13" MacBook casing  (Source:

15" MacBook Pro casing  (Source:

Apple is moving ahead with NVIDIA chipsets for its new MacBooks

There have been a number of rumors swirling around Apple's upcoming notebook refresh scheduled for October 14. The most recent rumor was that the cases for the MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks would be carved from a single brick of aluminum.

This weekend, however, a fresh round of new information on the new notebooks has leaked onto the web in the form of new pictures from The site has captured high-quality images of both the 13" MacBook and the 15" MacBook Pro. Both notebooks feature an aluminum body and will have a keyboard reminiscent of the MacBook Air. The notebooks also incorporate a large multi-touch trackpad up front along with a latchless lid.

The latest pictures also show that both the MacBook and MacBook Pro will feature relatively thin profiles and a slot-loading optical drive on the right hand side of the machine.

Perhaps the most interesting new bit of information regarding the new notebooks is the use of the NVIDIA MCP79 platform instead of an Intel chipset. Reports of Apple's switch to NVIDIA chipsets was first rumored back in late July, and those whispers are now turning into rather loud screaming.

PC Perspective's Ryan Shrout says that while the new MacBooks and MacBook Pros will continue to use Intel processors, they will incorporate the MCP79 chipset. The move will benefit Apple in quite a few ways:

  • MCP79 is a single-chip solution instead of the usual Northbridge/Southbridge pairing with Intel's notebook chipsets. The use of a single-chip solution allows for Apple to use less PCB real estate.
  • MCP79 incorporates a GeForce 9300/9400-class integrated GPU which should totally surpass both of Intel's current IGP solutions for notebooks (3100, 4500-series graphics) in performance.
  • HybridSLI technology will allow users to switch between integrated GeForce 9300/9400 for better battery life and a discrete GeForce 9600 for better performance on the MacBook Pro models.   

Other features supported by the chipset include a 1066MHz FSB, support for DDR2/DDR3 memory, PCI Express 2.0, and HDMI output.

This latest round of news from the Apple camp has already sent current Mac users into a frenzy on sites like Apple Insider and Mac Rumors. Most welcome the switch to NVIDIA's chipsets for the performance benefits, but many others have expressed reservations due to the recent news of problem-plagued NVDIA mobile GPUs.

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