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Old 07-22-2009, 02:48 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Default EVGA's GTX 285 for Mac Given a Test

From our front-page news:
During our meeting with EVGA at last month's Computex, one product on display that really caught my eye was a GTX 285. Of course, since that particular model had been available for three months at that point, it wasn't the card itself that was impressive, but rather the subtle "Mac Edition" denotation on the card's face. Finally, I thought, a high-end graphics card for the Mac that wasn't designed for workstation use!

If there's one person concerned with Mac performance nowadays, it would have to be Anand, so it's no surprise that he wasted no time in getting one of these into his lab to see what it took to upgrade his brand-new Mac Pro. Believe it or not, upgrading such a machine isn't the same as upgrading a PC. Rather than installing the card and then the driver, it's vice versa on the Mac.

There's also a unique power setup, but I'll leave that to the article to tackle. Not surprisingly, there's little reason right now to have such a fast GPU for Mac OS X (gaming under Windows through Bootcamp, however, is a good reason), unless you have really specific needs, so what it really comes down to is the amount of GPU memory available. Believe it or not, a web browser at 2560x1600 takes up about 7MB of your GPU's memory, and get this... a 12 megapixel JPEG in Photoshop (thanks to the OpenGL feature) can take up over 50MB! Benefits of having 1GB of on-board memory becomes a little clearer.

One fun piece of information I walked away with from the aforementioned EVGA meeting was the fact that the card wasn't going to cost that much more than the PC version. Well, apparently thing's have changed, because as it stands, the Mac version sells for $449 on all e-tailers I've checked, while the PC version sells for $345. On the PC side, there's even a version with a slightly slower memory bus, and that sells for $305. For a ~$105 premium, they could have slapped 2GB on there. At least that would have given people the illusion that it wasn't overpriced!

The other thing Id like to see is EVGA work to break down the ridiculous pricing on these things. A $100 price premium for two cables, different packaging and an EFI compliant ROM is ridiculous. Unfortunately that seems to be what the Apple user has to live with. EVGAs pricing isnt as bad as it could be (remember the $399 X1900 XT?) and from talking with EVGA, apparently they are also working to drive prices down. However if you take into account the fact that two PCIe power cables will cost you $60 and EVGA bundles them for free, the price premium ends up a more manageable $40.

Source: AnandTech
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