iMac bound? NVIDIA debuts new GeForce 9-Series desktop GPUs; 5x more performance, one-half the size

NVIDIA’s engineering team was given a challenge: deliver a desktop GPU which integrates full system I/O and discrete-level performance in one-half the size of previous integrated graphics solutions.

MacDailyNews Take: Who issued that challenge, Steven P. Jobs?

The result: a 16-core CUDA-capable graphics architecture that enables mainstream PC users to play the latest top-selling PC games and enjoy silky-smooth, high-definition Blu-ray video playback—all without breaking the bank.

NVIDIA Introduces the GeForce 9400 and 9300 motherboard GPUs for desktop PCs on the Intel platform.

“These new mGPUs give NVIDIA a big advantage over other integrated graphics chips,” said Dr. Jon Peddie of Jon Peddie Research, in the press release. “By doing so much parallel processing on a single chip, they can accelerate the new visual computing applications people are getting, and at a reasonable price. The GeForce 9400 and 9300 mGPUs set a new standard for what users should expect from today’s more mainstream desktop systems.”

“We’ve combined the power of three different chips into one highly compact and efficient GPU,” said Drew Henry, general manager of MCP business unit at NVIDIA, in the press release. “In doing so, we’ve redefined the level of performance people can expect from a motherboard solution to enrich visual computing experiences for mainstream systems. You can now have the performance of a discrete GPU in a small form factor PC.”

GPUs have long been essential platforms for rendering real-time images to computer screens, but software developers and system manufacturers have only recently begun using their parallel processing power to deliver a new level of performance for a variety of visual computing applications, including Adobe Creative Suite 4 and BadaBoom. Badaboom is a video transcoding application to speed up application performance and free up the PC for doing other tasks in parallel.

The new NVIDIA GeForce 9-Series motherboard GPUs feature:

• 16-cores for processing DirectX 10 games and CUDA-accelerated applications
• High-quality video playback with NVIDIA PureVideo HD technology, which offloads 100% of all video processing from the CPU to the GPU
• Support for advanced audio and video connectivity, including uncompressed LPCM 7.1 audio, dual-link DVI, and HDMI
• Support for NVIDIA Hybrid SLI Technology, which boosts performance up to 70% above the motherboard GPU
• Single-chip design with much smaller footprint than competing chipsets makes it ideal for small form factor and ultra-slim media center PCs

Motherboards featuring GeForce 9-Series motherboard GPUs are shipping this month from industry-leading motherboard partners including: ASUS, ECS, EVGA, Foxconn, Galaxy, Gigabyte, J&W, MSI, Onda, Zotac, and XFX.

More information on the GeForce 9-Series mGPUs here.

Aviv Hadar writes for MacBlogz, “The higher end GeForce 9400 is the desktop version of the same GPU that Apple unveiled at the recent notebook media event. Both processors have been developed for the Intel platform, so Apple continuing to utilize its new fruitful relationship with NVIDIA makes sense. As previously reported, Apple is clearly impressed with what NVIDIA has brought to the table. Integrated NVIDIA GPU’s should continue making their way into more Apple products, especially if Apple wants to get rid of the notoriously negative gaming stigma that has plagued them for so many years.”

Full article here.


  1. To anyone that thinks this is a great idea for a Mac Pro: WHY?!

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m outraged by the lack of quality video cards in the Mac Pro. Why is a Radeon 2600 an option in a $2800 computer? Why is an 8800GT the only remotely solid choice for performance in games? Both of those cards are two generations old now, and Apple needs to get their shit together.

    The problem here isn’t that the Mac Pros are overpriced, or even that the video cards are out of date… it’s that they’re overpriced AND out of date at the same time. There’s no excuse for mediocre hardware in such an expensive computer, and it’s about time Apple gave people real options like the Radeon 4800 series or the GT200 series.

    These low-end Nvidia chips are only a viable option for the cheapest consumer machines. I could see them being the standard on a computer like the Mac Mini or the cheapest iMac, but nothing more.

  2. That’s fine, but those DESKTOP chipsets are made for DESKTOP cpus (socket LGA775). Until now, Apple used mobile cpus in the iMac. Unless they want to add a couple of more noisy fans in the iMac, I don’t think Apple will switch to DESKTOP cpus in the iMac.

    Nonetheless, I wouldn’t mind if Apple started to make a real DESKTOP computer out of DESKTOP cpus and chipsets (nvidia or Intel).

  3. Sounds nice…

    I guess I’m a bit behind the video technology bleeding edge, but the “ATI Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 SDRAM” in my iMac seems more than adequate for the stuff I do. I don’t need any (more) excuses for buying and playing games. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. what greatcaffeine said ^^^

    People opting for the ‘high end’ card in a Mac Pro either want better acceleration for pro graphics apps or want gaming performance. Either way, having anything other than the option of a card that was top of the range 6 months ago is weak, but to have a card that’s as out of date as the current options is just ridiculous.

  5. Hm. Doesn’t say anything about miniDisplayPort compatibility (although it notably mentions DVI and HDMI). Unless they have an Apple version, this doesn’t fit with what Steve said at the last keynote.

  6. Why is an 8800GT the only remotely solid choice for performance in games?”

    I don’t think the above comment is true… as far as I’m aware – and just checking the Apple website – I believe the NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 1.5GB is the best option on offer, for a MacPro.

    I’m not a big gamer, but I’m guessing a 1.5GB graphics chip isn’t too bad, right?

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