AMD's hQ and the nMac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fastlanephil, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
  2. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    It sounds like hQ isn't all that useful for discrete GPUs just yet due to the comparative latency of PCIe, it's more of an APU (AMD CPU with integrated GPU) technology, and it's still pretty early so there's not exactly widespread adoption looming right now. I doubt it would be of any use in a Mac with Intel CPU anyway.

    It's a bit like unified memory which is a nice feature but again focused on AMD APU's, allowing the CPU and GPU to share (rather than split) RAM, preventing the need to copy textures etc. between the two spaces, but of no use in a Macs as they all use Intel processors.

    Only AMD specific features I can think of off-hand right now that might be of interest are TrueAudio and Mantle. TrueAudio allows the GPU to do high-definition audio processing, which could be of interest to professional audio applications, but I'm not sure if all of the new Mac Pro GPUs will support it.

    Mantle is AMD's newly announced graphics API which is available in the PS4 and XBox One, and boasts up to 9x draw speed compared to DirectX and Open GL. They've not really commented about whether this would be available on OS X though; while I'd love to see it, it only really applies to the Mac Pros and iMacs, and is more of a gaming focused feature anyway so I doubt Apple has much interest in it.

    Maybe if Mantle becomes open source, and if Intel gets behind it with its own integrated GPUs, but we don't really know enough about it right now so that's pure speculation too.

    But ehm… short answer is; no, don't rely on any of these features being supported in future. While there's a chance some (like Mantle) may be of use under Windows for gaming, and some apps may use TrueAudio if the cards support it, you'll be disappointed if you buy a Mac Pro hoping for these features.

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