Invest in video cards?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Michael73, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    So this morning as I'm shaving, I'm thinking about ways to get even more performance out of the MP - specifically when Snow Leopard comes out next year.

    Except for the 8800GT my other PCI Express slots are empty. Does anyone think it would make sense to go out and buy a couple of ATI 3870s from Macsales? I'm not looking to support more monitors. I'm thinking about this purely from the standpoint of offloading processor heavy tasks like encoding movies and such.
  2. hualon macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    How will you "offloading processor heavy tasks like encoding movies" by adding video cards, exactly?:confused:
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    That's all you can do with them in OS X, though. Multiple graphics cards are only for more monitors. You can't delegate processing tasks.
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Unfortunately, Yes for now. :(
    I took the OP's post as "in the future" though, due to the reference to the Open CL component of Snow Leopard. Though it lists it allows the GPU to be used for other things (heavy computation), I've only seen speculation on the use of multiple graphics cards.

    Have you seen anything concrete, or at least from a site that has an accurate track record?

    Michael73 take a look at the following links. They may help.
    Snow Leopard Sticky
    Apple's Snow Leopard Page
    Search "Snow Leopard" (many here)

    Personally, I'd say wait for now, as there may be newer graphics cards available, or at least the current ones may dip in price a little. Another reason to wait would let you see how the reviews/articles/...reveal more specifics of what to actually expect, so you don't spend money for hardware you may not be able to use as you intend. :(

    Sorry if this isn't of much help, but it seems quite early yet for more definite answers. :eek:
  5. IroquoisPliskin macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2008
    The longer you wait, the cheaper they will be to buy when you might actually be able to use them.
  6. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    Thanks for the replies and "yes" my OP was not about scooping up some cards today but probably after SL comes out.

    The way I see it is this could be a cheap performance booster, right? I mean you can upgrade to more RAM, you can get more HDD space but when it comes to raw computing power there's no upgrade per se. However, if OpenCL works as advertised, could take advantage of multiple GPU's and programs are written for multicore architecture then we might just have have added another year or two onto the life of our machines.

    My belief is that there is a segment of MP purchasers who bought the machine not because they needed all that horsepower but because the machine offers unparalled expandability compared to everything else in Apple's lineup. As a result, the choice of machines is/was as much about future-proofing themselves as about the overall specs the machine offers.
  7. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Never buy for the future. It's always cheaper when you get there.

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