Has the No. 3 PC maker in the U.S. just given Nvidia the boot? According to a CNET report, Apple will be opting for Intel’s Sandy Bridge platform on systems with 13 screens and smaller going forward. Higher-end MacBook Pros will reportedly feature discrete graphics supplied by AMD. If true, this would be a major blow to Nvidia, which has seen AMD surpass them in the notebook GPU market share this year.
Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors will combine the CPU and graphics on a single chip, which will give Apple the mix of visual performance and long battery life it needs for ultra-thin systems like the new MacBook Airs. Switching to AMD on the Pro line will give power uses advanced DX11 support and presumably Eyefinity technology for supporting multiple displays. Nvidia GPUs are currently available on all Mac portables, so if this transition is happening it will take some time.
We’ll probably know how true this report is come January, when we expect Apple to refresh its MacBook Pro line with Sandy Bridge CPUs. We reached out to Nvidia for comment, but they said to ask Apple about Apple products. Like I said, we’ll have to wait to find out.