Apple Switching Back to NVIDIA Graphics for Upcoming Mac Pro Update?

by

M.I.C gadget reports that it has received information from sources indicating that Apple is "close to finally updating" its aging Mac Pro line. As we detailed in a report last month, the window for a potential Mac Pro update is approaching as Intel prepares to launch its Sandy Bridge E Xeon processors and AMD is pushing out its new "Tahiti" family of graphics cards.

But M.I.C gadget reports that Apple may be planning to switch back to NVIDIA for its stock graphics options in the next Mac Pro instead of sticking AMD as on the current models. The move, which would line up with a rumored similar shift for the MacBook Pro, could open the door to improved performance on a number of applications such as those from Adobe that embrace NVIDIA's CUDA architecture.

Nvidia has their “Kepler” platform due out around the same time as Intel is making their changes, and our sources within the company indicate that they have chosen to have Nvidia lead the charge so to speak on the graphics front. This is good for all our compatriots who want to use the special graphics engine in Adobe products, as it supports Nvidia only, or for those who wish to do CUDA based programs as well, again only supported by Nvidia.

The report cites "rumblings" that Apple may be targeting a Mac Pro update "near the end of quarter three", although that timeframe may be subject to change. The report's definition of "end of quarter three" is a bit unclear, as that would equate to September as measured by calendar quarters or June as measured by Apple's fiscal calendar. But with Intel pushing out Sandy Bridge E chips in "spring" and NVIDIA reportedly launching Kepler in April, Apple would likely be able to follow fairly closely on the heels of those releases with a Mac Pro update if it elects to do so.

But curiously, the report also claims that Apple will be looking to jump directly to Ivy Bridge, Intel's successor processor family to Sandy Bridge, for the revised Mac Pro. Intel's Sandy Bridge E processors have seen significant delays but are now close to shipping, and it is unclear how Apple's Mac Pro plans would line up with any Ivy Bridge server chip plans from Intel.

Unfortunately, M.I.C gadget does not have a terribly accurate record on hardware rumors, particularly on the Mac Pro front where last year the site was one of those sources claiming that Apple would issue a mid-year Mac Pro update using a custom processor from Intel. So while a switch to NVIDIA for graphics cards in the next Mac Pro may make sense given the timeline for availability on NVIDIA's Kepler lineup, we hesitate to place too much faith in this report's claims for the time being.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
113 months ago
Why did this article even get attention? It should have immediately been thrown in the trash can when M.I.C. said the the Mac Pro is getting an Ivy Bridge processor :rolleyes:
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago
Mac Pro with Dual GTX 680's.


Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

AMD is starting to get their compute deficiency in order with Tahiti. CUDA is more mature, but it would be an odd time to switch.

Or Apple could offer the option of 1 or 2 video cards from each manufacturer. They have done that in the past.

Sorting truth from rumor is much more difficult than sorting wheat from chaff a lot of the time.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

I don't think consumers need Mac Pros anymore. The Mac Mini Server is more than adequate for consumers of high-end products in the Apple echosystem. And the Mac Mini Server I don't think it needs as much space as a Mac Pro.

When you've tried to create a complex 1920x1080 motion graphic with several particle emitters on a mini, let me know how I don't need a Mac Pro. I have a 2008 octo core and I can barely start building a good animation before I lose the ability to view it realtime as I work. Don't get me started on the rendering time I have to wait in order to see what I've done. And yes, I've done what I can to create the rendering settings that spread the work across all the cores and I have the latest best graphics card and 24 gigs of ram. Can I do all those upgrades on a mini?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

The reason that gap between the mini and the Mac Pro exists.


"gap?" GAP?? The space between the Mac Mini and the Mac Pro is so wide, you could park a small moon in it
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
113 months ago

I don't think consumers need Mac Pros anymore. The Mac Mini Server is more than adequate for consumers of high-end products in the Apple echosystem. And the Mac Mini Server I don't think it needs as much space as a Mac Pro.

I read this comment as i was just starting an export of an edit i've just done in Final Cut on my Mac Pro. I look at my 12 cores working away at 100% and getting the compression done really quickly, and think 'Why would Apple get rid of this model Mac, and only sell macs with a maximum of 4 cores and lower powered processors?' It would be a massive backward step for them, and for us. If they could make an iMac or a Mac Mini that had 12 cores, and allowed some kind of expandability, then great! With companies bringing out high end Thunderbolt devices which happily replace their PCIe counterparts, a proper 12 core iMac or Mac Mini would probably be a good replacement. But at the moment the Mac Pro is indispensable for me, and others where time literally is money.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

iPhone 12 'Pro Max' Model to Sport Unique High-End Features

Wednesday September 30, 2020 2:01 am PDT by
The upcoming "iPhone 12 Pro Max" is anticipated to have a number of unique high-end features not found on any other iPhone, such as its screen size, LiDAR scanner, faster 5G, and potentially a higher display refresh rate. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is also expected to be the largest ever iPhone, with a 6.7-inch display. Previously, the largest iPhones have been 6.5-inches in the iPhone XS Max and ...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iOS 14.2 Suggests Apple Won't Include EarPods in the Box With iPhone 12

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:19 pm PDT by
Rumors have suggested that Apple's iPhone 12 models will not include power adapters or EarPods in the box, and a minor code tweak in iOS 14.2 seemingly confirms Apple's plan to sell the new devices without EarPods. In iOS 14 and earlier versions of iOS, there's a mention of reducing exposure to RF energy by using the "supplied headphones," which is the same wording that Apple has used for...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14.2 Beta 2 Adds New Emoji Characters like Ninja, Pinata, Bubble Tea, Polar Bear and More

Tuesday September 29, 2020 11:22 am PDT by
The second beta of iOS 14.2 introduces the new Emoji 13 characters that Apple previewed earlier this year as part of World Emoji Day. New emoji options include ninja, people hugging, black cat, bison, fly, polar bear, blueberries, fondue, bubble tea, and more, with a list below. Faces - Smiling Face with Tear, Disguised Face People - Ninja, Person in Tuxedo, Woman in Tuxedo, Person...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

Apple Releases Ninth Beta of macOS Big Sur to Developers

Tuesday September 29, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the Ninth beta of an upcoming macOS Big Sur update to developers for testing purposes, a week after releasing the eighth beta and more than two months after the new update was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be...