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Confused about 2nd video card on Mac Pro

post #1 of 7
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I purchased a Mac Pro and the one we ordered is with the NVidia G8800 GT option. We are going to be running 3 monitors with this but the 3rd monitor won't be as important. To save money we are considering getting the ATI 2600 XT as the 2nd video card. I read a lot on these boards and never really have found an answer as to whether these can be used together or not. I don't want to do it unless I know it works for sure since I don't want stability issues. I can imagine until the Nvidia is out likely there won't be an answer for sure.

Here is the problem. Tonight I decided to call AppleCare figuring I could get a good answer. When the guy answered I told him I am getting a Mac Pro and asked my question. Before I knew it he was explaining how the "MacBook Pro has two video cards in it already, one for the internal LCD, one for an external" I explained I have a Mac Pro coming, not a MacBook Pro. I hope I'm not wrong but I almost explained to him that the MacBook Pro only has one video card.

Then I explained it was the Mac Pro and how I want to know if I could use an NVidia G8800GT with an ATI 2600 XT and that I would be using it with 3 monitors. He said to hold on a minute and he would check into it. He came back in minutes and said he talked to several other csr's there that specialize in desktops and they told him that you can't use an ATI with a NVidia, you can only use one card type.

The next part is what shocked me, he then said how before I buy another video card to check with the manufacturer to make sure it works with a Mac Pro. I explained I'm not buying a graphics card from another manufacturer, I'm buying Apple's graphics card. Well he tried to tell me Apple DOES NOT sell video cards. I realized at this point I was not going to get any help. I never have had problems with calling Apple in the past but am shocked he talked to others who gave him this information. I also realize now that I should not take his comment seriously about them not working together. What I'm wondering, does anyone know yet if these two will work well together?
post #2 of 7
You can't mix and match the video cards. It won't work. Get two of the expensive ones.

Also are you sure the 8800 has dual display connectors? (can it power two displays????) Cards that have dual-link DVI does not mean dual display, it just means twice the bandwidth over one DVI cable, which is required for 30" displays.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AubreyL View Post

I purchased a Mac Pro and the one we ordered is with the NVidia G8800 GT option. We are going to be running 3 monitors with this but the 3rd monitor won't be as important. To save money we are considering getting the ATI 2600 XT as the 2nd video card. I read a lot on these boards and never really have found an answer as to whether these can be used together or not. I don't want to do it unless I know it works for sure since I don't want stability issues. I can imagine until the Nvidia is out likely there won't be an answer for sure.

Here is the problem. Tonight I decided to call AppleCare figuring I could get a good answer. When the guy answered I told him I am getting a Mac Pro and asked my question. Before I knew it he was explaining how the "MacBook Pro has two video cards in it already, one for the internal LCD, one for an external" I explained I have a Mac Pro coming, not a MacBook Pro. I hope I'm not wrong but I almost explained to him that the MacBook Pro only has one video card.

Then I explained it was the Mac Pro and how I want to know if I could use an NVidia G8800GT with an ATI 2600 XT and that I would be using it with 3 monitors. He said to hold on a minute and he would check into it. He came back in minutes and said he talked to several other csr's there that specialize in desktops and they told him that you can't use an ATI with a NVidia, you can only use one card type.

The next part is what shocked me, he then said how before I buy another video card to check with the manufacturer to make sure it works with a Mac Pro. I explained I'm not buying a graphics card from another manufacturer, I'm buying Apple's graphics card. Well he tried to tell me Apple DOES NOT sell video cards. I realized at this point I was not going to get any help. I never have had problems with calling Apple in the past but am shocked he talked to others who gave him this information. I also realize now that I should not take his comment seriously about them not working together. What I'm wondering, does anyone know yet if these two will work well together?
post #3 of 7
dual DVI means Dual display.. im sure of it.
the only option to have 3 displays is go dual of the
ATI or nVidia.

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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by webmail View Post

You can't mix and match the video cards. It won't work. Get two of the expensive ones.

Also are you sure the 8800 has dual display connectors? (can it power two displays????) Cards that have dual-link DVI does not mean dual display, it just means twice the bandwidth over one DVI cable, which is required for 30" displays.

All the new Mac Pro cards are Dual Dual Link - i.e. they each support two 30" monitors or less. Read the Barefeats video card recommendations report.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Name101 View Post

dual DVI means Dual display.. im sure of it.
the only option to have 3 displays is go dual of the
ATI or nVidia.

Not necessarily. I am successfully driving 4 displays from an ATI Radeon X1900 GT with a stock NVIDIA GeForce 6600 in a Quad G5. Only one downside, I can't run QT movies on the two displays attached to the NVIDEA card at full frame rates. Otherwise they get along perfectly. And they can ALL rotate. Leopard added rotational support to all legacy NVIDEA cards. ATI already had it.

I ordered my 3.2GHz MP with two ATI 2600 XT cards, 50 watts each, in it and the NVIDEA G8800GT, 110 watts each, separately from the Displays accessories, or perhaps it's hidden in the Storage section by mistake, so the MP would not be delayed. Currently due to arrive Feb 4-6. I plan to pull one of the ATI cards and put it in my 2.66 Quad MP after the NVIDEA G8800GT card arrives in LATE March - like almost the last day of winter March 18 it currently says.

Because of the increased wattage the NVIDEA card draws, it is only possible to have two of them in a MP and you must leave the other two card slots empty unless you have a card that only needs 60 watts or less. Since I am getting my MP with the RAID card and also a BlackMagic Intensity Pro card, 2 NVIDEA cards are out of the question.

I have asked Rob at BareFeats to test the ATI card with the old NVIDEA card in his old MP but he hasn't had time to do it yet. He promises he will. When he gets his G8800GT, one of the first things he will test is cohabitation with the ATI 2600 XT card.

You can't believe anything Apple says about card mixes because only a few higher ups really know, and for all we know they may be working right now to let these two cards play nice with one another. I'm optimistic it may be possible based on my Quad G5 experience which was only resolved with Leopard drivers. Ever since Leopard I've not had any problems with these two brands getting along great together.

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post #5 of 7
this must be something new..
because. the ATi and nVidia drivers would never play nice on a PC..and if it is since leopard.
this is new.. to be honest i really dont know what to say..

mmmm.. well i know you need at least two gfx cards to run more than 2 displays.. hehe.

mm interesting.

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post #6 of 7
^^

Exactly. It's a PC thing, you can't mix brands with Windows, but you can on the Mac.

People just automatically assume you can't since PC's are common. Not everything is like the PC

- D
post #7 of 7
thats not true.. even many years ago I ran different brands of multiple video cards in Windows machines... matching cards are mainly for SLI or Crossfire type set up where the cards are gong to work together, not independently...

Macs can be picky... I'd make sure they'd work together for sure before investing.
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