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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Next iMac GPU ?

Next iMac GPU ?
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wolfen
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Feb 10, 2007, 06:05 PM
 
Anyone have any idea what GPU upgrade they could put into the next refresh? Can they get the Nvidia 7900 or 7950 in there? Is there a good reason they can't?

I'm waiting to buy an iMac because I don't really need it right now, but want to replace my aging Ti 1Ghz within the next 6 months. If they refreshed the 24" in March or April, and all that happened was a better GPU, that'd be enough to get me through the next 4-5 years. The 7900/7950 seem like a dream come true for the 24" iMac.
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Subnova
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Feb 10, 2007, 06:11 PM
 
ATi's new cards will destroy Nvidia's. But they won't come out till April and their availability not till May. So it'll be awhile till the new Macs come out. My guess is there is an announcement at WWDC.
     
wolfen  (op)
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Feb 10, 2007, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Subnova View Post
ATi's new cards will destroy Nvidia's. But they won't come out till April and their availability not till May. So it'll be awhile till the new Macs come out. My guess is there is an announcement at WWDC.
Well, yeah ... any product that isn't even released yet is going to be superior to something already on the shelf.

But are you saying that you think the iMacs are going to use the new ATI cards? Anyone else think so?
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mduell
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Feb 10, 2007, 09:03 PM
 
They're not going to put in a high-end card, even if it is a generation old.

I expect we'll see the low-end card of the current generation as standard, with the mid-range card as an option. So nVidia 8300 stock and 8600 as an option, or whatever the equivalent ATi cards will be. Apple will then keep those options for a year or more.

ATi got the lions share of the initial Intel Macs, but I see Apple moving toward nVidia due to a variety of reasons.
     
Subnova
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Feb 11, 2007, 12:29 AM
 
I agree that Apple will stick with Nvidia, but ATi has always made better cards.

I assume on the Mac Pro's will get the benefit, and as said before the iMacs will probably get the lower end ones.

I also see that the new Macs will be changed design wise in the future, since its at the end of its lifecycle.
     
macintologist
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Feb 11, 2007, 08:00 PM
 
You have to understand that the X1600 is the best mobile graphics card of the previous ATI generation, so theres no incremental upgrade in place for that chip.
     
badnewsblair
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Feb 13, 2007, 05:19 PM
 
Well, I have played the ATI and NVIDIA ping pong game back and forth for years now, in the PC world and in my Macs. So far, I have to say that the ATI cards have been in my "favorite" machines each time (coincidence?).

The iMac will always have the middle of the line GPUs by the nature of the line. It is not for gaming or high end graphics. It never will be. That is what the "Pro" Macs are for. That is why you pay the premium for them.

That being said, I think Apple may switch back over to NVIDIA for the next round of iMacs, though I don't think I want that to happen.
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soonlar
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Feb 13, 2007, 08:48 PM
 
Lets hope for quad core in the 24". I think there is enough space for proper cooling. Anyone have options on this?
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macintologist
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Feb 13, 2007, 09:37 PM
 
I don't see why you couldn't do that right now. The iMac CPUs are upgradeable. Just buy the new quad core Intel and plop it in.
     
vitalprogeny
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Feb 14, 2007, 01:41 AM
 
While im no expert in graphics cards or cpu's... as far as the upgrade coming in april or may? i doubt it considering the imac was introduced in the fall/winter (if memory serves me correctly) and so was the refresh for the core 2 duo's... spring and summer probably wont be an option and i see that the hardware tends to be in-line between the imacs and the laptops by a couple of months... they just refreshed the laptops didn't they? so in the next six months? i doubt it. And aren't there three different imacs? 17 - 20 - and 24? with the lower two being the more "cost" efficient and the 24inch being the more powerful one... the ATI chips are fine for the next year on the lower end and they have an nvidia on the 24" plus they might drop prices at the end of the year... maybe they will ship with 256mb ram on the graphics side as default. they are using both ati and nvidia right now and i see no reason why they wont continue using both of them to offer a choice... but then again apple tends to favor faster better hardware (intel) but then again cpu's are changing less frequently than the gpu's... maybe more reason to have variety? seems ATI pulls the lower end and by keeping the ones u have now as time goes by they become more affordable, dont lose performance (add ram lol) u can push those same chips now more affordable into the mac mini maybe? macbooks? and slowly the higher end chips make their way down the ladder... you can upgrade to anything... so apple probably wont ever offer the most expensive chips with the lower end hardware... keeping to what they like to do.. the more it costs.. the better the specs...
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Simon
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Feb 14, 2007, 04:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by macintologist View Post
I don't see why you couldn't do that right now. The iMac CPUs are upgradeable. Just buy the new quad core Intel and plop it in.
Umm, no. That won't work.

The iMac uses a Merom C2D which requires a FCPGA6 socket ("Socket M"). The quad core CPU you'd use is a Kentsfield C2Q which requires a LGA775 socket ("Socket T").*

So just because the iMac has a socketed CPU doesn't mean you can insert any Intel quad core in there. Intel has plans to bring quads to mobile chipsets (which the iMac is using), but those CPUs ("Gilo or "Penryn") will require a different chipset ("Santa Rosa") with another socket ("Socket P"). So it's rather unlikely you'll ever see current iMacs running 4 cores.

If Apple however switches to Conroe C2Ds in the next iMac (however likely that may be), inserting a quad-core C2Q should be no problem at all.

*) In fact "Socket T" isn't a socket at all. It actually has protruding pins that connect to contact pads of the Conroe/Kentsfield CPUs (LGA = large grid array). Merom OTOH has pins which are inserted into the holes of the "Socket M". So if you'd have a C2Q and the iMac logic board in front of you, you'd immediately notice that it won't work.
( Last edited by Simon; Feb 14, 2007 at 04:29 AM. )
     
   
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