2x 8800GT's vs 2x 3870's in 2008 MP 8-core

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sparkie7, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. sparkie7 macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008
    Need some advice before I purchase. I'll be using it mostly for pro-apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Motion, Aperture, Lightroom, Lightwave, Maya/Renderman, some CAD

    I dont like the 4870 route as 1. it only has one full DVI port. the MDP to dual link DVI adapter seems to be less than 100% 2. you cabt run two of these in a MP due to power draw. And 3. I need to run 3x30 ACDs

    Which is a bettrer setup, the dual 8800GTs or dual 3870s? Any other ideas/suggestions? TIA :D
  2. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008
  3. jons macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2008
    I think it's about the same either way (power-wise), though the ATI drivers are probably still better than Nvidia's under OS X.
  4. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    What card are you using now? R2600? I really don't see the need to get two new cards when you can choose one of either and just run one of your monitors and the old 2600. I don't think your going to see a performance leap using two new cards because OS X doesn't tap into SLI or CrossFire.

    Of the two choices though, given what apps you use. I'd go for the 3870 or even though you don't want to, i'd go for a 4870 w/ your current card.

    EDIT: I'm not sure how OS X handles video cards in terms of which it's going to use at a given task. Say your rending something in motion on one monitor, does it use the GPU that the monitor is connected to? or does it automatically use the more powerful card?
  5. Wormy23 macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    Are you in the US? Can get the 3870 shipped to you for a reasonable price? If so, then you should go that route.

    1. 2xHD3870s are cheaper (3870=$217@OWC, 8800=$279@Apple)
    2. Core Image/Pro Apps performance between the two are pretty much the same now with driver updates.
    3. If you ever go to Windows, you can crossfire them
    4. Keep supporting ATI so that they will continue to make retail graphics card options for MP users.

    If you live in an area that causes the 3870 shipping to be too expensive, then you should consider 8800GT.
  6. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008

    depends on the given app
  7. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008
    nah, i'm at the bottom of the world in a Australia :p. i didint know u can get two for less than one 8800GT. u sure? Maybe there's a reason the 8800GT is more expensive :cool:
  8. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Yeah, Apple sells it.

    Seriously, the 3870 beats the snot out of the 8800 GT in everything but games.
  9. sparkie7 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008
    ok thanks. next set of questions:

    1. can you install Two 3870's in a 2008 Mac Pro? and not have any issues.. power etc..

    2. is it possible to have all three cards installed: 2x 3870 + 1x 2600XT

    3. if you hook 2 x 30 ACDs to one 3870 and the third ACD to the 2nd 3870. Does that mean the 1st 3870 card (with two 30 displays) will have its performance halved. if so then 2. above would be better I assume? ie. with a separate card for each display
  10. MCHR macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    Better yet, what cards mentioned here will work in a 2009 Mac Pro?

    I've never been a fan of using an adapter on a video card, then hooking that into my DVI. I'd rather get a dual-out video card with respectable performance so I can connect direct to the card.


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