ATI Radeon HD 2600 or NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MrFusion, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. MrFusion macrumors 6502a

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    West-Europe
    #1
    Is the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS worth the extra 113 euro?
    I have been looking for old threads, but most of them say that the drivers suck for this card. Is that still the case?
    Many places also say it's just a gamers card.

    I am more into programming and writing than in photo or video editing. I will add a TV-card from elgato though.

    Do I need the upgrade?

    Thanks.
     
  2. lostinmysphere macrumors member

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    May 2, 2008
    #2
    A lot of people will point you to this site: http://www.barefeats.com/harper8.html. This showed it to be slightly worse in some of the apps (performance wise) than the 2600. However, this was tested PRE 10.5.3 and since then drivers have been updated and performance improved considerably to the point where the 8800 is now at least on par with the 2600 (see this thread. I don't know how this currently stands at 10.5.5 but maybe someone else can help out with that info.

    Next take into consideration the future. Snow Leopard is thought to use OpenCL which will make use (potentially) of the GPU. If thats the case (this could change though) then the 8800 will almost certainly be better. In the future more applications may take advantage of this as well.

    If its a case of RAM vs. GPU its up to you. RAM can be upgraded any time, the GPU cannot (or at least its v.v. difficult to do so).

    If you search the forums this has been asked a few times before. I've just purchased an iMac (2.8 24") and I went with the 8800. I consider my usage to not be entirely video intensive but I'd rather be prepared than in a few years be wishing i'd upgraded. I don't plan on buying a new mac for a good few years so i'd rather be prepared for the future than be stuck at that time.

    The 2600 (i've been led to believe through reading) is nearing the end of its life in terms of potential improvement, whereas the 8800 is much newer and greater improvement may be gained from this card rather than the 2600.

    I hope that helps a little...
     
  3. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #3
    Since you are not going to be using it for anything that requires much from the GPU, I would say save yourself the money and stick with the stock ATI Radeon HD 2600. Even for most games, the stock GPU is plenty fast (especially in Windows via Bootcamp). :)

    I would however suggest that you consider using the money you save by passing on the GPU upgrade to purchase some extra RAM.
     
  4. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #4
    If I want to use the iMac for "Gaming" would the 8800 be the better choice, hands down? I use FCP occasionally but nothing too intense compared to an FPS I may play somewhere in the future.

    Also, if the iMacs may be updated soon...would the 8800 be replaced by something better? Is there something better at the moment that would even go into an iMac?
     
  5. MrFusion thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I am planning on buying 3rd party ram. I am not going for the fastest CPU, because that money is better spend on memory in my opinion.
    As to the GPU, I am used to playing halo on my first gen MacBook. So I guess the 2600 will be fine for my expectations.
    I am more interested in the value/price ratio, not so much in the absolute price of something. A 50 euro thing can be more expensive than a 500 euro thing, depending on usage and value.
    Thanks for the reply.
     
  6. MrFusion thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Thanks for the link and reply. I am buying less CPU to buy more ram. That's worth more than a few extra cycles for me.
    For usage today, I guess the 2600 is good enough for me. But if snow leopard has better drivers and better OpenGL support with more apps taking advantage of it, then maybe I should buy the 8800. Though choice.
     
  7. wallstreetcrash macrumors regular

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    #7
    If the most intensive thing is watching HD video (mainly x264 1080p, high bitrates), should I get the ATI and save my money?
     
  8. kwalker5 macrumors member

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    Sep 16, 2008
    #8
    Can the iMac video card be upgraded? I sure this question has been asked.
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #9
    It can't be upgraded. It is a MXM card but there's no upgrade path.
     
  10. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Russia
    #10
    You'd be fine with integrated graphics. Radeon 2600 is more than enough for you.
     
  11. wallstreetcrash macrumors regular

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    #11
    If the most intensive thing is watching HD video (mainly x264 1080p, high bitrates), should I get the ATI and save my money?
     
  12. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #12
    Yes, although you should ask questions in your own thread - not someone else's. :)
     
  13. lostinmysphere macrumors member

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    May 2, 2008
    #13
    I disagree, keeping it in this thread is fine. Why make more pointless threads that have often been asked before and can be found with a simple search. At least this way it adds to the topic in hand, it's not a million miles away from the original question.

    But going back to the recommendations of 2600:

    My final point is, think about your next upgrade time? 1 or 2 years then go with the 2600, any longer i'd say, if you can afford it, go 8800. It's a much newer card, more potential, more future proof (to a point).
     

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