So realistically, what can we expect GPU wise this fall?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iemcj, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. iemcj macrumors 6502

    iemcj

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2015
    #1
    I've been seeing a lot of talk about them using a polaris gpu this fall in the new imac, how much of a gaming difference would this make? Last year they made a big fuss about how the skylake processors had 40% better graphics bla bla but ultimately with the m395x we'd get maybe 3-4 fps better in games. Cinebench and other bechmarking software showed about a 10% improvement.

    Is that what we're expecting here? I don't know much about how these polaris gpus are going to compare to the m395x. I'm sure on the low end, they'll crank out the m495x and another 10% in gaming peformance and the divide between gaming rigs and the imac will widen even more. But what about if they go with this polaris setup? Thanks guys!
     
  2. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #2
    The Polaris GPU is totally different -- past updates are no guide. Whether nVidia or AMD, the move to 14/16 nm fabrication will produce significant improvements the like of which have not occurred in a long time, nor will occur again for a while.

    Nobody knows for sure whether Polaris will be used in the iMac 27 updates expected this fall. It seems reasonable it will be. Polaris has about 2x the performance per watt of the current AMD GPUs, and in general we'd expect this to roughly apply to both mobile and desktop parts.

    Apple knows they need to improve this area, but we'll just have to wait and see. If it is only 50% improvement that is a more than we've seen in a long time.
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    People are hoping for a nice dGPU update, but I don't know. Apple always seems to short change us, GPU wise, so I'm a bit hesitant to stick my neck out and say they'll definitely be doing it. There's not much else for them to update the iMacs with, so hopefully we'll see that at the very least
     
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    You do realize that when people talked about 40% GPU increase for Skylake, they were talking Intels integrated GPUs and not dedicated products made by other manufacturers?

    But anyway, the new generation of cards from nVidia and AMD are looking at up to 100% increase, at a lower power use. They are amazing. The biggest speed jump between two generations in many years by far.

    If you are in for a new gaming Mac, it would be foolish not to wait for the updated machines as they will highly likely have these new cards.
     
  5. Sakurambo-kun macrumors 6502

    Sakurambo-kun

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Polaris desktop parts are not targeting high end gaming, they're designed to provide acceptable performance for a low cost. ATI have given up fighting NVidia for the high end, at least for now. Polaris is a 1080p architecture, whereas Pascal is 1440p with a smattering of 4K here and there.

    As for the inevitably crappy notebook Polaris chips Apple will use in their desktops, who knows. The M395 and lower are miserably slow, far slower than equivalent NVidia laptop parts. Quite why Apple uses laptop GPUs in a desktop is a mystery. Cooling and powering a desktop if a total non issue, unless you needlessly box yourself into a corner through poor design choices. Remember too that Mac games are severely hamstrung by their reliance on Apple's 5 year old and poorly optimised OpenGL, which takes a good 25% off the performance of any GPU. Run the same games through bootcamp and Direct X and watch the FPS jump enormously.

    I mostly game on my PS4, but I'm seriously considering a new Windows desktop to replace my iMac as performance is just so terrible in pro 3D apps. Apple know how to choose a good display, but they are utterly clueless when it comes to driving it.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 13, 2016 ---
    Well there's Kaby Lake, USB-C, DDR4, and a switch to a desktop GPU... I'd like to see Apple stick a GTX 1080 into an iMac. Make it fatter, I can't see behind the screen anyway. Thinness on a desktop is the definition of pointless.
     
  6. iMcLovin macrumors 68000

    iMcLovin

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #6
    I guess the point of the iMac is not to make an all-in-one gaming machine. For gamers and 3d artists, a proper windows machine is a better option. For anyone else, mostly the GPU in the iMac is ok. Personally though, I work with 3d, though I primarily work in Photoshop and After Effects - so the GPU bump wont have a huge impact there. But when I work with 3d, I would love to have a more powerful machine. But, OSX is a lot nicer than WIndows imo, though Im used to both, and the iMac is a very nice machine in total. Sadly what I am, and possibly you, is a niche market, someone who wants the best of both worlds. Probably not going to happen, even if apple could make it happen. I think they would prefer a thinner iMac rather than a more powerful one...though I dont understand why.
     
  7. majkom macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #7
    what apple did to its desktop line is so sad.. I do remmeber buying imac in 2010, it was great and well balanced machine, now, if you buy 21incher, you are buying crap:(

    and to OP, I do except only bad and worse updates for deskop line, thats the way apple treats desktops today
     
  8. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #8
    I would love to see the GTX 1080 in an iMac upgrade, but I would be seriously surprised if that happened. Pulling half the power/temp for the same clock would make them have to think. If you're pushing 50% performance on that, you're likely still producing more heat than the iMac is designed to handle. If looking at designed performance on the nVidia, I'd say we'd be lucky to see a 1070 in it, but more realistically a 1060 or 1065 if there will be such a thing. This is contingent on the temps remaining the same across the board. Now if Apple redesigned the cooling system, they could put a 1080 in it...after all, there is already an AIO that has it installed as an option...but it's a $4k+ monster of a monitor.
     
  9. Sakurambo-kun macrumors 6502

    Sakurambo-kun

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    You're talking about the Digital Storm, right? It's impressive, and shows what can be done when you design intelligently. Plus it's upgradeable, you can swap out the GPU.

    I suspect I'll end up back in Windows land before long. OS X has its charms, but ultimately performance is all that matters and there's no arguing with the Windows offering of Vulkan, Direct X 12, and bleeding edge GPUs.
     
  10. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #10
    To many peoples surprise and frustration the iMacs graphics will be yet another incremental update. Just like every year.

    Why would you want more than what the iMac already offers?

    For better gaming on a realitively low response time 60hz monitor that's sold with the worst gaming periphals known to man on an operating system with virtually no quality software support for gaming? Yeah, cram a GTX1080 in there...that makes sense. Lol
     
  11. Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #11
    Yep, the Aura. I would love to turn that into a Mackintosh, but that would be a bit of a pain to keep up to date.
     
  12. phobos macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    #12
    Supposedly Apple will not use Nvidia GPUs, only AMD ones.
    That remains to be seen though.
    I would love to see a more powerful graphics card on the iMac rather than a mobile chip but this is not how Apple thinks.
    Let's see!
     
  13. mpe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2010
    #13
    My expectation for the next refresh (if there will be any such thing this fall) is

    21" and base 27" - Iris Pro from Skylake with e-DRAM
    mid-range 27" - M470X
    high-end option - M485X with perhaps a slightly faster clock speed - 4GB VRAM BTO option

    So I expect one another rather minor refresh.
     
  14. Malus120 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    #14
    Ugh. To get this thread back on track and answer the OP's original question.

    Assuming Apple sticks with AMD, and AMD doesn't magically pull Vega (their high end graphics chip to compete with 1070/1080) forward, we should probably expect RX 480 performance in the Late 2016 iMac (worst case RX 470 level).
    To put that in perspective, take a look at the benchmarks done by Anandtech below.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10540/the-geforce-gtx-1060-founders-edition-asus-strix-review/10

    The M295X/M395X offer roughly equivalent performance to the 7970 (the R9 285 is the closest approximate but is not in those charts), so based on the above we're looking at approximately (in the Witcher 3, GTA 5, Compute) a 36-71% increase in performance depending on the benchmark.

    Unless something changes, are we likely to be getting GTX 1070-1080 level performance in an iMac? Unfortunately, no. Is that disappointing? Yes. But calling what will likely be the largest single increase in iMac GPU performance since 2012, "Incremental," or implying that it's insignificant, is just flat out wrong.
     
  15. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Location:
    Ridgewood, NJ
    #15
    They've been using the best mGPU available (from the company they choose to go with), since the 680m. I don't see why that would change with Polaris.
     
  16. Malus120 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    #16
    This. Right here. If you think Apple is "shortchanging" iMac customers (21" Retina iMac aside) GPU wise, go take a look at the MSRP for those mobile GPUs Apple uses. They're a lot more than comparable desktop parts. Better yet go take a look at what other "All in One" form factor computers offer.
    You can argue with Apple's choice of GPU vendor (I know I would). You can argue that maybe they shouldn't have slimmed the iMac down in 2012 (even though they did so while dramatically increasing GPU performance) so as to maintain thermal headroom. You can argue that there should be an xMac with a PCIE slot so customers can have the option of replacing their GPU. But saying Apple is "shortchanging," 27 iMac customers, is just inaccurate.
    I imagine a lot of current users are either former PC users or just plain not old enough to remember the days when Apple actually DID shortchange iMac customers GPU (and CPU) wise (back in the PowerPC days)
     
  17. Sakurambo-kun macrumors 6502

    Sakurambo-kun

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    It's perfectly possible to stick a 1080 into an all in one - http://www.pcgamer.com/digital-storm-crams-a-10-core-cpu-and-gtx-1080-inside-an-all-in-one/

    Apple should ditch ATI as the first step. I firmly believe that using laptop parts in a desktop is idiotic, but even if they insist on that stupid path than NVidia's offerings would be a huge boost to performance.

    Then fix OpenGL and implement Vulkan.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 15, 2016 ---
    "From the company they chose to go with".

    That's the problem right there. ATI have been behind NVidia for years now.
     
  18. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Location:
    Ridgewood, NJ
    #18
    True, and I prefer NVIDIA. But the original comment was about short changing iMac customers, which isn't really accurate since they go with the #1 from whichever vendor they're using.

    And they are 100% comitted to metal.
     
  19. Sakurambo-kun macrumors 6502

    Sakurambo-kun

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    It's too bad no developer has any interest in Metal. None of the promised support has shown up. Nothing from Adobe, Autodesk or any other big pro app dev. There isn't even a single game on OS X which uses Metal.

    From what I've read Metal is barely at feature parity with OpenGL in OS X Sierra. Remember that OpenGL on the Mac is 5 years out of date... It's a sorry state of affairs.

    Even if Metal was more complete, it's still not as low level as Vulkan or DX12, so game devs will favour those two. Plus who writes for proprietary APIs? (unless it's Direct X, for obvious reasons)
     
  20. inhalexhale1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Location:
    Ridgewood, NJ
    #20
    That's not true about games. Blizzard is using metal and shows performance gains with it over Open GL. You can actually toggle between Open GL and Metal in settings to see the difference.

    Now that's one game (that I know of), and I can't comment on the pro apps you mentioned. But at least it shows interest from one big developer. More should follow.
     
  21. Sakurambo-kun macrumors 6502

    Sakurambo-kun

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    I wasn't aware that blizzard had metal up and running. Interesting that even with metal they still didn't consider it worth making overwatch for OS X then.

    Alarm bells are ringing to be honest. I feel a new PC will be arriving at my place sooner rather than later.
     
  22. iMcLovin, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016

    iMcLovin macrumors 68000

    iMcLovin

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #22
    I think its more reasons for Blizzard not making Overwatch for Mac.

    1. they cant make a direct convert of overwatch, because the game requires more GPU and therefore needs to be optimized for the system, so it would require a proper team doing it.
    2. Even if the maxed out iMacs could handle it, the majority of Mac buyers buy laptops that doesnt handle games very well. Most of them probably just have GPU on the CPU.
    3. THe market for Mac games are low, so game developers doesnt want to put a lot of development cost into games.

    So, even if Apple choose to focus more on the GPU for their high end machines in the future, as long as they focus on consumer low demanding users for their laptops, the market for games will never get any better and fewer developers will bother, because they know they wont cut their losses.

    We would of course wish that Apple would take GPU and gaming more seriously - so we could get best of both worlds. Macs users are a laughing stock for gamers and hardware pushers currently. If you dont see the other beautys of the OS X systems theres really no reason to buy a Mac these days at all. But I doubt the PC market is were Apple wants to invest to gain a bigger market....Its like entering the TV business. Unless you completely re-invent the entire business you will be fighting over breadcrumbs.
     
  23. btrach144 macrumors 65816

    btrach144

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    #23
    NVIDIA is launching their mobile pascal GPUs this week. Apple could release an iMac with a 1070m or 1080m but considering NVIDIA charges a premium for their faster GPUs and Apple is all about making money, I bet they go with AMD and their sub par offering. Bummer!

    I also have been enjoying the rumors that Apple is switching to custom chips in their computers or possibly open sourcing macOS (so that it can run on any PC), thus explaining the long refresh delays to their hardware.
     
  24. iMcLovin, Aug 15, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016

    iMcLovin macrumors 68000

    iMcLovin

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #24

    nvidia 1080m on iMacs would be amazing (from what I read they perform almost as good as the GTX Titan X). I understand apple wants to sell cheaper hardware, but when are willing to pay 4k usd or more for an iMac BTO you should be able to get the best possible hardware they can cram into it. and I would gladly pay the extra dollar so that Apple could get their earnings while still give me a GTX 1080m.

    Sadly though I am hesitant to think that apple will update the imac at all this year. Since they still claim the current model to be "new" on their website....still!!!
     
  25. vapourtrails macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2016
    #25
     

Share This Page