new video card from ati?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by jkaz, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. jkaz macrumors 6502

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    #1
  2. hankolerd macrumors 6502

    hankolerd

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    #2
    the iMac could only run the 3850 since the 3870 is a dual slot(at least I am pretty sure the iMacs don't have dual slots). I am sure it would be better than the 2400 and 2600. Especially since the review says these cards are in the line between those cards and the 2900XT. Running UT3 at max settings and averaging 30+ fps is good. I can't even run at max settings with my X1600. The biggest question would be, is how much heat do they create compared to the 2400 and 2600, and how much power do they use. Apple selects the cards they do because of heat and power, these new ati cards look like the run cool, and they don't use much power, but i don't know how they compare to the 2400 and 2600.:apple:

    My computer fan kicked into full speed the other day for the first time ever. And the computer was idle. I think there is alot of dust here in Montana, and I think it is starting to effect it, but I don't know how one would go about taking it apart and cleaning it. And I am not even gonna try. I have a warranty for 2 more years I think...maybe just 1. either way, hopefully if it goes out it does it before than. I might need to get an external drive soon...
     
  3. AppleWoW macrumors regular

    AppleWoW

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    #3
    The only problem I see is that the 2400 and the 2600 "cards" are not actually cards...they're the GPU's just on the motherboard..I might be wrong that thats what I was told...so there is no way to change out the video card in a iMac. Let me know if im wrong ;)
     
  4. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #4
    No guarantees with apple that they will update the GPUs in imacs, just because a new batch of GPUs was released. They have made us wait in the past a whole year sometimes 2 for a GPU update. On the other hand with all the video issues with imacs lately, they might update sooner than later. It then becomes an issue of heat and power consumption. Having been an apple user for a long time i doubt they would stick a 3870 in an imac. They might stick a 3850 and underclock it to get it cooler, or they could just make it a BTO add on.

    This is what it looks like using the stats from that article and the stats from the 2600xt from the same site: http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTM2MCwxMCwsaGVudGh1c2lhc3Q=


    idle / load
    3870 177w 51c / 268w 83c
    3850 172w 46c / 242w 85c
    2600XT 159w 63c / 180w 68c

    Remember, these stats are for regular video cards, not the mobile versions they usually use in imacs. I'm not sure if they have even announced mobile versions of the 3800 cards yet.
     
  5. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #5
    iMac? No.
    These cards MIGHT be destined for a Mac Pro upgrade in the very near future.
    Maybe.

    And remember, the iMac uses the HD2600 Pro, not XT. Much lower clock speeds, and hence much lower power consumption.

    And on the link provided by the OP, it says the 3870 draws a peak of 105 Watts, and the 3850 95 Watts.

    It seems possible that by the time AMD have made mobile versions of the 38xx family, we might be seeing them in an iMac refresh. Probably with Penryn, maybe 2Q 2008? After Macworld, anyway.
     
  6. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #6
    Has any one seen any news on card upgrades for the Mac Pro? It sure would be nice sometime soon.

    I thought it had been settled on these forums that the 2600 pro in the imac was an underclocked 2600XT. Underclocked gpus is something that apple has been doing regularly now. Hence, my suggestion that we could get a 3850 underclocked when they release the mobile version.

    You are correct. I was using the info from the charts under total system wattage. I was trying to show a comparison between another gpu that was used in the imac, which was also reviewed by the same site. As not all sites use the same methodologies for testing. I was also aiming for card vs card as there are no 3800 mobile versions right now. I should have been clearer.

    I agree that would be my bet. Apple might stick the 2600 in the low end imac and the 3850 in the others. It would be nice if they offered the 3870 as an option.
     
  7. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #7
    OK. I didn't know that. I remember hearing something about some things saying the card was an XT, but didn't pay much attention. Not really interested in iMacs.

    So if the rest of the system is identical, basically, if the 3870 uses 105 watts, and an entire system with one uses 268W, and a system with a HD2600XT draws 180W, then the HD2600XT must only draw about 17 Watts... And Apple underclocks it...
    And the iMac has just had a brand new redesign...

    On second thoughts, maybe we'll be looking at an underclocked HD3650...
     
  8. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #8
    Hmmm...looking back over the articles the systems aren't identical, my bad. :eek:
    The system without video card uses 152W throw in the 3870 and its showing 268W at load. So the 3870 is using 116W at load. The 3850 comes out at 90W at load. In the same system if you throw in a 2900XT its 360W total at load. So the 2900xt uses 208W. Meanwhile the 2600XT is in a system that uses 122W without the card and then goes up to 180W at load. This makes the 2600xt a 58W at load.
     
  9. Erasmus macrumors 68030

    Erasmus

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    #9
    Well, in that case, assuming power consumption is proportional to the square of clock speed (Which I believe it is) then:

    To get a 3870 to ~60 Watts we are looking at underclocking it by ~30%.
    To get a 3850 to ~60 Watts we are looking at underclocking it by ~20%.

    20% seems reasonable.

    That means, just going on core clock speeds,
    3870; 780 MHz UC -> 550 MHz
    3850; 670 MHz UC -> 540 MHz

    And then of course, the HD2600XT has itself been underclocked by Apple. I don't know by how much, but at this rate, it is still looking to me that we won't be seeing one of these cards. After all, these cards are full-on gaming cards, and the iMac is not a full on gaming computer. I think a more realistic expectation would be hopefully something with 160 stream processors (Half one of these cards) and GDDR4 Memory. Maybe we'll get one with 240 stream processors, and underclocked by ~10%, which would be a good compromise. But I would be betting the next iMac will come with the HD3670 or HD3770, at AMD recommended clock speeds, which should be enough to run Crysis at a decent res, everything on High. It would of course totally own the HD2600XT, even the X1900XT in today's Mac Pros. Hopefully not for long, though. Apple needs Crossfire HD3870's.
     
  10. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #10
    Regular mobility 2600xt:
    Core 700
    Memory 750
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Mobility-Radeon-HD-2600-XT.3770.0.html

    Regular mobility 2600:
    Core 500
    Memory 600
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/ATI-Mobility-Radeon-HD-2600.3771.0.html

    Apple underclocked 2600xt reported under XP by adom in the forums:
    Core 600
    Memory 685

    It probably all comes down to cost. It seems that apple could underclock a 3850 and stick it in the imac. However, its a $179 card. The 2600xt was a $150 card that was underclocked and rebranded as a pro to not only reduce heat but probably also cost--easier than manufacturing a whole new card for apple. The 3850 even underclocked may not be cheap enough for apple to stick into the imac (they do like to max their profit margins). So when will the next mobility cards be released, and will they be in the 3800 series or 2000 series? Any rumors about that?

    And hell yea, I'd like to see crossfire in Macpros...
     

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