Apple Could Adopt AMD's New Radeon HD 6990M GPU for Next iMac

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AMD today announced the launch of its new Radeon HD 6990M mobile graphics processor, calling it the world's fastest single mobile GPU with up to 25% greater performance than NVIDIA's just-announced GeForce 580M.

While Apple typically uses middle-of-the-road GPUs in even its high-end MacBook Pro models in order to meet the requirements of the thin enclosure and thus will not be considering adopting the new Radeon HD 6990M for the notebook line, the company does also use AMD's mobile GPUs in its iMac line, where it has adopted a number of mobile components in order to save space within the desktop machine's sleek all-in-one design.

Apple currently offers AMD's previous top-end mobile GPU, the Radeon HD 6970M, in the highest-level configurations of its 27-inch iMac line, suggesting that Apple may be planning to adopt the Radeon HD 6990M in its next iMac update. AMD in fact specifically touts the improved performance of the Radeon HD 6990M over the 6970M.
The AMD Radeon HD 6990M also represents a significant upgrade from AMD's current gaming notebook graphics solution, the AMD Radeon HD 6970M, raising the bar from both a performance and image quality perspective.
Apple of course just released updated iMacs a little over two months ago, and the company is thus unlikely to refresh the lineup again until late this year or early next year. Of course, depending on how AMD's future GPU development cycle meshes with Apple's iMac update cycle, even newer GPUs could be available for the next iMac, with the Radeon HD 6990M perhaps sliding down into the mid-range iMac models.

Article Link: Apple Could Adopt AMD's New Radeon HD 6990M GPU for Next iMac
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
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A slightly higher clocked, pin for pin compatible faster mobile GPU? Really?

At least we get more shaders so we move from a HD 6850 to a lower clocked HD 6870.
 

PlutoPrime

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Oct 15, 2009
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This just in>>>

BREAKING:

Apple may adopt new components in the refresh of its next generation products.

During a top secret meeting amongst the Illuminati, we were briefed that Apple may indeed use faster and improved components in the next version of its products. Analysts agree.

The leaders of the secret world government had their jaws in contact with the floor during the top secret revelation.


Still developing...
 

vanillagorilla

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2009
15
0
BREAKING:

Apple may adopt new components in the refresh of its next generation products.

During a top secret meeting amongst the Illuminati, we were briefed that Apple may indeed use faster and improved components in the next version of its products. Analysts agree.

The leaders of the secret world government had their jaws in contact with the floor during the top secret revelation.


Still developing...
Lulz. Headshot!

I bet they'll be thinner and lighter too.
 

chrmjenkins

macrumors 603
Oct 29, 2007
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A slightly higher clocked, pin for pin compatible faster mobile GPU? Really?

At least we get more shaders so we move from a HD 6850 to a lower clocked HD 6870.
It really is silly that we have to talk about mobile GPUs as if they weren't downclocked desktop parts, especially when we're talking about driving 2560x1440 resolutions. At least it has 2GB of VRAM.
 

BigBeast

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Given Apple's track record, I'd say this card making it into iMacs is doubtful- but I'd love to see it!
 

Insolence

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Aug 20, 2010
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Both AMD and Nvidia are planning to move their GPUs to a 2xnm Line-up from next year on, making the current 40nm obsolete by a 25-50% power gain in the new line up.

With that in mind, why would Apple not delay their iMac line-up re-fresh until the AMD 7970M GPU comes out (they might even get it early), rather than using the AMD 6990M which would become obsolete in a matter of... Weeks?

Just food for thought.
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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Unless there will be an iMac update before Ivy Bridge (looks like March-April according to the recent rumors), I doubt we will see AMD 6990M. It makes far more sense to use brand new 28nm Southern Island GPUs (most likely 7000M-series) than stick with old 6000M-series. Latest reports say that they are on schedule for H1 2012 release.
 

Eidorian

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Mar 23, 2005
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It really is silly that we have to talk about mobile GPUs as if they weren't downclocked desktop parts, especially when we're talking about driving 2560x1440 resolutions. At least it has 2GB of VRAM.
You still want more power to drive that resolution.

Unless there will be an iMac update before Ivy Bridge (looks like March-April according to the recent rumors), I doubt we will see AMD 6990M. It makes far more sense to use brand new 28nm Southern Island GPUs (most likely 7000M-series) than stick with old 6000M-series. Latest reports say that they are on schedule for H1 2012 release.
I am holding off any upgrades until Battlefield 3 is out. Hopefully it will make it to Steam.
 

whoami

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Hellhammer said:
Unless there will be an iMac update before Ivy Bridge (looks like March-April according to the recent rumors), I doubt we will see AMD 6990M. It makes far more sense to use brand new 28nm Southern Island GPUs (most likely 7000M-series) than stick with old 6000M-series. Latest reports say that they are on schedule for H1 2012 release.
I'm pretty sure we'll see a iMac rev. Very soon.. I could see them adding this on the higher end configs now.
 

wikus

macrumors 68000
Jun 1, 2011
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Planet earth.
Anyone expecting Apple to use high end graphics cards in ANY of their computers should just switch over to a custom built PC.

Apple's history and negligence in graphics has been a stunning failure.
 

LastLine

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2005
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BREAKING:

Apple may adopt new components in the refresh of its next generation products.

During a top secret meeting amongst the Illuminati, we were briefed that Apple may indeed use faster and improved components in the next version of its products. Analysts agree.

The leaders of the secret world government had their jaws in contact with the floor during the top secret revelation.


Still developing...
I was going to make a "News of the World" phone hacking joke...but yours works ;-)
 

redsteven

macrumors 6502a
Aug 22, 2006
561
7
BREAKING:

Apple may adopt new components in the refresh of its next generation products.

During a top secret meeting amongst the Illuminati, we were briefed that Apple may indeed use faster and improved components in the next version of its products. Analysts agree.

The leaders of the secret world government had their jaws in contact with the floor during the top secret revelation.


Still developing...
I concur... this is a pretty lame article, unless it's one hell of a GPU
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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I am holding off any upgrades until Battlefield 3 is out. Hopefully it will make it to Steam.
I will probably wait for Ivy Bridge and AMD 7000 series to get rid of my iMac. If I'm busy and don't have time to build myself a new rig etc, I might even wait for Haswell, assuming my iMac is still breathing in 2013.

I'm pretty sure we'll see a iMac rev. Very soon.. I could see them adding this on the higher end configs now.
Why do you think that? Historically speaking, Apple doesn't update Macs very often and minor spec bumps such as a new GPU as a BTO option are even rarer.

Anyone expecting Apple to use high end graphics cards in ANY of their computers should just switch over to a custom built PC.

Apple's history and negligence in graphics has been a stunning failure.
AMD 6970M was the highest-end mobile GPU from AMD when 2011 iMacs came out. ATI 5870 was also the fastest single-GPU when 2010 Mac Pros were released.
 

wikus

macrumors 68000
Jun 1, 2011
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Planet earth.
AMD 6970M was the highest-end mobile GPU from AMD when 2011 iMacs came out. ATI 5870 was also the fastest single-GPU when 2010 Mac Pros were released.
The 6970M (mobile GPU) is a pathetic card to throw into a DESKTOP computer. As for the 5870, there were MANY other video cards that have spanked it to death. Especially if you consider a cheaper Crossfire solution, which, again to prove my point, apple has failed miserably because it doesnt support crossfire.
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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As for the 5870, there were MANY other video cards that have spanked it to death. Especially if you consider a cheaper Crossfire solution, which, again to prove my point, apple has failed miserably because it doesnt support crossfire.
So what exactly spanked ATI 5870 to death, other than NVIDIA GTX 480 and ATI 5970? GTX 480 was a horrible card anyway - loud, hot and expensive. 5970 is a double-chip GPU and I clearly said single-GPU.

Macs have never been the best gaming rigs, and never will.
 

wikus

macrumors 68000
Jun 1, 2011
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Planet earth.
So what exactly spanked ATI 5870 to death, other than NVIDIA GTX 480 and ATI 5970? GTX 480 was a horrible card anyway - loud, hot and expensive. 5970 is a double-chip GPU and I clearly said single-GPU.

Macs have never been the best gaming rigs, and never will.
All the 6000 series Radeons we're released last year, including the 6970 (not the crappy mobile version) in late 2010, compared the 5870 being offered in the mac pros in mid 2010.

Regardless of noise, heat and price, (especially price since macs are WAY overpriced) the issue is and has always been performance, an area where apple has been the butt of all jokes in terms of graphics. even YOU state that in your final comment that apples never been the best in gaming rigs.

I really despise what steve jobs has turned apple into; an elitist culture of iOS idiots and the ipadification of Mac OS X where their mobile platform has excelled in sales at the expense of their mac computers due to negligence.

Its not surprising the latest iMacs are running mobile video cards.... what a joke.
 

the8thark

macrumors 68040
Apr 18, 2011
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Macs have never been the best gaming rigs, and never will.
Oh how I could spend all day proving you wrong there but I won't. I'll just say the iMacs can play a ton of games. Sure not the latest at the highest resolutions. But 95% of people don't need or want that. I say for everyone who is not a bleeding edge gamer - the current iMac line up is a best buy for games.

And you know what? The Barefeats website agrees with me too.
http://www.barefeats.com/imac11c.html

So anyone who says the iMac is terrible at games simply does not understand and needs to be informed. The iMac won't ever break frame rate records. But it plays most games at a very acceptable (and at sometimes darn good) level. So I'm not complaining and neither should anyone else.

The iMacs run mobile GPU's for a reason. They are sleek, sexy and are pretty good. Those SLI/crossfire options sure they give good performance but they are big ugly things that need a lot of power (and a dedicated fan at times) to run. I care about my power bill and in the performance per watt of power used to run the GPU I like how the iMac's mobile cards are.

Apple never failed in the GPU department. They just choose their GPU's (for iMacs and notebooks) with the best specs for the least power used. Apple never wanted the most powerful GPU in these devices. And neither do I.
 
Last edited:

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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All the 6000 series Radeons we're released last year, including the 6970 (not the crappy mobile version) in late 2010, compared the 5870 being offered in the mac pros in mid 2010.

Regardless of noise, heat and price, (especially price since macs are WAY overpriced) the issue is and has always been performance, an area where apple has been the butt of all jokes in terms of graphics. even YOU state that in your final comment that apples never been the best in gaming rigs.
AMD 6850 and 6870 - Released on October 22nd
2010 Mac Pro - Announced on July 27th, shipped sometime in August

So, at the time Mac Pro was updated, ATI 5870 was the fastest single-chip GPU from AMD.

Oh how I could spend all day proving you wrong there but I won't. I'll just say the iMacs can play a ton of games. Sure not the latest at the highest resolutions. But 95% of people don't need or want that. I say for everyone who is not a bleeding edge gamer - the current iMac line up is a best buy for games.

And you know what? The Barefeats website agrees with me too.
http://www.barefeats.com/imac11c.html

So anyone who says the iMac is terrible at games simply does not understand and needs to be informed. The iMac won't ever break frame rate records. But it plays most games at a very acceptable (and at sometimes darn good) level. So I'm not complaining and neither should anyone else.
Read what I actually posted before you start arguing:

Hellhammer said:
Macs have never been the best gaming rigs, and never will.
I never said Macs cannot game, but if you're looking for the best gaming solution, then stay away from Apple.
 

the8thark

macrumors 68040
Apr 18, 2011
3,993
873
Read what I actually posted before you start arguing:
I never said Macs cannot game, but if you're looking for the best gaming solution, then stay away from Apple.
I did read what you said and I stick by what I said. There's more then just raw output to be considered when choosing a GPU. What I said was directly relevant to what you said.

You could also argue the best solution for a solely casual gamer could be an ipad. So yeah lots of factors to be considered before saying a particular solution is the best.

But yeah I'll end the conversation now. I don't feel like talking to a brick wall.
 

Constable Odo

macrumors 6502
Mar 28, 2008
431
206
Oh how I could spend all day proving you wrong there but I won't. I'll just say the iMacs can play a ton of games. Sure not the latest at the highest resolutions. But 95% of people don't need or want that. I say for everyone who is not a bleeding edge gamer - the current iMac line up is a best buy for games.

And you know what? The Barefeats website agrees with me too.
http://www.barefeats.com/imac11c.html

So anyone who says the iMac is terrible at games simply does not understand and needs to be informed. The iMac won't ever break frame rate records. But it plays most games at a very acceptable (and at sometimes darn good) level. So I'm not complaining and neither should anyone else.

The iMacs run mobile GPU's for a reason. They are sleek, sexy and are pretty good. Those SLI/crossfire options sure they give good performance but they are big ugly things that need a lot of power (and a dedicated fan at times) to run. I care about my power bill and in the performance per watt of power used to run the GPU I like how the iMac's mobile cards are.

Apple never failed in the GPU department. They just choose their GPU's (for iMacs and notebooks) with the best specs for the least power used. Apple never wanted the most powerful GPU in these devices. And neither do I.
Can you imagine trying to fit some SLI/crossfire cards into an iMac enclosure? Those things must consume power like crazy. You practically have to build the computer around those high-performance graphics cards. That's special purpose stuff than most consumers don't care about at all. My iMac runs cool, quiet and is energy efficient which I think would be more important to most consumers than absolute frame rate. There's no way Apple would consider such a thing. I'm not a game player, but if I was, some gaming Windows PC would be my additional computer built strictly for gaming.

Apple is building computers for the average consumer and Macs should fit most consumer's needs perfectly and work well for many years.
 

LarryC

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I'm pretty sure we'll see a iMac rev. Very soon.. I could see them adding this on the higher end configs now.
Exactly. I don't see why apple would need to wait until the current model is in need of a complete overhaul? If these things are available now and the cost is comparable and would work in the current machine then by all means they should offer these ASAP.
 

akaralias

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2009
17
0
Is it?

Anyone expecting Apple to use high end graphics cards in ANY of their computers should just switch over to a custom built PC.

Apple's history and negligence in graphics has been a stunning failure.
Except when it comes to 3d post production and high quality picture with accurate colors, running flawessly on an 30' monitor with 2560x1600!
Come on, games are not the only standard to buy a computer. But even in that area i am missing nothing, practically, wether I am playing a game in Mac OS X or my Windows partition...
 

jonnysods

macrumors 603
Sep 20, 2006
6,383
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There & Back Again
BREAKING:

Apple may adopt new components in the refresh of its next generation products.

During a top secret meeting amongst the Illuminati, we were briefed that Apple may indeed use faster and improved components in the next version of its products. Analysts agree.

The leaders of the secret world government had their jaws in contact with the floor during the top secret revelation.


Still developing...
Exactly. Well said!
 
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