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View Full Version : so what graphics cards are worth getting



mike_stening
05-23-2005, 11:24 AM
we are looking at getting a couplemore G5's, which means i can pick my system, i currently have a dual 2.5 G5 with a radeon 9800 pro mac SE card in it which seem pretty quick, would i benifit from fitting the Nvidia 6800 card or an X800? or just stick with what i have got. currently running OS X 10.3.9 on Lightwave 8.3 with no major artifact issue in either app (occasional artifacts in modeler but nothing that doesnt go away.) i am assuming the new G5 will come with 10.4.

cheers

OneShot
05-24-2005, 12:32 AM
This is a good question, because I haven't been real excited with the performance of my 9800 XT (256 VRAM) Apple build to order card. I've on seen performance in Unreal Tournament 2004. Also the Demos that ATI uses seem to really bring out the performance in the card. But other applications seem to have a ho hum performance. I hate to spend money on another card and get the same results. Some said it Apple fault for not giving enough information about the hooks in their video drivers. Other blame the card makers. I've heard complains from both ATI and Nvidia users about their poor card performance.

Makes me wonder if it's poor or lazy coders or lack of info.

:confused:

G5 Dual 2.5Ghz with 2.5G RAM and 9800 XT 256m Vram.

mike_stening
05-24-2005, 02:38 AM
still dont get why the high end cards arent on the mac yet, i remember the old voodoo cards and you could just flash the rom over to the mac and use a beta driver, they were better than the actual mac cards at the time.

OneShot
05-24-2005, 07:03 PM
From what I can understand Apple hold all the information about how to make drivers for video card drivers in OS X. First they have only partner with ATI and Nvidia. Secondly not ever Software vender get all the info for OS X's video system. Now how true this is I really don't know. Maybe it's coder being lazy and not porting their DirectX code to Apple's OpenGl

http://www.ati.com/developer/demos/macss2/index.html

"ATI demos seem to show all these things working on the card. "APPLE SMARTSHADER*2.0 Demos & Screen Savers; The included applications highlight features of ATI's SMARTSHADER technology. ATI demonstrates its latest vertex and pixel shader generation (called Shader 2.0 in DirectX terminology).

"The following demos were originally written for DirectX 9 and the Windows operating system and have now been ported to the OpenGL ARB_fragment_program extension and Mac OS*X."

http://www.ati.com/developer/radeonSDK.html

http://www.realtech-vr.com/glview/

Captain Obvious
05-24-2005, 07:21 PM
This computer has a Radeon 9800 Pro 256 meg, and it's really quite nice. Lightwave doesn't care either way, it wasn't at all slower with the old 9600 Pro 64 meg. But games sure get a kick in the pants. I can play UT2k4 with everything (well, everything related to graphics anyway, I didn't bother maxing the audio settings or anything such) at maximum with not a single framedrop.

If the computers are just for Lightwave work, you might as well go with the Radeon 9650.

mike_stening
05-25-2005, 01:46 AM
looks like i may as well stick with the 9800 pro se, can always stick the 9650 in one of the other machines that has a slower card in.
no real complaints about the 9800 just wondered if the x800 or 6800nvidia were any better, guess not :D

Captain Obvious
05-25-2005, 05:18 AM
There are display bugs with the X800 and 6800 in some 3D applications. The 9800 is, in my opinion, a more "stable" choice. The newer cards are much more powerful (you'll probably get twice the FPS in Halo with an X800 instead of a 9800), but like I said, Lightwave doesn't really care either way.

noiseboy
05-25-2005, 06:02 AM
there are couple of interesting comparisons on this page.

http://www.apple.com/powermac/graphics.html

while Lightwave doesnt take full advantage of what's available, other apps obviously will do. I've just upgraded from a 9600 64M to a X800 256M card and havent been that impressed with it ( with Lightwave that is).

Colin

mike_stening
05-25-2005, 06:25 AM
has anyone used the nvidia card in lightwave? i'm not expecting huge benifits but lightwave isnt my only app, the faster card should also help screen redraw in photoshop etc on very large peices of artwork.
have there been any noted problems with the nvidia card in lightwave?
cheers

Captain Obvious
05-26-2005, 02:33 AM
I don't think Photoshop uses the video card for anything... There also seems to be an issue with the 6800 in Lightwave, but I can't remember what.

mike_stening
05-26-2005, 02:44 AM
i have noticed a speed increase in moving large pages around since putting the 9800 in in photoshop.
shame no one can seem mto get drivers right for lightwave, or that lightwave doesnt make full use of OpenGL

Nigel Baker
05-26-2005, 04:29 AM
Hello Captain Obvious,

I too have the same card as yourself & G5 2.5 Dual. (revision - ATI Radeon 9800 XT R360 ).
When playing UT2004 with against 30 robots sometimes I get a slight slow down when I am in Sniper mode.
This is also with everything JAMed up high and the sound.
It really sounds great through my motu sound system.

I am still though, looking for a better video card to help with my Apple Motion application.