Several questions, including which graphics card, NV GeForce 120 or ATI 4870?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MythicFrost, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    I've got several questions, if anyone can answer them, I'd appreciate it.

    1 (Answered)
    I'm wondering, how much better is this Next Gen mac pro, than the 2008 Mac Pro, (which I bought 3 weeks before the new one came out :()

    I've got a Mac Pro w/ 10GB DDR2 RAM, NVidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB, two quad core 3.0GHz processor, 23i screen.

    I'm doing a lot of image editing, video editing, likely 3D modeling in the future, running Parallels 4.0, and IDE's like XCode etc..

    Is there much difference?

    2
    Are Mac graphics cards significantly behind the times?

    3 (Answered)
    Should I get 4x NVidia Geforce GT 120 512MB, or 2x ATI Radeon 4870 512MB?

    4
    Having two ATI's (is that even possible???), is that going to overheat my machine?

    5 (Answered)
    If I got two ATI's do they act as one big graphics card, like the NVidia's do with SLI?

    6
    Is Mac overpriced? and is there anyway to get cheaper prices, the configuration of the New Mac pro, I did, was 15k (AU Dollars)...

    If anyone can answer any of these questions I have, I'd appreciate it.

    Kind Regards
    Me
     
  2. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #2
    No Mac supports SLI or Crossfire, so all those cards will just be separate cards. Having more cards only allows you to drive more displays, not get more performance. Stick to buying one ATI 4870 if you really feel like you need more performance, it is a pretty good card from what I hear. That said, this system is ridiculous and you shouldn't need to replace it for at least another year.
    To upgrade now is just not worth it.
     
  3. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Alright thanks, I wasn't sure if it added performance or not, I have a question regarding two graphics cards w/ Parallels though.

    I've dedicated 128MB memory of my 512MB graphics card, to the Windows XP Virtual Machine I have, that's the minimum, I intend to get Vista, which means I will only have 256MB left for my Mac, when there both running (which they will be, I'm a software developer),
    assuming Vista requires only 128MB, if I had two graphics cards, would I be able to use the memory from the second one for the Virtual Machines, and just 'not use' the first, so my Mac will have that 512MB available from the first card, and if necessary the other 256MB from the second..

    I'm not quite sure how it works with multiple cards, I've never had them, all I need is more memory, like one card with 1GB, rather than 512MB, but I'm not sure if they have that.

    Still wondering about question 2, 4, and 6.

    Also, is the ATI Radeon 4870, the best graphics card out at the moment?

    Kind Regards
    Me
     
  4. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #4
    Mac graphics cards are significantly behind the times. The best Mac graphics option is the 4870 from Apple (you can't use any other third party card without the headache of flashing it's rom and editing kexts and all sorts of similar antics)
    I'm not sure about being able to use one card for a virtual system, I hadn't even thought about that. I would try contacting whoever makes your emulation software and see what they have to say about it.
    The new Mac Pros aren't as good value for money as the 2008 models (like we have) but they are still pretty well priced for what they have in them. A comparably spec'd Dell is going to cost about the same. Just keep your current Pro and invest in more RAM and maybe upgraded graphics
     
  5. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    Alright thanks, I'll do that, how much RAM do you think would be worth it, I have 4x 2G slots, and 2x 1GB slots used (10GB)?

    Kind Regards
    Me
     
  6. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #6
    I only have 4 GB right now (I ordered 4 more, should be here friday :D) so you have more than I do lol

    If you want to go ahead and fill the remaining 2 slots feel free. OWC has a set of 2x 4GB DIMMs for $90 that I bought, and is an excellent deal (not sure what Aus prices are though) Plus, when you fill all 8 slots, you achieve the full memory throughput of 7.5 GB/s as an added bonus ;)
     
  7. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    That is cheap, is it safe to buy it 'not' from apple? lol I'd be worried about that,

    What is the 'throughput' your talking about?

    Kind Regards
    Me
     
  8. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #8
    Apple gets its RAM from the same people that the third party manufacturers do. Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY RAM FROM APPLE you will get you wallet gouged to oblivion for the same thing you could have bought from Crucial or OWC.
    When I say throughput, I mean speed. the way the RAM on the Mac Pro works is, the more DIMMS the faster the totality of the RAM can be accessed.
    Hope that helps.
     
  9. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    Oh I see, so having all slots filled it goes faster anyway? awesome, thanks for your help, so if I buy from OWC / Cruical, I can take the ram into an apple store and get them to fit it? :D, doesn't it void warranty if you open the box up and put the RAM in yourself? (same with Graphics card?)

    (what does OWC stand for?)

    Kind Regards
    Me
     
  10. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #10
    haha, Apple intended you to open the case and install components yourself!
    OWC stands for Other World Computing.
    There are other places to buy RAM, but those are the two main ones, and I have 2 GB of OWC RAM in my machine right now that are working perfectly, so I ordered more :D
     
  11. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #11
    Thanks a lot for your help, I really appreciate it, I've learned a lot =)

    (I'd rate you if I knew how!)

    Kind Regards
    Me
     
  12. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
  13. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Australia
    #13
    Hey man, just wondering, if I put ram from OWC / Crucial is the warranty still good? it won't void it will it?

    Kind Regards
    Me
     
  14. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a

    macuserx86

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #14
    No, it shouldn't void the warranty. Voiding the warranty would require doing something like putting non-heatsinked RAM in (the OWC DIMMs all have Apple-spec heatsinks) or installing different fans or CPUs. You would need to do something pretty drastic to void the warranty completely.
     
  15. MythicFrost thread starter macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Australia

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