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

123468

Comments

  • Reply 101 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



    The "problem" lies within my screen, the 30" ACD ueses 4 pixel at 1280x800 to display one, that's why it looks pixelated. However it's not thaat bad, I'll just sit a bit further away...
  • Reply 102 of 146
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


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



    Those people are stupid then. I think People want apple to update their firmware and drivers so they can use a few of these select newer bios based cards, but not just walk backwards out of EFI.
  • Reply 103 of 146
    slugheadslughead Posts: 1,169member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker


    Those people are stupid then. I think People want apple to update their firmware and drivers so they can use a few of these select newer bios based cards, but not just walk backwards out of EFI.





    Personally, I'm pissed they didn't use BIOS in the first place. They obviously did it to keep people from using it on 3rd party motherboards (using EFI instead of a jerry-rigged BIOS is much easier).



    The option-key on boot menu could've been rigged into BIOS (No purdy little icons though.. is it really worth it?).



    The rest of the reasons for using EFI are either misguided (and could be done under BIOS) or would be worth sacrificing so we could have some real video card selection for the years to come.



    It actually woudn't be as hard as it sounds to switch to BIOS even now, as it's not essential to the functionality of OS X.



    As far as updating the firmware and drivers to accept new cards, that's really not going to happen. Even if it were possible (I don't think it is), Apple's not going to do it.



    Apple had a perfect opportunity to change their evil graphics card hording ways with the ICBM's, they chose not to, and it's not tough to see why.



    EDIT: .... Eats babies.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    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.



    If Apple used BIOS. all you'd have to do is write an OS X driver to use any video card on the market. I'm sure NVIdia may write some drivers themselves, probably ATI too.
  • Reply 104 of 146
    I have a question?





    Does a mac having an EFI system as opposed to a bios matter in using a stock pc video card in a mac. It is the same pci express architecture, and the cards are even recognized by osx as a video device. I placed a geforce 7600gs alongside the 7300gt and it showed up as a display adapter. It will not however detect a display attached. So i am guessing that it is a matter of nvidia provifing a firmware update to replace the non native osx compatible firmware on the card or even just having osx support the cards current chipset. While I am sure the pc cards can not handle a 128kb firmware to handle a pc/mac compatibility, I am sure there is room for a native osx revision.
  • Reply 105 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crunchy1


    I have a question? Does a mac having an EFI system as opposed to a bios matter in using a stock pc video card in a mac...



    Exactly. This is where I think slughead is missing the point. EFI or BIOS, it doesn't matter what happens, Apple needs to support the video card at the video card firmware level and at the OS X driver level. Both of which are not magic, but yes, do require Apple writing, testing, and releasing drivers, and usually(?), specific firmware for the card.



    Again, I don't think Apple going back BIOS will really help in this matter, though yes, slughead, Apple users are sooo spoilt, they need to be shocked with a bit of BIOS text action.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crunchy1


    ...I placed a geforce 7600gs alongside the 7300gt and it showed up as a display adapter. It will not however detect a display attached.



    This is very interesting. Because there have been reports of placing for example, a 7950GX2 next to the 7300GT and the Mac didn't boot, just kernel panicked. That's cool how there was no kernel panic in your case with the 7600gs sitting there.



    You know what? The ideal friggin thing is to have Apple offer the 7600GTs as the base offering, not the 7300GT. That way, you could have the pair of 7600s work fine in OS X, and then have them SLI for some smooth gaming action in Bootcamp Windows. I guess at the moment people can do that with the 7300GTs - have two, both work great in OS X side, can do SLI in Bootcamp Windows. But the caveat with this paragraph I just wrote is that if you have two 7600GTs when ordering a Mac Pro, just to use it for PC games, well, that's kinda silly...



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by crunchy1


    So i am guessing that it is a matter of nvidia provifing a firmware update to replace the non native osx compatible firmware on the card or even just having osx support the cards current chipset. While I am sure the pc cards can not handle a 128kb firmware to handle a pc/mac compatibility, I am sure there is room for a native osx revision.



    Yes, why can't a OS X driver work off the stock firmware in the stock chipset? I know it's a different ballgame but my D-Link Bluetooth dongle thingy worked fine with stock firmware with Mac OS 10.3 - There was a firmware update to the dongle that made it only compatible with Macs, I did that just for the hell of it But yes... In video cards, can OS X handle stock firmware? The 7300GT and X1900XT - is that shipping with stock firmware or Apple-modded firmware? Hmm....
  • Reply 106 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    Sunil did not suggest the Quadro for games. Quadro was never intended to be a game product.



    Heh. Certainly the cost premium is nowhere near justifyable on planet Earth if one were to use it for games. But it would be faster than the X1900XT offered for the Mac Pro. If you were really using the Quadro in OS X then yeah, well, you could also have the *best* available for the Mac Pro PC Gaming... Since the X1900XT[X] is no available for da MacPro yo.



    Hmm... in OS X Quadro vs X1900XT is somewhat a slim advantage.





  • Reply 107 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NORTHERNLiGHTS


    The "problem" lies within my screen, the 30" ACD ueses 4 pixel at 1280x800 to display one, that's why it looks pixelated. However it's not thaat bad, I'll just sit a bit further away...



    ROFLMAO. No friggin wonder - 30" cinema display 2560 x 1600 pixels ...!!



    Half Life 2 would look friggin amazing. This reporter played it at that res.

    http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Sto...1422.35562.htm



    You be wanting a SLI'ed 7900GTX pair for great quality at those much much higher resolutions than the paltry 1280x1024



    You could also go QUAD SLI (YES IT IS ALSO NOW A REALITY ONLOOKER [you probably know about it already anyway])

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/08/...hed/index.html

    but the results are... well, terrible, actually.



    Umm... yeah NorthernLights, maybe go for the X1900XT for Mac Pro and run at 1600x1200 or 2048x1536 or somewhere in between and you can sit closer to the screen ...2560x1600 actually is possible Bootcamp Windows run native with X1900XT, maybe at medium qualities (2xAA, 8xAF, high-end game graphic features toned-down) but you can play da games at the native res of your 30" screen. The TomsHardware link above shows a few benchmarks for the X1900XT[X] at 2560x1600.
  • Reply 108 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Placebo


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



  • Reply 109 of 146
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slughead


    Apple had a perfect opportunity to change their evil graphics card hording ways with the ICBM's, they chose not to, and it's not tough to see why.



    Apple had a perfect opportunity to innovate by not using technology that's close to three decades old, and they chose to, and it's easy to see why.
  • Reply 110 of 146
    Heh. "Evil graphics card hording ways"
  • Reply 111 of 146
    slugheadslughead Posts: 1,169member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker


    Apple had a perfect opportunity to innovate by not using technology that's close to three decades old, and they chose to, and it's easy to see why.





    Let's see.. they're based on UNIX which is that old.. wait, but you say all old technology is bad... how can we turn this around in Apple's favor..



    You're also wrong about 'convoluted boot menus' being a product of BIOS. Yes, it's text based, but they could have volume labels and drive types if they wanted to.



    I test PC motherboards for a LIVING. I deal with boot menus almost daily from tons of different manufacturers. There ARE some that are easy to read and intuitive. It's not like text somehow makes things 50 times more complicated. I saw an HP laptop the other day which gathered the volume labels and gave you a list of valid boot partitions (not just drives!)



    And last time I checked, NTFS boot volumes are all labeled "WINDOWS" in the option menu.. OMG COUNTER INTUITIVE! It's amazing, if I had 2 windows partitions, I'd have a better chance of knowing which is which on *gasp* A PC!



    Oh no! 256 colors! 640x480! Cry me a river.



    A 3rd option would be to have the motherboard detect the ROM on the card and see if it supports full color boot menus or not. If so, use purdy icons, if not, use text.



    BIOS itself may not be necessary, but neither is the 128kbyte ROMs on all the Apple video cards just to show some full-color boot menu.



    And say what you want about 'pc's and their decades-old 'BIOS', if you put a 6800 Ultra FOR MAC into a G5 without the driver installed, you'll get a kernel panic on bootup!



    So great! we get full color graphics! ... unless the driver isn't installed, in which case we get pwnt.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    Heh. "Evil graphics card hording ways"



    Apple to graphics cards: "My precioussss.."
  • Reply 112 of 146
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slughead


    Let's see.. they're based on UNIX which is that old.. wait, but you say all old technology is bad... how can we turn this around in Apple's favor..



    Old technology is bad when something superior comes along. Unix was never actually beaten in any widespread form whatsoever. There were attempts, sure, but they ultimately all failed. The only major alternative to Unix that's left is NT, which takes a lot of cues from Unix.



    Quote:

    You're also wrong about 'convoluted boot menus' being a product of BIOS.



    Not an essential one, but effectively, yes. No other mainstream manufacturer I know of actually provides good ones.



    Quote:

    Yes, it's text based, but they could have volume labels and drive types if they wanted to.



    Oh, so why don't they?



    Quote:

    I test PC motherboards for a LIVING. I deal with boot menus almost daily from tons of different manufacturers. There ARE some that are easy to read and intuitive. It's not like text somehow makes things 50 times more complicated. I saw an HP laptop the other day which gathered the volume labels and gave you a list of valid boot partitions (not just drives!)



    And it supported external drives via FireWire and USB that it all scanned automatically once connected? And the same for optical discs? How about network volumes?



    Quote:

    And last time I checked, NTFS boot volumes are all labeled "WINDOWS" in the option menu.. OMG COUNTER INTUITIVE! It's amazing, if I had 2 windows partitions, I'd have a better chance of knowing which is which on *gasp* A PC!



    Yes, that's correct.



    Quote:

    Oh no! 256 colors! 640x480! Cry me a river.



    I will. Provide me with a postal address as a destination.



    It really is worth crying about.
  • Reply 113 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    ROFLMAO. No friggin wonder - 30" cinema display 2560 x 1600 pixels ...!!



    Half Life 2 would look friggin amazing. This reporter played it at that res.

    http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Sto...1422.35562.htm



    You be wanting a SLI'ed 7900GTX pair for great quality at those much much higher resolutions than the paltry 1280x1024



    You could also go QUAD SLI (YES IT IS ALSO NOW A REALITY ONLOOKER [you probably know about it already anyway])

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/08/...hed/index.html

    but the results are... well, terrible, actually.



    Umm... yeah NorthernLights, maybe go for the X1900XT for Mac Pro and run at 1600x1200 or 2048x1536 or somewhere in between and you can sit closer to the screen ...2560x1600 actually is possible Bootcamp Windows run native with X1900XT, maybe at medium qualities (2xAA, 8xAF, high-end game graphic features toned-down) but you can play da games at the native res of your 30" screen. The TomsHardware link above shows a few benchmarks for the X1900XT[X] at 2560x1600.



    (Quad-)SLI would definately be nice but it's way to expensive for a non-Hardcore-Gamer, especially if I can't use them under OSX.

    That's why I'll go for the x1900xt if it gets aviable anytime at a reasonable price...
  • Reply 114 of 146
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NORTHERNLiGHTS


    That's why I'll go for the x1900xt if it gets aviable anytime at a reasonable price...



    The Apple upgrade price is pretty competitive.
  • Reply 115 of 146
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slughead


    Apple to graphics cards: "My precioussss.."



    Fortunately, the way PC graphics cards industry works can circumvent this, making it how the Mac industry will probably start working as well. About 10% of all the cards sold have the GPUs on chip boards made by ATI or Nvidia. The rest are the product of companies like BFGtech, Sapphire, eVGA, and XFX. Thus, one of these companies might see it profitable to head into the Mac aftermarket GPU market by releasing clones of Apple's latest BTO cards with ROMs swiped from the Apple GPUs as soon as they start shipping combined with a little bit of solder and a box of 128-kilobit ROM chips.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    The Apple upgrade price is pretty competitive.



    Sure, a 20% premium isn't as bad as it's been in the past, but having such a controlled supply of GPUs is bad for prices and variety.
  • Reply 116 of 146
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    All it takes is for such a card producer to recognize that supplying a hybrid ROM would be a unique selling point.
  • Reply 117 of 146
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Placebo


    Fortunately, the way PC graphics cards industry works can circumvent this, making it how the Mac industry will probably start working as well. About 10% of all the cards sold have the GPUs on chip boards made by ATI or Nvidia. The rest are the product of companies like BFGtech, Sapphire, eVGA, and XFX. Thus, one of these companies might see it profitable to head into the Mac aftermarket GPU market by releasing clones of Apple's latest BTO cards with ROMs swiped from the Apple GPUs as soon as they start shipping combined with a little bit of solder and a box of 128-kilobit ROM chips.



    The suggested "swiping" the firmware is probably going to net a copyright infringement lawsuit. I can see maybe they might offer larger ROM chips, but they probably can't legally sell boards with pre-installed copies of Apple's ROMs unless they can do a clean room implementation.



    Quote:

    Sure, a 20% premium isn't as bad as it's been in the past, but having such a controlled supply of GPUs is bad for prices and variety.



    While the loss of variety is unfortunate, I really don't see an $80 difference in price being a show-stopper when one is going to spend $4k US on hardware and software.
  • Reply 118 of 146
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    The "swiping" the firmware is probably going to net a lawsuit. I can see maybe they might offer larger ROM chips, but they probably can't legally sell boards with copies of Apple's ROMs unless they can do a clean room implementation.



    Why couldn't they create their own EFI firmware? It's not exactly a closed system; some of it is even open source.
  • Reply 119 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    The "swiping" the firmware is probably going to net a lawsuit. I can see maybe they might offer larger ROM chips, but they probably can't legally sell boards with copies of Apple's ROMs unless they can do a clean room implementation.



    It's just an EFI ROM. It's not that hard to do. I mean, the docs exist to do it in the public sphere. But there's still the driver issue.



    EDIT: What part of it's open source? I thought the whole EFI thing was owned by Intel. Granted, it'd be cheap to get a license, if they even charge.
  • Reply 120 of 146
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extensi...ware_Interface

    Quote:

    In addition to the Unified EFI foundation, Intel has released selected parts of the EFI specification as open source to the TianoCore project. This does not include the entire EFI specification, but rather parts of the EFI framework. Several licenses have been used for this code, including the BSD license and the Eclipse Public License.



Sign In or Register to comment.