Nvidia: New MacBook Pro graphics switching is Apple’s tech, not our Optimus

Apple Store“An Nvidia spokesperson confirmed to AppleInsider Tuesday that Apple’s new high-end MacBook Pros include an automatic graphics switching solution that is the Mac maker’s own creation,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider. “Nvidia had no input on Apple’s solution and would not comment on the utilized technology.”

“Earlier this year, Nvidia introduced a new technology called Optimus, which is designed two work alongside Nehalem notebook designs — like the Core i5 and Core i7 — that include Intel’s integrated graphics processor, as well as a discrete Nvidia graphics chip. The feature chooses the best of the two processors for running a given application,” Hughes reports. “While the end result is similar, Apple’s automatic graphics switching solution is not Optimus, Nvidia said.”

Hughes reports, “This switching is accomplished on-the-fly with no input from users. Apple also offers users the option to switch solely to discrete graphics and turn off the automatic switching.”

More info in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Too Hot!” for the heads up.]


  1. @ Hg Wells,

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for those Octo-core A8 and Duo-Deca Core A12 chips for your Mac Pro.

    It’ll take a few years for Apple to catch up to where Intel is at right now when it comes to chips for the Mac Pro. Just as it’ll take a while for Intel to catch up to low powered A4 mobile chips.

  2. “Did apple sopy Optimus’ technology! [sic]”

    No. Instead of a list-based method of determining what applications trigger the discrete GPU, Apple implemented a smarter method.

    From Macworld: “Unlike Optimus, Apple said, the MacBook Pro looks for frameworks needed by individual apps at launch (such as OpenGL and Core Animation) to decide when to switch, rather than looking at a specific list of applications.”

    Moren, Dan. “Apple updates MacBook Pros with Core i5, i7 processors.” Macworld. 13 April 2008. <http://www.macworld.com/article/150575/2010/04/mbp_update.html&gt;

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