The next Mac Pro GPU?

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
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PowerColor has provided a few new pictures depicting its Radeon HD 5970 Eyefinity 12 graphics card which boasts two Cypress 40nm GPUs and 12 (twelve) mini DisplayPort outputs, enabling a massive 12-monitor setup for gaming and serious bragging rights.

PowerColor's upcoming Eyefinity monster features a 2x256-bit memory interface backed by 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM, 3200 Stream Processors, DirectX 11 and Quad CrossFire support, and takes up three slots when utilized 'in full'. If you don't want to connect more than six monitors to the HD 5970 Eyefinity 12 then there's the option to remove the daughter card with six outputs that's at the rear.

PowerColor has not revealed the card's clocks or pricing but that's probably because it is preparing a Computex (June 1-5) launch.
:eek:

link
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
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YIKES! that thing's crazy, but ... :D :D For some strange reason, "Coming Soon to a monitor wall near you" comes to mind as part of the advertising campaign. :p

As per showing up in a Mac, I doubt it, given Apple's reluctance to add support. Besides, I'd hate to see the price on that thing on the PC side, let alone what would happen if it were to appear as a Mac edition. :eek: ;)
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
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I'm expecting cards like the ATI FirePro V7800.

I wonder when Apple will figure out how to support cards like this.
I doubt Apple will use workstation graphics. Lately they've been using Radeons and GeForces, not Quadros or FirePros. Maybe people just aren't aware of workstation GPUs as discussion is always about normal desktop GPUs like ATI 5870
 

-SD-

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2009
343
1
Peterborough, UK
It's quite shocking that a 'Pro' workstation currently only has the option of a Quadro FX4800 as a high-end GPU.

Realistically the Mac Pro needs on option of FirePro V7800, V5800 and a decent high-end Radeon like a HD5870. The FirePros feature DisplayPort as standard, unlike the Quadro, so at least they work with Cinema Displays.

:apple:
 

Topper

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2007
1,186
0
.
I am not greedy.
All I want is this:

HIS Radeon HD 5970 (Hemlock) 2GB 512 (256 x 2)-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Dual GPU Onboard CrossFire Video Card w/ Eyefinity
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
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It's quite shocking that a 'Pro' workstation currently only has the option of a Quadro FX4800 as a high-end GPU.

Realistically the Mac Pro needs on option of FirePro V7800, V5800 and a decent high-end Radeon like a HD5870. The FirePros feature DisplayPort as standard, unlike the Quadro, so at least they work with Cinema Displays.

:apple:

It's not really that shocking. The major difference between consumer cards and workstation cards are optimised drivers for specific applications, more stable drivers and high quality support direct from Nvidia and AMD and certification. As Apple can dictate the quality level of drivers and support for the cards they supply and all their cards are easily certified for Mac applications there is no reason to offer expensive workstation card versions other than for those who want to run them in another OS.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
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It's not really that shocking. The major difference between consumer cards and workstation cards are optimised drivers for specific applications, more stable drivers and high quality support direct from Nvidia and AMD and certification. As Apple can dictate the quality level of drivers and support for the cards they supply and all their cards are easily certified for Mac applications there is no reason to offer expensive workstation card versions other than for those who want to run them in another OS.
Don't forget the fact that the professional cards typically have more memory than their consumer counterparts though (same GPU). It can make a difference, particularly with card optimized applications.
 

HSJR

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2009
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I am wondering; will we see it at the MP?? The ATI 5th series is about to complete its first year since it has released and we could not see any trace of it in MP so far; expect RUMORS and hopes; what make you so sure that we may see something like that in MP? :mad:
 

Pressure

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May 30, 2006
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I am wondering; will we see it at the MP?? The ATI 5th series is about to complete its first year since it has released and we could not see any trace of it in MP so far; expect RUMORS and hopes; what make you so sure that we may see something like that in MP? :mad:
Because technology always moves forward?
 

apolloa

macrumors G5
Oct 21, 2008
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Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
I'm expecting cards like the ATI FirePro V7800.

I wonder when Apple will figure out how to support cards like this.
I would fully expect to see a Fire GL option and Quadro options. Apple have offered both I think before, I know they only stopped the Quadro option last year.
If they don't offer these pro cards in there pro machine again then you know which direction it's heading....... of a very large cliff!!
 

Hellhammer

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Dec 10, 2008
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I would fully expect to see a Fire GL option and Quadro options. Apple have offered both I think before, I know they only stopped the Quadro option last year.
If they don't offer these pro cards in there pro machine again then you know which direction it's heading....... of a very large cliff!!
Mac Pro has never had an option for ATI Fire card, first and second gen had option for Quadro FX 4500 (1st gen) and FX 5600 (2nd gen). Apple is still selling the FX 5600 but it's not an option for current Mac Pro unless you buy it separately.

I think the biggest reason why Apple doesn't use workstation graphics are their popularity, most people have no idea about them as people just talk about Radeons and GeForces.
 

Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
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I am wondering; will we see it at the MP?? The ATI 5th series is about to complete its first year since it has released and we could not see any trace of it in MP so far; expect RUMORS and hopes; what make you so sure that we may see something like that in MP? :mad:
If by a year you mean eight months then yes. :p

Apple typically releases new GPUs with a new Mac Pro. Assuming they follow their normal pattern, I think the next generation will have a 5-series as the low end and an NVIDIA card for the high end.
 

HSJR

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2009
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Because technology always moves forward?
Yup! And GPU update in MP runs as fast as turtle! :p :p


If by a year you mean eight months then yes. :p

Apple typically releases new GPUs with a new Mac Pro. Assuming they follow their normal pattern, I think the next generation will have a 5-series as the low end and an NVIDIA card for the high end.
ATI cards outperform nvidia in most applications, I don't see any reason why they won't choose High end card from ATI to be placed on next generation MP; off course I mean the ATI 5870. :D

at the end I am really surprised with length of ATI 5970; I am wondering if apple will launch a new design for MP to support such Graphic card.
 

Mackilroy

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Jun 29, 2006
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ATI cards outperform nvidia in most applications, I don't see any reason why they won't choose High end card from ATI to be placed on next generation MP; off course I mean the ATI 5870. :D.
If you look at Apple's past releases of GPUs, they switch manufacturers every generation. x1900, 8800 GT, 4870. Doesn't mean they can't break the pattern, but so far they haven't.
 

Sun Baked

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May 19, 2002
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If you look at Apple's past releases of GPUs, they switch manufacturers every generation. x1900, 8800 GT, 4870. Doesn't mean they can't break the pattern, but so far they haven't.
If they break it, it'll likely be to Apple spending less money on R&D writing drivers than they had in the past ... so it would be a card similar to the iMac card or the GPU an evolution of the 4870 to limit driver changes.

Can still see a Nvidia 320M card in the low end for some reason, which might mean sharing the driver for the MacBook, education iMac, and low energy 4 slot capable card on Mac Pro.
 

Umbongo

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Sep 14, 2006
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If you look at Apple's past releases of GPUs, they switch manufacturers every generation. x1900, 8800 GT, 4870. Doesn't mean they can't break the pattern, but so far they haven't.
Which puts the GeForce GTX 470 as the likely candidate based on their past behaviour. I'm sure there will be a lot of complaining on here if that happens, despite it being a decent graphics card.
 

Mackilroy

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Jun 29, 2006
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Which puts the GeForce GTX 470 as the likely candidate based on their past behaviour. I'm sure there will be a lot of complaining on here if that happens, despite it being a decent graphics card.
Indeed. Here's hoping they surprise us (in a good way) this year.

Sun Baked: is there even a desktop variant of that chip? As far as I know NVIDIA only releases 300-series GPUs to OEMs, and while Apple would qualify there, it doesn't make much sense to me.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
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Sun Baked: is there even a desktop variant of that chip? As far as I know NVIDIA only releases 300-series GPUs to OEMs, and while Apple would qualify there, it doesn't make much sense to me.
Just that people have suspected Apple would switch to a laptop chip-based card at some point for the Mac Pro's entry level card, to both keep it within the 4 slot energy spec, and to reduce the number of drivers in use.

Since there is a chance that the education iMac "might" show with this GPU as the desktop version of the MacBook, it is an outside possibility. aka, continue to use downclocked desktop chips in the low energy card or switch to something you are already using in the notebooks.
 

MacVidCards

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Nov 17, 2008
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The next Hi-End GPU is going to be a 5870....i'll eat my hat if I'm wrong. Fermi has not been in existence long enough for Apple to have done needed driver work. Plus, while MOST 5xxx series ATI cards have aDisplay Port already on them....Fermi has been Dual DVI. DP and MDP are pin for pin the same, just different sizes. Apple would need to spend FAR less money developing their own 5870 than the Nvidia option. Entry level likely to be something that can run same drivers as those 3xx series Nvidia cards in Macbooks.
 

HSJR

macrumors member
Mar 26, 2009
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If you look at Apple's past releases of GPUs, they switch manufacturers every generation. x1900, 8800 GT, 4870. Doesn't mean they can't break the pattern, but so far they haven't.
interesting; so it isn't related to GPU benchmark or marketing. Then I have to wait for the next cycle! when ATI is placed as high end card.. :confused:
 

Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
3,614
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The next Hi-End GPU is going to be a 5870....i'll eat my hat if I'm wrong.
Make sure to take a photo of this if you are. If you're not, have someone bake you a cake that looks like a hat. :)

(And honestly, I'd rather have a 5870 over a GTX 470 or 480 any day)