When will MacBook Pro and MacBook have Nvidia GPU again?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by hajime, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. hajime, Aug 3, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017

    hajime macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
  2. Patcell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    #2
    No way to guess if/ when they will switch back to NVIDIA GPUs. Apple seems to be heavily invested in AMD for GPUs recently. Even the iMac Pro to be released in December will include AMD's Vega GPU architecture. Not likely they will cycle back to NVIDIA anytime in the foreseeable future.

    if you NEED to use macOS and you NEED CUDA acceleration, I would suggest a Mac with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity and an eGPU with an NVIDIA card.
     
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #3
    Thanks. In the case of using eGPU, does it matter whether I buy MacBook, MacBook Pro 2017 13" or MacBook Pro 2017 15"?

    It seems that some forum users can get eGPU to work while others can't.
     
  4. Patcell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    #4
    The upcoming macOS High Sierra - to be released this fall - includes support for external graphics. Essentially plug-and-play. This support is also included in the currently available public beta of macOS High Sierra.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 3, 2017 ---
    The MacBook will not support an eGPU as it's one port is limited to USB 3.1 gen 2 and does NOT support Thunderbolt 3. Either the 13" or 15" MacBook Pro models will work once High Sierra is installed for native eGPU support. 15" may be a better option as it uses a quad-core CPU witch would go a long way to eliminate CPU bottleneck depending on what exactly you are looking to do...
     
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #5
    Everything being equal, one with discrete GPU on the motherboard and the other with an eGPU. Will the performance be the same?
     
  6. htc fan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Ottawa
    #6
    No you lose a bit of performance using egpu cause it's not using pcie slot...about 20%
     
  7. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #7
    Not any time soon. Seek a solution elsewhere, unfortunately.
     
  8. skaertus macrumors 68030

    skaertus

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Location:
    Brazil
    #8
    We can never know when the 15-inch MacBook Pro may have NVIDIA GPUs again. As for the 12-inch MacBook and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the answer is probably never.
     
  9. Patcell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    #9
    As already stated, there is a performance decrease of about 10-20% depending on the GPU in the eGPU box and the workload applied. The degradation in performance is because Thunderbolt 3 only has 4 PCIe lanes, whereas a typical laptop GPU is connected to the CPU via 8 PCIe lanes. A desktop card is usually 16 PCIe lanes.

    Even so, an external GPU connected via Thunderbolt 3 can dramatically increase performance over any of the GPUs in the 15" MacBook Pro (depending of course on the GPU selected). And an NVIDIA card connected in such a fashion would enable CUDA acceleration.
     
  10. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #10
    What is the reason for Apple to use ATI rather than Nvidia? Technical reason or for profit?

    As I recall, the company keeps switching between the two over the years.
     
  11. deadworlds macrumors 6502a

    deadworlds

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Location:
    Citrus Heights,CA
    #11
    Probably a variety of factors: cost, heat output, power draw, availability, driver support etc.
     
  12. Patcell macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Location:
    Bergen County, NJ
    #12
    I imagine in the past the primary reason was related to whichever company gave the best deal. In the recent MacBook Pros, however, there may be another reason... Apple wanted the 15" Pros to be able to drive 2 of their LG UltraFine 5K displays. Currently the only way to to that is via MST (multi-stream transport), meaning that each 5K display is two images being seamlessly stitched together. This means that when powering two 5K displays plus the internal display, your GPU is outputting 5 monitor signals, which AMD Polaris supports. NVIDIA Pascal, on the other hand, only supports 4 display outputs. It would not be possible for the 15" Pro to drive two 5K displays plus the built-in monitor with any of NVIDIA's current offerings.

    Also, FinalCut Pro tends to run very well on AMD GPUs, but that is just likely optimization on the software level. Meaning that Apple could optimize for NVIDIA GPUs if they so desired...

    Again, nobody knows what the future will hold, but it looks like AMD may be around for a while at the moment.
     
  13. Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #13
    I'm pretty sure the 2011 15" MBP debacle had something to do with it.
     
  14. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #14

    Thanks for the info. I recall that many many years ago, Nvidia was considered to be able to write better driver than ATI for the Mac.

    Too bad this is happening...
     
  15. Sterkenburg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #15
    Simply put, we don't know, unfortunately Apple and Nvidia don't get along very well as companies. I also use CUDA to accelerate computations, so I can understand your frustration. As a matter of fact, right now the only solution on the mac OS side is eGPU with High Sierra (which entails spending money for an external enclosure and taking a slight performance hit).
     
  16. huanbrother macrumors newbie

    huanbrother

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    CHINA
    #16
    Apparently, GTX 10 series chips has higher performance per watt and overall performance than the AMD counterparts. Would love to see future MacBook Pro 13 use Nvidia cards like the MX150.
     
  17. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #17
    That's "absolute maximum possible performance" decrease of 20%. "Real world" will be much smaller.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 5, 2017 ---
    As others have said, nobody really knows other than Apple. It depends largely on the high-level relationship between Apple and nVidia.

    MacBook won't ever have a discrete GPU internally. Simply not enough space on the motherboard. And the current MacBook can't do an external GPU, either, since it only has USB, not Thunderbolt 3. (In a year or two when Intel releases newer CPUs that have Thunderbolt support in the CPU/chipset without needing an external chip, I imagine the MacBook will get Thunderbolt support.)

    For current-vs-prior MacBook Pro, the current design with Thunderbolt 3 will be the best for eGPU use, (Thunderbolt 3 has as much bandwidth as a PCI Express 1.0 x16 slot, such as on the first few generations of Mac Pro.) But prior styles (up to 2015) with Thunderbolt/Thunderbolt 2 would theoretically still work, just with slightly reduced performance.

    Lastly, what do you *need* CUDA support for? There are probably perfectly good alternatives that support OpenCL (which runs on AMD GPUs just fine, as well as even running with less acceleration on Intel integrated.)
     
  18. hajime thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #18
    Yes indeed. Along with the less desirable keyboard, lack of Nvidia GPU, requirement of extra cable/adapters, removable of magsafe, lack of rose pink (I am getting tired of the silver case after using MBPs all these years and space gray is kind of too dark for my taste), raised price, old DDR3 RAM, unable to upgrade SSD myself, I wonder if I should invest on the MBP 2017 15". My MBP 2010 17" is not dead yet but it is heavy. That is why I consider the MacBook or MacBook Pro 13" 2017 or just buy a Windows ultraportable and build use the money to build a powerful workstation.
     

Share This Page