Mac Pro - Why the limited graphics options

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Jsimon9633, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Jsimon9633 macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007
    I have been wanting to replace my desktop for a while now and I really want a MAC Pro but why such the limit on the graphics cards of choice?

    I dont want any of the cards they are offering.

    What are my choices for putting in a more up to date card in there? I like the Nvidia offerings but not the Quattro or anything like that.
  2. jpfisher macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2006
    New Jersey
    I prefer the Fusion to the Quattro. The extra blade does it for me, plus the battery vibration.
  3. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
  4. Jsimon9633 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2007


    got me there
  5. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    Because Apple likes to build the perfect system to piss people off. :cool:
  6. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Even though this 8 Core Mac is my first Mac ever (I've worked on G5's though) it is a bit surprising that people are STILL asking why Apple doesn't update the card as quickly as the PC world......but I digress....
  7. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    As quickly???? That's a laugh. It's been over a year with no change. Nothing "quick" about it at all. :p
  8. vicious7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2007
    Jacked into the net...
    I must be real slow today. That took me a while to get :D
  9. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    I've never used anything but a Mach 3... you can imagine how long it took me...
  10. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    I think the main reason is that they want their systems to perform *flawlessly*. If they have to get into the business of supporting every graphics card under the sun, then the quality of the OS will suffer in other ways. I also suspect that their main effort is in Leopard and new cards will be an options subsequent to its release.

    My question to you (and those with a similar question) is: what do the current offerings not do that you need them to? Newer isn't always better. For me the 1900XT is perfect and suits my needs. I'm not implying it should suit your needs, I'm just suggesting that the current offerings are probably more than sufficient for most years. Just my 2 cents...
  11. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    When the PC world was blowing up with new hardware, Apple was still eating dust with the PowerPC and not upgrading it's components.

    Most newer Intel owners are really spoiled.....
  12. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    not what we're looking for. just a couple (or three).
    they should update their products in some minor way every 6 months, in my opinion. pro products don't need major updates as often as consumer products (aesthetics aren't as large a factor), but more minor updates to keep 'em on the leading edge.
  13. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    I like your idea but I doubt it will happen.
    Apple can't update the cpu until Intel brings out something new.
    The only other thing that can be updated is the video card.

    Just now I did a fast search for Nvidia's GeForce 8800GTX card.
    There must be at least 13 companies making these cards for PCs.
    There are zero third party manufacturers making cards for Macs.
    I don't think Apple can go to Nvidia and ask, "Could you guys make us a new video card every six months?" They could ask but it wouldn't happen.

    Infrequently ATI will make a card available for Macs for sale outside of Apple.
    ATI made the 9800 Pro Special Edition in 2003.
    ATI made the X800 XT Mac Edition in 2004.
    ATI made the X1900 XT Mac Edition (PPC) in 2006.
    I think infrequently is the operative word here!

    The X800 XT card is so popular that it is selling way overpriced on eBay. Yet ATI has discontinued it.

    By the way, ATI's Mac video cards are underclocked compared to their PC counterparts. I've always considered that to be a slap in the face.

    Notice also how ATI puts all their research into making their cards compatible with DX10 not OpenGL.

    It appears that video card manufacturers think that the Mac market is too small to worry about.
    Maybe someone could explain why? Is it about the drivers? Is Apple the culprit?
  14. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004
    I think it's the market, along with the fact that Apple keeps changing hardware.

    First of all the Apple Mac Pro market is small, compared to the number of PC that have a replaceable video card. Then what makes this market even smaller is the fact that Apple sells a higher-end OEM video card as a BTO. If you have a Radeon X1900XT - are you going to upgrade? How many people are going to change video cards every generation? Some people only change/upgrade video cards every second generation.

    The other thing that's made things difficult for video card manufacturers is Apple changing the hardware every couple of years. Apple went from AGP to PCIe in the Power Mac G5 and then went from PowerPC to Intel a couple of years later. Meaning if you create a card for the Mac Pro PCIe, you have to do extra work to get it working on a Power Mac G5 PCIe to sell more cards. But there was only one generation of Power Mac G5 with PCIe.

    Of course I would expect that it's not to much to ask to have a new video card at least once a year.
  15. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    1) RAID cards and audio come to mind... although I think in the main you're correct–no none wants a new RAID or audio card every 6 months.

    2)Mac market is tiny compared to Windows PC (henceforth just the inaccurate "PC"). Gamers who spend money on upgrades go with PC. They're a much bigger crowd compared to the pros on MPs who are willing to upgrade every (other) generation.

    I think Apple is sticking with Intel and PCIe. Of course history contradicts me...

    A new video card once a year is what you expect for a computer that costs upwards of 3K.
  16. TheSilencer macrumors regular

    May 27, 2007
    The PowerMac G5 X1900 was a GT afaik. It only has 8 Pipelines, the real XT contains 16 the PRO 12.
    Also Apple does their drivers alone, thats why you have no Mac Catalyst Control Center, you only can install the old ATi Displays thing by performing a compatible hack to the installer - original it calls for a G5 PowerMac to install but funny as it is, the core components are universal binary. However, it isn´t that bad, you get SuperSampling FSAA with it, the windows CCC only supports MultiSample FSAA + Adaptive AA for transparent textures, SuperSample FSAA does both in one step + shader FSAA.

    Don´t fear DX10. DX10 at all means only that the card supports shader operations 4.0. Thats it. The reasion why is simple, you can´t sell a card for Vista with "This card supports Shader 4.0" advertisement. Many people don´t know what shaders are or what they do but they know that they need a "DirectX 10" compatible card for Vista and future Games. It´s all marketing. :rolleyes:
    Currently only nVidia has a OpenGL to Shader 4.0 port in their drivers, but ATi will do this too in the future, it is only a driver issue/feature, not a hardware one.
  17. krell100 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    I must say that I scratch my head reading all these threads on video cards. I've got an X1900 in my MP and I play C&C3, Company of Heroes, CaesarIV and other graphics intensive games under Windows XP at Maximum graphics options and resolution with absolutely no issues whatsoever. They run like silk, smooth with stunning detail, no tearing or frame rate issues. I have to wonder just what people want. If all you want is a bleeding edge games box go buy an XBox360 or a 'cheap' gaming PC with the latest card. Weird.
  18. Topper macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2007
    Let's see you run the flight simulator X-Plane at it's highest renderings.
    I promise you, you can not.

    Batch process a bunch of QT movies with Compressor using an HD codec especially H.264.
    The waiting time is way too long with the X1900 XT.

    I've been using Apple computers for 17 years. There is no way in he|l I'm buying a PC.
  19. dkoralek macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2006
    I agree that it is a combination of Apple being able to control the quality of OS compatibility with their hardware and the bigger issue of demand. My guess is that someone like Dell sells more workstations configured with their least popular video card option than Apple sells Mac Pros total.

    And I would guess that, just like processor upgrades, graphics upgrades will wait until the new Mac Pro comes out (why introduce a product now that may not be compatible with the new offering?).


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