Yesterday, Apple refreshed its MacBook line of notebook computers. As was widely rumored, Apple announced a new graphics provider to replace the Intel integrated graphics that was used on the previous MacBook.
NVIDIA replaced Intel as the graphics supplier with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M sporting 256MB of RAM shared with main system memory. Steve Jobs himself says that the new NVIDIA GPUs deliver five times the graphics power that the notoriously underpowered Intel X3100 integrated graphics system in previous generation MacBooks could muster.
Despite Intel being replaced in the MacBook by NVIDIA graphics, Intel maintains that it's not out of the Apple fold altogether. CNET News quotes an Intel spokesperson saying, "Intel continues to have a strong relationship with Apple. Graphics is a competitive market and we compete for all new business. Intel's technology is integrated throughout Apple's product line but we didn't win this particular design."
Intel may have been replaced by NVIDIA for graphics, but Intel still provides the processors for MacBook systems. Apple has picked the 45nm SSF Penryn processor for the MacBook Air to replace the 65nm SFF Merom used previously. The new processors will boost performance in part by adding cache memory. The 45nm Penryn CPUs have 3MB or 6MB of cache.
Among the new systems introduced yesterday was a new aluminum clad MacBook. In addition to getting the new NVIDIA GPU, the notebook also received a storage bump to 120GB and a Mini DisplayPort connector. The old MacBook is still being offered at a price reduced to $999. Apple has also provided more details on its Brick manufacturing process.