It looks like users of Apple computers may finally get a choice of graphics processing units (GPUs) as the latest developer preview of Apple Mac OS X system includes driver support for both latest AMD Radeon HD 7000-series GCN chips as well as Nvidia Corp. GeForce Kepler-series offerings.
Apple’s Mac OS X 10.8.3 developer preview includes support for Radeon HD 7970, 7950, 7870, 7770 as well as 7750 graphics cards, according to Netkas web-site. A number of end-users, who have Mac Pro desktops as well as AMD’s latest graphics cards have already reported that the boards work fine with the new operating system.
Apple has always offered limited choice of graphics solutions with its Mac personal computers. Usually, the company picks up an AMD/ATI or Nvidia product family for a particular product series (e.g., all MacBook Pro launched in 2012 use Nvidia GeForce Kepler family graphics processing units, whereas Apple MacBook Pros from 2011 utilize AMD Radeon graphics) and allows to choose between one or two options.
However, support for current-generation AMD Radeon HD 7000-series implies that either Apple wants current Mac Pro desktop users to be able to upgrade to the latest family of graphics processors from AMD, or intends to provide a choice of graphics solutions for certain systems that will be released in foreseeable future before the Radeon HD 7000-series gets outdated. For example, Apple could give its users a choice between AMD Radeon HD 7000-series and Nvidia GeForce Kepler family when they purchase iMac 27”, MacBook Pro or Mac Pro. Another possibility are external graphics cards for Thunderbolt interface with AMD Radeon HD 7000 GPUs.
Apple and AMD did not comment on the news-story.