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I saw this question, but it seems to be directed toward Windows. What are some Mac demo programs that will really push a video card to it's limits?

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3 Answers 3

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Benchmarking applications.

1. XBench, and a reference list for comparison.

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2. Maxon Cinebanch and reference list.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real-world circumstances.

3. Football Manager 2009 Game Demo.
You will find a lot of interesting demo downloads at the Apple site.

4. If you have iTunes, the visualization modes would be good too.


An interesting story: An Incredible Mac Pro Demo: Takes Breath Away

One measure of the Mac is how many trailers it can play at once without any one of them stuttering. When I was using a dual processor 800 MHz Mac Pro G4, the best I could do was about seven or maybe eight simultaneous trailers. It's been awhile since I did that demo, so I decided to revisit with a Mac Pro, Nehalem (March 2009), quad core, with 3GB of RAM, standard video card (NVIDIA GT120) and two displays attached.

Has a youtube link to a demo with 21 standard definition videos running at the same time.


The Spore site has Mac Trial demos for download.

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Nowadays, to "push a video card to it's [sic] limits" has two different meanings.

  1. 3D-capabilities showcase
  2. GPU processing showcase

For 3D-capabilities showcase, just grab the latest, bestest game demo. For now, I believe Call of Duty 4 will stress most machines. Even better, hook up a large external monitor and run it at max resolution.

For GPU processing showcase, I do not know of any program that taps on the new OpenCL APIs as of now, though you might want to give Quicktime X a shot at movie conversion. Rendering a movie with additional GPU processing on a Mac should speed up tremendously.

This said, these two will truly push the video card to its limits.

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ATI has some Mac demos.

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