NVIDIA 8800 GT and Apple Color?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Walddo, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Walddo macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    This is my first post here. It appears that most people is ordering their MacPros with the nVidia option, instead of the standard ATI. I will be working mostly with Motion, Shake, Final Cut, Color and some Maya.

    For some of this work, the 8800 should be the best bet, right? However, there seems to be an issue with nVidia cards and Apple Color. Some peopple are saying that Apple Color is designed to work better with ATI than nVidia. They are talking about color depth and such.

    So my concern is whether I will be wasting money in a better card which is outperformed by the standard ATI with regard to Color. What do you think? Will Apple update its software (Color) to make it fully compatible with the mid-range nVidia card they offer? It would seem reasonable since they are not offering a better ATI for the pro software they have.

    Thanks in advance for any tips you might have.
  2. cineapple macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2007
    hmmm... like you, I went for the new mac pro to use Final Cut Studio for my editing work. I don't imagine the ATI would outperfom the Nvidia. I just think that Apple hasn't updated their recommended system requirements since the new mac pros were released. Also, I hope that the 10.5.2 update will allow the card output the same, if not better color depth.
    But, then again we could all be waiting for nothing...
    Anyone else on this?
  3. Walddo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    There are also some rumors that a new ATI card will come to fill the gap left by the ATI 1900XT (which is not compatible with the new Mac Pro).

    I am really confused by this, since one could run into some problems with the superior nVidia. Is it a problem of software or a problem of the card itself? Maybe the OS X 10.5.2 update fixes this, or a specific Color update adressess the incompatibility issues.

    But then, if Apple is going to add a new and better ATI (compared to the HD 2600 XT) in a few weeks (or months), would I be wasting my money if I buy the nVidia 8800?

    I do not why actually, but most of those who are working in film and video are stating that ATi is more reliable for accurately displaying HD and such. So how come Apple's best cards are both nVidia?
  4. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004
    Because the Nvidia cards were the fastest and everybody wanted the Nvidia card.

    I had to laugh, I just looked at the link to the "problem". The problem is probably just that Apple hasn't updated their web pages. The reason Apple recommended the ATI Radeon X1900XT was because it was the best and fastest card at the time with the most advanced GPU - ie. it has the power to let you get the real-time effects. It has nothing to do with optimizations. Egads, how some people can misread requirements is beyond me. :rolleyes:

    Get the Nvidia Geforce 8800 and don't worry about it.

    Here I though there was some difference in the screen output of the two cards.:rolleyes:
  5. Walddo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    Sorry for bumping up this post, but I found some more discussion on this subject. According to this, ATI seems to be more suitable for serious film and motion work with Macs. Do you agree or is it an overstatement?

    Update: Hey, I missed your post. Thanks for replying and giving confidence on this matter. I surely hope that the "problem" is not in the screen output.
  6. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004
    I should note that I don't use Final Cut and Maya, and was going by the Apple page that you linked to. It's obvious that the Apple Page for Final Cut is out of date and when I went to the Color page, it says it uses the GPU for real-time preview. You need a powerful GPU for realtime previews. That used to be the Radeon X1900XT.

    Now the new thread you linked to mentions weird playback splitting. I'd say you'd want to test this for yourself. Can you get to an Apple Store or AASP and try Color in store? I would imagine an Apple Store or Apple Certified Retailler would do anything to sell you a new Mac Pro.

    Ooops, I forgot the Geforce 8800GT isn't shipping! So you can't test that.

    Well maybe someone on this board can verify this story because it sounds flaky that Apple would optimize it's Color code to ATI cards. But I understand that you want to look into this.
  7. caeneal macrumors member

    Aug 20, 2007
    All of the concerns voiced in those threads are personal observations and lack any hard data, any evident expertise on the part of the observers, and any comments from ati, nvidia, apple, etc, etc. One would imagine that such a serious issue might make it past the message board crowd and into the product reviews.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the comments of some random person on a message board.
  8. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    I don't think any major optimization difference will be seen between the cards.

    Honestly, unless you game at all, the 8800GT isn't necessary. The ATI consumes less power, is quieter, runs cooler, and has a UVD so you won't have to worry about general use (gaming however the 8800GT blows it away). And as far as image quality and so on, ATI used to always be in the lead while Nvidia was behind but now they're about equal and the difference is not noticeable (wrt to games).
  9. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    I went with the ATi 2600 since I needed the MP now. I'm going to wait and see how the 8800 compares in Motion/Color/Aperture performance. I used Color and Aperture today and they both ran great with the 2600.
  10. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Looking back, I wish I had done the same thing. It hurts to do my video projects on my 20" iMac, when I have a 30" ACD, 16GB of RAM, and 2TB of hard drive space sitting in my office just waiting for the new MacPro to arrive.

    - Martin
  11. PStewart macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008

    I stumbled across this thread because of problems with my 2600 ATI freezing, but anyway, that's another story and another thread.

    The reason why the ATI is the manufacturer of choice amongst Color users is because of bit depth.

    Back when Color was called Final Touch and being developed by Silicon Color, it was originally developed to take advantage of the ATI cards. Since Apple has taken Color on it hasn't, as yet, developed it enough to take advantage of the NVidia range of cards. As all rendering in Color takes place on the GPU the card determines your final output.

    As far as I'm aware the ATI cards will support all bit depths, where as NVidia cards only support 8bit and 32bit. 32bit being too render intensive and 8bit having the banding issues that come with 8bit.

    Where as Motion will take full advantage of NVidia and runs very nicely as opposed to the underpowered ATI 2600. It's a little frustrating trying to balance all these different softwares and video cards to get the best performance at the moment.

  12. Reach macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2006
    I assume Color is being worked on though. Just look at it, it's like the Notre Dame creature amongst Mac Apps.. It's pretty obvious that they rushed it out with the FCS2-release, I doubt they intend to keep it that way, so let's hope they address other issues as well.
  13. PStewart macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008
    While I don't mind the look and workflow (except for a few tweaks), I was just working with it today and find it quite easy to get around, there are underlying issues that need sorting out.

    Not sure the pro apps are priority at the moment, I expect updates in dribs and drabs for a while. Their software and hardware releases, in the pro area, seem a bit out of sync at the moment.

    My guess is Color will have the same sort of life that Shake had (albeit alot cheaper), stick with pretty much what they have until they decide they have time to replace it with their own homegrown software.

  14. Walddo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    Then, if I am understanding it accurately, a Color upgrade won't do much since it is a matter of the card itslef? Or is this something that can be fixed via software upgrades?
  15. filman408 macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2006
    San Jose, CA

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