4780 upgrade form 8800

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by irishgrizzly, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #1
    Going from a 8800gt (512mb) to a ATI 4780 (512mb) would I get a decent jump in performance? Would it be more noticeable for new games? I'm play games in XP.

    I use a 27" @ 1900 X 1200. I don't play anything too taxing, but have ordered Empire: Total War and think this may be more punishing on my current card.

    I'm put off by the high price, if it was the same as a PC card price I'd be all over it.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
  3. eelmac macrumors member

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    Mar 9, 2009
  4. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #4
    Really? At idle or at full bore?
     
  5. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    I've been playing E:TW on a 23" ACD (1920x1200) on an 8800GT and it works pretty well to be honest. I will be getting a 4870 though.
     
  6. eelmac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #6
    full load, at idle its about the same
     
  7. shokunin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #7
    The 4780 is a power-hog of a GPU, even at idle. It's like the Pentium 4 Prescott of the GPU world, seriously. Depending on the make/brand of the 4780, I've seen idle numbers as high as 60-70watts, full bore it doubles that figure.
     
  8. Arkillion macrumors newbie

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    Denver, CO
    #8
  9. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #9
    Based on a thorough comparison in the Tomshardware guide VGA charts. The Radeon 4870 seems to have 25% higher frame rates than a GeForce 8800GT at 1920x1200.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/.../compare,740.html?prod[2114]=on&prod[2074]=on

    There are many other cards to choose from I just chose these two for a direct comparison. I got the 25% by comparing the line Sum of FPS Benchmarks 1920x1200.

    If you look at the charts though it seems to fluctuate a lot depending on the title and settings, with some games the 8800GT is faster. It also depends if the publisher focused on nVidia or ATI performance. i.e. Which company bribed them the best.

    So if your concern is for Empire: Total War I would wait to see benchmarks for that game. The 8800GT may be just as fast or faster. However, both Rome: Total War and Medieval 2 Total War have performed very well for me on ATI cards. Right now I can do Medieval with with all settings maxed at 1920x1200 on a Radeon 3850.
     
  10. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #10
    Thanks for all the replies guys :)

    A few other Qs;

    1. Is the 4870 loud? I've heard it is.

    2. Is there any market for a 2nd hand 8800?

    3. Would I have any issues swapping to an ATI after using the 8800? For example would I have any problems with how I've configured games (or would everything adjust automaticly)

    4. I run a 2nd monitor, it's a VGA. Do you get a mini DVI to VGA in the box with the upgrade kit?
     
  11. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #11
    1. From the customer reviews I have seen on Newegg for 4870's with that type of cooler design it could be a little loud. That cooler design is about the quietest though since it blows the hot air directly out of the case. An aftermarket cooler with a larger fan would likely be quieter.

    2. Ebay it. Previous top end Mac cards have held their values quite well so I would not expect this to change.

    3. Most game settings will remain the same. When you first boot Windows you will likely get 800x600@60hz until you load the drivers and change the resolution. Some games will detect a new card and set auto settings way below its capabilities like they always do. I would tweak them anyways to see how much more detail and AA/AF you can push.

    Don't install ATI Catalyst (drivers only) unless you have a specific need like portrait mode. As I have never seen a difference in game performance just a longer boot time.

    4. I doubt it. Excerpt from product page "Display adapters are available to connect VGA displays." That will be an additional $30

    You can also wait and see if someone manages to dump the ROM to use on regular Windows 4870's and get a card for half the price. Though there is always the risk of borking the card.
     
  12. mackmack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #12
    The 4870's in my PC are the quietest things in there. The case fans on a controller @ 900rpm are louder. The x1900 I have is louder (all stock reference coolers). If they didn't change anything about the MAC version, you'll have nothing to worry about soundwise with the 4870's.
     
  13. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #13
  14. Ploki macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #14
    where are you from? maybe id buy your 8800 because mine is perhaps failing, im yet to check but anyway. please say you are from europe.
     
  15. irishgrizzly thread starter macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #15
    Hi Ploki, send me a PM if you don't mind wait a month for a sale...
     
  16. grue macrumors 65816

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    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere.
    #16
    Apple is underclocking the 4870, but Catalyst will let you return it to non-gimped settings.
     
  17. skyline r34 macrumors 6502

    skyline r34

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego
    #17
    I'm definitely swapping out my 8800GT for the ATi 4870 no doubt about it because i want to use the new LED Displays on my 2008 Mac Pro
     

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