Video card comparison

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MSM Hobbes, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2006
    NE Hoosierana
    Ok,,, there are hundreds of various GPU's out there... what is best means to compare what are best options per $$$ [value] for either comparing when acquiring in a refurbed MacPro or to buy for an upgrade.

    Have seen / read sites such as:

    But not quite sure what aspects / components are actually the most critical, esp. in regards to digital images [ie: PhotoShop, Lightroom, Aperture, etc.], games, and video editing.

    For example, when comparing two refurbs from Apple store, there are these two options:
    One 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor
    3GB (3 x 1GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
    640GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200 rpm
    18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512MB GDDR3 memory


    One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor
    3GB (3 x 1GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
    1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
    18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory

    To my naive eyes, seems from what I've read about these two cards, the ATI here is quite a bit faster / better than the GeForce version... and therefore makes the ~80 dollar difference very positive to go for the 2.8GHz machine, esp. given its larger HD, faster processor, etc. But mainly question here in this thread is how to determine which GPU is "best",,, and to compare it per specific needs to others?

  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    to find the "best" in terms of performance, look at benchmarks.

    image editing software doesn't require much of any GPU power, so a GT120 is sufficient. I'm not sure about video, but I doubt it needs much more. 3D is where you actually have to care about what GPU you have.
  3. JustSomeDude macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2010
    For what it's worth, the more expensive version appears to be the 2010 version of the Mac Pro. This would give you an upgrade path to the hexacore xeon, in the future.
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    The 2.66GHz version is a 2009 Pro, the other one a 2010.

    At any rate, get the 2010, especially for only 80 bucks more. A little faster processor (with the option to pot in a hex core in the future), bigger hard drive, WAY better graphics card (about 5 times faster than the GT120!) and build in Bluetooth and Wifi.

    The "best" GPU you can get for your needs is the Quadro 4000, though. No more need for rendering previews and extremely fast in Photoshop. If you can't justify the $1000, you're fine with the 5770, though. At any rate, don't get the GT120!
  5. MacForScience macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2010
    If you want to game go with the Radeon 5770 over the GT120.

    Here would be my two cents on the issue of the computers themselves:

    If you do video lots of storage is required so 1TB or 640GB won't be enough. RAM not nearly enough in either case you need to be looking at 6-12GB+ if you are talking serious imaging or video editing. You don't want to comprise on the processor but in the case of 2.8 vs 2.66 it would be a better choice to buy the 2.66 and use your money to buy an aftermarket GPU (Radeon 5870) and more storage and RAM.

    Hope this helps...


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