Apple TV: Powered by NVIDIA?

Now we get to the interesting stuff, beneath one of the globs of thermal grease is an NVIDIA GPU:


Click to Enlarge

The chip itself is a GeForce Go 7300:

The Go 7300 has 4 pixel pipes and 3 vertex pipes and a 64-bit memory interface. On the bottom of the motherboard you'll see the two 32MB Samsung 700MHz GDDR3 devices for a total of 64MB of dedicated graphics memory. The Go 7300 does support Turbo Cache so it can get speedy access to main memory, but given that the Apple TV will be required to deal with fancy graphics and transitions at resolutions as great as 720p or 1080i it makes sense to have a good amount of local memory. As thoughtfully pointed out by AnandTech reader Eug, the Go 7300 may also be used to help accelerate H.264 video decode.

We were actually surprised by Apple's decision to go with a dedicated GPU in the Apple TV, especially considering that the Intel chipset included has its own graphics core.

Next to the NVIDIA GPU is a Silicon Image TMDS transmitter that handles the HDMI output:

Motherboard: Out and in Hand What Intel CPU did Apple go With?
POST A COMMENT

37 Comments

View All Comments

  • Phynaz - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Pretty ignorant, aren't you? Reply
  • punko - Friday, March 23, 2007 - link

    Nice response. Now go stand in the corner until you learn your manners.

    I was glad someone asked this question, as I had not heard about this device either. Now I believe I have guessed what it does, but perhaps just a short paragraph at the start of the article to idenifty the product, its market, and its price would make it clear for everyone. When I read the product name, my first thought was that Apple was releasing an HDTV with added features, but it didn't take too many photos to indicate that it wasn't the case.

    The sarcastic smartypants people would still read a short little description, as it would simply confirm their knowledge, and the rest of us could be brought up to speed.

    Punko
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    What is that, an old ipod shuffle picture on the other side of the box? Reply
  • sprockkets - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    nvm, rate me down!!! Reply
  • SunAngel - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Everyday my love for Apple keeps growing and growing. Currently, I am Sony's crown jewel of a customer and I am going to buy the Bravia Internet Link when it is made available. But, every since the Mac Mini, there is no denying it, Apple has caught my attention.

    The use of the Go7300 was an excellent choice for video decoding. Nvidia's 7 series is (was) on fire. Video decoding and reproduction is excellent at every level. Kudos to Apple for going with the Nvidia 7 series. I am a little concerned with the processor, though. If it is truely a low-voltage C-M that has to be the absolute outter edge of 1080i decoding. I once has a normal 1.73 Celeon-M in a 17" notebook and it would not play WMV-HDs at 1080p (but in the Celly's defense, the notebook had integrated graphics with 865G).

    Message to Apple: I am highly considering adding you products to my home along side Sony. If your iPhone turns out to be as great as the pre-release literature details AND the Mac Mini is updated with Core2 Duos or Core2 Quattros, I will gladly be investing idle cash to acquire these products. Good luck and I hope you the best.
    Reply
  • win32asmguy - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Hopefully this means that their next revision of the Mac Mini will include a dedicated GPU. I wouldn't mind having a 7300go in the mini instead of the x3000 or whatever the next shared Intel GPU might be. Reply
  • kamper - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    If you want to know what cpu is in there, why don't you toss some *nix distro on the harddrive? Even if nothing boots well, maybe you'll be able to salvage a dmesg from the logs. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Whilst this device isn't for me (I don't have a HDTV, so nothing to connect it to, also I'd prefer a Squeezebox for my music due to the better DACs and not requiring a TV to see what you're doing) it is very interesting. It's a clean compact design, and nearly as small as VIA's nano-iTX platform (judging from the CD picture) but probably higher performing.

    I expect that the second revision of this device will be extremely good.

    I would have expected an AV cable of some sort to come with the device though - at least a HDMI cable! That's not exactly an out-of-the-box experience if you have to drive somewhere to get the cable.

    The Intel CPU is very interesting, it's very small (the package, the die's large).

    I'm willing to bet that the interface is extremely good, as per Apple's usual qualities. The remote is quite small, I'd be worried about losing it. How about a larger remote with a full iPod scroll wheel eh?

    Bet if it had been a little bigger in all dimensions they could have put in a few more ports (useful for us SDTV owners) and a 3.5" hard drive... oh well.
    Reply
  • allometry - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    I love to see what components Apple uses to run their gear. I think it gives perspective for all computer builders on what kind of minimal hardware you need to run a simple media PC.

    I've got to ask Anand, were you one of those kids who used to tear things apart and not put them back together. If that's the case, I'll put your Apple TV back together if I get to keep it?

    :D
    Reply
  • tacoburrito - Thursday, March 22, 2007 - link

    Why couldn't you run the tests first before tearing the whole thing apart? I think most people want to see how this new Apple widget performs, not what it is made of. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now