MCP79 single-chip solution under the hood
Last modified on Monday, 13 October 2008 08:31
We have been hearing whispers for some time that the next round of MacBooks that are going to be launched on Tuesday will be powered by an Nvidia chipset, and this does now appear to be the case.
It is expected that Apple will show the new MacBooks that will be using an Nvidia chipset that uses a single-chip MCP79 solution while utilizing a GeForce 9300/9400-class integrated GPU. The single-chip Nvidia solution will allow for Apple to expend far less PCB space than the typical Northbridge/Southbridge solution than the Intel chipsets that the company has utilized in the past from Intel.
Another clear advantage of moving away from the Intel solution will be in GPU performance. The Geforce 9300/9400 integrated GPU will obliterate the performance of the Intel IGP solution that Apple has used previously. In addition, high-end MacBook pro models will add a GeForce 9600 mobile discrete GPU that will support Nvidia’s HybridSLI technology that will allow a shut down and transfer of graphic responsibility over to the 9300/9400 integrated GPU when performance is not needed; and this will yield better battery life.
It is expected that the Nvidia MCP79 solution will add support for the 1066MHz FSB, as well as DDR2/DDR3 support, PCI Express 2.0 and HDMI output. Of course, it is not known which of these features Apple will include in the release, but it is expected to take advantage of some if not all of them.
Overall, the move by Apple to continue with Intel mobile processors, but utilize the Nvidia chipset, should be welcomed news by the Apple faithful; but some Apple enthusiasts are already expressing concerns over Nvidia’s recent problems with some of their mobile GPU offerings. Still, the performance benefits could be a staggering difference when compared to the previous generation of Intel chipset offerings.
One other thing of note: according to our sources Apple is ditching the DVI and Firewire support on the new MacBooks. The move to dump Firewire may come as a shock to those that have been booting to Firewire devices for imaging purposes. Reportedly, you will have to move your imaging to either USB or Network options with new MacBooks.