What are the practical benefits of ATI 4870 vs. the GT 120

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Garvo, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Garvo macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2006
    I'm in the early stages of planning to buy a new Mac Pro. Just waiting for Snow Leopard before I pull the trigger.

    I've read over the Apple site a few times, but don't really understand what the practical differences are between the Nvidia card and the ATI.

    I'm primarily using After Effects & Photoshop, driving 1 (may go to 2) 23" DVI display, and may occasionally play some Windows games (BF2, et al) under Bootcamp.

    Given that kind of a workload, will I see any benefit to ordering the ATI card, or should I spend the money on more RAM instead?
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    For games I'd go with the 4870 (and probably for Photoshop too) but I don't know exactly how much difference it would be for those programs between the two cards. At any rate, 12 GB of RAM seems to be the sweet spot for speed. Some links with more info:

    3D Games on the Nehalem Pro.

    Core Image

    Pro Apps

    EXTREME 3D gaming (his title, not mine :D)
  3. Mac Husky macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2009
    Bavaria, Germany
    So am I, but latest rumours are like it will at the earliest be August or September when Snow Leopard is finished to be available in the shops - even if it will be announced in June. But it would be of interest to me, how SL will influence the speed of 4-core and 8-core systems especially for single core apps to decide between a quad and an 8-core. Hoping that SL will increase the speed in single core use of the 2.26 8-core significantly. Have no idea if this is realistic? Otherwise I would go for the quad. On the other hand: August is kind of to far away...

    By the way: did you see this thread on same topic?
  4. Garvo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2006
    Thanks for the info & links guys.

    From what I've read, it looks like the real benefit of the ATI card is strictly 3D. AE & PS won't be impacted very much.

  5. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    I thought AE (or specifically Media Encoder CS4) off loads H.264 exports to the GPU. Or is that only on the windows side?

    EDIT: Also a quick look into the AE CS4 preferences says "enable openGL", so a faster GPU could help with some things in AE.
  6. Garvo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2006
    I'd like to see some benchmarks on h.264 encoding with the GT120 vs. 4870. If it's significant, it would be worth it for me.
  7. Garvo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2006
  8. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007

    er... nope!

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