GeForce GTX 680: could it be the card in the new Mac Pro?

kapowaz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 8, 2008
28
0
Entirely speculative, but I found it interesting in reading this review on Eurogamer of the new GeForce GTX 680 (smashing card, apparently) that it comes with a DisplayPort adapter on the back. Now, as far as I'm aware not many PC displays come with DisplayPort yet, so why would they do that?
 

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
graphic cards started shipping with DP connectors years ago, ATI Radeon 5000 / 6000 / 7000 series have them, GTX 580 had them too.

DP is not an Apple connector. There is no such thing as "PC displays". I think you are confusing DP with thunderbolt.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,105
234
There are quite a few non-Apple branded displays with display ports. There's not a lot of advantage over DL-DVI apart from Audio and lack of need for an adapter (and therefore you can avoid the active/passive problem in Radeons).

One of my "PC" 6870's (yes, all 6870's are sold for PC) even has a Display port.
 

kapowaz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 8, 2008
28
0
Sorry, when I say ‘PC’ display I mean ‘displays not made by Apple’, really — I see Dells in a lot of different offices and have yet to see one with a DisplayPort interface. I wasn't aware they were that prevalent elsewhere. Now that I think about it, whilst I knew DisplayPort wasn't an Apple standard, I'm sure I read that Mini DisplayPort was something they came up with? Maybe not though.

Either way, the GTX 680 looks good — fingers crossed!
 

MRU

Suspended
Aug 23, 2005
25,312
8,706
Other
Sorry, when I say ‘PC’ display I mean ‘displays not made by Apple’, really — I see Dells in a lot of different offices and have yet to see one with a DisplayPort interface. I wasn't aware they were that prevalent elsewhere. Now that I think about it, whilst I knew DisplayPort wasn't an Apple standard, I'm sure I read that Mini DisplayPort was something they came up with? Maybe not though.

Either way, the GTX 680 looks good — fingers crossed!
That's because you've seen only cheap dell monitors ;) my Dell ultrasharp 27" has display port.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,348
6,367
Now if the GTX 680 (or any other video card) had a Thunderbolt port on the back, I'd be pretty inclined to believe it was headed for the MP. It would also answer the question about how Thunderbolt will be implemented on a MP.
 

mac666er

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2008
240
181
San Francisco, CA
Well, the GTX 680 has the additional benefit that it is powered by just two 6-pin PCIE connectors.

What this means is that on the current Mac Pro models, you don't need any extra hacks for power, at least if you just have one card installed.

But I will state again what everybody has been saying one way or another: By the time Mac OS X has drivers for the card, I am willing to say that the reference GTX 680 model will be a "mid-range card" anyway. There will almost surely be over-clocked 680s available for purchase straight from some manufacturers. There will also be dual-GPU single cards that use the chip (GTX 690s?) and it may very well be that another Kepler GPU is introduced that is more power hungry but more powerful. Again, such a chip will probably use at least one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCIE connector and we will be back to where we are today as far as power connections are concerned. Especially if this new chip also powers the new generation of Quadros.

I will be completely impressed if Apple does the next three things at the same time:

1) Introduces a new re-modeled Mac Pro
2) Such Mac Pro can accommodate more than one graphics card with a TDP of more than 200 watts with no hacking whatsoever
3) Drivers are provided so that the latest generation graphics cards at least boot on Mac OS X, doesn't matter if 2D/3D acceleration is not optimized.

Engineers that could solve all of these problems are instead working on the embedded graphics of the A6 processors and iOS. The amount of money that mobility devices generate for :apple: just can't compare to the Mac Pro.
 

initialsBB

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2010
686
2
Actually this 680 looks perfect for a Mac Pro. It's a very powerful single GPU card with relatively low power draw and thus apparently quiet and it can drive 4 monitors. I don't see Apple implementing any of the Crossfire/SLI cards, and this 680 is plenty powerful for those of us who don't need dual GPUs.

The AMD ATI 7970 isn't too shabby either.

Looks like the pieces are slowly coming together for the Mac Pro refresh/redesign.
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G3
Mar 10, 2009
8,110
1,259
Entirely speculative, .... that it comes with a DisplayPort adapter on the back. Now, as far as I'm aware not many PC displays come with DisplayPort yet, so why would they do that?
Actually, Apple doesn't like DisplayPort. It likes mini-DisplayPort(mDP). :)

" ... this is the first time NVIDIA has included DIsplayPort on a reference design. ... "
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5699/nvidia-geforce-gtx-680-review/5

The Anadtech review spends a bit of time pointing out this is a misguided move by them since that larger form factor isn't as popular and that Nvidia is relatively late to the game on DisplayPort as a whole.

AMD's cards have been coming with miniDP in the mid-higher end price brackets. Even in the PC market. ( It is a better way to get multiple monitor output off the edge of the card while taking up a minimal amount of room; since the card edges are used to blow hot air out of the box now on many designs. )


An Apple oriented design probably would have at least two mini-DP sockets.
The cards generally being reviewed are the reference design. Apple could have had a custom one built.


The card having a lower Power consumption is a more likely factor for being adopted. However, only as the upper end option. Nvidia still has to flush out most of the rest of card line up before Apple could ship with these in volume. AMD's line up suitable for the Mac Pro is complete at this point, but it is a tad on the "hot" side for given Apple's historical card selection track record.
 

CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
Engineers that could solve all of these problems are instead working on the embedded graphics of the A6 processors and iOS. The amount of money that mobility devices generate for just can't compare to the Mac Pro.
What are you talking about? Apple generates FAR more revenue from iPhones/iPads and consumer desktops than they do from Mac Pros. They simply appeal to a much wider range of consumers.

Mac Pros are pretty low on Apple's priority list. They serve a niche market of prosumers/professionals that need expandability and (in some cases) processing capacity beyond a single CPU. Have you ever walked into an Apple Store in the last couple of years? You might see maybe ONE Mac Pro tower displayed, if at all.
 

Tanax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2011
940
96
Stockholm, Sweden
Well, the GTX 680 has the additional benefit that it is powered by just two 6-pin PCIE connectors.

What this means is that on the current Mac Pro models, you don't need any extra hacks for power, at least if you just have one card installed.

But I will state again what everybody has been saying one way or another: By the time Mac OS X has drivers for the card, I am willing to say that the reference GTX 680 model will be a "mid-range card" anyway. There will almost surely be over-clocked 680s available for purchase straight from some manufacturers. There will also be dual-GPU single cards that use the chip (GTX 690s?) and it may very well be that another Kepler GPU is introduced that is more power hungry but more powerful. Again, such a chip will probably use at least one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCIE connector and we will be back to where we are today as far as power connections are concerned. Especially if this new chip also powers the new generation of Quadros.

I will be completely impressed if Apple does the next three things at the same time:

1) Introduces a new re-modeled Mac Pro
2) Such Mac Pro can accommodate more than one graphics card with a TDP of more than 200 watts with no hacking whatsoever
3) Drivers are provided so that the latest generation graphics cards at least boot on Mac OS X, doesn't matter if 2D/3D acceleration is not optimized.

Engineers that could solve all of these problems are instead working on the embedded graphics of the A6 processors and iOS. The amount of money that mobility devices generate for :apple: just can't compare to the Mac Pro.
Considering that the GPU-chip on the GTX 680 was the one who was supposed to replace GTX 570, the chip that was supposed to replace GTX 580 is still not released and will probably be released as a GTX 685 with the GTX 690 being the dual-GPU card, I think you're spot on with your assumption that there will be another model that is more power-hungry.

I'm still curious though when GPU-cards come with Thunderbolt port so that we can connect an Apple Thunderbolt Display to these badboys.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,059
4
Considering that the GPU-chip on the GTX 680 was the one who was supposed to replace GTX 570, the chip that was supposed to replace GTX 580 is still not released and will probably be released as a GTX 685 with the GTX 690 being the dual-GPU card, I think you're spot on with your assumption that there will be another model that is more power-hungry.

I'm still curious though when GPU-cards come with Thunderbolt port so that we can connect an Apple Thunderbolt Display to these badboys.
Next rev if there is such a thing. Kind of ridiculous you can't use the only current Apple Display with your computer.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,059
4
Next rev, meaning 7xx series? Isn't that at least a year away? :/
And you can use the Cinema Display, can't you? Or? :eek:
I was referring to the Mac Pro update. Not vendor after market cards. Those will ship when the rest of the industry starts caring. They won't cater to the 1 Apple display that requires it. It'll most likely be Apple only to get it going and that may take a new Mac Pro. Not sure yet.
 

MacVidCards

Suspended
Nov 17, 2008
7,506
1,029
Hollywood, CA
GTX680 in Mac Pro

Grabbed a couple EVGA GTX680s yesterday.

Was really hoping that the "Magic" drivers had some basic support.

No Dice.

BUt I will be testing each new Beta as it appears.

It is truly a DREAM card fro Mac Pro.

IN Windows the thing is a BEAST, but a quiet and well behaved one.

You have to love Tech advances.

Currently the most powerful EFI card is our GTX480, but this card can leave it for DEAD in Windows, whilst using less power and generating a LOT less heat.

Will do some more fiddling, but not hopeful.

This reminds me of when the GTX480 came out. I bought one and kept it in a box on the shelf. From their intro in March it took until late fall of 2010 until we got drivers. Hopefully it won't be that long.
 

Tanax

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2011
940
96
Stockholm, Sweden
I was referring to the Mac Pro update. Not vendor after market cards. Those will ship when the rest of the industry starts caring. They won't cater to the 1 Apple display that requires it. It'll most likely be Apple only to get it going and that may take a new Mac Pro. Not sure yet.
Damn, that sucks :/
Because if I understood correctly, even if the motherboards starts coming with a Thunderbolt port(which I've seen announced on the Ivy Bridge motherboards coming soon), that port will not be able to run a monitor since it needs to be run off of the GPU-card so it's the GPU-card itself that needs to have a Thunderbolt port. Or have I misunderstood it?

And then it is truly a shame.. Like you said, there's only 1 single display out there that runs off of Thunderbolt so there will be little chance that the GPU-card makers will integrate Thunderbolt in their cards any time soon.

And since they won't integrate it, no display-makers will create a display that runs off of Thunderbolt. Gah.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,059
4
Damn, that sucks :/
Because if I understood correctly, even if the motherboards starts coming with a Thunderbolt port(which I've seen announced on the Ivy Bridge motherboards coming soon), that port will not be able to run a monitor since it needs to be run off of the GPU-card so it's the GPU-card itself that needs to have a Thunderbolt port. Or have I misunderstood it?

And then it is truly a shame.. Like you said, there's only 1 single display out there that runs off of Thunderbolt so there will be little chance that the GPU-card makers will integrate Thunderbolt in their cards any time soon.

And since they won't integrate it, no display-makers will create a display that runs off of Thunderbolt. Gah.
Don't see why can't put the Thunderbolt port on the backplate and route the GPU accordingly. Eliminating on-card TB port so you can still use DVI/ HDMI and not have to get a card with a specific port. That would be pretty cool actually. But I have no idea what I am talking about. I'm not sure how they are going to do it (I have not really had time or interest to look over all the hints, roadmaps, and rumors). I am sure someone here is more versed and could get you a better answer.
 

Jst0rm

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2012
121
0
What are you talking about? Apple generates FAR more revenue from iPhones/iPads and consumer desktops than they do from Mac Pros. They simply appeal to a much wider range of consumers.

Mac Pros are pretty low on Apple's priority list. They serve a niche market of prosumers/professionals that need expandability and (in some cases) processing capacity beyond a single CPU. Have you ever walked into an Apple Store in the last couple of years? You might see maybe ONE Mac Pro tower displayed, if at all.
Thanks for letting us know. I never would of guessed the 5k computer doesn't sell as much as a $500 iPad.