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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

GeForce GTX 285
in the Nehalem Mac Pro
Versus Other GPUs

Posted Wednesday, June 10th, 2009, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Back on May 26th, we reported on the Quadro FX 4800 for the 2008-2009 Mac Pro. In this initial report, we test the new GeForce GTX 285 running 3D apps at insane settings and 2560x1600 resolution.

OpenGL Extensions Viewer has a Test Tab. We chose Standard Framebuffer, 4X Multisampling, 8X Anisotropy, Fog, Benchmark, and Transparency. The graph below shows the framerates of the OpenGL 2.0 Extension.

QB sus write

Using a flight of the X-15 being dropped from a bomber, we recorded a one-minute test. We ran the X-Plane benchmark in Terminal and averaged the three frame rates posted by the "grep" command.

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Call of Duty 4's settings were all maxed out plus we set Anti-aliasing to 4X.

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Enemy Territory: Quake Wars' advanced settings were all maxed out plus we set Multisamples to 4X.

QB sus write

This World of Warcraft graph shows the average FPS of our Narache Village run. We selected "Ultra" settings and 4X Multisampling. (Note that when you are in the heat of battle, your WoW performance is more a function of CPU speed and memory than GPU. More on that later.)

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LEGEND OF GRAPHS
RED means fastest
GTX285 = nVidia GeForce GTX 285 (1G GDDR3)
FX4800 = nVidia Quadro FX 4800 (1.5G GDDR3)
R4870 = ATI Radeon HD 4870 (512M GDDR5)
FX5600 = nVidia Quadro FX 5600 (1.5G GDDR3)
G8800 = nVidia GeForce 8800 GT (512M GDDR3)
R3870 = ATI Radeon HD 3870 (512M GDDR4)
G120GT = nVidia GeForce GT 120 (512MB GDDR3)
Test "Mule" was the Nehalem Mac Pro 8-core running at 2.93GHz (12G of RAM).

INSIGHTS
The GeForce GTX 285 is the new "Gozer the Gozerian" for 3D acceleration on the Mac Pro 2008-2009. It's a beast requiring two power feeds just like the Radeon HD 4870 and Quadro FX 5600. (The rest of the GPUs tested, including the Quadro FX 4800, require either one feed or no power feed.)

It features dual Dual-Link DVI connectors.

One advantage of the Radeon HD 4870 over the GTX 285 is that, though it isn't officially supported by Apple in the 2006-2007 Mac Pro, we can testify that it works fine in all models of Mac Pro (OS X 10.5.7 or later) based on our own experience of testing it in all models. It also costs about $100 less than the GTX 285.

We plan to post more test results in the days to come but wanted you to have something to snack on. Also, visit nVidia's website for more details on specifications.

Apple Online Store

WHERE TO BUY MAC PRO GRAPHICS CARDS
Other World Computing has the GeForce GTX 285 with 1 day shipping for $459.

ClubMac has the ATI Radeon HD 4870 Graphics Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro listed for $329. Compare that to the Apple Store USA price of $349.

ClubMac has the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 For Mac 1.5GB DDR3 PCIe Graphics Card listed for $1460. Other World Computing also has it listed on their site with same day shipping.

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copyright 2009 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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