Graphics Cards

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mogallin, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. mogallin macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2008
    There are alot other threads on just this topic but I thought i'd try making another one to answer my questions better. I also hope that it might help others having questions regarding graphic cards and i will therefore make some sort of summary of what i have learnt so far in the first post. Do correct me if im wrong!

    Here comes a few questions and when answering them it would be great if you put the numbers before the answer. Links to websites with good test or so are apreciated.

    Q. Will a card without mac support still work?
    A. It will only work in Bootcamp and and the fans might still be going in OS X even though the card isnt working.

    Q. Will nVidia SLI work?
    A. In OS X, no. In Windows it normally wont, but there are 'special drivers' for the 7300 that will enable SLI.

    Q. Will ATI CrossFire work?
    A. In OS X, no, but it will work in Windows :)

    Q. What mac compatible desktop(not workstation) cards are there? and which one is the most powerful?
    A. As far as i know: GeForce 8800GT , 8800GTS 512(With GT firmware)> HD 3870 > HD 2600, GeForce 7300 > Radeon 9200, Radeon X1900XT. Im sure there are more, so feel free to post/PM other!
    (cards separated with > means (I think) the first is better than the seconds and those separated by , I have no idea of which are the better.)

    Q. Is SLI and CrossFire equally good/effective?
    A. See the next post by Mangaroo. Can anyone confirm it and/or can you (mangaro) post the links?

    Q. I read in a post that at least one ATI card produces a 'crisper' image, is this true?
    A. "Might produce a slightly smoother image".

    Q. Probably only me wondering but anyway: What will perform best in games, and what performance difference will there be(8800GT, HD 3870 and Dual HD 3870?

    If you have any other question you would like me to add, post it or PM it to me and I wil add it.
  2. Mangaroo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
    5. A lot of reviews comparing SLI to CF show that in some games such as Crysis and COD4, you get a significant improvement with SLI (say 80fps from 55), whereas with CF, you actually DROP in fps (say 18 from 45). This was from a review (with a bunch of cards) i read yesterday as i was wondering whether to get dual 3870 in crossfire mode or a single 8800GT. So far it seems drivers are not that great for crossfire in some games and so if you are purchasing now and want high performance now it would make sense to go with the 8800GT for games..however:

    6. In mac os x, a single 3870 outperforms an 8800 on all the tests they ran...

    Also, if you are not in a rush, wait and see what drivers are like later on, im sure they can only improve. Also some games do work well with the CF, i THINK UT3 was one of them.

    I'll find the review as soon as i can and post it here
  3. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    4. Yes, Crossfire works under Windows. It's not currently hardware limited as SLI is.

    6. The 3870 will not produce a 'better' image. It might produce a slightly smoother image, however, seeing as it currently supports Core Image-based computing more efficiently.
  4. L3X macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2006
    Chesapeake, VA
    I'm getting a Mac Pro for work. I currently use CS3 (Prem Pro, After Effects, Flash, etc) and am getting into Final Cut.

    I've been reading that the HD 3870 outperforms the 8800 and is a better option. Can someone post the links to benchmarks?

  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    BareFeats posted a couple of articles on the HD 3870.
    Core Image
    Mac Games
    PC Games

    This may get you started. ;)

    Google something along the lines of 'Radeon HD 3870 Mac&PC review'. It may turn up more info. :)
  6. L3X macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2006
    Chesapeake, VA
    thanks, this helps.
  7. macz1 macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    1. I am not 100% certain but if I remember correctly there are some cases in which the PC card doesn't get quiet in OS X but spins up the fan to 100% making much noise. (and of course, whitout displaying anything)
  8. Mangaroo macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2008
    you mean if there are 2 3870s? If so, can anyone confirm?...
  9. kahine macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    I have two of the Mac 3870's in my Mac Pro - the second one stays slightly higher spinning simply because it is hotter with the bottom one blowing directly on it

    Not 100% at all though so its not bad

    But I have heard people say with windows versions of anything cards while in OS X they stay spun up all the way

    If you go two Mac 3870's you wont have that problem , but not sure if you mix in a PC version for your second one for bootcamp
  10. mogallin thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Thanks for all great replies, keep posting! Ive tried to uptade the first post as correctly as possible.
  11. Siron macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    I'm not sure that SLI works on a Mac in BootCamp. It's motherboard specific and the Apple MB doesn't support it. CF works fine in BC. Use two Mac/PC 3870 cards with CF and you won't have problems with the second cards fan spinning to max RPM in OSX.
  12. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
  13. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Exactly; it doesn't. SLI does work with hacked drivers for the 7300 in Boot Camp... but it's the 7300, so it sucks.
  14. Cyberjenks macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2008
    So. Ca.
    2nd that...great post:)
  15. mogallin thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2008
    What about mac scaling? Is it posible to choose between graphics cards scaling, monitor scaling and no scaling?

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