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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

GeForce GTX 285
in the Nehalem Mac Pro
running 3D under Vista 64

Posted Thursday, June 18th, 2009, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

We posted test results for the GeForce GTX 285 (Mac Edition) running 3D apps under OS X. Some of you asked to see Windows 3D game results. So we ran some of our favorite 3D benchmarks under Vista Ultimate 64-bit and compared it to other Mac Pro GPU upgrades that run under both OS X and Windows.

Futuremark 3DMark06 is a popular benchmark that shows the potential of graphics cards. Using the Professional Edition, we ran the HDR/SM3 test and two Feature Tests at 2560x1600 with 8x Anisotropy. First, here's the results for the HDR/SM3 test:

QB sus write

Then we ran the Fill Rate (Multi-Texturing) test:

QB sus write

Thirdly, we ran the Shader Particles test:

QB sus write

ID Software ENEMY TERRITORY: QUAKE WARS (ETQW)
For Enemy Territory: Quake Wars (ETQW) we recorded our own netdemo which includes running, shooting, flying, and driving.

QB sus write

EPIC UNREAL TOURNAMENT III
For the UT3 tests, we used the Suspense Flyby. The Flyby emphasizes GPU speed. Though a Botmatch is more like actual game play, the artificial intelligence varies the actions of Bots from run to run, making it impossible to get a repeatable result.

QB sus write

Activision CALL of DUTY 4: Modern Warfare
We ran a timedemo called "mac_pipeline." Anti-Aliasing, Shadows, and Soften Smoke Edges were OFF.

QB sus write

LEGEND OF GRAPHS
RED means fastest dual boot GPU; ORANGE means it can't boot OS X
R4870x2 = ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 ](2GB GDDR5)
GTX285 = nVidia GeForce GTX 285 (1G GDDR3)
R4870 = ATI Radeon HD 4870 (512M GDDR5)
G8800 = nVidia GeForce 8800 GT (512M GDDR3)
R3870 = ATI Radeon HD 3870 (512M GDDR4)
G120 = nVidia GeForce GT 120 (512MB GDDR3)


Test "Mule" was the Nehalem Mac Pro 8-core running at 2.93GHz (12G of RAM). Vista Ultimate 64-bit was installed in a Boot Camp partition.

ANALYSIS
The GeForce GTX 285 easily beats the other "Mac and PC" dual boot GPU options when it comes to Windows 3D. For extreme gamers who already boot into Windows to run their 3D apps, this reinforces the argument for spending $450+ for the GTX 285 upgrade. You can offset part of that cost by selling your old, wimpy GPU on eBay.

We included the Radeon HD 4870x2 because it meets or beats the GTX 285 under Vista Ultimate. Yet we disqualified it (colored in ORANGE) since it won't boot OS X. We would like to see ATI offer a "Mac and PC Edition" of the 4870x2 as a retail upgrade. If you agree, sign our petition and we'll share the results with ATI Marketing.

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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