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Apple Purposely Slows MacBook Pro Graphics

The graphics processor of Apple Computer Inc.'s MacBook Pro portable has been deliberately slowed down, a Mac user reported recently, probably as part of the overall effort to lower the heat the machine generates.

According to a posting on the French language site MacBidouille, a user identified as "SpacetitoX" uncovered the underclocking of the MacBook's ATI Radeon Mobility X1600 graphics chip after adding Windows XP to the computer, then running a beta version of the "ATITools" overclocking utility.

Apple's Intel-powered iMacs use the same ATI GPU as the MacBook.

SpacetitoX clocked the graphics processor (GPU) at 310MHz, 35 percent slower then ATI's recommended 475MHz. He also clocked the MacBook's graphics RAM at 278MHz, 41 percent below the 470MHz par ATI tells system makers to use.

By replacing the existing ATI drivers added to the MacBook Pro for dual-booting into Windows XP, SpacetitoX was able to boost one benchmark's result from 61 frames per second to 91.

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