Graphics Card Advice

Which configuration do you think I should get?

  • 7300GT + AE (2-3 weeks to ship) - £0 extra

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7300GT + no AE (3 days to ship) - £0 extra

    Votes: 2 10.0%
  • X1900 XT + AE (3-4 weeks to ship) - £146 extra

    Votes: 17 85.0%
  • X1900 XT + no AE (3-4 weeks to ship) - £146 extra

    Votes: 1 5.0%
  • 7300GT + AE + 7950 GX2 (2-3 weeks to ship) - £316.08 extra

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7300GT + no AE + 7950 GX2 (3 days to ship) - £316.08 extra

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    20

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
4,853
359
London, UK
Ok, I think I'm nearly done configuring my Mac Pro that I will hopefully be ordering tonight.

2.66Ghz Mac Pro
30" ACD
1GB RAM (will upgrade later when third party memory prices come down a bit)
Bluetooth
Wireless KB&MM
Airport
Applecare

Now the big question is which graphics card. I'm already around the upper limit of my budget right now. I've got the choice of the 7300GT, which would mean my Mac Pro would be ready to ship in 2-3 weeks (or 3 days without AE), the X1900 XT, which would mean my Mac Pro would be ready to ship in 3-4 weeks and then there's the option of getting a 7300GT and buying an 7950GX2 so my Mac Pro would be ready to ship in 2-3 weeks (or 3 days without AE). All of the games I own are Windows already so would run in Boot Camp apart from WoW, I'd be willing to mess around with flashing etc if need be. The upgrade to an X1900XT would set me back £146 while buying a 7950GX2 would set me back £316.08 although I would have two graphics cards then. Switching my DVI connector between two graphics cards would be a hassle unless I can somehow get the nVidia drivers to work for at least one of the cards in the GX2 package.

On a side note, is the AE module easy to get hold of and easy to install? If I went for the nVidia options then I could get the machine about two weeks faster if I forwent with the AE option for now. I'll be at Uni where I have a wired connection and wouldn't need AE until mid December when I come back home.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,105
234
7950 GX2 in a mac pro??

were you planning on running OS X with that??

edit NM, just read your post :X
 

DXoverDY

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2005
810
0
Ship time on a 1900XT + AE is 3-4 weeks? wtf.... Guess I'm not going to be ordering my mac pro for a bit until they get their crap figured out
 

Bibulous

macrumors 6502a
Jan 19, 2005
716
0
3 day option - no way I could wait 3-4 weeks. With those times I would want to get the machine then worry about upgrading it.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 17, 2005
4,853
359
London, UK
Bibulous said:
3 day option - no way I could wait 3-4 weeks. With those times I would want to get the machine then worry about upgrading it.
Yeah, I'm leaning towards that now, I'll have to wait for the cheque from my Insurance company to Apple to clear which will take at least 3 working days too so I'm already looking at at least a weeks delay before shipping. :(
 

Trekkie

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2002
906
15
Wake Forest, NC
My $0.02

Based on performance variables I've seen on the 7300GT I went with the ATI 1900.

From what the rumors/information floating around the AE and the AE+BT card is a huge PITA and the wording is that it is strongly recommended for a service center to put it in.

Not knowing how they do it, it could be just them being over protective or it could be a huge PITA to put in. Dunno, I'll open mine and look tomorrow when it gets here.
 

apfhex

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2006
2,682
4
Northern California
If you're going to be getting a better graphics card anyway, save all the hassle of switching the monitor hookup back and forth, not having games run optimally under OS X (even if it's just WoW), spending £176 more for a Windows-only card, and get the X1900 XT now.

As for Airport, I'm not sure you can even get ahold of the proper component later on, and it's certainly not "easy" to install (I've seen instructions...). If you're going to need it, absolutely get it CTO.
 

amtberg

macrumors newbie
Sep 7, 2006
24
0
I haven't seen any game benchmarks, but Cinebench OGL scores show the 7300GT as virtually identical to the x1900. Hard to figure that.

I get an excellent score under OSX with my 7300 GT, but my Windows score isn't nearly as good. No idea what that's about.
 

Mackeyser

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2002
74
0
Tampa, FL
the issue on OpenGL is multithreading.

Hopefully with 10.4.8, OpenGL will be multithreaded and it is quite easy to implement it (according to a Blizzard employee) and they are working on it.

The beauty of the Mac Pro with the x1900XT is that it is a fairly future-proof system. The processors will be swappable, the FSB is already very fast and the system itself will only get faster as more apps (especially games) become multicore and multiproc aware.

I ALMOST bought a G5 Quad used for $4000. I'm getting a MUCH better machine (especially with respect to the future...I mean if movie studios still have Avid bays running on OS 9 boxes and they do, my edit bay should last a pretty long time...) now...er....well, as soon as I order it, anyway, and it will rock.

Fwiw, I will be glad for the shipping delay. I'll need the time to carve out space, buy a smallish editing desk, buy a UPS (leaning towards Tripplite), save for the 30" ACD, and maybe even have some of the dough for FC Studio, CS2 and AE 7. Plus, I am going to have a trio of the Seagate 750s for a video capture RAID since it writes over 220MBs and a 150GB Raptor boot/application drive. I already have a 200GB external for documents and stuff. And the 8GB (4x2GB) memory upgrade and viola! I've waited over 5 years to be able to do this...I guess another few weeks will be okay...

Anyway, I'd say get the X1900XT from Apple as a BTO option. Because Apple uses EFI mobos, there won't be many graphic card options and none on the PC side that are swappable since Vista was downgraded to BIOS only (I suspect to strangle Mac adoption since using BIOS is an increasing headache for MS. The way it is now, you can't just migrate your 1337 setup to a Mac Pro from your Dell/Alienware/uber self built box since it's all still running on BIOS).

The X1900 is a perfectly capable card. And if Crossover can get more of the DirectX and other APIs working properly, then more than just WoW will work sans Windows (as in the Windows copy of the game will run via Crossover without running a copy of windows in emulation or alternate boot volume).

With all this platform stuff, video cards and Airport are the two areas I'm not futzing with. HDs, optical drives, keyboards, mice and a host of other things are fair game, but imho, the video cards and airport aren't worth the trouble.

Sorry for the life story. Hope the suggestions helped, tho...