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Old May 1st, 2009, 06:55 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,924
Not getting Motion performance after upgrade

I recently upgraded from two Apple Cinema (20" and 17") to two Apple Cinema HD 23" screens. The graphics performance of my dual 2.0 G5's stock Radeon 9800 XT in the Finder was noticably "sticky". I read an article on Kenstone that explained how a graphic card's VRAM is split in a dual screen configuration and this affects the performance of Motion. Given I had raised the total resolution of both screens, I picked up a used GeForce 6800 GT. The new card has 256MB of VRAM versus the Radeon's 128MB. However, Motion is still a dog if not worse but the finder feels better with the GeForce.

1) Are there any speed tests around I could benchmark my system with (I could not find anything at xlr8yourmac)?
2) Do I need to reinstall Leopard to get different graphics drivers (Software Update says everything is up to date)?

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Old May 2nd, 2009, 04:51 AM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,924
I found two performance benchmarks in use: Xbench and Cinebench

Using Xbench graphics performance tests, I compared the stock Radeon 9600 XT and the GeForce 6800 GT cards on my Powermac G5 dual 2.0 with 3GB memory and two Cinema HD 23" displays.

According to Xbench, the stock Radeon scored a total of 92.4 vs the GeForce 87.74. Looking at the individual tests, this is due to a significantly faster result in the OpenGL Graphics test where the Radeon scored 135.93 FPS vs the GeForce 109.64 FPS.

User interface elements were basically the same with the GeForce slightly beating out the Radeon 70.28 to 68.72 (322 vs 315 refresh/sec).

However on the Quartz test, the GeForce scored higher across all the individual sub-tests with a total score or 120.1 vs the radeon 116.53.

A significant difference between the cards was seen using Motion with the setting that skips audio during playback instead of skipping video frames thus forcing the rendering of every frame. Using a complex Motion project of 10 seconds in duration, the Radeon took 14 minutes to render versus the GeForce 7 minutes.

So the GeForce 6800 GT is in fact faster in Motion and snappier for the Mac OS X graphical user interface. I think the inferior OpenGL performance of the GeForce would show up in games. Final Cut Pro is about the same in both but I haven't really done too much with the GeForce.

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