questions about the new mac pro's and gfx cards for macs

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Layer01, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Layer01 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    #1
    I just heard about the new 8 core MP's and have been doing some number crunching and am now seriously considering getting one as my main station. originally i was going to build a PC but seeing as a MP could run both windows and osx its looking like a better option.

    HOWEVER! there are some stumbling blocks.
    At first i was horrified at how expensive the ram was, but then once i found that you could buy it 3rd party for nearly 1/2 price i was reasurred :)
    so i'm looking at these
    Thinking of getting 2x4gB kits.

    so thats solved.

    second issue was with HDD's
    If i get one of these will that be ok? On the apple site it says that the drives have no cables and that they fit into some sort of cradle thingy which slots into the case. Would there be spare empty cradles for extra drives, or do the drives come with the cradle?
    if there are spare empty ones, is there any reason why not to just get a normal sata hdd from any online store, say a seagate (which are usually cheaper)?

    And finally the biggest stumbling block of them all.
    why on earth are the gfx cards available for macs so outdated!?
    As i understand it you have to get a "special" mac video card (which seems to mean less for more $$ :mad: ) The best card they offer is the x1900 i have never used ATI's before so what is this card's equivalent in gforce terms?
    does anyone know if/when the GF8 series will be "ported" to macs?
    Hypothetically could i install two cards, one for osx and one for windows? say a x1900 and a gf 8900?

    I've seen some work being done to get PC cards running on macs but nothing seems to go above the 7xxx's already available, whats the word on hacking the OS to get a better card running?
    Its a real shame, if it wasn't for this gfx card issue the MP would be a no brainer choice..
     
  2. PCtoMac-change macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    #2
    I was like you, but WAS going MP. Then noticed it was about 3k for just the X1900XT and 2GB RAM. So for 2.5K built a top-of-the-line PC(8800GTX, QX6700, etc.) for gaming then a cheap $600 Mac Mini for all my other needs. But yes you can do that with the 2 cards.

    I'd do that over again and again before I ever bought a 3K MP. But in the end it's up to you.
     
  3. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    :eek: RAM is expensive over there isn't it? I though $270 USD was a lot for 2x1GB RAM for the Mac Pro.

    No. Get any proper SATA HDD and pop it in one of the 4 bays. The mounts are included with the Mac.

    You need a card that will work with the EFI on the Mac Pro, so a special edition has to be made. Not to mention OS X drivers! The X1900 XT I think is more or less equivalent to a GF 7900? Don't quote me on that. I think ATI's current best offering is still the X1950 so the X1900 isn't all that old. It's absolutely still a good card unless you're a hardcore PC gamer.
     
  4. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    Get a seagate from a regular store, in my experience they're the best hard drives out there. Apple use the same hard drives as everyone else.

    Yes you can. People have used 8800s in their macs before, for Windows only use. You'd obviously have to either use a vga/dvi switcher depending on your choice or switch cables manually.
     
  5. PCtoMac-change macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    #5
    Well, the X1900xtx is still enough to max most games at 1280*1024 or less. The XT is probably enough to max modern games at 800*600, while that isn't great it's good enough.

    However, I would not recommand the X1900 to anyone ATM as X1950 prices are about to drop a lot due to the R600 line being released at the end of this month/beginning of May.

    I'm not trying to bash the Mac, but they do over-charge for mid-range cards. If they had more games for Mac and better/cheaper GPU's I would never of looked the way of PC.

    EDIT: I don't know if they use a SLI bridge like PCs for the 4x 7300's, but if they do that would be the best choice. With 4 GPU's in SLI it makes the screen 4 pieces with each GPU doing a fourth. EX. if you were doing 800*600 each card would do 200*150.

    Again I don't know if it works this way with Macs, but it does on PCs.
     
  6. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #6

    Are you smoking crack? 800x600? Please tell me you are joking..
     
  7. PCtoMac-change macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    #7
    Go look at some ES4 benchmarks for the X1900XT, its under 20FPS at 1280X1024. Please tell me you're joking if you think the X1900 XT is a top end card.

    I had a X1900 XT so please either research or try it for yourself.
     
  8. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    Unfortunately you can't SLI on the Mac Pro.

    But I max my games (sans Supreme Commander) at 1920x1200 usually with very solid performance. I'm pretty sure no one here said the X1900 XT was a top end card. :rolleyes: Obviously there are better ones now, but it's hardly a wimpy choice. The OP never said if they were a hard core PC gamer or not, they just said they wanted to crunch numbers. If gaming isn't your top priority then I don't see why the X1900 XT would be a bad option.
     
  9. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #9
    Yeah, I looked up ES4, nothing. How about a link?
     
  10. PCtoMac-change macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    #10
  11. PCtoMac-change macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    #11
    My SLI 8800GTX barely pull out 50 FPS at 19X12 on SC fully maxed. And why spend $650 on a 8900 when it comes out if you're NOT gaming? I'd like to know, unless you want your e-penis to be huge.

    EDIT: F.E.A.R. is unplayble at 1600*1200 on X1900XT CF: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-x1900xt-crossfire_8.html

    And SC is A LOT more demanding.

    EDIT(again): I would like a screenshot of it with max settings at 1920*1200 on SC with playable FPS(30+) as seen in reviews it studders at ~20.
     

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