Inside Apple’s automatic graphics switching technology

Apple’s 2010 MacBook Pros, based around Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 CPU’s are more efficient than ever. Specifically, the integration of the CPU and GPU into the same processor die requires less bus-handshaking, and results in better battery life than separately compartmentalised units. But the new MacBook Pro’s integrated GPU, IntelHD, while much faster than prior Intel graphics chips, is hardly sporty. 15-inch and 17-inch models have sported two, discreet GPU’s since 2008. But yesterday’s debut of the 2010 MacBook Pro changed formulas, this time allowing new MBP’s to automatically switch between the  integrated IntelHD GPU and the discreet nVidia chip. Users no longer have to log out to switch to the higher-performance GPU. Apple’s automatic graphics  switching is “breakthrough technology”. It also differs from Optimus, nVidia’s automatic graphics switching system which runs both GPU units at all times. Arstechnica explains the difference without getting too technical and while cultivating more love for Apple’s technology.

New Macbook – the ‘poor’ man’s MacBook Air?


Well, the Magic Mouse was a great replacement for the ailing (and now illegal) Mighty Mouse. Today, another product which is almost as long in the tooth, the plastic MacBook, finally gets a real upgrade. While I won’t rush out to buy the first of a new design, Apple have engineered a few very nice additions to the venerable laptop which may make it a good option for users 2006’s model. And interestingly enough, a page dedicated to its impact on the environment has been added to its product page.

While the judge’s retinue are still out as to whether the MacBook is fitted with the recycled (and underpowered) display of the former model, or the high quality MacBook Air screen, at least the display is backlit by a low-power LED. In any case, it still sports its ancient resolution of 1280*800 pixels adn 13.3 display size. The MacBook also comes with a glass trackpad and loses its lip which can cause discomfort after typing for extended periods of time. Perhaps the biggest design decision, however, is the addition of the now-ubiquitous built-in battery.

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