Benefits of upgrading the video card on the 2008 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Luis Ortega, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    I have the 8800 video card in my 2008 2.8 mac pro and am considering getting the radeon 4870 video card as an upgrade.
    Will this card provide any real benefits to my system for things like Photoshop and FCP or is it a waste of money?
    Also, might snow leopard make better use of the 4870 card as opposed to the 8800 card in my situation?
    Thanks for any advice.
  2. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    From what I understand Snow Leopard will provide the building blocks for future use in your GPU in PS/FCP, but not until the next revisions of these programs have been written with SL in mind. You're probably best off waiting until this happens and looking out for associated benchmarks.
  3. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    While the ATI card does perform better in pro apps (see barefeats review), personally I wouldn't spend the money going from an 8800 to the 4870 for that reason alone.

    I am actually upgrading from the 8800 to the 4870 because the 8800 has such abysmal performance in BF2142 (a game) that it's unplayable, whereas the 3870 ati card was much better.

    If you haven't maxed out ram for your application or upgraded hard drive, spending the money there will likely improve things more noticeably.

    I speak from being someone who has owned a mac pro (early 2007) with the x1900 then the 8800 (returned) then the ati 3870. I now have an octocore 2008 mac with the 8800 (came with) and am awaiting the 4870 because of issue noted above.

    Using photoshop, aperture, FCE I did not notice any significant difference in day to day use between the 8800 and 3870, but of course there some interval improvement with the new card, but it's interval.
  4. Luis Ortega thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    If it also makes better use of the power of a video card, I would think that the mac pro with a 4870 instead of an 8800 would benefit from the introduction of snow leopard.
    I read that adobe's cs5 apps should finally make better use of multicores and total ram. I skipped cs4 apps for not offering any better performance for total ram and multicores and currently use cs3.
    I haven't heard whether FCP studio 3 will exploit multicores and total ram.

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