Yesterday, Nvidia paid Gizmodo a visit to spill some more details about the recently released GeForce GPUs that are inside of Apple’s newest MacBooks. They specifically cleared up some of the information floating around about hardware limitations. It seems Apple is being a little conservative about what and how much the new MacBooks can actually handle.
When you first read of the MacBook Pro’s dual GPUs, you likely assumed they could be used simultaneously. This, currently, is not the case. You have to choose between the 9400M and the 9600M GT, which are separated by a user log out. According to Nvidia, this is not a limitation of their chips. The hardware is fully capable of running both GPUs at the same time and spitting out graphics like water from a fire hydrant.
And that’s not all. Both the MacBook and MacBook Pro could accept up to 8GB of RAM, not the 4GB cap that Apple has set.
Both of these things are minor details since neither is currently possible. But don’t get down, since these limitations are software and not hardware limitations, there is a possibility that Apple could enable both sometime in the future.
I agree with Gizmodo on this one. For the time being, I’d settle for being able to switch between the two GPUs on the MacBook Pro on the fly. Logging out and back in is a silly step not required by the hardware. Not only would this be faster and easier, it would also help to conserve battery life even when you need some serious graphics power.
I think Apple will address the log out issue on the Pros in the not too distant future with a software update, but I’m not holding my breath for being able to use both GPUs at once, or even 8GB of RAM. But, I can dream.