Expect much improved GPU offerings this year

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Why?



http://www.istartedsomething.com/200...sp1-changelog/



Microsoft publishes detailed Vista SP1 ?changelog?



FIRST ITEM:



Quote:

# Adds support for new UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) industry standard PC firmware for 64-bit systems with functional parity with legacy BIOS firmware, which allows Windows Vista SP1 to install to GPT format disks, boot and resume from hibernate using UEFI firmware.

# Adds support for x64 EFI network boot.

Adds support for Direct3D® 10.1, an update to Direct3D 10 that extends the API to support new hardware features, enabling 3D application and game developers to make more complete and efficient use of the upcoming generations of graphics hardware.

# Adds support for creating a single DVD media that boots on PCs with either BIOS or EFI.



If you check out nVidia and ATI you will find UEFI conspicuously absent. AMD, Apple, AMI and Phoenix are all acting members of the UEFI board.



Now that Windows Vista is finally going to embrace UEFI the market expansion for EFI aware devices (GPUs, Motherboards,etc) will finally start coming out.



Apple having a large amount of experience in this area should finally see improvements in the GPU area and very soon.



We already have a rumor that the french MacBouille site claims 10.5.2 will have new Video card support.



With the Microsoft release of changes it's clear the wait high end GPUs is nearly over.



The sooner Microsoft gets SP1 out the sooner we see more and more GPUs for OS X machines.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Hmm, so you are saying Vista SP1 will perform much better (as in faster) then the current Vista?



    And why we will see more GPU for OS X machines? Apple controls the hardware specced in their machines. So how would this affect more GPU for OS X?
  • Reply 2 of 22
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,431moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post


    Hmm, so you are saying Vista SP1 will perform much better (as in faster) then the current Vista?



    And why we will see more GPU for OS X machines? Apple controls the hardware specced in their machines. So how would this affect more GPU for OS X?



    What stops Macs using standard PC graphics cards is the firmware. On PPC, this was a big problem but people thought the switch to Intel would sort it. However, Apple went with the newer EFI firmware while Microsoft stuck with their legacy BIOS. This means that GPU makers didn't bother supporting it either because Apple don't matter enough.



    They still don't have to really because only 64-bit Vista supports both (which will be a small number of users ATM) but it has the advantage of processor-independent device drivers, which helps 64-bit Vista as its drivers aren't very good. Even if Apple don't offer more selection themselves, it should mean it's finally possible to walk into a PC store and pick up a cheap graphics card.



    This will only matter for people who want to put cheap cards in their Mac Pros of course. Unless we get a proper upgradable consumer desktop, I don't see the change making all that much difference.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    This will only matter for people who want to put FAST cards in their Mac Pros of course. Unless we get a proper upgradable consumer desktop, I don't see the change making all that much difference.



    Fixed that for you. We already have cheap cards in the MPs, what we need is fast cards.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post


    Hmm, so you are saying Vista SP1 will perform much better (as in faster) then the current Vista?



    And why we will see more GPU for OS X machines? Apple controls the hardware specced in their machines. So how would this affect more GPU for OS X?



    Just to clarify wheelhot, Mac's are the only computers using EFI right now. That means the only place you can get an EFI graphics card is from Apple, and the ones they offer is so freaking limited it's heart breaking, and deal breaking. I wont buy a MacPro unless Apple announces some changes in their graphics strategy. Basically - they need to have drivers that work for more cards than they themselves are offering. But if manufacturers are offering EFI based cards there is a whole new list of sources that will have cards that could be used in Mac Pro's.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    Just to clarify wheelhot, Mac's are the only computers using EFI right now. That means the only place you can get an EFI graphics card is from Apple, and the ones they offer is so freaking limited it's heart breaking, and deal breaking. I wont buy a MacPro unless Apple announces some changes in their graphics strategy. Basically - they need to have drivers that work for more cards than they themselves are offering. But if manufacturers are offering EFI based cards there is a whole new list of sources that will have cards that could be used in Mac Pro's.



    It also will be driven by AMD/ATi as Linux has EFI built-in. AMD has been working vigorously in making their entire current catalog of GPUs available to Linux and Xorg, for both 2D and 3D acceleration.



    When Vista 64 bit EFI arrives this means ALL 3 are EFI compliant. Then nVidia and ATi have a clear incentive to switch their emphasis to EFI and provide legacy support for traditional ROM BIOS.



    With the two major BIOS companies switching to EFI (AMI and Phoenix) 2008 is the year of EFI transition.
  • Reply 6 of 22
    Ooh, now I get it, thank guys. I forgot bout the whole EFI thing. I thought UEFI and EFI is different. Haha. Guess my computer knowledge need some reworking.



    Guess the op is correct bout we should see more GPU updates on Mac, that if its upgradeable. Hmm, how do the hacked OS X able to run on normal PC, cause there is no drivers for some of the hardwares? I hope we can finally see the daylight in dedicated graphic card on a MacBook with this transition
  • Reply 7 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post


    Guess the op is correct bout we should see more GPU updates on Mac, that if its upgradeable. Hmm, how do the hacked OS X able to run on normal PC, cause there is no drivers for some of the hardwares? I hope we can finally see the daylight in dedicated graphic card on a MacBook with this transition



    I don't think this has anything to do with it. The point here is that Mac Pro users may well be able to use generic PC cards. On the notebook level, nothing changes. Lastly, the X3100 isn't so bad. Even in the PC world you have to pay a reasonable amount to get a solid GPU in a notebook, and the macbook is quite cheap.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    Erm at the MacBook pricing, most company offers a dedicated GPU option , for example, the Dell XPS something notebook offer X3100 and GeForce 8300, I guess the X3100 is better at power consumption
  • Reply 9 of 22
    With EFI support Apple, and unified drivers for Mac (as the Windos drivers that nvidia and ATI/AMD has) it seems possible that the MacPro user can simply walk in in any PC store and get a generic card that will work for the intel mac:
  • Reply 10 of 22
    If this is true, my next computer might be a desktop. Apple's painfully lame graphics cards are a real stinger to a potential gamer and 3D artist like me.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G-News View Post


    Fixed that for you. We already have cheap cards in the MPs, what we need is fast cards.



    Too true.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1337_5L4Xx0R View Post


    If this is true, my next computer might be a desktop. Apple's painfully lame graphics cards are a real stinger to a potential gamer and 3D artist like me.



    3D modeling and animation doesn't make much use of the GPU.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post


    Erm at the MacBook pricing, most company offers a dedicated GPU option , for example, the Dell XPS something notebook offer X3100 and GeForce 8300, I guess the X3100 is better at power consumption



    I just checked. A $1400 macbook offers a faster processor (2GHz vs. 1.5GHz), bluetooth, and a better looking enclosure than the $1400 Dell equivalent. If you get the extra RAM and HD and install them yourself, you save a bunch on top of that. No, they don't offer a pricier model of the macbook that has a dedicated graphics chip, but you can't say that the macbook isn't a better deal than a Dell: it most certainly is.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    Quote:

    3D modeling and animation doesn't make much use of the GPU.



    He didnt say Animation. he said gaming. and with a Mac the GPU is weak..
  • Reply 14 of 22
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    3D modeling and animation doesn't make much use of the GPU.







    ............................



    It certainly does. If your playing with an object that has millions of polygons and it's at a stand still, like if you had a Mac Pro now, spinning that model around is all GPU. Rendering is CPU, but modeling is mostly GPU.



    There are apps that can handle it better than others like Zbrush, but that's just Zbrush.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker View Post


    It certainly does. If your playing with an object that has millions of polygons and it's at a stand still . . .



    Did he not say that he is a 3D artist?



    Anyway, these million-poly models would be much larger than the size of the buffer on the graphics card. In Electric Image I can preview scenes in real time with millions of polys with old hardware: in preview, it doesn't render every polygon. Where am I going? When comparing high end consumer parts with mid-high-end consumer parts , I'm not sure the difference is significant enough to be of importance for any type of 3D modeling or animation. The most important component here is the size of the graphics buffer, which is more or less consistent across product lines. Right now, 512MB seems to be the sweetspot, and you can get that on the Mac Pro. Do I think that having more options is a bad thing? Hell no. It's just that going to more than 512MB seems to require entry into Quadro or FireGL product lines, which, I'm told, aren't great for games (maybe I'm wrong).



    But yeah, I'm all for more options to the consumer. I'm also all for warning people that the noisier, pricier graphics card they buy may well not be perceptibly better than a quieter, cheaper alternative.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    Quote:

    If this is true, my next computer might be a desktop. Apple's painfully lame graphics cards are a real stinger to a potential gamer and 3D artist like me.



    Damn Straight.



    GPU does matter for 3D. More memory always helps.



    A 1 gig GPU of the 9900 Nvidia Feb' 08 variety will be...







    ...well, let's just say I fancy my chances against that million polygon model.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    Huh? (U)EFI solves the problem of the card being recognised by a Mac but someone still has to write a driver for it.



    You won't magically get a working graphics card just because it supports EFI firmware.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    Huh? (U)EFI solves the problem of the card being recognised by a Mac but someone still has to write a driver for it.



    You won't magically get a working graphics card just because it supports EFI firmware.



    You're correct. And with card manufacturers not releasing EFI hardware they don't release EFI specs to their cards for OEM software driver manufacturers to use.



    The EFI manufactured cards that Apple has include the specs to develop against.



    It's a two-pronged system. Give me the hardware and release the specs.



    Since AMD/ATi have opened their specs to the Linux Community, expect with Microsoft's push to EFI to see Apple getting more GPUs and Specs to develop against.



    It's also fiscally sound for nVidia to compete against AMD/ATi in the Windows world and thus they will be putting out Windows Vista drivers for their cards.



    Windows Vista runs on Apple Hardware.



    Even without an improving relationship [AMD chief recently stated they are working hard to improve their relationship with Apple], having the actual Windows drivers on Apple hardware allows folks to reverse engineer these drivers in lieu of exact specs.



    I doubt this would happen seeing as nVidia and AMD/ATi have contracts with Apple. What they currently don't have is a business case to push all their cards to EFI.



    With Microsoft's transition to EFI the business case is sealed.



    Hence, Apple will see the specs and the cards. Whenever the media gets press announcements regarding technology advances, the consumer needs to realize that such work has already been in development.



    Apple will announce more video card options in 2008.
  • Reply 19 of 22
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    Did he not say that he is a 3D artist?






    What does that have to do with you saying this?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    3D modeling and animation doesn't make much use of the GPU.



    It's an incorrect statement.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    Did he not say that he is a 3D artist?



    Anyway, these million-poly models would be much larger than the size of the buffer on the graphics card. In Electric Image I can preview scenes in real time with millions of polys with old hardware: in preview, it doesn't render every polygon. Where am I going? When comparing high end consumer parts with mid-high-end consumer parts , I'm not sure the difference is significant enough to be of importance for any type of 3D modeling or animation. The most important component here is the size of the graphics buffer, which is more or less consistent across product lines. Right now, 512MB seems to be the sweetspot, and you can get that on the Mac Pro. Do I think that having more options is a bad thing? Hell no. It's just that going to more than 512MB seems to require entry into Quadro or FireGL product lines, which, I'm told, aren't great for games (maybe I'm wrong).



    But yeah, I'm all for more options to the consumer. I'm also all for warning people that the noisier, pricier graphics card they buy may well not be perceptibly better than a quieter, cheaper alternative.



    They're not great for games [nVidia Quadro or ATi Fire GL]

    http://ati.amd.com/products/workstation/techspecs3.html



    This is great for Real-Time Vector based modeling.
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