Nvidia nForce4 for Opteron avail (SLI Opterons) When will Apple adopt?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Now Both the Intel Dual Xeon motherboards, and AMD 64bit Dual Opteron motherboard configuration have an SLI option available. Via the nForce4 AMD now has a Dual Opteron Motherboard with an SLI graphics option available, and according to nVidia "Support for Future Dual-Core Opteron CPUs "

"NVIDIA is working closely with AMD to validate the upcoming dual-core versions of the AMD Opteron CPU."



Will Apple answer the call for super accelerated graphics performance featuring an SLI motherboard of their own?



Any thoughts?



[EDIT] Exciting new speed breakthroughs as well.



In current motherboard chipsets, Intel's Tumwater chipset and the nForce 4 SLI break a 16 PCI-Express lane into two 8 PCI-Express lanes.



"The use of nForce Pro 2200 and 2050 combo in workstation configuration will allow for dual 16 PCI-Express lanes supporting Quadro SLI when it is officially launched by nVIDIA. Dual 16 PCI-Express lanes would mainly benefit workstation applications, as benchmarks such as SPECViewPerf 8 are sensitive to the bandwidth of the host-GPU bus."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    It stands to reason that Apple will adopt PCI-E (and maybe SLI) when Tiger is released as it (Core Image) can actually really use the 16X speed (in both directions) to do something useful that will actually speed up the OS a lot. So when Tiger comes out, so will the PCI-E Powermac. I'll put money on it. Remember that the intergrated memory controller on the Opteron avoids the major bottleneck the G5 has, so it will still be faster clock for clock I would guess.
  • Reply 2 of 70
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,230member
    I think Apple will be moving to PCIe and hopefully SLI. They've had a lot of time to get their harware in order and I think that in some ways the next Powermac could "leapfrog" the current hardware. Similar to the way they lept forward with the announcement of the G5s.
  • Reply 3 of 70
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    I think Apple will be moving to PCIe and hopefully SLI. They've had a lot of time to get their harware in order and I think that in some ways the next Powermac could "leapfrog" the current hardware. Similar to the way they lept forward with the announcement of the G5s.



    I've been thinking Apple could utilize SLI to "LeapFrog" as you say the competition in a big way if they were to take advantage of it.

    Core Image could possibly take serious advantage of Dual GPU's, and Dual 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM if that's applicable. I myself am not in the know of the core image architecture, or how Apple is using it to utilize the GPU, but Apple certainly has experience in leveraging dual processors, and they themselves are the ones who have always reminded us that two heads are better than one.

    If Apple wanted to make a big entry into the higher end Pro market this would be the time to do it. Apple has a chance to be extremely impressive by doing this. They should not pass up this opportunity to convincingly smash the competition in graphics capabilities.



    On another note.. I've been mentioning a second motherboard from Apple for such a highend machine. IBM is manufacturing nVidia's processors, and I believe they are also involved in the nForce4 motherboard (although I am not 100% certain about the board) Being their close involvement with Apple, and nVidias involvement with Apple I think Apple would be wise to announce a Mac Nforce4 Pro board for the update. Name recognition on a such a highly regarded motherboard in the minds of PC users could go a long way to gathering PC converts.
  • Reply 4 of 70
    tuttletuttle Posts: 301member
    We can't even get graphics drivers to support features that have been available in the peecee world a year ago. I don't think Apple is going to be leapfrogging anyone.
  • Reply 5 of 70
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tuttle

    We can't even get graphics drivers to support features that have been available in the peecee world a year ago. I don't think Apple is going to be leapfrogging anyone.



    One can hope.



    Now that the motherboard I have been waiting on has been announced it really doesn't matter to me.
  • Reply 6 of 70
    Apple was way late in the game with AGP and now they're late in the game with PCIe. I hope they get their act together with their pro lines soon. The PowerMac G5 hasn't really lived up to it's hype as far as I've seen. We're on an annual update schedule that brought us 50% of the promised 2->3GHz jump and we're still sitting on high prices and weak specs. It's no wonder they can't sell these things, you can get such a faster machine for less money on the PC side.



    I hope we get an update before WWDC. The longer Apple waits to update their products, the worse sales get.
  • Reply 7 of 70
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,230member
    The Powermac G5 is deceptively fast. Ok the typical consumer thinks of speed as pulling up a webpage or loading an application or gui responsiveness. PCs do well in these areas and it causes people to think that PCs are just so much faster than Macs.



    However the clustered BigMac system at VT proves what many professional users know about the G5. It's got grunt when you really load the system down. To this day I'm still amazed when I hear of guys running uncompressed video through their G5 and the thing doesn't break a sweat. Or how about Logic users that playback 50-60 tracks with effects on most tracks with only %50 cpu utilization.



    Mac users are confronted with mounds of emprirical evidence testifying to the prowess of Macs yet many cannot see the forrest through the trees.



    I have no doubt that Apple/IBM both have worked dilligently to move the platform forward at the right time. PCI Express is not even close to being mandatory. It's prime benefit is the bandwidth back to the CPU and that's not a "pain" that is slowing most of us down. Great marketing points and a solution looking for a larger problem.



    I'd like to see dual cores hit the platform. PCIx/PCIe slots. I'd like to see dual Gigabit. I'd love an ondie memory controller. I'd love to see the FW write bug fixed. This is all basic stuff though. There's nothing really "missing" from the Powermacs right now.



    Powermac sales aren't down because people don't like the price/performance. Desktop sales everywhere are dwindling. I recently heard that laptops pulled up to 50/50 last holiday buying season. The trend isn't just with Apple it's computing. Laptops are gaining which means desktops are declining.



    I think there's going to be a suprise in the next Powermacs I just don't know what yet.
  • Reply 8 of 70
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison





    However the clustered BigMac system at VT proves what many professional users know about the G5. It's got grunt when you really load the system down. To this day I'm still amazed when I hear of guys running uncompressed video through their G5 and the thing doesn't break a sweat. Or how about Logic users that playback 50-60 tracks with effects on most tracks with only %50 cpu utilization.







    I'm not disputing the VT BigMac, or denying that I snipped half of your post out of my quote, but this thread is trying focus totally on GPU performance, and competitive products in the same area, and how apple is going to address that. Clustering G5's may work extremely well in scientific calculations, and lots of other stuff, but not many can afford to cluster 2 or more Xserve G5's, or PowerMac G5's to get that kind of performance, and it wouldn't help, or be as beneficial to this area as an SLI option. Even Price vs. Performance with SLI vs. 2 PowerMacs clustered would still see the SLI Machine as the less expensive option, and also perform better in on screen rendering I think.
  • Reply 9 of 70
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,230member
    Onlooker.



    No doubt, I'm most suprised that Apple hasn't made steps to get the best graphics cards running on the Mac. It beats me on what their strategy is.
  • Reply 10 of 70
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Onlooker.



    No doubt, I'm most suprised that Apple hasn't made steps to get the best graphics cards running on the Mac. It beats me on what their strategy is.




    It's the only thing I ever really complain about. I make remarks on little stuff now and again, but none of it really matters to me personally as much as this.

    Hard drive bays, sure there could be 4, but there isn't, and I can make due if I had to, but the comparative Pro GPU performance isn't something I can easily get from an external option.
  • Reply 11 of 70
  • Reply 12 of 70
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Edit
  • Reply 13 of 70
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by mdriftmeyer

    You mean like this:



    http://www.articasemi.com/page1.html





    Is that supposed to be an external option for a machine that doesn't exist? ehhh..
  • Reply 14 of 70
    chagichagi Posts: 284member
    I think that Apple is quite likely to adopt PCI-Express with the next generation of Powermacs for a variety of reasons. One important factor is that the PC industry is moving to PCI-E, which means that ATI and Nvidia are designing their new GPUs for that platform, which in turn means that there will be limits as to how long AGP-based competitive cards will be sourcable.



    I highly doubt that Apple will pursue SLI, but could potentially see future Powermacs sporting more than one high lane count slot, since these slots can be used for more than just graphics cards.
  • Reply 15 of 70
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Tyan Thunder K8WE (S2895) SLI ready Dual Opteron MB



    I had to dig this thread up from the depths because the Opteron nForce4 based motherboards are now shipping, and on back order already. The first shipments of SLI dual Opteron MB's have sold out everywhere, but are expected back in stock 3 working days.

    I imagine Alienware is readying 2 beastly machines. One using their Workstation chassis for release sometime this week, or next. I imagine BOXX Is as well, but BOXX are way over priced.



    The stakes of this coming WWDC concerning the state of the PowerMac just went up.



    That is going to be a tough machine for Apple to try, and compete with. Outside of Apples performance tests anyway.
  • Reply 16 of 70
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,145member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Tyan Thunder K8WE (S2895) SLI ready Dual Opteron MB



    I had to dig this thread up from the depths because the Opteron nForce4 based motherboards are now shipping, and on back order already. The first shipments of SLI dual Opteron MB's have sold out everywhere, but are expected back in stock 3 working days.

    I imagine Alienware is readying 2 beastly machines. One using their Workstation chassis for release sometime this week, or next. I imagine BOXX Is as well, but BOXX are way over priced.



    The stakes of this coming WWDC concerning the state of the PowerMac just went up.



    That is going to be a tough machine for Apple to try, and compete with. Outside of Apples performance tests anyway.






    Dude, that board sucks! It only has IEEE1394a, not IEEE1394b...





  • Reply 17 of 70
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,230member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Tyan Thunder K8WE (S2895) SLI ready Dual Opteron MB



    <snip>The stakes of this coming WWDC concerning the state of the PowerMac just went up.



    That is going to be a tough machine for Apple to try, and compete with. Outside of Apples performance tests anyway.




    Nice but pretty spendy $460



    I like this board. MacRonin is right though about the lack of FW800 though. They were asleep on that one. I expect that Apple's next Powermac mobo will be very similar to this minus the SCSI support. I think we see PCIe and PCI-X and SATA II as well. Dual Gb lan jacks would be nice too.
  • Reply 18 of 70
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,145member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Nice but pretty spendy $460



    I like this board. MacRonin is right though about the lack of FW800 though. They were asleep on that one. I expect that Apple's next Powermac mobo will be very similar to this minus the SCSI support. I think we see PCIe and PCI-X and SATA II as well. Dual Gb lan jacks would be nice too.




    I was just yanking onlookers chain about the FW800, although it is a valid point...



    But, to stir the pot even more, the alias maya hardware requirements for Maya v6.5 on Mac OS X is still not updated, it just says



    coming soon...



    But if you check the v6.5 requirements for Windows & Linux it's all about Quadros, Wildcats & FireGL boards...



    Actually, just the Quadro boards for Linux users...



    i would be happy with 'just' Quadros for OS X...!



    Looks like a trifecta of MacMaya enhancing goodness coming our way soon....



    1 - updated PowerMacs (w/possible PCI-e & SLI?)



    2 - nVidia Quadro cards (finally!)



    3 - OS X v10.4 aka Tiger (making it all happen!)
  • Reply 19 of 70
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MacRonin

    I was just yanking onlookers chain about the FW800, although it is a valid point...



    But, to stir the pot even more, the alias maya hardware requirements for Maya v6.5 on Mac OS X is still not updated, it just says



    coming soon...



    But if you check the v6.5 requirements for Windows & Linux it's all about Quadros, Wildcats & FireGL boards...



    Actually, just the Quadro boards for Linux users...



    i would be happy with 'just' Quadros for OS X...!



    Looks like a trifecta of MacMaya enhancing goodness coming our way soon....



    1 - updated PowerMacs (w/possible PCI-e & SLI?)



    2 - nVidia Quadro cards (finally!)



    3 - OS X v10.4 aka Tiger (making it all happen!)




    Stop teasing me with those predictions! It's funny about the FW 400. It's either a misprint, or it just may not be there. Although the only thing I use FW for right now is my iPods, and I still have 400.



    If I did a lot of video that might be a concern, but FW 800 PCI cards are fairly reasonably priced. Not like it's an excuse. PC MB manufacturers should be on top of this stuff. Although... I guess we can say the same about Apple depending on what they decide to do too.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Alias (formerly known as Alias Wavefront)

    There are many cards based on GeForce256, GeForce2,_ GeForce3 and GeForce4 chipsets. Nvidia and Alias do not recommend these cards for use with Maya as you may experience various refresh, display and stability problems and inadequate performance.

    We suggest you choose from Nvidia's workstation cards instead, such as the Quadro families which are much better suited to high-end 3D packages such as Maya.




  • Reply 20 of 70
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,145member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by onlooker

    Stop teasing me with those predictions! It's funny about the FW 400. It's either a misprint, or it just may not be there. Although the only thing I use FW for right now is my iPods, and I still have 400.



    If I did a lot of video that might be a concern, but FW 800 PCI cards are fairly reasonably priced. Not like it's an excuse. PC MB manufacturers should be on top of this stuff. Although... I guess we can say the same about Apple depending on what they decide to do too.




    But! If you are using the SLI option on the MLB linked above, the PCI slot would probably be inaccessible, and (while admitting that I have NOT looked at all) I do not know if they make PCI-X FW cards...



    I don't mean to torture you (much) with these 'predictions', but it can all only point to pro OpenGL cards coming to the PowerMac really soon now!



    Cheers!
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