Be Tim Cook for a day, which GPU brand for new Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacVidCards, Jul 30, 2013.


If Apple Inc. let you choose the "Home Team" brand of GPU for nMP, which would it be?

  1. AMD FirePro cards

    16 vote(s)
  2. Nvidia Quadro and GTX cards

    52 vote(s)
  3. Who cares, I just want it

    20 vote(s)
  1. MacVidCards, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    So the Nvidia Quadro K6000 was just announced for delivery in late fall / early winter.

    Coincidentally, that would have been pretty nice timing to have it appear in the new Mac Pro 2013.

    The 7970 based card that is scheduled to be the "High End" in nMP is slightly inferior to the GK104 series. (Current Quadro K5000/GTX680/GTX770) The K6000 is based on the first fully enabled GK110 GPU. It will be 15-25% faster than anything AMD has to offer in the same time frame. While "better" may equal "faster" it may also equal "more expensive".

    Lower end Nvidia GPUs for nMP COULD have been GTX760, GTX770, K5000, or even GTX780 (entry level GK110).

    If you had your choice, which would you have preferred for the "Home Team" GPU?

    Nvidia, AMD, or Don't Give a Darn?
  2. theSeb, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I would choose the manufacturer that makes the most sense from a business point of view... and that is exactly what Apple have done.

    As I said yesterday...

    AMD have shown willingness to create special GPUs based on current products for MS and Sony, hence why there will be no Nvidia in the next generation consoles. A similar deal is clearly in place here with Apple and you can bet that the pricing will be substantially cheaper in comparison to retail pricing on equivalent traditional graphics cards.

    Nvidia have decided to not get into this, as I recall, due to small profit margins involved.

    It isn't hard to understand why Apple have gone with AMD for the Mac Pro and your question makes little sense, considering the new Mac Pro form factor.

    And let's not forget the pricing...

  3. TzunamiOSX, Jul 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2013

    TzunamiOSX macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2009
    If I be Tim Cook, i would say:"Put two PCIe 3.0 16x Slots in this kiddy Tube! I don't care how you do it, but do it! And dont forget the 8-Pin-Power! Two for each slot!"
  4. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    What's the OpenCL support like in NVidia cards these days, or are they still hanging onto CUDA? One of the reasons for not having the second CPU in the new Mac Pro seems to be that you'll instead of have two GPUs for running OpenCL, which effectively means that if you're running the right applications you have three very powerful processors at your disposal.

    So it's as much about support for specific features as it is a matter of cost and willingness to (necessarily) create custom boards to suit.

    That said I do kind of wish they'd gone for a bigger case and just given us two PCIe slots and some special cables to plug in; not nearly as pretty inside I suppose, but it would have meant more options. I mean, they could make the new Mac Pro 50% larger and it'd still be tiny for a professional computer.

    The Fire Pros definitely seem more than capable, and AMD is making big strides in providing custom parts, so while I might like a choice of the latest NVidia offerings, I think Apple has probably made the right choice.
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    I'm a little surprised you claimed one seems more capable than the other without even knowing that.
  6. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Except I didn't; I said the Fire Pros are "more than capable", i.e - for the job they're intended for. I can't say for sure which of the two is the best fit for the Mac Pro, I'm just giving a few reasons why it could be the preferred choice for Apple.

    I do expect that AMD would be the more willing to do a fully custom board though, but OpenCL support could be another area that Apple is thinking of as it seems to me to be an area they're very interested in, I just don't know for sure, which is why I asked.
  7. Serban Suspended

    Jan 8, 2013
    Tim Cook is not the person to choose hardware..he is in charge and a business man
  8. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 16, 2009
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Where's the "Offer both" option?

    I know, I know. Apple would never let customers choose.
  10. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I suppose....

    must be a fine balance between performance, features and OEM price, being Tim Cook or not.....:D

  11. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    As mostly Adobe Design suite user I vote for AMD. I like Adobe's OpenCL direction way better than their Cash Cloud.
  12. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Tim for a day?

    I would cancel the trashcan and order development of the two following Mac Pros;

    Full-sized Mac Pro. Same case, new mainboard, TB2, USB3, eSATA, FW800, SATA3, PCIe 3, single or dual processors, additional SATA ports in the upper/lower bays, choice of nVIDIA or AMD. Single Xeon starts at $2500.00.

    Mini-tower Mac Pro. Smaller case with Mac Pro look, all modern internals, two full-sized PCIe 3 slots, one optical drive bay (optional), one internal 2.5 inch bay and one 3.5 bay., choice of nVIDIA or AMD. Fast quad i5/Iris Pro starts at $1450.00. Single Xeon starts at $1850.

    That's what I would do.
  13. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Partially exhibited in the results. It is about an even split. You'd have to double the number of custom cards for each variant if want to provide a range for each subcamp.

    Far more is question of whether Apple is going to double the size/resources of the design team? Probably not.

    How much the components cost will be a factor in whether they get selected or not.
  14. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    2 to 1 ratio is an even split to you?
  15. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    That is actually possible. NVidia supports OpenCL too. The notion of it being universal is a little off base, as many software packages will test specific gpus. Apple is probably more interested in OpenCL because it can run on integrated graphics. At some point even the 21" imac may go to integrated, so it doesn't surprise me that they would favor OpenCL. I still suspect it could be branding + ECC ram and not necessarily a direct equivalent to a Windows card that costs several thousand.
  16. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Don't care counts toward Nvidia isn't really an issue; Nvidia vs. Non Nvidia percentage which is about an even split. This spin with the poll was really a dig at how much better it would be if there was an Nvidia option. For the folks that don't care it is non issue which one gets picked.

    Create two competing cards for a group of people who don't care which GPU is there is a huge waste of time.
  17. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    In short you're as good at reading polls than at making predictions...


    AMD is betting more and more of the farm on the low power APU market. With Intel catching up in the entry to mid level graphics with the upcomming HD5200 iGPU and NVidia having the lead in high & pro dGPU I think AMD is in a bind. It either get out something really game changing or they continue to devolve into an appliance APU provider.
  18. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    The entire point of this thread is to fantasize about what GPU options we'd all do if we were Tim Cook for a day. So why are you raining on everyone's parade by countering their wish lists?

    If you want to be a negative nelly and talk about component costs, wastes of time, or whatever, there are plenty of endless argumentative threads about it that you can join.

    So as Tim Cook, I'd make both options available. I don't give a damn about the size of the design team. I'd also give Actionable Mango ten billion dollars and free Apple products for life! Are you going to tell me that won't maximize shareholder value or something? :p
  19. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004

    My NVidia cards have had awful reliability and horrid drivers. AMD cards have been rock solid.

    Thunderbolt doesn't really work with internal PCIe GPUs. Can't have it both ways. I'd like to have a Mac Pro that doubles as a rocket ship but that's not going to happen either.
  20. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    It's difficult to tell how things will look within a few years. I'm not sure whether NVidia could survive off professional graphics alone. They derive a huge percentage of their revenue there, but they wouldn't be able to amortize development costs as much if that market was the only one. They both arguably carry uncertain futures.
  21. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    That is partially because OpenCL isn't as complete as it should be. OpenCL 1.2 and SPIR should help close the gap on some of this pre-test to see which preformed package to load.

    SPIR should reduce that need except for extremely hand optimized stuff.

    The entry level 21" perhaps. ( to drop back down to the $1,199 level ). But the problem Apple has with the iMac though is all the substantially non integrated graphics at lower price points in the Overal desktop PC market. Higher than average cost host to get supported by higher than average value.

    Really depends upon how cost effective the dGPU + VRAM vs. Intel's integrated with eDRAM get and the relative $/Performance ratios.
  22. tuxon86 macrumors 65816

    May 22, 2012
    Well they tend to dominate in the decreasing pro-gamer market for the moment. Of course the bad economy that we are presently going through means that people tend to buy the cheaper system or gadget which make AMD decision to go deep in the APU/SoC market a good one. Of course NVidia is also pushing is Tegra 3 and 4 in the smartphone/tablet/device also.

    Another thing that is related to the economy is that research is slowing down. This impact the whole prosumer/workstation market as a whole. Where I work we have a moratorium on all new installation. We are on a buy only if defect mode. This mean less sale for system vendors like Apple or HP, but we may instead chose to upgrade component on a case by case basis which favors NVidia resellers due to Cuda and overall performance of their pro card.
  23. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    And Nvidia is doing what with Tegra ? AMD has a x86 license so sticking mainly with it. Nvidia doesn't. They are both betting a large fraction of the farm on CPU+GPU more SoC solutions.

    So is Intel.
  24. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004

    Nvidia, AMD, and Intel are ALL betting on the death of the discrete GPU.

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