Forget games for a moment...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by UltraNEO*, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #1
    I need to ask the Professional users a question or two...

    Now, i don't need people saying
    as many of the other thread seems to go. I'm not seeking advice about a problem - I don't have any!

    However, when comparing video cards.

    The current range of Mac Pros come with the Radeon HD 2600 XT as stock, then as a option. Prospective buys are offered the nVidia 8800 GT (presumably, if your a gamer?) and the NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600.

    When i was making my purchase, I made inquiries in the store regarding the best option for my application and their graphic "genus" suggested I go with the 8800. However, now i'm using it and testing it.. I'm not so sure they gave me the best advice possible.

    The main application I've purchased this new machine for is to run Maya 2008 smoother, get more in-depth with 3D modelling and rendering. Previously, the lengthy rendering times I was getting with the MBP was ridiculously long, occasionally my laptop will be sitting busy for a week or more! Often experiencing temperatures hot enough to make breakfast on - no kidding!! But.. It is a slower machine when you compare it to the MP.


    Anyway..

    For Professional Application such as Maya 2008, which is the best video card for the job?
    Now, incase your wondering... I don't play games, at all!
     
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #2
    Under Windows the Quadro FX 5600 vastly outperforms the 8800GT in Maya. On OSX it may be different. Personally I believe that it isn't optimized under OSX, nothing I have seen leads me to believe it is, but it is certainly marketed that way and there is a belief conveyed in comments I have seen on the subject.

    The ATI 3780 that you can get for the Mac Pro should offer better performance that the 8800GT due to it's better OpenGL performance and because ATI cards tend to run Maya better.

    All said Maya is a bit of a dog when compared to it running on similar hardware under windows. I think there are even benchrmarks out there showing it renders better via parallels that natively in OSX.

    This post is based on the assumption that your performance issues are due to viewport rendering which is GPU based, rather than CPU rendering.
     
  3. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #3
    Well.... I have about 2 weeks to decide what to do with the video card, i can keep it cause it does work as expected, though i think I can do better... At the moment, I just don't know which card the performance is found in.

    I've read loads of reviews on-line but they're all targeted toward gamers, if and when they're aimed at professional applications, it's using windows based OS... which isn't helpful!
     
  4. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #4
    The Genius recommended the 8800 because that's what Apple ships as an upgrade option. The ATI 3780 is what you really want, provided the stock card wouldn't get it done. The Pro apps benchmarks you're looking for (under OS X) can be found here.
     
  5. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #5
    Umm.. why do other people think I want the ATI 3780?

    Thanks for the info but those benchmarks are kinda useless, only application on test there which is barely interesting is Motion. Personally, I like to see comparison scores featuring the latest Radeon vs Quadro, at least this way I can decide for myself.
     
  6. Bearxor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    #6
    Honestly, if you can afford the 1.5GB Quadro, I'd go for it. It's basically a 8800GTX with optimizations for better memory management and OpenGL acceleration.

    I think the HD3870 may be a slightly faster processor, but I would think the Quadro would make it up in sheer memory and bandwidth, especially for rendering applications like Maya.
     
  7. UltraNEO* thread starter macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #7
    At the moment I wanna spend some time reading around, making sure Hardware Rendering is support within the applications and NURBS display correctly on either or both cards in question. In the past, there have been 'fools' who've dived into older Quadro FX only to discover hardware issues... Doh!!

    So whos selling the ATI HD 3870? Does Apple have them instock as a user upgrade?
     
  8. Chilz0r macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #8
    The ATi HD3870 is totally third-party. You will have to purchase from AMD ATi or from a seller such as Other World Computing (OWC). Also by older Quadro's what do you mean??? 4500 or 1500 series. Many of the 'older' Quadros were re-branded Geforce cards and the 5600 is something totally above that. I haven't looked today at barefeats but from memory the 8800GT performs better in OpenGL than the HD3870 and I'm pretty sure Maya relies more on OpenGL than coreimage or whatnot.
     
  9. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #9
    Try getting in contact with Autodesk, Apple and Nvidia if you want a definative answer. Or contact other OSX Maya users. Though I wouldn't just take an answer of them saying which card is best without some benchmarks or an explanation of why.

    Apple offer no real information on their site and only market the Quadro as having 1.5GB of memory and a 3D stereo port which leads me to think that maybe that is all it has going for it under OSX. The 1.5GB of memory could help with multiple viewports, but to my knowledge nothing like proper drivers would.

    The other issue of course even if the Quadro was a sensible option for you, is how you get it as Apple only ship it with new systems.
     

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