Yesterday AMD announced a new graphics card, the ATI Radeon HD 3870, which they say they expect to ship by the end of June.
For anyone who has bought a new Mac Pro recently and has been trying to optimize its performance, this comes as potentially very good news. The current upgrade that Apple sells, the GeForce 8800 GT, has not lived up to its performance potential, causing not a small bit of frustration for Motion users. As many of you know, Motion depends heavily on the GPU, rather then the CPU, for its real-time playback capability.
Whether this new ATI card lives up to the press release time will tell, but the stats are impressive: 512MB of 256-bit GDDR4 frame buffer memory and 320 stream processors. It has two dual-link DVI interfaces, so you could drive 2 30″ monitors (although that does split your VRAM and impacts Motion’s performance).
It supports PCI Express 2.0 AND is backwards compatible with the PCI Express architecture that you may have if bought your Mac Pro before this year.
Oh, and the best news? It’s slated to cost $219 – well under the $279 cost of the 8800.
Check out more information on this card at barefeats.com – we’ll all be keeping a close eye on this one!