Why didn't Apple update the GPU?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bottleneck, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. bottleneck macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2012
    How hard can it be to fully support 2012 GPU in a 2010 Mac Pro?
    How hard can it be to fully support GTX5xx and AMD 69xx in 2012 at least?

    Do I miss something or is it just the slap in your face Apple attitude?

    Why couldn't they tell the Pro community: "We wait for the 2013 Ivy Bridge Dual Xeon CPUs for a major redesign. Until then we upspec and lower the prices on the old Mac Pros and support as much as we can on the old platform."

    Can someone enlight me?
  2. Litany macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2012
    They didn't update the GPU because they didn't update the MacPro. All they did is change what CPUs are offered.

    Basically the speed bump/price drop they forgot to do last year.
  3. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    You really need to go through the posts in here from the last 24 hours. Try to ignore the few apologist/fanboy comments peppered throughout.
  4. bottleneck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2012
    Speed bump / price drop is a hardly noticable. They could have bumped the GPU? Why didn't they.
  5. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    The Mac Pro team thought about upgrading it for two years, eventually they said, "Meh", wacked on a "New" label, slapped themselves on the back and went for afternoon beers.
  6. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    It is possible, just not the way you might want.

    Next update of Lion should support GTX6xx cards from now on. I posted about this today. GTX680 running in my 5,1.

    Current Lion can run GTX5xx cards beautifully, even able to run Apple LED displays. The GTX570 2.5 GB is making CS6 a wonderful thing IN OSX.

    Things are never as simple as we might wish but the cards work. Nvidia is picking up the slack to the extent that they can.
  7. mim macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2003
    flesh, melbourne.... heart, london
    This is kind of the reason. What do we know?

    - Apple doesn't like carrying more than minimal parts;
    - decent gfx options are available cheaply from your computer shop down the road;
    - lots of macpro buyers don't need much from a gfx card at all.

    So they put the cheapest card they can in as stock, provide 2 outrageous options for customers who need some kind of software support certification, and leave the rest to grab cheap power as and when they want from someone else.

    I think it's like the memory issue. Apple don't really want you to buy memory from them...they don't want to stock and manage all those parts. So they charge stupid amounts for it, so most people buy and install themselves.

    I don't agree or support this, but from Apple's point of view I guess it makes sense.
  8. lampliter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2008
    Damn. I came in here looking for a funny punch line to Why didn`t apple update the GPU.:D You know, like Why did`nt the chicken cross the road. Get it. Oh never mind.;)
  9. Torrijos macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2006
    With what?
    AMD and Nvidia, officially supported cards for the Mac platform, haven't changed in YEARS! The fact is the big GPUs makers don't really care about Mac Workstation, otherwise they would have sold cards compatible with every new generation. It's a travesty that you have to toy with fan provided kernel extensions, instead of manufacturer providing them, and I'm not even talking about ROM flashing. When you invest thousand of $ for a professional Workstation you want every component supported by the manufacturer.

    My guess is Apple will try to introduce their own high end GPU / OpenCL device in 2013 based on PowerVR series6 "Rogue" IP.
  10. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    way off. it's not like PC cards are plug and play in Macs. it's messy, unsupported, and definately not something Apple would come to expect from it's users just to avoid some stocking issues of some graphic cards.
  11. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Feb 15, 2008
    There were a bunch of $5 5770s on Fleabay.
  12. ludeboy12 macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2010
    Apple sells hardware. That's where they make their money. They are not concerned with minor updates or component upgrades. They want you to wait 2-3 years between updates and buy a whole new Mac for thousands each time.

    The reason graphics manufacturers don't help us out is because apple doesn't let them. Its that simple.

    If you could get all the latest and greatest off the shelf products directly from Nvidia then you would be less likely to buy a new Mac every time they got around to refreshing the specs.
  13. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    That warehouse full of official Apple 5770s isn't going to sell itself.
  14. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    I feel like a single person working on the Mac Pro at Apple for 2 years could have made a better update than this. Clearly this was an afterthought.
  15. Buffsteria macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2012
    I've been looking at your cards on eBay and I'd really love to get one. My question on the GTX 5xx is whether they're supported by Snow Leopard as Lion breaks my Maya installation! Please let me know, thank you.
  16. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Why didn't Apple update the GPU?

    I suspect MacVidCards bribed the one guy at Apple working on a Mac Pro with a couple of beers, thus enabling him to make a killing on Ebay for another year!


    I kid, I kid. Thanks for your contributions to the community!
  17. MacVidCards, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012

    MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA

    No Snow Leopard support for GTX5xx cards. The GTX470 is the best choice for Snow Leopard, or one of our GTX480s that has been clocked down.

    As far as "GPU manufacturers Not caring", ask yourself WHY Nvidia has had support for just about all of their cards in the OS for YEARS. 6 years ago I was tinkering with an AGP 7800GS in my G5. Low and behold, the device id of "F5" was in the Nvidia drivers. So I made the card work but the driver had a little glitch. Low and behold, the glitch got fixed next OS update.

    The 7800GT in PCIE G5 had device id of "92", the "F5" was for the PCIE to AGP bridge chip ON AGP CARDS.. BUT SOMEONE HAD WRITTEN "F5" INTO OSX DRIVERS. Why oh why I wondered. They had also written "F2" into the drivers, this being bridge chip of 6600GT on an AGP card. Neither card had EVER appeared as an Apple card but there were those device ids.

    So we were able to offer these cards for G4. High powered, (then) current cards that could run 30". And the only reason they worked was because someone SOMEWHERE was writing them into the drivers.

    Same holds true today. Snow Leopard had drivers for Quadro 5000 and Quadro 6000 and Tesla cards. All anyone had to do was write an EFI for them. (or use ATY_Init) and they all worked.

    I think Nvidia finally got tired of nobody noticing and finally added "ATY_Init" type functionality to their drivers for 10.7.3. And with next OS update Apple killed this function. So Nvidia had to release a patch AGAIN for 10.7.4.

    It's pretty obvious that Nvidia went to the bother to write all of the drivers and Apple doesn't seem to want that.

    The issue nobody wants is to deal with selling and offering customer service to 100's (or 1,000's) of people. At least once a week someone with a 1,1 or 2,1 buys an EFI64 card from us, despite warnings in the ads. They are sometimes indignant that I offered such a bewildering array of cards that confused them.

    At least once a week now, someone gets SO EXCITED installing their card that they scrape off one or two of the tiny little capacitors along bottom edge of card that connect the little gold fingers of the PCIE slot with GPU. This happens when you miss the slot and instead scrape card against it. And again, these eager beavers expect that they can just "return" these broken cards and get a new one. They don't realize that this means someone else ends up stuck with a large box of "dead" cards that MIGHT be fixable with some hours spent in trace repair. 2 days ago someone got all upset that I wouldn't PAY for his return shipping for him to send me the card he killed. Personal Responsibility is not always rigorously adhered to.

    Nvidia doesn't sell cards directly. They sell the GPU chips to "partners" who assemble the cards and market and ship them. EVGA agreed to sell Mac GTX285s. PNY sold Quadro 4000s. I understand why nobody else wants to bother selling them. The EFI32/64 thing marks a seemingly arbitrary line in the sand that makes stocking and supporting the cards MUCH more bothersome.

    To the end user who bought a Mac Pro and whose card just died, all of the "Which Model?" and "What OS are you running?" "How many power cables are you currently using?" questions are just babble in the way of getting their machine working again. They want to click "BUY NOW" and have card show up and work with little thought or bother. Sadly it requires more investment than this.

    Every 2009 MBP ever sold had only 1 possible configuration. The Mac Pro is a whole 'nother can'o'worms. Somewhere far away, a large building is full of people freshly employed by "Apple Customer Support". As they page their way through their support scripts, they need you to fit nicely into the pre-arranged categories. When you start telling them that you added a X5365 and ran the 2,1 firmware update and have an EFI32 flashed 8800GTX you really throw them for a loop. Every OFFICIAL Mac card has to be in those scripts. They are looking for any possible way to NOT spend hours on the phone with you figuring out that you are trying to run a 5870 in 10.4 in a 2006. So what do they do? They get to chuck you off the phone the second you admit it's a 2006 since the card lists "requires 2008 or later Mac Pro".

    The fact is, most people are plenty smart to figure this stuff out themselves. A few minutes with Google can give you any answer you need. Apple doesn't want to support the hundreds of possible CPU/GPU combos. Nor does anyone else. This is where "Personal Responsibility" comes in. You can buy the Quadro 4000 and get official support or you can buy something else and use "google" and read forums.

    Nvidia has stepped up to the plate in a big way. The fact that we are weeks away from GTX670/80 being genuinely useable is exciting and shows that SOMEONE IN SANTA CLARA GIVES A DAMN.

    ATI/AMD has also changed their drivers in a more "shotgun" approach for cards in similar families. They "work" without EFI.

    The writing is on the wall. The GPU companies care enough to write drivers. No "board partners" are interested enough to hire a Mac Support Staff and create the UPC numbers and convince retailers to create space on their shelves and agree to support for 2 years, etc.

    As far as why Apple didn't include any new GPUs, they are in an odd spot. Last week I predicted that the "New" Mac Pro would not have GTX5xx or AMD 6xxx cards because the "New" Mac Pro was going to certainly be PCIE 3.0 and those cards are 2.0. Now I say the reverse, they couldn't use GTX5xx and AMD 6xxx because they are EOL, and they couldn't offer GTX6xx or AMD 7xxx because those are PCIE 3.0 and the creaky old Mac Pro is 2.0. That is just how they think. Apple may PRETEND to be oblivious but they know that "a 3 three year old computer, Now with Last Years Cards !!!" and "Current PCIE 3.0 PCIE GPUs strike fear in your projects as they power through them at 2.0 speeds !!" aren't selling slogans.
  18. Litany macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2012
    How is cutting $1200 from the 12 core model not noticeable?
  19. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    They din't drop the price. They changed from 2.4GHz 4-core processors to 2.4GHz 6-core processors and upped the price $300. Those processors were released in February 2011. The 2.66GHz 12-core model stays the same price as does the higher end model, but that gets a minor speed bump from 2.93GHz to 3.06GHz. Hardly exciting.
  20. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I know we all want to vent. Do you really think that one of us on MacRumors can answer your questions? Really?
  21. bottleneck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2012
    I wonder thats all. Technically it would be possible right?
  22. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Yes, technically it is possible.
  23. bottleneck thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2012
    and how long would it take one engineer to do it? assumptions?
  24. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    You didn't miss anything because there was nothing to miss. That is you cannot call what apple rolled out silently on the 11th as an update. A minor cpu upgrade.

    I think the minor update was salt on an open wound, because so many Mac Pro users were expecting to see an update in WWDC and what they got instead was a silent tiny update. For the price of these bad boys, its ridiculous for apple to not update to current technology.
  25. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Tough one to answer. It depends on what you're starting with and the engineer's level of knowledge. NVIDIA has already done a lot of the work. I guess the best people to answer would be MacVidCards and Cindori.

Share This Page