Posted by: theovalich | December 31, 2008

Upcoming Apple products continue to use Nvidia chipsets

Recently, I received the latest analysis from Wedbush Morgan Securities, containing an update on Nvidia’s financial performance. In his thesis, lead semico analyst Patrick Wang stated that Apple will “adopt MCP79 (GeForce 9400M) chipset in the upcoming Mac mini and iMac product refreshes. Apple recently shifted its entire laptop line-up to the MCP79 chipset”.

There you go – in next couple of days, Apple will introduce new refreshes of Mac mini and iMac. The list of rumored specifications is probably longer than a distance between Earth and the Moon, but I can offer you a glimpse into the future (based on the information I have):

Mac mini, take three

  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 45nm Wolfdale, 3MB L2 cache, 2.4 or 2.66 GHz CPU (Pentium E7xxx series)
  • 2GB DDR3-1066, up to 4GB (2x SO-DIMM)
  • Nvidia GeForce 9400M with 256MB DDR3-1066 (steals memory from the system one, make sure to upgrade to 4GB)
  • 2.5″ 320GB hard disk drive, 5400 rpm
  • Optional storage: 128GB Solid State Disk or 500GB 5400rpm
  • USB, mini-DisplayPort, no Firewire (what the…?), e-SATA – adapters needed for HDMI, DVI connectivity

iMac, the new (de)generation

  • LED Backlight 20″, 24″
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 45nm Wolfdale, 6MB L2 cache, 2.4-3.15 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB (up from 1066)
  • 2-4GB DDR3-1333
  • Nvidia GeForce 9400 chipset, integrated graphics disabled
  • Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT GPU with 512MB GDDR3
  • 500-1TB SATA hard disk drives

Nice to see that Apple is catching up with PC systems – from the Back to School 2008 period. Sadly, the company isn’t doing much but integrating their notebook platform into a desktop setup with more powerful processors (well, at least they upped the FSB). My sources are still dead silent on the quad-core side… I really hope that the CPU line-up will split between dual-core for 20″ and Quad-core for the 24″ model. But information above is compiled from sources close to the company. Well, really close ;)

Now, I really hope for all future customers that Apple will not feature world-famous glass drop – my friend from Italy had two iMacs replaced when the glass part of the screen went loose. Well, Apple store in Italy gladly upgraded him from two 20″ ones to 24″ ones. Thanks heavens, glas was really firmly connected on the 24″ part.

On a side note, I do consider my $14,000 Mac Pro (8 Core, 16GB, 4TB, 2×3870) to be a PoS system when it comes to real world 4K A/V loading. Crap graphics subsystem and not being able to extract RAID performance how I want it is a mortal sin for me. Migrating to Quadro CX/FX4800, AMD Shanghai DP and Intel Nehalem Xeon DP based systems in Q2’09.

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Responses

  1. [...] Upcoming Apple products continue to use Nvidia chipsets [...]

  2. Just curious- what RAID issues were you having? We use a similar setup (single video card works for us) without too much issue at all. Just wondering what problems you ran into.

  3. Heya Mike,

    have to ask my guys for specific cases, but we saw large number of dropped frames when capturing 4K RAW format compared to our PC configuration of the same type that does not have RAID at all.

    I am not present in the production studio all the time, but when I am there, and hear swearing directed to Cupertino, I know where it hurts. We’re not rich by any standard, and building this studio stretched our finances and guys are doing all sorts of jobs to pay off the investment. It ain’t easy, as you know. And then, problems with dropped frames and so on… problems with large files (but that lies solely with Mac’s FS). Still, it is not acceptable not to be able to go to bed and leave 5-6 hours of material being captured without seeing 1000+ frames dropped. And then check the PC, and see less dropped frames on a machine that has two Seagate SATA drives, and they’re not even in RAID.

    Personally, I find unacceptable that $14,000 machine needs any tweaking. If it was an 8K machine, ok, you need to work off and optimize to compensate… but this is quite frankly, surprising.

    The only reason why we are forced to use the Mac is coloring tools, since PC scene is horridly weak in that perspective. Only multi dozen-$K alternatives exist, and we’re unable to finance the switch at this moment.

    But if you ask any of us are we happy… rest assured, we’re not.

  4. So far the Intel iMac and Mac Mini have both used mobile processors and core logic. Is Apple really about to buck this trend with the Wolfdale processors?


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