Is there a "hidden" 9400M in every iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by gianly1985, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    #1
    I'm talking about 2009 iMacs.
    Do they ALL share the same nvidia chipset with integrated gpu??
    So we can say that:

    iMac 20" with 9400M ----> 9400M

    iMac 24" with 9400M ----> 9400M

    iMac 24" with GT120 ------> Actually GT120+9400M (a là Macbook Pro)

    iMac 24" with GT130 ------> Actually GT130+9400M (a là Macbook Pro)

    iMac 24" with Ati4850 ------> Actually Ati4850+9400M (a là Macbook Pro)


    Is it correct?

    So ALL 2009 iMacs will get upcoming Snow Leopard feature "Quicktime X h.264 hardware acceleration"??

    [​IMG]


    EDIT: just to be clear, this thread is NOT about OpenCl, this thread is about the "Quicktime X h.264 hardware acceleration", which has got NOTHING to do with OpenCL
     
  2. DavidR91 macrumors member

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    #2
    My guess overall... no.

    I assume the text should read "requires a Mac with an NVIDIA 9400M equivalent or higher". Also, perhaps the 9400M genuinely does have features which the others lack for this functionality (i.e. you really can't use it on anything else) or they haven't yet rolled out the driver compatibility etc. out to the rest of the cards they support

    Er... what? I don't quite understand what you mean by this. For example, if I recall correctly, a GT120 is a rebranded 8800 (possibly the M/GTS equivalent). It has no relation to 9400M at all.

    Oh wait, you mean a 9400 on the motherboard as well as the GT120 etc.? That's not impossible, but it seems pointless - why double the cost for no reason? It correlates with that text, and makes sense, but I think that's just a very narrow requirement, or a mistake (equiv. or higher actually intended). I would be very surprised if a 9400M integrated was in there as well as the dedicated chip/board
     
  3. seb-opp macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I dont think there is a 9400 in all of them. It would be on the specs list if it was. Plus there's not much point having two GPUs in the iMacs, its mainly done on MBPs to save battery.

    Also, the H.264 decoding requirements for Snow Leopard means it needs a 9400 as a minimum, not that its the ONLY supported gpu
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #4
    That is not clear at all from the text. It appears as though h.264 is ONLY supported on the 9400M although all hadware has been capble of supporting it to some degree since the X1600.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    I think, no. 9400M is in every laptop because when 9600GT isn't needed, it shuts down, so it won't eat your battery
     
  6. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #6
    Then why not writing the full list of supported GPUs like for OpenCL (just below)?


    I don't think so. Don't be surprised, Apple is capable of this.

    They haven't yet rolled out Snow Leopard as well....


    I mean 9400 INTEGRATED IN THE CHIPSET (and no, Apple can't get it out) and GT120/130/4850 on the PCI Express slot...
    1) because you simply CANNOT get the 9400 OUT. nVidia does NOT produce any MOBILE chipset without integrated GPU inside nowadays. So they should have gone back to Intel...

    2) in order to get the feature we're talking about working?
    I would not be surprised at all, if all iMacs shared the same nVidia chipset, because the 9400 is part of the chipset, you cannot "get it out". Can anyone post precise infomation about 2009 iMac chipsets?

    I don't know....I don't even see the chipset model on the specs....why is it so hard to find detailed specs?


    Maybe that's why you don't see that in the "advertising/incomplete specs" ;)

    Are you sure? How do you know? Why didn't they write the full compatibility list like for OpenCL?


    Yes but I think that for various reason is CONVENIENT to use the SAME CHIPSET on the whole line-up, so, since you cannot get the 9400M out of the chipset, it could still be there....

    So the question is: where can I see detailed specs of 2009 iMacs, including THE CHIPSET of every version?
     
  7. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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  8. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    Yes, they do. The 9400m isn't just a video chip, it has a memory controller, SATA controller, ethernet, wifi and a few other things that run the iMac (and Mini, MB, MBP).
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    But why Apple doesn't advertise dual GPUs? "New iMac, fastest graphics ever with dual GPUs? Apple usually makes clear if they have something like that
     
  10. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #10
    So we can assume that all the current iMacs will be able to do h.264 hardware acceleration with Quicktime X??

    I knew, I just wanted to know if they all shared that SAME nvidia chipset. Are you 100% sure of that? This is great news...because it means people can buy a GT120/GT130/4850-powered iMac and still get that h.264 feature...
     
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #11
    Yes, have a read here. The 120 has 32 cores and the 130 has 48 cores.
     
  12. JamesGorman macrumors 65816

    JamesGorman

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    #12
    Thats kind of interesting. I actually never thought about the 9400M being present in all these imacs. Is there any way to activate it? I mean, if you have a better card present, theres no point. But maybe eventually they would be able to run in some sort of SLI formation? Highly doubtful, but a valid question none-the-less.
     
  13. DavidR91 macrumors member

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    #13
    Because OpenCL is quite a bit more specific than hardware video acceleration. Also, it's pre-release stuff - whilst SL is not going to change drastically, it's likely the documentation will be updated or improved prior to release.


    But they roll out a developer seed every month or so. Either that info is going to be changed very soon, or the 9400 is the only card supported "on release". They may well be planning to add addition support later.

    You cannot get the 9400 out? Are you referring to the motherboard? (as in, NVIDIA motherboards/bridges?) You shouldn't use chipset willy-nilly in this context, because it is ambiguous (a separate GPU can be referred to as a 'chipset' as well)

    If you are referring to the NVIDIA mobos, who says Apple use them? Obviously they're on/in the laptops, because they use 9400s exclusively (and break-downs of their innards show multiple NVIDIA chips elsewhere). I was under the impression, however, that iMacs used a limited form of MXM cards - which leads me to expect that Apple would design a new card to shove in the 2009 models for 9400M use, and not completely redesign their motherboards/bridge layouts just to up the graphics.
     
  14. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #14
    Oh. Well now it's clearer, thanks.

    [​IMG]


    ?? so? I know that gt120/gt130 outperform the 9400 gpu in every possible way, the problem is always the same: :apple: Even my x1600 could do some h.264 i think, but Apple has chosen to support the 9400 alone (as far as we know at the moment).
     
  15. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #15
    I have no doubt the hardware is there. Although Intel regularly produced chipsets with both integrated GPUs and none, I haven't seen evidence of nVidia doing this. Question is, will Apple throw the switch to use it or not?
     
  16. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #16
    I meant: Don't use the "what's the point of double GPU"-argumentation, because if the "GPU-piece" (which I was misunderstandably referring to with "9400", sorry) of the "motherboard chipset" is STUCK IN THERE you cannot get it out even in the models equipped with discrete gpu.


    Actually knowing this is the point of me opening this whole thread.

    Cave Man sayd YES, and the nVidia site seems to read accordingly.

    If anybody has more/different information, it is welcome.
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    OpenCL will work on the 8xxx and up nVidia gpus (which have CUDA) and the newer ATI gpus. The question is one of implementation - will Apple make it easy for others to leverage these gpus for additional tasks? They have stated that hardware acceleration of h.264 is coming with 10.6. Indeed, we already see it in the recent iterations of Quicktime; however, Apple has not made those APIs available to the developer community so you're not seeing it in third party apps. It would not surprise me if Apple made it difficult - that has been their history for many such things.
     
  18. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #18
    Well, that's the point of OpenCL....:confused: It's open, it's standard, it's crossplatform....I don't think apple implemented OpenCL just for the sake of its first party applications....of course they will make it EXTRA-easy for every developer to "leverage those gpus for additional tasks"....
    (or maybe I didn't get what you mean)


    THIS is a real problem....I read about it on Plex forums, XBMC forums, ecc...we can only hope...
    Anyway in the meantime I'll be ok with 9400M-powered-Quicktime X + Perian :cool: (on my MacMini 2009, which finally and hopefully will get decent framerates in 1080p h.264 MKVs)
     
  19. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #19
    While nVidia and ATI support gpu sharing, Intel's chipsets don't. That's the principal reason Apple switched to nVidia - pretty much a computer on a chip. Apple's OpenCL is for using the gpu's cores for general computing - not necessarily video. Keep in mind, OpenCL and using the chip's hardware h.264 encoding/decoding are two separate things. Until Snow Leopard's out in the wild we won't know what OpenCL's abilities are, and Apple has been pretty vague on the details.

    Plex does fine with most of my Blu-ray rips using the gma950 2 gHz Mini. I just don't let it multitask.
     
  20. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #20
    Keep in mind?? :confused: What are you talking about, YOU just talked (for no apparent reason) about OpenCL, not me :confused: Actually, I was about to ask you why but I thought it was some sort of "wide analisys", I knew perfectly that OpenCL has got NOTHING to do with h.264 hardware acceleration. That's why I opened this thread....this thread is ONLY about the "Quicktime X h.264 hardware acceleration", not OpenCL (I repeat it for the others just to make it clearer).

    Most is not enough for me...or, better, I HATE to be HUMILIATED (only in video playback) by a CHEAP ION*-based Acer Aspire Revo running Windows XP and PowerDVD....Apple better get this acceleration working...


    *the gpu-piece of the ION platform is very similar to our 9400, maybe even a little less powerful
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21
    The point is that OpenCL could be used in lieu of the gpu's h.264 encoding/decoding hardware.
     
  22. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #22
    I thought about it too....but what I read on the plex/vlc/xbmc forums was not very encouraging, they don't see it happening in the immediate future on their players....we'll see....
     
  23. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    #23
    As mentioned above - the only reason the MBP has both cards is to conserve battery power.

    It is my understanding OSX is not compatible running hybrid (both video cards at the same time) - however Vista is.:rolleyes:
     
  24. gianly1985 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    gianly1985

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    #24
    Mention a nVidia mobile motherbord without integrated GPU.
    (HINT: it doesn't exist)

    So there WAS NO WAY to build a single-gpu MBP. (I mean "single DISCRETE gpu"). You can ADD a 9600gt, but you can't GET the 9400-gpu OUT of the 9400M motherboard.

    (I assume it is stupid and inconvenient in many ways to have some MBP with nVidia and some MBP with Intel, so I don't consider it as an option. What's left, VIA?)

    Of course it is good for battery power, but it isn't the ONLY REASON. And battery power isn't the ONLY POSSIBLE REASON for something like that, so it can happen also in the iMac.
     

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