Mac Pro 8 core questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by snake007uk, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. snake007uk macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2008
    Guys I am planning to buy Mac Pro 8 core, I have a couple of question for people who have bought one and people with the info :D

    1) Can I run Nvidia 8800GT (in main slot) and ATI 2600Xt in one of the other pci-e slots together
    2) Where is the best place in UK to buy RAM for the new mac pro?
    3) Can I run Tiger OSX instead of Leopard on the new mac pro (will all hardware work graphics card in particular) I need to run Tiger because checkpoint have not released a Leopard VPN client just yet (I hate checkpoint). (non of the other programs work.
    4) what is the onboard sound card? is it any good compared to say creative labs Xfi etc...

    I will add more as I think of them.
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    1. There's nothing wrong with running two different video cards from different brands.

    3. Sadly, Tiger doesn't have the drivers for the new hardware on the Mac Pro. You're going to need to use the Leopard discs that come with the Mac Pro.
  3. snake007uk thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2008
    damn man, I could have done with tiger working on the new mac pro :(
  4. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2006
    There should be no problem with the graphics setup (apart from the aforementioned lack of Tiger support)
    As far as the sound card goes, sound cards are essentially irrelevant. I know some hardcore "gamer" or "audiophile" will dissagree, but the simple truth is that sound cards are designed to shift the task of sound processing from the CPU to the card. However, with 2 quad core Xeons (each with 12mb of L2 cache and a 1600MHz FSB) there is no need to "help" the CPU deal with something as simple as sound processing. :)

    Hope that helped!
  5. Graphis macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Apparently, it CAN be done... don't ask me how exactly, as i couldn't tell you, but i was over in another forum earlier and someone's just done it. He says trying to install directly doesn't work, but if you clone your original drive into the new mac, then you'll get the drivers and Tiger will install and work ok. However, be warned: he's already confirmed with Apple support that he's completely invalidated his warranty, so if you do this, it's entirely at your own risk. If your mac goes belly up, Apple won't touch it.
  6. thevibesman macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    Anyone heard official word on if you can mix the ati 1900xt and the nvidia 8800gt? or is the lack of warning against it all we have to go on.

    Later this year, I plan to need both the power of 8800 as well as to use 3 or 4 monitors in some sound installation projects. Because of the problems mixing nvidia and ati on the 2006 mac pro I ordered a 8800 with my new mac pro because I was expecting to need to use two 8800s to use 4 displays. This thread inspired me to do some reading and--probably since no one has a mac pro with nvidia yet--I wasn't able to find anything conclusive about this either way. Since I can do without the performance of the 8800 for a few months and don't plan on using more than 2 displays until April, I am considering changing my order to the ATI card for now....any thouhgts/facts?

    OH, AND ABOUT SOUND CARDS (sorry for caps, didn't want the unrelated intro to cause this info to be missed). As far as sound quality, from my experience (no intel experience yet, waiting for my pro...but using macs since '87) the built-in sound cards apple uses are superior to built in cards used by other manufactures in both latency and analogue-digital conversion (ADC) and digital-analogue conversion (DAC). The benefits of 3rd party sound hardware are usually two-fold: 1) better ADC/DAC and 2) more and/or higher quality analogue (and maybe digital) ins and outs. As far as creative labs cards go, I have not used them, but have looked at them in the past and to help my response just did some quick browsing. IMO, the real benefit of those products is a low end way of getting more analogue ins and outs from your computer. Yes, some processing goes on on the sound card, keep in mind, that if you are working with just stereo ADC/DAC that that isn't a huge performance hit so I wouldn't really worry about buying an external sound card if you are worried about processing power. The claim about "Makes MP3s Sound Better" is a downright lie as far as I am concerned. Do some reading on how digital audio works, and you will see that all digital audio is an approximation, MP3s are just a poor approximation (CDs really aren't that great compared to how things sound in reality). From what I can tell, the way this MP3 enhancement works is some sort of AI that deciedes what frequencies are missing due to poor sampling rate and guessing what needs to be filled in. This creates a higher resolution approximation, but in no way makes it more accurate, possibly even less higher resolution with no increase in accuracy really "better". In addition to this, the real problem in the way MP3s sound is variable bit-depth which translates to a very poor dynamic range. I can't imagine what sort of smart technology could make up for this, but even if they were doing something with the bit-depth, I really doubt it will do something to improve the dynamic range. They are doing something to improve digital sound on these cards, but since most people can't tell the difference between even poor MP3s and CD, I don't see the point in this "Make MP3s better" technology--if you want good quality sound, don't use MP3, end of story. As far as hardware effects, if you need the effect, it will process that on the card instead of your CPU. If you really want to be doing sound processing, and your CPU can't handle it, you'd be better off using some sort of multiprocessor DSP hardware versus some PCI--this allows you to do softare effects that are processed by external hardware instead of your CPU. The only example of this I can think of is Kyma, but I have seen other systems that work with a wider variety of software.

    What do you want out of your sound card? This will determine if the internal will be good enough (and I'll weigh in again if you let me know).

    (another quick edit)-> As far as quality of ADC/DAC is concerned, just because something can record 192KHz/24Bit, does not mean you have the highest quality ADC/DAC, just that it can do high resolution. When I mentioned quality earlier, I was speaking about the conversion algorithms which effects accuracy of the digital representation. Also, conversion algorithms aside, quality of the card's in/outs is also effected by the kind of analogue ins/outs it has (1/8" and RCA are low end consumer plugs...often not as well shield as XLR and 1/4" (but can be) and doesn't have the better ground and noise removing features of balanced XLR/TRS. oh, I was impressed by the signal-to-noise ratio of some cards I looked at by creative labs.

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