8800 GT, is it a worthy replacement for my dying X1900?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by big_malk, May 17, 2008.

  1. big_malk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    Hi, from another thread I've concluded that my X1900 is on the way out, so I'm looking around for a replacement. I was looking into the 8800 GT (1st gen Mac Pro model), and I've come across some unhappy reviews on here. I know, this is where people come with problems, but have other people had good results with it? There's also some feedback on Apple store about it that made me think twice.

    I'm not a heavy gamer, but I dabble now and then, I'd need it mostly for Photoshop and Final Cut stuff.

    I'd also like to play Blue Ray movies on my Mac, once the price of the drives and films drop a bit, but for the real deal I'd need HDCP, right? I can't find anywhere that explicitly says if the 8800 GT supports HDCP?

    Is there maybe another card I should consider? I'v I'm going to have to replace my X1900 soon, I don't want anything less powerful that it was, and I might as well spend a bit more and upgrade while I'm at it.
     
  2. jrnewhouse macrumors member

    jrnewhouse

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    #2
    I'm using an 8800GT on a pre 2008 Mac Pro, and I have been very happy with it so far. It screams in boot camp, and performance in OS X is supposed to improve with the release of 10.5.3. In addition, it runs about 10 degrees Celsius cooler than my X1900XT.
     
  3. Help! macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    #3
    My experience so far with the 8800 is that it is much quieter and runs cooler than the 1900 it replaced. Photoshop doesn't use core image which is (i think) where the 1900 is supposed to be superior, as for final cut I haven't noticed any differences but I havent done any kind of accurate testing. I don't think final cut uses the video card for much, if anything.
     
  4. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2005
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    Scotland
    #4
    Running cooler/quieter would be a big plus to me :)
    But it sounds like I wouldn't notice any real difference if Photoshop/Final Cut wouldn't be improved by it. The X1900 could easily handle the transparent menus, window shadows, genie minimise etc effects, so would I actually see any improvement? Or any with 10.5.3?
     
  5. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #5
    I bought an 8800 from apple and have since requested return (upgraded from x1900)

    1) It is definitely quieter (I installed an aftermarket cooler on my x1900 as I found the fan ramped up and down with the stock cooler and was too loud)
    2) My gaming experience was horrid - the card ran like 3-5FPS on BF2142, which is the only game I play. It probably is a driver issue, but it made the card totally unacceptable for me
    3) I didn't note a real difference one way or another on PS (and I use my computer primarily for aperture and PS)
    4) It did seem faster (could real time render more) on Final Cut express

    Personally I'm waiting for the new ATI card to come out - and I would recommend you wait too unless you really need a card now. Make sure you've gotten in and blown out the cooler on your x1900 if you haven't done so recently.

    edit: Oh, and the card does run cooler, but it vents into the case (single slot) so overall temps are not any better and in fact may raise, but the room doesn't get as hot :)
     
  6. jrnewhouse macrumors member

    jrnewhouse

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    #6
    If you use SMC to bump up the fans, that is not the case. I increased my fan speeds by about 200 RPM (rear exhaust fan to 1000 RPM total), and my overall temperatures are cooler now than they were with the X1900XT.
     
  7. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #7
    For final cut and photoshop the 1900 is actually better, due to the 8800 having sucky drivers. The 8800 is only really better for games.

    I'd pick up another PC version of the 1900, flash it with mac firmware, and use that.
     
  8. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #8
    Hmm maybe I should have waited to read those last 3 posts before i ordered it this morning :(

    I guess I might as well just give it a try, if it's no use I could return it.
    10.5.2 must be nearly ready for release, and if it'll have better support I might as well just wait.

    Fingers crossed!
     
  9. faumble macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #9
    the 8800 is substantially better hardware wise and the drivers will surely be updated, on windows nvidia will continue developing and for quite a while since the 9x series are very related to the 8x, they have the same arquitecture, and on macosx with 10.5.3 there will be huge improvements, specially on opengl, current build is flying! cant wait!
     
  10. JeffDM macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    #10
    If you're willing to give it a shot, you can install an aftermarket cooler. It solved my 1900 problems right away, I haven't had a problem since. It's a lot cheaper too, about 1/10th the cost of the Apple 8800 upgrade.
     
  11. yeroen macrumors 6502a

    yeroen

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    Mar 8, 2007
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #11
    Which cooler did you install?
     
  12. JeffDM macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    #12
    Accelero S1 rev 2. There are other ones that work, but the one I used does the job.
     
  13. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Location:
    B'ham
    #13

    It's a sad state of affairs when one has to settle for a now, three generation old video card, to get acceptable performance in pro apps on a "pro" machine. And then be forced to hack it, is like adding insult to injury. Incredible. Whatever happened to "They just work" ?
     
  14. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #14
    Got my 8800 installed this morning!!

    It solved all my problems right away, no random lines, no crashes (so far) and its working great... although it is noticeably slower than my 1900 was! iTunes visualiser is about 10fps slower (50+ instead of 60+) and xbench was a lot slower, cant remember exactly.

    If 10.5.3 has much better support for the 8800, is it possible to download from somewhere (or someone) the drivers that 10.5.3 uses? I'm not really interested in the whole .3 before it's ready, but it'd be great to get back the performance I had before, not to mention the extra performance I should be getting from this card.
     
  15. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #15
    You can't get the improved drivers without downloading 10.5.3 itself.
     
  16. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #16
    Hmm I wonder if it'd be worth it, the real 10.5.2 must be almost ready to come out the oven... hmmmm *ponders*
     

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