What do you think of the chances of an Intel SLI PowerMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Spanky Deluxe, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #1
    What with SLI being all the rage now and all what do you think the chances are of the future Intel PowerMac replacements having SLI? I always thought Apple were the most in need of SLI since its primary achievement is decent frame rates at ultra high resolutions so the Apple 30" display could be utilized to its full extent.
    The only problem is as far as I know Intel don't have an SLI chipset out right now. They've had a Xeon board with dual SLI out for ages but I don't think it supported SLI.
    What do you guys think of the chances and if you'd be interested? Personally I already have an SLI PC and love the SLIness of it although I doubt I utilise it to its full extent. The thing I like the most about my setup is that I can run Flight Sim at full settings on three displays. I never saw the point of dual displays in games but three displays is awesome. Yes I know SLI only supports one display but the ability to have multiple monitors which all support decent 3D acceleration is a huge bonus in itself.

    Edit: I just found out that Intel have a dual slot board that does support ATI's Crossfire and nVidia could potentiall support it themselves if they added it to their driver. I really hope they do because I'm a bit of an nVidia fanboy!!
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #2
    I suspect that the Power Mac replacement will have an Intel CPU chip that Intel has not anounced yet. Intel will _have_ to come up with something to compete with AMD's Opteron. Apple will use that Intel Opteron-like chip and I'm betting on a four-core system to be released first

    Graphis will likley be on a PCI Express card so you can have some options.
    Not many Power Macs are used to play games. I doubt they will catter to the gamming market.


     
  3. Spanky Deluxe thread starter macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #3
    It wasn't just for games that I meant though. If Apple wants to get a bigger market slice of people like 3D designers then SLI is a must. Also it could tempt manufacturers like the ones of Autocad back to the scene. I just wouldn't have thought Apple would want to limit itself in how it can compete with companies like Dell. Apple wouldn't exactly just leave behind a technology like BluRay or HD-DVD so why should it leave something behind like SLI. Its a proven technology.
     
  4. semaja2 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    they wouldnt use SLI they would use crossfire, since they are with ATI now and i could see the need for such a system but i wonder if it would even work with macosx with the way it renders into the card
     
  5. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

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    #5
    all the current power macs are nvidia cards: 6600le, 6600, 7800gt, quadro fx 4500. the problem is intel doesn't make an sli chipset (correct me if i'm wrong). the only sli chipset available for socket 775 is the nvidia nforce4 sli intel edition. i believe there are a couple for socket 604 (xeon) though, as alienware offered a xeon system with sli about a year ago and maybe still do.
     
  6. Spanky Deluxe thread starter macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #6
    Oops, first off I missed out the link to the Intel dual graphics card mobo I'd found. Its here: http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/11/14/intel_goes_dual_graphics_with_975x_chipset/

    Anyway, that does support Crossfire but apparently the only reason it doesn't support SLI is that support for that motherboard hasn't been written into nVidia's drivers yet. If Apple say to nVidia that they want SLI on the Intel board inside the next PowerMac otherwise they'll only offer ATI what do you think nVidia will say?!! To be honest I think that nVidia will end up supporting SLI on any dual PCI-e motherboard because now they have ATI to compete with who support more boards. They no longer have their monopoly.
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #7
    The current G5 could technically do SLI...I can't remember which but either the 7800 or the Quadro has the SLI connectors on it. If nVidia wrote drivers I think it would work fine. But they never will, of course.

    I doubt Apple has any interest in SLI. Unless somebody could convincve them to include support for it due to the benefit to 3D rendering, it will remain a PC technology.
     
  8. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

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    #8
    Pro workstation Cards rather than Gamer Cards

    I would guess the chances are low. Wouldn't those folks just want professional workstation cards (http://www.ati.com/products/workstation.html) like the ATI Fire GL 7100? http://www.insight.com/site/product...&P=1&&p_sess=&NugsTracking=Results_Full_Specs
    Crossfire is presented by ATI as a gamer product. http://www.ati.com/technology/crossfire/index.html Although nVidia uses the dual GPU technology with their pro cards as well, I see a top-end 670 workstation from Dell only offers a single nVidia professional card option. http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W300&l=en&oc=670rec&s=bsd

    As an aside, it looks like Autocad will run even on an older 800 MHz Pent III PC with VGA graphics according to the manufactuer:
    http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=5127273, so it doesn't look like they've stayed away from Mac for performance limitation reasons.
     
  9. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

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    #9

    The first chips to go quad will be Xeon and won't be out until 2007. Looking at the pace of Apple's transition I doubt the first PowerMacs to go Intel will wait that long. I personally expect dual core dual Conroes to be the first chips to be put in the PowerMac later on this year which will spank the Opteron 6 ways from Sunday. Conroe will be Intel's first chip that kills the netburst architecture and imports some of the Pentium M's design features into the desktop system. One of the major drawbacks on the laptop CPU is that they are trying to sip power instead of slurping it. (The P4 chug-a-lugged it.) I expect some great things to come out of Conroe.
    SLI is up in the air. Does any of Intel's chipsets even support SLI?
     
  10. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #10
    Word on the street is in Q3 2006 Intel will release a processor codenamed Conroe, which is basically a desktop version of Yonah/Merom. It should be a dual core processor, probably but not definitely 64 bit, with an expected 4mb L2 cache. Intel's roadmap really does look nice, I don't anticipate them having any trouble competing up with AMD.
     

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