graphics card upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mattmac, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. mattmac macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2008
    I am currently using an 08 8 core MP with the standard ATI Radeon HD 2600 graphics card which runs a 23 and 20 ACD.

    Under normal usage this card is perfect, but under heavy 3D/CAD usage it begins to slow down as the models get more and more complex. A screen redraw can take up to 4/5 seconds each time.

    Would I be better off replacing the standard card with a 512mb card or just getting another 256mb so each monitor has its own card. What is the deciding factor in screen redraw times, memory or processor.

    I have heard reports of people being unhappy with the 8800 for professional graphics as it is more geared towards multimedia and gaming. If this is true is the ATI 3870 any better.

    I would be very interested in hearing what other people have done in this situation.
  2. matt321 macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2007
    It sounds like you are overloading your frame buffer. I don't think adding another 256mb card to the mix will do you any good, OS X doesn't use the extra memory (on a separate card.) It only uses a second card as a pass-through device.

    I can't speak for either the 8800 or the 3870 though... I can tell you my 1900xt does not suffer what you are talking about and it has 512mb driving two monitors: 24in and 20in .
  3. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    The 3870 is way better at Core Image which Apple's Pro apps use.

    The Nvidia 8800GT is better at 3D and games but it's Core Image support is worse than the old 2600XT card.

    The 3870 is just slightly behind the 8800gt when it comes to games/3D

    Check out the Barefeats benchmarks.

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