A number of owners of Apple's mid-2010 MacBook Pro who have upgraded to OS X 10.8.3 are noticing that systems with dual graphics cards will automatically switch to using the more powerful discrete graphics chip regularly, even when using non-graphics intensive applications like Google Chrome, Dropbox, and Growl. This does not result in crashes or other interruptions in workflow, but it does increase the drain on the systems' battery and result in a shorter working time when not connected to AC power.
The current Tegra chip, Tegra 4, hit the market earlier this year. The next generation, coming later this year, is code-named Logan, while the fifth generation of Tegra is code-named Parker, Huang said at the company's GPU developers' conference.
Logan will incorporate Nvidia's Kepler GPU, which currently is dominating the discrete graphics market. It also will include CUDA, Nvidia's programming model for … Read more
Yesterday Apple released a developer preview build of OS X 10.8.3 to its testing community, and upon investigating the build a few people have found it includes new drivers for AMD's high-end Radeon 7000 series graphics cards. People who have tested the build with PC versions of the Radeon 7970 have found that the card is recognized and works, and suggests that possibilities for new hardware offerings from Apple are in the works.
In the past, Apple has switched back and forth between graphics processors from AMD and Nvidia with iterations of its hardware, with its latest … Read more
If you have a MacBook system that contains dual graphics cards, then you have the option of enabling either the internal graphics or the discrete graphics card, depending on the hardware demands of the tasks you are running.
Integrated or "internal" graphics functions are included on the Intel processor in your Mac (though some prior Mac systems used Nvidia chipsets with Nvidia-branded internal graphics). This graphics option is relatively slow but also draws far less power than a dedicated graphics processor. The integrated graphics are powered fully when the system is turned on.
If your system includes a … Read more
Tablets really are replacing PCs now that the latest version of Windows has launched, graphics- and mobile-chip maker Nvidia said.
But at least right now, Nvidia's mobile business isn't big enough to offset the less-than-merry computer market this holiday season.
It's not exactly shocking that tablets have been eating into sales of PCs. Computer makers have noted the trend, and so have Nvidia chip rivals Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.
But what's interesting is that Nvidia says consumers now realize that a "great tablet is better than a cheap PC." That could signal a … Read more
Imagination, a key supplier of Apple chip technology, will buy MIPS, one of the oldest names in the silicon business.
U.K.-based Imagination Technologies, a major supplier of graphics chips, will buy the operating business of MIPS Technologies, a vendor of power-efficient chips used in routers, set-top boxes, and game machines.
With the deal, valued at $60 million, Imagination will get 82 "key" patents that are "directly relevant to the MIPS architecture" and comprehensive license rights to all of the remaining 498 MIPS' patents, for a total of 580 patents.
Imagination, known primarily as a … Read more
Nvidia announced today that its upcoming Quadro K5000 will be available for use in Apple's Mac Pro systems. The new GPU is Nvidia's flagship graphics process based on its new Kepler architecture, which will have 4GB of video RAM and be about two times faster than the current Quadro 4000 GPU based on the current Fermi architecture.
Recently Engadget had a look at the new GPU running in a Mac Pro system, and found impressive performance from it when streaming HD video and adding effects in real time. Some programs like Adobe After Effects can utilize more than … Read more
A small number of Mac Pro owners who have upgraded to Mountain Lion are reporting an issue where the system seems to randomly log out, quitting all applications without any warnings and returning to the log-in screen.
While this may appear as if the system has restarted or even performed a standard log-out, the system is in fact experiencing a crash in a critical process called the Window Server that supports the current log-in session by managing the drawing and representation of windows on the screen. Crash logs that affected users have revealed show that the problem is rooted in … Read more
Microsoft spelled out acceleration improvements in Windows 8, in a blog post Monday. Needless to say, Microsoft says the overall experience is a lot snappier.
The latest Building Windows 8 entry, penned by Rob Copeland, the group program manager at Microsoft's graphics team, is titled Hardware accelerating everything: Windows 8 graphics.
Some context is first provided at the top in order to illustrate how Window 8 "builds on the well-established foundations of DirectX graphics" in Windows 7.In Windows 7, we expanded the capabilities of DirectX to provide a common hardware-accelerated graphics platform for a broader range … Read more
MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.
This week readers wrote in with questions about Wi-Fi signal transmission through glass, syncing documents between two systems, an external drive no longer mounting on any system, and how one would go about upgrading the video card on a MacBook Pro. We welcome views from readers, so if you have any suggestions or alternative approaches to these problems, post them in the comments!
Question: Wi-Fi signal transmittance through glass MacFixIt reader David asks:To what extent does a glass window weaken a Wi-Fi signal? I … Read more