HD4000 only, maybe new Thunderbolt Display with GPU next year?

LachlanH

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 5, 2011
158
7
So the new Mac Mini, all Macbook Air's and all 13" Macbook Pro's are only Intel HD4000.

While I somewhat expected this in the 13" Retina Macbook Pro, I was pretty surprised to see the Mac Mini dropping the discrete GPU entirely. But it got me thinking.

We have been hearing since the introduction of Thunderbolt early last year about how Thunderbolt GPU expansion docks were in theory possible. But to date they have been pretty much non existant. (I think there are 1 or 2 out there but with no OSX drivers?)

One thought that popped into my head today is that maybe Apple is looking to bring a new Thunderbolt display next year, make it the same form factor as the 27" iMac, but instead of a motherboard, HDD's, RAM etc in the space, drop in a small controller board for all the I/O ports and also put in say dual GTX 680M's in SLI.

From what I understand, Thunderbolt doesn't have nearly the bandwidth to support external full sized desktop cards like a full sized GTX 680, but perhaps it does have enough for SLI mobile chips.

This would make your Thunderbolt display an ultimate dock, adding more I/O along with greatly increased GPU power. It would be a great addition for a Mac Mini or any Macbook. Hell even a 27inch iMac could then in theory be running 3-way SLI with it's own internal 680m + 2 in the display.

What do you guys thnk?
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,273
192
Howell, New Jersey
So the new Mac Mini, all Macbook Air's and all 13" Macbook Pro's are only Intel HD4000.

While I somewhat expected this in the 13" Retina Macbook Pro, I was pretty surprised to see the Mac Mini dropping the discrete GPU entirely. But it got me thinking.

We have been hearing since the introduction of Thunderbolt early last year about how Thunderbolt GPU expansion docks were in theory possible. But to date they have been pretty much non existant. (I think there are 1 or 2 out there but with no OSX drivers?)

One thought that popped into my head today is that maybe Apple is looking to bring a new Thunderbolt display next year, make it the same form factor as the 27" iMac, but instead of a motherboard, HDD's, RAM etc in the space, drop in a small controller board for all the I/O ports and also put in say dual GTX 680M's in SLI.

From what I understand, Thunderbolt doesn't have nearly the bandwidth to support external full sized desktop cards like a full sized GTX 680, but perhaps it does have enough for SLI mobile chips.

This would make your Thunderbolt display an ultimate dock, adding more I/O along with greatly increased GPU power. It would be a great addition for a Mac Mini or any Macbook. Hell even a 27inch iMac could then in theory be running 3-way SLI with it's own internal 680m + 2 in the display.

What do you guys thnk?

i think haswells 5000 graphics will be smoking good and apple wants no repeat no gpus of any kind (maybe in just the 2013 mac pro). so they are breaking us in for this with the intel 4000 this year.
 
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LachlanH

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 5, 2011
158
7
i think haswells 5000 graphics will be smoking good and apple wants no repeat no gpus of any kind (maybe in just the 2013 mac pro). so they are breaking us in for this with the intel 4000 this year.

Don't get your hopes up with Haswell. Even discrete GPU's of a couple years back would still be more powerfull. Broadwell may be a different story but it's all speculation at this point.
 
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