Intel Reportedly Shipping New Thunderbolt Controllers Ahead of April 23 Ivy Bridge Introduction

RBR2

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2003
304
0
This seems to solve the question I've had concerning a Mac Pro with a discrete GPU on a expansion card. I guess a new Mac Pro will be able to pipe the graphics back to the motherboard through the TB controller and out the back.. That way you won't need a TB controller on the graphics board itself, or an integrated GPU on the mobo just to guarantee that the Mac Pro have graphics enabled TB even if you change the graphics card.
Up until this point both Intel and Apple have said that TB must have direct access to the GPU and that is was not possible to have a PCIe based TB card for this reason.

If the MP has TB on the logic board there should be no problem with the PCIe GPU so long as it is a supported graphics card.

Though TB will be a welcome addition to the MP, if there is one, the real benefit of the MP is the on-the-board PCIe expansion slots. You can, for example add one of the new PCIe SSDs that do not use the SATA interface and are much faster or a PCIe XQD card reader to really speed up the import of large image files without having to buy all the external equipment to hook things up and the overhead of running it through multiple controller chips because it is outside the box. Towers still have value.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,088
4,147
The Peninsula
I'm confused, please explain

Up until this point both Intel and Apple have said that TB must have direct access to the GPU and that is was not possible to have a PCIe based TB card for this reason.

If the MP has TB on the logic board there should be no problem with the PCIe GPU so long as it is a supported graphics card.
How do the DisplayPort signals get transported to the T-Bolt controller from a PCIe graphics card?

With the Imac and notebooks, the Display Port signals are already on the motherboard - so it's easy to route them through the T-Bolt controller.

With a PCIe graphics card, the DisplayPort signals go to the connectors on the card - not back down the PCIe connection. How can a T-Bolt controller on the mobo see the signals?

(ps: IMO it was a huge mistake to require DisplayPort in T-Bolt - nice as an option for small laptops, but bad idea for desktops and any system with room for separate T-Bolt and display connectors.)


Though TB will be a welcome addition to the MP, if there is one, the real benefit of the MP is the on-the-board PCIe expansion slots. You can, for example add one of the new PCIe SSDs that do not use the SATA interface and are much faster or a PCIe XQD card reader to really speed up the import of large image files without having to buy all the external equipment to hook things up and the overhead of running it through multiple controller chips because it is outside the box. Towers still have value.
So true, but the "(MiniMac + T-Bolt) > (Mac Pro)" folks don't believe that.
 
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