On Tuesday, October 14th, Steve Jobs announced a chipset that Apple worked on with Nvidia. It resulted in a 16-core integrated GPU that’s in both the MacBook and MacBook Pro. On Monday, Nvidia announced the desktop version of the GPU. Nvidia is calling the chips the 9300 and 9400 mGPUs as they are half the size of standard integrated graphics, but can accomplish a lot more.
While the specs aren’t included in the press release, the chips are pretty impressive. They can transfer the entirety of video decoding from the CPU to the GPU, making it work much faster. They also support Blu-Ray playback and Direct X10.
Of course, GPUs are nice and and all, but it wasn’t until recently that they became much more important. The new Creative Suite 4 from Adobe now actually takes advantage of GPU processing, something that has been missing from Photoshop and other apps for a long time. Playing HD videos or Blu-Ray discs require decent GPUs. Games are also requiring even more graphics power, especially to reach high Direct X10 levels. Come to think of it, I wonder how well these new mGPUs run Crysis.