Questions about video cards and the programs that could use them..

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Malfoy, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    Do programs like PS and Final Cut Pro 5 make heavy use of 3d cards or are they more on the cpu side? I really don't want to tack on the extra month or so to get a 7800 in a quad configuration if it's not critical. The only game i plan on playing is Raven Shield and well that runs fine on anything.

    Also how are mac video card prices to their pc counterparts? I looked at PC version of the 7800GT and was able to get it for 350 in some places. Will that be the case with the mac version? If so I'll order a Quad with default settings and pick up a 7800 later. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. MRU
    macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    Hi Malfoy,

    PShop and Final Cut do utilise the GFX card, but not nearly as much as the CPU.

    There are few programs which offload onto the GPU more than the CPU, including Apple Motion 2.

    I worked projects in Motion 2 with a stock 9600 XT and then later with my X800 XT. The Faster GFX card made a massive difference.
    I've also worked with a Dual 2.5 with stock 9600 on Motion and it wasn't as fast as my Dual 1.8 with X800 XT, so the GFX card is doing most of the work here I guess.
    Eventually more programs will take advantage of the GPU, but not until we are into probably the second revision of Intel.

    Oh and Mac version of GFX cards are more expensive, however with the upcoming Intel switch, the price and should fall, and the option of GFX card increase (unless Apple artificially limit us).
  3. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off

    Like you said, Motion relies heavily on the GPU for rendering, but most other apps are much more CPU-bound. Although even those applications will see a benefit from a video card with lots of high-speed VRAM.

    This is becoming increasingly less true, although it has been much worse in the past. Generally with the Mac you have two options; either get a current card that is slightly overpriced (X800XT, GeForce6800GT, GeForce7800GT) or pay far too much retail for one of the more obsolete cards. Fortunately ATI has started making dual platform cards which is a stepping stone to the near future when (hopefully) many retail cards may be dual-platform, allowing Mac users to buy the latest and greatest without paying more just for a different ROM.

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