video car din Mac Pro +boot camp

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by maelstromr, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. maelstromr macrumors 6502

    maelstromr

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    #1
    So I know the drivers for the stock (Early 2008) MacPro's ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB are included for boot camp on the leopard install disk, but if I want to run games (not necessarily Fallout 3 at highest settings but newish games well) should I upgrade the card to the ATI 3780 or Nvdia 8800 and are those drivers included/will those Mac-based cards run Vista 64bit ok?

    Also, is there a good tutorial/information base about the alternate choice of installing a windows graphics card in another slot and using that instead?
     
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #2
    If you're going to play games w/Vista, the 8800 GT is the better choice, hands down. It'll work with Vista64 fine.

    As for using a Windows-only card, sorry, I don't know a whole lot about that.
     
  3. maelstromr thread starter macrumors 6502

    maelstromr

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    #3
    Cool. Thanks very much. Do you mean hands-down versus the stock model or hands-down in general? What about compared to the 3870? What if I balance a mac-use with PC/Vista games use? Does that give the ATI an edge? The 3870 is still going to be good in Vista, right?
     
  4. imassents macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #4
    The HD3870 has slightly faster CPU, faster RAM and more bandwidth than the 8800GT. The 8800GT also is available in 256MB of RAM models which is terrible when compared to the ATi. When both the 8800GT and the HD3870 cards have equal memory (the 512MB versions), they are fairly even. I'd take the ATi because the nVidia drivers are going backwards... It also wouldn't surprise me if the ATi was cheaper either.

    You can check here for raw details on the CPU/RAM etc
    http://users.rcn.com/chare/video.htm

    and here for a list of cards from best to worst
    http://www.overclock.net/graphics-cards-general/270292-graphics-card-ranking-3rd-time-s.html
     
  5. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #5
    Vs. the stock model it wins easily, vs. the HD3870, only in games. imassents is being somewhat disingenuous, as the only 8800 GT that Apple supplies is the 512Mb model. Since he failed to mention it, I'll link you to to Barefeats' testing of both the 3870 and 8800 in various Mac Pros: PC-only games, Mac games, and Core Image apps.

    EDIT: I should also mention that if you run the 3870 you can actually Crossfire two and get even faster speeds in games.
     
  6. kahine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #6
    I'd recommend the 3870 , simply because it works so much better in OS X than the 8800 ,

    I switched my 8800 out , sold it , and like the 3870 overall better

    I use my Mac Pro atm at times playing a second account in WAR in boot camp with the 3870 at 1920x1200 and it runs decently enough
     
  7. maelstromr thread starter macrumors 6502

    maelstromr

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    Charlottesville, VA
    #7
    Thanks very much again everyone. This is all very helpful. What needs to be done in a crossover setting and what kind of performance benefits are we talking? Is there much hardware modification? Trouble with windows?
     
  8. kahine macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #8
    No I meant overall the 3870 works better in OS X than the 8800 , not just gaming

    In boot camp the 8800 is going to have a slight edge over the 3870 in gaming but the 3870 I've found does well enough to warrant having it over the 8800 just for the OS X benefits of it
     
  9. imassents macrumors 6502

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    Jul 3, 2008
    #9
    No. I prefer to read posts...
    ...
     
  10. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #10
    I read it too, and you've missed my point. I was taking umbrage with your words about the HD3870, which make it look like it's a far better Windows card than the 8800 GT, when it is not.
     
  11. maelstromr thread starter macrumors 6502

    maelstromr

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    #11
    Guys guys, don't fight over little old me. :)

    But seriously, this was very helpful, I did note that detail on the PC/Mac card issue, but it helps to have a clarification of the difference. I very much appreciate everyone's help!
     
  12. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #12
    Sorry maelstromr. imassents, truce? :D

    If you really want a PC-only card for gaming, I know you can use more or less any card as long as you have the proper power connectors (for the cards that need them, such as the GTX 280 or 4870x2). From what I've read their fans spin continuously at high speeds while you're using OS X, but they remain normal under Windows. I don't know how to ameliorate that though. One of the people here who have actually used a Windows-only card would have more information.
     
  13. imassents macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    #13
    I said no such thing. I used slightly better in reference to CPU, RAM and bandwidth. Even the link I provided shows the 8800GT on top by one spot only proving my point that there is not much in them.

    I also said that nVidia is overpriced, and that the drivers suck - which is the sad truth. I may add that nVidia seem to be loosing in the quality side of things as well. I'm sure you've read about the doomed chips that had been released recently. Yes nVidia were good at one point, but like I said, their performance over the last few years leaves a lot to be desired for.

    Finally, it's not a good idea to base performance of cards based on gaming FPS. Game companies tend to like sponsors and make their programs run slightly worse on different hardware. This means that results can be fudged based on the games tested. I noticed there were no tests of the Source engine? Is that because they are with ATi?

    Some food for thought, look at the result for Company of Heroes and compare it to Crysis. How is a result like that even possible? One shows that the 3870 is 40% slower than the 8800 and the other shows they are near identical? Hmm...

    If you want a quality card that is not overpriced and doesn't have bloatware for the drivers, get the 3870.
     
  14. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #14
    My word.. people with no memory. When the 8800GT came out,
    ATI was being fiercely slammed by the critics for its lame cards.

    That's well within "the last few years".

    The 8800GT is still a lovely card for the Mac Pro. Not the newest
    or fastest now, but still a very nice upgrade if you are inclined to
    play games.

    ps

    Can you boot off the Leopard installation disk if you have a 3870?
     
  15. imassents macrumors 6502

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    Jul 3, 2008
  16. maelstromr thread starter macrumors 6502

    maelstromr

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    #16
    So card companies aside, are we talking about a major heat problem here? Will I need some sort of cooling system? Also...when do I need to worry about how much power the machine provides? I have two HD's (thinking of installing vista on a separate new third drive) and these cards. Am I threatening overloading the poor MacPro?
     
  17. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #17
    The default cooling should be good on either card, though you can usually install a third-party cooler if you see your temps getting too high. As far as power goes, you'll be good, I've got three hard drives in addition to my 8800 GT and I've had no problems since installation.

    Infrared: only if it's one of the later disks with at least 10.5.3 (I think) on it. Original install disks will not work, they don't have the drivers necessary.

    Because different games impact different cards in different ways.
     

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