No Mac Pro Updates at NAB... What now?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Well I was really hoping for some graphics card updates for the Mac Pros at NAB but I guess that didn't happen. What is the chance there will be an update at WWDC or some other time soon? Or is it more likely that the Mac Pro won't see any updates until late this year? I'm considering buying but I don't want to spend $6000 and not get the best computer I can (patience is key sometimes).



Thanks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    I'm putting my best guess at WWDC for Mac Book Pro's, and MWFS for a new update to the Mac Pro. Plenty of other items announced in between.
  • Reply 2 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,358member
    We may see new graphics options but we may have to wait for Leopard.



    I don't know how complex it is developing GPU drivers but I'm going to guess that it's fairly complex when you must count on the graphics processor to handle much of your UI rendering.



    There is the distinct possibility that Apple will not extend the effort to bring the newest cards to Tiger. I'm sticking with my Leopard guess. Apple expected to ship Leopard in the spring which means they likely never worked on OpenGL 1.4 drivers. They probably can't reverse this trend and backport the drivers so we're likely going to be waiting until October or whenever Leopard ships.
  • Reply 3 of 31
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    There is the distinct possibility that Apple will not extend the effort to bring the newest cards to Tiger.



    What makes you think that would "extend the effort"?
  • Reply 4 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Chucker View Post


    What makes you think that would "extend the effort"?



    I don't know really know that Leopard's been delayed. I'm fairly certain they weren't working on Tiger support unless OpenGL 2.x drivers work just fine on 1.4 systems which seems unlikely.



    I don't think creating OS X drivers is all that trivial for GPU but I wouldn't know with any certainty. Apple offers a relative dearth of GPU options and the G80 Nvidia stuff has been out long enough.
  • Reply 5 of 31
    i rec new iMacs and Minis between now and WWDC, unsure bout the rest though
  • Reply 6 of 31
    leonardleonard Posts: 528member
    All you might see from now until fall is new graphics cards, a new optical drive, or a price cut. A new motherboard is likely going to wait for the Seaburg chipset which isn't due out until the 2nd half of this year, likely just in time for a fall update.



    I'm buying now... likely I'll buy a dual 3.0 dual-core with a X1900XT.
  • Reply 7 of 31
    buddhabuddha Posts: 386member
    New question: Is there any possibility that future graphics card updates will be possible to put in the current Mac Pros? Like if I were to buy a Mac Pro with the ATI X1900 XT and some nVidia card was available for new Mac Pros would there be a possibility for me to use that in the one I got? I'm guessing it's most likely no.
  • Reply 8 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,358member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by buddha View Post


    New question: Is there any possibility that future graphics card updates will be possible to put in the current Mac Pros? Like if I were to buy a Mac Pro with the ATI X1900 XT and some nVidia card was available for new Mac Pros would there be a possibility for me to use that in the one I got? I'm guessing it's most likely no.



    Yes it's not the slot you have to worry about but rather the driver.
  • Reply 9 of 31
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leonard View Post


    All you might see from now until fall is new graphics cards, a new optical drive, or a price cut. A new motherboard is likely going to wait for the Seaburg chipset which isn't due out until the 2nd half of this year, likely just in time for a fall update.



    I'm buying now... likely I'll buy a dual 3.0 dual-core with a X1900XT.



    Yep, I did the same thing. Picked up one of the 3.0 dual refurbs with 2GB and the X1900XT. A steal (and an immediate fix for my Mac jones) at $3300.
  • Reply 10 of 31
    csi95csi95 Posts: 38member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ex-Windows-Fanboy View Post


    Yep, I did the same thing. Picked up one of the 3.0 dual refurbs with 2GB and the X1900XT. A steal (and an immediate fix for my Mac jones) at $3300.



    Smart move, IMHO. I doubt you'll see anything significantly better in the Mac Pro before Leopard. The 8 Core was the big gun. Not that it's been fired, I wouldn't expect much for a few months.



    Who knows? Apple is an odd bird. They could release a brand new system with a new case and new specs tomorrow, but I doubt it.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    buddhabuddha Posts: 386member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    Yes it's not the slot you have to worry about but rather the driver.



    Wouldn't the driver be reliant on the operating system? I thought drivers were like small programs that recognize/make the hardware work? Am I mistaken or is that correct?
  • Reply 12 of 31
    wally007wally007 Posts: 121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by csi95 View Post


    Smart move, IMHO. I doubt you'll see anything significantly better in the Mac Pro before Leopard. The 8 Core was the big gun. Not that it's been fired, I wouldn't expect much for a few months.



    Who knows? Apple is an odd bird. They could release a brand new system with a new case and new specs tomorrow, but I doubt it.



    No way Apple is going to upgrade Mac pro anytime soon. Intel doesnt have anything to offer before Penryn , and Penrys at best is going to come out oct-nov. Memory is too expensive for Apple to offer 2 GB standard so that cant be upgaded , harddrives are already upgradeable.



    Only upgrade in near future for Mac pro is Video card. I'd be very pizzed if they didnt offer 8xxx Nvidia family or r600 Ati family within couple months as a upgrade kit. Nvidia released today whole 8xxx family of products , and have had 8800 for almost 6 months now. Ati is about to release whole r600 family in few weeks. How's apple gonna justify selling $4000 workstation with 7300 or 1900 crap when r600 is out ?
  • Reply 13 of 31
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wally007 View Post


    Only upgrade in near future for Mac pro is Video card.



    What are the odds that those new cards require OpenGL 2.0? (with little point running it on 1.4)



    If so we'll have to wait for Leopard. And that's end of October (shipping first week of November I'd presume...). Or in other words: no new graphic card options for Mac Pro for another half year.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wally007 View Post


    No way Apple is going to upgrade Mac pro anytime soon. Intel doesnt have anything to offer before Penryn , and Penrys at best is going to come out oct-nov. Memory is too expensive for Apple to offer 2 GB standard so that cant be upgaded , harddrives are already upgradeable.



    FB-DIMMs are still 2-3 times more expensive than regular DDR2 memory, but it has gone down in price.
  • Reply 15 of 31
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    Apple does not update the Mac Pros like they used too. More than likely, they will just quietly add a configurable option to upgrade graphics card, etc. They did this to hard drive at one point earlier as well.
  • Reply 16 of 31
    wally007wally007 Posts: 121member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    What are the odds that those new cards require OpenGL 2.0? (with little point running it on 1.4)



    If so we'll have to wait for Leopard. And that's end of October (shipping first week of November I'd presume...). Or in other words: no new graphic card options for Mac Pro for another half year.



    I maybe wrong , but no GPU REQUIRES OpenGL 2.0. Newer cards just support it , dont require it.



    Also , it should not be such a big deal to upgrade OpenGL from 1.4 to 2.0 in Tiger. I mean MS upgraded DirectX on WindowsXP 2-3 times ?



    If you look at it from bussiness stand point , even thought Apple has killer Mac Pro's and great software to run on them with Final Cut Studio 2 and CS3 , what pro or semipro is going to spend $4000 on machine with no option to run somewhat good GPU. ( And no , beefy GPU's arent just for gamers , Color , Motion and now Final Cut ( soon AE CS3) all depend on GPU one way or another to speed up work )
  • Reply 17 of 31
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wally007 View Post


    I maybe wrong , but no GPU REQUIRES OpenGL 2.0. Newer cards just support it , dont require it. [...] what pro or semipro is going to spend $4000 on machine with no option to run somewhat good GPU.



    Yeah I know, I'm one of them. Not sure it's worth spending 7K on a Mac Pro intended for 3D with a rather old Quadro as the only option.

    If you look at the Quadro options from nVidia the 4500 is the lowest option of all 'ultra high end' cards:

    http://www.nvidia.com/page/quadrofx_family.html.



    However, having programmed a bit in OpenGL I know that dealing with it is a bit of pain. So I'm not sure how much work it is to port a new GPU to Mac OpenGL 1.4 and Mac OpenGL 2.0. From my little dabbles I'd say it's quite a bit of extra effort least of it the testing phase. And the latter is what the pro cards are all about: guaranteed OpenGL performance.



    If faced with a rather small market (Quadro cards on Macs are not that huge), I can imagine that they'd rather skip the 1.4 development and testing and go straight to 2.0 only. Which means two things:



    - No release of a new Quadro for Mac Pro until Leopard

    - And once released that card will be an extra 3-6 months old.
  • Reply 18 of 31
    buddhabuddha Posts: 386member
    Unless I missed it nobody has responded to one of my questions yet - if I buy a Mac Pro now what chance is there that I will be able to update the video card when a new one comes out? Someone said it's the drivers and not the slots but does that mean the Mac Pro I will be buying will work or not? Thanks.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post


    FB-DIMMs are still 2-3 times more expensive than regular DDR2 memory, but it has gone down in price.



    Apple's price or third party? Third party is a little over $125/GB, which isn't 2-3x more expensive than regular DDR2, is it?
  • Reply 20 of 31
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,358member
    I'm pretty sure graphics cards don't require OpenGL 2.0 but we're talking about engineering resources here (and with the iPhone-Leopard fiasco I think managing resources is more important than ever)



    I still think Apple's just going to ride the GPU thing out until Leopard. It's not necessarily "just" about OpenGL but about the multi-threaded hooks that they have going into 2.1 in Leopard. I'd rather they just focus on delivering a grandslam there as todays Octo Mac Pro owner can simply just add a new PCI Express card once they are available.
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