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Archive for August 14, 2008

Hackintosh video card upgrades

August 14, 2008 7 comments

Things aren’t looking too good at the moment for those wanting a reasonable priced video card to use with a hackintosh and Windows. My system has an Nvidia 7300GT that works well with Mac OS 10.5.4, and performs ok under Windows XP. I only really use Windows for games, and have recently been playing through Half Life 2 again. I tried using Crossover Games to install it on OSX but the performance was choppy, so I’m rebooting into Windows whenever I want to play. The original game is fine at 1680×1050, and Episode 1 ran just as well. Episode 2 is the stumbling block, with a big drop in smoothness unless the video options are turned all the way down or resolution dropped. Episode 3 doesn’t have a release date yet but is sure to up the hardware requirements even more.

So what are the upgrade options? The Nvidia 9600GT is unsupported and doesn’t appear to be working yet, and neither are the newer 260 and 280. There are several options lower in the range, but how much of an improvement these would give is debatable. The best option from Nvidia looks to still be an 8800GT. On the ATI side the latest 4850/4870 are reported as working, as are the 3850/3870 that preceded them. Aria have a 3870 512Mb for £82.19 and a  4850 512Mb for £123.26. The problem here is going to be noise. My current Sparkle 7300GT is passively cooled so is silent. Looks like much research ahead, just as soon as Insanelymac starts working again.