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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  • Upset Mac Fan

    I am buying a new laptop this year, my #1 requirement is to be able to run Diablo 3 on full settings… looks like I am going back to PC laptops…

  • Anonymous

    I was planning on getting the new Macbook Pro until I heard about this… Intergrated is useless to me

  • Durp_ddu

    exact same as sirio 😀 I WANT 17″ BEEF, screw the macbook air design, thats what a macbook air is for, i want a pro cause I’m a pro….. or spoiled… 

  • bit of a joke, I thought that “graphic designer” type people were what Mac’s were aimed at (or that is what people keep telling me)! call me crazy but surely any OS doing graphics work would kind of prefer a decent dedicated graphics chipset than integrated!

    • loopy

      If you actually read the article, it clearly states they are used for Macbook air/pros which are consumer toys… no serious “graphics designer” will be walking around using a notebook for any kind of graphics work irrespective of platform!

      • Are you kidding me? Nearly every creative professional out there, be it web designers, print designers or even motion graphics designers, uses a laptop these days. A lot of them uses a MacBook Pro. At the advertising agencies I’ve been at the MacPros are few and far between. The most common setup is a MacBook Pro and a calibrated Eizo screen.  

        Sure, there are few who would use a MacBook Air, precisely because of the integrated graphics. Apple would loose all of their actual “pro” users if they made the Pro line less capable in the graphics department. 

  • Sirio

    OMG i need to play Diablo 3 on the new macbook pro.. i need a powerful graphics lolzz..!!

  • Bob 123

    I am sure that the intergrated would save Apple money but this saving will not be passed on. It’s all about profit.

    • Tom

      @Bob 123 – Um, yeah.  They are a company.  They exist to make money – It’s what companies do.  It’s called capitalism, and what has made the U.S. strong (up until our recent quasi – socialist tenancies). 

      • Rajpdxusa

        Ah how sweet. They let you out to post online sometimes. That’s awfully nice of them.

        lol “quasi socialist tendencies” – you wouldn’t know what socialism was if it bit you where you think.