Would a new graphics card make cover flow work better?

Jethryn Freyman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 9, 2007
2,329
2
Australia
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 :)
 

skinniezinho

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2009
1,060
79
Portugal
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.
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/
 

Jethryn Freyman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 9, 2007
2,329
2
Australia
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:
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,782
2,064
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.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,138
1,159
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 :)
Could you just get an external drive to use for the Air when you're at home?
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,626
229
Poland
The gpu is the last thing that will help you here given your stated software problems..
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.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,782
2,064
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.
Does that apply to the PowerPC version of Leopard? It still doesn't sound like this is the OP's bottleneck.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,897
407
Inside
Does that apply to the PowerPC version of Leopard? It still doesn't sound like this is the OP's bottleneck.
Yes. My advice, try out a better GPU before other upgrades. At worst, you'll be able to replace that old ATi Rage 128.
 

Jethryn Freyman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 9, 2007
2,329
2
Australia
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.)
 

JaguarGod

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2010
303
28
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.)
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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.