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Old December 6th, 2008, 03:04 PM   #1
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Video card question in new Mac Pro

Got a Great Deal on a new Mac Pro but it has the ATI 2600 256MB card in it... Should I replace it with the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB card?

I use the follwoing software and Run Dual 24" monitors all my editing is 1920x1080p HD

Final Cut
Photoshop
After Effects
Magic Bullit
Vegas Pro
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Old December 6th, 2008, 09:50 PM   #2
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A little bird told me that the 8800 gt is a great card but has problems with Final Cut Studio because of certain driver issues. This bird also told me that an ATI Radeon 3870 Mac and PC edition will run circles around a 8800 gt For FCP specifically.

You can get one at Other World Computing for around $200.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Nickle View Post
A little bird told me that the 8800 gt is a great card but has problems with Final Cut Studio because of certain driver issues
I use FCS2 on a Mac Pro with the 8800 and have had no video card issues, whatsoever while working with DVCPRO HD content. There are always anecdotal instances of problems for any piece of hardware, but I can tell you the 8800 is a perfectly fine video card for working with FCS.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 11:06 PM   #4
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I'm sure there are instances when an 8800gt works great with FCP, maybe even most of the time, but if you do a simple google search for "8800gt final cut pro problems" You will see plenty of threads about this issue. If it were me, I wouldn't take the chance. An apple employee friend of mine that test FCP for a living told me to go with the ATI card I mentioned above.

Just my 2 Cents.

One other note, the 3870 is optimized for FCS and the 8800 is not, Don't get me wrong I love the 8800 gt, had one in my pc and it was great.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #5
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I've have been doing uncompressed HD, Pro Res HQ, and RED files with this card in FCP 6, Color, After Effects, Photoshop, just about everything and I have had zero problems. I really don't think you will notice a difference though between the cards. Video cards nowadays are the fastest thing in your computer. It is the processors, ram, and raid you really need to worry about. Also Apple charges an arm and a leg for their VGA cards and they do not transfer to the next generation anyways. So again stick with what you have because its still very powerful unless you plan on doing AutoCad on a large scale.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 01:21 PM   #6
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This article is a good example...


ProVideo Coalition.com: Ripple Training by Steve Martin, Brian Gary, Mark Spencer, Andrew Balis
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Old December 7th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #7
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Thanks guys! So far after some testing, I am having no issues with the 2600 that came in the machine.. With that being said "don't fix what ain't broke" is what I am going to go with for now. I just assumed the 512MB on the 8800 was going to make a big difference to the 2600's 256MB but I am not gaming, I may do a little 3d studio max stuff but nothing intense.

Again thanks for the replies!

Jason
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Old December 7th, 2008, 06:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Bodnar View Post
I just assumed the 512MB on the 8800 was going to make a big difference to the 2600's 256MB but I am not gaming, I may do a little 3d studio max stuff but nothing intense.
Well, doing 3D and compositing is exactly the pace you would notice the difference (aside from gaming). But if what you have now is working for you, then there's no compelling reason to upgrade.

I take it you are running Windows on your Mac Pro (considering 3ds Max isn't available for Mac, AFAIK). I have no idea if running Windows causes a hit to the video card resources or not.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 06:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chad Nickle View Post
An apple employee friend of mine that test FCP for a living told me to go with the ATI card I mentioned above.
AFAIK, neither card has an edge over the other in FCP. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I have been under the impression that the extra VRAM only became beneficial in apps such as Motion and Shake.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 08:33 PM   #10
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Probably true, I assume it will also be beneficial when FCS3 comes out to all apps.

Who Knows :)
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Old December 8th, 2008, 01:03 AM   #11
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Well I have not tested Magic Bullit Looks yet nor have I really pushed After effects but will be over the next couple of days.. Still awaiting my Hard drives and extra RAM to show up as well. I heard MBL works a lot better with the Nvidia card. It works awsome with my Macbook Pro which has the 8800 GT which sort of put me on this mission of trying to match my video cards in both my machines. I will report back on what I end up deciding after some more testing.
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