Anonymous sources have told CNET that Apple’s 2011 MacBook refresh will see the company’s portable computers utilizing Intel’s forthcoming Sandy Bridge processor, which will extend improvements to the Core i-x chipset series. With the new Sandy Bridge CPU, Apple will no longer be utilizing NVIDIA as a vendor for its graphics processor. Instead, MacBook models 13-inch and under will be sporting integrated Intel GPU. In the past, Apple has eschewed Intel’s integrated GPU offerings in favor of an integrated GPU from NVIDIA as the Intel offering was not up to the performance liking of the company. However, as Intel moved to the Core i-x series chips, beginning with the current generation Arrandale on today’s Macs and now with Sandy Bridge, Intel had changed the CPU architecture so that Intel could leverage its GPU offerings to manufacturers. Laptops of 15- and 17-inch displays will be utilizing AMD graphics according to the tipsters. Lower end Mac portable models could be candidates also for AMD Fusion technology. The Sandy Bridge platform will be unveiled by Intel at the Consumer Electronics Show early in January 2011.
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