Why the ATI 2600 over the 3850?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Silverhawk, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Silverhawk macrumors member


    Oct 16, 2007
    I'm really wondering why they didn't have the 3850 over the 2600. If they really wanted to stay ahead of the curve, they should of least gien that (not the 3870 because price wise and performance too close to the 8800GT)

    Besides according to most reviews the 3850 uses less power consumption and blows the 2600 away.
  2. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    they've never been ahead of (or even on the front part of) the curve when it comes to graphics cards.

    8800 was ahead of the curve, but that was months ago. the curve is moving on.

    the 9800 will be available probably next month, it's looking like, and it will probably make the 8800 look like the 2600.

    remember, there are games out right now (crysis) that 2 8800s in SLI have a hard time with at full settings.

    That means in 2 years, mid- to low-end games will be needing an 8800 to perform at a decent rate with medium settings.

    that's the pace of the gpu industry.

    apple went with the 2600 because they got them CHEAP from ati. it was the same with the 7300, then 9600 before that, and the 5200 before then.

    Apple's base-model graphics card for their most expensive machines has always been in the 75-100 dollar range if you look at the PC equivalents at the same time. There's no reason to expect them to change tactics now. If you want decent graphics with a mac, you have to pay a premium for it. If you want great graphics for a mac, you have to flash PC GPU ROMs and cross your fingers.
  3. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2008
    Apple doesn't see a reason to update their graphics cards every 2 weeks. The base cards are more then enough for 99.9% of the people. If someone needs very serious GPU power they will look at one of the Quadro FX cards. If you're a gamer, build a PC.
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    The HD 2600 XT is cheap (US$50-100 retail) and it doesn't need external power.

    I love my 3850 though.
  5. newtech macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    Might as well ask, why not an HD2900XT or HD3870XT? Any of the faster 2xxx/3xxx cards would be very close to the 8800GT in performance making distiction more difficult.
  6. noi375 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2007
    As far as I know, Apple have different requirement (like noise level, etc.), so typically, the board is "semi" customized for Macs. Doubt ATI or nVidia want to spend extra money working the Mac customization on every board they do.
  7. newtech macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    For starters nVidia does not build boards for anyone, they supply GPUs and reference firmware to other vendors that actually build boards ( in the case of Apple probably subcontracted to Foxconn ) .

    Apple OEM ATI boards have always been custom built by ATI to Apple specs. But ATI has also previously built their own Apple compatible cards for retail as well.
  8. noi375 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2007
    I don't know the details so I don't know (don't work on manufacturing side), but there are times when nVidia is the main contact for third party cards - the company pay nVidia who contracted Foxconn or what not to build certain card and have them ship to where-ever. It's mostly "cosmetic" anyway - nVidia still have to a reference design that works with Apple's spec, and as far as I know, don't have that many that are 100% apple compatible.

    Willing to bet money that probably Apple ask ATI/AMD not to, so they can fully control what goes into their systems.
  9. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    hang on, I think you made a couple of typos...surely you mean "12 months" instead of "2 weeks" and "half" instead of "99.9%," right?

    Quadro cards are not practical for anything except 3D work. Even then, their value is questionable. Most high-end consumer cards are updated so often that you can get one that's faster than the equivalent Quadro and will work even for most 3D pros' needs, while still costing 1/3 the price.

    If people wanted to built a PC, they wouldn't be on this board. The Mac Pro IS a PC. With boot camp, a copy of windows, and an 8800 GT, it's the first real "gaming" mac in years. I need one for work, but when I'm not working, I'd like it to be able to handle any game that you can download on Steam at 1920x1200. There are probably more people like me than there are people like you. Try not to be too shocked...the average "gamer" is now closer to their mid-life crisis than to their first day of school.

    The 1900XT that was the only non-Quadro BTO option for the Mac Pro until this month is one of the loudest graphics cards I've ever had the displeasure of being around.

    I don't think Apple gave any particular attention to that element.

    Also, the 1900XT is a power hog and runs too hot.

    I'd say it's the worst mid-high-end graphics card since the nvidia 5800 series. And that's saying something.
  10. noi375 macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2007
    You want Quadro when you work for companies that demand answers - for heavy workstation applications, good luck on getting them to fix a "Bug" that is on a consumer card, unless you work for a big company like HP or something. The level of support you get from that Quadro line is different - whether or not that's worth the price is different from person to person, but for businesses, you usually want the support, even at such outrageous cost.

    I am just saying what I was told - who knows whether ATI/AMD get a "waiver" for it or what not, but from what I know, Apple is known for being extremely pushy about stuff like noise and form factor - if you don't match the spec, good luck on getting the deal.

    From all the problems we have seen with ATI card with Mac Pro so far, maybe ATI is Apple's favorite OEM...
  11. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2008
    Like I said, Apple still does not and most likely will not care about people like you, or any other "Gamers". The Mac Pro is a niche product targeted at video and graphics professionals. That's the same reason the Cinema Displays don't have a 2ms refresh rate. If you need the power, jump up to a Quadro FX card, if you want to game, get a PC. The 8800GT and stock Ati card are more then enough for most people doing low end graphics and video work. Those cards will satisfy a good majority of the games out there too, if you need mucho power get a Quadro FX. If not, build a new PC every 2 months with the latest greatest card for an extra 10 fps. :rolleyes:
  12. newtech macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    Think of it from this angle, OS X must reasonably support EVERY legacy card as time passes so it is reasonable Apple wants that to be as few in number as possible.
  13. drrich2 macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2005
    One of the selling points of Macs is that they can act as PC's & Macs, whereas PC's can only act as PCs.

    Given Apple's refusal thus far to put out a mid-range to high-end 'headless Mac,' similar to the tower systems PC users are used to, a number of us are buying Mac Pros. And not everyone wants 2 or 3 separate desktop PC systems cluttering the home or office.

    By virtual of being powerful and somewhat broadly expandable, the MacPro's 'niche' is broadening. One could argue the target audience is people willing to pay for them.

    A lot of people have delaying receipt of MacPros for weeks waiting on the 8800GT card. Many of them not because of business applications.

    Whether you're an HD videographer or an enthusiast home user who does some gaming, too, your money is the same to Apple.


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