I need a new graphics card, buy now or wait?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DrErich, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. DrErich macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #1
    As the title suggests I'm in the market for a new graphics card. I have a dual 2Ghz. G5 with 2Gb RAM and the Radeon 9800 Pro that came with. I'm looking to upgrade and have been looking towards Nvidia mostly because of its support from Blizzard (That is to say I can't stop playing WOW). But I've never had problems with my ATI either so I could be convinced to go that way again. I could get a 6800 DDL or a X800XT now. I've always said that I would hold out for a 512 card, but getting that on my AGP Mac looks like it will be a problem.
    So to the better informed here abouts: Hold out for Apple to actually offer graphics upgrades again or buy what's out there now?
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #2
    Get an X800 XT; it's an awesome card and you won't be sorry. ;)
     
  3. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Honolulu
    #3
    I would think you would be better served by the Radeon X800 XT unless you actually need the two DDL ports of a 6800 series card. The X800 takes only one slot and in my opinion is slightly quieter. If you do get a 6800 get the GT instead of the Ultra. The GT should be considerably cheaper and it can be easily over clocked to Ultra spec if you like.

    Either way both cards on the Mac offer roughly similar performance. I owned a 6800GT when I had my Dual 2.5 G5 but now have a 7800GT in a Quad 2.5, so I can say from experience that the 6800 is a great card. I do however prefer ATI at least on the Macintosh platform only because ATI actually supports it's cards at least the retail ones while with Nvidia you are solely left on Apple for support of drivers.

    I would do the upgrade now rather than wait. I highly doubt that Apple will be offering any Graphics upgrades for AGP based macs. That pretty much rules out getting anything better than the 6800 for an Nvidia card because Apple is the only source of Nvidia based cards for the mac. I also doubt that ATI will be offering any aftermarket upgrades better than the current AGP based X800 XT. ATI probably offer another AGP upgrade but it will probably be a mid-range offering and may not be much better performance wise than a X800XT.
     
  4. cairo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    #4
    I would think the 9800 would be fine for WoW? I used my 9800XT in WoW with no problems and good frame rates. However I just upgraded to the 6800 because I needed a dual link video card. I would have went with the X800 myself except that I exspect a second 30" fairly soon and I didn't really have any other options.
     
  5. DrErich thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #5
    Thanks for the info guys. I'll look into the X800 I think.
     
  6. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    either would be overkill for WoW. I can't believe you're having trouble on WoW with a 9800.
     
  7. cairo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    #7
    I agree with QCassidy352... what resolution are you playing at?

    My 9800XT worked perfect with WoW at 1280x1024
     
  8. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #8
    If you decide between X800 and GF6800U, get X800. Its much smaller, cheaper, quiter and has the roughly the same performance with 6800 (in some cases faster in some slower). It also can easily be overclocked to X850 speeds using the convinient ATIccelerator II. You can also have the awesome ATI Displays utility :) :p
     
  9. DrErich thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #9

    I'm at 1280X1024 with everything on. I have to keep it at 2X anti-aliasing or the frame rate drops to less than 10fps. I get especially bad frame rate in major cities (you know the one) and in large proup pvp. I'm fine for the most part but every once in a while my frame rate craters. It seems that I loose more frames if there are many other players around or if I do any rotation, especially quickly. I'm on a high speed comcast connection, less than 50ms latency. Only running folding@home in the back ground, and turning that off doesn't seem to add any performance.
     
  10. cairo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    #10
    I dont think thats a video card problem personally... major cities have always had a problem with lag when there is high population in them.
     
  11. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #11
    Did you add the World of Warcraft folder to your Spotlight "Privacy" pane? When the game came out, I heard that was slowing people down. It tries to index the .mpq files.
     
  12. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #12
    It's the graphics card, if he has a fast CPU, and Im sure he has. He also mentioned that he has a fast I-net connection, so it's the GPU that bogs performance down, especially if he's running with max graphics settings
     
  13. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #13
    Unfortunately, the Mac video drivers suck, and WoW doesnt seem to be optimized on the Mac as well as it should be. If you upgrade your video card, you'll get very respectable performance, but it won't be as good as it ought to be for the money. With that said, get the X800 now. Prices are unlikely to drop much on existing cards in the foreseeable future, and they won't be releasing any more AGP video cards.


    EDIT: I also feel morally obligated to warn you against continuing to play WoW lol
     

Share This Page