Buried in John Siracusa’s excellent review of OS X Mavericks is this little gem:
Modern Macs with integrated GPUs get some nice improvements in Mavericks. Any Mac with Intel’s HD4000 graphics or better can now run OpenCL on the integrated GPU in addition to the CPU and any discrete GPU.
It’s that little bold bit that makes it special! With OpenCL increasingly taking up the load of general computer processes previously forced on the CPU, the more we can take advantage of the GPU power already installed.
My – now obsolete – year old MacBook Pro Retina has both Intel HD Graphics 4000 and a discreet NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M. With Mavericks it means, effectively, that in intense graphics processing situations the NIVIDA card will be mostly focussed on driving my display(s) while the HD 4000 GPU is mostly focussed on running OpenCL code. Or vice-versa depending on the demands.
This is not completely dissimilar to the new Mac Pro, which has dual (matching) GPUs but only one of them is driving the (up to) three 4K monitors. The other GPU is there for OpenCL. Not that my combination will be even close to the Mac Pro performance.
I conjecture that it may even boost performance of a future dual-GPU optimized FCP X as has been announced, on my year old MacBook Pro?