Graphics Card Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Spanky Deluxe, Sep 12, 2006.


Which configuration do you think I should get?

  1. 7300GT + AE (2-3 weeks to ship) - £0 extra

    0 vote(s)
  2. 7300GT + no AE (3 days to ship) - £0 extra

    2 vote(s)
  3. X1900 XT + AE (3-4 weeks to ship) - £146 extra

    17 vote(s)
  4. X1900 XT + no AE (3-4 weeks to ship) - £146 extra

    1 vote(s)
  5. 7300GT + AE + 7950 GX2 (2-3 weeks to ship) - £316.08 extra

    0 vote(s)
  6. 7300GT + no AE + 7950 GX2 (3 days to ship) - £316.08 extra

    0 vote(s)
  1. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    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)
    Wireless KB&MM

    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.
  2. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    7950 GX2 in a mac pro??

    were you planning on running OS X with that??

    edit NM, just read your post :X
  3. DXoverDY macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2005
    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
  4. stapler macrumors member

    Sep 3, 2006
    They caught up on X1900 XT and Airport backorders.
  5. Bibulous macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2005
    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.
  6. Spanky Deluxe thread starter macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    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. :(
  7. Trekkie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2002
    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.
  8. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    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.
  9. amtberg macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2006
    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.
  10. Mackeyser macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    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...), 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...

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