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Video card upgrade : anything better than HD4870

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Ignatius Gorin
Video card upgrade : anything better than HD4870
on Jan 3, 2011 at 3:46:34 pm

Hi --

Some time ago, I asked here about a Mac Pro upgrade, and got several answers saying I wouldn't benefit much from it, that I was better off adding ram and upgrading video card + raid hd.

I've got a Mac Pro from a 2x2.66 Dual-Core Xeon (3gig). I'll add RAM to it soon, and will also go with a 3 drive R0 + Firewire backup system I think.

As far as the video card is concerned, I was then advised to get the ATI HD4870. Is there anything better now (that was 4 or 5 months ago)?

I'm mostly editing/rendering/exporting 1080/50i and ProRes footage + a few text and graphics video tracks (like bottom third or the like), and Motion for titles.

TIA.

— Ig


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Richard Sanchez
Re: Video card upgrade : anything better than HD4870
on Jan 3, 2011 at 4:04:35 pm

Not really. The ATI will be most handy when rendering using Color, but rendering in Final Cut is going to have more to do with your processors and ram to compute the renders, and fast hard drives to write the data quickly.

The new Westermere Mac Pros come with the ATI 5770 and can be upgraded to the 5870 however you mentioned your system is a 2x2.66 dual core system. Is it a 2006 Mac Pro (1,1 or 2,1)? If that's the case, the card wouldn't be able to work at it's maximum bandwidth anyway, since the 4870 and above are PCI-E 2.0 cards, and the first generation Mac Pros are PCI-E 1.0. The 2008 Mac Pros (Model 3,1) are the first systems to incorporate PCI-E 2.0 slots.

Richard Sanchez
North Hollywood, CA

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution." - Bill Hicks


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Ignatius Gorin
Re: Video card upgrade : anything better than HD4870
on Jan 3, 2011 at 4:24:22 pm

Many thanks for your quick answer.

Ok. So I shouldn't expect much by upgrading from the 7300 GT?

Just saw this, here where the HD 5870 is said to work on 1,1 MP's; I guess it's the same thing, i.e. won't work at max bw, but would it still give a noticeable increase for FCP/Motion renders and playback, or is it not worth the cost you think?

TIA.

— Ig



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Richard Sanchez
Re: Video card upgrade : anything better than HD4870
on Jan 3, 2011 at 7:27:52 pm

Personally, I doubt you'll notice any difference in render times. You'll be less apt to get the warning "Cannot render effect at the requested bit depth" but that's about it.

Richard Sanchez
North Hollywood, CA

"We are the facilitators of our own creative evolution." - Bill Hicks


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