OS X 10.8.3 beta supports AMD Radeon 7000 drivers, hinting at Apple's new Mac Pro

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 2014
Apple's first beta of OS X 10.8.3 has quietly added support for the AMD Radeon HD 7000 series of graphics cards, hinting that they could be featured in the company's designed Mac Pro desktop.

AMD


Support for the AMD Radeon HD 7XXX series was discovered by Netkas.org this week, following the launch of the first beta of OS X 10.8.3. Specifically, the Mac operating system supports the Radeon HD 7900 series, codenamed "Tahiti," which includes the Radeon HD 7970 and 7950.

Both of those cards feature 3 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory, and are based on a 28-nanometer chip manufacturing process. The cards are the first products to feature AMD's "Graphics Core Next" compute architecture.

Support for the dedicated desktop graphics card series could signal that AMD's latest GPUs may be headed for an updated Mac Pro. Apple's lone tower computer was quietly updated in June with a modest speed bump featuring a two-year-old Intel Xeon E5645 chip.

After users expressed frustration over that update, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook quickly confirmed that his company was working on an overhaul of the Mac Pro. He indicated that the updated desktop would be released sometime in 2013.

"Don't worry as we're working on something really great for next year," Cook said to a customer in an e-mail. An unnamed executive also indicated to The New York Times that an updated Mac Pro was on pace for release next year.

Signs of a sixth-generation Mac Pro appeared in internal configuration files found in the Mountain Lion operating system earlier this year. The "MP60" is expected to be a significant overhaul of the current Mac Pro model, which has had the same basic aluminum box design introduced for the 2005 PowerMac G5.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 211
    What we know USB3, Thunderbolt. We also know nearly garenteed smaller no optical drive, faster possibly cheaper, could be featured with new OS X release date 2013
  • Reply 2 of 211
    New case design doesn't matter—the current case is amazing. USB 3, whatever; Thunderbolt would be a welcome addition, still not critical. It doesn’t need to be smaller, and yes, it could still use an optical drive (or two!) because it’s a big [I]professional[/I] machine. People don't buy MacPros for anything but work: scientific, design, audio, video, whatever. The MacPro is not a web-shopping appliance.

    I love my iPad—I’m glad Apple sells millions of them—but I can't use it to do my job. Pros don’t worry about constant redesigns. Pros don’t care that the new tower looks the same as the previous model—it's a different market than the iPhone. But when professional products—like Xserve—drop from production, it’s [I]terrifying.[/I]

    The only thing that matters to us is that Apple [I][U]keeps making a MacPro tower[/U][/I]. Versatility and expandability are critical for serious (meaning: we get paid for this) content creation. For example, PCI audio is the way it works in professional recording:

    http://www.motu.com/products/pciaudio/HD192

    In our studio, we’d sell our PCI gear and use a 4 track tape machine like the Beatles (the results were outstanding, would you not agree?) before we’d switch to Windows.

    Or I guess we could build a beast of a Hackintosh…
  • Reply 3 of 211
    What we know USB3, Thunderbolt. We also know nearly garenteed smaller no optical drive, faster possibly cheaper, could be featured with new OS X release date 2013

    If history is any indication it won't be cheaper. Usually same price with newer hardware.
    New case design doesn't matter—the current case is amazing.

    Fully agree! I would simply love for them to release a new MP with the same case design. Will look great next to all my older MP's; becoming more like a museum.
    Pros don’t worry about constant redesigns. Pros don’t care that the new tower looks the same as the previous model

    Oops, guess that doesn't make me a Pro then.
    The only thing that matters to us is that Apple keeps making a MacPro tower. Versatility and expandability are critical...

    Well, definitely great to have the expandability!
  • Reply 4 of 211
    As a pro, I definitely don't want my present day mac pro to look like a g4 or a g3 or any atx case. These cases may have looked state of the art back in the 90's, but they look horribly outdated nowadays. The only reason the mac pro case still looks okay is because you haven't seen anything more advanced than that. Apple has made a habit of throwing out new designs that you and I cannot even think of and make the old design look terribly old.

    I agree with you that change for the sake of change is never a good thing, Revolution that triggers change might be a good thing, Evolution that triggers change certainly is.
  • Reply 5 of 211


    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

    Will look great next to all my older MP's; becoming more like a museum.


     


    Hmm. Is that really what you want from what is supposed to be a bleeding-edge computer?

  • Reply 6 of 211
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    You may want to fix the title of the article to "OS X 10.8.3 beta supports AMD Radeon [B]HD[/B] 7000 drivers, hinting at Apple's new Mac Pro", because Mac OS X has supported the Radeon 7000 graphics card since sometime in 2002.
  • Reply 7 of 211
    oomuoomu Posts: 127member


    I don't want a "cosmetic redesign" of the case just because some geeks are bored...


     


    the macpro already has a GREAT case : beautiful, solid, easy to tweak inside, good air cooling, good alimentation.


     


    But if you tell me about an internal redesign, with new features,for example hot plug ssd+hd units, more connectors, and better ideas to improve my workflow and expandability, of course I buy that.


     


    I don't care about a redesign just for the novelty sake, only about work and utilitarian improvements.


     


    Apple never change a design just because fashion, only if they think it's better.

  • Reply 8 of 211
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,976member
    Case size is important. Just ask all those enterprise technicians who have to move the old Mac Pros around. For me, a Mac Pro case needs to be just large enough to hold a motherboard with several CPUs, plenty of RAM, and a few specialized PCIe cards. Standard I/O ports don't really take up much room. As for optical drives, I wonder if not having them would be better, letting me attach my specialized and constantly changing drives to whichever Mac Pro I want instead of having to settle for older internal drives. The amount of space for internal disk/SSD drives is something that I'd have to think about. There needs to be enough disk room for individual users but for groups of users, having SSD boot drives and external shared drives might be a better option. This would mean a much smaller case design. Think about a stack of Mac mini. Add better CPUs with heat sinks (tall-mini, size of two minis) and something on the order of four tall-minis would only be a foot tall. Redesign to get rid of the optical drives (two quad- or six-core CPUs could fit in the bottom two or three tall-minis) and you could put disks and I/O cards in the top tall-mini space to get four to six CPUs with disks and I/O cards for a nice new Mac Pro. All in a much smaller design and (maybe) with redundant power supplies. Actually, Apple could have fun and build the new Mac Pro as a modular computer: redundant power module, dual CPU module, disk module, I/O module. Just stack them to plug everything together. Start with a single CPU module but allow 2-4 (or more) to be stacked. Same with disk and I/O modules. This ends up looking like a blade server and could provide the same functionality (maybe even as a reborn OS X Server).
  • Reply 9 of 211
    ecsecs Posts: 307member


    Finally, an interesting rumor!!! (I was quite bored of iOS rumors)


     


    I'd like to have a new Mac Pro with as few mechanical parts as possible (no HD, fan-less PSU... and if the whole computer can be designed with just one fan, better than two).

  • Reply 10 of 211
    The PowerMac G5 came out in 2003, not 2005.
  • Reply 11 of 211
    philboogie wrote: »
    Will look great next to all my older MP's; becoming more like a museum.

    Hmm. Is that really what you want from what is supposed to be a bleeding-edge computer?

    Of course not; the internals are the important factor. Give me 16x PCIe on all 4 slots et cetera. The request for a smaller MP I don't get; which is why I'd rather have the same case design.
  • Reply 12 of 211
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,976member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post





    Of course not; the internals are the important factor. Give me 16x PCIe on all 4 slots et cetera. The request for a smaller MP I don't get; which is why I'd rather have the same case design.


    Phil, I don't need that many slots but understand you do. That's why I'd like to see a more modular approach to the MacPro. If it's done right, you could make it as big as you want in the areas you want. One size doesn't fit all but having the ability to make it fit each user would be nice. I personally would like something between the size of a mini and a Mac Pro that has more capabilities than the iMac.

  • Reply 13 of 211
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rob53 View Post



    Case size is important. Just ask all those enterprise technicians who have to move the old Mac Pros around. For me, a Mac Pro case needs to be just large enough to hold a motherboard with several CPUs, plenty of RAM, and a few specialized PCIe cards. Standard I/O ports don't really take up much room. As for optical drives, I wonder if not having them would be better, letting me attach my specialized and constantly changing drives to whichever Mac Pro I want instead of having to settle for older internal drives. The amount of space for internal disk/SSD drives is something that I'd have to think about. There needs to be enough disk room for individual users but for groups of users, having SSD boot drives and external shared drives might be a better option. This would mean a much smaller case design. 



    Think about a stack of Mac mini. Add better CPUs with heat sinks (tall-mini, size of two minis) and something on the order of four tall-minis would only be a foot tall. Redesign to get rid of the optical drives (two quad- or six-core CPUs could fit in the bottom two or three tall-minis) and you could put disks and I/O cards in the top tall-mini space to get four to six CPUs with disks and I/O cards for a nice new Mac Pro. All in a much smaller design and (maybe) with redundant power supplies. Actually, Apple could have fun and build the new Mac Pro as a modular computer: redundant power module, dual CPU module, disk module, I/O module. Just stack them to plug everything together. Start with a single CPU module but allow 2-4 (or more) to be stacked. Same with disk and I/O modules. This ends up looking like a blade server and could provide the same functionality (maybe even as a reborn OS X Server).


    Sorry Rob, your ideas are not in sync with what a Mac Pro needs. Have you actually looked inside a current Mac Pro? Each Xeon is like its own integrated module with heat sync and huge fan. The entire aluminum case design is engineered for cooling with a lot of internal volume for air flow. Cooling is what makes them last so long. Pro work is varied. Some people need specialized cards and those cards need fans and cooling as well. Removing the optical drives and perhaps some of the empty HDD slots could save some room, but I don't see saving space as a high priority for professional environments.


     


    Some have suggested that it will be 19" rackable. If that happens it will certainly mean the removal of the optical drives as Apple would never release a machine where the optical drives would be vertically oriented nor would they release a professional machine for the desktop that was designed to be lying flat. I am leaning toward them not being rack mounted at all. The design aesthetics are just all wrong to have a combo orientation. I think they will be towers as always. I'm kind of hoping they only do minimal redesign to the case and concentrate on upgrading the internals and I/O. I wouldn't mind a hot swap redundant power supply although we have been using the Mac Pros since they were first released running them 24/7 and never had any component failure. I think Apple is done with rack mounted servers completely and if they offer some specialized server product in the future like a FCP X Server they will expect it to be used with the Mac Pro tower.

  • Reply 14 of 211
    rob53 wrote: »
    Phil, I don't need that many slots but understand you do. That's why I'd like to see a more modular approach to the MacPro. If it's done right, you could make it as big as you want in the areas you want. One size doesn't fit all but having the ability to make it fit each user would be nice. I personally would like something between the size of a mini and a Mac Pro that has more capabilities than the iMac.

    There are quite a few people posting this very request; a smaller MP, an in-between iMac and MP. Knowing Apple, they never seize to amaze people. You might get your wish, but I doubt it. Because:

    iMac starts at $1299 Mac Pro starts at $2499. Say they want to release an mid-Mac, if you will. I think that price will need to be in between there, $1899. We know what they will do: the RAM is so low everyone is going to need to upgrade. If it's user accessible, fine. If not 'Apple-tax'.

    Then there is the GPU RAM; they'll make it lower than a MP, since it has to be in between an iMac & MP, so 512MB. We'll have people complain on that, or people need to get a $250 GPU.

    Next up, well, you get the picture. For you, and everyone who wants a mid-tower: I hope they'll release one. As long as they keep the current config of the MP as well.
  • Reply 15 of 211
    mstone wrote: »
    Sorry Rob, your ideas are not in sync with what a Mac Pro needs. Have you actually looked inside a current Mac Pro? Each Xeon is like its own integrated module with heat sync and huge fan. The entire aluminum case design is engineered for cooling with a lot of internal volume for air flow. Cooling is what makes them last so long. Pro work is varied. Some people need specialized cards and those cards need fans and cooling as well. Removing the optical drives and perhaps some of the empty HDD slots could save some room, but I don't see saving space as a high priority for professional environments.

    Some have suggested that it will be 19" rackable. If that happens it will certainly mean the removal of the optical drives as Apple would never release a machine where the optical drives would be vertically oriented nor would they release a professional machine for the desktop that was designed to be lying flat. I am leaning toward them not being rack mounted at all. The design aesthetics are just all wrong to have a combo orientation. I think they will be towers as always. I'm kind of hoping they only do minimal redesign to the case and concentrate on upgrading the internals and I/O. I wouldn't mind a hot swap redundant power supply although we have been using the Mac Pros since they were first released running them 24/7 and never had any component failure. I think Apple is done with rack mounted servers completely and if they offer some specialized server product like a FCP X Server they will expect it to be used with the Mac Pro tower.

    Excellent points you make mstone. I don't see them doing any of those things.

    One qustion: you never had a problematic PSU in the late 2005 model? Even Apple started a replacement program for that model.
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2373898?start=0&tstart=0
  • Reply 16 of 211


    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    If that happens it will certainly mean the removal of the optical drives as Apple would never release a machine where the optical drives would be vertically oriented



     


    I agree with you, but eh?


     


    image

  • Reply 17 of 211
    On a Pro machine, I think [B]mstone[/B] means
  • Reply 18 of 211


    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

    On a Pro machine, I think mstone means


     


    Yeah, that's what I figure. Makes sense that they wouldn't, either.

  • Reply 19 of 211
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    On a Pro machine, I think mstone means


    True I didn't really consider iMac slot drives because I was looking at my tray style Mac Pro optical drives and my rack mounted servers while I was typing that post. I don't really like slot drives that much but vertically mounted on the side they are not too noticeable however on the front of a machine they would be rather ugly in my opinion.

  • Reply 20 of 211
    philboogie wrote: »
    Of course not; the internals are the important factor. Give me 16x PCIe on all 4 slots et cetera. The request for a smaller MP I don't get; which is why I'd rather have the same case design.

    Other than perhaps new internal design changes for watercooling the CPUs and better spacing on the boards for improved air-flow and thus heat transfer the design is beautiful and ahead of the industry, at large.

    Larger and whisper quiet fans to reduce noise would seem one area they would tackle.
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