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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. @BC Kelly

    “You betcha!”

    Kidding aside, all this hardware sounds great but hopefully NVidia has also improved their drivers and related software. I forget which card model at the time which could not play DVD without tripping up while ATI cards had no problem.

  5. I wish they would spend a little time and money getting the drivers right for the 8800GT. I spent $200 extra on my MacPro and find out I’m actually running slower in Final Cut Studio (than with the basic installed card).

    Fix your existing problems first!

  6. @ Huey Long
    “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?”

    You’re making the same mistake that most people do. VRAM does not equal capability. The #1 factor is the GPU, VRAM is secondary.

    While true, the Quadro is a very strong card, it is not aimed at gamers, it is aimed at the Scientific and 3D modeling professionals. The gaming card (last years 8800GT) is a slightly slower clocked and lesser VRAM version of it. The GPU is the same.

    As for this announcement, anyone getting excited for this in a MacPro tower should ask your selves why. All this is is an uber value priced integrated chip that doesn’t completely suck at the moment.

    If you are excited at it’s “performance” you should be more excited for this GPU’s bigger and badder siblings like the 9600 or 9800, or better yet, the current GPUs GTX 260 and GTX 280.

    Give it 6 months to a year to be completely overshadowed and thrown in the bin beside the old Intel integrated chips.

  7. XLM is correct, anything from NVIDIA’s 9000 range is now old news. On the PC side they’ve already moved to the new platform.

    But a 9400 or 9600 anything is just midrange. 9800 and up are what should be in a $3000 computer.

    For Macs to be so famous for graphics it kills me that we are actually so far behind that a midrange offering gets us so excited…

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