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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac Pro - I need a new graphics card for cool games


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Mrs Smith

 
Member Since: Aug 31, 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2
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Mac Specs: 09' 2.66 Quad-Core // 4GB RAM // 1000GB HD // GT 120

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Hi all

I bought this machine for Logic 8 (and it's great) -
09' 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor
4 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512MB

problem is I now want to play games, Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 to be precise

I'm a bit of a n00b and don't understand this whole openCL thing with SL.

My budget is $500 USD. Even a little higher..

What are my chances of running these types of games with that kind of budget? Any other options in the near future with openCL etc ??

Many thanks in advance and I'm sure you'll get a few extra virgins in heaven by helping me out!!
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wmprice1240

 
Member Since: May 02, 2009
Posts: 480
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.33 4GB: MacPro 8 Core 2.8, 16GB: MacMini 2.26 4GB: MacMin 2.53 4GB: iPhone3GS 32GB

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Hi welcome to the forums.

Open CL has nothing to do with games, it's a way to leverage the power of the GPU for non GPU related tasks. With your budget and what you want (plus being able to play newer games), you essentially have 2 choices:

ATI Radeon HD 4870 Graphics Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro (Early 2009 or Early 2008) - Apple Store (U.S.)

EVGA GeForce GTX 285 - Apple Store (U.S.)

Both of these will work in your MacPro. I would personally recommend the NVIDIA card but you can compare contrast specs. Either choice will provide a significant upgrade for games than what you have now.

Note, for the NVIDIA card you want to make sure to install the graphics drivers BEFORE installing the card. Other users have reported issues where not doing so causing significant issues and forces a reinstall of the OS.
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bobtomay

 
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And I'd load the games up on what you have now to try them out, before the purchase of a new card.

You may well be surprised and decide you don't need to spend the $500 just to play a couple of games.
There are a lot of people playing those games with cards a lot less capable than the 120.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Mrs Smith

 
Member Since: Aug 31, 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2
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Mac Specs: 09' 2.66 Quad-Core // 4GB RAM // 1000GB HD // GT 120

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Cool thanks a bunch guys.
I've heard the GTX 285 is more powerful but that the drivers are teh sux in OSX, maybe SL will fix this... (or make it worse hehe)

I know those games aren't out yet but I can dream

Are their better cards for say $750USD ??
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wmprice1240

 
Member Since: May 02, 2009
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LOL

That's the rub...there are always better cards. bobtomay makes an excellent point, running current games against your current card will give you a better idea of your current hardware capabilities that you can then weigh against your needs/wants.

In terms of the MacPro, you are limited by the underlying hardware itself. You cannot simply take any graphics card and put it in the MacPro, it has to be specially designed for Mac hardware. This pretty much limits your options to what you have or the cards I posted above. This pretty much eliminates SLI and other options available to PC platforms. This is one of the reasons a few people on this forum have two different systems, one for games and one for everything else :-)

The latest drivers for the 285 supposedly have improved dramatically.
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wmprice1240

 
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I should also mention, before you go down this route that the NVIDIA Quadro line of cards are not meant for gaming. They are specialized cards primarily designed for the graphic designer, medical imaging, CAD/CAM communities. I have seen from time to time, people buying these cards hoping to get some sort of gaming boost and it simply is not the case.
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