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MacVidCards

Suspended
Original poster
Nov 17, 2008
6,096
1,056
Hollywood, CA
when 6,1 came out there was much made about how losing PCIE slots was only choice Apple had since TB required video running internally and Xeons don't offer this.

I recently aquired an X-Serve 3,1 (with newer TB compat chipset)to work on iMac cards and had an epiphany.

Apple already had a 2009 Nehalem machine that could have easily had TB. There it is, an MXM slot with video output run through the internal circuitry to an external MDP port. Would have been trivial to add to an updated 3,1 X-Serve and same design would have worked for MP.

I have even been able to put a full fat GTX980m in the X-Serve via that slot. A $100 X-Serve with better internal GPU upgrade options than 6,1.

It's what could have been. They could have offered a 6,1 box-o-slots with an MXM card handling basic video out via TB port, and still allowed upgrades via PCIE slot. People who wanted faster GPUs could have chosen PCIE cards while people who just wanted other cards and didn't need faster GPUs could get what they need.

Would have been an awesome machine, and kept everyone happy. And I imagine it even exists in prototype form somewhere behind locked doors.

Anyhow, all the "Apple had no choice due to Intel requiring internal video" was claptrap, and the evidence was released as an X-Serve.
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,084
466
Baltimore, MD
Incredible work, as always, MVC. I assume this is good news for those who want to upgrade their iMacs? On a related note, my Precision M6600 is showing its age, despite its 6970M. I guess this is proof that a 980M can work fine in OS X? Might also be great news to laptop owners & hack enthusiasts who need discrete video card upgrades. :D
 

Joe The Dragon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2006
867
257
There are pc MB with TB that you need to loop the video out of your video card into the TB card. think the old voodoo cards
 

VAGDesign

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2014
344
189
Greece
At this moment I'm thinking of somebody buying XServes and cMPs making a project-like product with customization to the edge of a 2016 HW requirements at some point.
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
1,084
466
Baltimore, MD
What do you think of the Xserve? How loud is it?
I have worked with an XServe 2,1 and it is Loud.

Yeah, they are quite loud and put out a hell of a lot of heat. Think cMP, but 4-5x worse. I just sold mine because of how much power it used, how loud it was, and how much heat it put out. Mine was a 1,1, but I can't imagine they got too much better with time. It's a 1U server, it's gonna be loud.
 

rmm805

macrumors member
Dec 7, 2014
96
41
I have a few other 1u servers that are pretty quiet (Dell r210 II, r220, supermicro). I've heard the 1,1 Xserve and 2,1 Xserve was loud but wasn't sure if the 3,1 was quieter.
 

Flint Ironstag

macrumors 65816
Dec 1, 2013
1,315
720
Houston, TX USA
MVC, interesting stuff, and thanks for sharing with the community. No doubt a prototype cMP tower is gathering dust someplace. Would snag if it turned up on ebay.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,667
4,675
The Peninsula
I have a few other 1u servers that are pretty quiet (Dell r210 II, r220, supermicro). I've heard the 1,1 Xserve and 2,1 Xserve was loud but wasn't sure if the 3,1 was quieter.
In general, "quiet" is very low on the requirements list for rack servers, especially 1U systems (with a 1.7" physical envelope - small, high RPM fans are the norm, especially if you require redundant fans).

In real life, name brand 1U servers can be fairly quiet if the environment suits. My lab feeds my racks at 14° for the inlet temperature, and the noise is bearable. (If the ProLiants get hot for any reason, though, they sound like a widebody taking off for a trip to Hong Kong.)
 
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