View Full Version : Video Card recommendations

01-13-2007, 07:37 PM
Hi All,

I have the option of buying a new mac and pretty much can buy the top of the line computer, and stick in it the top option video card that you can get from apple as a build item. It's the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 512MB, Stereo 3D (2 x dual-link DVI) and I was wondering if anyone had seen this card perform and if it's worth to spend $1400.- extra on it. The choice is this card and 8GB of RAM for the main computer, or a cheaper card and 16GB of RAM for a Dual 3GHz MAC Pro. I haved $7500 to spend and need to spend it all... quite a good problem to have eh?

The other options are:
ATI Radeon X1900 512mb
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256mb

If anyone can help me to figure out what's better to spend the money on, more system RAM or a better video card, I would really appreciatte your help. Perhaps there are other cards that would be better/cheaper etc.


01-14-2007, 01:17 AM
I'd skip the Quadro's unless there is another app on the Mac that you use which would take advantage of it.

01-14-2007, 07:32 AM
I have an Nvidia 7600 GT with 256 mb and it does really well with LW, I have to say (does an excellent job with Oblivion as well).
But the 7300, I assume is lesser than the 7600. If you can use Nvidias in your Mac, why not go with, say a 7600 or better?

One thing though - Modeler and Layout don't have the greatest OGL response as it is. I heard that should improve with LW 9.2, but how much is anyone's guess. A really really high-end graphics card might not make that big a difference, except maybe with GLSL Hardware Shading in Layout.

01-14-2007, 01:17 PM
me personally i'd go towards any option that entails the SLI path for Nvidia cards or crossfire for ATI (i prefer nvidia over the two though for brand) because i'm a heavy gamer mainly the reason for SLI but in terms of SLI helping Lightwave maybe it would help, i'm sure it would help refresh rates on the screen, more than anything RAM is what's required i sense all in all, oh and the more CPU power the BETTER.
something that makes the motherboard commit suicide in shere disbelief amd amazement should do it haha.

Look on nvidia's site for the latest video card model if oyu prefer Nvidia like me and see the price, as i'm sure you may alrerady have done in research.
But for me, video card always comes before RAM in a lot of cases, due to my games mainly as I said, BUT video cards go out fashion quicker than British football shirts get updated, but with the money you're willing to spend i'm sure your video card which ever you pick, preferably around the $500/$600 + mark would last you a good few years without any need of an upgrade.
PCI Express is where the motherboards are going, if you're going for an upgrade dont' get anything less than a PCI Express on your motherboard, faster and future compatible with newer cards.

Good luck in your purchase.

01-15-2007, 02:38 AM
I too had this question a while ago. People in this community said the same thing about NVIDIA Quadro fx. So I settled for NVIDIA GeForce 7900 instead with 512 MB. You may hear sellers telling you that " NVIDIA Quadro had some difficulties in its past, it wouldnt render all that well, but now they have fixed this problem" but when you hear users beeing more comfortable with suggesting NVIDIA GeForce, you better go safe. So thats what I did, and am very satisfied.
But what you oughta look out for are people who used earler versions of NVidia and now have purchased the latest version, cause they now can see the difference. Unlike me that more or less started of with a monster.

Good luck, and happy hunting.

01-15-2007, 03:02 AM
Its totally up to you. I would say that the Quadro will perform much better in OpenGL apps such as LW and would last the test of time better than the 7300. In saying that...i dont think its worth the money.

I would go with the extra RAM and upgrade the graphics card in a years time to a 7950 or something. It all depends what Mac supports. I dont know why they are always a step behind on gaming cards.

The RAM would be the wise option in my opinion. Cheaper to upgrade a GFX card that buy another 4gb of RAM (esp on mac...ram is sooooo expensive)