SLI in Mac Pro. It's True Onlooker!!

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  • Reply 81 of 146
    1) Ditch BIOS XT ROM

    2) stitch CF part of XTX ROM onto XT

    3) Get hybrid ROM onto XTX
  • Reply 82 of 146
    tombtomb Posts: 29member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    Aww come on, he was having so much fun with his ludicrous little conspiracy theory. 8)



    Ludicrous?

    Well, XP uses BIOS. PC video cards use BIOS (with XP), both work fine on the EFI based MacPro because Apple wanted them to. I have no doubt that BIOS based PC video cards could work with OSX if Apple wanted them to. Do you really think that Apple is incapable of coding OSX to use the most common Video card standard on the Planet?

  • Reply 83 of 146
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TomB


    Ludicrous?

    Well, XP uses BIOS. PC video cards use BIOS (with XP), both work fine on the EFI based MacPro because Apple wanted them to. I have no doubt that BIOS based PC video cards could work with OSX if Apple wanted them to. Do you really think that Apple is incapable of coding OSX to use the most common Video card standard on the Planet?





    You're missing the point. Macs are different. People buying Macs consciously choose something different. One difference is the availability of Mac OS. Another difference is the use of EFI. Both of these differences are part of what some believe makes Macs more valuable than other-brand computers. The use of EFI, for example, enables Apple to provide several easy-to-use features that are either implemented poorly or not at all on other brands' computers, such as:
    • immediately having the full screen resolution available upon boot up, right from the moment you hit the power button

    • being able to switch between boot devices in a graphical menu that supports hot-plugging of FireWire and USB devices, detecting bootable partitions on internal and external hard drives, optical disks and even network connections, and lets you plug and unplug, insert and eject media live

    • providing basic drivers for several pieces of hardware agnostically of the operating system

    • allowing administrators to insert scripts into the boot ROM

    Compare that to a typical BIOS:
    • you usually have to deal with a resolution round 640x480, or even a text mode far below that resolution, upon boot up. Colors are usually limited to 256 or even less. In order to achieve higher resolutions, the OS needs to manually load a driver, since the ROM only provides very archaic video modes.

    • these days, many ROMs provide boot menus, whereas just a few years ago, this was still very uncommon. However, these menus typically are still text mode and very limited, not to mention they virtually never provide hot-plug support, let alone any uniform detection of whether that particular device is actually bootable. You're often forced to second-guess, and added to that, operating systems tend to provide their own additional menus which may be incompatible with each other.

    • you're often forced to go into a setup screen, which is usually in text mode and near-impossible for a new user to understand, with lots of convoluted options and little indiation regarding their significance. Mainboard manufacturers tend to customize this this setup, throwing some options out, randomly renaming or reordering them, or adding some of their own that often aren't documented well. There is basically little standardization at all.

    You may say "well, I don't need any of that!". But a lot of Mac users wouldn't want to miss it. Moving to BIOS would be a giant step backwards.
  • Reply 84 of 146
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TomB


    Ludicrous?

    Well, XP uses BIOS. PC video cards use BIOS (with XP), both work fine on the EFI based MacPro because Apple wanted them to. I have no doubt that BIOS based PC video cards could work with OSX if Apple wanted them to. Do you really think that Apple is incapable of coding OSX to use the most common Video card standard on the Planet?







    Does the video firmware do anything once OS X is up and running? Has anyone tried using a second card intended for PCs along side the stock card?
  • Reply 85 of 146
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Going into the BIOS is something that's unnecessary for a beginner. Maybe an advanced user might want to set up hardware RAID or some form of SCSI.
  • Reply 86 of 146
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski


    1) Ditch BIOS XT ROM

    2) stitch CF part of XTX ROM onto XT

    3) Get hybrid ROM onto XTX



    TWO ROMS WON'T FIT ON THE XTX ROM CHIP, READ POST ABOVE YOURS
  • Reply 87 of 146
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    Going into the BIOS is something that's unnecessary for a beginner.



    Not in case of trouble. Often, the default settings are either limiting (e.g., several boot devices aren't tested) or annoying (e.g., long memory test on every cold boot).
  • Reply 88 of 146
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    Not in case of trouble. Often, the default settings are either limiting (e.g., several boot devices aren't tested) or annoying (e.g., long memory test on every cold boot).



    That is generally set up properly from the manufacturer so it's not necessary to get in there.
  • Reply 89 of 146
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Back off topic, god why can't they ship these damned X1900 XTs.
  • Reply 90 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    You're missing the point....



    Yes, all that sounds nice. But, if you were one of those people holding a $400-$500 card that wouldn't work on your new Mac, you might not care about those little features. I'm not one of them. I was going to order a MacPro with the x1900 even with the old price as it wasn't that bad IMO. The new prices make it a no brainer. And I'd still be waiting for my Mac. At this point, I think I'll wait 'till Jan.



    The problem comes later on down the road when the Mac video card upgrade costs twice as much as the comparable PC card. I hope we see a different scenario with the MacPros. I just installed a $150 ATI x850 in a G4. The Mac version would have been around $340 and would not have been supported in an AGP 4x G4. Having a choice is always nice



    Does the video firmware do anything once OS X is up and running....

    I don't have a MacPro, yet, so I really don't know.
  • Reply 91 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Placebo


    Back off topic, god why can't they ship these damned X1900 XTs.



    3-4 Weeks too long for you to wait? Or did something happen when I was out for 3 weeks without decent broadband access..? Like the ship/ plane with the Mac Pro X1900XT's got 'jacked or something???



    BTW cool it's $250 now... I just found out
  • Reply 92 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    I always hope Mac users choose that platform because they're willing to break with a few norms and actually move forward one little step at the time, but every single time the graphics card discussion comes up, I'm presented with people who, rather, blindly defend a hacked, broken, non-standard technique from the late 70s / early 80s over two far superior, standardized but not as widely deplyoed, techniques from the early and mid-90s.



    Umm... Hi Chucker, me again... Just wanted to point out that saying "EFI is better than BIOS" is a very tangential defense of the fact that the Mac Pro only offers THREE graphics card options.



    Number One I don't believe Apple is being evil in this, they are going for reliability and stability, etc. in the scope of the time the engineers have had to come up with a Mac Pro, given things like Intel chipset with (OMG, seriously) TWO FW800 ports.



    Number Two I believe that the range that is given covers as much as possible, 7300GT basic, X1900XT for latest and greatest gaming, and a Quadro for 3D peoples.



    Just to reiterate, EFI vs BIOS is not so relevant when faced with the point that only THREE graphics cards are a reasonable option. I don't think people are really screaming for Apple to go back to BIOS so that any PC Video Card will work in a Mac Pro



    Again, just to mention, I have said though that in terms of a professional or prosumer/ consumer Mac, it has never been this good. iMac and MacBookPro - playing the latest PC games at medium quality. Mac Pro - latest PC games at medium quality (7300GT) or highest quality (X1900XT) or INSANE quality (mmm... how much is that Quadro again?).



    Access to PC games, ability to run Windows native, ability to run Windows concurrently in a sandbox (Parallels) - Yes, the Mac powers on. We're still just searching for maybe, a nice 7600GT or 7900GT, SLI Quadro's in Mac OS X, and the like. We are never satisfied
  • Reply 93 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NORTHERNLiGHTS


    Does anyone know if and when new Graphiccards with EFI are comming? I cancelled my Mac Pro order with x1900xt and picked up a standard 2.66 modell.



    I tried some games under bootcamp (installed on a external hd), Far Cry, Half-Life2, CS: S, Dark Messiah, Riddick all runned decently at 1280x800 heighest detail and 4x AA, but it still looks so pixelated and if I go with higher resolutions, the frames drop dramaticly.



    Not that I'm a hardcore gamer, I'm mostly working under OSX and play games on rainy days (a lot to come...), but I'd like to have a setup which will run games well for the next 2-3 years and the 7300 GT is way to weak for that.



    PC Gaming at 1280x800 at highest detail and 4xAA sounds decent. In PC land, even for a large number of "enthusiasts", most people play games at 1280x1024 and 1024x768. Half-Life2 smooth at 4xAA is no small feat. My 6600GT runs HL2 at highest settings well at 2xAA at 1280x1024, but starts to choke on 4xAA (one of the caveats of the otherwise excellent performance-per-dollar 6600GT).



    "Pixelation" at 1280x800, say that to PC gamers and they would be astonished. To them, "pixelation" means playing at 800x600



    If you are enjoying your gaming now, then you can stick with the 7300GT for a year. Otherwise, might as well pony up the cash for the X1900XT and you will be more satisfied. Smooth frame rates, latest games, at "non-pixelated" resolutions higher than 1280x1024 (AFAIK reports indicate the X1900XT handles 1600x1200 high quality 4xAA quite alright)



    Sadly, that's the only choice - get a X1900XT, and be happy. Or pay lots of cash for the Quadro
  • Reply 94 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    PC Gaming at 1280x800 at highest detail and 4xAA sounds decent. In PC land, even for a large number of "enthusiasts", most people play games at 1280x1024 and 1024x768. Half-Life2 smooth at 4xAA is no small feat. My 6600GT runs HL2 at highest settings well at 2xAA at 1280x1024, but starts to choke on 4xAA (one of the caveats of the otherwise excellent performance-per-dollar 6600GT).



    "Pixelation" at 1280x800, say that to PC gamers and they would be astonished. To them, "pixelation" means playing at 800x600



    If you are enjoying your gaming now, then you can stick with the 7300GT for a year. Otherwise, might as well pony up the cash for the X1900XT and you will be more satisfied. Smooth frame rates, latest games, at "non-pixelated" resolutions higher than 1280x1024 (AFAIK reports indicate the X1900XT handles 1600x1200 high quality 4xAA quite alright)



    Sadly, that's the only choice - get a X1900XT, and be happy. Or pay lots of cash for the Quadro



    Half-Life 2 @ 4x AA/16xAF and HDR isn't that big of a deal... I do 1600x1200 4xAA 16xAF on most games.



    And for gaming, X1900XTX>Quadro,
  • Reply 95 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theapplegenius


    Half-Life 2 @ 4x AA/16xAF and HDR isn't that big of a deal... I do 1600x1200 4xAA 16xAF on most games. And for gaming, X1900XTX>Quadro,



    Cool. What card are you using?
  • Reply 96 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    .....Compare that to a typical BIOS:
    • you usually have to deal with a resolution round 640x480, or even a text mode far below that resolution, upon boot up. Colors are usually limited to 256 or even less. In order to achieve higher resolutions, the OS needs to manually load a driver, since the ROM only provides very archaic video modes.

    • these days, many ROMs provide boot menus, whereas just a few years ago, this was still very uncommon. However, these menus typically are still text mode and very limited, not to mention they virtually never provide hot-plug support, let alone any uniform detection of whether that particular device is actually bootable. You're often forced to second-guess, and added to that, operating systems tend to provide their own additional menus which may be incompatible with each other.

    • you're often forced to go into a setup screen, which is usually in text mode and near-impossible for a new user to understand, with lots of convoluted options and little indiation regarding their significance. Mainboard manufacturers tend to customize this this setup, throwing some options out, randomly renaming or reordering them, or adding some of their own that often aren't documented well. There is basically little standardization at all.

    You may say "well, I don't need any of that!". But a lot of Mac users wouldn't want to miss it. Moving to BIOS would be a giant step backwards.



    I say Mac users MUST learn to see a 640x480 256color screen to remind them how great the Mac is...!! They should also learn about crappy BIOS text screens for setting up stuff. System Preferences and Power Settings to customize processor performance, all in Aqua glory.... PFFFT. In a crappy Toshiba Pentium 4-M I have now, it switches between 1.2ghz and 2ghz on load -- you can only (I think) change that setting in BIOS if you want it to be 2ghz all the time (disabling Intel Speedstep or whatever)... Hardcore Mac Users, play with the BIOS! If nothing but for Retro nostalgia and stuff. AND TO LEARN HOW *REAL* OVERCLOCKING IS DONE: Playing with every possible setting in the BIOS to "tune" your AMD/Intel beast to MAX performance. YEAHHH..... The secret lies in the "convoluted options [with] little indication regarding their significance"... RAM dividers, PCI Express bus clock, boot sequence, etc. RAM timings and RAM speed settings is my favourite. 3-3-3-8 or 2.5-3-3-8 or 2.5-3-2-6? Maybe 2.5-2-3-7? Hours of fun, especially when a lot of the tweaking you can do makes little real-world difference



    Sh*t, I think from like post 3000 to post 5000 I have become increasingly PC-fanboyish. I still use a Mac, I swear! From, uh, time to time, it's mainly used by my parents now. Since I am in Australia for a few months, I have no AMD64 Venice Just the above-mentioned craptastic (but gets the job done ) Toshiba Pentium 4-M. Mmmm...
  • Reply 97 of 146
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    I don't think people are really screaming for Apple to go back to BIOS so that any PC Video Card will work in a Mac Pro



    Er, yes. I think that's precisely what a lot of people here are sadly screaming for.
  • Reply 98 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    Er, yes. I think that's precisely what a lot of people here are sadly screaming for.



    Ouch. EFI is here to stay. Even if Apple went back to BIOS, that would not mean that any PC Video Card will work in OS X - umm... because of the drivers, right? OS X *has* to like the Video Card for things to work fully. So at the end of the day, it is a matter of what video cards Apple OS X DECIDES TO SUPPORT. \ Unless people are arguing that with BIOS it is easier to hack a generic PC Video Card into OS X support via various magic spells of Hackintoshery.
  • Reply 99 of 146
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theapplegenius


    And for gaming, X1900XTX>Quadro,



    Sunil did not suggest the Quadro for games. Quadro was never intended to be a game product.
  • Reply 100 of 146
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    Er, yes. I think that's precisely what a lot of people here are sadly screaming for.



    Apparently they've forgotten that, oh shit, drivers don't write themselves!
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