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Why is there not any decent mac graphics cards?

Discussion in 'Apple Hardware' started by Combat Fighter, 19 Apr 2010.

  1. Combat Fighter

    Soldato

    Joined: 6 Jun 2009

    Posts: 5,279

    Location: No Mans Land

    This question has always puzzled me for years. I've been using mac since 94 for work so seen a few changes over the years. Now they are up to date with the mobo/cpu etc (essentially a pc now) why cant you get the latest graphics cards as well?

    It's the one thing that puts me off getting a mac for home use as I do like to play the latest games (BBC2 being one of them).
     
  2. electric ant

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Aug 2004

    Posts: 1,051

    Location: Notts

    Because Apple likes to keep hardware under close control and don't provide drivers for the latest graphics cards. They only provide support for whatever graphics cards are already in the mac.
    iMacs as far as I know use integrated discrete graphics, at least they used to, so they'd be hard to upgrade.
    Mac Pros , I think you can upgrade the graphics card, but it would be unsupported by Apple, plus youd need to find drivers.
    Bascially Apple like to keep things simple.
     
  3. Mattus

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,916

    Location: London

    Because there's not any (well, not many) decent Mac games? :p
     
  4. QwaF

    Hitman

    Joined: 20 Sep 2009

    Posts: 567

    Well, they sell a "Mac version" of EVGAs GTX 285 on apple.com.. for the low price of ...£400
     
  5. Spyhop

    Soldato

    Joined: 16 May 2005

    Posts: 6,511

    Location: Cold waters

    Traditionally they've never really needed them.

    As well as games, if the GPGPU / OpenCL business is adopted in a big way by popular applications then that will provide motivation to get high end cards in there.
     
  6. Aod

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 7 Oct 2004

    Posts: 8,675

    Location: London

    Apple computers use a different binary encoding mechanism than PC's - they're Big-endian (the most significant bit is stored/sent first) unlike all other x86 compatible computers which are Little-endian.

    graphics companies need to make their cards completely differently for them to be mac-compatible, and there isn't a large market for it, which is why they don't do it for many cards, and why they're ALL super-expensive.
     
  7. QwaF

    Hitman

    Joined: 20 Sep 2009

    Posts: 567

    I wouldn't say completely different.. they're pretty much the same hardware wise, from what i gather, it is more of a firmware and drivers difference.
     
  8. electric ant

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 11 Aug 2004

    Posts: 1,051

    Location: Notts

    Yeah, but hopefully the arrival of Steam on Mac will change that !