SLI GPU in new MacBook Pro, when??

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I'm a 3D designer and user GPU intensive virtual reality applications. My PowerBook G4 isn't cutting it. I need a MacBook Pro... but the current models only have a Radeon X1600 (the X1900 is out). As well they don't have SLI options.



MacOSRumors reports the SLI version of MacBook Pro to be around the corner... when should we expect this? What GPUs do you think will be available for it?



Thanks



-=DG=-
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darkgoob View Post


    I'm a 3D designer and user GPU intensive virtual reality applications. My PowerBook G4 isn't cutting it. I need a MacBook Pro... but the current models only have a Radeon X1600 (the X1900 is out). As well they don't have SLI options.



    MacOSRumors reports the SLI version of MacBook Pro to be around the corner... when should we expect this? What GPUs do you think will be available for it?



    Thanks



    -=DG=-



    MacOSRumors doesn't have a great track record at predicting things. but chances are good that we'll see an update to the graphics cards in the MBP. I'm no expert, but I think chances are good it'll still be a Radeon. The update will be minor, like going from the X1600 to the X1650 or some such. if you're looking for an X1900 in an MBP, then forget it. Not only is it (the X1900) too big, it uses too much power and is far too hot. As for SLI support, who knows?
  • Reply 2 of 27
    Que the dragon in...3...2...1...
  • Reply 3 of 27
    I think MacOSRumors made a mistake in that article. I don't think they meant the MacBook Pro is getting SLI, I think they meant the Mac Pro is getting SLI. Both machines are getting upgraded features though, and they made a mistake trying to talk about both at the same time.



    The Mac Pro getting SLI (or Crossfire) is believeable, the MacBook Pro getting SLI or Crossfire is totally unbelieveable, if it's even technically possible. You are talking putting 2 mobile GPUs in a 1 inch thick MacBook Pro. The heat would probably melt through the case and the power requirements would wear down the battery fater than you can say "Apple MacBook Pro with ATI crossfire technology using Radeon..." Besides, if you need that graphics power, you should be paying for a Mac Pro.
  • Reply 4 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leonard View Post


    I think MacOSRumors made a mistake in that article. I don't think they meant the MacBook Pro is getting SLI, I think they meant the Mac Pro is getting SLI. Both machines are getting upgraded features though, and they made a mistake trying to talk about both at the same time.



    The Mac Pro getting SLI (or Crossfire) is believeable, the MacBook Pro getting SLI or Crossfire is totally unbelieveable, if it's even technically possible. You are talking putting 2 mobile GPUs in a 1 inch thick MacBook Pro. The heat would probably melt through the case and the power requirements would wear down the battery fater than you can say "Apple MacBook Pro with ATI crossfire technology using Radeon..." Besides, if you need that graphics power, you should be paying for a Mac Pro.



    Well, it's doable, just not so sure Apple is going to go there.



    Widow PC



    Alienware Aurora m9700



    Tom's Hardware: Can SLI in a Notebook Beat a Desktop?
  • Reply 5 of 27
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Many laptop users would like to have the option of SLI in Mac OS notebooks, but Apple probably wont comperte in the Pro 3D world with their laptops. SLI probably isn't going to make it's way into the notebook.
  • Reply 6 of 27
    Well, how does Apple expect to maintain their lead in the pro graphics market as everything moves to 3D, if they are not willing to incorporate the best technology into at least one of their notebook offerings?



    I realize there is the argument that 3D runs hot and kills batteries. But look, my PowerBook G4 with a brand new battery gets about 45 minutes of life when running a 3D-intensive application, and runs very hot while doing so. The shortness of battery life while the GPU is active forces me to plug in the computer. If it was 45 minutes or 5 minutes of battery life, I would not care, since either one is not enough time to do any real work. I don't mind having to plug in the laptop for using the GPU.



    I don't see why if little s***-a** companies like Alienware and Widow PC are able to get the best technology, why a behomoth like Apple with billions in R&D money can't compete. Unless you're trying to say it's just not a market segment they're going for... but if the high-end graphics marget is not what Apple is going for, then they're idiots, since that should be their strongest field, not their weakest.



    If Apple were to have a laptop that could compete in the graphics and even (gasp) gaming industry, they might get a lot more conversions. With the engineers and technical resources they have, it's kind of sad they just feel they are "above" bothering with such lowly things as, you know, high-end 3D.



    -=DG=-
  • Reply 7 of 27
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    I'm not here to argue with you. I just answered the question. It doesn't seem that Apple is interested in SLI in notebooks. There are only a few out there now, and they barely sell as it is. Apple is in a better position to sell notebooks to the mass who don't want to spend the extra money on that feature. You forget Apple only has about 4% of the computer market. It makes little sense for them to put SLI in a notebook that about .05% of 4% of all computer users want to spend their money on.
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Is it worth waiting on the X1650 update? How's the performance on the X1600? I hear the X1900 runs too hot, that's a shame.



    -=DG=-
  • Reply 9 of 27
    hirohiro Posts: 2,663member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Anklosaur View Post


    Well, it's doable, just not so sure Apple is going to go there.



    Widow PC



    Alienware Aurora m9700



    Tom's Hardware: Can SLI in a Notebook Beat a Desktop?



    Those aren't laptops. Those are luggables, or at least more properly called notebooks because of the foldable screen and HIGH weight & size.



    12-14 pounds!!!



    The market for those machines is pretty damn small despite the sexy performance specs. And the prices Ouch!!! $3550 to $4600 on those linked machines with reasonably chosen options for performance whore machines.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hiro View Post


    Those aren't laptops. Those are luggables, or at least more properly called notebooks because of the foldable screen and HIGH weight & size.



    12-14 pounds!!!



    The market for those machines is pretty damn small despite the sexy performance specs. And the prices Ouch!!! $3550 to $4600 on those linked machines with reasonably chosen options for performance whore machines.



    Yea, I never claimed they were attractive to the general public just pointing out that they exist.



    Some of them claim as little as "1+ hours" of battery time... Yeesh! But, there'll always be a tiny market for such monsters I suppose.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    I'm not here to argue with you. I just answered the question. It doesn't seem that Apple is interested in SLI in notebooks. There are only a few out there now, and they barely sell as it is. Apple is in a better position to sell notebooks to the mass who don't want to spend the extra money on that feature. You forget Apple only has about 4% of the computer market. It makes little sense for them to put SLI in a notebook that about .05% of 4% of all computer users want to spend their money on.



    So, using IDC as our source, and onlooker's numbers, we get total worldwide 2007 sales for Apple of 10,296,000 units (that's IDC's projected 257,400,000 units times Apples 4% share). Of which SLI'd units would be 20,592. I dunno if the research effort is worth it for that number, though, assuming a $4,200 average price tag, that's $86,486,400 in gross sales giving, at Apple's normal margins, $21,621,600 in gross income. Putting it in a final perspective...



    Apple could reasonably expect such a laptop to contribute 0.4% (4 tenths of a percent) to their yearly bottom line... Not gonna happen.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    ryukyuryukyu Posts: 448member
    My partner and are doing 3d realtime sims on MacBook Pros with the x1600, 256 mb.

    We are getting very good frame rates and expect when Leopard comes out, that we should be getting even better peformance because of anticipated OpenGL improvements.

    These things outperform my dual 2ghz G5 in both interactive 3D and rendering tasks by a big margin.

    If you must have the best 3D performance, then maybe you need a desktop workstation.
  • Reply 13 of 27
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  • Reply 15 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darkgoob View Post


    Is it worth waiting on the X1650 update? How's the performance on the X1600? I hear the X1900 runs too hot, that's a shame.



    -=DG=-



    I use my MBP for several things, but mostly for school and gaming. Even though the X1600 in the MBP is underclocked it still churns out great performance. I get excellent performance with nearly everything I play. I can run Quake 4 on the thing at a seamless framerate, and it puts nearly every other laptop I've tried to shame.



    from what I can tell, the X1650 is a slightly more powerful and moderatly cooler version of the X1600. It seems like a logical upgrade for the MBP, as the reason that the current cards are underclocked is to cut down on heat generation. the X1650 could probably deliver moderately better performance by running faster at the same temperatures. but if you could care less about heat, and just want a kickass graphics card, then lemme put it this way: "Would you like fries with your melted mac?"
  • Reply 16 of 27
    The debate in this thread has, had me beating myself to death and not even in a nice way. The only thing that I wish the MBP's had was a better video card. I'm not sure we will see a true gaming class card in this notebook. Although it would be really nice, I tried to spec out a XPS and WOW was it expensive to bring it up to the level of the 17" MBP.



    An they say Apple is too expensive....
  • Reply 17 of 27
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    If Apple had an upgradable video card slot in the MacBook Pro this probably wouldn't be such a sore spot for so many. Once you buy an Apple pro laptop you instantly know your out of date in 3 years or less. With an upgradable video card you at least have a chance at some performance boost. IMO this is not a great situation for a Pro line of laptops, and I for one don't like them because of it.
  • Reply 18 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Anklosaur View Post


    Well, it's doable, just not so sure Apple is going to go there.



    Widow PC



    Alienware Aurora m9700



    Tom's Hardware: Can SLI in a Notebook Beat a Desktop?



    Thanks for the examples... I learn something new every day. I didn't have the time to do a good search to check if it was possible.



    Hmmm... that rumor also say that they expect a Mac Pro update by Mid-March... they've only got two more weeks to be correct. I wish they were right.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    In case anyone is under the wrong assumption. SLI in notebooks is almost 3 years old. This is not a new technology. Alienware has been selling an SLI notebook for a few years now.
  • Reply 20 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by darkgoob View Post


    I'm a 3D designer and user GPU intensive virtual reality applications. My PowerBook G4 isn't cutting it. I need a MacBook Pro... but the current models only have a Radeon X1600 (the X1900 is out). As well they don't have SLI options.



    MacOSRumors reports the SLI version of MacBook Pro to be around the corner... when should we expect this? What GPUs do you think will be available for it?



    Thanks



    -=DG=-



    Mac OS rumors is more or less a joke.



    Unfortunately, Apple only plays in the thin and light category. The Radeon X1600 is the best GPU that will fit. If you want something in the desktop replacement class, there is no option running Mac OS X.
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