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[MW] Testing the Mac Pro GPU options

post #1 of 9
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Quote:
Though the latest Mac Pro update shipped in early January, many of the desktop’s build-to-order options, such as faster hard drives and graphics cards, are just now becoming available. Macworld Lab has received a Mac Pro loaded for bear—an 8-core 3.2GHz Mac Pro with 8GB of RAM, four 300GB SAS drives along with an Apple RAID card, and an Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT graphics processor. The price for this beauty? The Apple Store would charge you $9,949—a decided mark-up from the $2,799 price tag for the standard configuration Mac Pro, with its two quad-core 2.8GHz processor, 2GB of memory, 320GB hard drive, and ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics.

We plan to test our monster Mac Pro eventually, but first, we’d like to focus on each of the individual add-ons. The first piece of the puzzle we’re going to focus on is the graphics card and what kind of improvements you can expect from the assorted build-to-order options.

As mentioned above, the recommended Mac Pro configuration sports an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT graphics card. Our tests involving this card have shown it to be a good overall performer. But for gamers and users of other GPU intensive applications, good just ain’t good enough.

For those users, Apple offers two different graphics cards options, both from Nvidia. The Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT card that our new Mac Pro came with is a $200 option; it comes with 512MB of graphics memory—twice the graphics memory as the stock ATI card. The GeForce 8800 GT also boasts a 256-bit memory interface versus the Radeon HD 2600 XT’s 128-bit interface and nearly three times the memory bandwidth. Apple’s specifications say that the Nvidia card can process 16.8 billion textured triangles per second as compared to the ATI card’s 700 million.

The other optional Nvidia card, the Quadro FX 5600, comes with 1.5GB of graphics RAM and, at $2,850, costs more than the base model of the Mac Pro. We have not received the Quadro FX 5600, but we have requested one.

We decided to pull the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT out of the 3.2GHz Mac Pro that it shipped in and insert it into the stock system to see what kind of performance difference we’d see.
Curious? Intrigued? Watch as Macworld demystifies in the rest of the article, continued here.
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G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 OCZ Agility 3 120GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB XSPC Rasa 750 RX360 with push/pull 6x114.7cfm P... 
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post #2 of 9
Is anyone really going to buy a $9000 Mac to play Doom3?
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post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by iewgnem View Post
Is anyone really going to buy a $9000 Mac to play Doom3?
Maybe you haven't heard of bootcamp?
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post #4 of 9
Pointing it out now, people who buy Mac Pro's don't get them for gaming. I really find the benches pretty pointless, I would rather see them done through bootcamp.
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post #5 of 9
$10,000 for a computer? It better chew my food for me for that much money.
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Pointing it out now, people who buy Mac Pro's don't get them for gaming. I really find the benches pretty pointless, I would rather see them done through bootcamp.

umm.... you do know that all bootcamp does is partition your HDD for you to install (32-bit only) Windows? So you mean you would rather see the benches through Vista/XP or what?
post #7 of 9
There is absolutely no reason to get a MacPro with anything but a FireGL or a Quadro card. The Radeon and GeForce line do not really do much for content creation, which is what the MacPro is built for.
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post #8 of 9
Curious? No. Intrigued? No.

No one cares because no one here would pay $9,000 for a Mac that benches less than a $3000 gaming PC.

xD
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by stargate125645 View Post
$10,000 for a computer? It better chew my food for me for that much money.
no way chewings the best bit!
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Finally...
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