Rumor: Low And Mid-Range Macbook Pros To Forgo Dedicated Graphics, Rely On Integrated Ivy Bridge’s HD 4000?

The next generation of Macbook Pros, specifically lower end models, could be a lot less “pro” if a new rumor published by SemiAccurate is correct. As the story goes, Nvidia is (still) having issues manufacturing their next-gen 28nm “Kepler” platform in numbers high enough to appease both Windows hardware manufacturers as well as Apple and maintain good sizable yields. The end result, as SA reports, is that Apple will cut out the dedicated Nvidia GPU in low and mid-range Macbook Pros and instead save it for the higher end versions (and possible build-to-order models).

The news is particularly worrisome as in our eyes, any “Pro” laptop that costs upwards of $1500 should never use integrated graphics. Granted, the HD 3000 currently found on the latest round of Sandy Bridge equipped Macbook Pros (and the Air too) is actually pretty decent all things considered. It’s not going to be suitable for mobile gaming, though. The HD 4000 on the upcoming Intel 22nm Ivy Bridge chipset is reportedly a solid 30-40% better than that of the HD 3000 (via AnandTech) meaning mobile gaming on integrated graphics could become somewhat decent or at least bearable.

All that said, the above is nothing more than rumor at this point. We’d like to think Apple can somehow acquire enough Kepler GPUs for their “Pro” machines and not resort to dumbing their fantastic line of laptops down. But when push comes to shove, it would be interesting to see integrated graphics getting the spotlight. If Intel can keep upgrading their integrated graphics over the next 2-4 years as they have in the last 2, we could very well see integrated graphics play a much bigger role in the laptop market.


Source: SemiAccurate | Via: AppleInsider