Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,475
16,528


Apple has published three new support documents with further details about the Mac Pro's new AMD Radeon Pro W6000 series MPX graphics modules, which became available earlier this week. The support documents walk through the many different display setups that can be used with the GPUs and how to use AMD's Infinity Fabric Link technology for increased performance and faster data transfer between the modules.

2021-mac-pro-mpx-infinity-fabric.jpeg

One notable detail from the support documents is that the Infinity Fabric Link bridges for the new Radeon Pro W6000 series modules are not compatible with previous-generation Radeon Pro MPX modules, according to Apple.Three new modules are available for the latest Mac Pro as built-to-order upgrade options on Apple's online store, including the Radeon Pro W6800X, Radeon Pro W6800X Duo, and Radeon Pro W6900X. The modules can also be purchased on a standalone basis for customers who already own the latest Mac Pro, with prices ranging from $2,800 to $6,000.

Apple said the new graphics options provide up to 84% faster performance when running the Octane X rendering app and up to 23% faster performance when using the video editing and color correction app DaVinci Resolve on the Mac Pro.

Article Link: Apple Shares Compatibility Details for Mac Pro's New Radeon Pro W6000 Graphics
 
  • Like
Reactions: RandomDSdevel

farkleboy

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2015
41
60
Me- Geeze, can they make their stuff any more proprietary?

Apple- "Hold my sippy cup of juice"

Seriously though, I love the apply ecosystem, I started with the first versions of .me and all the online service nightmares, but in the end the back end and online services and integration are awesome and just plain work.

But dang, apple. I love the OS, I love the integration. I don't love the outlay of 3-4x the money to get some rockin specs, and still be 2 years behind the rest of the world. I'm honestly exited about a mac pro with Apple Silicon, but not excited about them being super expensive. Once the larger iMac comes out with the M1x or M2 chip I'll buy it in a second. I just wonder sometimes if this whole MacPro thing is some sort of social experiment to see how far they can push their customers until they snap.
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
8,039
724
In my imagination
Once the larger iMac comes out with the M1x or M2 chip I'll buy it in a second. I just wonder sometimes if this whole MacPro thing is some sort of social experiment to see how far they can push their customers until they snap.
Im honestly hoping these higher end Macs will be cheaper.

Apple ..... may ..... release a new, smaller Mac Pro with M1X or something even beefier that ALSO has PCI slots for AMD graphics. They could also just go for broke and dump 3rd party GFX altogether.

If they do, then the ... Mac mini pro would be a welcomed addition to the lineup and SHOULD cost less than the current MacPro by a large margin.

Then again, Apple could just as well make us wait another year or so for the M2x Mac Pro replacement just to get power users to fork out the money for the current MP, which, before the switch to ASoC wasn't so bad.

Now however, I wouldn't recommend buying it at all unless you just had to have the power now and had the money to burn.

Personally, I've settled on the idea that a MacMini running dual eGPUs is a slightly more cost effective, albeit messier, option over what we're getting with the Mac Pro right now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: peanuts_of_pathos

HiVolt

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2008
1,029
4,064
Toronto, Canada
Personally, I've settled on the idea that a MacMini running dual eGPUs is a slightly more cost effective, albeit messier, option over what we're getting with the Mac Pro right now.

How would dual eGPU be of any use when limited by the TB3 limitation, you can't even fully take advantage of one, let alone two.

I am assuming you are talking about Intel Mac mini, because eGPU is still unsupported on M1, and who knows if it ever will be on Apple Silicon.
 
  • Like
Reactions: peanuts_of_pathos

macpro2000

macrumors 65816
Feb 23, 2005
1,054
791
I really would like to upgrade my Mac Pro 2013 to a new one with a couple 6800s and 3 XDR displays. I'll throw down a cool $30k, but also keep it for like 8 years. Just hard to justify purchasing now when surely the M chips will blow it away within the next year. Ugh!
 

Sevenfeet

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2008
138
130
Me- Geeze, can they make their stuff any more proprietary?

Apple- "Hold my sippy cup of juice"

Seriously though, I love the apply ecosystem, I started with the first versions of .me and all the online service nightmares, but in the end the back end and online services and integration are awesome and just plain work.

But dang, apple. I love the OS, I love the integration. I don't love the outlay of 3-4x the money to get some rockin specs, and still be 2 years behind the rest of the world. I'm honestly exited about a mac pro with Apple Silicon, but not excited about them being super expensive. Once the larger iMac comes out with the M1x or M2 chip I'll buy it in a second. I just wonder sometimes if this whole MacPro thing is some sort of social experiment to see how far they can push their customers until they snap.
Years ago before the introduction of the 2019 Mac Pro I got a chance to visit the Youtube studios in Los Angeles where creators can use stages and sets to create content, and then editing rooms to publish videos. Every single editing room had a 2013 "trash can" Mac Pro. Every one.

These prices are expensive yes. But they aren't for you. For production studios who regularly buy this stuff and spend tens of thousands a workstation, this is the cost of doing business. If a card upgrade can knock a few days off of a production schedule, then it's more than worth it. Yes, these video card prices are eye watering. But at least you can buy them...just try getting any high end PC video cards right now.

Hopefully a year from now we'll have a new Mac Pro platform based on Apple Silicon. And maybe, just maybe, we might see the fruits of Apple's labors with lower prices since they literally cut out the middlemen. We'll see.
 

Spock

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2002
2,470
3,313
Vulcan
These updates make me think that a new Apple Silicon Mac Pro is still a little ways off. I am convinced that the Mac Pro will be the last machine to go Apple Silicon exclusive.
 

tongxinshe

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2008
989
530
I really wonder what Apple will do to the Mac Pro product line after switching to Apple Silicon. Will AMD or Nvidia eGPUs be ever supported?
 

Zdigital2015

macrumors 68040
Jul 14, 2015
3,199
3,956
East Coast, United States
I really wish Apple would adopt PCIe 5 sooner rather than later. Same with Thunderbolt. I know that that depends on Intel, but I’m sure Apple holds a lot of sway
Apple holds zero sway over when Intel adopts PCIe 5.0 or announces Thunderbolt 5. Remember, we didn’t get USB 3.0 on Macs until Intel decided to include it in the Ivy Bridge chipset in 2012. By then it had been out for a while, but Intel took their sweet ass time. The W33xx-Series Xeon they just released last week finally got PCIe 4.0 on the CPU, but the chipset is still only PCIe 3.0 and the DMI from the PCH to the CPU is still DMI 3.0 (PCIe 3.0), albeit x8 lanes. Apple can adopt PCIe 4.0 on their upcoming M-Series CPUs if they want, although PCIe 5.0 is really not necessary yet, we’re just now starting to tap into PCIe 4.0 on the NVMe and GPU side. Pretty sure PCIe 5.0 is too expensive and too fringe to be economical yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: citysnaps

Zdigital2015

macrumors 68040
Jul 14, 2015
3,199
3,956
East Coast, United States
I really wonder what Apple will do to the Mac Pro product line after switching to Apple Silicon. Will AMD or Nvidia eGPUs be ever supported?
No…I’m pretty sure eGPU has had its day and nature selected it for extinction. Trying to decide what to do with my Asus XG Station Pro w/Nitro RX580. I still have my 2016 MBP that so can use it with that while I decide whether keeping the 2016 is a good idea or the worst idea in the world.
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 603
Dec 7, 2014
6,061
7,706
I really wish Apple would adopt PCIe 5 sooner rather than later. Same with Thunderbolt. I know that that depends on Intel, but I’m sure Apple holds a lot of sway

Sway won't fix things, though. Even if Apple were to tell Intel today "hey, we really need you to prioritize PCIe 5 now", that stuff takes years.

As far as schedule goes, PCIe 5 is coming to Xeon in 2022, and I'm guessing the next Xeon W is coming in 2023. So if Apple does another Intel CPU upgrade for the Mac Pro in two years, we'll see PCIe 5.
 

hashbreaker2021

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2021
22
20
Neat to see newer MPX GPUs announced. As others mentioned, PCIe 5 is a ways off, and Thunderbolt 5 while announced and expected to hit 80Gbps isn't out yet either. MPX upgrades should make those who invested in Mac Pros get a bit more life out of them even if newer and faster systems may be on the horizon.

Albeit, I think AMD has been shipping PCIe 4 systems for some time now?
 

Sevenfeet

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2008
138
130
These updates make me think that a new Apple Silicon Mac Pro is still a little ways off. I am convinced that the Mac Pro will be the last machine to go Apple Silicon exclusive.
I don't think these updates have anything to do with that. It's all about satisfying customers who expect video card updates from time to time, which is the most common performance upgrade without throwing out the entire machine. Most 2019 Mac Pros have only been in production workflows for 12-18 months. Up until the 2013 trash can Mac Pro, Apple occasionally either came out with branded updates of third party cards or worked with Nvidia or AMD for Mac specific versions of their products that could be upgraded to. It didn't happen often...but it did happen.

For large companies, the 2019 Mac Pro won't be completely amortized until 3 to 4 years of use and many will be working for 5 years or longer, even when the MX Mac Pro debuts. Some companies will get the new hotness regardless to be first. But many will wait until all the software pieces in the workflow are properly fleshed out....and some of those software pieces don't get updates often.
 

Sevenfeet

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2008
138
130
Neat to see newer MPX GPUs announced. As others mentioned, PCIe 5 is a ways off, and Thunderbolt 5 while announced and expected to hit 80Gbps isn't out yet either. MPX upgrades should make those who invested in Mac Pros get a bit more life out of them even if newer and faster systems may be on the horizon.

Albeit, I think AMD has been shipping PCIe 4 systems for some time now?

PCIe 3.0 had a huge run...longer than I think most people thought it would have. PCIe 4 was announced in 2011 but didn't end up in consumer PCs until 2019. PCIe 5.0 will probably not take that long....announced in 2017 and you can buy chipsets now. But that's not that same as a full blown system.

What will be interesting here is that Apple will be far less reliant on others to deliver on emerging standards. Things like Thunderbolt 3 were baked into the M1 on the chip itself. The 2019 Mac Pro is a PCIe 3.0 machine mainly because of Intel's limitations for the Xeons being used. The MPX cards were literally invented to work around those bandwidth problems....maybe if PCie 4 was a thing during the development, MPX extensions might not have been necessary. I don't expect that the M1X Macbook Pros to be anything other than PCIe 4.0. But could Apple beat the PC world to the market with PCI 5 with a completely home grown Mac Pro design supporting a ridiculous amount of data bandwidth? it's possible.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
9,830
2,170
I really wonder what Apple will do to the Mac Pro product line after switching to Apple Silicon. Will AMD or Nvidia eGPUs be ever supported?

Nvidia GPUs? That's is about a likely as getting some prime cut, pork chops at an Ultra Orthodox Jewish Temple.
Apple is not doing anything with Nvidia. They aren't now with Intel CPUS, that 'door' is even more shut on M-series and Apple's even deeper entrenchment into custom, proprietary Metal API evolution. ( Apple isn't going to allow CPU and Nvidia proprietary to take "first class" status from Metal. And Nvidia isn't going to budge off of their "first class" stance on their stuff. So impasse of the two giants... who don't particularly need one another to flourish. )

AMD ( or Intel dGPUs)? Not looking good at the moment. If it does happen, then it is probably coupled to a radically different GPU drivers. (.e.,g., Apple may move them out of the kernel. ). That would explain why Apple possibly is waiting until the old IOKit GPU driver are deprecated and discontinued. If the 3rd party GPU drivers come , they will probably be 2nd class (at the very least won't provision native iPhone apps. ) .

Apple is highly likely to replace much of the midrange GPUs. It is the high end that is somewhat questionable. Rumors, but if AMD rolled out a 512MB Infinity Cache and two dies along with 15+ K stream processors... is Apple really going to try to cover that?


( not too crazy of a set up if looking for a heavy mix of compute and some graphics . They are already shipping something with more that 15K processors now into the HPC market (with no video output ).

)

So then the question does the Mac Pro walk away from PCI-e v4 (or v5) for a very long time and throw almost all the bandwidth at feeding their own internal iGPUs rather than discrete GPGPU computational upgrades.

Also if Apple completely prunes off the midrange (and smaller ) GPUs is AMD (and/or Intel) going to be interested in doing the work for a much smaller potential market? Different path to unraveling, but perhaps similar endgame of where Nvidia relationship went. ( AMD can invest the same amount of resources (money and effort) into something else and get a better return in a number of areas. AMD isn't a "struggle to keep the lights on" company at this point. And Apple "makes do" without them; just like how they forego Nvidia now even though that is leaving off top end performance. ) If Apple is intent on limiting AMD to 2nd class status.... why should AMD stick around?
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
9,830
2,170
Im honestly hoping these higher end Macs will be cheaper.

Apple ..... may ..... release a new, smaller Mac Pro with M1X or something even beefier that ALSO has PCI slots for AMD graphics. They could also just go for broke and dump 3rd party GFX altogether.

If they do, then the ... Mac mini pro would be a welcomed addition to the lineup and SHOULD cost less than the current MacPro by a large margin.

I wouldn't bet the farm on that. If Apple attaches ( solders) the RAM onto the SoC package and relies only on their own iGPU is a fancy multichip module package then the costs really aren't going to go down much. Perhaps back to the mid-range iMac Pro prices, but if thinking this is back to the $2.5-3K Mac Pro 2012 - 2013 pricing.

Soldered on RAM means get Apple pricing on RAM; which is not "Crazy Eddie low , low pricing " at all. Furthermore , there is a pretty good chance that the higher core count you select the higher the base RAM they will make the customer take. want 30-40 CPU cores... have to take more RAM. Want > 32 GPU cores ... have to take more RAM.

The other factor is that the "by then current" Mac Pro might be based on Xeon W-3300 series CPU. Intel dumped the insane "> 1TB " RAM tax on the high core count models so the pricing should come down on the Intel models at the top end of the configurations by many thousands . ( Apple picked the most expensive parts they could. With the Threadripper updates and the one that is on the verge launching later this year... that is a big blunder at this point. Apple can't hold those prices going into 2022 for long and be taken seriously )


Many people said this about the laptops.... when Apple goes ARM the Macs are going to get substantially more affordable. For most part, Apple has kept the prices the same. The Mac Pro probably will come more for chopping the system's size in half ( chopped off 1/2 the height. That will dump slots. Could eman dumping PLEX switch if dump enough slots and 3rd party GPUs. Chopping down the power supply ( in 1/2 or perhahs by 2/3 ) , lower shipping costs, lower configuration costs , etc. )


I suspect the base price of the "half sized" Mac Pro will start lower ( $4-5K ) but as move up the BTO "ladder" configurations will quickly grow back into the a very similar range the Mac Pro entry-midrange occupy now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Digital Skunk
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.