Which video card is better for Leopard, Windows Vista and Linux

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hajime, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. hajime macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    For using the Mac Pro to do things like 3D CAD/animations, which video card is better? The ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB which came with the standard system or the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB? Which card is compatible with
    Leopard, Windows Vista and Linux? I don't want to have driver problems. If you have suggestions on 3rd party products, please let us know. Thanks.
  2. macintosh tech macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2008
    I believe Nvidia Linux drivers are still the best. The 8800GT should do better in CAD and animation, although the 2600 perform better in Apple Pro applications. If I were you, I would wait til the 3870 has been fully run through its paces.

    Here are some benchmarks however:

    As you can see, the 3870 does well in Core Image applications. It really comes down to the OS and applications you will be using the most. If you give us that information we can better determine what you need.

    On the information I have thus far, it sounds like the 8800GT would suit you best however.
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007

    I plan to use all three OSs. I will use bootcamp for the 64-bit version of Windows Vista Ultimate and Linux (by the way, which latest 64-bit linux distribution has driver that works well out of the box? Fedora 9? Suse Linux?). I may go back to VMWare Fusion but it is unlikely. I plan to run AutoCAD, SolidWorks, 3dMax, Poser, OpenGL 3D applicatoins, etc.
  4. macintosh tech macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Well, from the applications you plan to run I would say definitely the 8800GT.

    As far as an out of the box Linux, Ubuntu seems to be popular. To be honest, I haven't had the chance to load it up on here but from the folks I know who use Ubuntu, I would definitely say go with it.

    The 8800GT will give you good driver support all around as well, so I wouldn't have any worries there. To be fair, I would say wait for some more benchmarks on the 3870 from the looks of it, it could be a great deal:

    The real question is whether or not we will see it as a BTO. Either way, you would be adding some money onto the stock configuration. If you have the time, wait a little while. If not, go with the 8800GT.
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    Thanks for the info. I am going to order a Mac Pro very soon. I checked the articles you posted. The 3870 seems to be good. Perhaps I should get the standard system now and then upgrade to 3870 through a 3rd party company later. Anybody knows whether the 3870 works well under the 64-bit version of Vista and Linux?
  6. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Jan 17, 2008
    ATI is well known for it's terrible when not non-existant Linux support. The 3870 will do a very good job in OSX and Windows, however.
  7. hajime thread starter macrumors 603

    Jul 23, 2007
    Now I also consider the GeForce GTX 200 GPUs. I hope driver for the Mac OS will be available soon.
  8. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    I wouldn't count on it ever happening, were I you.

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