Best way to make GeForce 8800GT and Radeon HD 2600 XT coexist in same machine?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Torley, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Torley macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Hello! I've been digging up info and found a few sundry scraps, but any insightful personal experiences would be HIGHLY welcome. I'm getting an 8800GT upgrade for my Mac Pro. Since I'm considering driving more than 2 monitors, I'm considering adding it to the existing HD 2600 XT, instead of replacing the previous graphics card.

    Any caveats I need to be aware of? Can I simply install the 8800GT on the 2nd-bottom slot above the HD 2600 XT? (It'll take up 2 slots, right?) Will this perform alright under Mac OS X and Windows Vista? Any power issues I should be aware of... or is it better to avoid the hassle and remove the HD 2600 XT, replacing it with the 8800GT?

    Thanks much in advance! =D
  2. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Sorry you can't one is a Nvidia, and the other is a ATI!
  3. vhmalex macrumors newbie


    Jun 23, 2006
    That's not true, I run both in my machine.

    You want the 8800 in the bottom slot where your 2600 is right now. I recommend putting the 2600 on the top slot (furthest away) to avoid cooling issues.
  4. Torley thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Thanks, I'll remember that. Are there any odd problems, and how many monitors do you have attached (and where)?
  5. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    The place you will have trouble is in Windows, if you ever work there.

    It doesn't like dual drivers.
  6. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    You can have them co-existing, under MacOSX you can have as many graphics cards in the system as there are slots available and they don't need to be from the same brand or manufacture. I had a MacPro with it's default ATI HD 2600 XT in the default slot (4 i think) and a nVidia 8800 GT in the other high-speed slot (3) and they've co-existed without a glitch.

    Unfortunately, when using Bootcamp you'll need to tell Windows which card to use as the Primary then have the other one disabled in the device manager this way drivers won't be loaded for the card and windows won't through a fit caused by mass confusion. For me, I would disable the ATI, cause it's the slower of the two cards - especially in games.
  7. madboom macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2008
    I have some problems with slingplayer, it won't work on a monitor connected to the second video card.

    Once in a while my computer fails to boot correctly when the monitors connected to the second card are powered on (turn them off and back on after boot it works fine).

    My 8800 card doesn't like to display 1080p without a little trickery, but it does work with a little work around (this is supposedly happens to people with single cards as well though).

    I have had my monitors lose their positioning twice in 6 months and had to drag them back to the right positions.

    Moving the mouse to my very last display which is lower resolution and placed above and to the right of my tri-monitor panoramic view sometimes gets the mouse stuck or jumpy.

    But overall the 8800 and 2600 coexist quite well in OS X. You can forget about it in boot camp though. If you want 4 monitors in Vista/XP consider getting an ati3870 perfomance is ever so slightly below the 8800 in games but in the grand scheme of things FPS difference would not be noticeable.

    2 8800's might be not work due to power constraints if you also have other cards in the PCI-e bay. Only if you have something that takes a lot of power though like a RAID with battery-backed cache. I would expect 2 8800's alone will probably work although I have no proof either way. I base this last statement on the fact that you can only supply a finite total wattage to all PCI-e slots although I can't remember the exact amount right now.
  8. jpjameson macrumors newbie

    Dec 3, 2008
    My Mac Pro Arrives tomorrow with same situation...

    I ordered a refurb mac pro with the 2600 card and because I could not change the card in the refurb order I added the 8800 to replace it.

    Then I got to thinking about just adding it instead of replacing.

    My question... since I am just running two monitors would there be any GPU benefit in Motion and other apps with the two cards? Can the two cards share GPU load? If not what would be the benefit of both cards with just two monitors?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

  9. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    I don't think they would share the GPU load, not yet at least. It looks like OpenCL and Snow Leopard will allow that to happen quite nicely though. If you only have two monitors I'd pull out the ATI and just store until Snow Leopard or you get a third; having one monitor hooked to each card probably won't benefit you much, but I'm really guessing on that one. To me all you'd get is the full RAM from each card to each monitor but you'd probably not notice unless you're doing some serious GPU cycles. (I'm also guessing there too :))

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