Possible graphics Apple might use if they adopt Sandy Bridge in Jan 2011 period?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Julpride, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Julpride macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2010
    Hi everyone.

    As I have been reading through the forums about the Mid 2010 MBP, for I am looking forward to getting one.

    I am looking at the 15" i7 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HD, High Res Glossy configurations.

    I need the processing speed for my video encodings and just for "future-proofing". I am stuck with 512MB graphics anyway so it doesn't matter.

    However, I am just one point off from getting the current configurations.

    Just skeptical that the 330M in my configurations will be able to run Diablo 3 smoothly. I know, it isn't a gaming portable, but if it is able to do it, why not? I am paying good money for it after all. =)

    That besides the point, would you guys consider the 330M to be "old" in a sense or is it still very much worth it's place considering that it is the MBP line after all, in this period.

    Thus bringing the topic to my final question.

    What graphics would Apple most likely use to couple with Sandy Bridge if they do adopt it within the Jan-Feb 2011 period. Maybe based on Apple's previous usage of the graphics cards? Would they keep the current dual graphics controllers?

    I actually liked the Intel Roadmap, Link, and was hoping to find one for the graphics card for my purpose.

    If it is worth the wait, I might just wait. Don't want to buy now and slap myself in the face 2-3 months down the road. Finally, thanks for even reading the entire thing. Sorry if it doesn't make sense, I tried my best to keep it understandable. Cheers. ^^
  2. will macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2002
    I'm going to put my optimistic hat on...

    * Apple has been including higher spec graphics cards in recent updates (e.g. Radeon 5770/5870 in Mac Pro)
    * All recent new designs (excluding integrated graphics) use AMD graphics

    I'm therefore pinning my hopes on a Mobility Radeon 5830 with 1GB of memory in the high-end 15"/17".

    It's much faster than the Geforce 330m in the current MacBook Pro and keeps to a reasonable 24W TDP (I think the 330m is 23W TDP, but I haven't found an authoritative source to prove this).

    You can see a summary of both chips on notebookcheck.net:

    We should also bear in mind that Sandy Bridge integrated graphics are significantly faster (~2x in early tests) than the integrated graphics in the current Arrandale MacBook Pros. If Apple can make their graphics switching technology a little more sophisticated this could mean longer battery life for basic graphical work with the Radeon available for serious 3D or OpenCL.

    Of course it's quite possible Apple will go for something slower. I'm not claiming this as a prediction, just a reasonable optimistic guess.
  3. xpcker macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2010
    im just still dreaming with a 460m - 470m that uses between 60 and 75w TDP, i'd love to see getting out the optic bay and giving more bat and cooling =)!!!!

    just dreaming...

    i dont think they'll put an ati card... just because ati is from amd right now.

    if they put a 425m or a 435m i'll be soo much dissapointed... same benchmarks only with DX11, if that happens i'll move to the G53jw =(

    maybe Apple surprises all us with a 460m with optimus or switchable with sandry bridge GPU

    greetings :D
  4. aimbdd macrumors 6502a

    Dec 10, 2008
    East Cost
    I would like to know everyones thoughts too, this is the only reason i am waiting for the next revision, not for anything else..
  5. applepearpp macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2010
    the mysteries of next gen MBP are the version of video card and what apple going to do with the newly-opened up space from the removal of optical drive....
  6. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    330m runs SC2 on high with no problem, so Diablo 3 should be easy aswell for the 330m.

    The next MBP will have either:
    1. 425m ( they seem to follow Sony, and they are currently replacing the 330m for the 425m )
    2. Some kind of ATI GPU

    Don't expect a high end GPU in the MBP.
  7. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    I just want something that can play Crysis on high at 1080p. That's not too far fetched, as any modern reasonably decent mobile graphics card should be able to do it. What I'm hoping for is the 6-series replacement of the AMD 5830, which should be an amazing card, as the 5830 already is.

    I expect I'll be disappointed.
  8. Julpride thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2010
    It's great to know that I am not the only person somewhat unsatisfied with the 330M. Not to say that is it not a performance card per say, but like I said in another thread. It's like running while seated on a bicycle, in time to come, for me specifically, Diablo 3.

    Although all we can really do here is guess optimistically, it will gives me a better idea if the refresh is worth the wait. I am actually not that worried about Sandy Bridges. Arrandale itself is already a beast.

    The bottleneck for the final decision now is just the graphics card.

    Been whining too much lately. >.<

    Anyone noticed that somehow, MBP's have always been fitted with somewhat lower mid ranged cards for their period? Or is it just me.
  9. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    I doubt whether the GPU in the next MBP will have problems playing Diablo 3 on high or highest settings. I should think the 330M wold be able to have a good crack at it.

    I'm also holding out on a quad core CPU, although that's also unlikely. Otherwise, I want a lot of SSD space and more/faster RAM, and expect that those wishes are very likely to come true.

    Yup. Even the original X1600 was bad. I think the 8600M was a good step up, but that didn't last long. The 330M is still only a small improvement on the 8600M.
  10. aimbdd macrumors 6502a

    Dec 10, 2008
    East Cost
    Meh. I wish it was a decent step up, but not holding my breath...:(
  11. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    I think apple will most likely continue using nvidia due to their gpu switching. I'm thinking they might use 400 based chips, particularly 435m. It's listed as just under the performance of the mobility 5730 (which is the 5670 in the iMacs) in the current iMac lineup, and has a TDP of 45 (when including the whole mxm board and memory) So if apple solders it onto the mobo like they usually do, it's going to be lower, but I'm not sure how much lower.

    My guess is that 435m is the most optimistic of ideas though, Apple could very well continue with 330m, or they might give a slight speed boost to 335m.
  12. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    I could say AMD but the auto switching is damn useful so I think they will use an updated Nvidia combined chipset and graphics or integrated Intel graphics and then the usual mid range Nvidia chip. As to what specs and models is anyones guess.
  13. Julpride thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2010
    The doubt is what I am worried about. Not really ready to throw in 3 grands into a probability.

    I would actually love it if the current mid 2010 MBP, for the i7 configurations, we could get the 435M, I would gladly buy it right away. But a 330M, darn, thats too close for comfort, for my reasons. =(

    I shall make my decision this coming weekend, to purchase or not. =) Thanks a bunch guys for all your inputs.
  14. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    That assumes that apple will remove the optical drive, which is not necessarily going to happen.
  16. xpcker macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2010
    well.. if apple dont give the mbp at LEAST a 445m i'll be sooooo much dissapointed...

    i think Nvidia with the new Optimus Tech is blowing minds and i just hope the could give those high end video cards what we need :D
  17. will, Nov 5, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010

    will macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2002
    I think anyone expecting a GPU with a TDP above 25W is going to be disappointed. I value the portability and long battery life of the 15" MBP and don't believe Apple should (or will) make it thicker and heavier to accommodate higher-power GPUs.

    The 24W TDP Radeon 5830 is fast enough without going overboard.

    If Apple wants to lower power consumption on the AMD side then the next option down power-wise is the Radeon 5650, which has a TDP of 15-19W. However, this is a major reduction in performance for a relatively small power reduction.

    On the Nvidia side I guess the GeForce GT 445M is the nearest in performance to the Radeon 5830, but I believe it has a higher TDP (around 40W TDP?). I haven't found hard figures to confirm this though (Nvidia don't include them in the spec sheet).

    For reference you can see AMD specs here (scroll to bottom for TDP):

    If anyone knows where Nvidia publishes their TDP figures that would be useful in making a better comparison.
  18. Zauberer macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2010
    This topic is what I have been following most on these forums since the next MBP will be my first official Mac that I will own. While a good graphics card isn't a deal breaker, at the very least ideally I want to be able to run SCII, Civ 5, and hopefully Diablo 3 on high settings (and hopefully without needing BootCamp to have them run well). That said, it seems this is the next feature of the MBP the people on this forum are most unsure of. People seem to express more confidence in their opinions regarding what I would consider more radical changes such as removing the optical drive, USB 3.0, or completely switching to SSDs.

    My best guess is that it will have a top-end mobile GPU or near top-end GPU that has similar power standards as the current MBP. Apple definitely values battery life. However, I think there has been a recent trend to prioritize better graphics. Given that there is now graphics switching in the MBP and I'm not sure how much Apple really cares about battery life in regards doing graphical intensive work (I would assume most people do that plugged in). They could just go with a top-end/near top-end GPU, without caring about its impact on battery life, and leave the good battery life for web browsing/etc. I still lean towards a lower-power GPU though, because given how small a MBP is, I'm not sure it could handle the higher heat given off by a higher power-consuming GPU.
  19. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    I'm also on the verge of switching over to a MBP.

    The more I think about it, the more I think the smart idea is to buy a current generation "proven" design either used or via the Apple Refurb outlet. Then wait a few months to trade up to the new model after the early adopters have shaken out any bugs/issues a new design.
  20. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    Yes the 330m will be "old" by then, laptops with the 400m series cards are beginning to trickle out and it's not unreasonable to expect the current model, I would not be suprised if Apple keeps the 330m though.

    425m isn't that much better than the 330m but I can't imagine Apple putting anything much better in. Sandy bridge drastically improves IGP performance so I would expect even the 13" model to do away with the 320m for good.
  21. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    People are and always have had too high hopes.
    Here is my take. I think there will be more VRAM maybe 512/1GB or even more. 30% Chance that I am wrong.
    When the new MBPs are released there might already be HD 6000 cards available and maybe even 500M. I think there will be no GPU from AMD in the 800 class. 600 is as high as it gets 6650 possibly.
    If it is nvidia it is a 425M or 520M. The whole 500 series is only a refresh of the 400 and thus might be released quicker than many are expecting.
    AMD usually is quick and HD 6800 is out and I guess mobile version will follow in the end of Q1 or beginning Q2 2011. The same time I expect new MBP.
    I don't think there will be a HD 5830 because the 24W TDP is a little too high. 430M is to much as the true successor to 330M is 425M.
    I don't like the 400M too much as it seems a little unbalanced in low end and needs a refresh to release the true potential of this architecture. (It has too much unused shader power for the settings you can play games at, there should be a slightly different ratio in execution units I think to make this card more efficient) If they want the best possible card they will switch to AMD they just offer better performance per Watt aka efficiency and Apple claims to only use highly efficient components.

    The 330M is old, outdated and you can get significantly better performance from an 5650 and you can overclock it higher. 330m ain't complete crap but it sure is a little bit definitely is a choice of drivers over performance. I think they simply didn't want to switch part of there lineup to AMD and their drivers, when they already had highly optimized (for mobility) stable nvidia drivers for OSX.
    The same goes for the whole graphic switching. I think it likes to switch so much to nvidia because Apple thinks the Intel drivers suck and for any graphics work 330M is more stable. It has little to do with Intel HD graphics being too slow. They simply aren't.
  22. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    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)

    Any chance of a mobile quadro?
  23. robertbrian23 macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2010
    i've already bought the MBP of the mid 2010 model. we all know that apple won't use the latest graphics card on the new model but maybe we could be wrong. apple is checking on overall performance plus the heating system. since mbps are not for gaming i doubt they'll use the high end graphics on the new models who would come out.

    but we are always guessing anything can happen. hope for the better on the new models and the buyers. if you think its worth it buy it after a long wait but don't be disappointed too much if ain't the specs you are waiting for
  24. aimbdd macrumors 6502a

    Dec 10, 2008
    East Cost
    who knows, maybe with steam coming out with all these games we will actually get a half decent mobile gpu ;)
  25. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    That is the hope but the TDP barrier of around <20W will still hold. They always used underclocked 23W TDP cards there is no way they change to a 45W TDP like some are praying for.

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