ATI Radeon X2800XT with CrossFire rumored for Apple's next Mac Pro

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
The centerpiece of ATI's next-generation graphics card line may make its first appearance as part of an upgrade to Apple Inc.'s Mac Pro line of professional desktop computers, according to an online report.



Revealed in a photo published by the The Inquirer on Monday, a version of the card -- codenamed R600XTX -- was initially pegged as an OEM model for large system manufacturers. However, a subsequent report from the publication claims the specialized card was designed specifically for one customer: Apple.



The mammoth red beast, measuring some 12.4-inch in length, is about 3-inches larger than the industry-leading GeForce 8800 card from NVIDIA. It's said to include a four-pronged heat pipe with vapour chamber technology to provide amble but quiet cooling.



When it makes its debut as part of the ATI X2800XT series later this March, it's rumored that the card will feature 1GB of 512Mbit GDDR4 memory running at 2.0GHz. The graphics core itself will reportedly be an 80nm chip clocked at 800MHz -- significantly faster than the GeForce 8800's 1.8GHz memory and 575MHz core.



While there appear to be several versions of the ATI card that will slowly make their way to market -- including a 9-inch retail variant and slightly down-clocked dual-chip offering -- the model destine for Apple is expected to debut first and introduce CrossFire support to the Mac.



CrossFire technology, which requires a compliant motherboard with a pair of PCI Express (PCIe) graphics cards, essentially allows users or system manufacturers to pair graphics cards within a single system to improve graphics performance.



ATI X2800XT (codenamed: "Dragons Head", R600XTX ) Source: The Inquirer



Precise release date and pricing specifications are currently unknown. However, the card is likely to cost Apple significantly less than the dual-chip X2800XT2 solution, which The Inquirer has pinned at around $600.



Apple, which has held a brawny update to its Mac Pro workstations within its labs since last fall, has reportedly deferred on a release until a time closer to a roll-out of Adobe's Intel-native Creative Suite 3.0 software bundle.



The 8-core Xeon-based powerhouse would be the only system within the Mac maker's arsenal capable of adopting the new ATI card.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 167
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    That sounds like one sweet Machine.
  • Reply 2 of 167
    Leopard coming in March as well?



    Now MacPro is so powerful, time to upgrade Mac Mini and iMac as well
  • Reply 3 of 167
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shanmugam View Post


    Now MacPro is so powerful, time to upgrade Mac Mini and iMac as well



    Mac mini and iMac are probably waiting for the Santa Rosa platform.
  • Reply 4 of 167
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    let the whining about crossfire on a xeon box commence...



    Vinea
  • Reply 5 of 167
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple, which has held a brawny update to its Mac Pro workstations within its labs since last fall, has reportedly deferred on a release until a time closer to a roll-out of Adobe's Intel-native Creative Suite 3.0 software bundle.



    The 8-core Xeon-based powerhouse would be the only system within the Mac maker's arsenal capable of adopting the new ATI card.



    Hmmm, is this necessary for a video editor?



    As someone who works in print all that horsepower is useless for PhotoShop and Illustrator.



    So if the Insider is right about timing it to coincide with Adode's March launch of CS3, then what product is this aimed at? Because the last I read was that the Universal version of Production Studio wasn't going to be ready until mid-2007, which I would guess to mean June at the earliest.



  • Reply 6 of 167
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    let the whining about crossfire on a xeon box commence...



    Vinea



    lol



    Mac Pro announced sometime end of March - shown off in full glory at NAB.

    FCP 6 and RedOne at 4k res with this card.

    Bake off's left, right and centre ....

    I can see it now.



    Last year at NAB was quiet for Apple - all they did update the MBP, nothing shattering.
  • Reply 7 of 167
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by donebylee View Post


    Hmmm, is this necessary for a video editor?

    ..........





    Yes. The more the merrier. You can use a computer for much more than Photos. Photoshop is probably the least demanding of all the highend apps. I don't even think of it as one. Memory is where it's most hungry.



    This sounds like Apples best workstation yet. I hope they have more surprises, and some other vendors.
  • Reply 8 of 167
    80nm! Why not 65nm.



    I wonder if this is a card you can buy later down the line to upgrade the 1900 card in the Pro.
  • Reply 9 of 167
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post


    80nm! Why not 65nm.



    I wonder if this is a card you can buy later down the line to upgrade the 1900 card in the Pro.





    snip

    "The 8-core Xeon-based powerhouse would be the only system within the Mac maker's arsenal capable of adopting the new ATI card.

    " snip
  • Reply 10 of 167
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    you really should imagine the new Mac Pro case though!



  • Reply 11 of 167
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hugodrax View Post


    80nm! Why not 65nm.



    The video card chips apparently use less standard process sizes, and they are often behind in their processes too.
  • Reply 12 of 167
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    The video card chips apparently use less standard process sizes, and they are often behind in their processes too.



    This might be intentional though, nvidia got seriously burnt wehn they tried to intro the FX5700 range on a brand new process because yields were really low. So in precaution they adopt a policy of using a tried and tested process and after a bit, when the newer processes yield well, they move to a smaller process, thus saving money and with the possibility of less power draining chips or faster - witness the new x1950's.
  • Reply 13 of 167
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    The mammoth red beast, measuring some 12.4-inch in length, is about 3-inches larger than the industry-leading GeForce 8800 card from NVIDIA



    If this is in fact a truth and not just a fabricated rumor someone needs to measure the inside of their Mac pro to see how much distance is available from end to end for this card. Even though they said there were several versions of cards around, this could possibly be signs of a new case like MarcUK is suggesting.
  • Reply 14 of 167
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    Yes. The more the merrier. You can use a computer for much more than Photos. Photoshop is probably the least demanding of all the highend apps. I don't even think of it as one. Memory is where it's most hungry.



    It depends. I need to find it, but there was a benchmark posted that CS3 on a Quad upgraded to Octo was considerably quicker than CS3 on the stock Quad. Memory isn't going to help much because I don't think CS3 was updated enough to handle more memory.
  • Reply 15 of 167
    Quote:

    codenamed R600XTX



    Codename R600XTX and product name X2800XT. I mean really.
  • Reply 16 of 167
    What won't it work on the current mac pros? A quad won't enough?



    What would happen if I put it in my quad?
  • Reply 17 of 167
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    If this is in fact a truth and not just a fabricated rumor someone needs to measure the inside of their Mac pro to see how much distance is available from end to end for this card. Even though they said there were several versions of cards around, this could possibly be signs of a new case like MarcUK is suggesting.



    That length appears to be about the length of a standard full-length card. No new case needed. Even if it was longer, the forward fan assembly could be changed without changing anything else in the case. It doesn't really need to be as wide as it is.
  • Reply 18 of 167
    Quote:

    It's said to include a four-pronged heat pipe with vapour chamber technology to provide amble but quiet cooling.



    Provide amble but quiet cooling? Does no one proof these things? Ample but quiet cooling.



    Interesting use of the British spelling of vapor as well. LOL.





    Quote:

    ...the model destine for Apple is expected to debut first and introduce CrossFire support to the Mac.



    Destined not destine, which isn't even a word... so apparently not even simple spell check was applied.



    Let's please try to keep the standards of web journalism up shall we?
  • Reply 19 of 167
    No doubt in my mind this will happen. Only question is - how much $$?



    The mind boggles.



    Rich
  • Reply 20 of 167
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    It depends. I need to find it, but there was a benchmark posted that CS3 on a Quad upgraded to Octo was considerably quicker than CS3 on the stock Quad. Memory isn't going to help much because I don't think CS3 was updated enough to handle more memory.



    I said it was a memory hungry app. If CS3 upgraded to handle more of it, isn't the statement. THe statement is that it's a memory hungry app. If CS3 has a 2GB memory ceiling that isn't the issue. It's an issue for Adobe, but the fact that it's always going to be hungry for more memory is still a fact of the app.



    But then again I wasn't saying this computer was only intended for Photoshop users either. I was saying it was made for more than just Photoshop users - which IMO is the lowest end of the "highend" Applications and that's why some of these features may seem a bit excessive for merely a photoshop user. More than just Photoshop users buy these machines.
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