Would a dedicated graphics card FIT in a redesigned 15" MBP/Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mozhu, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. mozhu macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2011
    There are rumors of the new 15" MBP being redesigned as an Air. The current airs don't offer dedicated graphics.

    Would a dedicated graphics card fit in an 15" MacBook Air form factor?
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Doubt it.
  3. ahdickter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Depends on how "Air" like they make it. If it's extremely tapered like the MBA's then probably not. But it's Apple, so who knows. ;)
  4. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    They will sell it separately, for $600, as external thunderbolt GPU/HDD/optical drive combo. Or, maybe it's included in the next generation thunderbolt display.

    I think the 15'' Air and the MBP (with or without redesign) will be separate products, at least for another year or two. We'll see.
  5. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    I think it would. Imagine that the battery takes up the bottom 2/3rds of the enclosure. If the 15" MBA has the footprint of the current MBP, that would leave it with a bigger area to house the logic board and additional cooling.

    Of course, this is all conjecture. Even if it is possible, I don't expect to see one.
  6. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Yes, an AMD GPU, like found in the 15" and 17" MBP, would fit into the space, but that is not the issue as I see it. Cooling it would be the issue.

    Here is an early 2011 15" MBP mother board from ifixit.com .


    Yellow box - Intel Quad Core CPU (for comparison)
    Orange box above yellow box - AMD GPU
  7. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Won't a dedicated graphics card mean a shorter battery life and run counter to the premise of a air laptop? :confused:
  8. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    I think that is the wrong question.
    Does it make sense to do it.
    Would somebody who wants to play games and wants more then the Intel IGP provides buy a 15" MBA. Probably not?
    It is for people that want a normal work machine but with a bigger screen. In OSX hardly anybody needs dedicated GPUs.

    Secondly what GPUs might you be able to fit in. There are those Sony notebooks that almost always sport dedicated GPUs in the entry range (like a 520M). Those still have a TDP of some 10W but are a complete waste because they are not faster than the Intel HD 3000/4000 by any significant margin. You'd need 15-25W to get a GPU that really is worth the effort.
    AMD doesn't plan on making any more 64bit GPUs because they are not worth it anymore as they cannot truly beat the IGP solutions anymore.

    People still hold on to the myth that Intel GPUs are soo bad. Yes they used to suck but they don't anymore. They run anything on the Desktop without any problems only GPGPU acc. apps or Games can really use something faster. The current Intel GPUs are much faster than the 9400M but back then nobody complained about the 9400M but Intel is still bad. Yet Animations, Videos ... stuff that you do out of Games didn't change at all since then that stuff doesn't need more speed than it used to. Only Games do and some GPGPU Apps which can never really have enough speed.

    For all the things I do on OSX. Work(programming), movies, music, typing, websurfing the Intel GPU of Arrendale which is half as fast as the Intel HD 3000 does everything fine and without any choppyness. Without an external screen I would for heat and noise sake never switch to the dedicated GPU.
    I still need it for Windows and my occasional gaming thus I wouldn't by a 15" air as this is my one and only computer.
    Would I have a desktop and run pretty much only OSX along with some VM Windows for special apps on my notebook such a 15" would do just fine running on Intel only.

    I believe they will not even put a quadcore into a new 15" MBA until Ivy Bridge. Because most people really don't need those. If I think back on my student dorms it would have been a waste for almost all the students. Dual Core is just fine. I will upgrade eventually because I really would like to speed up compile times. That sometimes takes so much time.
    I think google/amazon should provide a compile webservice.
  9. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    The MBP switches between the amd GPU and the hd3000 to conserve battery life.

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