Another Radeon 5770 vs. 5870 question

AndrewClarke

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2007
71
67
I have an early 2008 Mac Pro 3,1. I'm running a 30" Dell @ 2560x1600 and a 24" 1920x1200 monitor. Both are DVI. I'm finding (unsurprisingly) that my HD 2600 XT isn't up to the task of running both these monitors.

I don't game, but I tend to run 1 or 2 Windows VMs in VMWare Fusion, as well as for fun wanting to use Google Earth, Aperture, and other programs like that. I imagine that the 5770 would be fine for all these tasks, but my question is, is it up to driving both a 2560x1600 and a 1920x1200 screen adequately without struggling?

I'd prefer to save $200, but I also want to be happy with what I buy. This is my main workstation and development server and I spend pretty much all day in front of it.

I'm also considering a flashed Radeon 6870, but I want things to "just work" so maybe I'm better off spending the $100 or so more for the Apple-approved 5870 option. OTOH the 6870 does come with 2GB of RAM...hmm...

Thanks,
- Andrew.
 

Honbe

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2011
151
0
I am running 5770 with ACD 27" and Dell U2711, both 2560 x 1440 - no problem at all.
 

AndrewClarke

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2007
71
67
I am running 5770 with ACD 27" and Dell U2711, both 2560 x 1440 - no problem at all.
Thanks for the reference point. On an off-topic note, I bought the U2711 but returned it for the U3011 as I found the text too small to read on the U2711.

I found that when I switched my 15 year old 1600x1200 CRT for the U3011 (2560x1600), suddenly my Logitech bluetooth mouse stopped tracking properly. I don't know if that has anything to do with the graphics card being too slow or if it was just coincidence. I'm also finding just general graphics usage is now annoyingly slow. I've switched off 3d in VMWare on all my VMs in the meantime, not that it seems to really help much.

- Andrew.
 

toxic

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2008
1,664
1
with two monitors on one card, the VRAM is split between the two, so in either case each monitor will get 512 MB. this is generally plenty for anything not in 3D. the only issue is that Aperture is very VRAM-dependent, particularly with adjustment brushes. if that becomes a problem, the solution is a second video card so the memory isn't split, not necessarily a more powerful one.
 

AndrewClarke

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2007
71
67
with two monitors on one card, the VRAM is split between the two, so in either case each monitor will get 512 MB. this is generally plenty for anything not in 3D. the only issue is that Aperture is very VRAM-dependent, particularly with adjustment brushes. if that becomes a problem, the solution is a second video card so the memory isn't split, not necessarily a more powerful one.
I think my best solution is to buy a 5770. These cards are all getting on the wrong end of the price/performance curve from Apple. With there being a reasonable change of a gfx card upgrade from Apple next year, I'd rather buy the 5770 now with the option of picking up a better card from them next year if I really feel like it. Then I can use the 5770 to drive my secondary monitor and the new one to drive my primary one if that makes sense then.

Thanks,
- Andrew.
 

Bwa

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2007
301
18
Boston & San Jose
I have two 5770s. A single 5770 is more than capable of driving 2x30s for my use, but it is not fast enough when driving 3x30s for my use.

I think you will be happy with 1x30 and 1x24 on a single 5770.
 

AndrewClarke

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2007
71
67
I have two 5770s. A single 5770 is more than capable of driving 2x30s for my use, but it is not fast enough when driving 3x30s for my use.

I think you will be happy with 1x30 and 1x24 on a single 5770.
Yeah, if it works for you (judging from your link) I imagine I'll be happy with it too.

The stupid thing about all this ballyoo is that in retrospect I could have probably bought a couple 5870s if I'd just worked and billed the time instead of researching what's the best and most cost effective solution. Now, ironically, I feel the need to get the 5770 as I'm that much poorer having taken time off work to do the research. I'm sure I'll be happy with it anyway though.

Oh well,
- Andrew.
 
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