NVidia 280 in Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by costabunny, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. macrumors demi-goddess

    costabunny

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    #1
    I love my Mac Pro and it kicks butt in all areas, but when I am bootcamped to my Vista drive the 8800GT isnt what I need for gaming.

    Has anyone put a 280 in a Mac Pro yet and how/what is it like to do?

    I am a quite the hardware guru but Mac tends to do things just that little bit different. I don't want to buy a 280 if It isnt going to work at all.

    I am ok to keep the 8800GT and have the other as a second card just for windows gaming if the Mac boot up wont work with it.

    Any advice (yes I have googled and cannot find a definitive answer)
     
  2. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    You won't be able to keep both cards in there at once. There aren't enough ports for external power connectors. If you had an HD 2600 for OS X and the 280 for Windows, that would work, but with an 8800 GT, you'll need to swap cards when you change OS.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #3
    you're sort-of asking too much, honestly. Most of us playing games on a Mac are overjoyed with the 8800 because it is so much better than what we're used to relative to the equivalent PC market.

    I'm actually surprised that we even have that level of card available.

    In the past, we would get a generation-equivalent card 2 years after it was released for PCs, usually one with a shorter bus or de-clocked or something similar. And it would cost twice as much, of course.

    If you want to run a 280, you're going to need to put in an x2600 for OS X. That might work.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #4
    I'm curious as to how the 8800Gt is not enough card for you. I have the same Mac-Pro set up as you, and I am playing Crysis at 1900 X 1200 with a custom graphics settings taken from the forums at incrysis.com that is well above the standard "Very High" settings and I get a pretty consistent 30fps. I can't think of anything being more demanding than that.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #5
    um...sorry dude. That's just not true. no matter what system is behind it, an 8800 GTX will only get "pretty consistent 30fps" at 1024x768 at the "very high" settings.

    that's just not true. I really wish it were, but it isn't.
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #6
    He has a 30" Dell which means running at 2560x1600

    I had one of these before going to the Mac Pro and using two 24" monitors instead

    I do miss the 2560x1600 res and size for gaming but like the dual 24"s I have also now -

    Anyway you NEED an 8800gtx at least and preferrably the 280gtx to push games at 2560x1600 consistently
     
  7. thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    costabunny

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    #7
    *She

    Anyways, yes thats my point the 30" is excellent at 2560x1600 and my old PC could handle it (twin 8800GTX's) - and I guess I am just missing the power.

    I seem to have trouble with the fact that windows will worl ok with just the 280, but Mac OS won't (surely it has NVidia drivers and such so it should be fine? - unless its a GPU Bios thing...)

    anyways maybe Ill have to wait for a 280 MAC version then :( weep

    Also I note the problem will be my Dell as its a 3007 and as such has only the one input :( - I am looking at getting the 3008 (so I can run all my devices from the one screen but that maybe a few months away).

    Thanks for the intel guys :)
     
  8. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #8
    No need to apologize, it is true however. People make custom configurations for the graphic settings all the time in the Crysis community. Many of these increase the image quality substantially while actually better optimizing the game code. The settings I use are taken directly from this thread http://www.incrysis.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=22538 (if cross forum linking is forbidden my apologies) and I do get the frame rates I said, as well a visual quality well above the stock 'Very High" settings, which are optimized extremely poorly. I got around 20 before I just got my 8 gigs of ram from OWC. Its really not that unbelievable. The game can run well on nearly any current system if one takes the time to do the research and find the best way to optimize it.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    macz1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #9
    Does anybody know what this card does when you boot OS X with the 2600XT? Does the 280 simply shut down or does it happily consume its 100W, fan 100% doing nothing?

    I'm interested in installing a PC-GFXcard for bootcamp gaming (I rather tend towards the 4870 though) but i don't want any trouble or unnecessary heat sources when running OSX (What my mac will doing most of its time)
     
  10. macrumors 65816

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    Jan 9, 2008
    #10
    Why would you even buy a PoS card like that? Get a Radeon 4870 for much cheaper.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #11
    Again , she is using 2560x1600

    The 280gtx beats the 4870 hands down at that resolution
     
  12. thread starter macrumors demi-goddess

    costabunny

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    #12
    If you havent got something productive to say; Don't say anything - Thank you
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #13
    She could also consider a Radeon HD 4870X2 at the same price ;)
     
  14. macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #14
    As others have mentioned there is the power issue. As I understand it the 4870 isn't that much of an improvement on the 8800GT, but it is nevertheless an improvement - and it only takes one power plug. Similarly a Crossfire 3870 setup might give you a marginal improvement.

    The 4870X2 will present the same issue as the GTX280 regarding power sockets if you're hanging on to the 8800GT. I'm sure you could hack something but the power draw on that hacked socket will be high for GTX280 or 4870X2.

    The FX5600 is an option. It isn't as gaming-good as the price tag suggests, but it would cure your GPU-power issues to a certain extent, while keeping everything neat and tidy inside.

    However Apple seems to be extraordinarily clueless when it comes to selling people an FX5600 separately. I was trying to upgrade the 8800GT'd Macs that I have to FX5600's and the rep basically said I would have to buy a new Pro with it in. I couldn't really question it at the time as my jaw was too busy working it's way floorwards for so many reasons (as comparatively not-very-clued-up as my Dell and HP reps are, the Apple one - and in fact many parties I deal with at Apple - really, really takes the cake) but it does actually seem to be the case certainly in the UK, which is just cracked. Incidentally if anyone has suggestions on this matter I'd appreciate it.

    Honestly though, I don't really get why so many of you are trying to force the Pro (ha) into something it isn't (let alone forcing the Pro into something it should be as I headached for a while) Why not just pick up an XPS 630 or something on the side?
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #15
    With all due respect, please read some reviews of the Radeon HD 4870. It far surpasses the Geforce 8800 GT in performance and performs better than a Radeon HD 3870X2.

    Of course the Geforce 8800 GT is dirt cheap by now.

    The Radeon HD 4870 takes two 6-pin power plugs.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #16
    Girl alert!!!

    Hey, what a pretty mac you have... Wanna hang out some time? lol

    I think you should pair the 8800 with a 4850, its the best you can do because of the power constraints (not enough connectors). The 4850 can play Crysis on HIGH on 1680x1050, so I would bet you could get medium quality at that res just fine. 8800s are junk for crysis, ignore what people say - they can only play the game at 1024x768.

    Good luck!
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Siron

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    #17
    That's just no true. I play it at 1600x1200 with all settings on VERY HIGH in Vista 64 (which uses the much more efficient DX10). I am very pleased with the frame rates. Now when I played it in XP Pro (DX9) with settings on HIGH I had to turn the resolution down to 1024x1280 in some graphic intensive sections.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

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    #18
    I'm inclined to agree. If you want a few extra FPS for double the price, then get the GTX 280, if you want to save 300 bucks, for a card that performs nearly as well, and still craps all over the 8800GT, then get the 4870. Besides you can crossfire in the Mac Pro, no SLI. Get two 4870's for the same price as a GTX 280 for real gaming performance.

    This has been bugging me for a while. Why do people continue to support Nvidia when all they seem to do is create a card that is twice as expensive as its ATI counterpart, and offers a negligible performance increase.
     
  19. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #19
    Does life move at 1 FPS for you? :p
     
  20. macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #20
    Oh really? My bad. That's a bummer.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #21
    I have to say thats impossible. "1024x1280" is backwards, and according to every review on the planet and every person I know with the card, 1600x1200 == MEDIUM at best.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    #22
    That's garbage. Take some time and research a little in the Crysis community. As I pointed out before, I play at a higher resolution than that using custom settings well beyond the stock 'Very High' and get great (25-30fps) frame rates. It's all a matter of optimizing your system, removing bloat processes, and preferably using custom settings which are designed much more efficiently than those provided stock by Crytek. If I play the game at 'Medium' settings my frame rates are consistently in the 45-50 range. I play the game almost every day. If you do your homework it is not that hard nor unbelievable to get it to run well on an 8800GT.

    (I am using 64-bit Vista Business, btw)
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #23
    Compeltely incorrect -

    It's more than a "few fps" at 2560x1600 - the 4870 alone cannot handle that res in games like AoC and other graphic intensive ones - the 280gtx is the only single card that can push that res with options on high without choking
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #24
    The 4870X2 bests the gx280 in most categories. You should into it.

    Also, it comes as a black pcb with a red cooler - very sexy. :D
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    macz1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #25
    Hm, I find this fact quite strange. A 1000W+ PSU like the one in the mac pro should have some more power connectors somewhere. I don't think the power is the problem
     

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