Next Gen Mac Pro Video Card (again)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Topper, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #1
    After reading and reading and reading about it I still haven't come close to figuring out the candidates for the video cards in the next mac pro.

    If I have to guess, I'd go like this....
    Nvidia GeForce 8700 GTS for the lower-end card.
    ATI's Radeon HD2900 XT for the bto higher-end video card.
    ATI's FireGL V8600 to take over the Quadro slot.

    The GeForce 8700 GTS is a very interesting card. It isn't even out yet. It is believe to be a mid-range card between the 8600 and the 8800 GTS.
    It may come close to the performance of the 8800 GTS. It has an 65nm process which means it will run much cooler than the 8800 series cards.
    Nobody knows how many shaders it will have. If it has 96 shaders, it will definitely compete with the 8800 GTS.
    The GeForce 8700 GTS will feature an eight-layer PCB, 512MB of GDDR3 memory, a 256-bit memory bus, and a memory clock speed of 900MHz to 1GHz—that's an effective 1.8GHz to 2GHz.
    And it will support PCI Express 2.0.
    The 8700 GTS rumored launch date is November 12th which may coincide nicely with the Mac Pro arrival.

    I don't know that much about video card drivers.
    IF the 8700 GTS is one of the video cards in the new Mac Pro and IF there are even more powerful 8700 series cards in the future...can the Mac Pro user use the 8700 GTS driver as the driver for the even more powerful PC type 8700 series cards?

    There is one more card that is coming out maybe even this month...ATI's Radeon HD2900 Pro. The Radeon HD2900 Pro is said to have 320 shaders working at a yet to be determined clock. The 2900 Pro will have 512 MB of GDDR3 memory and will draw a pretty hefty 150W. Performance should be just under the 320 MB 8800 GTS, but the card will also have a lower price tag.

    p.s. I have to give credit to Eidorian for pointing me to information on the 8700 GTS and 2900 Pro cards.
     
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #2
    You haven't taken in to account that the base card only really needs good 2D performance, and enough 3D power for Leopard's features, otherwise it's a waste for many. With the 8700 GTS likely being a $200 card it doesn't make much sense as a base card.

    You also don't seem to have considered whether the Mac Pro can house 4 x 8700 GTS cards, assuming Apple continue to want offer such a thing.
     
  3. Cuyahoga macrumors member

    Cuyahoga

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    Jun 12, 2007
    #3
    In a $2500 machine, shouldn't you expect that much? I think we just lowered our expectations b/c of the 7300GT. But I suppose it does all come down to Apple saving a few bucks.
     
  4. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #4
    Have you even paid attention to the base cards in the PowerMac G5's over the last few years? :confused:
     
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #5
    I'm expecting the 8600GT or the HD 2600 Pro as the low end stock card.
     
  6. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2004
    #6
    Some people don't want that much because even that's more power than they need. If you're doing video editting which doesn't involve Motion or if you're doing Photo Editting that doesn't involve Aperature you only need a low-end video card. You need the CPU power, but not the GPU power.

    And before the 7300GT, the low-end was, I believe, the 5200, which was even worse.

    edit: or consider the Audio crowd, they want a quiet video card, they don't care if it's a low-end, because again they need the CPU power.
     
  7. Topper thread starter macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    Jun 17, 2007
    #7
    Yikes! But you may well be right.

    Any predictions for the higher-end bto consumer card?
     
  8. Topper thread starter macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    Jun 17, 2007
    #8
    That's where I am going wrong. I don't consider $200 that much money.
    I expect to spend 5 grand on the Mac Pro.
    I would be more than happy to spend $600 if the card is ultra powerful.

    I am pretty sure it can, why do you say that?
     
  9. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #9
    You aren't the only one, but assuming Apple have just 3 choices again they need to make sure they cater to the best possible amount of buyers.

    Heat and the cooling of. I doubt Apple are going to want a fan on the base card.
     
  10. Topper thread starter macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    Jun 17, 2007
    #10
    Good news here is the GeForce 8700 GTS is a brand new(not even out yet), single slot, 65nm process technology video card.
    The Nvidia 8600 series cards are 80nm fabrication.
    The Nvidia 8800 series cards are 90nm fabrication.
    The smaller 65nm fabrication of the 8700 GTS will let it run cooler than the 8600 and 8800 series cards.
    It's TDP is rumored to be between that of a 7900GS and a 7900GTX.
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #11
    I knew holding out after the 8600/2600s would be a good idea after I saw them sport a 128-bit interface. I had some hope that nVidia or ATi would make give their performance midrange parts 256-bit ones due to the fact the 8800 GTX and 2900 have 384 and 512-bit ones respectively.

    It looks like the second line parts are coming to fill in what they should have but nearly a year after the 8800 GTX launch.

    I doubt we'll see a 8700 GTS in the Mac Pro short of someone running it in Windows only. My bets on the the 8800 or 2900 making it into the high but nothing newer then that.
     
  12. Topper thread starter macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    #12
    If Apple put a 8800 GTS 640MB or 8800 GTX or 8800 Ultra in the MP I would think I've died and gone to heaven.
    Why would you prefer a mid-range G92 as compared a high-end G80?

    by the way... http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=42332
     
  13. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #13
    We should expect the worst from the next-gen Mac Pro video card.

    And even if we think the new video cards are going to be good, we know there will be haters saying "This card came out a year ago!", "This is NOT high end", "Apple, you guys suck!", "Where's my late 2007 graphics card! This is an early 2007 graphics card!".

    Anyway, I'm fine with my sub-par 7300 gt.:rolleyes:
     
  14. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

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    Aug 27, 2006
    #14
    I don't care what they update it with really. Chances are it will be better than it is now and that is fine with me.
     
  15. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #15
    Saw that this morning, I hope the FireGL team approached Apple with what they had and a couple of these cards end up as options in the MP (though likely just a highend card to make the $).
     
  16. MikeL macrumors 6502

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    Bloomington, MN
    #16
    What people often forget is that Steve Jobs dislikes fans. How long has it been since Apple shipped a pro tower that had a fan on the low-end video card? I can't think of any. The low end in the coming line will likely be something that doesn't require a fan.
     
  17. kite macrumors newbie

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    Apr 28, 2004
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    Sweden
    #17
    Lets NOT hope for the Fire GL-cards to replace the Quadro FX.
    Nividia perform better in OpenGL-apps, and thats what the pro's need.
    I would love to see the Quadro FX 4600, 5600 or whatever replaces these two when its time for a upgrade of the Quadro FX 4500. That cant be too soon, thank you Apple. :)
     
  18. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #18
    The brand new FireGL cards are offering better performance at the moment, the $1000 v7600 matching up against the fx 4600 ($1800+) from the benchmark scores out there. With the v8600s likely to decently outperform them at the same price point, they may be a better choice. Especially considering that the Mac Pros are likely to have the same workstation class graphics card for the next 2 years. Not that it matters much us discussing, as Apple will have already made their choice and I'm sure driver development has been going on for sometime.
     
  19. Topper thread starter macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    Jun 17, 2007
    #19
    That's for sure.
    Platforms, chipsets, processors, video cards...The decision was made a long time ago so all of this is just conversation.

    For me it is kinda fun to try to predict when the Mac Pro will come out and what it will have in it.
     
  20. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #20
    Same, I try to put myself in Apples shoes, as I do think it can help people. I doubt many of our guesses are that far off. I don't see Apple doing something very different or there being a big factor we are missing from the next generation of Intel workstations at this time.
     
  21. jorgo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    #21
    that's not a point of pure performance. Nvidia cards perform better because of different driver architecture, which leads to higher stability and less bugs running opengl based apps. As far as I know the only opengl apps which takes advantage from ati cards is Maya. Plus you must consider that buyers of a mp with a hi-end opengl card will probably want to have a chance in running bootcamp and use 3d apps under windows too, which is to say is still the n°1 platform for 3d pro apps (sigh). That's where Nvidia drivers have always made the difference, and that's why ati pricetags are always very low. I'd fancy to know a single pro who would go with ati while working in a serious app :)
     
  22. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #22
    The FireGL team have gone all out to claim market share, providing what have been shown so far to be much more powerful cards for the price. The driver issues are something that will be dealt with and have flaws or benefits shown over time, but that isn't something Apple can decide on when they probably had but a few months to make a decision. They probably will stay with Nvidia for the reason they have been with them so long, Nvidia have a solid platform and are the big player. That doesn't mean that ATI haven't been able to provide such a solution, or at least convince Apple of one and take that slot in the MP options. ATI isn't just besting Nvidia in Maya either.

    I wouldn't consider it at all and didn't because there are far better options for professionals working with windows only apps than the mac pro. Apple would have to do something pretty special to get a serious number of windows professionals to buy thier hardware.

    All said I'm still expecting something like 8500GT, 2900XT and the FX 4600, but I'd still like to see a bigger range of cards, on at least 3 tiers, from both big vendors, ideally with more tiers for both pro and consumer cards. In the end though I just want the best choices to be made on the subject by Apple because it's one of the first things alot of switchers, in my opinion and experience, look at.
     
  23. Topper thread starter macrumors 65816

    Topper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #23
    I took what few video card rumors I could find and entered the results like this:

    Low-end video card: GeForce 8500 GT, GeForce 8700 GTS, GeForce 8600 GT, or a Radeon HD2600 Pro card.

    High-end bto consumer card: Radeon HD2900 XT, GeForce 8700 GTS, or a GeForce 8800 series card.

    Workstation video card: FireGL V8600, FireGL V7600, or a Quadro FX4600 card.

    One person thought the next Mac Pro may have all FireGL cards.
     
  24. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #24
    That's a good job of rounding up information.
     
  25. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #25
    If that one person was me, I was mearly taunting wild bill ;)
     

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