Trio of new AMD GPU references for possible Mac refresh found in latest macOS Sierra beta

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited December 2016
Users delving into the latest macOS 10.12.2 beta have discovered strings aligning with potential support for a trio of new GPU families in future hardware -- a refreshed Polaris 10, the unknown Polaris 12, and the Vega 10 series.




The code and new KEXT files associated with drivers were found in the latest macOS beta by the Hackintosh community, on the tonymacx86 forums. The last time something like this was discovered, it was the Polaris 11 chipset, which turned out to be the debut of the Radeon Pro 450, 455, and 460 in the Retina MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.

Speculation is running wild, based on little else than the codenames. The Polaris 10 is referred to as the 10XT2, and is probably a process improvement over the existing Polaris 10 series found in the Retina iMac given previous naming conventions.

Polaris 12 is completely unknown at this time.

Some details about the Vega 10 are known. The Vega 10 will be based on AMD's GCN architecture, and the sole offering currently utilizing the nomenclature is more commonly known as the "Fury Pro." At present, the Fury Pro is intended for desktop configurations, like the Mac Pro, and pushes 12 teraflops versus 9 teraflops with the Nvidia 1080 GPU, and has with 16GB of memory, and a 230W thermal design profile.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,014member
    I knew Apple would use Polaris!  I hope they update the drivers for the existing cards in 2013 Mac pros while they are at it. Meanwhile I found this:  http://www.bootcampdrivers.com/
    edited December 2016 macplusplusSpamSandwich
  • Reply 2 of 42
    19831983 Posts: 882member
    Polaris 12 for upcoming MacPro refresh? Here's hoping!
  • Reply 3 of 42
    is probably a process improvement over the existing Polaris 10 series found in the Retina iMac given previous naming conventions.

    I don't understand this statement, the current iMacs do not use the Polaris 10 GPU. The Polaris 10 is the new generation which in fact replaces the M300 line found in the current iMacs.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    1983 said:
    Polaris 12 for upcoming MacPro refresh? Here's hoping!
    I believe the Vega 10 is actually what would be used for a Mac Pro.
  • Reply 5 of 42
     Wow, talk about burying the lede.  Mac Pro is alive! 
    irelandSpamSandwich
  • Reply 6 of 42
     Wow, talk about burying the lede.  Mac Pro is alive! 
    That would be good, but hoping that just based on this is a slim hope indeed.
    dysamoriaSpamSandwich
  • Reply 7 of 42
    All I know is I want to upgrade my old 2009 27" iMac and want to wait for a USB-C version since this is the industry direction.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 42
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,555member
     Wow, talk about burying the lede.  Mac Pro is alive! 
    That would be good, but hoping that just based on this is a slim hope indeed.
    Wasn't there also a story a while back about somebody finding references to an A10 or A10X in macOS code? And of course people found references to x86 for years (And years and years) before Apple switched. 

    Maybe this just means that Apple tests a wider range of hardware options than they actually release as products. 
    palomineSpamSandwich
  • Reply 9 of 42
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,014member
    1983 said:
    Polaris 12 for upcoming MacPro refresh? Here's hoping!
    Of course, sadly Apple will have a 'special' version that AMD driver updates in Windows won't recognize!
  • Reply 10 of 42
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 110member
    steven n. said:
    All I know is I want to upgrade my old 2009 27" iMac and want to wait for a USB-C version since this is the industry direction.
    And we want to upgrade our iMac as well. Also want the touch functionality on the keyboard when we do it. Hoping Spring of 17 does it for us.
    watto_cobraSpamSandwich
  • Reply 11 of 42
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 2,548member
    I wish they'd use NVIDIA in the iMac instead...much better video chips. 
    freethinking
  • Reply 12 of 42
    appexappex Posts: 470member
    Great, taking into account the following: Apple's Renewed Focus on iPad Left the Mac Behind This Year http://www.macrumors.com/2016/12/06/apple-renewed-focus-ipad-left-mac-behind
  • Reply 13 of 42
    I wouldn't read too much into it.   There was a reference to a machine with 10 USB3 ports in El-Capitain over a year ago and nothing developed from it.   Since USB3 is considered obsolete to Apple, you will never see this so called 10 USB3 Mac.    Apple is so innovative right now, that their computers are becoming obsolete before they even release them.

    Luckily we have the "can't innovate my ass" 3+ year old MacPro available to show us how its done.   Make sure you configure it with the $1000US (upgrade price) D700 that gets you a whopping 3.5 teraflops (you get two of them but you can count on 1 hand the number of software that supports dual cards).   Meanwhile you can buy the 9 teraflop Nvidia 1080 for under $600 (full price).  Oh yah... that's right,  Apple does not allow us to upgrade graphics cards in our workstations.  "can't innovate my ass"
    blastdoorSpamSandwich
  • Reply 14 of 42
    I have a couple of Macbooks, an iMac and a couple of Hackintoshes for heavy duty work (sorry, Mac Pros are too damned expensive for me). Wish Apple would support some kind of decent graphics card that has high energy efficiency. I miss the days of passively cooled cards with big heat sinks. Now it seems every new card is targeted at gamers, has two or even three big fans mounted on it and costs at least a couple of hundred.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    The logical alignment of these would be Polaris 10 = 4K iMac, Polaris 12 = 5K iMac, and Vega 10 = Mac Pro.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 16 of 42
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,897member
    macxpress said:
    I wish they'd use NVIDIA in the iMac instead...much better video chips. 
    That is more myth than anything.   AMD's chips are very good for the way Apple and many developers use them.   Im actually hoping to see AMD ZEN in some of Apples machines.  
  • Reply 17 of 42
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,897member

    I have a couple of Macbooks, an iMac and a couple of Hackintoshes for heavy duty work (sorry, Mac Pros are too damned expensive for me). Wish Apple would support some kind of decent graphics card that has high energy efficiency. I miss the days of passively cooled cards with big heat sinks. Now it seems every new card is targeted at gamers, has two or even three big fans mounted on it and costs at least a couple of hundred.
    Actually that is one of the reasons we have seen such a long period between updates.   GPUs on 14nm processes just arrived late this summer and that was only a small selection of cards.    Frankly the only way you can get decent performance per watt is to go with 14nm class chips as the GPU workd has been stagnet otherwise.  
  • Reply 18 of 42
    macxpress said:
    I wish they'd use NVIDIA in the iMac instead...much better video chips. 
    Nvidia seems nominally more powerful than AMD in a vague comparison, but Nvidia doesn't allow developers to harness that power. You cannot "write to the metal" with Nvidia. AMD's approach is totally the opposite, it opens the cores of the GPU to developers. This is why Apple's Metal platform exists. That allows developers to make the AMD GPU sing to their wishes.
  • Reply 19 of 42

    altivec88 said:
    (you get two of them but you can count on 1 hand the number of software that supports dual cards). 
    Actually not true. This is Metal that supports dual cards on behalf of the applications. Thanks to Metal, all the applications on macOS support dual GPUs, provided they code to Metal. The function of the Metal platform is to allow developers to "write to the metal", i.e. get most granular control on implementing the parallelism between GPU's and CPU. If your CPU waits until the GPU completes some shader then this is not very intelligent way to spend your money. In contrast if you distribute the task in a so granular fashion that all CPU, GPU1 and GPU2 are busy all the time then this is true parallel computing. In order to get that granularity you must "write to the metal" of the GPU. With Nvidia you cannot get that. Only AMD and the GPU in Apple's A series chips can be used that way.
    edited December 2016 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 42
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,723member
    The D700 in the 2013 Mac Pro is said to be rated at 3.5 teraflops, so a replacement pushing 12 teraflops and having 16GB RAM looks very impressive indeed.

    If they put two of these in a Mac Pro, could that be cooled in the current trash can? Does this signify a change in form factor?
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