Advice - 2 graphics cards or one

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by deltrotter, May 15, 2009.

  1. deltrotter macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2004
    Hi all

    I hope to pull the trigger on a new quad 2.66 next week and I am lining things up in the Education Store.

    I am, at the moment considering purchasing 2 Dell 2209WAs to go with the Mac Pro and I am staring at the choice of the:

    # ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB

    or 2x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512MB [- £33.35]

    and not a lot of price difference between them.

    Mac Pro may be overkill for what I do, but then what the heck. I have the chance (ie. cash) to get one and I have always wanted one.

    I do bit of web design work, some small scale movie and audio editing, and plenty of Word, Excel and the like.

    So, the question - which would be the 'better' choice for me. 2 'lesser' cards driving the 2 monitors, or one better card???

    Thanks in advance


  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    i would say one

    however, if you want the ability for more than two monitors, you may want the 2 cards
  3. deltrotter thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2004
    Thanks Ron

    I doubt I will ever need more than 2 cards.

    I should also add, I do very little, if any gaming. I would be watching DVDs with the machine though.


  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    You'd probably be OK with the single card solution IMO.
  5. deltrotter thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2004
    Thanks guys

    It looks like the more powerful single is better than the 2 less powerful cards for driving the two monitors then.

    Does anyone, offhand, know which adapter I need for the Dell 2209WA monitors bearing in mind I will plumming for the single ATI Radeon HD 4870? I am guessing the Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter.


  6. sparkie7 macrumors 68020


    Oct 17, 2008
    Yes. the Dell 2209WA is 22" so the mini-display port to DVI adapter will be suited perfectly. You only need the dual link version if you have a 30" ACD
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    If you aren't using 3D content creation applications or gaming then you would be fine with a single GT120.

    Now some people believe that Snow Leopard will make the GPU more useful so will reccommend the 4870 regardless of your needs. It may and some current 2D applications may make use of a more powerful card in the future, but there are downsides to buying the 4870 just because it might do something. Currently it doesn't, it uses more power, puts out more noise and costs more. A single GT120 is more than capable of driving two 30" displays for adobe apps, web design, software development etc. Most games are also going to run fine on it at the resolution you are looking at if you do play some.

Share This Page