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Motion and multiple video cards

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Adam Kragt
Motion and multiple video cards
on Aug 19, 2008 at 11:50:41 pm

I'm on the verge of purchasing a Mac Pro, I've done some research and it seems the ATI Radeon X1900 XT is by far the best graphics card for Motion and other programs that utilize the GPU. Now, unfortunately these cards are no longer an option when you configure a system.

My question is if I choose one of the standard video cards and run two monitors off that, and install a X1900, will Motion use the X1900, or will it tend to default to the graphics card powering the monitors? (resulting in slower renders/previews/etc).

I've looked around and haven't been able to really find an answer, so I was hoping you guys would be able to help. Thanks!

------------------------------
Westward Entertainment
Post Production Department


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Jim Johnson
Re: Motion and multiple video cards
on Aug 20, 2008 at 4:27:27 am

Howdy,

Motion uses the GPU that is driving your main display, which is the monitor that has the main menu bar on it (File, Edit, View, etc).

The X1900 is a great card (I have one), but I'd highly recommend getting the ATI Radeon 3870. It's not sold by Apple, but you can get it from Mac resellers like Small Dog. You can see Motion benchmarks for the 3870 here.

It's cheap and a generation newer than the X1900. I'd get the cheapest stock card in your Mac Pro and drop in the 3870 as your primary GPU.



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Adam Kragt
Re: Motion and multiple video cards
on Aug 20, 2008 at 5:49:08 am

Awesome, thank you for your answer and recommendation.

I've got another question, which may be suited more for the OS X forum...

Browsing NewEgg for the 3870 comes up with quite a few different options. They all use the 3870 chipset, just with varying clock speeds and memory. Is it more the chipset that's supported in OS X or the general configuration of the card?

I'm assuming only the card you linked to will work, but if anyone know's differently, there's some beastly cards running on the 3870 chipset out there ;)

------------------------------
Westward Entertainment
Post Production Department


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Jim Johnson
Re: Motion and multiple video cards
on Aug 20, 2008 at 7:06:22 pm

Howdy,

If you look at the links in my post, you'll see that I linked to the ATI product page which identifies it as the "Mac & PC Edition". As I mentioned, it's only being sold by Apple resellers, so far, like Small Dog and Other World Computing.



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Adam Kragt
Re: Motion and multiple video cards
on Aug 20, 2008 at 7:29:16 pm

That's what I figured. Shame though, there's some nice 3870 cards out there...

Thanks everyone for your help!

------------------------------
Westward Entertainment
Post Production Department


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Eric Susch
Best video card for Motion?
on Aug 25, 2008 at 1:03:54 pm

I'm a little confused by this thread. Wouldn't you want the NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 in a Mac pro? Wouldn't that be the best card for Motion?

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david bogie
Re: Best video card for Motion?
on Aug 25, 2008 at 2:28:56 pm

Somewhere between $150 and $3,000, "best" and "affordable" become blurry or mutually exclusive. AFAICT, this card is way over the top, provides far more technology than Motion can even understand and can't take advantage of.
Searching Google for real world reviews of this behemoth inside a Mac turned up blank. I'm beginning to think no one has ever really bought one.

The apple site sez this:

All-new high-performance graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA make Mac Pro graphics technology even more cutting edge. The standard graphics card — an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory, PCI Express 2.0, and two dual-link DVI ports — provides great performance for typical creative applications. And you get dual 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display support out of the box.For motion graphics, 3D modeling, rendering, or animation, you’ll need the greater graphics horsepower offered by the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with 512MB of GDDR3 memory and latest-generation NVIDIA GPU technology. The optional NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600 graphics card is the ultimate workstation-class graphics card available, with a massive 1.5GB of GDDR3 memory and a 3D stereo port for stereo-in-a-window applications. All of these cards feature the latest-generation unified shader model support. Compared to dedicated pixel and vertex shaders, shaders are no longer special-purpose and can now be utilized based on the needs of the graphics application.


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