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Chances of a Mac Radeon X1800?


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#1 Atticus

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:03 PM

I want one. Gimme.

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#2 Ichigo27

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:10 PM

Wait 1 year and you might get one.
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#3 Civic

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 12:27 PM

They'll be available soon, and the new ATI X1*** series graphics cards will all use PCI-Express. I expect them to be available as BTO option in the Apple Store shortly after they're out, logically only for the new PMG5s with PCIe.

#4 Quicksilver

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 01:14 PM

Civic, on November 9th 2005, 06:27 PM, said:

They'll be available soon, and the new ATI X1*** series graphics cards will all use PCI-Express. I expect them to be available as BTO option in the Apple Store shortly after they're out, logically only for the new PMG5s with PCIe.

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And who told you this?
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#5 Civic

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 05:41 PM

Sources. *covers himself with his black cloak and disappears*

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#6 Quicksilver

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 08:14 PM

Well, I doubt that they're any good . . . ;)
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#7 Civic

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 08:19 PM

Uhh... no, they're VERY realiable. But enough of that, I don't want to get into any trouble.

#8 rob_ART

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 10:40 PM

I have no inside scoop, but it makes perfect sense for ATI to release a Mac version of the X1800 XT which should easily beat the 7800 GT (and FX 4500) in everything except possibly Doom 3 (optimized for nVidia). You could move the 7800 GT to the 8 lane slot and put the X1800 in the 16 lane slot. Now you have support for four displays including two 30" Cinemas.

The only thing that could beat the X1800 would be if Apple shifted to the 7800 Ultra (PC version shipping on Nov 17th).

Keep in mind how fickle Apple is with GPU offerings. During the life of the AGP G5 towers, they offered the 6800 GT and Ultra as CTO options. Then dropped the Ultra. They added the X800 XT as a CTO -- then upgraded it to a X850 XT. Yet they didn't sell the X850 XT in a kit, but did continue to sell the X800 XT as a kit, along with the 6800 GT.

So who knows what they plan for the PCIe G5 towers in the months to come?
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#9 Lucian

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:33 PM

rob_ART, on November 10th 2005, 04:40 AM, said:

They added the X800 XT as a CTO -- then upgraded it to a X850 XT. Yet they didn't sell the X850 XT in a kit, but did continue to sell the X800 XT as a kit, along with the 6800 GT.

So who knows what they plan for the PCIe G5 towers in the months to come?

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Apple never offered the X800 XT as a CTO option or retail kit.
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#10 Batcat

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 05:48 AM

rob_ART, on November 9th 2005, 11:40 PM, said:

I have no inside scoop, but it makes perfect sense for ATI to release a Mac version of the X1800 XT which should easily beat the 7800 GT (and FX 4500) in everything except possibly Doom 3 (optimized for nVidia). You could move the 7800 GT to the 8 lane slot and put the X1800 in the 16 lane slot. Now you have support for four displays including two 30" Cinemas.
...except the X1800XT has just started shipping for PC, and they're going to satisfy that market first. It'll be awhile, but recent optimizations to the 1800's memory controller in the Win drivers have allowed ATi to overtake the 7800GTX in D3, and improve general OpenGL performance by up to 35%.

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The only thing that could beat the X1800 would be if Apple shifted to the 7800 Ultra (PC version shipping on Nov 17th).
14th IIRC, but for Mac on the 12th of Never. NV has made it clear the '7800GTX with 512MB' is an extremely limited run, as well as extremely expensive ($649) card.

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Keep in mind how fickle Apple is with GPU offerings. During the life of the AGP G5 towers, they offered the 6800 GT and Ultra as CTO options. Then dropped the Ultra. They added the X800 XT as a CTO -- then upgraded it to a X850 XT. Yet they didn't sell the X850 XT in a kit, but did continue to sell the X800 XT as a kit, along with the 6800 GT.

So who knows what they plan for the PCIe G5 towers in the months to come?
Lucian's right. The 6800U was dropped for the X850XT, based on a slightly different, easier to produce chip (than R420).

My guess is the 7800GT remains top gaming choice until a Mac X1800XT, unless the R580 is ready. For PC that might not be that far off considering parallel development and R520's delays... remember the NV 'Dustbuster' had a similar lifespan and fate. Time overtook it, and R580 has reportedly already taped out.

#11 Batcat

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 11:46 AM

Civic, on November 9th 2005, 09:19 PM, said:

Uhh... no, they're VERY realiable. But enough of that, I don't want to get into any trouble.
You might want to find some new sources. Very interesting article at Penstar Systems on the '7800 Ultra' offers some interesting insights and factoids...

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NVIDIA knew that ATI had received R580 silicon back mid-Summer and it was much improved over the R520.  Also ATI finally nailed down the problem with the R520, but it was very late and ATI was not going to spend a great deal of money bringing it to market when they could concentrate their efforts on getting R580 out the door as soon as possible.  This meant that there probably was not going to be a super high end part like the XT/PE...
...
The introduction of the 512 MB 7800 GTX is another success for NVIDIA in a year that has proven them dominant in the market.  Do not expect NVIDIA to have such an easy time next year though.  While ATI may have floundered with the R520 and RV530, the R580 and its midrange/budget derivatives are well on their way to the market.  ATI is apparently very happy with how the R580 is coming along, and it looks as if all production on R520 parts will be halted by December.  This means that the final R520 chips off the line will be delivered in a late February timeframe for fulfilling the final orders for the X1800 series.  This means that ATI is gearing up for a new product to replace the R520 around that time.
I'd be interested in how Apple will be introducing a card mounting a chip out of production in December and finishing delivery in February.  :mellow:

#12 dj phat 2000

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Posted 15 November 2005 - 12:30 PM

They would just skip it then.  No point in trying to make it work just right then, to have to support it when you could have just skipped it out right, and gotten a better card.  So, I guess Nvidia wins this round and that is why we only see there cards on the G5 systems.  NO reason that I can think of not putting at least the X850 PCI-e in the mix.  There available and will continue to be for a bit longer from even before the PCI-e Mac came to be sold.  

But, i would really like the X1800 for AGP.  I saw a link somewhere that one company will make a PC version AGP 8x.  So, it is possible, just hope ATi does it for us AGP 8x G5 users.  Or skip it for the next GPU and have more then 16 pipes.  32 sounds healthy :D

#13 rob_ART

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 07:21 AM

The GeForce 7800 Ultra may still be called the GTX, because here's a card with the specs of the Ultra including 512MB DDR3 memory:
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814127195

Hope Apple "upgrades" the 7800 GT to these specs. (Not holding my breath.)

While we are all waiting for our Quads to arrive with 7800 GTs and for ATI to give us a killer alternative, I've posted some 3D game results for the Quad running the "stock" GeForce 6600:
http://www.barefeats.com/quad02.html

I compared the Quad to the Single-Core Dual G5/2.5 running both a Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Special Edition (roughly comparable to the 6600 in performance) and a GeForce 6800 Ultra (closest I could get to a 7800 GT). If you have any suggestions for the page, feel free to share them.
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#14 Batcat

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Posted 19 November 2005 - 09:41 AM

rob_ART, on November 19th 2005, 08:21 AM, said:

The GeForce 7800 Ultra may still be called the GTX, because here's a card with the specs of the Ultra including 512MB DDR3 memory:
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814127195
Already noted, the 'Ultra' was originally planned, shelved, then resurrected with more RAM & the more unassuming name '7800 GTX with 512MB.' It's the Ultra in all but name.

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Hope Apple "upgrades" the 7800 GT to these specs. (Not holding my breath.) 
I wouldn't either.  :)

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While we are all waiting for our Quads to arrive with 7800 GTs and for ATI to give us a killer alternative [..]
Seems unlikely now until the R580, unless Apple wants a bargain interim card (bargain relative to new 580s) that's still better/ faster than the 7800 GT and buys up EOL R520 chips en masse. Mac owners aren't happy with, but are rather used to, getting their cards later than the PC side.

#15 rob_ART

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Posted 17 December 2005 - 09:13 AM

I noticed that not all 512MB GeForce 7800 GTXs are created equal. The core clock and memory clock speed vary. So far the fastest one is the BFG model with 580MHz core clock and 1750MHz memory clock.

They are "out of stock" everywhere. ZipZoomFly notified they had a few available but they were gone when I responded. They have jacked up the price from $750 to $1000.

On the ATI front, I asked my inside contacts if they were working on a Mac version of fastest PCIe cards. I received many non-denial denials. And I received permission to post this official response:
"Since ATI was the leader in the graphics transition to PCI Express on
the PC side, it is safe to say that we will indeed have some compelling
PCI Express based Mac cards in the future.  We continue to work closely
with Apple on their OEM systems and continue to develop alternatives for
the retail market."

I was hoping they would announce (and show) something at the January MacWorld in SF, but I don't think they are that far along.
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#16 Batcat

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Posted 18 December 2005 - 02:39 PM

rob_ART, on December 17th 2005, 10:13 AM, said:

I noticed that not all 512MB GeForce 7800 GTXs are created equal. The core clock and memory clock speed vary. So far the fastest one is the BFG model with 580MHz core clock and 1750MHz memory clock.
Yes, altho since the RAM is the same, the memory clocks are only slightly increased over the reference spec...

http://www.firingsqu...0_gtx_oc_512mb/

ATi also recently (and unprecedentedly) authorized their AIB partners to offer OCed cards as long as the partner assumed warranty obligations, apparently to compete better with NV for mindshare.

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However, with the confidential advisory, ATI says:

In response to numerous requests to allow our partners to create t heir own premium overclock or "OC" configurations, ATI is willing to relax the rules for selected AIB partners willing to assume all responsibility for testing, yield and potential fallout; and support at least 25MHz increment on the engine and memory clocks. These partners will be able to increase the default settings of those XT boards identified through [diagnostics] testing to be capable of running at the elevated speeds.

Not all board partners will be able to participate however as ATI still tries to maintain quality products that are based on their chips. ATI indicates that all Radeon X1800 XT chips have been put through extensive tests to ensure that they operate at the speeds ATI has announced they will run at.
http://www.anandtech...doc.aspx?i=2619 and...

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NVIDIA did ATI a big favour. It released the fastest card around the 7800 GTX 512. Itís a great performer but it in incredibly short supply. Therefore ATI is selling its X1800 XT cards like mad. We got confirmation that ATI has shipped and still have thousands of X1800XT cards. It's available in Europe, USA, Asia, Australia, we can easily say worldwide.

Nvidia is struggling to bring a small number of 7800 GTX 512 out next week so you might want to pre-order if you are after one and let's hope you will get your card before Yule.

We learned that X1800 XT OC won't be enough to defeat 7800 GTX 512 in games but it will get much closer than non OC version. The cards will be listed next week by major etailers and we managed to get one of the Asus cards branded as X1800 XT OC Top cards. Asus clocked at 700 MHz core and 1600 MHz memory and we donít know is any of the other partners going to clock higher than that.
http://www.theinquir.../?article=28254

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They are "out of stock" everywhere. ZipZoomFly notified they had a few available but they were gone when I responded. They have jacked up the price from $750 to $1000.
They depend on the cutting-edge Samsung 1.1ns GDDR3. NV's initial run seems to have virtually exhausted supply, and altho Samsung has ramped production, that seems unlikely to affect the supply situation before Xmas if not later, and cards can't be made without RAM.

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X1800XT and X1800 XT OC should last until R580 arrives. The same goes for 7800 GTX 512. It's the thing that has to last until Nvidia releases its 90 nanometre high clocked G71. So ATI was very late but now in early December it has thousands of these cards shipping while Nvidia decided to make a Press edition card. Available at launch for less then a day and then drawn in back orders. What was it thinking? Ķ
ibid. :)

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On the ATI front, I asked my inside contacts if they were working on a Mac version of fastest PCIe cards. I received many non-denial denials. And I received permission to post this official response:
"Since ATI was the leader in the graphics transition to PCI Express on
the PC side, it is safe to say that we will indeed have some compelling
PCI Express based Mac cards in the future.† We continue to work closely
with Apple on their OEM systems and continue to develop alternatives for
the retail market."

I was hoping they would announce (and show) something at the January MacWorld in SF, but I don't think they are that far along.
The R520/X1000 series was late to market, delayed by that obscure third-party chip flaw, and its R580 successor is close to market. Cards will probably be ready by March on the PC side, but if Mac cards lag as usual, there may be no prototype to show by MWSF. It's not a bad bet for MWNY, tho, and perhaps a Mac 7800GTX 256, or 512 with more standard RAM clocks might be offered meanwhile as a usefully more powerful interim offering, top card to go back to ATi come summer. They do tend to alternate suppliers.

It's still possible for an 1800 variant to reach the Mac. With the chip being phased out, it might be offered to to Apple in bulk at reduced price. Who knows?