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Nvidia announces high-end Fermi GPU for Apple's Mac Pro

post #1 of 33
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Nvidia has announced the Fermi-powered Quadro 4000 GPU for Mac Pro upgraders, while Apple has begun sale of the ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card for the Mac desktop.

Nvidia announces Quadro 4000 for Mac

The new Nvidia Quadro 4000 brings the company's Fermi architecture to Mac Pro users. With a suggested retail price of $1,199, it will be available later this month at Apple's website and authorized resellers, as well as other distribution partners.

Film and video professionals running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard can take advantage of the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, as the software leverages Nvidia CUDA parallel processing technology. Other software that takes advantage of the high-end GPU are effects and image processing applications NUKE and STORM from The Foundry, as well as MATLAB from MathWorks.

"Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and the Adobe Mercury Playback Engine, accelerated by Nvidia Quadro GPUs, have redefined the non-linear editing workflow, delivering huge productivity gains," said Ginna Baldassarre, senior product manager at Adobe.

"Adobe looks forward to working with Nvidia to help more Mac users reap the benefits of real-time performance and the ability to create compelling, multi-layer projects with multiple HD or higher resolution video clips, all while instantly viewing results."



Officials from MathWorks and The Foundry praised the power that the Fermi architecture brings to the Mac platform. Minimum system requirements include Mac OS X 10.6.5 with early 2008, early 2009 and mid-2010 Mac Pro models.

The high-end Nvidia Quadro 4000 GPU for Mac, with 256 NVIDIA CUDA processing cores and 2GB of fast GDDR5 memory, delivers exceptional graphics performance across a broad range of design, animation and video applications, the company said. With new Nvidia Scalable Geometry Engine technology, the Quadro 4000 for Mac can process up to 890 million triangles per second, enabling professionals to design, iterate and deliver higher quality results in less time.

Apple now selling ATI Radeon HD 5870

This week the ATI Radeon HD 5870 became available for sale in the Apple Store. The card sports 1GB of GDDR5 memory and costs $449.

Though listed requirements state that the card will only work with a mid-2010 or early 2009 Mac Pro with a PCI Express 2.0 slot, reports have indicated that the ATI Radeon HD5870 will also work with the early 2008 Mac Pro desktop.
post #2 of 33
Very nice to see that AMD and Apple are on the ball here with new product and that we are seeing competition from NVidia. It is just to bad that we need a Mac Pro to use these cards.
post #3 of 33
In related news, a Mac Pro just tore a hole in the space-time continuum.
post #4 of 33
The 5870 is a $200 upgrade option on all current Mac Pro models.
post #5 of 33
No mention of Open CL. Does CUDA cover that or is it program specific like it only works with Adobe Premiere?
post #6 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post

No mention of Open CL. Does CUDA cover that or is it program specific like it only works with Adobe Premiere?

http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_opencl_new.html

"OpenCL (Open Computing Language) is a new cross-vendor standard for heterogeneous computing that runs on the CUDA architecture. "

So in a word, yes, it is built in.
post #7 of 33
I love that the Mac Pro still has options out there.
I just wish that you could still pick one (even a stripped down version) up for $1799-$1999 like the old PM G4/G5 days and then add things to it over the years to make it a beast.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Nvidia has announced the Fermi-powered Quadro 4000 GPU for Mac Pro upgraders, while Apple has begun sale of the ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card for the Mac desktop....

So ... a whole article on the latest two video cards for the Mac Pro without any kind of indication as to which one is best or how they compare to the cards already out there.

Greeeaaattt!

I mean I know it's too early for detailed comparisons, but here's a news flash, most folks don't care about that anyway. The details of video cards are too arcane and complicated for the average reader or consumer and have been for ages. How about a quick "this one rocks!" or "this is the one to get"?

This article is meaningless to anyone not already deeply immersed in the details of the cards, and pretty much a useless addenda to those who already have that knowledge.
post #9 of 33
Yeah I would definitely recommend doing your homework before purchasing because the Radeon 5870 states it will have OpenCL support in an sdk release.
post #10 of 33
The Radeon is best for games and the Quadro for Pros. There. Does it hurt to consult Wiki for a few seconds and see what family is best for what?

I say, AMD is too late. They should have released the 6870 for the Mac Pro by now

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post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Very nice to see that AMD and Apple are on the ball here with new product and that we are seeing competition from NVidia. It is just to bad that we need a Mac Pro to use these cards.

"On the ball"?? LOL You are kidding right?

AMD is in the process of releasing new cards based on their latest GPU. Some low/mid range cards are already available and the replacement for the 5870 is just a few weeks away.

Just as in the iMac line, Apple is asking users to pay a premium for outdated GPU technology.

That being said I would soooo love a Mac Pro with a 5870!

-kpluck

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post #12 of 33
I don't know crap about Quadros, but figuring the awesomeness factor for a Radeon is quite easily, actually:

First number indicates the generation of the card.
Second number indicates the level of the card. 8 or 9 normally means enthusiasts.
Third number splits the card level into two sub-levels
Fourth number is always (AFAIK) Zero.

Example:

5870 Belongs to the 5K family (new but the 6Ks are almost out), is high-end and top of the line (as in, 5870>5850).
The 5670 in the mid models of iMacs is mid-range, top of it.
The 4850 of the older iMac models is still better, because that generation of difference is obscured by the raw power of the 800 range.

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post #13 of 33
What's funny is that the mac version costs $1200 while the identical PC version is less than $800. Yikes, that's some serious Apple Tax!!

http://www.nvidia.com/object/buy_now...html?id=QD4000
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

The Radeon is best for games and the Quadro for Pros. There. Does it hurt to consult Wiki for a few seconds and see what family is best for what?

Um, kinda. The wiki article just might be written by, say, the vendors. And at least in Windows those Quadro cards offer 5 times the cost and ZERO performance benefit for many "Professionals". AutoCAD and Revit both see jack squat for the extra thousand dollars you pay over a similarly spec'd GeForce. So I wouldn't trust everything I read on the web, and I am bummed that all we get on the Mac side is Quadro cards, with no proof that in fact this isn't just nVidia @%#$ Mac users because we are used to paying a lot. I am happy to pay extra for some more, but to pay nVidia an extra grand for @%#$ nothing is just a slap in the face. Maybe OS X actually uses all those CUDA cores, and all the FP units on the Quadro that are turned off on the GeForce. Or the ECC RAM that the Quadro comes with. Maybe. And maybe someone could bother to actually research this and publish it? Maybe Ars, certainly not AI.
But hey, I can rationalize everything by reading Wikipedia, so I guess there is actually no problem.

Gordon
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsmi View Post

What's funny is that the mac version costs $1200 while the identical PC version is less than $800. Yikes, that's some serious Apple Tax!!

http://www.nvidia.com/object/buy_now...html?id=QD4000

What is the identical PC version?
post #16 of 33
For many applications, of course, these GPUs give little or no performance boost. It will be interesting to see benchmarks of the next release of Final Cut with various GPU options.
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

What is the identical PC version?

the Quadro 4000, the one I posted in the link.

PC
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...o-4000-us.html

Mac
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...00-mac-us.html
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsmi View Post

the Quadro 4000, the one I posted in the link.

PC
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...o-4000-us.html

Mac
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...00-mac-us.html

They're not exactly the same cards. The Mac version has a OpenGL 4.1 vs 4.0 on the PC version.

That is clearly an insignificant difference, but it leads to an important one. The Mac version is sold in much, much lower volume, so the cost of developing drivers, packaging, etc must be spread over a smaller number of units. In addition, the cost of setting up support (overhead) must be spread over a smaller number of units.
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post #19 of 33
Cool!

If only the Pro Apps were modern applications that could benefit of this kick-ass hardware, that be nice. For now, it makes Half-Life 2 run reeeeal fast.
post #20 of 33
The rest of the world not so much.

What's that? You say it will make "hard core gamers" happy?

Well frankly Apple doesn't care. They're such a tiny minority of Mac users that their population rounds down to zero. Sure, there will be many popular games on the Mac App Store and on iOS devices. But none of them will really need a $1200 GPU.

Nvidia cares a whole lot about "hard core gamers" since GPUs are their bread and butter. But really, in 5 years even built-in SoC graphics will be good enough to render photo-realistic games at high resolution with no massive bolt-on GPU. The Nvidias and ATIs of the world milking the suckers, er, high-end gaming market for all they can. Making hay while the sun still shines.

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post #21 of 33
I was being ironic (meaning that it's about time Apple makes pro software available that uses this kind of hardware, and that it makes run a game even faster which isn't really neccessary at this price-point)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

The rest of the world not so much.

What's that? You say it will make "hard core gamers" happy?

Well frankly Apple doesn't care. They're such a tiny minority of Mac users that their population rounds down to zero. Sure, there will be many popular games on the Mac App Store and on iOS devices. But none of them will really need a $1200 GPU.

Nvidia cares a whole lot about "hard core gamers" since GPUs are their bread and butter. But really, in 5 years even built-in SoC graphics will be good enough to render photo-realistic games at high resolution with no massive bolt-on GPU. The Nvidias and ATIs of the world milking the suckers, er, high-end gaming market for all they can. Making hay while the sun still shines.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post

http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_opencl_new.html

"OpenCL (Open Computing Language) is a new cross-vendor standard for heterogeneous computing that runs on the CUDA architecture. "

So in a word, yes, it is built in.

Awesome, thanks! Since its introduction I haven't been hearing as much about Open CL as I would like to.
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

They're not exactly the same cards. The Mac version has a OpenGL 4.1 vs 4.0 on the PC version.

That is clearly an insignificant difference, but it leads to an important one. The Mac version is sold in much, much lower volume, so the cost of developing drivers, packaging, etc must be spread over a smaller number of units. In addition, the cost of setting up support (overhead) must be spread over a smaller number of units.

actually, both card support 4.1 with the latest drivers.
..if you're running windows, that is! on mac os x you're stuck with 3.1...
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post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

The rest of the world not so much.

What's that? You say it will make "hard core gamers" happy?

Well frankly Apple doesn't care. They're such a tiny minority of Mac users that their population rounds down to zero. Sure, there will be many popular games on the Mac App Store and on iOS devices. But none of them will really need a $1200 GPU.

Nvidia cares a whole lot about "hard core gamers" since GPUs are their bread and butter. But really, in 5 years even built-in SoC graphics will be good enough to render photo-realistic games at high resolution with no massive bolt-on GPU. The Nvidias and ATIs of the world milking the suckers, er, high-end gaming market for all they can. Making hay while the sun still shines.

Perhaps, but until multi-gpu soc exists, I can run quad SLI for my applications.
Whether it's custom cuda code computations or for my own rendering or a simple game of call of duty.

A 12 core Sandybridge with a single soc gpu? Compared to a 12core SB with quad 580's....

Suckers? Instead of being ignorant and all to Nvidia, ATI, and the sucker gamers that support them (myself included with a 460), maybe it will someday save your life.,

http://blogs.nvidia.com/ntersect/201...onference.html
post #25 of 33
Mac version: $1,199
PC version: $799

$400 for a driver. Thanks, nVidia. You're no good at writing drivers for OS X, anyway.

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post #26 of 33
will there be anything from nVidia for macbook pros in the coming months?
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Mac version: $1,199
PC version: $799

$400 for a driver. Thanks, nVidia. You're no good at writing drivers for OS X, anyway.


Apple's practice is to write the video drivers. By some ATI and nVidia accounts I've read, it's a long and frustrating process.

(sorry, I don't have links handy)
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterO View Post

Apple's practice is to write the video drivers. By some ATI and nVidia accounts I've read, it's a long and frustrating process.

(sorry, I don't have links handy)

That's what I mean. nVidia refuses to write their own drivers, and then Apple has to write them and they're wretched. For the two nVidia cards that exist for which Apple didn't write the drivers, the performance was lackluster at best.

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post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukeskymac View Post

The Radeon is best for games and the Quadro for Pros. There. Does it hurt to consult Wiki for a few seconds and see what family is best for what?

I say, AMD is too late. They should have released the 6870 for the Mac Pro by now

Actually, the 5870 is still faster than the 6870. The 6870 runs on the same nm process so aside from some tweaks, the 5870 is still one of the fastest single-GPU ATI offerings out there. Just being a 5 instead of a 6 doesn't make things "too late".
post #30 of 33
It would be great if Apple gives you the choice to buy the Nvidia card during the MacPro configuring process in the Apple store.

Who want's to buy a Mac Pro with a graphics card they are not going to use/want? I'm waiting to buy a Mac Pro for that specific reason... That and usb 3.0 or lightspeed. Sometimes technology can feel so slow...
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post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

They're not exactly the same cards. The Mac version has a OpenGL 4.1 vs 4.0 on the PC version.

That is clearly an insignificant difference, but it leads to an important one. The Mac version is sold in much, much lower volume, so the cost of developing drivers, packaging, etc must be spread over a smaller number of units. In addition, the cost of setting up support (overhead) must be spread over a smaller number of units.

Not true.
http://www3.pny.com/NVIDIA-Quadro-40...P2948C409.aspx
http://www3.pny.com/NVIDIA-Quadro-4000-P2903C365.aspx

Identical card, except PC-OSX users have to pay $1200 instead of PC-Win $800. Apple Tax hehe.

*add
Anyway this card has only 256 stream processors, even $200 460gtx has 336 of those.
post #32 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gescom View Post

Not true.
http://www3.pny.com/NVIDIA-Quadro-40...P2948C409.aspx
http://www3.pny.com/NVIDIA-Quadro-4000-P2903C365.aspx

Identical card, except PC-OSX users have to pay $1200 instead of PC-Win $800. Apple Tax hehe.

*add
Anyway this card has only 256 stream processors, even $200 460gtx has 336 of those.


>> Anyone know if it's possible to get the PC version and just Flash the ROM to make it work on a Mac? -- my guess is, that MOST of it is about the software drivers.
post #33 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

>> Anyone know if it's possible to get the PC version and just Flash the ROM to make it work on a Mac? -- my guess is, that MOST of it is about the software drivers.

Any 2008-current Mac Pro will work with a PC version of the ATI Radeon HD5870. I installed a PC Sapphire Vapor-X in my 2009 Mac Pro a few weeks ago. You will need to flash the card (in windows or DOS) with a new ROM (see netkas.org for examples, ROMs, and instructions) to get the machine to boot with the card in the Mac OS.

Two things to be aware of:

1) Current ROMs are fully functional, with the exception of not being able to view the bootloader screen during reboot without a VGA monitor attached (not a problem generally, as you can select startup drives in both Windows and MacOSX if you are into switching startup draves a lot).

2) the 5870 requires two s-ATA power cables. I think all mac pros have two coming off of the motherboard, but this card will want both of them. So your options for other powered S-ATA cards are non-existent if you use a 5870.

And why would you do this? Well, prices of the PC 5870s have been dropping of late. They are readily available for under $300 now. AFAIK there are not yet any working ROMs for the Quadro 4000 GPUs that you could flash to the PC version of the card.
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