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Old Oct 22, 2013, 12:53 PM   #1
Zellio
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So what are the firepro d300's?

What are they comparable too? I cannot find any info about them online..
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:00 PM   #2
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Wishful thinking would be that these are not out yet (hence December) Hawaiian islands Firepro's ... vs. the W5000, W7000, W9000 .. line shrunk down to fit in the nMP.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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I've been researching FirePro GPUs for work since last year, and I haven't heard a peep about the D-Series GPUs. No performance info, no tech specs, no nothing.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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Like others have said, these are probably 7xxx series cards with new firmware. They are most likely Apple-specific as the form factor is non-standard for the new Mac Pro. We will need to wait until reviewers get their hands on them before we know much more.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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as far as gaming .. i would assume they are terrible ? just curious .. I am not a gamer but it would be nice if they would be decent enough
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:28 PM   #6
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These cards are the justification for the package price. They have to be good at something worth paying for.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:28 PM   #7
MacMilligan
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Originally Posted by jetjaguar View Post
as far as gaming .. i would assume they are terrible ? just curious .. I am not a gamer but it would be nice if they would be decent enough
I don't believe OSX supports crossfire. Professionals use the cards independently, so I doubt you'd want them for gaming.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:33 PM   #8
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Something to note is that Phil specifically said we should know 3K is a good starting price based on how expensive the D300 card is -- implying that we should know more information about this card.

Are we missing something?
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:42 PM   #9
Zellio
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I don't believe OSX supports crossfire. Professionals use the cards independently, so I doubt you'd want them for gaming.
Crossfire would work in windows though, right? One of the reasons I'd want a mac pro is for gaming. I have 50 million other reasons, but it does need to do gaming well, as well as other graphically intensive stuff programming wise....
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Zellio View Post
Crossfire would work in windows though, right? One of the reasons I'd want a mac pro is for gaming. I have 50 million other reasons, but it does need to do gaming well, as well as other graphically intensive stuff programming wise....
same
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 01:53 PM   #11
JustinGN
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Some answers...

Q: Is Crossfire supported?
A: By the cards? Yes, FirePro supports Crossfire technology. The only concern I have is whether OS X supports it, or if Windows will via software bridging. There doesn't appear to be a physical hardware bridge between the cards like you see on PCs.

Q: Are they good for gaming?
A: The current FirePro cards are very capable gaming cards, sitting between the 7850 (W5000) to the 7970 GHz Edition (W9000). The perform slightly worse in some cases, but not by much to be concerned about. All in all, you won't be disappointed in a pair of these for, say, Battlefield 3.

Q: How expensive are these cards?
A: Damn expensive. Newegg has a W5000 for $450, while its gaming competitor, a 7850 goes for $150. The W7000 clocks in at $650, and compares to the 7870 for $180. The W8000 also compares to the 7870, but its price is $1400. The top tier card, the W9000, compares to the 7970 GHz as stated above. However, while the 7970 goes for $400, the W9000 goes for $3500.

Q: Any theories on what gaming cards these new D-series GPUs will compare to?
A: This is a theory based on the W-series, but I'm guessing the following:
  • The D300 will likely compare to the new 260X
  • The D500 potentially compares to the 270X
  • The D700 will compare to either the 280X or 290X.
That's all theory though.

Last edited by JustinGN; Oct 22, 2013 at 02:11 PM.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 02:14 PM   #12
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This what I found..

Tahiti-based FirePro graphics, up to 2048 stream processors each, and 384-bit bus is the hint.
FirePro D300: 2 GB GDDR5, 256-bit
FirePro D500: 3 GB GDDR5, 384-bit
FirePro D700: 6 GB GDDR5, 384-bit

The press release says "Configure-to-order options include [...] AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6 GB of VRAM...", emphasis mine, notice the plural "GPUs".

EDIT: So it's 6 GB VRAM each (Click Tech Specs, and check under Graphics section), i.e. a total of 12 GB VRAM.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 02:43 PM   #13
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D300 -> Radeon R9 270X
D500 -> Something between Radeon R9 270X and Radeon R9 280
D700 -> Radeon R9 280X
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 02:45 PM   #14
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FWIW, the newer AMD cards do NOT need the crossfire bridge to run in crossfire anymore. They use the PCIe channel to communicate now. So it is possible that they would work in Windows in crossfire configuration without the bridge. IMO it is unlikely though.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 02:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaz8 View Post
This what I found..

Tahiti-based FirePro graphics, up to 2048 stream processors each, and 384-bit bus is the hint.
FirePro D300: 2 GB GDDR5, 256-bit

The D300 256-bit, 1280 "cores", and 2 GLOPs performance match up with the W7000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...station_Series

Although the Scrooge McDuck move by Apple is gutting these back to just 2GB of VRAM instead of 4GB.


Quote:
FirePro D500: 3 GB GDDR5, 384-bit
The "1526 Stream Processors" is odd. Doesn't match up with any of AMD's current/previous offerings. It looks like tweaked AMD 7870 "Tahiti LE" or "Tahiti Pro"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...7xxx.29_Series

only with a different memory interface ( 384) in the case of the first or tweaked stream processor count in the case of the second. Roughly around a W8000.

Relative to a W8000 again gimped on VRAM. 4GB being standard on W8000 and Apple using 3GB.


Quote:
FirePro D700: 6 GB GDDR5, 384-bit
Seems like the only one not gimped from the AMD FirePro equivalent (W9000 , 6GB , 385 , full complement of processors. )

Given the prices announced today that likely means stratosphere pricing too.



The press release says "Configure-to-order options include [...] AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6 GB of VRAM...", emphasis mine, notice the plural "GPUs".

EDIT: So it's 6 GB VRAM each (Click Tech Specs, and check under Graphics section), i.e. a total of 12 GB VRAM.[/QUOTE]

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
D300 -> Radeon R9 270X
D500 -> Something between Radeon R9 270X and Radeon R9 280
D700 -> Radeon R9 280X
Doubtful these have anything to do with the R. ....X stuff. The 'X' stuff is generally indicative of the DSP that AMD weaved into the design GPGPU . That likely isn't here at all.

Straight Pitcairn and older Tahiti specs match more closely with what Apple has posted so far.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 03:00 PM   #16
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The D300 256-bit, 1280 "cores", and 2 GLOPs performance match up with the W7000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...station_Series

Although the Scrooge McDuck move by Apple is gutting these back to just 2GB of VRAM instead of 4GB.
I'm thinking the D300 is a R9 270X with new firmware. All specs line up and the price is where Apple would want to be. You are correct, they are probably without the TrueAudio stuff.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 03:08 PM   #17
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Something to note is that Phil specifically said we should know 3K is a good starting price based on how expensive the D300 card is -- implying that we should know more information about this card.

Are we missing something?
VERY disingenuous.

Even more than Nvidia's Quadro cards, FirePro means "regular card marked up by 300-400% for no discernible performance increase".

This is a lot like saying "we didn't want to charge so much, but when you factor in the Gucci Design fan imported from Italy, it's a sensible price"
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 03:20 PM   #18
deconstruct60
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I'm thinking the D300 is a R9 270X with new firmware. All specs line up and the price is where Apple would want to be. You are correct, they are probably without the TrueAudio stuff.
Eventually the TrueAudio stuff might help Apple appeal to the music/sound folks who are currently scoffing at dual GPUs. However, it seems doubtful that the foundation for the R9 270X (Curaçao ) since one of the major principal differences between that and Pitcairn is the Audio stuff. Apple graphics drivers typically arriving later rather than sooner make the Mac Pro cards more likely to be dependent upon graphics that were around 6-7 months ago as opposed to the bleeding edge.

Maybe they are putting "future proof" DSP hardware in that will get enabled later, but I wouldn't count on that. Far more likely that Mac Pro 2014 would get updates to cover this and other things.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 03:26 PM   #19
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VERY disingenuous.

Even more than Nvidia's Quadro cards, FirePro means "regular card marked up by 300-400% for no discernible performance increase".

This is a lot like saying "we didn't want to charge so much, but when you factor in the Gucci Design fan imported from Italy, it's a sensible price"
I'm not familiar with how the cards are written for Macs in terms of firmware, but I do know there's discernible performance difference in 2D/CAD/Rendering work on the PC side. A large part is due to the much higher clocks compared to their gaming counterparts, but the firmware on the card is as much responsible for the performance increase.

At least with AMD, the FirePro cards tend to be consumer versions with much higher clocked memory and GPU and a different Firmware. Can't speak for Quadro/nVidia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deconstruct60 View Post
Eventually the TrueAudio stuff might help Apple appeal to the music/sound folks who are currently scoffing at dual GPUs. However, it seems doubtful that the foundation for the R9 270X (Curaçao ) since one of the major principal differences between that and Pitcairn is the Audio stuff. Apple graphics drivers typically arriving later rather than sooner make the Mac Pro cards more likely to be dependent upon graphics that were around 6-7 months ago as opposed to the bleeding edge.

Maybe they are putting "future proof" DSP hardware in that will get enabled later, but I wouldn't count on that. Far more likely that Mac Pro 2014 would get updates to cover this and other things.
TrueAudio is a gimmick at best. If game developers wrote their audio engines correctly, they could easily do positional audio with very high accuracy. Hell, Mumble does it with voice audio at a minimal performance hit. As for DSP, aren't those better served by external devices nowadays? I thought the idea of the analog audio output on the Mac Pro was to appeal to the folks who just need a line out for speakers and don't care about the DAC quality.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 03:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JustinGN View Post
I'm not familiar with how the cards are written for Macs in terms of firmware, but I do know there's discernible performance difference in 2D/CAD/Rendering work on the PC side. A large part is due to the much higher clocks compared to their gaming counterparts, but the firmware on the card is as much responsible for the performance increase.

At least with AMD, the FirePro cards tend to be consumer versions with much higher clocked memory and GPU and a different Firmware. Can't speak for Quadro/nVidia.



TrueAudio is a gimmick at best. If game developers wrote their audio engines correctly, they could easily do positional audio with very high accuracy. Hell, Mumble does it with voice audio at a minimal performance hit. As for DSP, aren't those better served by external devices nowadays? I thought the idea of the analog audio output on the Mac Pro was to appeal to the folks who just need a line out for speakers and don't care about the DAC quality.
I think Macvideocards is thinking about Cuda. For the Adobe suite, the benchmarks between regular gaming cards and quadro cards don't show an important improvement in performance.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 04:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by JustinGN View Post
At least with AMD, the FirePro cards tend to be consumer versions with much higher clocked memory and GPU and a different Firmware.
More VRAM as opposed to higher clocker.

Quote:
TrueAudio is a gimmick at best. .... As for DSP, aren't those better served by external devices nowadays? I thought the idea of the analog audio output on the Mac Pro was to appeal to the folks who just need a line out for speakers and don't care about the DAC quality.
TrueAudio doesn't do any AD or DA conversations at all. It is a straight digital to digital conversion.

If Apple puts a real API that developers can commonly use over the hardware then it will be more than a gimmick. If every single app developer has to do a custom DSP kernel then it would be a gimmick.

Long term audio and video processing is likely to get integrated. With every larger transistor budgets it isn't that hard to throw multiples functions into one integrated, lower cost component.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 04:14 PM   #22
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I think Macvideocards is thinking about Cuda. For the Adobe suite, the benchmarks between regular gaming cards and quadro cards don't show an important improvement in performance.
For NVIDIA cards, the Pro level stuff typically uses LOWER clocks and MORE RAM with ECC available.

Hard to compare Radeon & FirePro cards with just a 4" screen so I will look once in the lab.

But I strongly believe that Phil was flashing "D300" as if it meant something when he full well knows it means nothing whatsoever right now.

"My SkyJam4000 is Super Duper fast since it uses the Intel TurboJet 427" sounds really impressive but also tells us nothing. Consider this, the crappy Radeon 2600XT that came in 2008 Pros also had another name. It was called a FireGl V3600 and cost $400. (Much more impressive name, and it had better be, you're paying for it)

It was no faster or better in OSX than a 2600XT. It had a solid copper heat sink but a cheapie 2 wire fan and was used in cheapie workstations.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 04:41 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by deconstruct60 View Post
Eventually the TrueAudio stuff might help Apple appeal to the music/sound folks who are currently scoffing at dual GPUs. However, it seems doubtful that the foundation for the R9 270X (Curaçao ) since one of the major principal differences between that and Pitcairn is the Audio stuff. Apple graphics drivers typically arriving later rather than sooner make the Mac Pro cards more likely to be dependent upon graphics that were around 6-7 months ago as opposed to the bleeding edge.

Maybe they are putting "future proof" DSP hardware in that will get enabled later, but I wouldn't count on that. Far more likely that Mac Pro 2014 would get updates to cover this and other things.
I know the 7790 shipped with the audio hidden and will be enabled in the future. I would think if TrueAudio is in there, Apple would have leveraged the technology during the presentation. I don't really care, but I do know that the "D300" is a rebadged $130-$150 consumer card with new firmware and ECC memory. If Apple chose the old or new GPUs doesn't really matter too much, not much has changed in the last two years with AMD.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 04:52 PM   #24
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I'm not a technical guy so a straight forward question would do me just right

Are we kind of being set up again by Apple giving us outdated or low performance cards in a very expensive computer? When the NMP was announced there was allot of talk about how powerful and awesome the graphics cards where going to be...is this actually the case or is the entire thing blown way out of proportion.

Reason i ask is that even with the previous MP the graphic card options especially in the base configuration where outdated and cheap in comparission with the cost of the machine....is history repeating itself with the new macpro?
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 05:20 PM   #25
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I know the 7790 shipped with the audio hidden and will be enabled in the future.
The 7790 didn't get released until March 2013. Yes for what AMD targeted new implementation variants for 2013 release they generally all have the audio stuff. The bulk of their line up is far more speed bumped 2012 targeted products.


Quote:
I don't really care, but I do know that the "D300" is a rebadged $130-$150 consumer card with new firmware and ECC memory.
Generally both AMD and Nvidia have done "virtual" ECC. It is an overlay on general memory by the memory controller. But yes it is probably flipped on. The other option generally turned on is also a broader VRAM capacity coverage. That is where Apple appears to have gone cheap.

Quote:
If Apple chose the old or new GPUs doesn't really matter too much, not much has changed in the last two years with AMD.
Nvidia is busy reshuffling the deck chairs too. Same general architectures rebadged with features flipped on/off.

Neither one has a Intel like tick/tock cadence were they move on multiple fronts arch and process at the same time with overlapping design teams.
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