The Macbooks continue to employ the same Intel GMA X3100 (144MB shared system RAM) used in the previous version; as for the Macbook Pro, it continues to employ the same nVIDIA 8600M GT mobile GPU that was introduced in the previous generation….but high-end (2.5 & 2.6GHz) models have been bumped up to an impressive 512MB(!!!) of graphics memory.
We’re not quite sure how much of a difference the extra graphics RAM will make for the average Macbook Pro buyer; 512MB graphics cards have been out on the Wintel/PC side for some time, and except for extremely over-the-top games like Battlefield 2142, Crysis, et cetera….most games don’t run all that much better on 512MB than they do on 256, assuming that both GPUs in a given comparison were otherwise similar.
For professional 3D/HD Video applications, such as Apple’s Motion, the massive 512MB VRAM stands to make a very significant leap forward in both performance and real-time capabilities; according to reliable sources at Infinite Loop, this was the primary reason for Apple to adopt the 512MB 8600M-GT in the high-end models — that, and “on-paper” specification parity with the MBP’s Wintel competition.
All in all, this is a long-awaited and quite impressive revamp of Apple’s portable Mac offerings; price points remain much the same as in the previous generation, but performance and features have leaped forward beautifully.
We have very little doubt that these new laptops will sell like hotcakes — and will provide the kind of “legs” that Cupertino needs to make the kind of market share inroads (12-15% of overall consumer computer sales) that industry analysts have predicted for 2008-2009.
Stay tuned for additional analysis, and lots of fresh dirt this week as we prepare for one of the most exciting periods in Apple’s history to date! New iDevices, updates to the iMac and Mini, and the long-awaited 3G iPhone are all in the pipeline and we’ve got tons of exciting insider tidbits coming out from under embargo soon, so don’t miss a beat — check back often, and if you’ve got dirt to share with the Mac community, you know what to do!