Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 18th Dec 2013 20:47 UTC
Apple

Apple today announced the all-new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday, December 19. Redesigned from the inside out, the all-new Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.

This thing is so damn awesome. I don't need it, but I still want one.

Thread beginning with comment 579148
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[5]: Comment by Fergy
by fmaxwell on Thu 19th Dec 2013 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Fergy"
fmaxwell
Member since:
2005-11-13

even though it's called a firepro, without the drivers and certified hardware it's just a 7970 crossfire rig
we are not talking 3k€ each, we are talking 300€ each


When I state something, it is fact, not a point to debate. The HD 7970 is not the same as a W9000/D700 .

D700 & W9000: 6GB of ECC RAM
HD 7970: 3GB of non-ECC RAM

D700 & W9000: 975mhz core speed
HD 7970: 3GB of 925mhz core speed

Apple and AMD call the D700 a "FirePro" because it is a workstation GPU with the associated hardware, firmware, and drivers.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[6]: Comment by Fergy
by unclefester on Thu 19th Dec 2013 23:54 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Fergy"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

Apple and AMD call the D700 a "FirePro" because it is a workstation GPU with the associated hardware, firmware, and drivers.


The only real difference between "workstation" and "gaming" cards is the firmware and a certificate. The only time you need a certified workstation GPU is for engineering CAD where potential legal liability issues can arise.

The OEM price manufacturers pay for workstation and gaming cards is very similar. The steep price difference only occurs with retail cards.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: Comment by Fergy
by fmaxwell on Fri 20th Dec 2013 00:05 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Fergy"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

The only real difference between "workstation" and "gaming" cards is the firmware and a certificate.


You are incorrect. The GPUs in the workstation W9000 and D700 cards support 6GB of ECC RAM and the GPU in the gaming 7970 supports just 3GB of non-ECC RAM.

But, regardless of that, the Mac Pro can be ordered with D700 FirePro workstation cards. Therefore, a price comparison based on PC using a gaming card is invalid.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Fergy
by smashIt on Thu 19th Dec 2013 23:56 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Fergy"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

When I state something, it is fact, not a point to debate.


no, what you are doing is regurgitating marketing-bullshit


The HD 7970 is not the same as a W9000/D700 .

chipset-wise they are the same (or probably will be the same)

D700 & W9000: 6GB of ECC RAM
HD 7970: 3GB of non-ECC RAM


ecc gddr5? sure you don't mix that up with ecc ddr3?

D700 & W9000: 975mhz core speed
HD 7970: 3GB of 925mhz core speed

the d700 only does 3,5 TFLOPS not 4.
it will most likely be clocked at ~850MHz

but you can take a look at a nice 7970 consumer-card:
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=...

Apple and AMD call the D700 a "FirePro" because it is a workstation GPU with the associated hardware, firmware, and drivers.

nice speculation your facts

Edited 2013-12-20 00:06 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by Fergy
by fmaxwell on Fri 20th Dec 2013 00:57 in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Fergy"
fmaxwell Member since:
2005-11-13

no, what you are doing is regurgitating marketing-bullshit

No, what I am doing is responding to some kid who think's he knows more than he does.

chipset-wise they are the same (or probably will be the same)

I'm not interested in your speculation.

ecc gddr5? sure you don't mix that up with ecc ddr3

The D700 and W9000 both use 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM with ECC.

the d700 only does 3,5 TFLOPS not 4.

And you're basing that on 'regurgitated marketing-bullshit'? For all that you know, Apple is just being more conservative in their ratings.

but you can take a look at a nice 7970 consumer-card:

I'm an engineer in the aerospace industry, not a child looking for something on which to play video games with my little friends.

"Apple and AMD call the D700 a "FirePro" because it is a workstation GPU with the associated hardware, firmware, and drivers.

nice speculation your facts
"
It's not "speculation." The FirePro name means something to AMD and the engineering community. You can't take a consumer gaming card and slap the FirePro name on it.

Some high-end engineering and CAD packages refuse to even run on gaming cards. One example is Solidworks. In other cases, you'll see packages like Lightwave and Maya getting more than double the performance on the workstation card compared to its gamer card brethren.

Tom's Hardware did a comparison between 21 video cards, both gaming and workstation and summed it up as follows:

Bottom Line

For the most part, gaming graphics cards don't work for professional applications, and increasingly, ISVs are requiring workstation-class hardware. The only real exceptions are DirectX-based titles like AutoCAD 2013 and Inventor 2013, where the additional optimizations to a pro card and its drivers aren't necessary. There are also certain compute-heavy applications for which desktop-oriented cards perform well also, so long as you can live without features like ECC memory. But if one messed up byte could throw your result off, sending Wall Street into a tailspin, a workstation graphics card designed for the job is a smart choice.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by Fergy
by Drumhellar on Fri 20th Dec 2013 02:40 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Fergy"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

When I state something, it is fact, not a point to debate. The HD 7970 is not the same as a W9000/D700 .

D700 & W9000: 6GB of ECC RAM
HD 7970: 3GB of non-ECC RAM

D700 & W9000: 975mhz core speed
HD 7970: 3GB of 925mhz core speed

Apple and AMD call the D700 a "FirePro" because it is a workstation GPU with the associated hardware, firmware, and drivers.


While the W9000 has 6GB of RAM, I'm pretty sure it isn't 6GB of ECC RAM. I might be wrong, but I think Tahiti uses a "Virtual ECC" scheme in the same way NVidia does on the Quadro and Tesla cards. Those cards have 6GB of memory, but if you enable ECC, some of the memory is used for the extra ECC parity bits, leaving about 5.25GB of RAM. I think AMD does this with the FirePRO.

Also, D700 is likely clocked lower than the W9000. AMD advertizes 4 TFLOPS for W9000, Apple advertizes 3.5 TFLOPS for the D700, with an equal number of compute units. The memory clock is the same, though.

Finally, we simply don't know about the driver. Is it workstation-oriented like the Windows and Linux counterparts? Will it enable 30-bit color?

With the previous NVidia Quadro 4000 and 4800 cards for the Mac, workstation apps didn't run any better compared to consumer cards on MacOSX, even after NVidia took over driver development for Quadro drivers.

Of course, they did have separate drivers for Quadro, so hopefully this is the case.

Reply Parent Score: 3