Why does possibly the best computer (Mac Pro)...come with AMD graphics cards?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by computergod, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. computergod macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    I'm looking for a good computer that will have (good graphics) and good (render times) ...and I heard and know that nividia is the best when it comes to this....so whyyy does mac pro only come with AMD graphics cards only?? It won't possibly render better than nividia...
  2. wonderspark, Mar 11, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013

    wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    If you're building a video edit machine today, build a PC.
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    "Why does possibly the best computer (mac pro)...come with AMD graphics cards?"

    Why not?
  4. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    dont know for sure the internal arrangements between Apple as OEM and graphic cards makers (price, licensing, availability and so on). And can debate about what graphics card are better implemented in Mac OS X, if nVidia ones or ATI ones.

    So maybe in a near update of Mountain Lion or Mac OS X 10.9 (if called so) we see wide nVidia support/drivers.

  5. computergod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    I still don't know why, but also wanted to add the imac hass nividia 680 up to....so I just don't get it why mac pro has amd...I'm wondering is amd card better than nividia or no I know nividia is better so change it in my already 8000$ mac pro and then does this screw up the whole system IDKkkkknooooo...???
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Well, it won't "screw up your whole system" but yes NVidia cards are inherently and quantifiably "better" than AMD cards - considering all releases from the past 4 years till present. :D
  7. fiatlux macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007


    Not sure it is available yet.

    Note that about any recent PC nVidia card works out of the box in Mountain Lion (just no boot screen logo) and the the GTX570/670 seems to be the best options for CUDA/OpenCL computing.

    See the FAQ in the same forum section.
  8. computergod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2013
    I think I kind of get it then...but still don't know why they just cant put in and incorporate that 680gtx~
  9. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    They can but choose not to and don't have to tell you why.
  10. MacProFreak macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2013
    Good question. I ditched the AMD that came with my 2010, with those stupid mini port connectors and just one DVI-D connector for an older eVGA nVidia GTX 285 for Mac and I'm perfectly happy with it. Two 30" monitors at full 2560x1600 and no issues.
  11. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Apple often switches between AMD/ATI and Nvidia. I think they want to avoid getting locked into a single vendor.

    In any case, the MP design is so old that comparing any part of it to new stuff isn't really valid. Yes the video card is really old, but so is everything else about it. CPU architecture, USB 2.0, SATA II, Bluetooth 2.1, no Thunderbolt, etc.
  12. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    At the time in 2010

    1. AMD had better stuff than Nvidia did. Primarily on Performance/Watt. Both laptop and desktop cards.

    That changed a bit on the latest iterations in 2012 so Nvidia got most wins on the 2012 Macs. The GPU on the 2012 Mac Pro is an outlier because Apple was likely sending a message that wasn't what they were working on (and also because they didn't have something anyway. )

    2. Apple wanted OpenCL to succeed. Everyone going all Nvidia would have killed off OpenCL. Long term that would have been a bad outcome.
    (now that OpenCL has move even footing. The "exclusive to CUDA" features of Adobe products is fading. It isn't what it once was )

    As far as hearing from folks about how Nvidia is better than AMD/ATI .... that's typically just a never ending debate. Like Windows vs. OS X. Coke vs. Pepsi.
  13. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2008
    FCP and Motion (legacy)ran better on ATI cards than the Nvidias (i'm pretty sure) you can check old Barefeats pages
  14. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Two reasons:

    1. Because Apple makes complete systems. They are not a BTO parts supplier.

    When a redesigned Mac Pro ( not a minor speed bump ) arrives there will be new video cards. That doesn't happen every year so the default set of cards don't appear every year. When the 2013 Mac Pro arrives it should bring new cards. ( Probably a mix of both AMD and Nvidia this time but probably only one will be the default for all the configs )

    Is it possible for Apple to change core principles and becomes a parts remarketer? Yes. Probable? No, there is about zero financial incentive to do so.

    2. This one has two sub parts.

    a. Because the aftermarket PCI-e GPU card market is very small so the 3rd party vendors do not rush to provide cards. Apple doesn't stop them. But it isn't going to bribe to do it either. There is only one, relatively low volume Mac model that can take these cards so they sell in relatively very low volumes.

    Some vendors take a stab at it. But....

    b. there is a cottage industry of tweaking Windows/BiOS oriented cards into Mac Pro compatible cards ( with varying degrees of functionality). All the more so if a vendor does much of the heavy lifting ( the ROMs will be cloned and/or reverse engineer and the vendor will see less cards sold). Since it is already a small market and the cottage market makes it even smaller, even fewer vendors want to take a crack at a 3rd party offering.

    Things are getting better as the Windows PC industry starts to deploy UEFI systems that stop masquerading as principally BIOS ones. Likewise Apple is tweaking their EFI to follow the updates EFI graphics layer. The gap between Mac and Windows boot environments is closing.
  15. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Exactly true!

    That could be. If a developer caters to AMD and shuns NVidia architecture then the product will likely run much faster on the AMD. If both architectures are considered and developed for however, the NVidia option with cream AMD every time though. And in recent times I suspect this is less true - meaning the NVidia may kick its butt anyway... :D
  16. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land

    AMD/ATI wants to make money on its products and does not believe in limiting their technology to the latest and greatest. Thus far every single ATI/AMD video card works on all models of the Mac Pro lines, yes.. all of them.. Even when Apple says the 5770 and 5870 won't work in 1,1 or 2,1 Mac Pros.

    Its because of the fact that AMD uses EBC firmware for its cards to continue the compatibility for ALL Mac Pros, while Nvidia does not share this idea..

    When is the last time a GT120 worked in a 1,1 or 2,1 Mac Pro for instance?
  17. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    We have created a GT120 for 1,1 and 2,1. Can be Dual DVI or DVI and HDMI. We have created EFIs for several older Nvidia cards from G80, G96, and G92 lines. Sadly the magic tricks run out before GT200.

    It is unfortunate that Nvidia EFIs are 64 bit only, they must have a reason. I wish I knew it.
  18. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land
    I was referring to Apple OEM GT120.. I am aware of AppleMacanix on ebay who sold EFI32 compatible GT120 for 1,1 and 2,1.

    The reason: FORCED OBSOLESCENCE - When Nvidia made their cards for EFI64 only, that was a death blow to 1,1 and 2,1 Mac Pros. AMD/ATI used EBC firmware which all cards they make, for now thus far work in all Mac Pros.

    I only hope this continues..

  19. GPUFreak macrumors member

    Dec 5, 2012
    This thread made my brain implode......

    if your video editing currently a PC is your best option, and depending on use or price segment, either nvidia or AMD wins or loses or ties

    For example for gaming

    Under $100 GPU's: AMD
    Under $200 GPU's: AMD hands down
    Under $300 GPU's: close but I say Nvidia
    Under $400 GPU's: Tie, both offer great options
    Under $500 GPU's: Nvidia
    Über GPU's(~$1,000) and crossfire/Sli nvidia


    If on budget go AMD
    If want absolute driver reliability go nvidia
    Absolute power AMD (unless you buy a $1,000 GTX TITAN)
    Efficiency go Nvidia
  20. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    When the Mac Pro was released in 2010 the NVidia drivers were really, really, really bad.

    AMD makes their cards more universal, because at the time, AMD actually made and sold cards for older machines.

    NVidia did not directly sell upgrade cards at the time. Thus they had no interest in supporting older machines.
  21. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Why do you think so? I'm not sure I agree right off but would be interested in reading why you think so.

    Not sure i agree with this either. There are a few games that were written specifically with AMD cards in mind and they will maybe be better on AMD. NVidia cards always have a full implementation of all the standards available to them at the time of their respective release dates. No AMD card has ever been so. They're like scaled down and very incomplete. Ask any application developer - oh wait, that would be me. :) Probably even the newest ATI card doesn't support the standards that were included with something as old as the 8800... So if you wanna make sure all the DX, GL, and etc. development standard features and functions are supported the only option is NVidia in all cases.

    So that list doesn't make any sense to me at all. Perhaps you could expand on it so we could know where you're coming from on this?

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