Integrated Vs dedicated graphics for new MacBook Pro

By Alan Ng - Mar 15, 2012

There has been plenty of excitement over Apple’s brand new iPad, but what many consumers want to see is a 2012 upgrade for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks. One important factor in purchasing a new Pro or Air is the graphics chip featured in the system and this week we have heard some interesting, although potentially worrying whispers that you should be aware of.

Earlier this week we spoke about the possibility of a new MacBook Pro model that would come with an unconventional design, with Apple and more specifically Sir Jonathan Ive and his team needing to think of a brand new approach to the MacBook Pro range. This could be due to the growing popularity of the smaller MacBook Air models, so perhaps a new design is needed for the MacBook Pro this year in order to distinguish the two ranges more effectively. I don’t think discontinuing the MacBook Pro is a valid argument.

Moving away from the design though, we have heard some potentially worrying rumors that Apple may be planning to ditch NVIDIA as their graphics supplier for upcoming models of the MacBook Pro. To bring you up to speed, it had become apparent that NVIDIA would be replacing AMD as the dedicated graphics choice for the 2012 lineup of MacBook Pro models, but now it has been rumored that Apple may actually decide to equip new models with Intel integrated graphics instead.

For those of you that require the best graphics possible, this isn’t going to be welcomed with open arms. Apple currently offer the AMD Radeon HD 6750M or Radeon HD 6770M options on 2011 MacBook Pro models, but an article published by SemiAccurate reveals that we could be seeing 2012 models on the store with Intel Ivy Bridge graphics and their infamous ‘integrated’ setup.

Are graphics really that important on a Mac though? There is an argument that most Mac users do not use their system for hardcore gaming purposes anyway, so the loss of NVIDIA graphics wouldn’t be too bad for some. Another aspect of using integrated graphics is that the price could come right down as well, as opposed to using next-gen NVIDIA Kepler graphics as we see speculated.

What are your thoughts on this – would this be a step backwards for Apple? Do you use your Mac computer to play graphic intense games, or do you switch over to PC for that?

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