Which graphics card? Need to decide today.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ben1969, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. ben1969 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    #1
    I'm a long-time lurker and have tried to soak up as much graphics card info as possible, but need help pulling the trigger.

    My machine -- 2009 4.1 MP 2x2.26 with the stock gt 120 running the latest Lion (will upgrade soon to ML, I imagine). I have two 23" monitors, and would like the ability to run a third, but it's not essential. I've upped the ram to 16gb and have an SSD boot drive. I'd like to keep it running for at least another 2-3 years.

    My needs -- lots of Handbraking, managing/editing a large family video library (I take care of this for relatives), helping a spouse with a publishing project that will involve archiving/editing some video interviews, and a son who likes to jump on and play games (SC2 and the like). Running quiet would be nice.

    My skill set -- I'm reasonably able to tinker, given proper instructions, but no expert.

    My budget -- about $200, so the options seem to be...

    1. Just grab the Apple 5770 from BH for about $25 over budget.
    2. The 6870 for under my budget.
    3. The 6950 or 7750 for about just over budget.
    4. THe GTX 560 at my budget.
    5. The GTX 560 TI about $50 over budget
    6. THe GTX 570, again, over.

    Having never used a machine with any kind of serious card, I just have no idea about the differences in these. Beyond picking the series, then there is also the question of a specific model/brand. Frankly, buying a new car (which I did recently) was a less bewildering consumer experience.

    From what I gathered reading posts, the 6xxx series are the easiest to just plug and play, but the Nvidia cards are maybe more powerful (and future-proof) and have become easy to mod with recent drivers.

    If you have a specific model/brand that you think would work best for me, I would appreciate your advice. Thanks in advance to all who chime in.
     
  2. netkas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #2
    6870,

    Gtx560 sometimes freeze in osx for no reason
     
  3. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #3
    I've been using a GTX 560 Ti for the past 6 months without issue, for what it's worth.

    If you want 3 displays, the AMD card is probably your best bet, since only the newer Kepler cards support that.
     
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    I guess my question is, whats the reason behind the upgrade? Are you just wanting to run 3 monitors? Sounds like maybe your Son games occassionally on it so is that the driving factor? The only reason I ask, is that any of those cards is really over kill for just about anything you do. If you just want to drive three monitors, grab a low end Nvidia Fermi card with Dual DVI, and leave the GT 120 in it. That way you have the boot screen from the original GT 120, but have a faster card for the other two monitors. I only paid $60 for my Zotac GT 440 and it is running perfectly in my Mac Pro using the Nvidia drivers (with no boot screens which is why I left my 7300GT in).

    Just something to think about.
     
  5. ben1969 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for the input. I think I'll try the 6870. Maybe overkill now, but hopefully keeping me from being obsolete a few years down the road.
     
  6. ClassObject macrumors 6502

    ClassObject

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    #6
    I've used the 6870 for about a year with 4 monitors and a fanless heatsink. Same machine but updated to dual hex. Flashed with netkas' rom ( thanks netkas ). Works great!
     

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