Graphics Card Dilemma

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Purple Puppy, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Purple Puppy macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2008
    Like many others, I am not impressed with the graphics card choices offered for the new Mac Pro.

    I do some 3D modeling (using Rhinoceros 3D which is available on both Mac and Windows) and rendering (using V-Ray, which is only available for Rhino for Windows), so I guess the 8-core Mac Pro is the right one for me.

    Because 3D rendering uses the CPU heavily instead of the GPU, the only thing GPU is really good for is in viewport rendering. Viewport performance is quite important though, since it greatly affects the efficiency at which I work.

    The thing is:

    1) I might need 2 monitors. I can't afford Apple displays nor any of the professional IPS displays, so the ones I buy will almost certainly be DVI ones. The mini display port to DVI adapter is a ridiculous $34 and I would rather get another graphics card for the additional performance, unless the price of a graphics card is much much greater than $34.

    2) Some people are going to get both the 4870 and a GT 120. I wonder would it be wise for me to get a 4870 and a GT 120? Or should I get two GT 120s? And if I plug one monitor into a 4870 and the other into the GT 120, would one monitor's performance be much better than the other?
  2. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Plug both into the 4870 if you think each monitor need its own card

    Getting another GT120 will cost atlease $150.

    Or take this gamble.

    Since there are two PCIe 2.0 16x Slots, put two ATI 4870s in there. Your going to lose one slot for sure. The other is double wide already.

    Here are the problem your going to run into.

    Powering the two 4870s. We do not know how many PCIe 6-Pins are on the motherboard.

    Base on the old Mac Pro, there are two PCIe 6-Pins on the motherboard. 4870 need two PCIe 6-Pins. So your going to need to use the two molex that are for the super drives into one PCIe 6-Pins.

    However, you need two PCIe 6-Pins for a 4870 and using the two molex to PCIe 6-Pins, we only made one.

    Here the gamble your going to need to take if everything is based on the old machine.

    Take one PCIe 6-Pin from the motherboard and connect it to the 1st 4870. Convert one 4-Pin Molex to PCIe 6-Pin and connect that one to 1st 4870.

    Take the other PCIe 6-Pin from the motherboard and connect it to the 2nd 4870. Convert the other 4-Pin Molex to PCIe 6-Pin and connect that one to 2nd 4870.

    We split the power load and maybe it will work.

    Note: You may not need to do this is if apple give you more PCIe 6-Pins on the power supply or motherboard. Also a slim hope that the 4870 is a crippled apple and only uses one PCIe 6-Pins instead of two

    Just consider connecting both monitors into one card. Please.
  3. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    if you're looking for an affordable ips panel monitor check out the dell 2209WA, I believe you can get it for under $250US. It's based on a newer e-ips technology, I got one last week and it's a beauty.

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