New Mac Pro - 3 Monitors with 4870 Graphics Card Option

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rerun77, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Rerun77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #1
    I am about to order a new Mac Pro. Based on what I have read, the 4870 graphics options seems to be a worthwhile upgrade. However, I have 2 23" cinema displays with DVI connectors. No problem hooking those up to the 4870 with adapter. However, I also wanted to be able to run a dvi to hdmi cable to my flatscreen tv. Would the best way to accomplish this be through a dvi switcher? are any dvi switchers controllable through a remote? I guess the only other option would be to put a 120 card as the second graphics card, but I am worried about the stability of such a system. Any thoughts on that configuration?

    Thanks.
     
  2. endi78 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #2
    I'm interested too, since i am going to buy a Mac Pro and use it with a 24" display (probably a Lacie) and a Wacom Cintiq 20WSX, but i'd like to be able to watch some movies with my plasma TV as well (and of course i need the performance of the 4870 for working)

    In addition i'd like to know if i can switch off a display (the TV) using system preferences or some other software.
    I don't want to have the TV as a 3d display (and so getting lower graphic performance) when i work!
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    Most DVI switchers do the opposite of what you're describing. They take in multiple DVI signals to switch between for one display. Products that do this in the other direction (in your case 1 in, 2 out) are rare outside of super-expensive matrix switchers. Gefen makes a 2-way DVI splitter, but it's $300 and it's not switchable (both signals are always live).

    It would be cheaper to add a GT120 for the $120 and use that to drive the TV. But it really depends on what applications you use. For example, Color (part of Final Cut Studio 2) won't launch with two graphics cards installed.
     
  4. TheNightPhoenix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    #4
    I'd add to your cart the GeForce 120 and install it yourself.
    That way you can connect all three monitors across two cards, all the time and save messing around.
     
  5. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    yes, that way you could have them mirrored aswell instead of having to switch cables all the time.
     
  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    Aug 13, 2006
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    #6
    There are no stability problems with a Radeon 4870 and a GT 120 in the same machine unless you run Vista.

    My machine will have a 4870 and a GT 120. I can comment on how well such a configuration works.
     
  7. endi78 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #7
    What stability problems would occur?
    Would i be able to run Windows with bootcamp (maybe deactivating the 120GT
    on the hardware control panel) or not at all?
    Any hope Windows 7 will do better?
     
  8. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #8
    XP and Se7en can handle mixed manufacturer cards, yes.
     
  9. endi78 macrumors member

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    thank you!
    one more thing.. what about the possibility (as asked a few posts ago) of turning off a display on osx?
     
  10. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    what about one of the 2600xt's from last years mac pro? Both cards being ati would probably make it more stable, no mixing nvida with ati drivers. Not sure about the forwards compatibility though, you'd probably have to be the guinea pig for this one. Unless you can get the answer from the horse's(apple's) mouth.
    I see a mac pro 2600xt on ebay for $115.
     
  11. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #11
    You can turn a display off, sure.

    It will still be there, though, so you can lose windows on it. :p
     
  12. endi78 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #12

    jajaja that's exactly what i meant... i'd like to be able to set osx not to "see" it so that i can turn it off without losing windows (or the mouse arrow) on it!
     
  13. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    #13
    That option is no on Mac OS X. It is too bad though as you do not want to reach back there and disconnect the cables everytime.
     

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