What’s next for Mac Pro graphics cards?

“If Apple update the Mac Pro this year, there’s a very good chance that as well as introducing faster CPUs, they’ll offer faster graphics cards,” Alex Gollner writes for Alex4D. “The FirePro D300, D500 and D700 in last year’s Mac Pro are manufactured by AMD. AMD have spent the last few months updating the FirePro cards they make for PCs. The specifications of these new cards show how much more AMD can do for the same money.”

“The W7000, W8000 and W9000 first appeared in 2012. The PC equivalents of the D300, D500 and D700,” Gollner writes. “This year Apple may base their new Mac Pro GPU cards on more recent AMD cards.”

Gollner writes, “At each level AMD have at least doubled the VRAM, added 40% more stream processors.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. It would be nice if Apple offered nVidia options for those of us who have nVidia software dependencies. I have two PCs that cost $8000 and $9000 respectively to get as much nVidia GPU power as possible. I would much rather have bought Mac Pros.

      1. Exactly. I have very pro friends who are Mac fans starting to hear the Windows clarion call of faster speed. With 3D and 4K we need all the speed we can get. I wish we could just drop in standard Windows cards for upgrades. The time differentiating and paying more for Mac versions should end.

        1. You can use the PC versions of graphics cards in a Mac without any issues. You simply won’t get a boot screen unless the graphics card is connected to the monitor via VGA. Also, the VRAM limitation has been removed in OS X 10.8.5; now Macs can use PC graphics cards with more that 2 gigabytes of VRAM.

    1. it’s sad, designers etc love Macs but are pushed to use PCs sometimes.

      So many designers when they entered 3D work switched to PCs over the last 10 years due to graphics cards.
      New Mac Pro right step… but Apple can listen to it’s fans to what more is needed.

    2. The issue is the small number (by relative quantity) of graphics cards shipped for Mac Pros versus the entire industry.

      For a while the High Performance Computing (HPC, think the Top 500 set) was buying up the vast majority of the GPU cards from AMD and NVidia — the Bitcoin miners were buying up the rest. For many months the top of the line cards were selling at *above* the MSRP. The number of high end cards going into Mac Pros is small by comparison.

      Add onto this the fact that the physical form factor of the video cards in the current Mac Pro is non standard, and you get a situation where Apple has to virtually beg AMD or NVidia to create a card for the Mac Pro.

      In reality, it would not surprise me if Apple did a lot of the design work on the cards themselves as a variant from AMD’s generic, reference design. If this is the case — and NVidia would enforce the same situation, you won’t see concurrent AMD and NVidia cards for the current and future Mac Pros. There’s just not enough money in it for Apple to support two independent lines of graphics cards design efforts.

  2. I think this is where external graphics cards come into play. It seems as if Apple intended external graphics cards to be used because the Mac Pro can’t take regular graphics card and uses a graphics card which cannot be upgraded, despite there being 6 Thunderbolt ports, which could be used for a miniature render farm.

  3. I am going to say, don’t count on it. If Apple can’t be bothered to update the nVidia GeForce GF 750m on the rMBP then why would they update the video card on the Mac Pro, which is newer anyway. A speed bump is all you can expect.

    I could be wrong, but this is just an observation.

  4. This guy are a grammar hack. This statement is grammatically correct because he are made up of many cells (although few in the brain region). Therefore I must refer to him (sorry, them) always in the plural. This writer are an IDIOT. Please stop referring to AMD, or any company for that matter, in the plural. God dammit, this is ‘MERICA learn some English!!!!

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