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Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS Silent-Pipe 3, 256MB GDDR3, 2x DVI, TV-out, PCIe


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JestaGeek

JestaGeek

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Hello InsanelyMac Gurus,
Re: Gigabyte GeForce 8600 GTS Silent-Pipe 3, 256MB GDDR3, 2x DVI, TV-out, PCIe (GV-NX86S256H)
Right now this would be my first pick of graphics card... at least based on the specs.
Here's where I'm looking: http://geizhals.at/d...nd/a251110.html (I'm living in Germany, so this is a search engine for the German mail-order market).
And Gigabyte's relevant product page: http://www.giga-byte...?ProductID=2512

Edit: For a while I was considering this card, instead...:
Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 XT, 512MB GDDR3, 2x DVI, TV-out, PCIe, bulk/lite retail (11110-09-10/-20)
but now I'm really not sure... I'm actually starting to lean back toward an nVidia Geforce 8600GT card, again... but which to buy? I'm in favor of quiet cards (like the one first considered here) and like this offering from XFX:
XFX GeForce 8600 GT Fatal1ty, 256MB GDDR3, 2x DVI, TV-out, PCIe (PV-T84J-U1D4 (no longer carried on NewEgg, but available here for a under 100 euros -- has pretty good reviews).

The ATI card is at least 30w less power-hungry and in some ways is more "ready for Vista", etc... I'm not a "gamer" so the reviews that indicate it's a bad gaming card don't bother me. The other card is much higher performance and stays relatively cool (though still a lot hotter than the ATI card). It draws a peak of about 75w. Either card can draw power from the PCI-e bus without a separate power cable. Both are pretty low-power compared to their pricier big brothers. If either one is significantly better for running dual monitor on a Hackintosh set-up, and anyone has experience to give me a better idea, I'm all ears. I'm beginning to think I can go with either card, based on the latest guides and compatibility lists, but I've seen a lot of reports of people struggling with both ATI 2600 and Geforce 8600GT -based cards, so...

Any ideas about which will be more headache-free and compatible are most appreciated by this n00b (geek in training?) :(
-- JestaN00b


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JestaGeek

JestaGeek

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UPDATE:
I ended up going with the "silent" (so-called "Ultimate") model of the Sapphire Radeon HD 2600XT (2x DVI, 256MB DDR3). It's working great, OOB. I only added the Natit drivers from the Kalyway 10.5.2 installer. I may try a "retail" install when I get back from abroad in a couple weeks, but I can't say I'd know what I'd hope to improve about the system. It is really 99% perfect with working (hardware-enabled) CoreImage, etc. It's so fast and the graphics are so clear compared to what I was getting on my old Mac Mini.

For those reading my post trying to decide what to get: If you are a gamer, you should probably go for one of the "better" cards. But if you just want good graphics for a cheap price, probably any of the ATI 2600 Pro/XT cards will do you fine and will keep your energy consumption down as well as your need for major airflow, so yield a nice, quiet system. If you want more power (gaming, etc) go for an nVidia 8600T (marginally faster... but a fair bit hotter, consumes more energy and is a bit pricier), or you could consider an nVidia 8800-series or ATI 3950 (which is supposed to be a great card, really). My needs are only for a bit of Photo editing and web browsing, code editing, etc, so I truly don't need the power of the others. I've never seen my screen saver look so crisp and beautiful!

JestaN00b

UPDATE (May 18) -- Just wanted to say that when I wrote the above, I was on my way to fly abroad and hadn't yet had the chance to test this card as thoroughly as I'd have liked (e.g. hadn't yet connected a second monitor, etc). It's running great with two DVI monitors attached... and for my needs, it's incredible. There was a PDF on the desktop of my old PPC Mini when I merged in my user data... I didn't recognize the name of it, so opened it up. Once I saw the PDF, I remembered that it was one that took my old system a couple of seconds to render the complex pages (loads of images, other graphics, layers, tables, etc). With the new card I can fly through even complicated docs like this at 10-20 pages/second or faster (not sure) and it looks like the pages are all rendering fully in that time! If you don't need a "gamers'" card, I'm sure you'll be very happy with something like this one.





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