Ati 3870 or nVidia 8800gt for 1st gen MacPro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macmx5, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. macmx5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Newcastle, Australia
    #1
    Hi all,

    I desperately want a new video card for my original MacPro. Have been waiting for updates for the last 6 months but nothing new has appeared.

    It is a choice of the Ati 3870 or nVidia 8800gt. Here in Australia the 3870 is $100 more expensive than the 8800gt. Would I be loosing much in performance by going with the 8800gt - I am using 10.5.6. and don't do gaming.

    Also for a small bit of future proofing, which is better suited to take advantage of OpenCL?? My research says the 8800gt is better suited....anyone heard anything otherwise??

    Cheers,
    John
     
  2. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #2
    What about the cost if you just buy an OWC 3870? They cost $220US. I hear the 8800GT is a little better under Windows for gaming vs. a single 3870, but the 3870 will do better in OSX with core animation. All in all though I think they're close. If you can't or don't use Windows I'd probably go 3870.
     
  3. macmx5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Newcastle, Australia
    #3
    With delivery and exchange rates the OWC price comes in as $410 or so (depending on rate for the day), the 8800gt is only $340 delivered from the apple store. The 3870 is only $440 including delivery from an Australian seller (for the difference in price from OWC I would buy from Australian seller for warranty/exchange reasons).
     
  4. ndriver182 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    #4
    Wow. Insane prices. If you HAD to get one I'd just go with the 8800GT then I guess. I'd have a hard time even spending that much on that card, but if you had the upgrade itch no matter what that's what I'd do. Just my opinion though.
     
  5. justit macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    #5
    Realizing you've been waiting so long, can you can hold out a bit longer until Snow Leapard to find out which card performs better?

    My money is on Nvidia as they've invested heavily in their chipsets.

    Who knows, there may even be hidden code for Nvidia optimization. :p
     
  6. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

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    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
  7. Animalk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal Canada
    #7
    I agree completely.
     
  8. Wormy23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    #8
    I think you should wait and see what new cards are coming for MacPro... especially since you've waited so long already.

    MacRumors buyer's guide says that an update is imminent.
    "Days Since Update 400 (Avg = 217)"
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #9
    The Buyer's Guide is broken.

    And do you really think that the Gainestown Mac Pro's cards will work in the first-gen Mac Pro? Keep dreaming. They'll have EFI64 ROM, so they SHOULD work in the Penryn Mac Pro, but Apple won't make them available for the first-gen.
     
  10. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #10
    I believe if you get 2 3870s you can crossfire them for gaming under windows which would out perform a single 8800. On the other hand, you can run any card you want under windows so it may be worth it to get 1 for windows and 1 for OS X.
     
  11. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    I currently have exactly the same issue, whether to go for a cheaper 8800 which may be better supported by OpenCL or go for the 3870 which has better Core Image performance. :confused:

    The 2006 Mac Pro doesn't have 2 PCIe 16x slots, best you can do is a 16x and an 8x but that would be slots 1 and 4, so you would probably have to run both cards on 8x slots.

    I don't know what the performance of two 3870's running on PCIe 8x would be like compared with a single card running on PCIe 16x.
     
  12. macmx5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Location:
    Newcastle, Australia
    #12
    I have waited this long I know....but you know when you want something you want it now!

    My other concern is that with MacPro updates, the 1st gen won't get any of the newer cards filtered through - hence the question with OpenCL...

    Cheers all
     
  13. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philly
    #13
    Bottlenecking starts with 4x, 8x is plenty.

    Definitely any card that has a unified shader architecture (ATI 2000 series and newer, Nvidia 8 series and newer), but since OpenCL has nothing to do with DX, I would bet money that any card could take advantage of it.
     
  14. mithrilfox macrumors regular

    mithrilfox

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Japan
    #14
    I'm happy with my 8800GT in my Hackintosh (which is like a Mac Pro).

    I actually did some tests, and it was obvious that, under Mac OS X w/ an 8800GT 512MB, I got consistently higher FPS in a 3D game with the settings HIGHER than on my Vista installation with an ATI Radeon HD 4850 1GB card.

    Yes, I set the game's settings to higher (more detail, better textures, etc) with an older card that has half the onboard video memory, and running the game in Mac OS X beat the FPS of the same game on a much better card (ATI Radeon HD 4850) with twice the video memory (1GB).

    Only thing different about the system was the mentioned GFX card and that I added 4GB to my Mac install (8GB total), since Windows can't touch that extra memory, I thought it might have made a difference, but after looking it up online, seems people think it had little or no real affect on the performance of the 3D game.
     
  15. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #15
    Your right it is broken, Updates coming soon for MacPro, are they waiting on the prevailing winds ?

    ATI 3870 is also know for loud fan noise and a few folks have returned there's to OWC and exchanged them.
     
  16. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #16
    Why not? they did it with the 8800GT.

    BTW, I'm more than happy with my 8800GT. It's quiet and very fast for 3d gaming. I don't know about anything else.
     
  17. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #17
    No, I only mean that the average date for the Mac Pro is off because they didn't count the days between the last update correctly.

    The Guide itself is a well-working resource, and its concept is fine, but the "Don't Buy-Updates Soon" modifier is based on the number of recent rumors about said product.

    And it shouldn't be. If we have heard nothing, even if we're past the average update date, it will stay at "Approaching the end of the cycle" indefinitely, and that is really what needs to happen.

    Or come up with an intermediary term that works differently than the "Don't Buy" idea.
     
  18. REYNE macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Auckand, New Zealand
    #18
    Agreed - the 8800 is a fantastic card and was not that expensive as a CTO when making the initial purchase. It's all around performance is superb and as for ATI's slight core image advantage - blah, blah, you would not even notice it. It pushes 2x30" ACD's all day long and doesn't raise a sweat, then swings it's big 3D bat and the push of a button.
     
  19. michaelsviews macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    #19
    Intermediary Term = If you want or need a mac pro than buy it now:) If you can wait than wait. :D
     
  20. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #20
    What are you going to be using the card for? I hear that Core Image performance with the 3870 is a fair bit better, but since I don't use any apps that use that, I can't say. Having now used both cards and a particularly horrifying bad experience with the 3870, I'd vote for the 8800GT. Especially if it's cheaper for you. The card is very quiet, much more than any ATI card I've had, and gaming performance is better.
     
  21. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #21
    The crappy 2600XT beats the 8800 at Core Image too.

    Nvidia drivers are awful.

    If your using Pro Apps get ATI.


    My 3870 is not loud at all, my 2600XT was louder and I didn't think that was loud either.
     

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