Report: Next-gen MacBooks go Nvidia

Posted by Trent Nouveau

A new report indicates that Apple has chosen Nvidia GPUs to power its next-gen MacBooks.

Currently, Apple’s 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro models are equipped with AMD's Radeon HD 6750M and 6770M graphics chips, while the 13-inch system features integrated Intel graphics.

However, The Verge, basing itself on a "trusted source," claims Cupertino has asked Nvidia to supply discrete GPUs for its upcoming MacBook refresh. 

Joanna Stern of ABC News seemed to confirm the above-mentioned report, stating that Apple’s next-gen MacBook Pro lineup will indeed feature Nvidia graphics chips.

As AppleInsider’s Josh Ong points out, the latest reports counter a March rumor claiming Apple had ditched Nvidia’s Kepler graphics cards from a "large number" of its future MacBook Pros over critical supply issues. 

Although Apple has yet to confirm an official launch date, Cupertino is widely expected to announce a MacBook refresh on June 11 during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference.

Indeed, suppliers are reportedly poised to ramp up production of the new lineup in July, with industry sources projecting 50% year-over-year growth in MacBook shipments during 2012.

The latest iteration of Apple's wildly popular MacBook - powered by Intel's Ivy Bridge processors - is expected to boast a major redesign, making it quite similar in appearance to the thin-and-light MacBook Air.
 For example, the Pros are expected to ditch integrated optical drives which will likely be replaced by solid-state flash memory, allowing for a thinner design, faster performance and improved reliability.

While additional specs have yet to be officially detailed, unofficial benchmarks circulating online indicate the new "MacBookPro9,1" OS X 10.8 (Build 12A211) is powered by quad-core 2.70 GHz Core i7-3820QM processor, hitting a GeekBench score of 12,252 - compared to an approximate score of 10,500 for the Core i7-2860QM processor found in the current MacBook Pro.