Question about nvidia graphics cards

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by turtlebud, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. turtlebud macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    I noticed that whenever I see nvidia graphics cards on sale, they are made by a 3rd party manufacturer. For instance, the new 7800 GT that is a $400 upgrade option in the new powermacs I saw at fry's for $350 this week (Nvidia geforce 7800 GT 256MV GDDR3 PCI-EXPRESS video card by BFG). Are the cards that come in BTO powermacs from apple pretty much the same as these 3rd party cards? Are all nvidia cards branded by a 3rd party manufacturer?

    The most important question would be - if I decided to upgrade a card in one of these new powermacs, how could I tell which cards would work (ie, do all of the pci-express cards work, or would I need to flash the card or buy a mac edition of one).
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    nVidia design the GPUs and make reference boards that they supply to their board partners (third parties like BFG and Apple) who manufacture the actual boards that are sold in shops. So yes, these days, all nVidia based boards are branded by a third party.

    With regards to use in a Mac you can only use cards that are specifically made for the Mac platform as they need different firmware to PCs. This generally restricts you to cards Apple sell (or retail ATI Mac cards). These cards are, of course, more expensive than PC ones where there is more competition.
  3. Platform macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2004
    They are almost all the same, just the drives etc.
    They all have the same chip just they make it and give it a board cooling etc.

    But I would not put a PC card in a PowerMac. Go for Apple certified card ;)
  4. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    $400?!?!?! Good god! That is insane....I bought one for $270 after rebate($299 without) at newegg..... :eek:
  5. turtlebud thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    well, it's $350 (as an upgrade from the 6600), but yeah, it's expensive. Were you going to use the card to you got from newegg in your mac?

    hrm, that makes the decision of whether you upgrade the card now or later a little bit harder - from what I understand, either I'll have to wait for a mac version of an ati pci-express card or I'll have to have apple add it in as a BTO.

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