Nvidia Graphics chip causing New iMac delay?

Kerel

macrumors member
Original poster
May 19, 2011
33
0
Weimar Germany
I think the new iMacs are also getting Nvidia graphics!
The problem is Nvidia doesn't have a "kepler" GPU for the high end 27" iMac.
Nvidia currently has 2 "kepler" GPU's the GK107 and the GK104.
The GK107 is used in the GT650m and the GK104 is used in the GTX680m
The problem is that the GTX680m is probably to power-hungry for the iMac
So Apple has to wait for the GK106, which hasn't been released yet.
The GK106 will be used for the GTX660m and will be around twice as powerful as a GT650m and would be a nice match for the new iMac.
Rumored release date is "late" summer.
 

BlazednSleepy

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2012
692
181
They wouldn't use only a 660m. They would use the highest end mobile GPU just like last year. I'm waiting till ML releases and if nothing comes out I'm buying a retina MBP.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,394
4,908
So Apple has to wait for the GK106, which hasn't been released yet.
The GK106 will be used for the GTX660m and will be around twice as powerful as a GT650m and would be a nice match for the new iMac.
Rumored release date is "late" summer.
Uhm, the 660m is just a faster clocked 650m. Not even close to twice as powerful. I think you are confusing the gtx660m (which is GK107 based) and the desktop gtx660 (without m).
 

TouchMint.com

macrumors 68000
May 25, 2012
1,579
238
Phoenix
Hopefully this is all its waiting on I would love to see a mountain lion release. I bought creative suite 5.5 a few months back and have not installed on my macbook pro because I am waiting for a new iMac.
 

racher

macrumors member
Apr 14, 2010
44
0
Seattle, WA
Nvidia in new iMacs PLEASE

I'm really hoping for ANY Nvidia GPU in the new iMacs, and the faster the better. I'll be using Adobe CS6 on any new computer I buy, and both Premiere Pro and After Effects can accelerate video playback, effects and 3D rendering using the Nvidia cards. It's somewhat unfortunate that Adobe depends so heavily on Nvidia as opposed to AMD, but that's the way it is for now. I've played with the demo of CS6 using my 2010 MBP (you have to hack a little text file to allow Premiere Pro to see the Nvidia 330M card), and the performance improvement is very noticeable. Using a faster Nvidia GPU on a new iMac should make the software scream! Adobe does support some AMD graphics cards for their acceleration, but the features in that case are limited. For the full monty, you'll want an Nvidia card.

-racher
 

HurryKayne

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2010
982
13
Correct me if i'm wrong,but 650/660 are slower than 6970 we have in the today Imacs..doesn't make sense to me to use something slower...would be a stepback,
even if ,after having seen the new Air with Steroids (MacBookPro Retina),i'm not anymore sure Apple cares as in the past.
We'll see,but i won't buy till the 2012 is out,if it will be slower,i'll go for a 2011 refurbished one...but i hope not.
 

Mister Bumbo

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2012
391
0
Correct me if i'm wrong,but 650/660 are slower than 6970 we have in the today Imacs..doesn't make sense to me to use something slower...would be a stepback,
even if ,after having seen the new Air with Steroids (MacBookPro Retina),i'm not anymore sure Apple cares as in the past.
We'll see,but i won't buy till the 2012 is out,if it will be slower,i'll go for a 2011 refurbished one...but i hope not.
Correct. But it's not faster than 6770 or 6750. So probably 650/660 in the 21.5 perhaps in the low 27 and 680 in 27 or just high 27.
 

forty2j

macrumors 68030
Jul 11, 2008
2,585
2
NJ
You wanna say that 650-660 is faster than 6750/6770?Isn'it?Are they?
Yes.

This list is sorted in Benchmark order, but includes FPS values for selected games. Note that not all cards have game results yet (680M in particular doesn't have game performance listed yet). I've filtered down to some relevant / interesting cards. Feel free to play with the site.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphic-Cards.13849.0.html

Edit: Apparently I can't get a URL containing my filters. You'll have to play on your own.
 

fisha

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2006
165
11
It's somewhat unfortunate that Adobe depends so heavily on Nvidia as opposed to AMD, but that's the way it is for now.
I think initially, that was the case, but as far as a I can tell, some of the recent updates to CS6 have enabled a lot of Mercury Playback Engine features to use OpenCL as well and CUDA.

Result being that in a similar way to the Cuda text file is edited to add cards, the OpenCL text file can have the iMac cards added to it, thus enabling MPE playback.

I know for CUDA/nVidia cards, you need 768Mb of GPU RAM to get the benefits of MPE acceleration, and I'm assuming that may also be the case for the OpenCL/AMD side of things. From what I've read so far, I dont know if the 512Mb GPU's can benefit from this though.

Either way, personally, I'm looking at getting a new iMac soon, and intend on using CS6. I'll not be getting anything less than 1Gb GPU RAM.


Back to the original post, I think that Apple are waiting for the latest and greated nVidia GPU to slot into the iMac. There is also a bit of me that thinks that this is in part due to the CS6 software and its acceleration features.

CS6, along with Final Cut and other premium titles are signature applications for the likes of Apple, and it would be in their interest to make sure that they run properly ... hence a swap to nVidia as that was seen as the best family of card to get the most out of CS6 ( and CS5.5 at the time of development) ?
 

kitsunestudios

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2012
226
0
I think initially, that was the case, but as far as a I can tell, some of the recent updates to CS6 have enabled a lot of Mercury Playback Engine features to use OpenCL as well and CUDA.

Result being that in a similar way to the Cuda text file is edited to add cards, the OpenCL text file can have the iMac cards added to it, thus enabling MPE playback.

I know for CUDA/nVidia cards, you need 768Mb of GPU RAM to get the benefits of MPE acceleration, and I'm assuming that may also be the case for the OpenCL/AMD side of things. From what I've read so far, I dont know if the 512Mb GPU's can benefit from this though.

Either way, personally, I'm looking at getting a new iMac soon, and intend on using CS6. I'll not be getting anything less than 1Gb GPU RAM.


Back to the original post, I think that Apple are waiting for the latest and greated nVidia GPU to slot into the iMac. There is also a bit of me that thinks that this is in part due to the CS6 software and its acceleration features.

CS6, along with Final Cut and other premium titles are signature applications for the likes of Apple, and it would be in their interest to make sure that they run properly ... hence a swap to nVidia as that was seen as the best family of card to get the most out of CS6 ( and CS5.5 at the time of development) ?
Barefeats.com confirms the use of AMD OpenGL for mercury engine in photoshop. I'm upgrading to Creative Cloud once the 21" i5 iMac with the 6770m arrives (Friday?) I'll see if Mercury engine features work even with 512mb of VRAM.
 

Kerel

macrumors member
Original poster
May 19, 2011
33
0
Weimar Germany
I know everybody is hoping for a GTX680m.
But this chip is based on a desktop card that needs a 195 watts.
The current HD6970m used is actually based on a desktop chip (The HD6850) that needs 127 watts.
thats a huge difference!
To cut down a tdp from 195 to somewhat 75w you have to make so much sacrifices in shader count and clock frequencies that it is probably better to use a lower end chip.

But the only other "Kepler" chip nVidia currently has is the GK107.
Which isn't powerful enough for a the high end iMacs.
So Apple has to wait for the GK106 which will be twice as powerful as the GK107 and has an estimated desktop tdp of 150w.

Current gtx660m and gtx670m are still based on older "Fermi" chips and probably will be replaced when the GK106 is ready
 

shokunin

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2005
218
48
It's somewhat of a plus that things are delayed... IMO, Apple could have easily just given us a Ivy Bridge iMac with upped specs like they did the MBP, just keep everything relatively the same.

If apple is moving to Retina iMacs, then they'll need all the GPU horsepower available. Hopefully that'll be nVidia's GTX 680m. The 680m is just being released and it's possible that the GPU isn't yet available in quantities needed.

While the TDP is high, hopefully with the reduced TDP of Ivy bridge quad cores (77w vs 95w) that it'll help offset some of the heat.
 

boto

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2012
437
28
The 7970m uses 100 watt, so it should be identical to the GTX 680m's output.
 
Last edited:

racher

macrumors member
Apr 14, 2010
44
0
Seattle, WA
I think initially, that was the case, but as far as a I can tell, some of the recent updates to CS6 have enabled a lot of Mercury Playback Engine features to use OpenCL as well and CUDA.

Result being that in a similar way to the Cuda text file is edited to add cards, the OpenCL text file can have the iMac cards added to it, thus enabling MPE playback.

I know for CUDA/nVidia cards, you need 768Mb of GPU RAM to get the benefits of MPE acceleration, and I'm assuming that may also be the case for the OpenCL/AMD side of things. From what I've read so far, I dont know if the 512Mb GPU's can benefit from this though.

Either way, personally, I'm looking at getting a new iMac soon, and intend on using CS6. I'll not be getting anything less than 1Gb GPU RAM.


Back to the original post, I think that Apple are waiting for the latest and greated nVidia GPU to slot into the iMac. There is also a bit of me that thinks that this is in part due to the CS6 software and its acceleration features.

CS6, along with Final Cut and other premium titles are signature applications for the likes of Apple, and it would be in their interest to make sure that they run properly ... hence a swap to nVidia as that was seen as the best family of card to get the most out of CS6 ( and CS5.5 at the time of development) ?
While it's true that an AMD card can be used in CS6 Premiere Pro to drive most of the Mercury Playback Engine effects, the following four effects cannot, according to an Adobe Blog:

"Everything that Premiere Pro CS6 can process with CUDA, with four exceptions:

Fast Blur effect
Gaussion Blur effect
Directional Blur effect
Basic 3D effect"

Not really a big deal, however you are even more limited using AMD graphics with CS6 After Effects. The new Ray Traced 3D rending engine in AE can only tap into an Nvidia GPU, not an AMD GPU. In the case of using an AMD GPU, you're limited to CPU ray traced rending only, which is much slower according to Adobe:

http://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects/tech-specs.html

Since I'm a heavy AE user, I'm still hoping Nvidia is the GPU of choice for new 2012 iMacs.

-racher
 

fisha

macrumors regular
Mar 10, 2006
165
11
I agree, I hope they do jump to nvidia cards in the iMac. It's would really benefit CS6. The more I think about it, the more I think cs6 was a reason to change from amd to nvidia by apple.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,394
4,908
I know everybody is hoping for a GTX680m.
But this chip is based on a desktop card that needs a 195 watts.
The TDP of 680m is around 100W


But the only other "Kepler" chip nVidia currently has is the GK107.
Which isn't powerful enough for a the high end iMacs.
So Apple has to wait for the GK106 which will be twice as powerful as the GK107 and has an estimated desktop tdp of 150w.

Current gtx660m and gtx670m are still based on older "Fermi" chips and probably will be replaced when the GK106 is ready
660m is GK107. If Apple is waiting for GK107 for the iMac, why wouldn't they take the 7970M, which would be faster?

----------

If apple is moving to Retina iMacs, then they'll need all the GPU horsepower available. Hopefully that'll be nVidia's GTX 680m. The 680m is just being released and it's possible that the GPU isn't yet available in quantities needed.
A retina 27" iMac would require 5120 x 2880 resolution. I don't see panels like these available anytime soon. Or do you want to pay $5000 for you iMac?
 

shokunin

macrumors regular
Jun 7, 2005
218
48
A retina 27" iMac would require 5120 x 2880 resolution. I don't see panels like these available anytime soon. Or do you want to pay $5000 for you iMac?
I don't think we'll see pixel doubled displays of the current 2560x1440 resolution, but rather a doubling of 1920x1080. 3840x2160 seems to middle ground where you could change your display scaling to from 1920x1080 on up.

For web browsing, email, etc I don't need 3840x2160 desktop space, but in photoshop, lightroom, FCP, and other imaging apps those pixels will come in handy. Obviously these apps need to be Retina enabled to pixel double only those elements that need to be.

I know 1080p resolution could be a loss of workspace resolution depending on a an app being Retina enabled or not. As long as apps can control the full resolution, like the revised Retina-optimized FCPX, I'm good with losing some workspace.

Every other 4K display seems be in the 5 figure range, so I'm not sure how or if Apple can get prices down that far.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,394
4,908
I don't think we'll see pixel doubled displays of the current 2560x1440 resolution, but rather a doubling of 1920x1080. 3840x2160 seems to middle ground where you could change your display scaling to from 1920x1080 on up.

For web browsing, email, etc I don't need 3840x2160 desktop space, but in photoshop, lightroom, FCP, and other imaging apps those pixels will come in handy. Obviously these apps need to be Retina enabled to pixel double only those elements that need to be.
I am sure that Apple won't go 3840x2160 because that would mean less usable screen estate and thus step back from current 1440p. Right now, the pixel density of 27" iMac allows for comfortable reading at native resolution and gives you lots of space (which I need for my work). I don't want to lose it. At native 3840x2160, the fonts would be too small, at HiDPI (pixel-doubled) 3840x2160 the fonts would be too big, and at scaled 1440p, the fonts would be too blurry. No, either give me full 5120 x 2880 or keep the 1440p. I am sure that Apple thinks the same way.
 

xgman

macrumors 601
Aug 6, 2007
4,850
653
I would expect the same res screen we have now, at least on the 27" model if they come this year.
Maybe a less glarey screen of some sort.
 
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