Expanded GPU support in Apple's Mac OS X 10.6.7 hints at future Mac hardware

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple's newly released Mac OS X 10.6.7 security and maintenance update for Snow Leopard features support for the latest -- and even some unreleased -- AMD Radeon graphics cards, hinting at inclusion in future Mac hardware.



As discovered by the tonymacx86 Blog, the Mac OS X 10.6.7 update for early 2011 Mac Book Pro models features native graphics acceleration for some Radeon HD 5000- and 6000-series cards. The supported cards are off-the-shelf graphics processing units, not Mac-only cards as have been in the past.



It's likely that at least some of the cards will be part of the new iMac refresh expected from Apple in the near future. A new rumor this week claimed that Apple plans to ship a refresh of its all-in-one desktop by early May, with Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors and a high-speed Thunderbolt port.



But the number of graphics cards natively supported by Mac OS X 10.6.7 has led "tonymacx86" to suggest that it could signal "the end of the Mac-only graphics card."



"Could Apple be opening up the platform more?" he asked. "What happens to NVIDIA? Why support for cards that aren't in Macs yet? Will the 2011 Sandy Bridge iMacs contain one or more of these new 6xxx cards?"



The Mac OS X 10.6.7 Snow Leopard build unique to early 2011 Sandy Bridge MacBook Pro models apparently contains native support for the following graphics cards:

ATI Radeon HD 5630 Device ID 0x68D8

ATI Radeon HD 5630 Device ID 0x68D9

ATI Radeon HD 5670 Device ID 0x68D8

ATI Radeon HD 5730 Device ID 0x68D8

ATI Radeon HD 5770 Device ID 0x68B8

ATI Radeon HD 5850 Device ID 0x6899

ATI Radeon HD 5870 Device ID 0x6898

AMD Radeon HD 6850 Device ID 0x6739

AMD Radeon HD 6870 Device ID 0x6738

AMD Radeon HD 6970 Device ID 0x6718

Mac OS X 10.6.7 was released this Monday, offering users a variety of bug fixes and security enhancements. The general update improves the reliability of Mac to My Mac, resolves issues when transferring files to SMB Windows File Sharing servers, and addresses bugs with the Mac App Store.



The special build unique to the new MacBook Pros with Thunderbolt also addresses performance issues with FaceTime. It also improves graphics stability and external display compatibility with the new notebooks released in February.
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Comments

  • market_playermarket_player Posts: 140member
    One could hope the new iMacs have a true desktop class video card in them, I have the original i7 iMac and it's an awesome computer; however a true desktop class video card in the revision would have me placing an order asap.
  • machineshedfredmachineshedfred Posts: 68member
    While the device IDs may be present, that doesn't mean that the card will actually function. I've been following this "development" since it was first discovered in the 2011 MacBook Pro drivers. 68xx series cards seem to work fine at this time, but 6950 / 6970 cards appear to be quite broken.



    Don't go out and buy that shiny 6970 just yet.
  • caycepcaycep Posts: 1member
    makes sense. ATI/AMD 5xxx/6xxx series have been ahead of nvidia in terms of heat, power and cost requirements. Only recently has nvidia come close w/ aggressive optimization of its fermi based cards. drivers may not quite be as good but since Apple has cooling/power/form factor requirements, radeon HD is a no brainer regarding modern GPU possibilities.
  • jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    Back to my Mac



    The number of typos getting through recently hasn't been good.
  • pt109pt109 Posts: 8member
    The new support for "commodity" graphics cards is obviously to support the new macpro. The large form desktop will come with multiple thunderbolt connections, freeing up expansion slots for a small farm of graphics cards. Thunderbolt speed will make in-box disk optional, and with multiple displayport connections, the first live hd video in won't need a slot, either. BUT, you will want a few more gpu's to handle all those hi-res bits.



    Just sayin'
  • daemonkdaemonk Posts: 49member
    Please, please, please let's have an HD69XX option on the iMac. BTO is fine. Pretty please with sugar on top.
  • tipootipoo Posts: 577member
    By then AMD would have the 7k series out. Always a step behind in GPU's.
  • loganhunterloganhunter Posts: 85member
    I'd rather have nvidia GPUs but ok... let's see what comes out. As far as I remember, Apple always gets graphics cards issues when they decide to go with amd/ati GPUs...
  • nobodyynobodyy Posts: 373member
    Starcraft 2!
  • poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The general update improves the reliability of Mac to My Mac [...]



    where do i obtain this mac to my mac functionality? is it a separate product or is it bundled with something else? cost? availability? documentation?



    is this akin to the other day when aperture was removed from the app store and you guys thought a new version was imminent? oh no!



    does this mean that the back to my mac functionality is gone and is being replaced by this new mac to my mac?



    or does it just mean that you guys are a bunch of unprofessional script-kiddies who can't, won't and don't take the smallest bit of time to proof-read your cutsie little blog entries?
  • momusmomus Posts: 54member
    Read this on netkas last night. All the OS needs is framebuffer drivers.
  • johnny mozzarellajohnny mozzarella Posts: 1,727member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


    where do i obtain this mac to my mac functionality? is it a separate product or is it bundled with something else? cost? availability? documentation?



    is this akin to the other day when aperture was removed from the app store and you guys thought a new version was imminent? oh no!



    does this mean that the back to my mac functionality is gone and is being replaced by this new mac to my mac?



    or does it just mean that you guys are a bunch of unprofessional script-kiddies who can't, won't and don't take the smallest bit of time to proof-read your cutsie little blog entries?



    and what does type of post make you?
  • joelsaltjoelsalt Posts: 827member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    and what does type of post make you?



    I think the technical term is twat
  • splash-reversesplash-reverse Posts: 646member
    I have moved to Nvdia card from ATI when I built my new Windows 7 PC as they are better to me in all dept. than ATI/AMD. Plus, they have CUDA and 3D though the latter is not in use.

    MSI GTX560-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC (Review link) , cheap but yet powerful enough.



    The inclusion of of-the-shelf components should always be welcome given the larger choice they have including the second hand market.
  • bjbjohnsonbjbjohnson Posts: 20member
    I would bet on this being for the new iMacs, which I believe are coming soon. With the recent Macbook Pro update, it actually seems to me like you may get better value buying a 15" Pro over an iMac now that they are quad-core i7s and the current iMacs are only quad-core starting at the $2000 model. I'm thinking the next iMac refresh will be all quad-core with the possible exception of the $1200 model.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bjbjohnson View Post


    I would bet on this being for the new iMacs, which I believe are coming soon. With the recent Macbook Pro update, it actually seems to me like you may get better value buying a 15" Pro over an iMac.



    That doesn't make sense. Unless you need the portability, why would the 15" pro be a better deal?



    15" MBP

    $2199

    2.2 Ghz i7

    slower and smaller hard drive

    slower FPU

    15" screen

    less expandable



    iMac

    $2199

    2.93 GHz i7 (or subtract $200 to get a 2.8 GHz i5)

    faster and larger hard drive

    faster FPU

    21" screen

    more expandable







    Care to explain just how the 15" MBP is a better value????
  • jonamacjonamac Posts: 384member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


    where do i obtain this mac to my mac functionality? is it a separate product or is it bundled with something else? cost? availability? documentation?



    is this akin to the other day when aperture was removed from the app store and you guys thought a new version was imminent? oh no!



    does this mean that the back to my mac functionality is gone and is being replaced by this new mac to my mac?



    or does it just mean that you guys are a bunch of unprofessional script-kiddies who can't, won't and don't take the smallest bit of time to proof-read your cutsie little blog entries?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    and what does type of post make you?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by joelsalt View Post


    I think the technical term is twat



    Brilliant! It has to be said though, as harshly as he put it, he's right. AI simply don't proof read and it's pretty inexcusable.
  • haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pt109 View Post


    The new support for "commodity" graphics cards is obviously to support the new macpro. The large form desktop will come with multiple thunderbolt connections, freeing up expansion slots for a small farm of graphics cards. Thunderbolt speed will make in-box disk optional, and with multiple displayport connections, the first live hd video in won't need a slot, either. BUT, you will want a few more gpu's to handle all those hi-res bits.



    Just sayin'



    And what about Crossfire / SLI support in the Mac Pro?
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,485member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    Care to explain just how the 15" MBP is a better value????



    CPU's newer, GPU's newer, HDD can easily be replaced with something faster, and as it's SATA III vs. SATA II in the iMac, the iMac can never reach the same speeds transferring to any HDD/SDD.



    Arguably, the MacBook Pro is more expandable as you can actually get to the hard drive as a user-replaceable part.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    And what about Crossfire / SLI support in the Mac Pro?



    As CrossFire/SLI are for games, provide virtually no benefit in games and none for other applications, are dependent on the ATI/nVidia to write drivers for, and have nothing to do with the Mac Pro's target audience...



    I'd say no. But if SLI can be used in conjunction with OpenCL for renders, why we don't already have render farms of Mac Pros+4xSingleSlotCards in SLI is beyond me.
  • dreamsburnreddreamsburnred Posts: 26member
    Interesting.
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