Is Apple choosing Intel over Nvidia?

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Apple has reportedly chosen to deploy Intel Sandy Bridge processors in its 2011 MacBook lineup.

According to CNET's Brooke Crothers, the move will effectively "squeeze out" Nvidia's graphics processors in "at least some" MackBook models.

Currently, MacBooks employ Nvidia graphics chips in conjunction with Intel Core i series and Core 2 Duo processors.

Is Apple choosing Intel over Nvidia?However, the optimized graphic capabilities offered by the next-gen Sandy Bridge have apparently convinced Steve Jobs and Apple that Nvidia's GPUs are no longer required.

As such, MacBook iterations with screen sizes of 13 inches and below will be loaded with Sandy Bridge-only graphics, while a number of higher-end MacBook Pros are expected to boast graphics chips from AMD.

It is therefore unclear if Nvidia silicon will be present in any of Apple's future higher-end models.

"Historically, if you look at those low-end devices, the 13-inch class products, there's not a lot of room for a discrete GPU," Insight64 principal analyst Nathan Brookwood told CNET.

"So, going forward, if [Apple was] going to use Sandy Bridge in a low-end product, I think they would have to rely exclusively on the Sandy Bridge integrated graphics. [But in the future], those lower-end MacBooks are [likely] sitting ducks for AMD Fusion processors."