Video card reccomendation

Posted by: macDeviant

Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 01:17 PM

I recently got a 350mhz Sawtooth and i've decided to make it my HTMac. i have a mac mini, which is small clean and neat, but not very expandable in the ways i want. i would like to be able to use the sawtooth for high def video when the time comes. I'm just not sure which card to get. i would like to use agp if i can since the sawtooth has only three pci slots.

ati has three cards:

9800 AGP 2x-4x
9600 AGP 4x-8x
9200 PCI
as far as i know the 9600 can't work because the sawtooth only has 2x agp.

there are four cards i want to use in the pci slots but can only use three. USB2 + FW, Sata storage, gigabit ethernet, and m-audio sound card (not sure if compatible or not). one more pci slot would have been SO nice.

help please thank you very much  smile
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 01:38 PM

First off..  no matter what vid card you have a G4 350 is never going to be able to play HD video.  You would need to upgrade it to a dual G4 1GHz+ to be able to do that.

About the card..  a 9800 is too much power and money for video plus it will only be feeding through a 2x AGP slot.  I have seen a few 64mb radeon 7000 agp flashed for mac on ebay.  that would be all the video power you need and they are only about 45-50 bucks.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 02:14 PM

i already have one of the mentioned 64MB 7000 cards, but will that be enough to push a high def resolution of 1080p/i? (1920x1200 dpi)


I realized the 350mhz  isn't enough so here is my plan for the HT mac. i'll be doing these upgrades:

max out the ram (2 gigs)
up grade CPU to ATLEAST 1GHz
Add 4 port SATA card for uber internal storage of uncompressed music and movies
Add USB 2 + FW card
Either an surround sound card (if it's compatible) or gigabit ether net card
ATX case and power supply
Slot load DVD/CD burner, and maybe upgrade to blueray down the line
wifi and bluetooth


so there is the run down
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 03:29 PM

Originally Posted By: "macDeviant "

i already have one of the mentioned 64MB 7000 cards, but will that be enough to push a high def resolution of 1080p/i? (1920x1200 dpi)


resolution relies very little on the gpu.  its all about how much vram you have.  64MB is plenty for 1920x1200.  a radeon 7000 would perform just as well as a 9800 when it comes to high res video.  64mb radeon 700 is all you need.  trust me..
Posted by: maestro

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 06:15 PM

Newer cards have better video processing.  Its not all about game speed.  Video looks better.  I would use a 9800 pro which are pretty cheap these days.
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 06:59 PM

I imagine the gpu might help HD quality stuff a bit but it wouldn't be that dramatic a difference.  With standard definition it would make no difference at all.

I am a complete quality whore when it comes to video and I wouldn't spend more than 50 or so on a media center vid card.  Thats just me though..
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 07:10 PM

I should clarify that I don't think a 9800 is a bad idea but he already has a 64mb 7000.

as a reference..  1680 x 1050 will never use more than 28-30MB so 1920x1200 will be around 35-40 max.  64 is plenty.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 09:11 PM

well i guess i'll just leave the vid card on the back burner, and focus more on the other things
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 09:34 PM

put the vid card money toward a cpu upgrade
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/05/07 11:10 PM

next question: is it really needed to have a $300 CPU to play high def i.e. dual 1ghz. Wouldn't a single 1 GHZ be enough? i won't be doing much encoding on with the machine, and it will all be single tasks, surf the web, listen to music, watch a movie. not like it's going to be my main machine.
Posted by: reLAXER564

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/06/07 05:22 AM

I don't know about you but I love listening to music, watching movies, surfing the web, editing videos, importing pictures  and watching slideshows all at the same time. I guess I am alone.

:P
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/06/07 05:43 AM

Originally Posted By: "macDeviant "

next question: is it really needed to have a $300 CPU to play high def i.e. dual 1ghz. Wouldn't a single 1 GHZ be enough? i won't be doing much encoding on with the machine, and it will all be single tasks, surf the web, listen to music, watch a movie. not like it's going to be my main machine.


If you go single cpu then get at least a 1.4GHz+  A single 1GHz will play most video fine but will have problems with some HD stuff. 

this one would be perfect:  http://store.fastmac.com/product_info.php?products_id=14
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/06/07 06:29 AM

here are all your options..  its all the upgrades compatible with a sawtooth 350.

http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upgrades...s=Show+Upgrades
Posted by: maestro

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/06/07 07:03 AM

HD video takes some serious juice.  Some apps will even farm out to the gpu to lighten the load on the cpu.  I would say if you want HD, go with a mini core duo.  By the time you upgrade the Sawtooth enough to do the job, the mini would be more cost effective.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/06/07 08:35 AM

I have been down this road with my Cube. I was looking to see if it was theoretically possible to run 1080p on a Cube with the right upgrades. RAM will help to an extent, but as has been mentioned the bottleneck is the CPU. Particularly its clock speed. A modest upgrade should allow you to play 720p without too much difficulty. My 1.33GHz PowerBook struggles a little with it though, and your bus is slower, so I would recommend 1.6GHz+ or a dual. My MDD Dual 1GHz is fine with 720p.

As for 1080p, you may as well forget it unless you want to spend big. I had a stack of Cube owners (at Cubeowner) test HD files on their pimped out Cubes, only one or two (literally one got anything like watchable 1080p, and they all had the top of the line, fastest you can buy CPU, maxxed RAM, and good GPUs too. I think this was a dual 1.7G4 or something like that. Your bus is faster than the Cubes, but not that much faster. I still think you are well into dual territory, don't think about going below 1.5 at the very least, and if you want to be sure, go for a dual 1.8 or whatever is the highest speed you can get. Don't worry too much about variations in cache. HD playback is all about clock speed.
Posted by: macDeviant

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/06/07 04:04 PM

Originally Posted By: "reLAXER564 "

I don't know about you but I love listening to music, watching movies, surfing the web, editing videos, importing pictures  and watching slideshows all at the same time. I guess I am alone.


oh i do plenty of multitasking on my main machine(s)... what i was saying was the purpose of the HTPC is more single task oriented.

Originally Posted By: "zenstate "

here are all your options..  its all the upgrades compatible with a sawtooth 350.
http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upgrades...s=Show+Upgrades


i had taken a look at all thses options prior to my original post, IMHO most of these aren't worth the money.

Originally Posted By: "maestro "

HD video takes some serious juice. ... I would say if you want HD, go with a mini core duo.


I do already have a duo core mini, but wanted something alittle more expandable, in a little bit different package.

Originally Posted By: "Waragainstsleep "


As for 1080p, you may as well forget it unless you want to spend big. I had a stack of Cube owners (at Cubeowner) test HD files on their pimped out Cubes, only one or two (literally one got anything like watchable 1080p...


i think i remember seeing something about that over a cubeowner.com sometime somewhere. 2nd favorite site.

well looks as if my dreams of sawtooth supremacy have been shut down. oh well i can still easily get standart def use out of it. with all my dvds and music in one convenient place.
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/06/07 09:11 PM

Originally Posted By: "macDeviant "


I do already have a duo core mini, but wanted something alittle more expandable, in a little bit different package.


I know exactly what you mean!  I bought my dual 867 MDD a few months ago because I needed expandability and was using a G4 mini at the time.
Posted by: GuitarMknDude

Re: Video card reccomendation - 06/06/07 11:32 PM

May I suggest flashing a card it really expands your possibilities and the bang for the buck is much better. I myself have flashed a nvidia 5500 and an ATI X3 to a x800 thanks to strange dogs forums.