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Graphics Cards for FCP / Mac Pro / Leopard

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David Jahns
Graphics Cards for FCP / Mac Pro / Leopard
on Jan 15, 2009 at 2:42:16 am

I had a Quad-Core MP, running 10.4 and an X1900 (512 MB RAM), and it was a sweet machine - running FCP, Color, and Motion - all in 1080p.

I recently upgraded to an 8-core MP, which came pre-installed with Leopard.

When choosing a graphics card, I had read here and elsewhere that the ATI 2600 (w/ 256 RAM) outperforms the NVIDIA 8800GT (w/ 512 RAM) in Motion and Color.

The 2600 seems to fine with Color, but in FCP, there are certain Effects that it simply "cannot render at the requested resolution". WTF?

I'd love to put my old ATI X1900 card in there, but it doesn't work with Leopard, correct?

Any advice out there? Should I go with the 8800 GT?

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Sean ONeil
Re: Graphics Cards for FCP / Mac Pro / Leopard
on Jan 15, 2009 at 3:33:29 am

The "ATI 3780 Mac & PC Edition" is probably the best choice. On paper it's similar in performance to the 8800 and it's priced about the same - however Color and Motion are optimized for ATI cards, not Nvidia, so those apps benchmark much better.

I recently made the mistake of buying an 8800. Because the 3780 is ATI branded, not Apple, it flew under my radar.


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Dan Nethery
Re: Graphics Cards for FCP / Mac Pro / Leopard
on Jan 21, 2009 at 2:42:33 pm

your old ATI card will work fine if you put it in your new machine... I just did this with 4 machines in our office. I bought 4 new workstations and gave them to our lead editors... but had issues with new ATI HD 2600 XT cards and FCPs defocus plugin. It would give us Graphic Card errors in FCP when we went to render out a sequence. Now I'm just researching if I should buy the ATI 3780 or go with what I know to work well the ATI 1900s... I'm hoping that the 3780 would be faster the 1900... I need to buy 4 of them.


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