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NVIDIA unveils $1800 Quadro FX 4800 card for Apple's Mac Pro

post #1 of 64
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Filling a void for a true professional video card on the Mac platform, NVIDIA on Monday announced plans to begin shipping its Quadro FX 4800 ultra-high-end solution for the Mac Pro next month.

The $1800 card boasts 192 parallel processor cores and a massive 1.5GB frame buffer with memory bandwidth of up to 76.8 GB/sec. NVIDIA says this architecture delivers high throughput for interactive visualization of large models, high-performance for real time processing of large textures and frames, and the highest quality and resolution with full-scene antialiasing.

Each Quadro FX 4800 also features a standard 3-pin stereo connector for true 3D stereoscopic imaging in modeling applications requiring 3D glasses, as well two dual-link DVI digital connectors capable of driving a pair of 30-inch Apple Cinema Displays.

"With its sophisticated GPU architecture and industry leading features, the Quadro FX 4800 delivers a substantial boost in graphics performance and capabilities, allowing users to continue to push the boundaries of realism and performance in markets such as: architecture, content creation, science and medicine," NVIDIA said.



The Quadro FX 4800 also support's NVIDIA's CUDA parallel computing architecture and will offer full GPU acceleration for Windows when using Boot Camp to run the Microsoft operating system. Attendees at the NAB conference in Las Vegas this week can check out the card in action at booth SL 7906.



NVIDIA says the Quadro FX 4800 will be available through Apple.com and select Apple resellers and workstation integrators in May. It will also be available through NVIDIA channel partners PNY Technologies (US and EMEA), Leadteck (APAC) and Elsa (Japan).
post #2 of 64
Hmmm..an $1800 graphics card with no mini display port? Guess that leaves any LED Cinema owners SOL! Not all Mac Pro owners have 30" displays. Makes you wonder if Apple is going to ever make the 30" Cinema with a mini display port?
post #3 of 64
No Mini Display Port????? It's a hunk of junk then!
DVI is soooooo last year......
post #4 of 64
That's a nice card. Has it been confirmed that the mini display port can handle a 30 inch screen? I mean can you imagine a Mac Mini and a 30 inch display? 30 inch displays are still really rare and sure you can hook up your Mac/PC to a TV but the resolution isn't that great.
post #5 of 64
I'm not worried about anyone who can afford this card not having high end monitors to use them on. most likely they won't be investing on the consumerish 24" Apple monitors anyway. Maybe a pair of Eizos or something.

Also, can miniDP support 2,560 x 1,600 resolution? It appears that technically it can but I've seen threads about difficulties with that setup.
post #6 of 64
Will it run Crysis? Hells yes.
post #7 of 64
This is 'pro' card, therefore it has to support as many 'pro' displays as possible. Display Port is not ubiquitous in that space therefore Dual/Dual DVI is the correct choice. Obvious I would have thought.
post #8 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Hmmm..an $1800 graphics card with no mini display port? Guess that leaves any LED Cinema owners SOL! Not all Mac Pro owners have 30" displays. Makes you wonder if Apple is going to ever make the 30" Cinema with a mini display port?

If you can afford to shell out for a Mac Pro along with a 4800 Quadro FX, then my guess is you wouldn't be using a 24" screen anyway.

Umm, and besides, who cares? The card comes with DisplayPort (two ports actually, and it should for that price). Just buy a measly adapter, end of story.
post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

This is 'pro' card, therefore it has to support as many 'pro' displays as possible. Display Port is not ubiquitous in that space therefore Dual/Dual DVI is the correct choice.

At least for now. Presumably Apple will update the 30" to use MDP, in which case NVIDIA may offer an equivalent version of this card with MDP ports instead. In theory it should even be less expensive to do so.
post #10 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

The card comes with DisplayPort (two ports actually, and it should for that price). Just buy a measly adapter, end of story.

Your stories have funny endings. The card has DVI connectors, not DisplayPort. It can still be adapted, but not as cleanly.
post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

This is 'pro' card, therefore it has to support as many 'pro' displays as possible. Display Port is not ubiquitous in that space therefore Dual/Dual DVI is the correct choice. Obvious I would have thought.

Nah, this is a bad choice or at best a calculated bet on NVidia's part.

Apple could come out with a 30" display tomorrow, they've certainly telegraphed their intentions of doing so in a very short time frame. A consumer could buy one of these things, have their 30" display go belly up next week and if the new monitor is out be stuck buying a stupid adapter. Given the space and the price, I don't see why they shouldn't also include mini-display port. They are just betting that Apple won't come out with new monitors very soon or that the adoption of same will be slow enough for them not to get caught.
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post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

If you can afford to shell out for a Mac Pro along with a 4800 Quadro FX, then my guess is you wouldn't be using a 24" screen anyway.

Umm, and besides, who cares? The card comes with DisplayPort (two ports actually, and it should for that price). Just buy a measly adapter, end of story.

I stand corrected. Seems the Mac version does in fact not come with the dual DisplayPorts. Why on earth would Apple trade a dual DisplayPort configuration for Dual-DVI? Odd.
post #13 of 64
Let's get this baby crammed into a 24" iMac... then we'll talk.

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post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

Also, can miniDP support 2,560 x 1,600 resolution? It appears that technically it can but I've seen threads about difficulties with that setup.

Wikipedia sez "Mini DisplayPort is capable of driving resolutions up to 2560x1600, commonly used with 30-inch displays." (And if you don't trust the Wikipedia, there are sources at the MiniDisplayPort page.)

So yes, it looks like they should be able to make a 30" MiniDisplayPort Cinema Display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

I stand corrected. Seems the Mac version does in fact not come with the dual DisplayPorts. Why on earth would Apple trade a dual DisplayPort configuration for Dual-DVI? Odd.

I think this one was NVIDIA's call, not Apple's. (Not to be snarky, but... NVIDIA is making these things, after all.)
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post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

I'm not worried about anyone who can afford this card not having high end monitors to use them on. most likely they won't be investing on the consumerish 24" Apple monitors anyway. Maybe a pair of Eizos or something.

Also, can miniDP support 2,560 x 1,600 resolution? It appears that technically it can but I've seen threads about difficulties with that setup.

It can support 4k, or about twice that.
post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Your stories have funny endings. The card has DVI connectors, not DisplayPort. It can still be adapted, but not as cleanly.

ATI already has pro cards with Displayport.

While it's easy to support DVI monitors from Displayport, so far it's not possible to go the other way. The reason is that Displayport monitors don't need the processing chips inside that DVI monitors require. So going from Displayport is easy, just allow the signal to go to the processor in the monitor.

But, as Displayport has the processing on the board, and no processing in the monitor, you can't send a DVI signal to it so that it will work. At least not now. If it's possible, we will see somewhat expensive cables for that, but I'm not sure if it's practical.
post #17 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTisNUM1 View Post

That's a nice card. Has it been confirmed that the mini display port can handle a 30 inch screen? I mean can you imagine a Mac Mini and a 30 inch display? 30 inch displays are still really rare and sure you can hook up your Mac/PC to a TV but the resolution isn't that great.

Yes. The new Mac mini can run a 30" display.

http://www.apple.com/macmini/specs.html
post #18 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

I stand corrected. Seems the Mac version does in fact not come with the dual DisplayPorts. Why on earth would Apple trade a dual DisplayPort configuration for Dual-DVI? Odd.

This isn't an Apple board. I'm assuming you're talking about this board.
post #19 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

It can support 4k, or about twice that.

It all depends on the GPU I guess.
post #20 of 64
It's a shock that 3rd parties aren't rushing to adopt Mini DisplayPort. /sarcasm

Check out the ventilation on that card though! fapfapfap

edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Hmmm..an $1800 graphics card with no mini display port? Guess that leaves any LED Cinema owners SOL! Not all Mac Pro owners have 30" displays. Makes you wonder if Apple is going to ever make the 30" Cinema with a mini display port?

Your post is so shockingly stupid I can hardly believe it.

First of all, anyone doing the kind of professional work that would require this card would not be using the doubly glossy piece of garbage that is the 24' LED Display. Enjoy your consumer level hardware.

Second, the card does not require 30" displays. It is DVI-D so it can support two 30", but it can also support any DVI display or adapter.
post #21 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

It all depends on the GPU I guess.

Of course. That's the Displayport spec. But just like the bus for a HDD, the drive may not saturate the bus. The same thing here.

And, more possible news from http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/

Read the page for today about this, and even MORE interesting news, a bit of which I'll quote (I'm sure Mike won't mind):

Quote:
I talked to an Nvidia contact on the product and asked if the above was a sign there may be more Nvidia Mac graphics card offerings (i.e. more affordable/consumer models) in the future - for instance some of their GTX 2xx series available for PCs...

- a short reply (he's at the NAB show) was "yes - this is a sign of more to come ... "
post #22 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by uni View Post

It's a shock that 3rd parties aren't rushing to adopt Mini DisplayPort. /sarcasm

Check out the ventilation on that card though! fapfapfap

edit:



Your post is so shockingly stupid I can hardly believe it.

Keep it down please!

Quote:
First of all, anyone doing the kind of professional work that would require this card would not be using the doubly glossy piece of garbage that is the 24' LED Display. Enjoy your consumer level hardware.

Second, the card does not require 30" displays. It is DVI-D so it can support two 30", but it can also support any DVI display or adapter.

Did you read my post where I said that ATI already has Displayport pro cards?

This is a standard that will see increased support. But, it's a chicken and the egg sort of thing. The cards are coming, and so are the monitors, you just have to give it some time.
post #23 of 64
per the Nvidia website, the card requires 10.5.7
post #24 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

This isn't an Apple board. I'm assuming you're talking about this board.

Mel, forgive me, but I totally didn't understand your reply
post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Of course. That's the Displayport spec. But just like the bus for a HDD, the drive may not saturate the bus. The same thing here.

And, more possible news from http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/

Read the page for today about this, and even MORE interesting news, a bit of which I'll quote (I'm sure Mike won't mind):

Nice, but I have to wonder 'why'? The Mac Pro market is so small. I thought Apple had a huge part in developing the drivers for NVIDIA cards. It could mean that many of their cards will now have EFI/Mac support in their BIOS alongside the standard PC BIOS support.

Or maybe they know something we don't, like an upcoming demand in upgrade cards for a new midrange Mac desktop that is about to be released? nah, can't be that.
post #26 of 64
I'm tempted to get one of these to drive my two 30" ACD, currently they have to share a single GT8800 to work with FCPro Suite as that won't work across two GT8800s and I hate sharing the 512MB of VRAM. This bad boy would be sweet!
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post #27 of 64
If this beast could be harnessed in generating video with a 20 or more times speedup, then I can see a significant demand, even for the home market. Next version of iDVD?
post #28 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpackman View Post

If this beast could be harnessed in generating video with a 20 or more times speedup, then I can see a significant demand, even for the home market. Next version of iDVD?

That's the first thing I thought of - how a Mac Pro running 10.7 will utilize the power of this beast of a card to leave all the "pro" PCs even further in the dust.

Of course, having it in a consumer computer would be nice, too.
post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by uni View Post

It's a shock that 3rd parties aren't rushing to adopt Mini DisplayPort. /sarcasm

Check out the ventilation on that card though! fapfapfap

edit:



Your post is so shockingly stupid I can hardly believe it.

First of all, anyone doing the kind of professional work that would require this card would not be using the doubly glossy piece of garbage that is the 24' LED Display. Enjoy your consumer level hardware.

Second, the card does not require 30" displays. It is DVI-D so it can support two 30", but it can also support any DVI display or adapter.


Funny you say that because ATI already has a comparable card that has Mini Display port on it along with a dual link DVI port. Also, just because you think the LED Cinema is a POS, doesn't mean everyone else does. In fact its a very nice display that has an amazing picture using a very good IPS panel, hence part of its expense compared to others. I'm so sick of people putting down glossy displays! If you don't like them fine, but don't sit there and bitch about them day in and day out. Some people happen to like them!

My post doesn't deserve a put down either....especially from someone with only 7 posts!
post #30 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

I stand corrected. Seems the Mac version does in fact not come with the dual DisplayPorts. Why on earth would Apple trade a dual DisplayPort configuration for Dual-DVI? Odd.

My point exactly! Display Port is Apple's new display style of connector and this new expensive card comes out and its not supported? I can understanding having 2 DVI ports on it, but unlike its ATI competitor card out for the MacPro it doesn't have the display port on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by albatrossflyer View Post

per the Nvidia website, the card requires 10.5.7

I assume the drivers for this card will be included into the OS update.
post #31 of 64
Well its about time, but obviously this should be available as a BTO in the store. Selling an expensive ass workstation without even the OPTION of a Pro OpenGL card is pathetic. The 4870 is a good card for those not working in CAD/CAM/3D DCC, but selling the base config models with the "GT 120" is pretty pathetic as well..
post #32 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

Well its about time, but obviously this should be available as a BTO in the store. Selling an expensive ass workstation without even the OPTION of a Pro OpenGL card is pathetic. The 4870 is a good card for those not working in CAD/CAM/3D DCC, but selling the base config models with the "GT 120" is pretty pathetic as well..

It just came out, I'm sure the BTO option will come shortly.
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post #33 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmcalpin View Post

I think this one was NVIDIA's call, not Apple's. (Not to be snarky, but... NVIDIA is making these things, after all.)

I thought Nvidia's whole deal was that they made the GPU. Period. Then, someone else would make the video card.

Have I not been misinformed?
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post #34 of 64
Well, the PC version includes only 1 Dual DVI-I and 2 DisplayPorts but not mini-DisplayPort, plus the requisite stereo interface as well.

The Dual Display Port for the PC: non-UEFI

Dual DisplayPort Digital Display Connectors
Dual DisplayPort connectors support ultra-high-resolution panels (up to 2560 x 1600) --which result in amazing image quality producing detailed photorealistic images. [Non-miniDisplayPort interfaces]

NVIDIA® SLI® Technology
A revolutionary platform innovation that enables professional users to dynamically scale graphics performance, enhance image quality, and expand display real estate.

Single Dual-Link Digital Display Connector
Dual-link TMDS transmitter supports ultra-high-resolution panels (up to 3840 x 2400 @24Hz) --which result in amazing image quality producing detailed photorealistic images.


For the Mac:


Dual Dual-Link Digital Display Connector
One can only assume being able to push 2 30 inch Cinema Displays at OS X's native RI for the 30".

High-Performance Display Outputs
400MHz RAMDACs and up to two dual-link DVI digital connectors drive the highest resolution digital displays available on the market. [VAGUE]

SLI: Non-existent [Apple's issue, not Nvidia due to the Mac Pro not having 2 full PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots]

Run Microsoft Windows with GPU Acceleration
Experience full, native Quadro 3D features and application performance when using Boot Camp to run Windows on a Mac Pro.

They are targeting two different traditional markets.

Let's hope AMD/ATi comes out with the cards to really compel Nvidia to unify their next revs with UEFI all around and miniDisplay [come with a mini-to-full Display adaptors] and Apple implements SLI.

Unless Apple implements SLI, Nvidia isn't going to bend over backwards to bring both the Windows and the Mac interfaces on-par with one another.
post #35 of 64
What I dont understand is ok yes DVI, what difference???? Display Port on a laptop HELLL YESS!!! Auto sensing jacks make SUCH a difference, got to a site to do a presentation and plug the projector in using the adaptor and everyone gathers round in awe just because you dont need to configure it. WHY WHY WHY dont they get this implemented to everything now, i mean everything, I want it on my microwave its that good!
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by baredd View Post

What I dont understand is ok yes DVI, what difference???? Display Port on a laptop HELLL YESS!!! Auto sensing jacks make SUCH a difference, got to a site to do a presentation and plug the projector in using the adaptor and everyone gathers round in awe just because you dont need to configure it. WHY WHY WHY dont they get this implemented to everything now, i mean everything, I want it on my microwave its that good!

Microsoft and probably Intel. Now that miniDP is added to the standard it's only a matter of time, though legacy systems will have to eventually be end-of-life'd.
post #37 of 64
Hmm. Kind of disappointing they didn't release the FX 5800 (240 shaders like the GTX 280 and GTX285) since that is really the direct replacement for the previous Mac FX 5600. The FX 4800 (192 shaders like the original GTX 260) is an impressive card, but it still means the Mac Pro is dropping a speed class in it's Quadro GPU option. This is kind of like the 512MB HD4870, which is a mid-range GPU, and not a higher-end performance class GPU like the 8800GT was when it was released. I'm still holding out that Apple will release a true consumer high-end GPU for the Mac Pro like a 1GB HD4890, GTX 275 or GTX 285, all safe single GPU options so Apple doesn't have to go to the bother of supporting SLI or Crossfire.
post #38 of 64
Lack of two full PCI Express 2.0 x16? I thought that was already standard in the 2008 Mac Pro.

This is a good step forwards, but as already mentioned, it would have been even better if Nvidia had released an FX5800 mac edition as well. If Nvidia can release a dual platform ready GPU, how hard is it to make available firmware to some of the current GPUs so they can also be used in OS X, not just in Windows? I just put an EVGA GTX 295 in my MP, it's awesome and all, but if I want to run OS X I have to swap it for my old 8800GT.
post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by marokero View Post

Lack of two full PCI Express 2.0 x16? I thought that was already standard in the 2008 Mac Pro.

This is a good step forwards, but as already mentioned, it would have been even better if Nvidia had released an FX5800 mac edition as well. If Nvidia can release a dual platform ready GPU, how hard is it to make available firmware to some of the current GPUs so they can also be used in OS X, not just in Windows? I just put an EVGA GTX 295 in my MP, it's awesome and all, but if I want to run OS X I have to swap it for my old 8800GT.

Might actually be interesting to see if your GTX 295 will be functional in OS X once 10.5.7 is released with the drivers for the FX 4800. The GPU cores are from the same family so the GTX 295 might actually work, if only in single GPU mode.
post #40 of 64
I too am surprised that Nvidia is releasing the 4800 but not the 5800. Perhaps there is some business sense behind it, or perhaps the comment that more is to come is an indication that they're working on it.

But still. $1800? That's an Apple tax of $230 over the PC equivalent part over at Newegg.

And no way was the 8800GT a "high-end" card. The 8800GT was to the 8800GTX what the Radeon HD 4870 512MB is to a factory overclocked 4870 1GB, or better yet, the new 4890. If I can fault Apple on anything, it's graphics options and prices.
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