Buy the 8800GT now or a better card later?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mercuric Oxide, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Mercuric Oxide macrumors 6502

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    NYC
    #1
    First off, with the 3-5 week delay, I will most likely start off with a stock Mac Pro model. My questions are:

    1. With each Powermac/Mac Pro generation, how often are the graphics cards updated?

    2. Assuming there is no overhaul in the design, will new card options always be compatible with the Mac Pro?

    3. With the current MP architecture, how future proof is it card wise? Do the latest releases from ATi/Nvidia for PC physically fit inside? Will the current MP most likely support future HDCP complient cards with HDMI?

    Sorry, I know there is a lot of hate for gamers here, I just want to say that I am in no way upset with the current MP. I am a college student and the MP will mainly be used for maya, adobe cs3, and for my video game design tech elecs. I just happen to love OSX, will use the MP for college, and would enjoy a video game or two.

    Please do not suggest a PC ::gag:: :)

    Thanks for reading
     
  2. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #2
    You won't likely see any other options until the next Mac Pro update in 9 months or so. The 8800 card is a great option and one that will last you a very long time.
     
  3. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Hmm, I guess I should just get the nvidia in a month when it's readily available then.

    Historically, have video card updates a yr down the line been compatible? I guess that's a situation facing the "old" MP users with the 8800 GT..

    Thanks
     
  4. timestamp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    #4
    I haven't decided what I am going to do yet. I imagine once the orders pour in they will start shipping those things faster. That makes me want to go with the 8800GT since it is only a $160 upgrade.
     
  5. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #5
    I haven't been around the Mac world that long, but what I've seen of Apple and the Mac Pro, do NOT count on an upgraded video card being available...ever. :)

    Go with the 8800gt if it's remotely important to you.
     
  6. amtctt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #6
    agreed, i mean look at what they did with the first mac pro, they used a year old ATI 1900 (good card, but still a year old) and didn't offer anything different until now with the MP revision. 8800gt is a pretty great option for the MP. Hopefully the ol' tax refund will be sizeable enough to hook it up.
     
  7. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #8
    Seriously though, I bet you it will ship sooner than 3-5 weeks, a lot sooner.
     
  8. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #9
    I think that you will see the ATI 38xx very soon.
     
  9. psingh01 macrumors 65816

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    Apr 19, 2004
    #10
    I agree. Like when they upgrade the Mac Pro again.....in 3 years :D
     
  10. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2004
    #11
    Why not just order both now - order the Mac Pro with the default card and order the Geforce 8800GT in a separate order, now.
     
  11. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Well, I'm a college student, using money I saved from a part-time job. After this order, I have about $500 left (not counting credit card), so I would have only been willing to risk starving if I could update the card and get it within a week.

    Since its 5-7 weeks, I think I'll just wait until it's reduced to 1-2 weeks, and save some money for food ;)
     
  12. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #13
    What's the price for the 8800GT on its own? And where can I get one? Off of NVIDIA's website?
     
  13. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    ^ From Apple its 349$. Not sure if it'll work from anyone else.

    Also: How easy is it to swap cards? Does anything need to be connected or wired?
     
  14. timestamp macrumors 6502

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #15
    It is on Apples website and it is $350 for the card alone. I think that is a ridiculous proposition though.

    For me it is only $160 to upgrade to the 8800GT. If I were to not get it CTO, it would cost me nearly $200 more to get it. That to me seems rather silly.

    I am actually shocked some people are doing it.
     
  15. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #16
    I want this machine so bad right now and don't know what to do. I might just suck it up and wait the 3-5 weeks. But that's so painful to do. Either way I am gonna wait until 1/15 to order. So maybe some magic will happen and they will get a boat load in.
     
  16. timestamp macrumors 6502

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #17
    I think they will get them earlier than expected. It has happened a number of times with other products.

    DIdn't the original X1900 have this problem.
     
  17. darthraige macrumors 68000

    darthraige

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    #18
    I believe so. Also, the RAID card jumped to 3-5 weeks for only a few days, then it went down to 2-4 days. So anything can happen.
     
  18. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

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    New York
    #19
    Wait kid, the 2600XT will hold up for at least 3 years easy, and there will be other options for the mac pro, you're dealing with 16x pci-express 2.0 slot, no card can even fully saturate the whole bus. I was able to get a 9700 Pro upgrade for my 2002 G4 3 years later for a very good price. I'm buying the stock one since I can always keep the 2600XT and run more than 2 monitors. Soon I'll have a set up like Jackman in Swordfish. Best of luck.

     
  19. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

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    #20
    I hope so. I ordered a system with the nVidia card and my ship date is Feb.14 and a arrival date of Feb.26 :apple:
     
  20. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Any chance in hell that the 8800GT can be purchased separately at the Apple Store...? :eek:
     
  21. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    #22
    The 8800GT isnt too overpriced, only 60 or so above the PC versions on Newegg. Which isnt bad when you think its Apple, and how well they love to gouge their upgrade prices.

    The 8800GT is faster than the 8800 Ultra and 8800GTX at some things. Its an awesome card.

    The ATI 3850 and 3870 are actually slower than the GT.
     
  22. timestamp macrumors 6502

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    Dec 26, 2007
    #23
    I don't think it is overpriced, I can't justify paying for two video cards just to get my machine quicker.
     
  23. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Do you guys think the stock 2600xt will fetch anything on ebay? Or will old MP users most likely opt for the 8800?

    When I think about it, this does seem like too much of a hassle to get the machine quicker....but I can't resist the thought of having this comp by next week :confused:
     
  24. thagomizer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    USA
    #25
    Not to rain on anyone's parade, but just a couple weeks after introducing the 8800 GT, NVIDIA came out with a revision of the 8800 GTS that is even faster -- and even faster than then 8800 GTX and 8800 Ultra for some applications. It's just a little more expensive.

    (This new 8800 GTS with 512MB memory, 128 shader processors, and 65nm fabrication is not to be confused with the older 320MB or 640MB versions from early 2007, also called "8800 GTS", and fabbed at 90nm. Why they kept the name is beyond me, because it's very confusing.)

    The 8800 GT and "new" 8800 GTS are almost identical, except that the latter card runs at higher core and memory clocks, and has 128 shaders instead of the GT's 112. They both have a 256 bit memory interface and 754M transistors, which leads one to believe that the chips are identical, except for having 16 shaders disabled on the GT.

    Read about it here:
    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3175

    For those of us who want the best performance out of our $2500+ investment, I'm wondering if it's the safest bet to just buy a Mac Pro with the stock card, and stick in a PC version 8800 GTS and run it with the OS X native drivers for the 8800 GT? Surely the drivers are the same, because the chips are identical. Are there any PC cards that use EFI yet? And if not, it should be a simple matter to flash them with EFI boot firmware from the Apple 8800 GT.

    And NVidia will be releasing 9000-series cards in Feb/Mar which will surpass the 8800 Ultra, so there may be yet another reason to wait... if Apple will be so kind as to let us use them.
     

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