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MacRumors
Jul 7, 2003, 05:27 AM
MacBidouille claims (http://us.macbidouille.com/niouzcontenu.php?date=2003-07-07#141) that Apple will be supporting some professional video cards in Panther. The list includes NVidia's Quadro 2, Quadro 4 and ATI's Fire GL 8700, GL 8800, GL2, and GL4.

Of additional note, they claim that certain Select and Premier developers have started receiving PowerMac G5 orders. Being so far ahead of the general population, it's unclear how accurate this report is. No independent confirmation available.



arn
Jul 7, 2003, 05:50 AM
before someone says it...

this article is implying that certain developers are getting _production_ machines. NOT prototypes.

It seems unlikely.

arn

hvfsl
Jul 7, 2003, 07:51 AM
I don't think it is unlikely, lots of companies do this. When 3G telecomms was launched in the UK, the company providing it let 'friends' of the company use the service first. Apple will have serval hundred PMac G5s ready to go, they will probably not start shipping them to the public until they have a few thousand.

Mr. Anderson
Jul 7, 2003, 08:03 AM
Wow - the thought of having one of those video cards in the G5 really makes sense and I'm hoping they do it.....also glad I haven't ordered one yet. I had planned on waiting till the machines were in the stores, but now if this rumor plays out, I might wait until I can get one of those cards.....hopefully I won't have to wait till rev2.....:D It will make such a huge difference with 3D.

D

the future
Jul 7, 2003, 08:20 AM
Maybe I'm just hallucinating, but I could swear that Steve Jobs explicitly said in the WWDC keynote that the G5 will indeed support pro video cards.

Mr. Anderson
Jul 7, 2003, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by the future
Maybe I'm just hallucinating, but I could swear that Steve Jobs explicitly said in the WWDC keynote that the G5 will indeed support pro video cards.

Ah, missed that.

But when is the current release date for Panther now? It would really suck getting a G5 and then dropping the bucks for a pro card a couple months later.

And I wonder what cards Apple will offer at their store and how much they'll charge.....some of these cards can be a bit pricey.

D

arn
Jul 7, 2003, 08:44 AM
Originally posted by hvfsl
I don't think it is unlikely, lots of companies do this. When 3G telecomms was launched in the UK, the company providing it let 'friends' of the company use the service first. Apple will have serval hundred PMac G5s ready to go, they will probably not start shipping them to the public until they have a few thousand.

If they actually had a few hundred _production_ machines right now... you think it would take them 7 weeks to get to a few thousand? (to start shipping to the general public)

Cause shipping dates are Sept 2nd for the G5 PowerMacs to the public.

I'd imagine they want to start shipping to the public as soon as possible... as the longer they wait, the more time people have to reconsider, or buy something else.

arn

pgwalsh
Jul 7, 2003, 09:41 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson
Wow - the thought of having one of those video cards in the G5 really makes sense and I'm hoping they do it.....also glad I haven't ordered one yet. I had planned on waiting till the machines were in the stores, but now if this rumor plays out, I might wait until I can get one of those cards.....hopefully I won't have to wait till rev2.....:D It will make such a huge difference with 3D.

D

Ok... Maybe you can explain why these cards are so great... As I'm not a professional, but would love the knowledge nonetheless.

Kid Red
Jul 7, 2003, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by arn
If they actually had a few hundred _production_ machines right now... you think it would take them 7 weeks to get to a few thousand? (to start shipping to the general public)

Cause shipping dates are Sept 2nd for the G5 PowerMacs to the public.
arn

Still says August at the Apple store.

Mr. Anderson
Jul 7, 2003, 09:49 AM
Go to the nVidia site and look at the quadroFX - its amazing, you can't see those specs on their other cards - faster, more polygons, etc. and dual dvi for dual monitors (no dviator needed ;) )

These are the cards to use if you're doing high end CAD and 3D work, period.

It will be nice to see them in a mac, and especially my mac :D

D

pgwalsh
Jul 7, 2003, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson

It will be nice to see them in a mac, and especially my mac :D

D
Bastard!

:p

jettredmont
Jul 7, 2003, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by the future
Maybe I'm just hallucinating, but I could swear that Steve Jobs explicitly said in the WWDC keynote that the G5 will indeed support pro video cards.

He said that it would have an "AGP 8x Pro" slot, with power connections available. Not sure if this specifically means the "pro" cards here, but that's what I had taken it to mean (not in the market for pro cards, so excuse my ignorance :) ). I had then been a little confused to see no pro-card options on the machines, though.

iJed
Jul 7, 2003, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by arn
If they actually had a few hundred _production_ machines right now... you think it would take them 7 weeks to get to a few thousand? (to start shipping to the general public)

Cause shipping dates are Sept 2nd for the G5 PowerMacs to the public.

I'd imagine they want to start shipping to the public as soon as possible... as the longer they wait, the more time people have to reconsider, or buy something else.

arn

Maybe it is possible they want to ship the first batch to their "valued" customers such as developers and graphics companies before manufacturing ramps up and then shipping to the general public. However this is really just wishful thinking and you are most likely correct. :(

arn
Jul 7, 2003, 10:03 AM
Originally posted by iJed
Maybe it is possible they want to ship the first batch to their "valued" customers such as developers and graphics companies before manufacturing ramps up and then shipping to the general public. However this is really just wishful thinking and you are most likely correct. :(

Well, I think we'll find out soon enough. I think if people are getting machines - we'll be seeing pictures and benchmarks very quickly.

arn

Shrike_Priest
Jul 7, 2003, 10:09 AM
Where is everybody getting the september release date?

It seems weird cause I've been hearing about it for weeks, yet Applestore still says August. Has this been totally confirmed?

chetwilliams
Jul 7, 2003, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by Shrike_Priest
Where is everybody getting the september release date?


The Apple Store says August but if you place an order and check the status it will say shipping "On or before 9/2/03"

Freg3000
Jul 7, 2003, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Shrike_Priest
Where is everybody getting the september release date?

It seems weird cause I've been hearing about it for weeks, yet Applestore still says August. Has this been totally confirmed?

I think people that have officially placed orders have had their estimated ship dates pushed back to September 2nd. However, the Apple Store still lists the ship date in August.

Postal
Jul 7, 2003, 10:32 AM
Shrike_Priest:

People who've ordered are getting "on or before 9/2" as their general shipping dates. That means that, at least for the initial rush of orders, they may ship as late as early September. That doesn't preclude an August ship date for most of the systems though.

And as for the whole pro graphics card question: the G5 has an AGP 8X Pro slot for a video card. That does mean that the slot is capable of running professional-level cards, but Jobs didn't specifically say that they were in the making. Professional-level cards often share the same fundamental 3D hardware as their normal equivalents, but tend to have heavy optimizations towards the functions used in rendering apps (Maya, Renderman, etc.). You can use them for things like games, but they won't perform as well there.

Shrike_Priest
Jul 7, 2003, 10:37 AM
thanks, Postal. that cleared things up a bit.

And if that's the case, I don't think it's at all unbelievable that Apple has already sent out finished G5 PowerMac's to certain developers.

vulturecentral
Jul 7, 2003, 10:59 AM
According to what I hear from Apple, they already do support high-end gfx cards.

The difference between a Quadro and a GeForce is all down to the driver. Since Apple writes its own drivers, it enables the functions Nvidia's code locks out of the GeForce but opens up in the Quadro.

So by running a top-of-the-range GeForce, you get all the features you'd get out of a Quadro for much less cost.

So Apple says, anyway. Its pitch is that when Maya says the Mac is certified, that's all you need to know. Maya doesn't need to certify individual gfx cards, because by certifying the Mac it has all the bases covered.

I'd be interesting to do some tests and see if it works.

Frobozz
Jul 7, 2003, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by the future
Maybe I'm just hallucinating, but I could swear that Steve Jobs explicitly said in the WWDC keynote that the G5 will indeed support pro video cards.

I agree. I think he said that. People's interpretations of that statement seem to vary, but I think Apple realizes that, to get the high end 3D market, they need high end 3D cards. Everything else is, essentially, for the OS and for games.

Don't get me wrong, the new 9800 Pro in my dual 1 Ghz Quicksilver will be a nice addition.... but I may be in the market for a FireGL card for 3D modeling.

ddtlm
Jul 7, 2003, 01:05 PM
To add to what Postal said about "heavy optimizations towards the functions used in rendering apps" ... to be clear, those have historically been software optimizations. ATI and nVidia essentially repackage normal gaming cards with different drivers and call them professional cards.

Mr. Anderson:

Go to the nVidia site and look at the quadroFX - its amazing, you can't see those specs on their other cards - faster, more polygons, etc. and dual dvi for dual monitors (no dviator needed)
Eh? Perhaps I didn't look close enough, but I didn't find those specs on their site. Anyway, dual DVI is commonplace on Mac cards since ADC to DVI adaptors are simple and cheap.

deadduck
Jul 7, 2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by arn
before someone says it...

this article is implying that certain developers are getting _production_ machines. NOT prototypes.

It seems unlikely.

arn

Maybe not, on the Macbiduille site there is a pic of an iSight sitting on a G5 case ? supposedly at a French Mac dealer

Vlade
Jul 7, 2003, 02:07 PM
So are those quadro cards BETTER or WORSE for gaming, and they are BETTER at modeling/cad right? How much do they cost?

Mr. Anderson
Jul 7, 2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by Vlade
So are those quadro cards BETTER or WORSE for gaming, and they are BETTER at modeling/cad right? How much do they cost?

Info can be found here (http://www.nvidia.com/view.asp?PAGE=quadrofx)


Price at CDW here (http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.asp?EDC=468448)

Not cheap - but better for CAD/3D apps. Not the best for gaming.

D

Vlade
Jul 7, 2003, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson

Not cheap - but better for CAD/3D apps. Not the best for gaming.

D

Thanks

Wonder Boy
Jul 7, 2003, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by Freg3000
the Apple Store still lists the ship date in August.

Yeah, but this could mean Auguest 31. Whats 2-3 days more?

oddgit
Jul 7, 2003, 08:33 PM
The ATi FireGL 2, 4 and 8700 are on the discontinued list, the Current ones are...
FireGL X1 which wont work because it uses AGP Pro 50, The FireGL Z1 8800 and E1
As for the Quadros, the current top end are Quadro FX GPU based boards(they use 2 slots by the way) and Quadro 4 based cards, they dont even mention the Quadro 2s on nVidia's webpage.
i dont know about yall, but i would rather have a highend gamer card in my machine then an obsolete pro card, and this is coming from a guy that has wished long and hard for a Pro grade card.
i wouldnt call this a rumor especally if they are talking about very dated cards.

PS my Dual 2ghz G5 bTO model is shiping on or before sept 2 2003 atleast it was when i checked it 20 minutes ago.

panphage
Jul 7, 2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by the future

Maybe I'm just hallucinating, but I could swear that Steve Jobs explicitly said in the WWDC keynote that the G5 will indeed support pro video cards.


Originally posted by Frobozz
I agree. I think he said that. People's interpretations of that statement seem to vary, but I think Apple realizes that, to get the high end 3D market, they need high end 3D cards. Everything else is, essentially, for the OS and for games.

Don't get me wrong, the new 9800 Pro in my dual 1 Ghz Quicksilver will be a nice addition.... but I may be in the market for a FireGL card for 3D modeling.

Steve said (I had the exact quote but I lost it...this is as close as I can remember) that ...we power pro cards. So you can get the really high end pro cards if that's what you want. Of course, that doesn't mean the card makers are going to provide mac roms or drivers or ACD connections for the really high-end pro cards, does it?

Dave K
Jul 8, 2003, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by panphage
Of course, that doesn't mean the card makers are going to provide mac roms or drivers or ACD connections for the really high-end pro cards, does it?
Nope.

The main catch with bringing Pro cards to the Mac is not hardware support, but driver development costs.

Pro cards are tuned to maintain a higher level of visual accuracy than Consumer cards as well as tend to have certifications and plug-ins for specific software packages. Getting those certifications and optimizing your drivers for detail costs money, which is why Pro Cards sell at a premium.

So, just having the hardware is not an incentive to support the platform. What does help provide an incentive are things like 25% of all new Maya purchases being for the Mac.

If that keeps up. sooner or later nVidia, ATI, or 3DLabs is going to decide the market's big enough to take a run at...

etoiles
Jul 8, 2003, 02:23 PM
The quadro cards have hardware accellerated anti-aliased wireframe modes, very nice when you model stuff in 3D. Also, they have much better drivers for specific 3D apps (there are specific settings on the drivers for the major 3D apps) , so you pay for that extra stability (I think there are some minor viewport issues with maya on 'standard' cards).

On the PC there is an unofficial driver called 'softquadro' which supposedly transforms your standard Gforce card into a quadro. I don't think you get the anti-aliasing on wireframe though.

Bottom line is you might save some money on the card itself, but you don't get the same customer support... not sure it is worth saving that money when you are a graphics pro.

JoeRadar
Jul 8, 2003, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by arn
this article is implying that certain developers are getting _production_ machines. NOT prototypes.

Perhaps they are production machines but not the production system.

I have heard the machines were pretty much done, and Apple was waiting for the software -- presumably 10.2.7 and maybe validating/tuning the critical apps (Office, Photoshop, ...).

JoeRadar
Jul 8, 2003, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Wonder Boy
Yeah, but this could mean Auguest 31. Whats 2-3 days more?

In this case a little ego, and maybe a little bad press. When the 2-3 days cross month boundaries, it looks a little worse.

Now if it was the difference between Sept 30 and Oct 2, that would be much worse. That would push it past Apple's quarter and some organization's (e.g., the US government) financial year. Being able to bill on Sep 30 vs Oct 2 can be a big deal.

FYI: AUG 30-31 are on a weekend, and FedEx and UPS often don't deliver then anyways.

arogge
Jul 8, 2003, 04:30 PM
I've been trying to get rid of the Elbonian gaming card in the PowerMac and replace it with a professional card for a long time. I was hoping for 3Dlabs support, but I'll be happy with the selections from ATI and NVIDIA for now. What the ATI Radeon card does to some graphics renderings makes me wonder how anyone can work with it. Lines flicker and disappear, pixels are missing or are the wrong colors, and there is a noticeable sluggishness when manipulating scenes. I want quality over a few extra frames per second in the latest id Software game, something Dell and Gateway 2000 were able to deliver more than five years ago by using technology from 3Dlabs. I hope that the support for the ATI and NVIDIA cards comes soon to the entire PowerMac product line, although I don't believe that I'll be completely happy until I can stick one of the Wildcat cards into the Mac and begin using it the way 3Dlabs intended.

This site features a comparison between the 3Dlabs Wildcat III, ATI Fire GL4, and NVIDIA Quadro2 Pro:

http://www.3dlabs.com/product/technology/wildcat_quality.htm

dekator
Jul 8, 2003, 04:45 PM
Sorry guys, but are you all completely on crack ?
Steve said in his keynote that they support pro cards. The AGP8 port -as is well known- gets up to 70 Watt. That solely and only makes sense with pro cards.
Easier than that, just ask Apple or read their specs. This is no frigging question and far less a rumor (even far lesser 'of uncertain reliability') but just a well-known fact.
What's next ? MacBidouille oracles that Steve Jobs might indeed be Apple's CEO... guys, time to get it :o

arogge
Jul 8, 2003, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by dekator
Steve said in his keynote that they support pro cards. The AGP8 port -as is well known- gets up to 70 Watt. That solely and only makes sense with pro cards.

Plugging in the card is easy, and you don't even need AGP 8X for it. The problem has always been making the professional cards work with the Mac OS. I can install the Wildcat card that I want right now, but I probably won't get past the boot screen before having problems. This has always been one of the shortcomings that kept the PowerMac from becoming a professional workstation. If Apple can remedy this issue, the PowerMac would become much more appealing.

panphage
Jul 8, 2003, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by arogge
Plugging in the card is easy, and you don't even need AGP 8X for it. The problem has always been making the professional cards work with the Mac OS. I can install the Wildcat card that I want right now, but I probably won't get past the boot screen before having problems. This has always been one of the shortcomings that kept the PowerMac from becoming a professional workstation. If Apple can remedy this issue, the PowerMac would become much more appealing.

And it seems like apple HAS to know this. I was reading something earlier today about the SGI machines being the real competition for the G5. But without the pro cards that's not true.

Then look at the market position apple has been assuming. FCP/E, Maya sales are strong, Steve just announced pixlet and there are rumors of Renderman coming to OS X. All this and then the cards you can use are all game cards?

Hey, there's an Expo coming up with the apple hardware guy giving a keynote. Maybe he's got a 3DLabs executive tagging along.

yossele
Jul 9, 2003, 05:56 AM
I don't get it Steve said in his WWDC keynote that the G5 WILL support the PRO video cards, it's not a page2 rumor and neither a front page romur, SJ said it. Go and check it out yourself.

Dave K
Jul 9, 2003, 09:20 AM
Originally posted by panphage
there are rumors of Renderman coming to OS X. Pixar has publicly stated they've got program running (Although whether it's suitable for production is upto debate). What they don't know, and are trying to find out, is if anyone's interested in buying it on OS X
Originally posted by yossele
I don't get it Steve said in his WWDC keynote that the G5 WILL support the PRO video cards,
Again, there's a difference between having hardware support built onto the board and third party manufacturer support to produce the parts to go in it.

In otherwords, the G5 Motherboard can support a Pro level card but there have yet to be any official announcements of such cards from ATI/nVidia/3DLabs/Whoever to use in the machines and getting them to run on the Mac is not simply a matter of taking a current one, just dropping it in the slot, and having it work.

3G4N
Jul 9, 2003, 06:02 PM
I'm with dekator and panphage.

Why go through all the trouble to
get Maya, combustion, OpenGL etc. on OSX, then
not have the pro cards come through?
I love my Quadro on my PC, definite
improvement (in speed and features)
over a GeForce.
Sure, you can go the cheaper route like softQuadro, but you sacrifice stability.

Real time viewport manipulation, with
interactive lighting, textures, etc.
You need the pro cards.
Try manipulating a moderately complex
model -- or better yet, a whole scene with
hundreds of objects with a regular mac
video card -- and getting better than one
frame per second. You need a pro card.

Apple has been active behind the "studio
curtains", courting film/tv/post houses
to use OSX/FCP/Shake/Maya/Renderman/
AfterEffects/Combustion/Photoshop/etc.
All these studios said "Where's the Beef?".
Now that the beef has arrived (G5's),
we will start seeing the fruits of Apple's
secretive labor. Enter Pro Cards...

arogge
Jul 9, 2003, 07:53 PM
After years of complaining to 3Dlabs about a lack of support for anything but Microsoft Windows:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/31641.html
{
3Dlabs has posted Linux drivers for its Wildcat 4 and Wildcat III graphics cards, the company said today. The cards are aimed at high-end scientific and content creation applications and are pitched against Nvidia's Quadro series and ATI's FireGL cards.

The Wildcat 4 series, comprising the 7110 and 7120 AGP 8x cards, provide 256MB and 384MB of DDR SDRAM, respectively, and are capable of churning out up to 37.9 million triangles per second and 400 million pixels per second. The Wildcat III 6110 and 6210 are the previous generation of the technology.
}

Is Apple next on the list for Wildcat support?

Mac Kiwi
Jul 12, 2003, 10:19 PM
I want a Wildcat V 990 Pro 512m if possible.If we cant get 3D Labs support I could live with a Quadro FX 1000 :)



Stu.

wirewyrm
Jul 14, 2003, 06:32 PM
I would love to see Pro Card Support in the Mac, though it doesn't help me it will be nice anyway. Rumour was on thinksecret Apple was working on this months back, so I reckon it's true.

As for PRODUCTION powermacs.....

not yet. Factory for the Powermacs is in Cork, Ireland, and they are in the process of Ramping up development. Full scale production only in first / second week of August. All the ones you've seen so far are hand built.

Mac Kiwi
Jul 14, 2003, 06:45 PM
Fingers crossed wirewyrm :D



No 3D labs support coming for the Mac.I mailed then to see what the chances were :)...reply below.


Dear Stuart,

I know this will not be the answer you want to hear but we don't currently
having any plans to support the Mac platform. To be honest with you it is
totally a matter of the huge resources required to write
professional-quality 3D drivers versus the potential market. We are now
supporting Linux and, from a strictly economic point of view, this was a
hard decision to justify.

Please don't take this as a denigration of the Mac - we truly wish we had
sufficient resources to address these excellent products.

Best regards,

Bob Sharp




At least he was nice about it :D


Now I want a Quadro FX 1000


Stu.