NVIDIA Pascal in 2018 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by aaronhead14, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. aaronhead14 macrumors 6502a

    aaronhead14

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #1
    Now that Apple has officially announced that there will be a modular, upgradeable Mac Pro next year, NVIDIA now has incentive to make Mac drivers for Pascal cards! Even if Apple opts out of working with NVIDIA, users will now be able to upgrade their cards manually. So hopefully NVIDIA takes note of this and starts supporting MacOS again!
    (And hopefully Apple does include NVIDIA Pascal cards in their 2018 Mac Pro!)
     
  2. Rustus Maximus macrumors 6502

    Rustus Maximus

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #2
    I just hope they make it possible to put whatever card you want in. Don't select it for us. Don't have a pre-selected "group to choose from". Just let us make the decision. AMD, Nvidia, whatever we want. Period.
     
  3. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #3
    The few tea leaves seem to indicate that cards may be upgradeable again. However, I wouldn't presume they intend to use Pascal unless the iMac Pro goes in that direction first. To the contrary, nothing yet suggests any move away from AMD. Given the time-frame, Vega it will be, most likely. At least, from the various dubious leaks so far, that could be a very serious contender.

    The big question is how they will handle cards. Go back to a standard form-factor vs. Apple-specific as in the nMP? Allow others (Nvidia) access to make their own "Mac Edition" cards?
     
  4. aaronhead14 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    aaronhead14

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    #4
    This is true. However, Apple just announced that the 2018 Mac Pro will be modular/upgradeable. So that definitely suggests non-proprietary PCI-E, which would be amazing! This means NVIDIA still has incentive to develop drivers for Mac, because consumers can buy their cards and add them to the Mac Pro, just like with the old Mac Pro tower.
     
  5. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #5
    Nvidia has indicated that it basically can't develop for Apple without Apple's help, which has not been forth-coming. So Apple's attitude could change, and it might, but they aren't exactly famous for being open. Given the minimal information, I'd expect Vega to be targetted.
     
  6. Rustus Maximus macrumors 6502

    Rustus Maximus

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #6
    I think they have no option if they truly want to keep the "Mac Pro Crowd" happy. Like it or not CUDA is a necessity for many doing high end video and 3D work. The option has to be there or this will be another non starter. I don't think it's an impossible task, we have several 5,1s running Nvidia 980s in them as I type working happily along.

    Non-proprietary PCI-E, CURRENT, cards with full driver support and cooperation between Apple and the card vendors. Anything less will fail.
     
  7. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Geneva
    #7
    The industry talk says Apple is developing it's own GPUs and storage for all products. As long as those are upgradable then fine. Apple's definition of modular will probably be 'We will supply upgrades'
     
  8. Rustus Maximus macrumors 6502

    Rustus Maximus

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    #8
    We've been there before Soy (AMD 5870 upgrade kits for a jillion dollars)...I just don't think it will work. It didn't before. Parity with our PC workstation brethren or don't bother.
     
  9. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #9
    Very different. When you can make and supply your own upgrades there's no 3rd party supplier costs to pass on to consumers. Shareholders also benefit.
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #10
    Yeah, I agree with this. "Modular" and "Upgradable" do not automatically mean PCIe. I doubt Apple will ever go back to industry standard PCIe slots, although I sincerely hope they do.
     
  11. Rustus Maximus macrumors 6502

    Rustus Maximus

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #11
    If they can produce discrete GPUs capable of beating the best offerings from Nvidia and AMD and price similarly then great. I don't have that much trust in Apple anymore.
     
  12. aaronhead14 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    aaronhead14

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    Mar 9, 2009
    #12
    I REALLY hope they do. If Apple's goal is really to cater more to professionals, like it seems, then non-proprietary connectors are a must, both internally and externally.
     
  13. jjjoseph macrumors 6502

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    Sep 16, 2013
    #13
    Apple's version of professional is very different than the rest of the world's. I think Apple would only help create a driver for the Pascal GPU if it was used in Apple computers. A Nvidia GPU in an Apple computer will never happen again. Apple is all too happy selling us crappy overpriced AMD GPU's.
     
  14. ksz macrumors 68000

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    San Jose, CA
    #14
    Just to be very clear, Apple has not stated that the all-new Mac Pro will debut in 2018. They were very careful to avoid committing to any release time frame. All they said was "sometime after 2017." So although I, too, hope for a 2018 release, let's not start believing that 2018 is an Apple commitment -- it is not.
     
  15. joebclash macrumors regular

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    Jun 14, 2016
    #15
    The next mac pro better support pcie. People need pcie for other things besides gpu. Many people including myself have huge investments in protools hdx cards. Please make pcie available for me...
     
  16. aaronhead14 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    aaronhead14

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    #16
    From the Techcrunch article: "a new Mac Pro from scratch means that the new machine will not be arriving this year, and is instead slated to appear some time next year."

    Plus, I really doubt Apple would pre-announce a product if it were more than a year away.
     
  17. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #17
    It doesn't have to 'beat' anyone. It just has to be very good with great optimisation and integration with the applications. Some hedge fund managers are speculating the GPU Apple is developing is also going to be a localised brain for Siri so that it doesn't all take place in the cloud.

    If you look at the OpenGL/Metal performance per watt that Apple has been able to achieve with their A series chips, it's higher than AMD or Nvidia. The iPad Pro was able to match the Radeon M370X in the 2015 MBP.

    http://barefeats.com/ipadpro2.html

    If they scale that up to MBP, iMac and MP level then they don't need a third party GPU.

    https://www.wired.com/2017/04/apples-making-gpu-control-destiny/
     
  18. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #18
    Whenever it is, it's too far away for me. I've already moved almost everything I do to Windows on my cMP. Just two days ago I started looking at PC workstations.

    Also, I need slots and bays. I can come back if the mMP has slots and bays, but I doubt that's what they will do. "Modular" sounds to me like a proprietary design with some proprietary stack-on bits that can be upgraded from time to time with new proprietary bits from Apple. That will be great for a lot of people who just want upgrades of any kind, but what I personally want are industry standard slots and bays.

    But hey, never say never. Even without slots and bays if it is sufficiently awesome, reasonably competitive, and it is actually supported with upgrades over time, I could see myself picking one up some day.
     
  19. jeff7117 macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2009
    #19
    Doubtful this nnMP will use off the shelf parts for the GPU as they are very likely to use TB3 ports for display.

    I would love to be wrong but it seems very un-Apple to run standard GPU's with HDMI or display port connections when their pro laptop supports external displays over TB3.

    They're not gonna run a separate card for TB3 either.
     
  20. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    The Peninsula
    #20
    Schiller mentioned "There’s scientists, engineers, architects..."

    I think that this hints that they might be realizing that some pros do depend on Nvidia.
     
  21. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 16, 2009
    #21
    Much harder said than done on the desktop. nVidia and AMD/Ati have decades of experience designing high end GPUs and have the IP portfolio to prove it.
     
  22. Asgorath macrumors 68000

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    Mar 30, 2012
    #22
    I'd hardly call GFXBench Manhattan a strenuous graphics test for a desktop-class graphics card. Let me know when the A* chips can beat AMD/NVIDIA at the latest 3DMark test like Fire Strike or Time Spy, which actually use modern rendering techniques. Manhattan looks like games we had back in the early 2000s.
     
  23. ksz macrumors 68000

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    Oct 28, 2003
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    San Jose, CA
    #23
    Quite a few blogs are suggesting a 2018 release, but they are merely suggesting. None of the blogs has said that Apple committed to a release in 2018.
     
  24. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #24
    I always wonder why Nvidia can release the Maxwell driver on their own, but not the Pascal driver. If they can't finish the driver without Apple's help, then there should be no new driver for the new OS, but not no driver for the new card. Because Nvidia know everything about the new card, that can never be the limiting factor. If the limiting factor is coming from Apple. e.g. they need to know some key element in the OS in order to create the driver, then this rule will also apply to any other Nvidia GPU, but not only Pascal GPU.

    With this mMP news, everything make more sense now. If they were negotiating with Apple, there is no point to release the new driver and screw up the talk. However, it may also means until the mMP release, there may be no support for any Nvidia card that beyond Maxwell.
     
  25. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #25
    Talk about Apple creating their own GPU's is, as far as I'm aware, limited to the iPhone. The reason for that is that those GPU's are actually implemented on the same silicon as Apple's own IP, and Apple wants complete control over chips in the iPhone. I've heard nothing about Apple's interest in creating their own desktop GPU's. Even laptop GPU's are unlikely to ever be custom Apple parts, at least until Apple moves to ARM or something.

    Same goes for storage. About the only reason Apple came up with their own M.2-style (but incompatible) flash memory is because nothing much with similar performance existed at the time. I'd certainly hope they move to standard technologies for this rather than continuing down their proprietary path.

    As someone who uses both Nvidia (on Linux) and AMD (on a cMP), I'd certainly welcome both options in as open a way as possible. But we're a long, long way away from knowing what they have in mind (if they even know yet). Indeed, we probably won't here another single iota of information until the reveal.
     

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