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1 or 2 Graphics Cards? FCS & Motion performance?

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Matt Campbell
1 or 2 Graphics Cards? FCS & Motion performance?
on Sep 3, 2009 at 12:53:18 pm

Sorry, I've already posted this in the OS X forum not sure which is better place for it.

Question on graphics cards and speed with Apple apps, i.e. Motion and FCS. My apologies ahead of time that this question has probably been asked a bunch, but I just don't have the time to search the topic. So, responses are greatly appreciated.

I'm looking to upgrade to a new Mac Pro and am curious about if its better to spring for the big daddy card like the ATI Radeon HD 4870 or simply buy 2 NVIDIA CeForce GT 120 cards to power my dual display, expanded desktop set up. I'm currently running the ATY Radeon X1900 card with dual displays and notice that with the dual displays, Apple's Motion really takes a hit on performance. I'm also looking to upgrade from 9 gigs of RAM to 16 with a new machine to help FCS's performance.

I guess my question is, is it better to run each display on its own card or run both from the better Radeon HD card? Which set up will give me the best performance with FCS and Motion? And if running 2 cards and each display on its own card, can I still expanded the desktop vs. having to mirror them?

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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walter biscardi
Re: 1 or 2 Graphics Cards? FCS & Motion performance?
on Sep 3, 2009 at 12:57:14 pm

To my knowledge Color will not operate with 2 Graphics cards installed on your machine.

With Studio 2 FCP would not operate with 2 graphics cards either, not sure about FCP 7.

We purchased the ATI 4870 card and it totally smokes Color.

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Matt Campbell
Re: 1 or 2 Graphics Cards? FCS & Motion performance?
on Sep 4, 2009 at 5:34:24 pm

Thanks Walter. I've also located some bench mark tests on barefeats.com about this. 4870 looks like the way to go. Thanks.

OS 10.5.5, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 9 gb ram, with BM Intensity Pro card


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david bogie
Re: 1 or 2 Graphics Cards? FCS & Motion performance?
on Sep 9, 2009 at 3:45:20 pm

FCP7 does indeed function properly with two or more cards in use.
However, Aperture and a few other Apple applications do not work well if more than one card is in use.

Clarify the term "in use." You can have any number of cards in your Mac but for versions of FCP prior to 7, having monitors hooked to more than one card would disable most FxPlug filters that were installed with Motion 3.

Motion 3 would work successfully with any number of monitors hooked up to your Mac.

I've never even opened Color.

There are many Motion experts who are perfectly happy with their GT 120 card for Motion.

bogiesan




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