Will MacBook Pro Update Bring Enhanced Dual Graphics?

Submitted by lalit on February 25, 2010 - 10:47am.

It has been rumored since December that Apple will update their MacBook Pro lineup and bring Intel’s new Core i5 and Core i7 processors to the lineup. However, as we reported in January, Apple is not very happy with the integrated graphics chip included in the new processor package, as Apple wants to offer better graphics performance to MacBook Pro customers than Intel’s integrated graphics. Apple has been using NVIDIA 9400M chipset to achieve this in current MacBooks, but Intel Core i5 and i7 processors wouldn’t work with NVIDIA chipsets.

According to AppleInsider, Apple might already have a solution for this problem. The website reported that Apple has “up and running in its labs several next generation MacBook Pros that can switch between their integrated and discrete graphics processors automatically.”  The new technology is different from current MacBook Pro lineup, as it doesn’t require manual toggle between the integrated Geforce 9400M graphics and the more powerful 9600M GT graphics chip.

It is very likely Apple is using NVIDIA’s recently announced Optimus technology, which automatically chooses the best graphics processor for running a given application and automatically routes the workload to either an NVIDIA discrete GPU or Intel’s Integrated HD graphics. Appleinsider sources couldn’t say with complete certainty that the new technology would be included in upcoming MacBook Pro lineup, but we feel it should be included.

Apple’s current MacBook Pro lineup is falling behind the curve, even if you compare them to the new white MacBook. Both the 13-inch models and the lower-end 15-inch model are very similar hardware-wise to white MacBook. In fact, the 2.26GHz MacBook Pro offers smaller hard drive and same hardware configuration for $200 more. The 2.53GHz 13-inch and 15-inch models only offer faster processor when compared to the white Macbook for extra $500 and $700 respectively.

To differentiate its MacBook Pro lineup from white MacBook and other similar Windows laptops, Apple will need to add more graphics horsepower to the MacBook Pro lineup for them to actually work like Pro level machine. Aluminum Unibody is still the best in the industry, but it can no longer make a laptop “Pro” without pro-level hardware configuration.

We believe that the ideal configuration for upcoming MacBook Pro laptops will be 2.4GHz, 2.53GHz Core i5 or 2.6GHz Core i7 processor combined with at least 512MB Geforce GT 325M graphics card. We should soon find out what Apple will offer Pro laptop customers, as it is rumored Apple plans to unveil new laptops in March.