AppleInsider | Nvidia says new MacBook Pro graphics switching isn't Optimus
An Nvidia spokesperson confirmed to AppleInsider Tuesday that Apple's new high-end MacBook Pros include an automatic graphics switching solution that is the Mac maker's own creation. Nvidia had no input on Apple's solution and would not comment on the utilized technology.
Earlier this year, Nvidia introduced a new technology called Optimus, which is designed two work alongside Nehalem notebook designs -- like the Core i5 and Core i7 -- that include Intel's integrated graphics processor, as well as a discrete Nvidia graphics chip. The feature chooses the best of the two processors for running a given application. While the end result is similar, Apple's automatic graphics switching solution is not Optimus, Nvidia said.
This switching is accomplished on-the-fly with no input from users. Apple also offers users the option to switch solely to discrete graphics and turn off the automatic switching.
The top-tier MacBook Pros include the Nvidia GeForce 330M graphics processor, which is more than twice as fast as the low-end 320M found exclusively in the new 13-inch model. The 330M, however, is not an exclusive GPU, as it has been found in competing PCs that have already come to market.
Apple on Tuesday introduced its new line of MacBook Pros, with the 15- and 17-inch models sporting the proprietary graphics switching capabilities. The feature dynamically switches between the 330M for peak performance, and the integrated Intel HD Graphics for more energy efficient operation. Apple said the tightly integrated software and hardware solution allows battery life of 8 to 9 hours on the new MacBook Pros.