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NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 for Mac Pro

The 2009 Mac Pros don't have a great range of graphics cards to choose from. You can go for the cut-down GeForce GT 120 or the more advanced Radeon 4870, and that's it unless you plump for an older card (not to mention of course the fact that you must buy one card for every Mini DisplayPort monitor you own, which screws up FCP).

There's now another one to choose from - the NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800. It's incredibly powerful with 1.5 GB of memory, 192 CUDA parallel processing cores (!) and 76.8 GB/sec memory bandwidth. But its price tag matches its capabilities - $1799.

I would not actually recommend this for ProApp use, as the Quadros have not traditionally been optimized for Core Image operations (not to mention the small number of ProApps that utilize the GPU significantly) so a lot of that power goes to waste in Final Cut Studio. However, this card is often used for 3D modeling and visualization tasks.

Why was this not released with the 2009 Mac Pros? One explanation could be the fact it requires OS X 10.5.7 which has not been released yet. The card is scheduled to be released in May, which suggests 10.5.7 would also be released around that time too.

It is compatible with the 2008 and 2009 Mac Pros. Apple have not announced anything on their site so it remains to be seen if there will be a BTO option. Interestingly, NVIDIA's site only mentions Dual-Link DVI as a display option and does not mention Mini DisplayPort at all.
Posted by Jon Chappell on Apr 21 2009 to Apple, Hardware