What is the likelihood of an iMac with 2 GPUs within the next year?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by beowulf359, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. beowulf359 macrumors newbie


    Jan 15, 2014
    Given Apple's move with the Mac Pro to a default dual-GPU configuration, is there any chance that we'll soon see an iMac with dual mobile GPUs?

    While the iMac makes a great general purpose computer, it's missing desktop GPU performance which is important to some users (like myself); having dual GPUs with SLI/Crossfire support for gaming in addition to OpenCL support seems like a win/win for its product line.

    An iMac like this would have fewer "professional" options like Xeon CPUs and desktop GPUs, but might make the gap between the different desktop product lines a little softer ($4,000 for a top-end iMac with included screen vs $5,500 for a nice Mac Pro without a monitor).

    I realize that Mac OS doesn't support SLI/Corssfire for gaming today, but that support could be added in a future OS update (easily?).
  2. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    My guess, given the current design of the machine, is probably quite low. I don't see how they could put in a sufficient cooling system.

    Now, could they use one D300-type GPU? Perhaps...
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    The speed of the high end iMac already cannibalizes low level Pros as it is (especially photograhy)... I really can't see them really cutting into the low end "Pro" market but adding dual GPU's. Further the physical size wouldn't allow for the air flow/cooling necessary. They would also have to add a larger power supply.

    You are more likely to next year's iMac have TB2 which would allow for more bandwidth and thus better performance from external GPU setups.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    [[ What is the likelihood of an iMac with 2 GPUs within the next year? ]]

    My guess is: "0".

    They don't want to position the iMac in direct competition with the new Mac Pro.
  5. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    iMac no chance of dual GPUs, Mac Pro has em though. Sounds like an excellent gaming rig.
  6. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    The point of twin gpu at this point is 4k - a specialty given how few displays there currently are. If at the point in the future when 4k is ubiquitous, a single gpu supports it, twin gpu would again be a specialty.
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Somewhere between slim and none. And slim was last seen riding out of town. In other words, not likely at all.
  8. beowulf359 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 15, 2014
    Most of the responses in this thread could be considered short-sighted given that almost all features found in today's iMac were once reserved for more specialized hardware (multiple cores/CPUs, 64-bit addressable memory, SSDs, PCI-Express busses, 1440p resolution for the 27" display, etc).

    The one technical argument posed that has some weight to it is that adding a second mobile GPU to the existing iMac would increase the demands of the power supply by about 122 watts. Given that reports of the existing model runs quite cool when in use, I'm not sure if heat would actually be a problem or not. I'm also not sure how much extra heat would be generated by using a power supply with say, an additional 150 watts. Maybe that 150 extra watts is enough to disqualify the idea based on today's technology, but that doesn't mean things won't change in the future.

    Another thing to consider is that once the iPad went retina, it basically had 4 GPUs and 2 GPU cores to handle the load of all the additional pixels that needed pushing, in addition to the standard requirements of the OS and software. ElectronGuru points out that GPUs are still increasing significantly in performance, but won't they eventually hit a similar wall that CPUs are struggling with today? I know my question was qualified by "within the next year", but I have to wonder if this won't turn out to be the long term strategy from a hardware engineering perspective.


    Given that we're talking about mobile GPUs instead of workstation-class GPUs, in addition to the limited processor options (maxed at only 4 cores instead of 12), lack of ECC memory, and a few other things I'm probably forgetting, I'm not sure that dual GPUs in an iMac would make it more attractive to the target audience of the Mac Pro.
  9. CH12671 macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2013
    Southern US
    No, the point is openCl. And as more and more openCl programs are written, more demand will be there. Dual workstation class gpu's? No way, never. Not even a single workstation gpu. But dual mobile gpu's? Yup. RMBP already has a model with dual cards.....iMac will be next.
  10. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    You asked for an opinion, and all the responses you got pointed to No. Yes, things might change 5 to 10 years down the road, but you asked the likelihood for next year, which has a .01% of happening. No need to get upset because you didn't get the answer you wanted to hear.
  11. Steve121178 macrumors 601


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    The iMac is not positioned as a graphical powerhouse, so I'd say no chance.

    Very high chance of an Nvidia 8xx part on the next refresh though.
  12. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    It's not really dual cards in the rMBP.

    The Intel integrated graphics is built in to the CPU processor die, so it's there regardless of whether or not Apple chooses to use it. Then for the upper models there's a separate mobile GPU - thus the two graphics options.

    But it's not the same as having two mobile GPU chips on board.
  13. Orr macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2013
    Overwhelmingly this. Not to mention only the high-end version of the current 15" iteration includes the dGPU (which isn't even an option for the base model). All signs point to the next generation rMBP models dropping dGPU altogether in favor of purely integrated graphics.
  14. Mac32 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2010
    I would love to have a dual GPU-setup in the next iMac, but I just can't see it happens with the present form factor. Hopefully the next generation Nvidia GPU will deliver a proper performance boost for those of us who like to game, but not using two different computer systems - one for gaming, one for work.
  15. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    The tricky thing is that even if the new GPU's will be more powerful, the new games will be even more demanding. The mobile GPU will need to catch up to the desktop GPU market and I don't see that happening as soon as the next iMac..

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