 2 Duo. This tradeoff allows Apple to incorporate the faster integrated graphics cards from NVIDIA in these low-end machines. According to NVIDIA's CEO, Apple plans on continuing to use these older chipsets for some time.

Note that high end MacBook Pros are unaffected as those machines have the luxury of incorporating both the latest Intel processors and discrete graphics cards from 3rd party manufacturers. The tradeoff primarily affects Apple's low end machines.

Article Link: NVIDIA Exits Chipset Business for Good? Apple to Continue to Use Old NVIDIA Chipsets?
 

asdf542

macrumors 6502
Oct 26, 2010
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Lucky Charms Removes Marshmallows for Good? People to Continue to Eat Old Lucky Charms Marshmallows?
 

Chwisch87

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2008
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Well that leaves AMD or intel... which will apple choose lol.

Since AMD chipsets are pretty decent graphics processors..................... hmmm hmmm hmmm.
 

baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
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Not sure what a "chipset" is, did nVidia do anything other than chipsets? I thought they only made GPUs.
nVidia sucks anyway, all of their GPUs keep failing, all you hear is how faulty their new batches are and how everyone has to return their computers. My 9600M failed a long time ago, so I'm stuck with the crappy 9400M.
 

blue22

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2010
505
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Well, I guess the next set of updated 15" & 17" MacBook Pros are going to have AMD chips in them after all.
 

al2o3cr

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2009
210
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Can you say "blogfill", boys and girls? Either that, or a clever attempt to generate pageviews as the "OMG Mac uses old stuff" trolls turn out in force.
 

Chwisch87

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2008
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.....No they would just go back to using Intel chipsets.

Intel chipsets are just plain jane chipsets though... They don't really graphics at all which means you gonna have to always run the GPU.

Plus there have been rumors for a while that Apple may be going AMD... i mean they already use AMD gpus in the imacs..

edit-
Add to that apple doesn't really care about pointing out the performance differences like the powerPC days.. They only care about battery life, as with the amount of power any chip has is the only thing that really matters.
 

SeanMcg

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2004
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Well, I guess the next set of updated 15" & 17" MacBook Pros are going to have AMD chips in them after all.

Note that high end MacBook Pros are unaffected as those machines have the luxury of incorporating both the latest Intel processors and discrete graphics cards from 3rd party manufacturers. The tradeoff primarily affects Apple's low end machines.

Could be anyone
 

tbrinkma

macrumors 68000
Apr 24, 2006
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Not sure what a "chipset" is, did nVidia do anything other than chipsets? I thought they only made GPUs.
nVidia sucks anyway, all of their GPUs keep failing, all you hear is how faulty their new batches are and how everyone has to return their computers. My 9600M failed a long time ago, so I'm stuck with the crappy 9400M.

"Chipset" in this context referrs to things like the northbridge and southbridge. Basically, it's the silicon that lets the CPU communicate with the rest of the motherboard.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
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According to NVIDIA's CEO, Apple plans on continuing to use these older chipsets for some time.
I wouldn't necessarily read into that as meaning Apple will continue to use the 320M for their next refresh. The current MacBook Airs won't likely be refreshed until next October, so from that point of view Apple will be using the 320M for some time, but I don't expect the next MacBook Air to stick with it. Going from a Penryn Core 2 Duo to Sandy Bridge will be a massive CPU speed up, probably 50% average performance, more than 2x faster in applications that can take advantage of AVX, and the dedicated video encoding accelerator takes care of the major consumer oriented use-case for OpenCL.

What will be interesting is what Apple will do with the 13.3" MacBook Pro refresh. Here they have the possibility of adding a discrete GPU with a little redesign, especially if they are removing the HDD and/or ODD.


Well, I guess the next set of updated 15" & 17" MacBook Pros are going to have AMD chips in them after all.
If they want to limit themselves on CPU performance than that is certainly an option. Otherwise a Sandy Bridge + discrete GPU option will be superior to Fusion or Fusion + discrete GPU from both a power and performance perspection. Llano based Fusion uses AMD's current gen CPU architecture and not Bulldozer, which means it is not competitive with Sandy Bridge. Apple will also be giving up SSE4, which I believe they make use of in their multimedia applications.
 

NintendoFan

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2006
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Massachusetts
Intel chipsets are just plain jane chipsets though... They don't really graphics at all which means you gonna have to always run the GPU.

Plus there have been rumors for a while that Apple may be going AMD... i mean they already use AMD gpus in the imacs..

Which wouldn't be an issue for the 15" and 17" Macbook Pros.
 

djrod

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2008
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Madrid - Spain
Macbook, macbook pro 13 and macbook air = AMD CPU + AMD IGP

Macbook pro 15 and 17 = Intel CPU + Intel IGP + NVIDIA GPU

Problem solved?
 

ValSalva

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Jun 26, 2009
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Burpelson AFB
If they want to limit themselves on CPU performance than that is certainly an option. Otherwise a Sandy Bridge + discrete GPU option will be superior to Fusion or Fusion + discrete GPU from both a power and performance perspection. Llano based Fusion uses AMD's current gen CPU architecture and not Bulldozer, which means it is not competitive with Sandy Bridge. Apple will also be giving up SSE4, which I believe they make use of in their multimedia applications.

I hope Apple stays away from AMD. Their products have been second rate since mid-2006.
 

Monkey194545

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2010
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Macbook, macbook pro 13 and macbook air = AMD CPU + AMD IGP

Macbook pro 15 and 17 = Intel CPU + Intel IGP + NVIDIA GPU

Problem solved?

Or they could just dump the optical drive in the 13 and make room for anice amd gpu! :D
 

DTphonehome

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Apr 4, 2003
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A306 Safari/6531.22.7)

Well that's just how technology is. The chipset is perfectly good so why ever update it?
/s
 

garybUK

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Jun 3, 2002
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edit-
Add to that apple doesn't really care about pointing out the performance differences like the powerPC days.. They only care about battery life, as with the amount of power any chip has is the only thing that really matters.

How on earth can a company market a generation old technology as a 'feature'? If Sony can fit a i7 in a 13" Vaio Z why the hell can't apple?

Also the Core2Duo's aren't as good as the i series intel's at power, their workaround? remove the battery and make it non-user replaceable, increating the battery, nothing to do with the machines being better at power management.

One of the biggest con's in the industry? time will tell.
 
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