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anothername

Graphics Cards for Macpro?

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Wanted to upgrade the graphics card in my Macpro, mostly to get better performance in the viewport in C4D.

 

Been calling around and was told that the Quadros and all Nvidia cards are discontinued for the Mac, and that the only option is the ATI Radeon 5870 or 5770.

 

Are there any other options are there literally only 2 possible graphics cards that can work in a Macpro now?

 

Not really interested in the Quadro anyways as once I'm spending that much would rather just invest in a new PC. Is the 5870 worth it? got a GeForce GT120 now.

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Here's another eBay store worth checking out:

http://stores.ebay.com/macvidcards

 

I purchased an NVIDIA GTX470 for my 2009 Mac Pro and it runs perfect, even in Lion. You do need to download CUDA drivers and install them along with editing an Adobe text file for CS6 CUDA support (which is super simple). Other than that, everything works like a dream.

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Had a gtx 285 for my mac pro then got a evga gtx 570. Just install the drivers and it works. Boot screen is black ('pc' cards don't have efi) which is why I left the stock gt120 in there so you can still select boot up partitions. Nvidia has cuda if you want to use AE/PP hardware acceleration.

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Ok this might be a dumb question but what drivers are you using for gtx 570 or gtx470? When I look at the NVIDIA drivers only see drivers for the 200 series and 8 series do these drivers just work for the other cards or are you getting 3rd party drivers from somehwere else?

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Ok this might be a dumb question but what drivers are you using for gtx 570 or gtx470? When I look at the NVIDIA drivers only see drivers for the 200 series and 8 series do these drivers just work for the other cards or are you getting 3rd party drivers from somehwere else?

http://www.nvidia.com/object/macosx-270.00.00f06-driver.html?ClickID=bmumuzydu1klzzez1vegqsmdumygyf1klgyg

 

Even though it's not included in the list of supported devices the gtx 570 works with that in Lion. Dunno bout the 4xx series. Browse around Netkas if you're interested in seeing if a specific gfx card will work in a Mac. This is the thread for the gtx 570 (above link was from page 2).

 

http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,1897.0.html

http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/board,6.0.html

Edited by superegophobia

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Thanks for the info. So picking up a GTX 570 later today, running 10.6.8 on a macpro 4,1 (2009) will report back how it all works.

Think the nvidia website says you need 10.7.4 to install the driver, that's what I'm currently running. You can see if it installs in 10.6.8 but I'm doubtful. There is also the newer gtx 6xx series supposedly less heat/better performance but I haven't really looked into Mac compatibility or anything.

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<div>

Think the nvidia website says you need 10.7.4 to install the driver, that's what I'm currently running. You can see if it installs in 10.6.8 but I'm doubtful
</div>

<div> </div>

<div>Site says drivers will work in 10.6.8 and they installed OK. Need to wait until work day is over to try actually putting the card in the machine and seeing if it works.</div>

<div> </div>

 

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Had a gtx 285 for my mac pro then got a evga gtx 570. Just install the drivers and it works. Boot screen is black ('pc' cards don't have efi) which is why I left the stock gt120 in there so you can still select boot up partitions. Nvidia has cuda if you want to use AE/PP hardware acceleration.

 

There are drivers in Lion that support the GTX470, no need to download from the website. The only thing I downloaded were the CUDA drivers.

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OK so finally had some downtime between projects to try and install the GTX 570. Only thing is I can't power it. It has two female six pin Pci express power cables but the power connectors on the mac pro board seem to be female as well. No problem I figure all I need is to get two six pin to six pin cables that are male on both ends...except nobody sells these called around to a bunch of computer stores and they said they don't have.

 

Can't seem to find them online either. What did those of you who have these GTX cards do to power them? It's driving me nuts that I can't use this card because of a 5$ cable.

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That seems odd, I have a MacPro 4,1 and the two power cables from the motherboard plugged directly into the 2 power slots on the gtx570, no converters needed. Seems the six pin is standard for all graphics cards (w/ the exception of some higher end graphics cards having 8 pin) so I don't see why yours would be a female plug from the MB. What MacPro version do you have?

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Hmmm... I also have a mapro 4.1 and the card I have Asus GTX 570. The card has an 8 pin female connector on it and comes with a cable that is 8 pin male on one end and then branches off to 2X6pin female on the other ends. My problem was that as far as I can see the PCI E power on the Macpro 4,1 is also female so needed 2X male to male 6 pin cables (which is what I ordered from OWC).

 

Do you remember what the connection was to your card, what kind of cable was provided?

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I originally had a GTX 285 in there so maybe I just left the 6pin male cable that I already had and simply swapped out the gfx card. The card itself takes 2 male 6pin and assumed the cable was built into the motherboard, maybe that wasn't the case and it was from my previous card.

 

Also a few things I learned from forums and other places:

- Leave the GT120 in there w/ one monitor hooked up if you have dual monitor setup. The 570 doesn't have EFI so screen will be blank if you want to boot into Boot Camp or other partitions

- Download 'OpenGL Extensions Viewer' from the Mac App store if you want raw OpenGL framerate benchmarks. Cinebench is heavily CPU dependant supposedly

- Get latest Nvidia drivers and also download latest CUDA drivers, currently 5.0.24 I think

- If you use Premiere you can enable CUDA support by Right Clicking on Premiere app/Show Package Contents/Contents/cuda_supported_cards.txt Open and add 'GeForce GTX 570' to the list. I think AE recognized it natively

Edited by superegophobia

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I originally had a GTX 285 in there so maybe I just left the 6pin male cable that I already had and simply swapped out the gfx card. The card itself takes 2 male 6pin and assumed the cable was built into the motherboard, maybe that wasn't the case and it was from my previous card.

 

Also a few things I learned from forums and other places:

- Leave the GT120 in there w/ one monitor hooked up if you have dual monitor setup. The 570 doesn't have EFI so screen will be blank if you want to boot into Boot Camp or other partitions

- Download 'OpenGL Extensions Viewer' from the Mac App store if you want raw OpenGL framerate benchmarks. Cinebench is heavily CPU dependant supposedly

- Get latest Nvidia drivers and also download latest CUDA drivers, currently 5.0.24 I think

- If you use Premiere you can enable CUDA support by Right Clicking on Premiere app/Show Package Contents/Contents/cuda_supported_cards.txt Open and add 'GeForce GTX 570' to the list. I think AE recognized it natively

 

Thanks for the tips especially about premiere other than C4D other main reason I wanted to upgrade was to start moving away from FCP and using Premierre. Great to know the card will actually work once those cables arrive!

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Question:

 

I'm thinking about getting a GTx580 to put in my 4,1 , but I'm a bit confused in regards to how to get this working as well as 'getting the right one'. I noticed when I searched on ebay that 1.5gb cards are ~$300, but then i see this seller 'macvidcards' who has the same cards for about double the price. Which then makes me wonder 'is there some physical altering that needs to occur to get it working?' Are there specific versions of the cards that will fit? I dont want to just buy and learn the hard way. As well, I'm searching till my eyes bleed on the proper info and i'm getting lost amongst all the collected internet opinions.. Therefore I come to you guys who I know will (or hope) give me proper info on helping me upgrade my video situation.

 

Sidenote: I currently have HD4870 only in my machine.

 

Anyhow. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated and congrats @anothername! :)

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I'm thinking about getting a GTx580 to put in my 4,1 , but I'm a bit confused in regards to how to get this working as well as 'getting the right one'. I noticed when I searched on ebay that 1.5gb cards are ~$300, but then i see this seller 'macvidcards' who has the same cards for about double the price. Which then makes me wonder 'is there some physical altering that needs to occur to get it working?' Are there specific versions of the cards that will fit? I dont want to just buy and learn the hard way. As well, I'm searching till my eyes bleed on the proper info and i'm getting lost amongst all the collected internet opinions.. Therefore I come to you guys who I know will (or hope) give me proper info on helping me upgrade my video situation.

 

The 5xx line works natively in Lion/Mountain Lion and there are unofficial drivers from Nvidia as well. I got my 570 from Fry's a while ago. Only thing you lose with any 'PC card', as mentioned, is EFI. Depends if you need it only for work or for gaming too but if you're looking in the $300 range the GTX 660 Ti gives good bang for the buck, generally better performance and lower power use. I believe it works natively in Mountain Lion as well but don't quote me on that.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-benchmark-review,3279.html

http://www.tonymacx86.com/148-nvidia-geforce-gtx-660-ti-launches-today.html

 

If you do end up going 580 I think that card needs dual 8 pin power so you'd need adapters or something, unlike the 570 and below and the midrange 6xx which is the Mac Pro's standard 6 pin.

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Thanks @superegophobia.

 

I'm primarily using it for work. Trying to keep my gaming off this system to aleviate potential distractions ;) . So which would you prefer for graphics work (ie: adobe/c4d workflow) staying below $500 that will work in conjunction with my current 4870? Or should I just replace the 4870 in lieu of this new card? Not sure if mixing cards would result in some odd system behaviour.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130687

 

This what you guys have?

 

*edit

Actually in short.. I'd like to spend <$400 (or a little above if necessary) to do work in premiere/afx/c4d.. Could careless about gaming performance.. I have 4,1 like you guys (although you guys have some differences so I dont know which i have until i crack open the case) that will work with my 4870 or again, just replace it.. So what do you recommend buying?

 

:)

Edited by Kastro

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A very interesting read. Scroll down to "What Video Card to Buy". Surprisingly because of the wider bandwidth on the 5xx series it seems like it performs the same or better than the 6xx when it comes to Adobe stuff. Guess having way more CUDA cores aren't as useful if you don't have the bandwidth.

http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/AfterEffects.htm

 

I have this model:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130620

 

The card you're looking at is similar in specs to mine, except that one is higher at 2560MB vs mine is only 1280MB. I think the reason I went with mine was because I didn't see OpenCL support on the 1579-AR which OSX seems to be pushing more than Windows. If you find that's just a typo or something and it does have OpenCL support (EVGA's website doesn't it on either card) than that might be a good choice as well.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006662&IsNodeId=1&Description=evga%20geforce%20gtx%20570&bop=And&CompareItemList=%2D1%7C14%2D130%2D613%5E14%2D130%2D613%2DTS%2C14%2D130%2D621%5E14%2D130%2D621%2DTS%2C14%2D130%2D687%5E14%2D130%2D687%2DTS%2C14%2D130%2D622%5E14%2D130%2D622%2DTS%2C14%2D130%2D620%5E14%2D130%2D620%2DTS

 

So I guess to sum it up based on that article if its primarily a work machine and you don't need gaming performance than the GTX 570 is still a solid buy. If you happened to want gaming on a budget w/ the occasional work from home situation then I'd go w/ the GTX 660 Ti.

 

I've never mixed Nvidia and AMD in the same system before so don't know about stability. But you'll definitely want a second card w/ EFI if you need to use Boot Camp or change the startup disk by holding Option at boot.

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A very interesting read. Scroll down to "What Video Card to Buy". Surprisingly because of the wider bandwidth on the 5xx series it seems like it performs the same or better than the 6xx when it comes to Adobe stuff. Guess having way more CUDA cores aren't as useful if you don't have the bandwidth.

http://www.studio1pr...fterEffects.htm

 

I have this model:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814130620

 

The card you're looking at is similar in specs to mine, except that one is higher at 2560MB vs mine is only 1280MB. I think the reason I went with mine was because I didn't see OpenCL support on the 1579-AR which OSX seems to be pushing more than Windows. If you find that's just a typo or something and it does have OpenCL support (EVGA's website doesn't it on either card) than that might be a good choice as well.

http://www.newegg.co...D130%2D620%2DTS

 

So I guess to sum it up based on that article if its primarily a work machine and you don't need gaming performance than the GTX 570 is still a solid buy. If you happened to want gaming on a budget w/ the occasional work from home situation then I'd go w/ the GTX 660 Ti.

 

I've never mixed Nvidia and AMD in the same system before so don't know about stability. But you'll definitely want a second card w/ EFI if you need to use Boot Camp or change the startup disk by holding Option at boot.

 

 

 

Thanks for the reply again. It looks like there is some finagling of configs to enable OpenCL on cards >2gb in osx. This guy is using the 2.5gb card and enables open cl.

 

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1433644

 

also this guy in the red forum has it working in osx as well(although using this 'cubix' thing which looks pretty damn interesting):

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?83291-GTX-570-still-good-option

 

Definitely considering the 2.5gb since its not that much more in price yet i'm getting an extra GB of ram. As well it appears that maybe mixing cards is fine : http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1323670 .. Couldn't find a whole lot on the card mixing, but worst case scenario I toss out the 512mb AMD and keep the 2.5gb nvidia.

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Finally got my power cables from OWC (were backordered) and installed Mountain Lion and latest NVIDIA drivers and all is working well with GTX 570 in Mac Pro 4,1.

 

Only downside so far is switching to the Lion calendar which really is a crime against design.

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