3870 vs 8800GT - which is the better fit for my applications?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AdiosVista, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #1
    Hello,

    I know the debate between which card is better has been discussed many times over, but I'm looking for advice on which card would be the best choice for my specific situation.

    I just bought my Mac Pro, 8-core 2.8 with everything default except I added 8GB of OWC RAM and more HD space. I've been wanting to upgrade the card and now I'm experiencing "blocky tearing" every now and then on some of my app windows and I'm hoping to eliminate the issue by ditching the 2600.

    I use the machine daily for web work, lots of coding, Photoshop, and Illustrator work. I also use Boot Camp to play all of my Windows games. No video editing, no 3D work, just graphics and gaming. With that in mind, which is better for me, the 8800 or 3850? Also, which card has the best track record as far as reliabliity. Already having issues with my new machine, I obviously want the most stable card between the two.

    One other quick question not related to the cards: I mentioned I added 8GB of OWC Ram. I did the apple hardware test (extended and short version) and no errors were reported. I am using the 4 2GB sticks in addition to the 2 1GB stock Ram from Apple and was wondering if there might be a conflict that is causing my display errors. Thoughts?
     
  2. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2004
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #2
    I'm running the same brand of RAM and have no problems. It could be a video driver issue. The 3870 is currently better with core graphics performance while the 8800GT is better for 3D performance, particularly certain Windows games.
     
  3. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #3
    Dumb question: where exactly do I look for updated video drivers for the Mac Pro? I've recently converted from Windows and just assumed that Mac would install the latest drivers when they are available.
     
  4. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #4
    Typically Apple rolls out graphics updates via OS updates, or on (rare) occasions they put out stuff such as the Leopard Graphics Update. You can't really go and download GPU drivers for OS X the way you can for Windows.
     
  5. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #5
    If your not using Final Cut Studio or Aperture and you play games then get the Nvidia.

    The ATI card is better at Core Image.

    The Nvidia Card is better at Open Gl.
     
  6. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #6
    When you say Core Image, is that something that might benefit me in Photoshop, or even watching movies?

    My absolute main concern is if either card would produce colors/graphics better than the other, or can I safely assume that job will be up to the monitor? It is essential that I have perfect color and graphic quality for photos and design. So with that in mind, can the 8800GT still produce amazing graphics as far as my line of work, along with play games?
     
  7. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #7
    Core Image compiles commands based on a subset of the OpenGL Shading Language...

    What you meant to say (I guess) is that the Geforce 8800 GT is better at gaming in Windows.
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #8
    Yes, it would be beneficial in Photoshop. Or most mainstream apps for that matter. ;) It doesn't really apply to games though.
    Color accuracy is function of the display. The 8800 has a slight advantage in games, but not much. Check out barefeats.com, as Rob did a comparison between the 8800 and the 3870. Overall, I think the 3870 would benefit you better, IMO. :)
     
  9. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #9
    I heard rumor that ati might release the 48xx for mac. I won't hold my breath though.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #10
    As have I. :)
    I've only seen it mentioned on the forum, but I do think it would happen, as it would make sense competition wise. ;)
    No idea when though. :(
     
  11. Fast Shadow macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 9, 2004
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    Hollywood, CA
    #11
    It's more than a rumor, it's the truth. ATI is on the record having said it's coming. But there are no dates forthcoming, so it may not be for a long time.
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #12
    Would you happen to have a link?

    I've not located an article that mentioned this. :eek:
     
  13. grue macrumors 65816

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    #13
    They've done no such thing, insofar as I can tell. There's been one site that said they're being released, with no independent confirmation of any kind.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
    grue, I've not even located the article your referring to, let alone any other. :eek:
    Can you post a link?

    Thanks. :)
     
  15. grue macrumors 65816

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    Somewhere.
    #15
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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  17. AdiosVista thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #17
    I've been thinking about this more and I wonder if it's smarter to buy a PC version of the 8800GT and put that in beside the current 2600. I really don't need any more video performance in OSX because I don't use a lot of core intensive programs and my main intent with the new card is better gaming. With that in mind, it seems reasonable to put in the pc 8800GT in for Windows gaming, especially since it can be had for over $100 cheaper than the mac version. Thoughts?
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #18
    If you want improved performance in windows only, I'd say go for it. The money saved is worth it, IMO. :)
     

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