When to expect a significant upgrade to the 1900xt?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by YoYoMa, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. YoYoMa macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2006
    #1
    Hey, I'll not be needing a powerful video card until around December when I plan to dive pretty heavily into Motion. I would of course use the card a bit if I were to buy it now, but I wouldn't miss it too much until then. The question is if I should wait to buy a card or if I should buy it now. The main criteria are if a significantly better version of the ATI will be out by then with a better price/performance ratio. Anyone out there that knows about video cards care to offer some advice?
     
  2. Monyx macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2005
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    Australia
    #2
    It makes good economic sense to get at least something for the 7300gt & trade it in at purchase - no market for them later.

    I'm surprised by many people buying 7300GT and[/B then shelling out for X1900XT...unless they all couldn't wait for MacPro doesn't make sense. The difference was $250 to get the X1900XT which seemed good value considering the even the PC version X1900XT is $400-450.
     
  3. waremaster macrumors 6502

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    Aug 27, 2006
    #3


    But for some of us buying the machine as much as 7 weeks before some of the people that ordered it with the x1900xt was well worth it and that includes me. Worst case I can use it as a second card in the Mac Pro or move the card to a PC.
     
  4. YoYoMa thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2006
    #4
    Yeah, I knew I didn't need the card right away so I didn't want to wait for the computer. Also, at the time I purchased the card, it was an additional $325, not $225 (pre price drop.) I also knew I'd be able to buy the ATI later with the edu discount and sell the nVidia. Also, $400 to $450 are retail price comparisons. There are very many deals to be had on PC video cards and that's what I was comparing at the time. Just recently the MSI version could have been purchased for $250.

    Anyway, this issue is honestly keeping me from owning the ATI right now. I would definitely appreciate some advice. What kind of performance are we expecting in upcoming video cards, and around when are they coming out?
     
  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    London, UK
    #5
    I wasn't convinced enough about the 1900xt. I understand that its a fantastic card but I would have felt a lot more comfortable had it of been an nVidia part leaving SLI in Windows as a future upgrade to more power. I ummed and ahhed for ages before finally ordering the stock 7300GT. I got another 7300GT and the Mac Pro arrived today. SLI works great with the hacked drivers (I also have a SLI bridge adapter that I'm using for added effect).
    I figured I'd rather have something mid ranged that could play all my current games ok until the next generation of cards come out.
    I've only had limited game time so far (its taken me *all* day to re-install OS X, Office, iWork, Windows and do the Windows Updates). I've overclocked the 7300GTs to 500/950 and it seems ok - a bit of tearing but I haven't taken the time to downclock to speeds that don't (it only does it very rarely). Quake 4, HL2 and Flight Sim seem smooth enough at 2560x1600 in Windows with a little bit of AA and I'm installing WoW now.

    Edit: Sorry disregard everything I said, I only just realised you were specifically talking about Motion.
     
  6. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    Jun 22, 2006
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    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    #6
    R600, but X1900XT's probably best

    I am guessing that the upgrade to the X1900XT or such will be released in the first quater of next year, too late for you. ATI's R600 will be sensationally fast, with its 64 unified shaders. BUT I can't say whether you would be able to use one in your Mac Pro (I would even seriously doubt it) because it draws similar power (and therefore dumps similar heat) to two woodies. I think it was at least 250W (ouch) and uses a dedicated external power supply.

    I vote you wait until you need it, and then buy an X1900XT, in the hope there are a few price drops between now and then. Who knows, maybe Apple will decide to get closer to nVIDIA and bring in a 7950GX2 option? I don't know what it's like using Motion, but I daresay it would perform far better than the X1900XT.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Digidesign macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Well I don't have a crystal ball so all I can say is based on what's known now.

    Right now one of the biggest limiting factors is that the card has to be Apple/Mac Pro specific. If we were on PCs, I'd say definitely wait, since the next revisions will be available immediately. However, even if a new card comes out by December, there's no guarantee that it'll be fully compatible with the Mac Pro, with or without hacks from the community. For example, the X1950XTX is already out for PCs, but there's little to no word if Apple will offer that as an official option for the Mac Pro.

    The other thing is that the X1900XT is a pretty sweet card from ATI. It's not like once the new card comes out in the next few months that the 1900XT will suddenly become unusable.

    With all this in mind, I'd say that if your budget allows, and if you will make good use of the card then go for the X1900XT now rather than later. If you absolutely must have the latest and greatest card, then by all means wait, but then I doubt it'll be all that satisfying since there will always be another latest & greatest card around the corner.
     
  8. YoYoMa thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2006
    #8
    Well, since it doesn't seem like much will be available within the next few months, I'm going to go ahead and sell the nVidia and grab the ATI. Thanks for all the help. I don't expect another price drop anytime soon since the card just had one a couple weeks ago. I just needed to know if, before the end of the year, I would see something that would make me regret the purchase. Luckily that doesn't seem very likely. Thanks again.
     
  9. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    Sep 4, 2003
    #9
    *Ears perk up*

    Sorry to hijack ... which version of flight sim are you running? Do you have any add-ons installed or any flight control hardware?

    I was into flight sim pretty heavily until I decided to switch and ditch the PC. Kind of miss it these days. :eek: (FS, not the PC) I still have my hardware ... PFC throttle units, CH flight yoke & rudder pedals.

    I'm fairly certain I'll be getting a Mac pro early next year and it'd be really nice if it could run flight sim (and other games) as well as I had them on my PC. I'm just not sure if I could be bothered spending time installing boot camp, drivers, tweaking, making sure add-ons work etc. Did you have any major problems when setting up initially?

    Also, as far as I know, FS9 doesn't recognise dual core processors. Any truth to this? Wouldn't this have an influence on stability if it were the case? :confused:

    Again, sorry to hijack. It'd be great if you could shed some light on the above Qs, Spanky Deluxe. I'd very much appreciate it. :)
     
  10. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    Nov 13, 2003
    #10
    It would not change stability. All this means is that it would use only 1 core. All other OS related things would be on a different core. So it would run worse then if it was designed for 4 cores as it can not use all the CPU. But 2.6 ghz should be fine for the game when it gets a whole core to itself.
     
  11. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2005
    #11
    Wait wait... so you're telling me there will be extremely limited possible upgrades concerning video cards on the mac pro (at least coming from ATI) because of power requirements?
     
  12. YoYoMa thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Aug 3, 2006
    #12
    The Mac Pro has a 1200 watt power supply. If it ends up short on power, then every PC on the market would be ridiculously short on power.
     
  13. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    #13
    I just don't see it happening. Seeing as the Mac Pro has 300W dedicated to its four PCI slots, but an R600 will take up 250W, maybe it's possible that Apple and ATI will make something happen. But if not, you would have an external power supply, and need some way of getting this power supply into the Mac Pro's PCI bay.

    Theoretically it would work, but... And this is assuming the R600 will actually fit in the spot. Considering nVIDIA's old 2 GPUs on-a-chip solution was about a foot long, there is a good chance this thing will be huge.

    Then Apple has to provide it. And they will most likely continue to hate gamers, and tell the nVIDIA Quadro thing is what you need for Motion.

    Clovertown will be out before the end of the year. That means the probability of a brand new Mac Pro being out before R600 is pretty much equal to 1. So, assuming Apple will bring in support for the new generation of DX10 GPU's (Please may nVIDIA release a GX2 version of their G80, and even better, may the GPU industry take a page out of the CPU industry and start working for performance per watt. What's the point of having a 50W quad core chip next year that will power through anything you throw at it, and two R600's in Crossfire that draw ten times that much?)

    Let's start that sentence again...

    So, assuming Apple will bring in support for the new generation of DX10 GPU's, which I suppose they must eventually, I think it would come at earliest in the new Mac Pro upgrade that is bound to happen at MWSF2007.

    If you want something cheap, I still vote you go for the X1900XT in a few months. If you want something powerful, either go for two, if it is actually possible, or see if you can get a 7950GX2 to work for you.
     
  14. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Mar 17, 2005
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    London, UK
    #14
    I don't have any add ons installed, just the normal install. The only problems I had during the Bootcamp install were getting the Wireless mouse and keyboard to work properly (I didn't follow the instructions properly) and then getting Windows to boot up with the correct resolution was a bit of an issue at first.
    I don't know if FlighSim is SLI enabled but its a few years old now so the 7300GT is more than powerful enough even at the highest resolutions. Its good fun though!!
     
  15. thagomizer macrumors 6502

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    May 26, 2005
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    USA
    #15
    Overclock x1900xt?

    Has anyone managed to overclock an x1900xt in a Mac Pro using ATIccelerator II or Graphiccelerator?
     
  16. Origin macrumors regular

    Origin

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