SLI in Mac Pro. It's True Onlooker!!

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
It has happened:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread....12359&tstart=0

http://hardmac.com/news/2006-08-24/



"Got my Mac Pro with 2x NVidia 7300 cards today. Used the PCI Express bandwidth config app in OS X to set slots 1 and 2 to 8x mode then I tested SLI in WinXP using the modified ForceWare 85.96 drivers (modified to work on any chipset). The drivers recognized the cards straight away and offered to enable SLI mode and it appears to work without any problems."



OMFG.





Edit: SLI only in Bootcamp WinXP2. OSX still separate video cards, no SLI.

Also very interesting, someone installed a nVidia 7950 GX2 in the Mac Pro, reportedly works in Bootcamp WinXP2.

Looks like SLI, and *your* choice of video card is working in Mac Pro Bootcamp WinXP2??

Given that nVidia and ATI cards are offered with the Mac Pro, then Bootcamp nVidia and ATI drivers

will mean you can use almost any other card???

But you have to take the non-standard card *out* when booting into Mac OS... Hmmm
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 146
    you can't somehow disable the slot in OS X to avoid physically removing the card every time? I mean, to have to shut down, open the box, add a card, close the box, restart into XP, all before playing a game seems an awful lot to ask. I'll keep my x1900xt
  • Reply 2 of 146
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,478moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    Given that nVidia and ATI cards are offered with the Mac Pro, then Bootcamp nVidia and ATI drivers will mean you can use almost any other card???

    But you have to take the non-standard card *out* when booting into Mac OS... Hmmm



    Does anyone know why Mac GPUs have different firmware? I could have understood that with the PPC machines but the Intel Macs should be made to run with any GPU under OS X. The fact that it Just Works with Windows is a little ironic.
  • Reply 3 of 146
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Apple has not compiled the SLI driver in their drivers. This is the only explanation I can think of. I would love to see them do it though. Get on it apple! I want to use a Single slot QuadroX2.
  • Reply 4 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    It has happened:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread....12359&tstart=0

    http://hardmac.com/news/2006-08-24/



    "Got my Mac Pro with 2x NVidia 7300 cards today. Used the PCI Express bandwidth config app in OS X to set slots 1 and 2 to 8x mode then I tested SLI in WinXP using the modified ForceWare 85.96 drivers (modified to work on any chipset). The drivers recognized the cards straight away and offered to enable SLI mode and it appears to work without any problems."



    OMFG.





    Edit: SLI only in Bootcamp WinXP2. OSX still separate video cards, no SLI.

    Also very interesting, someone installed a nVidia 7950 GX2 in the Mac Pro, reportedly works in Bootcamp WinXP2.

    Looks like SLI, and *your* choice of video card is working in Mac Pro Bootcamp WinXP2??

    Given that nVidia and ATI cards are offered with the Mac Pro, then Bootcamp nVidia and ATI drivers

    will mean you can use almost any other card???

    But you have to take the non-standard card *out* when booting into Mac OS... Hmmm



    how much faster is a real sli chip set with 2 slots in x8 mode?
  • Reply 5 of 146
    it's my understanding that the only current card to saturate a x8 lane is a 7950GX2 (and maybe a x1950xtx)
  • Reply 6 of 146
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    I doubt the X1950 would do it, it's only marginally faster than the X1900 XT 256MB even.
  • Reply 7 of 146
    I thought it was ATI's answer to the 7950GX2, hence why I mentioned it.
  • Reply 8 of 146
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    It varies. Some games it has performance comparable to a 7950GX2 (the GX2 isn't well optimised) and other it only just beats a regular 1900xt. Seems as though memory bandwidth wasn't the bottleneck, but the GPU is.



    Can't wait for the 64 pipeline DX10 ATI cards to come out...
  • Reply 9 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    It has happened:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread....12359&tstart=0

    http://hardmac.com/news/2006-08-24/



    "Got my Mac Pro with 2x NVidia 7300 cards today. Used the PCI Express bandwidth config app in OS X to set slots 1 and 2 to 8x mode then I tested SLI in WinXP using the modified ForceWare 85.96 drivers (modified to work on any chipset). The drivers recognized the cards straight away and offered to enable SLI mode and it appears to work without any problems."



    OMFG.





    Edit: SLI only in Bootcamp WinXP2. OSX still separate video cards, no SLI.

    Also very interesting, someone installed a nVidia 7950 GX2 in the Mac Pro, reportedly works in Bootcamp WinXP2.

    Looks like SLI, and *your* choice of video card is working in Mac Pro Bootcamp WinXP2??

    Given that nVidia and ATI cards are offered with the Mac Pro, then Bootcamp nVidia and ATI drivers

    will mean you can use almost any other card???

    But you have to take the non-standard card *out* when booting into Mac OS... Hmmm



    XP Pro SP2, or XP64? 64 won't boot will it? would it? would it be faster than Pro SP2?





    OMFG is right.
  • Reply 10 of 146
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Celemourn


    XP Pro SP2, or XP64? 64 won't boot will it? would it? would it be faster than Pro SP2?





    OMFG is right.





    I don't think XP 64 will play games if that is what your thinking. (I'm not sure though) I heard there only a few apps that actually run on it. Mostly 64-bit 3D apps, and some rendering engines like Mental Ray.
  • Reply 11 of 146
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    I don't keep up with video game stuff, but does this mean that the SLI driver installer that checks for the nVidia chipset is just an unnecessary lock-out? Is it meant to protect the brand lock-in or was it just a crude way of ensuring that the setup would work?
  • Reply 12 of 146
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker


    I don't think XP 64 will play games if that is what your thinking. (I'm not sure though) I heard there only a few apps that actually run on it. Mostly 64-bit 3D apps, and some rendering engines like Mental Ray.



    I had WinXP 64bit on my Asus-SLI-normal, AMD64 machine for a while. For most games, backward compatibility with 32bit was okay. I took it off after a while though and just went WinXP2 Pro... nVidia graphic and chipset support for WinXP 64bit is excellent, just to mention.
  • Reply 13 of 146
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM


    I don't keep up with video game stuff, but does this mean that the SLI driver installer that checks for the nVidia chipset is just an unnecessary lock-out?



    No, I don't think it's unnecessary, I think it's a "Apple-esque quality control" kind of thing. You want a good, verified SLI chipset so that you get good SLI performance and compatibility. At the same time, yeah, it's a lock out of some sort so that you only use nVidia nForce chipsets
  • Reply 14 of 146
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Celemourn


    XP Pro SP2, or XP64? 64 won't boot will it? would it? would it be faster than Pro SP2?





    OMFG is right.



    AFAIK only WinXP2 Pro will work with Bootcamp on Macs. Win 64bit is out of the question on all shipping Macs except the Mac Pro anyway. (All 32bit Intel CPUs except Xeon in Mac Pros)
  • Reply 15 of 146
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZachPruckowski


    you can't somehow disable the slot in OS X to avoid physically removing the card every time? I mean, to have to shut down, open the box, add a card, close the box, restart into XP, all before playing a game seems an awful lot to ask. I'll keep my x1900xt



    Yeah, I don't know about that... I just found the thread on Apple forums and thought I'd do a quick linky from here. It would be bloody annoying to have to remove and plug in the extra card each time...!
  • Reply 16 of 146
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon


    how much faster is a real sli chip set with 2 slots in x8 mode?



    The preliminary data given is looking at 3DMark2006:



    3dmark2006 (free edition) results for one card:

    3DMark Score 1642 3DMarks

    SM 2.0 Score 595 Marks

    SM 3.0 Score 551 Marks

    cpu 3861



    3dmark2006 (free edition) results with SLI enabled:

    3DMark Score 3091 3DMarks

    SM 2.0 Score 1162 Marks

    SM 3.0 Score 1046 Marks

    cpu 3861



    So I think (guess) it compares okay with x8 x8 SLI chipsets, though one should check the results in the Search feature of futuremark.com. The 7300GT is pretty new as well so I'm not sure how exactly it does on performance.
  • Reply 17 of 146
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by onlooker


    Apple has not compiled the SLI driver in their drivers. This is the only explanation I can think of. I would love to see them do it though. Get on it apple! I want to use a Single slot QuadroX2.



    SLI'ed TWO QuadroX2s

    You know, Quad GPU to go with Quad CPU.
  • Reply 18 of 146
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    But you have to take the non-standard card *out* when booting into Mac OS... Hmmm



    I wonder if it's possible to use two 7300s, one stock and one that's a standard Windows board, if they will both work in OS X. The EFI stuff might only be important to boot-up. I am just speculating that maybe only one needs to be EFI compatible just so that the system firmware has a screen to attach to before the OS is up and running, then the OS might recognize the chip.
  • Reply 19 of 146
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman


    The preliminary data given is looking at 3DMark2006:



    3dmark2006 (free edition) results for one card:

    3DMark Score 1642 3DMarks

    SM 2.0 Score 595 Marks

    SM 3.0 Score 551 Marks

    cpu 3861



    3dmark2006 (free edition) results with SLI enabled:

    3DMark Score 3091 3DMarks

    SM 2.0 Score 1162 Marks

    SM 3.0 Score 1046 Marks

    cpu 3861



    So I think (guess) it compares okay with x8 x8 SLI chipsets, though one should check the results in the Search feature of futuremark.com. The 7300GT is pretty new as well so I'm not sure how exactly it does on performance.



    That sounds about right. It's just that the 7300GT is a shitty graphics card.
  • Reply 20 of 146
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by theapplegenius


    That sounds about right. It's just that the 7300GT is a shitty graphics card.





    Gamer, gamer!!!! buy a console!!!! defiant, defiant Apple user!!!!, blasphemy, blasphemy!!!! Woooowwwww that was close, we almost had a situation here, no worries, I solved it by preemptively shouting out everything that could be said beforehand. Continue ...... nothing to see here.
Sign In or Register to comment.