Would a new graphics card make cover flow work better?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Jethryn Freyman, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
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    Australia
    #1
    Considering either buying a high end Macbook Pro for all my needs ($2,500), or adding a Macbook Air ($1,500) as a travel computer to go along side my Power Mac (specs in my signature.) If I chose the latter I'd spend a couple of hundred upgrading my Power Mac. I've got about 400GB of files that I want all on a single drive, so no way an Air can be my primary computer.

    Thing is, my G5 is a little old and stuff like Cover Flow (which I LOVE) is quite slow. I have a 250GB iTunes library with 1,000+ albums, each with cover art around 2 megapixels. The hard drive has plenty of performance, I don't run out of memory, but I feel that the CPU is really the limiting factor in performance.

    Having said that, would you think that by upgrading the graphics card (from a 128MB Radeon 9600 XT to a 256MB Radeon X800 or GeForce 6800 GT (for ~$150)) would help out at all?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I doubt it, but experts will come and answer you =)
     
  3. Jethryn Freyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #3
    I doubt it too. Figured it might be worthwhile anyway because the old 9600 XT would end up replacing an oldschool ATI Rage 128 in another Mac of mine and that would certainly be a help for that poor old Mac.
     
  4. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I guess you could just flash a geforce 6200 for that mac (you can find one for about 20eur) and save money...
    Or if you tend to do some heavy gaming try to flash a X800, the pc versions are cheap as hell too...
    http://themacelite.wikidot.com/
     
  5. Jethryn Freyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #5
    Actually now that I give Cover Flow a workout, it only seems to be laggy the first time around, I guess as the images are paged into memory off the hard disk. Then I end up running out of RAM though :rolleyes:
     
  6. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #6
    There's your answer really more RAM...Maybe consider 16GB? I have it in my iMac, and my MBP....Sure helps things along!
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    The gpu is the last thing that will help you here given your stated software problems. The thing about those cpus is that once Apple started to shift away from them, they really didn't get much in the way of bug fixes or anything. Their performance probably could be better than what you actually experience. If you're hearing the hard drive a lot, you could try freeing up space on your boot drive to help performance when you do run out of ram. A new computer would be a solid upgrade, and 8GB of ram in a macbook pro (if you go that route) is really cheap from a third party.
     
  8. goMac macrumors 603

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    #8
    Could you just get an external drive to use for the Air when you're at home?
     
  9. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #9
    Wrong. AFAIK Cover Flow uses Core Animation (correct me if I'm wrong) which is GPU accelerated (as long as supported graphics card is installed ofc). Better GPU = better performance in Core Image based apps.
     
  10. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #10
    Does that apply to the PowerPC version of Leopard? It still doesn't sound like this is the OP's bottleneck.
     
  11. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #11
    Yes. My advice, try out a better GPU before other upgrades. At worst, you'll be able to replace that old ATi Rage 128.
     
  12. adcx64 macrumors 65816

    adcx64

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    #12
    666 sheep is correct. Cover Flow does rely on Core Animation.
     
  13. Jethryn Freyman thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #13
    Thanks for the replies.

    After playing around with Cover Flow and scrolling through my whole library once, it then runs nice and smooth. Turns out that's because it's been loaded from the hard disk (new 7,200 Seagate 7200.12 with 400GB free) into the RAM, the GPU doesn't appear to be a bottleneck. Only thing is that once I've played around with cover flow a lot iTunes ends up using about 2GB of RAM, so I'm thinking I may upgrade the GPU for fun and then max out my RAM (4GB.)
     
  14. JaguarGod macrumors 6502

    JaguarGod

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    Mar 27, 2010
    #14
    If you ever have the extra money (who has that in todays economy though:() upgrade the GPU and memory. It can only help and there is quite a rush when you max out a Mac.
     

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