New MacBook Pro running Hybrid SLI? UPDATE: Nope.

Samuel Axon
S. Axon|10.15.08

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New MacBook Pro running Hybrid SLI? UPDATE: Nope.

Alright, something's fishy here. When Apple announced that the new MacBook Pro has two NVIDIA GeForce chips -- the 9400M and the 9600M GT -- the focus was on what that means for battery life. Absent any mention of Hybrid SLI, we assumed that was all, but PC Mag has posted some eyebrow-raising benchmarks comparing the new MacBook Pro to HP's Pavilion HDX16t, which also features a 9600M GT. While the MacBook Pro test model fell behind the Pavilion in most benchmarks due to its slower processor, its Crysis framerate beat that of the Pavilion by 24.1 frames per second -- 41.9 over 17.3. That doesn't make a lot of sense, unless you look at benchmarks of a desktop with NVIDIA's similar GeForce 9300 chipset and a GeForce 8500 GT -- turns out Crysis runs 12.63 frames per second faster (29.19 over 16.56) in Hybrid SLI than it does on the 8500 GT alone. Is the MacBook Pro running in SLI mode when set for performance? We don't have confirmation of that, but we'll put it to the test in our forthcoming review -- until then, feel free to grab a grain of salt while freaking out anyway.

Sorry, folks -- NVIDIA's just posted a support doc that says the MBP doesn't support Hybrid SLI in either OS X or Windows -- and when running Windows, it's locked into using the 9600M GT. We're not sure where that Crysis boost is coming from -- GDDR3 vs GDDR2, perhaps -- but we'll dig deeper in our review. Stay tuned.

Read - PC Mag (MacBook Pro benchmarks)
Read - Hot Hardware (NVIDIA GeForce 9300 desktop motherboards benchmarks)
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