macOS dropped support for NVIDIA GPUs!!

Recently, a confirmed announcement was made by Apple about ending the years old Apple-NVIDIA relationship…NVIDIA was the exclusive GPU partner for Apple for more than a decade. It offered a better performance (with their North Bridge architecture chips) than the Intel’s GMA chipsets, that were prevalent at that time, which marked the beginning of this trade-relationship.

NVIDIA NorthBridge Chipset
NVIDIA NorthBridge Chipset

This went up until late 2008 when NVIDIA launched another set of chips with a much compact size of about 80 nanometers (transiting from 90 nm chips). These chips were used on the MacBooks as a mobile GPU and the results observed were  chaotic. Most of the chips were proved to be faulty. This caused Apple to lose millions of dollars of its profit into giving a free repair under Apple’s AppleCare Protection Plan (which is a free 90-day technical service for any faulty hardware, from the date of purchase). Moreover, a design flaw was also found out later, which causes excessive heating in these MacBooks, due to which, Apple lost its reputation among the consumers.

NVIDIA publicly accepted the high failure rates of its mobile GPUs and stated that it happened due to a “packaging defect” and it won’t do any bad to the Mac computers. But Apple further investigated the issue and found some MacBook Pro computers were affected by NVIDIA’s GeForce 8600M GT graphics processors.

NVIDIA sues Qualcomm and Samsung
NVIDIA sues Qualcomm and Samsung

Again around 2014, Nvidia got greedy and used their ‘first GPU’ argument to sue Qualcomm and Samsung in an attempt to get them and probably Apple as well, to pay licensing fees for their patents. The case was eventually dismissed but it was clear that the relationship between Apple and Nvidia turned sour. 

Shortly after, Apple announced its strategic partnership with AMD, because of the high power consumption of NVIDIA GTX 1060 mobile graphics processors (Let alone the high power consumptions, the GTX 1060 mobile GPUs were the weakest and the least effective GPUs in the NVIDIA’s Pascal Architecture line, and AMD was definitely standing better out in both power consumption and the performance offered for a comparable price).

Finally with the release of macOS Mojave in 2018 Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference, Apple announced its alliance with AMD for creating the GPUs for a future innovation with an upgrade in Apple’s Metal GPUs, marking an end to the Apple-NVIDIA relationship. Furthermore, Apple denied to sign any future drivers for NVIDIA into macOS, as stated by an official in NVIDIA Corporation.

Apple also started a project with Intel and AMD to embed the first ever Intel Processor with an AMD Integrated GPU into its future MacBook Pros, which Apple states as, “the most innovative and powerful integration ever”.

Clearly, the decision appears firm and the people owning an NVIDIA’s eGPU are just posessing just an expensive paperweight now! They either need to upgrade their eGPU or just have to be limited to the previous release of Apple’s desktop operating system, macOS High Sierra. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *