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sherridge101
08-12-2006, 07:42 AM
Hi all,

Has anyone tested Lightwave 9 with one of the new macs?

Which graphics card would be the one to go for, budget being an issue?

Cheers,
Steve

Chilton
08-12-2006, 08:56 AM
Hi all,

Has anyone tested Lightwave 9 with one of the new macs?

Which graphics card would be the one to go for, budget being an issue?

Cheers,
Steve

Hi Steve,

If you're going for price, I think the stock install is great. I ran LW on a number of them, and didn't have any problems. Of course, you'll be running in Rosetta until we ship the UB version, but I don't think you'll be disappointed with the base video card.

That said, I am definitely not a video card connoisseur. I'm positive there are users in this forum who know far more about this topic than I ever will. But the base one seemed to perform just fine for me.

-Chilton

Meshbuilder
08-12-2006, 09:30 AM
Hi all,
Which graphics card would be the one to go for, budget being an issue?


You should go with the ATI Radeon X1900 XT with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM.

The Quadro FX 4500 is a very powerful graphic card but most software doesn't use that extra power and it cost 1650$!

If you go with the "crappy" GeForce 7300 GT you will be stuck with it until Ati or NVIDIA release their graphic cards so you can buy them separately.

We have a Quad G5 at work and we can't get any new graphic card for it so we are stuck with the 9000 card and it sucks!

avkills
08-12-2006, 11:43 AM
I'll double Meshbuilder's suggestion. Unless you need the 3D stuff and the hardware anti-aliased lines then the FX4500 really isn't needed.

Now if LW9.x starts using the GPU to help with rendering, then it might be a different story.

-mark

byte_fx
08-12-2006, 08:01 PM
Chilton - thanks for the info!

I rarely use anything other than wireframe mode and I assume you were using shaded mode.

So that means the 7300GT should work just fine for me.

Question -

Has it been confirmed that Mac Pro users can upgrade/add-in things like vid cards, ram, and hard drives purchased thru other sellers without voiding the warranty/AppleCare coverage?

byte_fx

js33
08-12-2006, 10:39 PM
Why has Apple always been so lame on the video cards? Do they have to hope or wait for ATI or nVidia to write drivers for them or does Apple have to write their own drivers? Now that a Mac is basically a PC will they have better video card support going forward?

geck
08-13-2006, 02:09 AM
In the past the choice of graphics cards was limited to what the manufacturers were willing to make Mac-compatible. But like js33 said, the switch to more open standard/mainstream hardware configs, (Intel processors being the most obvious example), plus the required software changes that entails, should widen the range of graphics card options significantly.

Having said that, we'll still be limited by the available driver software. I get the impression that Apple prefers to keep that sort of low level programming in-house, probably to control compatibility and integration issues with OS X.

I could be completely wrong about that though... :o

In the end if there's enough demand for 'specialised' graphics card options, (hardware rendering etc), then Apple will support it. The recent hardware revisions 'should' make it easier.

As for user upgrades voiding the warranty, the basic rule in the past has been that if you need to pull the machine apart to any significant degree then you're in trouble. From what I've seen of the inside of the new Pro Macs, component upgrading is part of the basic design so adding/changing stuff like RAM, HD's and graphics cards shouldn't be an issue.

amigo
08-13-2006, 05:18 PM
I really doubt Apple will invest into supplying more graphics cards. They want to keep the costs low and as they've said at the WWDC keynote, they've added a bit of everything for everyone (entry, mid-level, high-end).

Having said that I am not going to sit and wait, the gears in my head have already been put in motion and I plan to try and ultimately rig a stock card into a Mac card. I might start with a 7300GT or if I have the funds ATI X1900XT and them move onto a GeForce 7800GTX to a Quadro FX 4500.

Theoretically it should work as long as I can secure a copy of the video bios from an original card and replace the EEPROM on a stock card (which is most likely 64KB) with a 128KB one. Neither should be big problems since EEPROMs are pin compatible and once more people buy Mac Pro's we'll see more access to the other two cards (ATI and Quadro).
The apple driver will not notice any difference since the bios will come from the original card carrying the proper revision and device IDs...

toby
08-13-2006, 05:48 PM
Since the Intel desktop can take 4 cards, is it possible to get 4 cards to run 1 display? I saw an article on this, it showed a quarter of the screen run by each of the cards. That would rock, even with the low-end card.

mike_stening
08-14-2006, 05:50 AM
as for flashing roms etc take a look here as there is a group of knowledgeable guy who do just that, flashing pc cards to work on a mac.
so it is totally possible to do. just not great for the warranty.:goodluck:

http://strangedogs.proboards40.com/index.cgi

amigo
08-14-2006, 07:28 PM
Yeah I've been reading Strangedogs forums for months now, so they could be looking into the same idea I had. The only drawback is that they'll charge money to do it :\

sherridge101
08-21-2006, 06:53 AM
Cheers for all the info guys.
I've went for the base model in the end - budget being an issue.
Arrives tomorrow so I'll let you know how I get on.
Cheers

cresshead
08-23-2006, 07:05 AM
would love to hear your thoughts on the macpro...esp if you get xp/bootcamp installed and run lw9 with windows as well as osx...comparison etc...

cheers

steve g

Captain Obvious
08-23-2006, 02:40 PM
Since the Intel desktop can take 4 cards, is it possible to get 4 cards to run 1 display? I saw an article on this, it showed a quarter of the screen run by each of the cards. That would rock, even with the low-end card.
That is not possible at this time.



If I were you, I'd upgrade to the X1900 XT. When you're buying a $3000+ computer, you might as well spend an extra $350 to get a graphics card that's five times more powerful.

theartguy
08-26-2006, 07:09 AM
I have been very interested in this topic as well. Whats the big difference between the 3 version of the Nvidia GeForce card options? They offer a "base", a 2X (add $150) and a 3X (add $300). Its a bit confusing for me. Thanks in advance.

Captain Obvious
08-26-2006, 07:50 AM
I have been very interested in this topic as well. Whats the big difference between the 3 version of the Nvidia GeForce card options? They offer a "base", a 2X (add $150) and a 3X (add $300). Its a bit confusing for me. Thanks in advance.
It just means you stick more cards in the machine. At this time, the only real advantage is that you can run more displays that way.

theartguy
08-26-2006, 04:26 PM
Gotcha! Thanks!

Captain Obvious
08-26-2006, 07:35 PM
It may change in the future, but at this time, I'd recomend going with the X1900 XT if you want a powerful video card.

Weepul
08-26-2006, 10:22 PM
Hey Captain...you sound like you might know something about what's to come. Are you allowed to say whether you are allowed to say whether you know something about multi-GPU usage? :D

(But to be honest, this post was mostly an excuse to write that question. :jester: )

Captain Obvious
08-27-2006, 04:42 AM
I'm allowed to say anything I please. Of course, that means I have no inside scoop what-so-ever. :p

eblu
08-28-2006, 03:05 PM
Why has Apple always been so lame on the video cards? Do they have to hope or wait for ATI or nVidia to write drivers for them or does Apple have to write their own drivers? Now that a Mac is basically a PC will they have better video card support going forward?


js, long time.

no, having an intel chipset doesn't necessarily make writing drivers for graphics cards any easier. Having more market share, makes the Market for graphics cards, more viable, and thats the only way the mac graphics card market will get away from being Lame.
Apple has to be able to show enough potential buyers ( a viable "market" if you will) for a video card company to make money selling a card that they basically have to re-engineer for the mac (pre-intel). Apple partners on the cards, but basically it mean apple is there with cash to support the dev process, and the driver writing process, and to take notes as they will eventually be responsible for the driver. Because demand is so low (in comparison to Windows boxes) the cards are on average more pricey (to sell less of them, you have to charge more, to offset the cost of making them), and that price acts as a deterrent to "would be" card buyers. Historically there didn't seem to be any way out of this problem. go intel and you still have the same problems: small market, low demand, and a relatively large initial investment. But now it seems the hammer is swinging. the only real evidence I have for this is the quattro card. There has never been a "professional" 3d card available for the mac. Why is this happening? Market. Apple is one of the top 5 pc companies (in shipped number of units), always was, but very recently they have begun an upwards swing in their sales. Graphics card companies respond to this kind of news, hopefully they'll make respectable money, and the cycle will continue. maybe the hardware end of things is easier because of the Intel switch, but I doubt the drivers are any easier to write.
Its the potential sales, that will drive makers to the Mac Graphics card market, not how easy it is to do.

sherridge101
08-29-2006, 02:47 PM
So far I've been opening Lightwave 9 content files and the opengl display seems fairly snappy.
The main thing I've noticed so far is the crashing. About a dozen times so far.
The reasons for crashing have ranged from launching FPrime, using edge dissolve to calculating dynamics.

MacPro 2.66
LW9
FPrime 2.1

Captain Obvious
08-30-2006, 01:46 AM
It might be because you're running via Rosetta. How's the rendering performance?

sherridge101
08-30-2006, 03:18 AM
I've only rendered a few of the sample scenes so far and nothing too poly heavy.
I usually render in FPrime so have more tests to do.

byte_fx
09-05-2006, 01:49 PM
Just thought I'd drop a note that the ATI bto Mac Pros seem to finally be shipping in at least a noticeable volume.

Apparently ATI was a bit late in delivery to Foxconn.

And - Apple quietly dropped the ATI option price by $100 - it now lists at $250 rather than the original $350.

The Quadro goes for a very hefty $1650.

Also hoping for more info on rendering under Rosetta - especially of scenes similar to 8.5's radiosity box.

byte_fx

Scazzino
09-05-2006, 01:53 PM
launching FPrime

Make sure to use the Add Plugin command to add FPrime manually. If you Scan Directory or let LW auto-scan to add it, FPrime will crash on launch. You can go ahead and use Add Plugin to add it again even if it's already been scanned or auto-scanned and it should get rid of the crash on launch anyway... (that's assuming it'll run under Rosetta of course)