PDA

View Full Version : Apple and High-End Graphics?


arn
Jun 14, 2002, 05:07 PM
Spymac (http://www.spymac.com) reports that Apple will have a major graphics annoucnement at MWNY:

Steve Jobs will shed some light on a long-planned project that will showcase Apple's commitment to the high-end graphics market.


In April, Architosh (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/04/20020416215044.shtml) had discussed the possibiliy of an Apple branded video card. They also refered to a Studio Summit which revealed what the industry wanted to see from Apple. These included rackmount servers, dual/quad machines and 'best of breed' graphics performance.

Ensign Paris
Jun 14, 2002, 05:14 PM
hmm, i don't think we will see Apple based graphics cards.

Could Apple afford to buy nvidea? that would be cool, my PC bummin friends would just die.

Ensign

void
Jun 14, 2002, 05:25 PM
i don't think they would. It would be too expensive for macintosh. Maybe ATI?

mr.w
Jun 14, 2002, 05:45 PM
are either of the 2 for sale???

numb_brain
Jun 14, 2002, 05:46 PM
They wouldn't have to buy out Nvidia or ATI. They might just be cooperating: they could be paying a part of R&D for making a brand new card that is optimised for all the software-technologies Apple is using for their video and graphics...
If that might be true, gee man, that would speed things up beyond warpspeed (for those who can afford it of course...)
:cool:

numb_brain

shadowfax0
Jun 14, 2002, 05:50 PM
Doesn't anybody remember the TWO REALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS LIKE A DAY AGO? Silicon Grail and that other company, this announcement is software I think.

Mr. Anderson
Jun 14, 2002, 05:52 PM
There seems to be more than just graphics cards. The SpyMac article is about as vague as it can be - something cool this way comes....whose initials are FE, I haven't a clue. But it will be worth watching, especially since we'll probably know in July.

I definity could see a bigger link between Apple and Pixar, especially now with the XServe, more hype added to the bonfire :D

AlphaTech
Jun 14, 2002, 05:54 PM
Considering how both ATI and nVidia are selling the GPU chips to card makers, Apple could easily purchase the GPU's from either maker and put them into their own cards. This could allow Apple to use whatever GPU they want inside any of the systems and not depend on the card makers providing the cards ready for installation.

That could allow Apple to install more top end GPU's into more systems. Who wouldn't like to have a Radeon 8500 inside a TiBook?? :D

G4scott
Jun 14, 2002, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by AlphaTech
Considering how both ATI and nVidia are selling the GPU chips to card makers, Apple could easily purchase the GPU's from either maker and put them into their own cards. This could allow Apple to use whatever GPU they want inside any of the systems and not depend on the card makers providing the cards ready for installation.

That could allow Apple to install more top end GPU's into more systems. Who wouldn't like to have a Radeon 8500 inside a TiBook?? :D

Isn't that how Apple has the graphics cards with their ADC port? Or does a specific card manufacturer make cards specifically for Apple?

spuncan
Jun 14, 2002, 06:58 PM
My guess is that no hardware will come of this. I think Apple will release a peice of software that incorporates many peices of software including the companies they recently bought. They also will anounce that it will use Pixars rendering tech and such. It probably will come in a bundle with the server or the new powermac, and Jobs will announce that a bunch of the leading render houses buy a bunch of them which will almost double they're control of the already Apple friendly entertainment business. This will kick M$ and they're cohorts to only hold gaming in the innovation sector seeing that Apple controls almost all of the other sectors that generally push the industry forwards. Hows that for a big announcement. "Microsoft Windows the Gaming Machine" hmm i think that logo's been taken :D .

ThomasB
Jun 14, 2002, 07:58 PM
And I just picked up a $200 GeForce 4 Ti off eBay. Well, maybee I'll have to top of the line for a month.

-Thomas

Sun Baked
Jun 14, 2002, 08:15 PM
Dual GPU (or more) cards that can either offload some of the CPU chores (ie Quartz Extreme) and/or split up major rendering jobs among the GPUs.

Or maybe some fruits of the workstation graphics end of the market.

Can't remember much else about those old rumors and tech purchases.

Cappy
Jun 14, 2002, 09:37 PM
If there was a video card manufacturer purchased by Apple, my bets would be on Matrox. They've been in the video business awhile, are established in video and 2D by rep of being quality products, and are widely thought to soon lose major marketshare as nvidia begins targetting their markets. Their latest video card to be released in a few months had Mac OS X compatibility listed in PR info circulating PC sites previous to the official announcement but upon publically announcing it, that item was deleted from the same material. Why? Who knows?

Either way that would make the most sense to me but I seriously doubt it'll happen. The odds are in favor of software acquisition announcements with product announcements based off of them. No earth shattering rumors there...seems pretty obvious actually.

AmbitiousLemon
Jun 14, 2002, 09:38 PM
although Alpha's comments regarding a card sound very plausible and there certainly seems reason to have an apple gpu of some kind considering the stress osx can put on a machine's performance i would have to agree with shadow and spuncan. this is likely a software release of some kind. perhaps sound 3d app?

Cappy
Jun 14, 2002, 09:44 PM
Originally posted by AlphaTech
Who wouldn't like to have a Radeon 8500 inside a TiBook?? :D

May as well make it an R300 if we're going to dream. ;)

Beej
Jun 14, 2002, 10:33 PM
Originally posted by mr.w
are either of the 2 for sale??? Everything is for sale at the right price :)

I'd love to see Apple in graphics cards, but I don't think it will happen. As for OS X putting a lot of strain on a graphics card - I don't think so. A CPU can't handle it very well, but it really isn't very hard, even for a relatively old graphics card.

canadianmacguy
Jun 14, 2002, 10:39 PM
You know, we're all never going to figure it out.. I'm just going to enjoy the leadup to MWNY, and hope that TechTV carries the keynote, as I finally get the channel!

Backtothemac
Jun 14, 2002, 10:41 PM
Could it be that they are coming out with software? Why hardware? I have never known of a rumor at Architosh to be right, so why now? I really don't think they have the resources to do this type of project, and why would they want to. What if it is an AutoCad type design software that can read, and write to AutoCad formats? That is an area that they could make massive strides in. I would rather see that than the video card.

Beej
Jun 14, 2002, 10:44 PM
Originally posted by canadianmacguy
You know, we're all never going to figure it out..Unless Time canada spills the beans! :D

C'mon, guessing is 1/2 the fun. Actuall,y guessing is more like 9/10 the fun for me :)

Brent
Jun 14, 2002, 11:48 PM
Apple won't buy out NVidia - they are making the chips for the XBox; Microsoft would never let that happen.

MOM
Jun 14, 2002, 11:50 PM
My 2 cents:

Its too soon for Apple's new software companies to have been merged and come up with a new product-this takes time.

Nvida was talking some time back about how their share of the Apple market was to go up, so I'm guessing a collaborative effort.

MOM

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by Brent
Apple won't buy out NVidia - they are making the chips for the XBox; Microsoft would never let that happen.

First of all it would shock the whole industry for Apple to buy nvidia and probably do more harm than good.

Second of all word is that nvidia is out as far as the xbox 2 is concerned.

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by MOM
My 2 cents:

Its too soon for Apple's new software companies to have been merged and come up with a new product-this takes time.


It's also not like they just decided at 4:55pm Friday that they would go out and buy them over the weekend. This could have been in the works for awhile and just had to negotiate the money. If Apple makes any product announcements off this last acquisition at Macworld that will pretty much tell you that this had been in the works for awhile and that they were negotiating. If they merely write it off as a business move, then it was fairly recent. People seem to forget that Apple could merely be after patents and engineers more than the products themselves.

redAPPLE
Jun 15, 2002, 01:04 AM
JUst a thought:

Could Apple/PIXAR publicly challenge ILM?

Apple has got the hardware and software, PIXAR has the brains (in this field of special effects etc.) and the manpower.

Once people see a PIXAR film (Opening line: Made on an Apple Macintosh... and maybe Ending line too ;) ), which they think it's cool (well all PIXAR films are cool), they would think Apple is cool too (for those not knowing). And that would make these guys buy cool products from a cool company.

Any marketing guys here? How's that for a marketing scheme?

maclamb
Jun 15, 2002, 01:28 AM
Perhaps this is obvious, but it starts to sound as if Apple is going after SGI's territory:
Multi (dual/quad cpu w/ Altivec - eventual G5)
Unix OS
High End graphics cards
Alias/Maya already ported

I used to know the specs on Indigos, O2 etc - but it's been a while and I've been out of the loop
Can a Quad 1.4 or higher G4 give high end SGI workstations a run for their money - at maybe 1/4 the price?
http://www.sgi.com/workstations/comparison.html
High end O2 is Single or dual MIPS 64-bit R12000A 400MHz, R14000A 550MHz and 600MHz 2MB L2 cache

Scottgfx
Jun 15, 2002, 02:06 AM
Apple bought Raycer Graphics a long time ago. (http://www.architosh.com/news/1999-11/1104-raycer-applebuy.phtml) My theory... Apple is looking beyond nVidia and ATI. Yes, these guys are necessary for the consumer, but the professional needs something more. Apple is building a graphics card with technology they bought, to provide the professional a system to out-class anything SGI has out there. This is what's needed for Apple to sell to the VFX studios and to give PIXAR the power tools they need. While I hate to say it, I think SGI is toast.

Rower_CPU
Jun 15, 2002, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by canadianmacguy
You know, we're all never going to figure it out.. I'm just going to enjoy the leadup to MWNY, and hope that TechTV carries the keynote, as I finally get the channel!

Well, neighbor to the North, they should definitely broadcast it...they did last time.

Only weird thing is that they essentially TiVo it to get commercials and such in, so by the end you're like 10 minute behind the "real" keynote...but hey, it sure beats trying to fight a million other people for a 320x240 pixellated QT stream.:D

I think a new graphics card is an interesting rumor, especially with the QuartzGL requirements...but I think the chances of them buying nVidia or ATI is somewhere in the area between slim and none.

mmmdreg
Jun 15, 2002, 06:36 AM
i would like to see something like this just for the knowledge that it is there..but even if such a product was released, the likelihood of it being used in consumer-level products in any near future is none...but still, it might make a few sales in the professional side of things,,

The Grimace
Jun 15, 2002, 07:36 AM
Could someone please explain to me why in the world any credibility is being given to a rumour from Spymac? Wonder what the iWalk will look like THIS time...

Seems obvious to me, what with their recent purchases and all, that Apple has something regarding 'graphics' in the pipeline.

(tig)

DaveGee
Jun 15, 2002, 07:59 AM
This only thing is... and I'll be the first to admit that it isn't a huge deal... but wouldn't Apple be better off doing such an announcment (whatever) at a west coast event? I mean in these days of Satellite and now live streaming via akimi (hmmm I wonder... will MP4 be used to stream the NY event and was that a major reason to release it a bit early??) it doesn't really matter too much but still I'm not 100% sure Apple will do 'as well' making such an announcment in NYC.

Then again what do I know... I've never been an iCEO and I never figured the 1st iMac would do so well either... Oh and I really loved the Cube (cept the price) but since I've always loved OS X I guess my record isn't too bad. ;)

Oh and BTW for those who can't make it out here to NYC for the July event start calling your local Apple Marketing Center (if you have one) since even the one in NYC will be showing the broadcast... And that's where I'm gonna watch it. I hate waiting in lines and hate it when I can't connect to a stream oh yea and I like the leather chairs at the NYC office much better than the hard plastic ones at the Javits Center. :)

Dave

wrylachlan
Jun 15, 2002, 08:07 AM
when Nvidia acquired 3Dfx they acquired their SLI technology which essentially allows two or four graphics chips to work together, each one rendering a different frame. Now Nvidia wouldn't want to implement this on the PC side because it would canabalize their quadro line sales which are very high margin. But since they don't sell quadro's to the mac, there is no reason Apple couldn't do something similar providing a very high performance with a *relatively* low cost.

Alternatively, since Apple is targetting video applications so heavily, maybe they are developing a co-GPU that handles 2D superfast since both Nvidia and ATI seem to be more focused on 3D apps.

Backtothemac
Jun 15, 2002, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by The Grimace
Could someone please explain to me why in the world any credibility is being given to a rumour from Spymac? Wonder what the iWalk will look like THIS time...

Seems obvious to me, what with their recent purchases and all, that Apple has something regarding 'graphics' in the pipeline.

(tig)

Well, let me explain why. They have been right lately a lot, and this is a rumor site, and we discuss rumors. We had a flamewar with them, and it was settled professionally, so please refrain from flaming them.

Thanks.

j763
Jun 15, 2002, 08:53 AM
it sounds like apple are stepping onto SGI's territory... I really don't know whether this would be a good thing or a bad thing....

StuPid QPid
Jun 15, 2002, 11:39 AM
My guess would be that Pixar have ported their Renderman graphics package to Mac OS X. Now Apple have XServe, with Jobs connections, and as Renderman already runs on IRIX, Windows NT and Linux, this would make sense. Tie this in with a dedicated graphics card, and Apple is ready to take over in this lucrative market.

etoiles
Jun 15, 2002, 01:57 PM
I think a OSX version of Renderman is pretty likely, at some point anyway. The Renderman FAQ on Pixars says " Does RAT run on Macintosh (OSX) ? - No, not at THIS time"...

And it would only make sense. Apple really needs Renderman if they want to be taken seriously in the high-end CG market and start selling XServe in effect houses...there just isn't any high-end renderer currently available on the mac (Ok, there is Lightwave3D and Cinema4D, but they are hardly used beyond TV productions).

Interesting times ahead, the mac is back with a vengeance ;-) and we all follow it religiously :-)

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 04:06 PM
I just have to say that this is a welcome change to see Apple operating on so many fronts. Even if they're size revenuewise doesn't reflect them as being one of the big boys, they have their hands in quite a bit of things. They've been making moves in the graphics and video market for years now and quite frankly I really haven't noticed much of a presense from MS in any of those markets. That alone seems disturbing in some way but I guess we'll see what happens.

MacRonin
Jun 15, 2002, 04:24 PM
All this talk about the web, HyperTransport, RapidI/O, 3GIO, G4s & G5s, DDR, DSPs, AGP 8x...

Apple, IBM, Motorola, nVidia...

Nothing Real, Silicon Grail, that FireWire company that starts with a 'Z' but I cannot remember how to spell right now, FilmLogic, FCP from Macromedia, etc. ...

Mac OS X 10.2 - JagWire...

Pixar, RenderMan, Alias|wavefront, Maya...

MacWorld New York 2002 looks to be pretty exciting...

And I would love to see the reactions if Apple showed up at Siggraph this year...!

Cheers!

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by MacRonin
All this talk about the web, HyperTransport, RapidI/O, 3GIO, G4s & G5s, DDR, DSPs, AGP 8x...

Apple, IBM, Motorola, nVidia...

Nothing Real, Silicon Grail, that FireWire company that starts with a 'Z' but I cannot remember how to spell right now, FilmLogic, FCP from Macromedia, etc. ...

Mac OS X 10.2 - JagWire...

Pixar, RenderMan, Alias|wavefront, Maya...

MacWorld New York 2002 looks to be pretty exciting...

And I would love to see the reactions if Apple showed up at Siggraph this year...!

Cheers!

I'm not sure we're going to see AGP 8x or even much of some of the other technologies you mentioned in the first paragraph. Apple has always trailed the PC industry in those areas and I can't see that changing unfortunately. The software side is a different story though. Things do look to be exciting for MacWord in both July and January.

I'm also thinking that since Apple is staggering out releases this year of products, we're probably going to see some new stuff show up not long before xmas. Could be an expensive xmas. ;)

blogo
Jun 15, 2002, 05:19 PM
Whay apple needs to do is to put all the different GPU's on one card like this (http://www.totlandweb.info/3dcard.jpg).

:rolleyes:

AlphaTech
Jun 15, 2002, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by Eple
Whay apple needs to do is to put all the different GPU's on one card like this (http://www.totlandweb.info/3dcard.jpg).

:rolleyes:

Dude, you need to either stop takin drugs, or stop drinking your nappy bong water. :rolleyes: :p :D

That has the same chance of happening as a snowball being found in the center of the planet. Or the sun has of dying tomorrow.

Archer
Jun 15, 2002, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by Scottgfx
Apple bought Raycer Graphics a long time ago. (http://www.architosh.com/news/1999-11/1104-raycer-applebuy.phtml) My theory... Apple is looking beyond nVidia and ATI. Yes, these guys are necessary for the consumer, but the professional needs something more. Apple is building a graphics card with technology they bought, to provide the professional a system to out-class anything SGI has out there. This is what's needed for Apple to sell to the VFX studios and to give PIXAR the power tools they need. While I hate to say it, I think SGI is toast.

Is no one listening/reading the posts? Scottgfx hit it on the head. Raycer is something we need more information on and the technology that has been building up since the purchase. Don't be surprised if Apple only sells the graphic chips as an option to high end users. Might not be this year, but it'll come soon enough. Enough with nVidia purchase.

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Archer


Is no one listening/reading the posts? Scottgfx hit it on the head. Raycer is something we need more information on and the technology that has been building up since the purchase. Don't be surprised if Apple only sells the graphic chips as an option to high end users. Might not be this year, but it'll come soon enough. Enough with nVidia purchase.

Many folks probably already knew about this unless their head was in the sand. The Raycer deal took place back in like Nov or Dec of 1999. It *might* have something to do with upcoming announcements and products but I wouldn't base anything on it with that having taken place so long ago. Just do a search on Google for "Raycer" and "Apple" and you'll know all anyone else knows which is pretty much nothing that could apply to the hear and now.

It's all rumors.

I'm suprised no one has even brought up the acquisition of Spruce Technologies who developed dvd software and hardware products. I'm sure someone wants dvd products in a pda with highend graphics. ;)

Rocketman
Jun 15, 2002, 09:57 PM
[i]

In April, Architosh (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2002/04/20020416215044.shtml) had discussed the possibiliy of an Apple
[/B]


"While Mac and PC users both have much
to say about Apple's shortcomings in the
3D and special effects worlds, it has
been clearly indentified for more than
two years now that Apple's two chief
performance concerns amount to: one,
the lack of 'workstation level' graphics
card options and, two, low bandwidth
on the motherboard.The G4, itself, is not
necessarily complained about. In fact,
the G4 architecture has always been cited
for its strong floating point performance
and AltiVec processing unit." - Architosh article


The hard rumours about a high bandwidth G4 Pro series due this Fall seem to be targeted to address these issues which have also been raised by ego driven consumers. The graphics processor card seems to be a likely build to order option since even gamers are not likely to need dual graphics processors, only fast ones. As I understand it Quake geeks (or other games) get higher frame rates on a Mac than a peecee right now.

G5 or not, it seems likely there will be a "high bandwidth" motherboard very soon and a related graphics card, or in the case of pro boxes, a large count PCI slot box. These guys often buy external PCI slot bozes to support the many cards they buy.

It's time for a home budget mac to have the power to author Toy Story 4.

Rocketman



http://v-serv.com/-upload/avatar.jpg

MacRonin
Jun 15, 2002, 10:01 PM
Raycer was a hardware company that never actually produced any hardware... They were working on the design for a chip that would do backside culling & occlusion on graphics data streams, before the stream hit the GPU... This would reduce the amount of polygons that would need to be rendered, thereby allowing the GPU to work harder on polys that the end user would actually see... I am sure it took transparancy/translucency/light transmission into account...

Now, if we corrolate this theoretical chip (let's call it a DSP...) with the posts by folks over at AppleInsider (particularly those of Moki) then this could be a possible DSP that is designed to assist the CPU/GPU in working smarter...

But this is all conjecture and heresay, so apply several grains of salt...

Cappy
Jun 15, 2002, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by Rocketman
The G4, itself, is not
necessarily complained about. In fact,
the G4 architecture has always been cited
for its strong floating point performance
and AltiVec processing unit." - Architosh article


That's interesting. I've always heard the floating point be criticized negatively on the G3 and G4. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but it was my understanding that they were based off of the 603 design rather than the 604 design which was more fpu happy.

Originally posted by Rocketman
As I understand it Quake geeks (or other games) get higher frame rates on a Mac than a peecee right now.

Care to cite some sources? I've only heard of that from blind Mac fanatics and they've been disproven by hard facts everytime on the PC side. Note that I'm not arguing one over the other just that the Mac side always comes up inaccurate when investigated or severely skewed.

Originally posted by Rocketman

G5 or not, it seems likely there will be a "high bandwidth" motherboard very soon and a related graphics card, or in the case of pro boxes, a large count PCI slot box. These guys often buy external PCI slot bozes to support the many cards they buy.

The high bandwidth motherboard rumor has circulated for many months now and it's a sure bet to happen. I would just like to know what Apple will consider "high bandwidth". An upgraded system with PC2100 ram hardly qualifies these days as high bandwidth unless they work some magic and beat everyone to the punch with dual channel ddr.

It would really be nice to know just how many G5's if any Moto might have produced so far. If they are producing them, perhaps Apple might release an upper class citizen for a workstation system with a G5 at a high price point to milk some profits as well as keep the demand low since the number of G5's produced and shipped probably wouldn't be too high with Cisco being in the mix for getting them as well.

Again all speculation. :)

agreenster
Jun 15, 2002, 10:24 PM
Hmmmmm....it does seem like Apple is positioning itself to be a major player in the world of 3D production. The only problem I see right now is in the workstation (G4). it just doesnt have the muscle to perform as well as SGI's O2's yet. They are 64-bit powerhouses that can practically hardware render. However, you could easily spend 15grand a pop on these puppies.

However, Apple does have the XServe, Maya (although its still 3.5), a Unix core, and a very good friendship with Pixar.

I never never never never thought I would say it, but if Apple could get a powerful workstation out the door (and no, the current lineup of G4's STILL dont quite cut it) in a relatively low price (under 5 grand??) they could become a MAJOR player in the 3D world. It all comes down to the workstation in my opinion.

One more thing, it would still take some convincing from 'boss man' Jobs to get Pixar to switch over to all Apple equipment. They are making great films, and have their system streamlined. Why fix it if it aint broke? The last thing Pixar needs is to go dinking around with a formula that already works and screw themselves up.

Scottgfx
Jun 16, 2002, 03:21 AM
Agreed! I think this is one of the reasons Jobs has made it a point to ask the entire industry, "What do you need to do your jobs, and what do you want to see in the future?" This is just my theoretical guess at what Jobs asked, but I think it's valid. No, the G4 desktops are not ready to replace the O2, but I think we would all agree that the G4s, as they stand today, are at the end of thier life. July has to at least give us DDR! And I would hope, a lot more. I'm personally not expecting G5 yet. Where I work, I'm already seeing SGI being replaced with Intel Xenon Dual Processor systems. Damn!, the thing's got a nVidia Quatro running on Linux! There are a lot of developers who are paranoid about SGI and are looking at alternatives. Kind of like when Commodore went under in 1994!

July is just around the corner, and their stock it at close to a 6 month low! (Insert evil laugh here) :) `scuse me, I have to empty my savings account and do some trades!

Originally posted by agreenster
Hmmmmm....it does seem like Apple is positioning itself to be a major player in the world of 3D production. The only problem I see right now is in the workstation (G4). it just doesnt have the muscle to perform as well as SGI's O2's yet. They are 64-bit powerhouses that can practically hardware render. However, you could easily spend 15grand a pop on these puppies.

However, Apple does have the XServe, Maya (although its still 3.5), a Unix core, and a very good friendship with Pixar.

I never never never never thought I would say it, but if Apple could get a powerful workstation out the door (and no, the current lineup of G4's STILL dont quite cut it) in a relatively low price (under 5 grand??) they could become a MAJOR player in the 3D world. It all comes down to the workstation in my opinion.

One more thing, it would still take some convincing from 'boss man' Jobs to get Pixar to switch over to all Apple equipment. They are making great films, and have their system streamlined. Why fix it if it aint broke? The last thing Pixar needs is to go dinking around with a formula that already works and screw themselves up.

matznentosh
Jun 16, 2002, 08:47 AM
Originally posted by Eple
Whay apple needs to do is to put all the different GPU's on one card like this (http://www.totlandweb.info/3dcard.jpg).

:rolleyes:


I like the LMNOPRAM line.

GPTurismo
Jun 16, 2002, 10:58 AM
Before they even start looking at higher end equipment they should look at raising (or eliminating) the system bus to higher speeds.

TeraRWM
Jun 16, 2002, 12:35 PM
I can't imagine what would happen if Apple would buy out Nvidia or ATI, not only would it cost them a lot of $$$ but those companies have more costumers in the PeeCee market and I don't think Apple would want to start making PeeCee cards. I think if they worked close with Nvidia or ATI to create a new technology in graphics or a new graphics card that would make much more sense.

I want to get a key and take a test drive of 10.2!

edesignuk
Jun 16, 2002, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by Eple
Whay apple needs to do is to put all the different GPU's on one card like this (http://www.totlandweb.info/3dcard.jpg).

:rolleyes:
OMG! That's CrAzY!
It's like an extended Appian JPro Quad card, don't know if any of you have ever seen one of those but they're insanely long, when inserted they span from the very back of the peecee case all the way to the front, it's mad, there is no need for it. Matrox make the G200MMS Quad which they managed to keep down to the size of a regular card.

firewire2001
Jun 16, 2002, 04:11 PM
lol.. XD... whered you get that pic from?

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 16, 2002, 04:32 PM
If apple were to make a GPU i think we all know what they'd want to do with it:

1) OpenGL runs most the MacOS9 games and EVERY 3D MacOS X game. Unfortunately OpenGL hardware acceleration still isn't 100% hardware as i understand. Although hardware TC&L passes on all the really CPU-limiting stuff (polygon pushing) into the GPU, vastly ioncreaseing performance. The AppleGPU would ideally run ALL of the OpenGL functions, and if possible, even some basic and demanding CPU routines, thus offering developers the option of making games with OVER XBox graphics and detail, with minimum CPU hit, allowing for insanely complex Ai, physics, networking, or whatever the heck they want.

2) Quartz acceleration, again even with a Radeon8500/GeForce4 Ti quartz still taxes the CPU pretty heavily as I've heard from seeded macrumors members. The AppleCPU would provide 100% QuickTime6 and Quartz Extreme support.

3) Blistering 2D/3D performance for workstation graphics. Including full support for the DirectX 9 feature set (FSAA 16x, bump mapping, lighting, TC&L and whatever else MS will have). Thus would allow people like Alias and Pixar to create tools that run FASTER on a mac (probably an XServe with some SICK AGP 8x+ slot) than any SGI (a 512-bit GPU will still beat a 64-bit CPU, even if it is a O2).

The card would come in 2 flavors: one for AGP4 in the new DDR Powermac, ideally in co-op with Aspyr/MacSoft etc. With announcements for new full-hardware OpenGL (blistering performance) and a demo of some game designed from the ground up for the Apple GPU. And the other config for the AGP8x+ slot in the Xserve or Apple 2D/3D workstation which would offer more power in terms of hardware polygon performance and a wider feature-set, thus optomizing Maya/RenderMan/PR Man/LighWave/4D performance.

Apple could take over the PC world in games and the SGI world in design/movies. Then again we don't know that the rumor is for a GPU, it could be the result of Apple+Silicon Grail+Nothing Real. I want an Apple compositing app so bad.... hey make the compositing app run on Apple's GPU only, and update FCP3 to run tons of real-time effects... ok i'm stopping myself. But the apple hardware FCP card is a reasonable idea too.

AlphaTech
Jun 16, 2002, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by MasterX (OSiX)
If apple were to make a GPU i think we all know what they'd want to do with it:


Apple will not be making it's own GPU. They do not have the resources to do so, or to do it right. I can easily see them taking the GPU from either ATI or nVidia and packaging it into a new card. At current, Apple gets their cards specially made by the manufacturers and puts them into their computers. Since they do not use dedicated video cards, per se, in the iMac's, eMac or laptop systems, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to make a higher card for the pro level systems.

I still want to see more ATI choices in BTO systems from Apple.

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 16, 2002, 05:01 PM
I was pretty sure ATi made Mac-Flashed versions of their PC retail cards, plus ADC in the cards shipped to apple. Also I assumed apple built their own nVidia-based cards since nVidia sells the GPUs to companies to build cards. As for apple not having facilities to make a GPU, i'll just remind you they've been taking more and more of their CPU production in house due to the incompatance of Moto to get over 500MHz. But you're right, almost all of the work and I'd bet all of the manuf of CPUs are done at IBM/Moto plants. But i think it would be relatively easy for apple to have one made by paying nVidia to augment the GF4's feature set with a number of new instrucitons for the GF5 or for a apple-only workstation GPU.

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 16, 2002, 05:03 PM
But like you said AlphaTech, I don't expect an Apple GPU. My chips still are on a software app from their acquisitions of SG/Nothing Real. That or something cool apple brewed to take advantage of QuartzExtreme. If you recall of thie osx site they say how they expect fast quartz to open all sorts of opertunities for developers. I can't wait.

MacAztec
Jun 16, 2002, 07:30 PM
Maybe apple will incorporate AGP 8x into their machines....

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 16, 2002, 07:34 PM
My feeling is Apple is working on a mobo with ALL the latest features: fast DDR, ATA/133, AirPort2, AGP8, 66bit/66mhz PCI, 6+ ram slots, 4+HD bays, etc but is saving it all up for the G5, to make it as impressive in specs and give it the best boost possible. Although plan on DDR for PowerMacs at MWNY.

agreenster
Jun 16, 2002, 11:31 PM
You know how rumors fly just before Mac World every half a year or so...what Apple could be buzzing about could be nothing more than Quartz Extreme or Quicktime 6.......

kenohki
Jun 16, 2002, 11:42 PM
I would expect that this comes from either the aquisition of Raycer. The compositing app aquisitions have happened too recently for any announcements there. I mean, c'mon, even rebranding the products would take longer than this.

From a market perspective, Apple is looking to grow their marketshare. They can't just drop themselves into new vertical markets unrelated to their current strongholds and expect to survive. So one at a time you attack markets that are "adjacent" to where you currently are. High end 3D is a logical extension of their current market with Maya now being on OS X and all. But to get content creators to see the Mac platform as the platform of choice, they need to have performance that is comparable or beyond what is available on NT or Irix boxes at a good price point. The one thing they don't have (well, besides a fast memory subsystem) is a graphics option that can compete with the SGI/Sun/IBM/HP visualization cards. nVidia is great and all but they are mostly a consumer/gamer card. ATI even uses an IBM chip on their high end Fire GL cards. I would think that the Raycer aquisition puts technology in their portfolio that allows them to compete in areas above where their current third party graphics card solutions allow them to. After gaining some respect in the 3D market and expanding their product line to high end 3D, I bet you'll see Apple approaching the likes of EDS, Dassault, and Parametric for some CAD/CAE solutions. Hell, given the fact that they got a Mac version of Maya out of Alias|Wavefront, we may see UG and Catia on a Mac next.

As for the nVidia rumors...I would expect that nVidia might be collaborating on the design or fab know-how. But don't expect nVidia to get snatched up by Apple. Not only do they provide the XBox GPU, but they also provide the nForce chipsets to AMD. I don't think either one of those partners would take kindly to their destinies being controlled by Apple.

Cappy
Jun 17, 2002, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by kenohki
I would expect that this comes from either the aquisition of Raycer. The compositing app aquisitions have happened too recently for any announcements there. I mean, c'mon, even rebranding the products would take longer than this.

Don't read a whole lot into the Raycer deal unless you really do have some inside info. That acquisition happened back in like Nov or Dec of 99. Quite awhile ago. The odds are against something that long ago playing a large role in something happening today.

Originally posted by kenohki
Hell, given the fact that they got a Mac version of Maya out of Alias|Wavefront, we may see UG and Catia on a Mac next.

Maya for the Mac is one thing that really draws attention to Apple having something up their sleeve or Maya's developers are just being mismanaged. I know plenty here would disagree but there really wasn't anything about the Mac market and what Apple has demonstrated that warranted porting Maya to Mac OS X. Methinks Apple had to lure them over with something. But what? [/B][/QUOTE]

Originally posted by kenohki
As for the nVidia rumors...I would expect that nVidia might be collaborating on the design or fab know-how. But don't expect nVidia to get snatched up by Apple. Not only do they provide the XBox GPU, but they also provide the nForce chipsets to AMD. I don't think either one of those partners would take kindly to their destinies being controlled by Apple.

1. If another gpu is involved, nvidia could care less about helping out.

2. They may provide the xbox gpu currently but they're out when it comes to the next xbox from MS. Development for MS's console is done so they only sell chips to them now essentially.

3. Big deal if they provide the nforce chipset for AMD systems. They don't provide them to AMD. nvidia is just another motherboard chipset maker for AMD. Your argument would be like saying that Intel licenses it's PCI, USB, AGP, etc. technology to AMD developers so they Intel shouldn't deal with Apple. But they do. AMD has Apple onboard for hypertransport. Everyone sleeps with their enemies in the computer world. ;)

Cappy
Jun 17, 2002, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by MacAztec
Maybe apple will incorporate AGP 8x into their machines....

I'm sure they are but I doubt we'll see that anytime soon. Unfortunately Apple tends to lag behind the PC developers when it comes to bus speeds as well as cpu speeds(yes, I'm just referring to mhz).

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 17, 2002, 12:28 PM
Did it occur to anyone else that Apple bought Raycer right around the time that MOSR (esxcuse me for refferencing) said Apple was bringing more of their CPU produciton in-house? It's not IMPOSSIBLE apple wanted to get a team of experienced engineers to work on the QuickSilver. As for remarketing the compositing programs, if they were already UNIX and they use a proprietary GUI it would take very little effort to port to mac os x. My friend works at Sarnoff and he says they recompile Java apps with no code changes at all and they work fine. The guy at Tweak Films ported that wave generating app to OSX in TEN DAYS and he added QTCubic support. I'm just saying it COULD happen, but i'm not saying it WILL (not for MWNY anyway :D )

cnoellert
Jun 26, 2002, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by MasterX (OSiX)
3) Blistering 2D/3D performance for workstation graphics. Including full support for the DirectX 9 feature set (FSAA 16x, bump mapping, lighting, TC&L and whatever else MS will have). Thus would allow people like Alias and Pixar to create tools that run FASTER on a mac (probably an XServe with some SICK AGP 8x+ slot) than any SGI (a 512-bit GPU will still beat a 64-bit CPU, even if it is a O2).

People like Pixar aren't amazingly interested in graphics performance. Given that Pixar's single product of note, renderman is a renderer then it follows that Pixar's sole interest in terms of hardware would be how many CPU cycles said hardware would have. IE they mainly need really really really fast chips, although renderman is fairly fast to begin with. Pixar could care less about DirectX9.

A/W on the other hand -is- concerned with graphics performance. However last time I checked, they are still a fully owned subsidierary of SGI. True that a 512bit GPU can kill a 64bit CPU in dedicated graphics tasks but then what you're talking about is measuring the highest end mac you can dream up to the lowest end SGI box that exsists. Even if you take a small step up the SGI evolutionary ladder you hit the VPRO Graphics like the V10 and V12 to which there is no equivalent even in the PC world. Up from there you have IR2 and IR3 Graphics which Apple and PC vendors haven't even dreamt of getting close to. Alias/Wavefront is sleeping in bed with the company that not only invented hi-performance graphics workstations, but continue to make the highest performance graphics and IO supsystems of any machine you can throw under your desk. So why does AW and Pixar need the mac? Because people can't afford SGI and don't want to pay that cash. If Apple wants in then they're going to need to do it at a price point that is less than Fuel but at almost a higher performance than Octane2. Otherwise why switch?

The card would come in 2 flavors: one for AGP4 in the new DDR Powermac, ideally in co-op with Aspyr/MacSoft etc. With announcements for new full-hardware OpenGL (blistering performance) and a demo of some game designed from the ground up for the Apple GPU. And the other config for the AGP8x+ slot in the Xserve or Apple 2D/3D workstation which would offer more power in terms of hardware polygon performance and a wider feature-set, thus optomizing Maya/RenderMan/PR Man/LighWave/4D performance.

Apple could take over the PC world in games and the SGI world in design/movies. Then again we don't know that the rumor is for a GPU, it could be the result of Apple+Silicon Grail+Nothing Real. I want an Apple compositing app so bad.... hey make the compositing app run on Apple's GPU only, and update FCP3 to run tons of real-time effects... ok i'm stopping myself. But the apple hardware FCP card is a reasonable idea too.

Before Apple can touch the sacred SFX/Online/compositing market several things need to happen.

First, Apple needs to support every aspect of OpenGL almost to the core levels of the OS. Without this then the 3D market just goes away. There are so many other low cost alternatives that have ample support for OGL that can also outperform apple at the CPU level. A pretty OS isn't enough.

Second, Apple needs to show a huge initiative in creating a revolutionary bus technology or adopting something along the lines of LVDS in terms of speed. 2K 10bit log files are 10 megs a piece. Playing back those files in realtime mean you need to rip 1828x1332x24 per second disk to memory to graphics. Do the math. The mac will catch fire. Also in this category is support for 3rd gen networking topologies like GSN so that we can move data from machine to machine at 800 megs per sec. and interface with realtime imaging devices like telecines and color correctors - gigE isn't enough.

Third, we need the ability to push huge amounts of data around at the drop of a hat. In this case support for XFS which SGI has released into public domain and has been recently adopted by Linux is exactly what Apple needs. XFS is a highperformance REALTIME filesystem, not the toy FS apple is using now. XFS, CXS and XLV support native.

Fourth, professional level graphics card for both display as well as capture. I hope that somewhere in thier bag of tricks we'll find a card that is similar is performance to the V12 GFX along with a daughtercard similar to the DM5 which would allow for realtime IO in both standard as well as highdefinition IO in all the SMPT standards as well as being able to drive 2 displays at least 1920x1440 in 72.

The joke is that Apple already has the Aps. The X version of Shake I saw demoed at NAB was just as workable and usable as the Irix, Win and Linux versions ever were -it was just running on a Quicksilver with a gorgeous 24 flat. The SGrails stuff was almost completely ported to X when Apple bought them and both programs are object oriented. The fact of the matter is that Apple now owns 10 years of research by Kodak into Digital Film compositing via Cineon which was folded into Rayz. Shake is regarded as the best off the shelf copositing tool for PC, mainly because of price/performance. To be perfectly frank Apple could roll the two packages together and release ir for around 5K USD and there is not one single post house on this planet that wouldn't buy at least one. Most houses would buy 20. Unfortuneatly, FCP isn't yet considered a PRO editor by most in the industry. Rolling it in as well would be a bad idea at this point. There could be whole film compoisitng houses built around Xserve and Quicksilver but not before Apple meets some of the demands above.

My guess is that's what's shaking. Apple wants to make movies. They already make music ala pro-tools. They already control a lot of the print market. Why not movies. They now own some of the best tools for making special FX. The one thing that's missing is 3D.

What do you want to bet that Maya get's sold to Apple? Would make huge sense now.

Chris

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 26, 2002, 01:40 PM
That's the most relivent reply I've ever gotten. I agree in most parts, and rather than do a point by point I'll try to comment on the key things I recall.

The Apple Graphics Card would need to still appease gamers and the like. So the 'consumer' version would need good graphics performance. Since they would be using a simmilar GPU in the pro card it would share the powerful real tiem 3D performance it and OpenGL (ideally 2.0 or nVidia's Cg) would have. Also have you ever seen Pixar's workstations in action? They use relatively low detail while animating, if Apple's GPU could provide a polygon render for some of PRman's ray trace functions (cloth physics for example) that would be a good reason for Pixar to invest in such a thing.

As for rendering and whatever a "2K 10bit log file" is Apple doesn't claim to be leader in that feild at all. If apple made a computer for a render farm it would probably be a G5 with 4 cross bar CPUs in a parallel or quad config (8-16 CPUs per system) and as we know the G5 is far away.

Final Cut Pro is not in the same feild as Shake so Apple does have what you could consider a 'pro' tool there. Once the high end compositing and special effects are done, FInal Cut makes an excellt tool for finishing your project, although I'm sure compared to Cinema Tools there are much better things. Final Cut was really born for lower end movies and for higher end TV producitons. Look at something like StarWars Episode II for example. That could've been edited in Final Cut, except for the fact that they made it in high-def cinema which is some insane resolution only Pixar, ILM, and Skywalker Ranch want to deal with.

As for SG and NR's products going to Apple I think we'll just have to wait and see what they do. From your information I can guess that they're update the 2 apps, as well as a cross-complience system for Final Cut (allowing for project sharing of course). Later I would think Apple would Macintosh-izize the products, as they did with DVD Studio Pro.

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 26, 2002, 01:49 PM
And after reading my origional posts I remembered what i was thinking in the first place. Which was to design something like a special Xserve to replace SGI workstations where the AppleGPU is a 512-bit unit with specially modified software, where the Apple GPU is competing against the SGI CPU, which would give apple a good edge (which the G4 could not). So a program like Shake could run complex transparency or keying operations on it- providing it with real time green screening. Or an app like LightWave or Maya could offload some ray-tracing functions to it so that it would speed up render previews (bc you'd still need a render farm for the real thing). Or even that Apple's GPU would be so chock full of features it could draw in real-time something so good looking it could be used in place of a real render (look at some Xbox stuff, it's getting pretty close). So even if for example you didn't get radiosity lighting (or wghatever it's called, i dont use it) an animator could still get his job done with Apple's super-gourad render right off their own video card. I dont even know how much of that is possible...

DavPeanut
Jun 26, 2002, 01:53 PM
I dont think apple really need s to make its own high end video cards. You can alrready get ones that are good enough from Matrox and soem of the other big shots. if you want a nice HD card, go get Kona Hd ($12,000). What they need it get people to understand what Macs can do. I cant remember who said it, but they said that all Pixar movies should have 'Made on a Macintosh' at the beginning. It think that all movies made on macs should have that at the beginning. I know that all lot of Movies are made with Final Cut Pro and people just need to see what a mac could do for them!

cnoellert
Jun 26, 2002, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by MasterX (OSiX)
That's the most relivent reply I've ever gotten. I agree in most parts, and rather than do a point by point I'll try to comment on the key things I recall.

Thanks. I'll take it as a compliment.

The Apple Graphics Card would need to still appease gamers and the like. So the 'consumer' version would need good graphics performance. Since they would be using a simmilar GPU in the pro card it would share the powerful real tiem 3D performance it and OpenGL (ideally 2.0 or nVidia's Cg) would have. Also have you ever seen Pixar's workstations in action? They use relatively low detail while animating, if Apple's GPU could provide a polygon render for some of PRman's ray trace functions (cloth physics for example) that would be a good reason for Pixar to invest in such a thing.

I agree 100%. If we're going to be realistic about this here Apple has to use the trickle down theory for the consumer card if they don't want to go belly up on this little endevour. Gamers will spend dollar upon dollar on framerate so it's good if there's the possibility for them to jump on.

As far as Pixar is concerned, part of the reason that they animate with such a low level of detail is that it's important for them to focus on what's really important for the task at hand. So if one of the TD's has set up and IK chain that he needs a walk cycle on, it's very unlikely that the animator needs to see the eye animation (which another animator further down the chain will handle anyway). He just needs the skeleton as well as rough mesh approximating the body. Also, not to split hairs but renderman isn't a raytracer or a radiosity renderer either. It's a raycaster. Very different animals. Also cloth physics tend to be dynamic simulations which aren't very render specific, unlike hair and lighting. Where graphics performance is important here is that during simulation you can rip more triangles to the screen and increase your "frame rate."

Another thing is that given Jobs position in both Apple and Pixar I doubt that Pixar will pay for any apple equipment that might fall into their laps. As someone pointed out earlier Apple needs renderman support for the xserve's to make any kind of sense. I'm not 100% sure but I think that BMRT (A free renderman compliant raytracer and radiosity render) is being ported from Unix to X which is a start. Let's face it the render was writen on unix for unix, was ported to Nextstep, was ported to Win32. It's already running on X...just not openly yet.

As for rendering and whatever a "2K 10bit log file" is Apple doesn't claim to be leader in that feild at all. If apple made a computer for a render farm it would probably be a G5 with 4 cross bar CPUs in a parallel or quad config (8-16 CPUs per system) and as we know the G5 is far away.

Maybe the log comment was a bit obscure. 10bit log just refers to digital film formats like Cineon and DPX. 10 bit refers to the bitdepth of the file and log refers to the fact that the colorspace in the file is not linear, but logrythmic mimicking the "S" shaped exposure curve of when an iris opens and closes. Cineon and DPX are the standard file format for digital effects and online work in high resolution.

My point was that if apple wants to become a leader in this field they need to be able to supply the market with a system that is capable of certain requirements. One of those requirements is the ability to playback highresolution film sequences uncompressed and in real time. This is mainly a bus issue for Apple which I tried to point out. Also I don't think Apple need to be a leader in rendering. Let's face it Intel and AMD aren't exactly going to go away and Apple's current position on Linux and open source is "happy co-exsistence" so why not render on ultra-cheap PC hardware and do the artist work on the artist's machine?

As far as multi-processor machines is concerned I say bring it on but Apple needs to be looking at IO issues. IE how much can I push through the pipe at one time. Mem to GFX thresholds - stuff like that. As I said before it so important for apple to realise that the machine is currently like a funnel. We have a huge number of taxing calls we're making on the systems and everything get's funneled through a pipe a quarter as small as it should be. Think of trying to push a tennisball through a straw.

Final Cut Pro is not in the same feild as Shake so Apple does have what you could consider a 'pro' tool there. Once the high end compositing and special effects are done, FInal Cut makes an excellt tool for finishing your project, although I'm sure compared to Cinema Tools there are much better things. Final Cut was really born for lower end movies and for higher end TV producitons. Look at something like StarWars Episode II for example. That could've been edited in Final Cut, except for the fact that they made it in high-def cinema which is some insane resolution only Pixar, ILM, and Skywalker Ranch want to deal with.

Well FCP is a post tool and a LOT of people want to say that it's going to be the next Avid... and they're probably right just not yet. But it's still a machine that you use to edit or "offline" a show before you do the effects and finnishing which is commonly referred to as "online" or in case of features "Digital Intermediate." I don't really agree that FCP was born for the low end. I think Apple saw that there was a hole in the mid to high end editing market and is trying to fill it.

Yep EP2 could have been edited in FCP with no problem, and actually it doesn't really matter that they shot the whole thing in HighDef because if they did want to edit in FCP for example they could have downconverted the tapes to DigitalBetacam or even DVCAM and edited in that resolution. Then when they had finalised the cut they could have reconformed the source material from the HDCAM tapes using Final Cut and the Cinewave HDIO card and taken in everything in 1920x1080_24P and pushed it out to the 3D workstations. So in theory and practice it was totally possible. And it's not just the Lucas people that work in HD. I work in HD every other day and it's a joy.

The fact of the matter is that FCP is offline. For 90% of Muisc Videos, Commercials, Features and whatever the finnishing touches are put on in an Inferno/Flame/Fire or IQ/Henry/Editbox or in a Linear suite. FCP is regarded as an editing tool although some do finnish on it - just not in my business.

As for SG and NR's products going to Apple I think we'll just have to wait and see what they do. From your information I can guess that they're update the 2 apps, as well as a cross-complience system for Final Cut (allowing for project sharing of course). Later I would think Apple would Macintosh-izize the products, as they did with DVD Studio Pro.

Nothing real was really close to finnishing up an Uncompressed finnishing system based on Shake called "Tremor" that was soley based on Wintel equipment. The major missing parts of Tremor IMHO was a timeline interface for tweaking the edit while you were working on the effects. One super cool alternative would be if Apple finnished off this work on Tremor making it an Apple only tool with realtime HD input/output as well as background rendering via Xserve or Linux and combined most of the nicer features from Rayz into the package with hooks to FCP for editing. Could be really killer.

But I think you're right we'll just have to wait and see.

Chris

cnoellert
Jun 26, 2002, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by DavPeanut
I dont think apple really need s to make its own high end video cards. You can alrready get ones that are good enough from Matrox and soem of the other big shots. if you want a nice HD card, go get Kona Hd ($12,000). What they need it get people to understand what Macs can do. I cant remember who said it, but they said that all Pixar movies should have 'Made on a Macintosh' at the beginning. It think that all movies made on macs should have that at the beginning. I know that all lot of Movies are made with Final Cut Pro and people just need to see what a mac could do for them!

In a way I tend to agree with you. And then I think about SGI and PC and I'm left with the same conclusion. For serious production Post Houses need assurances from the vendows that make the equipment. In the case on Discreet and Quantel you have service contracts that allow you to get a new HD board overnight or in two hours sometimes. If apple had control over ALL of the hardware like SGI does you can't go wrong. You don't have to worry about unsupported configuration of GFX board and IO board and computer because Apple sells the package.

You have a problem and you know who to call.

Maybe that's a bit simplistic in thinking but when you think about perfomance and stability that's how it is achieved.

Chris

cnoellert
Jun 26, 2002, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by MasterX (OSiX)
And after reading my origional posts I remembered what i was thinking in the first place. Which was to design something like a special Xserve to replace SGI workstations where the AppleGPU is a 512-bit unit with specially modified software, where the Apple GPU is competing against the SGI CPU, which would give apple a good edge (which the G4 could not). So a program like Shake could run complex transparency or keying operations on it- providing it with real time green screening. Or an app like LightWave or Maya could offload some ray-tracing functions to it so that it would speed up render previews (bc you'd still need a render farm for the real thing). Or even that Apple's GPU would be so chock full of features it could draw in real-time something so good looking it could be used in place of a real render (look at some Xbox stuff, it's getting pretty close). So even if for example you didn't get radiosity lighting (or wghatever it's called, i dont use it) an animator could still get his job done with Apple's super-gourad render right off their own video card. I dont even know how much of that is possible...

To be honest most SGI machines in service aren't using the MIPS chips for GFX. The GFX cards are specialty designed rockets with tons of GE's, TRAM, RMs, DSPs and all kinds of other stuff that makes IR3 GFX need about half of a 19" rackmount to hold it all.

I don't think apple will make something like this and I don't reallt think that they should. They should be trying to make something equivelent to the mid end V10 V12 SGI graphics which can fit into a deskside chassis and still are NOT CPU based.

Unfortunately for Shake who's speed and power is based COMPLETELY on CPU speed and is not optimised for use of OGL whatsoever, use of the theoretical Apple OGL card would require a sizable rewrite of all the shake code in order to get more out of it. Maya and lightwave are of course different cases and the scenarios that you mention with regard to Xbox quality shading and realtime rendering (OGL stuff) are currently very possible on the SGI and PC platforms so SHOULD be available for those wanting it on the mac.

Chris

mBox
Jun 26, 2002, 11:34 PM
Im for Apple buying Alias Wavefront just so they can dump those idiots at SGI!!
Do I sound bitter?
Well in the last 7 years (as an animator) I have helped put over 500K of Canadian currency in that company and what do they have to show for?
A new logo (which is old now):P

RAT and Maya/Studio packaged in an Quad G4 1.8Ghz would be in my budget;O)

Durandal7
Jun 27, 2002, 01:54 AM
I'm all for high-end graphics cards from Apple.

MasterX (OSiX)
Jun 27, 2002, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by cnoellert

Yep EP2 could have been edited in FCP with no problem, and actually it doesn't really matter that they shot the whole thing in HighDef because if they did want to edit in FCP for example they could have downconverted the tapes to DigitalBetacam or even DVCAM and edited in that resolution. Then when they had finalised the cut they could have reconformed the source material from the HDCAM tapes using Final Cut and the Cinewave HDIO card and taken in everything in 1920x1080_24P and pushed it out to the 3D workstations. So in theory and practice it was totally possible. And it's not just the Lucas people that work in HD. I work in HD every other day and it's a joy.Chris

I was referring to the cinema HD format. Unless I'm wrong they have a special resolution for the digital projects which only Ti makes and they cost something like $150,000 or something insane like that. I thought that 1920x1080 24P was the highest HDTV format. I guess I'm wrong, well my budget is about $1000/year so no kidding I don't have money for a $5000 HD Capture card for a Final Cut System that supports it (which i beleive is Dual 800 for the HD cut-off).

thedude
Jun 27, 2002, 09:53 PM
I read somewhere that Apple has a rather large booth planned for Siggraph this year in San Antone. Hmmm, to show off new tech? or maybe new software? well, we'll just have to keep guessing until then! I think MacWorld will bring a lot of things into perspective as far as plans for 3D.

As far as the whole V12 graphics on a mac thing, I don't think that people ( myself included) want all that power to push around. Cuz it's just going to put apple into the same position that SGI is in. Really, REALLY expensive computers that nobody wants to buy. Granted there will always be some company that want's to spend all that dough, but Apple would have to rely more on volume. I know a lot of people that would be happy with a mac that had a faster bus, RAT, some other smaller packages ported (Realviz suite. ALL of them, not just stitcher!) a good 3D tracker (2d3 are you listening?!) and a graphics card that gave a wildcat III a run for it's money. But as far as graphics goes, it's all about compatability! Most of the cards that support MAYA OSX have very annoying problems that need to be fixed. The beauty of the Wildcat cards are that they don't have as many issues. (come on, Hypershade and clipping plane problems? PLEASE!)

So we can only hope that we get half this stuff at MacWorld, and the other half at Siggraph!:rolleyes:

cnoellert
Jun 28, 2002, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by thedude
As far as the whole V12 graphics on a mac thing, I don't think that people ( myself included) want all that power to push around. Cuz it's just going to put apple into the same position that SGI is in. Really, REALLY expensive computers that nobody wants to buy. Granted there will always be some company that want's to spend all that dough, but Apple would have to rely more on volume. I know a lot of people that would be happy with a mac that had a faster bus, RAT, some other smaller packages ported (Realviz suite. ALL of them, not just stitcher!) a good 3D tracker (2d3 are you listening?!) and a graphics card that gave a wildcat III a run for it's money.

How much would a real top of line PC workstation run. We just bought our head animator a new Dell machine that when all was said and done came in around 12K USD with 2Gigs of ram 144G internal raid, top of the line Wildcat board and dual 2.2 GHZ P4's. That's about the same price for a simlarly configured fuel which would have double the graphics performance but half the CPU power. What do you think the ratio of new Dell workstations is in ratio to SGI Fuel machines? Like 100:1 I bet. Fuel's got better GFX, higer throughput, more solid OS (by a million times) but people by the Dell box. Why? Because of Boujou and because of Imagemodeler, 3DsMax, all things adobe blah blah blah AND SHAKE!!!! So I don't buy the argument that no one will buy or that Apple will endup like SGI... Apple's got the consumer aps and support for people like my mom. People like my mom don't even know who SGI is, nor would they ever be able to edit the hosts file or manage the fstab even over the phone. Nor could she do her quicken stuff or word or whatever else she does. Apple has a consumer market and needs to gain a professional one (again.) People buy heavy machines all the time just not heavy macs because heavy macs don't exsist really.

Apple needs to adopt a stratagey of at least offering the people in the high end whom they're trying so desperatlely to attract with thier Nothing Real and SGrail purchases and Xserve machines, heavy macs that can actually get the job done the way a Fuel or Octane2 or even my head animator's Dell can.

You mention a graphics card that will give Wildcat a run for it's money. That's something in the V10,12 area. But it's going to be expensive. What the asking price for a top Wildcat card? 3K? 4K? Add that to the price of a dual (theoretical here) 1.4 GHZ G4 machine with 2 gigs of ram and dual 72gig U160 drives and where do you think that we land price wise? Same as the Dell and Fuel.

And that's the point I guess. Wherever it lands, the highend will never be cheap. That's why it's called the highend. The joke is that soon will have Infinite Reality 3 graphics from Nvidia on a $200 board. But then the high end will still cost 4 or 5K and be capable of 100 trillion trilinear mip mapped polygons per second in 72hrz 4K stereo. The bar is where we place it.

Chris