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Much has been made over the past year or so regarding NVIDIA's exit from the chipset business in the wake of a dispute with Intel over whether or not NVIDIA was permitted to build chipsets for Intel's latest Core series processors. That dispute forced Apple's hand for its recent small notebooks, leading Apple to stick with aging Core 2 Duo processors paired with a custom NVIDIA integrated graphics chip, as NVIDIA was still permitted to offer chipsets compatible with those processors. The alternative for Apple was to offer newer Intel processors but with Intel's integrated graphics, which offered much poorer performance than NVIDIA's offerings.

NVIDIA and Intel today announced that they have entered into a new patent cross-licensing agreement that will see Intel pay NVIDIA $1.5 billion over six years, but the new agreement (PDF) appears to still prohibit NVIDIA from developing its own chipsets for Intel's latest processors.
The Parties agree to amend the Chipset License by adding the following at the end of Section 2.14 of the Chipset License:

"Notwithstanding anything else in this Agreement, NVIDIA Licensed Chipsets shall not include any Intel Chipsets that are capable of electrically interfacing directly (with or without buffering or pin, pad or bump reassignment) with an Intel Processor that has an integrated (whether on-die or in-package) main memory controller, such as, without limitation, the Intel Processor families that are code named 'Nehalem', 'Westmere' and 'Sandy Bridge.'"
Rumors of a settlement had been circulating, but NVIDIA has remain firm in its stance that it has exited the chipset business for good and that Apple is likely to continue using Core 2 Duo processors paired with NVIDIA's MCP89 chipset for quite some time. For its part, Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, introduced last week, bring significantly enhanced graphics performance for integrated systems, making them a viable alternative for Apple in future hardware updates.

Article Link: NVIDIA and Intel Settle, NVIDIA Still Prohibited from Building Chipsets for Newest Intel Processors
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,050
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Canada
For its part, Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, introduced last week, bring significantly enhanced graphics performance for integrated systems, making them a viable alternative for Apple in future hardware updates.

Does it really? Benchmarks are so easy to manipulate, I'll wait for real-world results instead. Let's see their GPU run things like World of Warcraft, Left 4 Dead 2, Starcraft II, Diablo III, Portal 2...

If anything, all these fights between Intel and nVidia are going to do is push Apple even further ahead in their future plans. They were able to go from 68K to PPC to x86. My guess is that nothing stops them from switching to AMD or even ARM at this point.
 
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troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,746
468
Lemme guess.. C2D's will be thrown into the 13" MBPs for another "refresh" this year?
 
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Ulf1103

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Jan 5, 2011
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Intel: If you don't come up whit wat better graphics then don't try to bring down the good GPU's!!
We just want good graphics and fast processors…
 
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shartypants

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
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60
Intel shouldn't force out NVIDIA unless it can match graphics performance. Intel is making us and Apple the losers in this deal. Hopefully their new graphics processors are adequate. I want a quad core MBP!!
 
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rust.puppet

macrumors regular
Jul 18, 2008
233
0
Ashtabula, OH
this sounds horrible... sorry but C2D is just OLD I was hoping this year would give us something that will be mainstream this year. I guess we'll wait and see... looks like Nvidia is now my least favorite graphics company... down from favorite. Intel is sticking it to the man, they sure know how to put a company out of business.
 
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q64ceo

macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2010
332
415
Maybe Apple will finally ditch the second class graphics company and use chips from the best company, AMD
 
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Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
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What if those are the benchmarks? :confused:

I was referring to the usual benchmarking programs (3DMark, etc). If they use real-world application with the same settings (resolution, graphics details, etc) and the end-results are the same or better, then it's valid in my book.

However, AFAIK, intel GPUs have never lived up to the marketing hype. Good on paper, not good in real life. They're good 2D chips for desktop use, but for anything else you can forget it.
 
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louis Fashion

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2010
726
3
Arizona, USA
Imho

I think we are getting down to the nitty-gritty here. I see over 50K B.S. posts about a Verizon iPhone in the last year - which indicates that there is more interest in run of the mill consumer electrics than robust, hard-core computing.

I, for one, would like AAPL to just kick ass in the straight computer realm. I do not know if it is possible from a business plan stand point, but it would be nice to see some over the top computer products come out soon.
 
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swarmster

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Jun 1, 2004
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While this looks bad on the surface, Apple's going to have a bunch of options in the future, which you can bet they're prepared for.

One is using Intel's CPUs and their worthless video.

Another is to switch to AMD for both CPU and chipset/video.

The wildcard will be nVidia's new CPU team making desktop-grade ARMs. An OS X port would consolidate all of Apple's development to ARM, and give them some platform differentiation with PC-land. For that matter, if it works, they could just buy nVidia with cash and bring all platform development in-house. They already have an ARM hardware team, after all...
 
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Ulf1103

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shartypants said:
Intel shouldn't force out NVIDIA unless it can match graphics performance. Intel is making us and Apple the losers in this deal. Hopefully their new graphics processors are adequate. I want a quad core MBP!!

Yes indeed, give us the Core i7 extreme quad core (4/8) 2920XM whit 2.5 GHz 3.5/3.4/3.2 GHz turbo (1/2/4 core) whit 8 MB l3 running at 55 w or the core i7 2820QM 2.3 GHz 3.4/3.3/3.1 GHz 45 W
 
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Stridder44

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2003
3,971
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California
There is no way in hell they can justify using the Core2Duos still, at least not anywhere near the price they're demanding for them. Yeah they're fine chips, but they're old as balls. Come on, seriously?

I really hope Apple starts offering an AMD option or something, at least if nothing else to light a fire under Intel's ass. Not sure if Apple has some kind of deal with Intel that would not allow that though.

In any case, I'm sure they'll use the latest Sandy Bridge CPU's (with their new integrated GPU) and pair them with a semi-new Nvidia or ATI GPU.
 
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Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
5,050
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Canada
The wildcard will be nVidia's new CPU team making desktop-grade ARMs. An OS X port would consolidate all of Apple's development to ARM, and give them some platform differentiation with PC-land. For that matter, if it works, they could just buy nVidia with cash and bring all platform development in-house. They already have an ARM hardware team, after all...

Imagine if Apple made PC graphics cards:
- nVidia 2011 mini
- nVidia 2011
- nVidia 2011 Pro

There you go: simplified and easy to understand (finally). CPU and GPU have nearly impossible-to-decode names. Even the same family of chips can have major differences, it's a headache.
 
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WiiDSmoker

macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2009
1,341
1,785
Dallas, TX
Imagine if Apple made PC graphics cards:
- nVidia 2011 mini
- nVidia 2011
- nVidia 2011 Pro

There you go: simplified and easy to understand (finally). CPU and GPU have nearly impossible-to-decode names. Even the same family of chips can have major differences, it's a headache.

If Apple made graphics cards prepare for them to be "outdated" every few months.
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,918
2,525
Georgia
Maybe they can just do a dedicated GPU and an i5 in the 13" MBP as they do in the 15" and 17". Battery life would drop some but the 15" and 17" still get great battery life.

As for the Air and regular Macbook I should think the Intel integrated graphics is fine.
 
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Fraaaa

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,081
0
London, UK
Does it really? Benchmarks are so easy to manipulate, I'll wait for real-world results instead. Let's see their GPU run things like World of Warcraft, Left 4 Dead 2, Starcraft II, Diablo III, Portal 2...

If anything, all these fights between Intel and nVidia are going to do is push Apple even further ahead in their future plans. They were able to go from 68K to PPC to x86. My guess is that nothing stops them from switching to AMD or even ARM at this point.

Wasn't portal 2 demonstrated at CES on sandy bridge? There should be a video on youtube, but I think they were testing the razer.
 
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slicecom

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2003
2,061
92
Toronto, Canada
If Apple made graphics cards prepare for them to be "outdated" every few months.

Since when does Apple come out with product updates anywhere near as often as graphics card companies update their cards? The rate of products being "outdated" would be drastically decelerated if Apple made graphics cards.
 
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shawnce

macrumors 65816
Jun 1, 2004
1,442
0
If Apple made graphics cards prepare for them to be "outdated" every few months.

Yeah not like Apple is following a once a year (or longer) update schedule for almost all products... :rolleyes: ...you should get with the times, your belief doesn't match the reality for the last few years.
 
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