My thoughts on the absence of GTX 400 series graphics options

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CaptainChunk, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #1
    So, the 2010 Mac Pros were announced today and we'll be getting two ATI GPUs, but nothing from NVIDIA. Disappointing, yes - but now I'm starting to think there were reasons for it. These are just speculations, if anything.

    1. For all we know, the 2010 MPs have probably been under development and testing at Apple for several months now. The GTX 470/480 GPUs were likely counted out due to high power requirements, noise and heat.

    2. NVIDIA's new price/performance king, the GTX 460, was too late to make the cut for mass production, as it was launched only two weeks ago. Too bad.


    So perhaps someone will come out of the woodwork with a GTX 400 based upgrade solution for the Mac, like EVGA did with the GTX 285. But something tells me that even if that were to happen, we'd get a bleeding-edge product like the GTX 480 (at a substantial price premium) and not a decent mid-range model like the GTX 460.

    But I will admit that I'm glad that Apple has finally geared up to offer appealing GPU options in the new MPs. The standard fare in the past has been somewhat laughable.
     
  2. TheLOGICalone macrumors regular

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    #2
    What about ati 6000 series coming out in 2 months?
     
  3. CaptainChunk thread starter macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #3
    Okay, well considering not even the PC crowd has gotten a hold of such cards yet, it is of questionable relevance to this thread. Besides, if you have kept up on the news, all speculations point to a Q4 release on those GPUs (due to a switch in fab plants), which could mean a couple of months or probably even December. And given the trends of GPU manufacturers, new products always show up later than sooner, so it could even be 2011.

    Let's keep this thread on topic, please.
     
  4. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #4
    I think it's probably the power requirements that are the biggest player here. The GTX 480 needs an 8 pin power cable as well as a 6 pin one. The 5870 doesn't, it only needs two 6 pin ones. It looks like Apple is just reusing the 2009 Mac Pro logic board with nothing more than an EFI flash to support the newer CPUs in which case it'll only have two 6 pin cable sockets.

    It's a bit of a shame though since the GTX 480 has significantly better OpenCL support and CUDA goodness.
     
  5. CaptainChunk thread starter macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #5
    Right. But if I recall correctly, the GTX 460 only needs a single 6-pin PCI-E booster.

    But not that it really matters, at this point. :p

    Unless of course, a third-party manufacturer makes a modified board design for a 470/480 that uses a dual 6-pin layout or something...
     
  6. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #6
    Sure but as you said, the GTX 460's pretty new on the block. The 4xx series drivers found recently were also seriously underdeveloped resulting in GTX 480 cards running slower than GTX 285s.

    I don't really think a third party can make an add in board because they can't break the power limits of the logic board but the 460 needs it. The only workaround would probably be to have a second dummy PCIe card in one of the other slots to provide the extra power, not an ideal solution. Either that or use one of the drive sleds to get the power - again not pretty or ideal. My bet is that a Rev B 480 will come out (likely named something slightly different) that'll have the same performance but will not have such high power requirements and that could maybe end up as a third party board.
     
  7. CaptainChunk thread starter macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #7
    Here's to hoping... ;)

    But I may be pretty content with a 5870 as a future upgrade, as well. Only time can tell.
     
  8. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #8
    I expect the GTX 460/480 or similar offering to come out, as you said, like the GTX 285 did.
     
  9. CaptainChunk thread starter macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #9
    Well, as Spanky correctly pointed out, it's questionable whether we'll see a GTX 480. The current reference board for which all the currently shipping PC GTX 480s are based on require a 6/8 power connections. The 2008-2010 logic boards only supply 6/6. So doing so would require a re-working of the reference board design. I suppose that would be in the realm of possibility, if there's demand for it...

    And while it would be cool to see a GTX 460 come out of the woodwork, it's wishful thinking at this point. The last time EVGA released a Mac card, they went bleeding-edge with the GTX 285. I think higher profits was the rationale there. The GTX 460 on the other hand, is a $200-230 card, depending on the memory configuration (768MB or 1GB), so given EVGA's last venture in the Mac business, it probably wouldn't make sense to them.
     
  10. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    #10
    For what it's worth, for the first time in memory Apple's shipping a machine with current, top end graphics hardware. It may only be current for 2 months, but by gum, that's more than we've ever had.

    Let the flashing begin.
     
  11. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

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    #11
    GTX 470 would be the one to fit the bill. 2 6-Pin PCI-E ports.
     
  12. CaptainChunk thread starter macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #12
    I would agree there. I don't Apple has EVER shipped a workstation tower (even as far back as the G3 towers) with an up-to-date graphics solution. It's about time.
     
  13. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    #13
    I'd just like to point out that even if a GPU requires 6/8 pins, you don't have to have that. My 4890 needs 6/8 and I used 6/6 without any issues for months on end.
     
  14. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    #14
    Yeah I was thinking that, GTX 470 would be an acceptable fit. Or a 480 with two 6 pin connectors.
     
  15. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #15
    Damnit I just got a 260 on sale...

    460 looks decent for its price.
     
  16. CaptainChunk thread starter macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #16
    Well, if it's any consolation, the homebrewers that have gotten GTX 480s to work in MPs have so far experienced worse performance numbers than Mac GTX 285s are getting. And that's because they don't have complete drivers to work with yet.
     
  17. mark28 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Because ATI > Nvidia.

    Apple gets them for a very low price, because those ATI cards are very cheap to make compared to Nvidia who uses very big chips. Nvidia will never be able to sell them so cheaply without making a loss.
     
  18. goMac macrumors 603

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    #18
    I might be holding out for the GTX 400 series because I do OpenCL, and NVidia kicks ATI six ways to Sunday when it comes to OpenCL performance.

    It's pretty obvious at this point that the NVidia series of cards will likely come through a third party vendor, like EVGA.
     
  19. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #19
    1. This point is the most powerful reason why Apple kept it out. Who would want a workstation desktop to emitt as much noise a vaccum cleaner?

    2. The GTX 460 is compareable only to the HD 5770/HD 5830 (this card is an abortion). Apple might use the GTX 460 as an option to the HD 5770.


    I don't think we will see the GTX 480 anytime soon


    Not possible... the GPU needs the extra Amps and Power that the 8-pin provides.
     
  20. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #20
    GTX480 won't start without all 8 pins connected.

    Just doesn'y load up.

    However, simple solution.

    Took less time to make than to take pic.

    Apple would have to allow Nvidia/EVGA/whoever to load port like that.

    Or maybe they would pick some other ground inside case.
     

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  21. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #21
    An accident waiting to happen. ATI GPU were choosen for a reason.
     
  22. goMac macrumors 603

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    #22
    If NVidia wrote the drivers, it's pretty obvious something is coming.

    NVidia wouldn't (and probably can't) write Mac drivers for a card that doesn't exist on the Mac. In order for NVidia to write the drivers, they've got to have the card working in a Mac Pro somewhere.

    Obviously Apple isn't going to release it, so it'll come through a third party.
     
  23. Cocoia macrumors member

    Cocoia

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    #23
    That's a 4,1, right? Doesn't the 8-pin drain twice the amount a 6-pin would? Isn't that kind of risky?
     
  24. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #24
    It is risky. The 6-pin supplies 75W of extra power, while an 8-pin supplies 150W of power.

    Eventually, something will give and I have a feeling it'll be his PSU and some component.
     
  25. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #25
    I have 11 months and 3 weeks until I need to renew AppleCare on my nifty new 2009 Nehalem.

    You will all be the FIRST to know if there is a problem.

    Now all the Nervous Nelly / ATI Fanbois can go back to photoshopping / (coloring in with crayons) "fermi on fire" pix.

    The cable was made from a splitter that takes a single 6 pin and splits it into 2 @ 8pin. By turning it into a single line I have greatly reduced resistance from having 12 inches of wire between PCB and card.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812198016

    Read all 27 reviews over 2 years...nobody reports burned PSU or Logicboard. From this purchase you can make 2 @ cables for Mac. Useful for any GPU.
     

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