What would you do? (new video card)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by thefredelement, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I've been toying with the idea of upgrading my video card for quite a while now, maybe a year or so. I'm getting a new set of monitors for work so I'm pretty much forced to at this point.

    I'm getting 2 27" LED Cinema displays.

    I have a Mac Pro 4,1 with a PC GTS 250 1GB video card now.

    I've narrowed down my choices to

    Sapphire 7950 Mac edition
    the ATI Radeon 7970 3 GB from MacVidCards on eBay
    the EVGA 680 Mac edition

    I saw the review and it seems the 680 is the winner in terms of pure performance. I'm not a crazy gamer, but a casual one. I would probably play more if I had a better card now but I don't need to push every setting to max. I like the idea of being native to mini display port. I think MacVidCards only has one nVidia and I believe it only has one display port on it.

    I really don't want to get into adapters and stuff hanging off of the back of my machine.

    I just want everything to be nice and good and not flicker or have problems and drive the displays and take care of some casual gaming while not feeling like I'm throwing away money on something outdated. I'm also half hoping that when the nMPs come out that ATI drivers will work better, but I'm not holding my breath.

    So, what would you do?
     
  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #2
    Yeah don't go with the 680, the mac edition definitely only has 1 DisplayPort so you'd need a $200 adapter to run two 27 ACDs off it.
     
  3. jimj740 macrumors regular

    jimj740

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Location:
    Pining for the company that once gave us Clarus
    #3
    The correct answer really depends on what you want to do with your card and what programs you use.

    I have run both the GTX680 and the HD7950. The 680 is faster for games, HOWEVER, the 7950 kills it for OpenCL, HOWEVER only the 680 supports CUDA... you get the idea.

    In the end I sold off the 680 since I rarely game and the OpenCL performance was more beneficial for what I do.

    Between the 7970 and the 7950, there are also trade offs with respect to cost, performance, power requirements... I personally run a 7950 Boost model with 3GB, 925Mhz clock (factory) and 2 6 pin power connectors. I am very satisfied with it. For me the extra cost of the 7970 was not justified; YMMV.

    Good luck,
    -JimJ
     
  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #4
    Because of this, MVC 7970 is most reasonable choice of these three.
    Sapphire 7950 is slowest of them.
     
  5. jimj740 macrumors regular

    jimj740

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Location:
    Pining for the company that once gave us Clarus
    #5
    Unless you need OpenCl support. As an example: you will find a recent thread posting Luxmark scores for 680s that are roughly 2.5 times slower than a 925Mhz 7950. (mine are over 1800 for sala and over 1000 for room)

    Depending on what you do, a 7950 can be significantly faster than a 680. That said, the 7970 is faster than the 7950... but more expensive and using more power which translates into heat.

    And of course the relative performance of OpenCL applications depends on what instructions are used, so the best bet is to find comparisons of the cards with the application that you use.
     
  6. thefredelement thread starter macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Yeah, and his video card is actually the cheapest too, I think I'm just going to go for it. It seems the simplest and best bang for the buck with no extra anything.

    If I'm ever in the position of needing CUDA I suppose I can just add a lower spec card with a bunch of cores for NOT almost $600...

    Ordering it now :)

    ----------

    I use Adobe Creative's suite (Illustrator and Photoshop mainly), and Xcode (I don't think compiling gets shared with the video card but for what I've been doing, everything I have now seems fine so I'm not worried).

    My occasional games are Diablo3, Starcraft2, some random tower defense game, doom3, age of empires just stuff i pop in and out of when I need a break or have the urge. I'm 33, not the gamer I used to be anymore unfortunately. Plus a bunch of astronomy software which runs really good with what I have now.

    I just really need more pixels for creative stuff, thus the displays, thus the video card...
     
  7. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #7
    Yeah... mine does almost 2000 in sala and 1150 in room, but the OP didn't ask about fastest OpenCl card of three mentioned. What does not change the fact that in average use Sapphire 7950 @800 MHz is slowest of these three ;)
     
  8. thefredelement thread starter macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    I'm stoked, I ordered it, the video card in this thing has been nagging me since I got it.
     

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