Radeon 7970 in Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by slughead, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #1
    So the 7970, all models, were immediately sold out on New Egg today. It looks like one of the best, if not most expensive, cards on the market.

    Just wondering if it'll work with the Mac Pro.
     
  2. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #3
    lol, there are not drivers. more like mentions and references.

    card will work at 1024x768 no QECI until at least 10.7.4.
     
  3. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #4
    What about the fact that this is a PCIe 3.0 card running in a PCIe 2.0 slot, won't everyone be paying for performance they won't see until its running int a PCIe 3.0 slot?
     
  4. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #5
    cards don't saturate 2.0 yet, for normal use.


    maybe if you get 3 and run crossfire+heavy data applications, the 2.0 data link will be bottlenecking. by 1-5%.
     
  5. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #6
    I seriously doubt that will matter at all, but benchmarks will eventually shed light on this.

    As a Snow Leopard user, I am wondering if Apple will provide 7000 series drivers for Snow Leopard, or if the Lion drivers will work in Snow Leopard.
     
  6. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #7
    no to both
     
  7. wafl iron macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    #8
    Apple's qa / dev cycle is always aimed at the next release. Nothing new ever goes in older releases unless it is needed for an upgrade path from one major release to the next (think 10.6.8 (supplemental) to 10.7.0). The only thing that goes in older major releases are security patches. This makes it a lot
    easier to support.

    You and I and all average apple customers have no leverage to get apple to back port fixes into SL. The only thing that is gonna make apple back port a fix/driver to SL is if a multi million dollar account demanded it.

    Can you think of any? i can't :confused:
     
  8. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #9
    The old arch didn't saturate 2.0. This is a new arch. For example, old arch didn't have unified memory addressing. New one does. If data being addressed in main RAM it isn't going to be a 1-3% penalty you are paying.
     
  9. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #10
    Oops. Didn't read properly.
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #11
    Thanks for the answer. I suppose I see a Lion in my future.
     
  11. slughead thread starter macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #12
    So I guess the references don't suggest any compatibility until x.4? But you think they will have compatibility someday?
     
  12. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #13
    well. here's my thoughts on this

    The references found (by netkas btw) are from beta 10.7.3 drivers. They seem to be early addition of new support (addition of "tahiti" identifiers function calls), not enough to run cards from what I can tell.

    Apple has previously, afaik, not ever added a significant GPU driver update to a current beta OSX version. That is, the support in 10.7.3 beta will likely not be increased in some 10.7.3 beta build 2 etc. It won't happen until the next version, 10.7.4 beta.

    Now in 10.7.4 beta we might be starting to see support. Perhaps we will be able to pull these drivers and get early support in 10.7.3.

    We also don't know how 7000 series will behave in terms of EFI. 4870 and 5870 had to be flashed to boot at all, 6870 suddenly started booting without flash (but no bootscreen).

    So when can someone be certain that support for 7000 series will be implemented in OSX? Well that's easy. In time for it being released in Mac computers ofc. I strongly believe Mac Pro 2012 will use 7000 series, mainly because a. It's released and b. 6000 series are not manufactured anymore.
     
  13. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #14
    If they release this card inside a new Mac Pro, then I would expect a "special" build of whatever OS ver we happen to be at at that time with the driver inside that.
     
  14. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #15
    Total conjecture:
    The tahiti refs and drivers are probably only for 78xx, 7950 or worse yet for iMac mobile. This is Apple. They will never give you an upgrade that competes with current PC offerings. I would not expect a 7970 for a year or so officially. Everyone will start hacking once the basic lower end 7xxx drivers are set.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #16
    One thing to keep in mind is that ATI handles writing the Mac drivers. What ATI has running could be entirely different than what Apple plans to sell.

    Not saying we won't see a 7970, but ATI getting a 7970 running would be an important first step for them internally to support other 7000 series cards.
     
  16. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #17
    Do you have any links to back this up? I get such conflicting info. Both from Adobe during the HW acceleration debacle (like it is in the past. lol) They say Apple uses proprietary API's. So AMD ships bare drivers and Apple wraps them up in propriety? Same for Nvidia. Why do HW companies complain about Apples drivers on their products then? The lack of Apple cooperation that would not be needed if other SW vendors can just get the source code from the HW manufacturers and get us all better performance. Sorry for the grilling but if you have actual knowledge of this it would be great to hear.
     
  17. goMac, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012

    goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #18
    I have first hand sources from both ends.

    There is a dance both sides do. Apple writes the OpenGL stack, the companies write the drivers, problems usually occur somewhere in the middle, and they trade blame.

    You have to remember, ATI and NVidia write the drivers, but Apple has to write the APIs to let developers use those drivers. ATI and NVidia can ship H.264 acceleration in their driver, but it doesn't do much good if Apple doesn't create a way for developers to talk to it that's neutral between the two card types.

    Another good example is CUDA. NVidia ships a CUDA driver and API entirely independently of Apple. In since CUDA only works on NVidia cards, they don't need to rely on Apple to provide a vendor neutral API. OpenCL, in the meantime, requires the driver component from ATI and NVidia and the API component from Apple in since developers need a common API between the two cards.

    Disclaimer: I know nothing specific at all about Mac support for the 7970.
     
  18. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #19
    If Apple doesn't intend to buy 7970s ( they didn't buy into 5970's ) then this would be a waste of time. The 77xx and 78xx models seem like much more likely candidates that Apple is going to select.

    Internally AMD should have access to those models before they go into commercial release. Getting the 7970 running first because it is released commercially first isn't necessarily true.
     
  19. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #20
    5970 is a totally different story because its a 2 GPU on 1 card. and it made alot of noise.

    apple has no point in not choosing 7970. don't get confused by AMD's new device numbers.
     
  20. goMac, Jan 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012

    goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #21
    Again, I know nothing about the 7970 either way, but I do know there have been cards ATI has worked on for the Mac Pro that were not picked up by Apple.

    ATI doesn't necessarily know Apple's release schedule. They work ahead of Apple so they have something to offer when Apple does update, but Apple tends to only release new GPUs when they release a new machine, which doesn't always work if you look at ATI's and Intel's release schedules.

    Every so often this results in ATI going to market with a card on their own. It also would not surprise me if the recent BIOS card workarounds were added intentionally by ATI as a protest of Apple's lack of picking up new GPUs.

    All this said, like Cindori, I would expect that if the Mac Pro is updated in the near future the 7970 is the obvious choice.
     
  21. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #22
    Interesting point.

    So if there is a new MP this year, it will use the 6000 series? But the 6870 is a little slower than the 5870, so that's not really an upgrade. So would it include the same cards as they do now? That's a bit embarrassing!
     
  22. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #23
    I don't buy it. If ATI is planning to do the 7000 series in any Mac, the most logical starting point would be getting the 7970 working first. The other cards don't even exist yet.

    That said, while ATI is more than likely working on the 7970, it's release could be entirely dependent on Apple updating the Mac Pro. I don't think ATI even knows what Apple's Mac Pro plans are, besides getting ready for a possible upgrade. Apple tends to keep partners in the dark.
     
  23. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #24
    Aren't all the new 7xxx series cards that have been released PC cards? Has there been any indication that Mac cards are going to even be released? Or am I missing something? I agree that it would be silly for Apple to be testing drivers for these cards if there weren't going to be Mac versions.
     
  24. JordanNZ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #25
    This isn't possible.. Because 'tahiti' refers only to the 7900 series desktop cards. The 7800 series and the mobility series will have a different name.

    Why would they wait a year when the 7970 is out now, and the mac pro is well overdue for a refresh?
     

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