Which firepro will the Mac Pro come with?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Radiating, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    Which fire pro does everyone think the Mac Pro will come with? Also, do you think they will give us a choice of different cards, or just one option?
  2. macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2011
    There will be a choice available. Most likely: top end: W9000, base models: W7000. Just my guess.
  3. Radiating, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    Rumor has it that it's the W9000

    Anyone agree?
  4. macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    To get the specifications they have talked about they will be offering two W9000s as an option. The way they word it says suggests those will just be the high end option. I would think two W5000s make the most sense for the low end and W7000s in there too based on how things are priced. Of course we don't know if Apple will price the same as retail or if they will be pricing more like Radeons, but using FirePro certification/branding or somewhere in between.
  5. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    I highly doubt they will price the gfx at aftermarket prices. Considering the W9000 is a 7970, and AMD isn't as interested as Nvidia in gouging on workstation cards, I would think at the most the W9000 upgrade would cost $700 with the W7000 being the base model.

    I really wish they offered dual K5000's, K20 teslas, or dual Titan's as an option. I get that part of the reason was likley AMD's willingness to sell workstation cards at lower prices, but Nvidia cards are THE staple for workstation applications and using an Nvidia card gives you better support and CUDA features. They could easily offer an Nvidia option as a high end feature:


    Base: Dual Firepro W7000

    High: Dual Firepro W9000 $700

    Ultra: Dual Nvidia Titan/K20/K5000 $1300
  6. macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2006
    I predict:

    2xFirePro W5000 2GB (Base)
    2xFirePro W7000 4GB (+$1500)
    2xFirePro W9000 6GB (+$5000)

    I think you'll need to get at least the W7000s to make the MacPro worthwhile. Otherwise you'd get better performance from a high end gaming PC with a GTX Titan.
  7. thread starter macrumors 65816

    Dec 29, 2011
    That's true, but I think the pricing is a little steep for what Apple would charge. Keep in mind the W9000 is essentially a $400 desktop card with a few firmware setting changed and some extra RAM.

    I can't see Apple charging more than $800 for the upgrade, even $700 would be high otherwise it would be cheaper just to get a thunderbolt enclosure and put a titan in there.
  8. macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2006
    If it's the Mac version of this card, then it's a little higher than $400 :eek:

    I don't think Apple has any issue charging a lot for upgrades. I remember the first gen Mac Pro offered a Quadro card as a +$1600 option. And that's nothing compared to adding two of the 6GB FirePros.

    The W5000, on the other hand, is dirt cheap, which is why I think they'll be the base. That way Apple can offer a "reasonably" priced option while presenting a ridiculously expensive, maxed out option to Power Users.
  9. macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2008
    That is what has made me think that Apple might go back in the other direction, as they did in the late 1980s (which was not a good idea in retrospect and is not now, imo), by starting this new Mac Pro at a number like $3,999, $4,999 or $5,999.

    If they are touting this as the "ultimate performance Mac for professionals and prosumers", then they will not mess around with underperforming configurations that would cut into (at this time) their iMac and MacBook Pro business. They may go in the other direction and start their configurations at 16 GB minimum, and perhaps 32 GB, and then go forward and put the two W9000's in there to start.
  10. Erasmus, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013

    macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2006
    Australia, Where Omnius can't find me!
    It is a $400 HD7970 with ECC VRAM, and an 800% mark-up (at least as far as I can tell).

    So HOPEFULLY, considering this "Dual FirePro Graphics" clearly is two Apple exclusive modified 7970's, and neither GPU or Mac Pro will be cross-compatible with anything else, Apple will get a great deal, i.e. 30% markup :rolleyes:

    Because the price of these cards is completely unknown, an entry level GPU is also unknown. I suppose it is likely that a W5000 is a reasonable entry, as it should be around the HD7770 level, and the present Mac Pro starts with a HD5770. That said, we also don't know if Apple will allow users to buy a Mac Pro with say one W5000 and one W9000, or some other combination.
  11. Cubemmal, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    This is my supposition. They certainly will not price the cards as retail however because there's no need to, and if they did they would sell very few of these computers. The engineering they put into this says they want this to be a healthy, albeit probably small product line.

    Comparing to retail graphics pricing is the wrong approach. When you buy a MBP do you look at the retail price of the graphics chips that go into that? No, the most people look at is retail of the CPU. Likewise here Apple is buying manufacturing quantity (thousands) of CPU's and GPU's. That all adds into a BOM (Bill Of Materials). They have profit targets (30%-50% probably) and then they compare the number that comes out to their pricing tiers (they like $1999 instead of $2000 for example) and product lineup.

    Apple puts enormous pressure on their suppliers. Drawing conclusions based on the retail price of FirePro cards is erroneous.
  12. macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2006
    I agree that they will definitely target the professional market for this. They will argue that if you want a sub-$3000 Mac, you should get an iMac. I'm guessing it starts around $3500, but that's still with low-end graphics cards.


    I don't disagree with this, but I doubt this will affect pricing in a positive way for us. Personally, I find the choice of FirePro cards to be a little questionable when dual GTX Titans would be cheaper and more powerful for the kind of apps the MacPro will be used for.
  13. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    The W5000 is quite doubtful. I think that is being driven by looking at AMD's retail prices for FirePro cards and then trying to fit to the "classic" $2,299-2,499 range of pricing. If so, I suspect that is a huge mistake.

    The W5000 is rather weak. For example the GPU in the top standard configuration iMac is a GT675MX ( there is a GT680MX BTO option that is better than this). While capable of 4GB Apple only used 1GB VRAM in the iMac ( 2GB in the BTO ), but basic stats:

    19 Gpixels/s 48 GTextures/s 115 GB/s memory bandwidth 1152 GFLOPs.

    Where as the W5000 is just :

    26 Gpixels/s 39 GTextures/s 102 GB/s memory bandwidth 1267 GFLOPs

    Note that the GT675MX is a mobile GPU; not a desktop one. So Apple is going to put two upper mobile level performance GPUs in a Mac Pro and sell it at $2,000+ price points and that is going to be competitive? I don't think so.

    Never mind a GT680MX and top end BTO iMac that will blow right past this on graphics performance probably around the exact same price point. Again it isn't just other WinPC workstation, that isn't particularly competitive with the BTO iMac.

    I highly doubt there is going to be any Crossfire available to try to gap these iMacs. ( So the whole they're slow but if bound them together it is OK performance isn't going to fly).

    The other major problem with the W5000 is that it is limited to a 2GB VRAM cap. Again this is a chuckle when the mobile GPUs in the iMac have possible 4GB VRAM caps. The GPGPU that is pragmatically being tagged for a significant amount of GPGPU work needs more space to be more competitive.

    The W5000 only makes sense in the distorted funhouse mirror pricing context of the rest of the FirePro line-up's prices. Outside of that context, it is nonesense. It is a sub $100 GPU card that belongs in generic white box rectangles with slots. There is nothing particularly upscale performance at all about the performance relative to modern GPUs.

    Not going to happen with 3 Thunderbolt controllers and a HDMI output . Pragmatically need two GPUs to make this machine effective. Nevermind the needs for computational headroom while concurrently driving some dynamic content on a 4K screen. The machine is above average price. It still needs to be useful 2-3 years from now. Apple doesn't particularl want folks to squat on a Mac Pro for 6-10 years but they also know folks are not going to churn them every 1-2 years either.

    I think you are grossly underestimating how much GDDR5 RAM costs at the speeds needed and in ECC format. It isn't all of it but it is a larger BOM cost that significantly lowers that "mark-up" .

    AMDs FirePro series are not particularly competitively priced for the level of real performance can eek out with the AMD drivers and infrastructure. If AMDs mark-up is 80-100% and Apple can walk them down to 20% then starting with two W7000 would make sense.

    The W8000 would make sense also as a middle of the line-up card if its prices were grossly distorted too. Both the W8000 and W9000 take ECC GDDR5 VRAM. Given Apple's modus operandi of make the most use of common parts across products it would make alot of sense to two very slightly varying cards on these two to form the top-middle end of the line up.

    The W7000 is actually a bit of an oddball in that it is non ECC. That may be necessary at this point to limbo in at the entry level's Mac price point. Although I wouldn't be surprised if the entry card might be a W8000 gimped a bit on VRAM if Apple can detach the GPU package from AMD's misguided mark-up.
  14. Tesselator, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013

    macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    They are proprietary cards. They probably are not from any specific ATI reference design.

    For example it could contain the chips from anyone of these cards with the new/different card edge and 6GB or VRAM.

    These are all "FirePro" cards:
    AMD FirePro™ V7900
    AMD FirePro™ V7900 SDI
    AMD FirePro™ V5900
    ATI FirePro™ V5800
    ATI FirePro™ V5800 DVI
    AMD FirePro™ V4900
    AMD FirePro™ V3900
    AMD FirePro™ APU 300
    AMD FirePro™ W5000
    AMD FirePro™ W5000 DVI
    AMD FirePro™ W7000
    AMD FirePro™ W8000
    AMD FirePro™ W9000​

    Although I have no idea what specific chips those use. The MP6,1 card could be any mix of any of the specs from any of these boards and also different specs - not found in any of these boards.
  15. macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010


    Apple is employing completely custom cards for the gfx. It is likely the gfx will not map exactly to "normal" consumer or pro offerings.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    What I can presume, based by MacVidCards and my own testing of Mavericks drivers:

    - FirePro W8000
    - FirePro W9000

    7870XT (Tahiti LE aka Tahiti Pro Prototype) is using "FirePro D500" OGL engine, 7970 (Tahiti XT) is using "D700" one. Drivers are tweaked to match device ID of the card, so 7590 uses 7950 OGL engine, because it exist as real Mac card.

    If anyone using 7850 (Pitcairn LE), 7870 (Pitcairn XT) and 7770 (Cape Verde) could check what OGL engines these use in 10.9, we would have a full picture of what GPUs Apple is testing.
    Cape Verde equals W600, Pitcairn LE = W5000, Pitcaitn XT = W7000, Tahiti Pro = W8000, Tahiti XT = W9000.

    All listed GPUs are capable of 4k displays, what Apple is announcing on official new MP site.


    Device IDs for actual FirePro cards are present in drivers as well, but for some reason Apple has tweaked drivers for testing consumer version of these GPUs.

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