18 Replies Latest reply on Oct 2, 2012 9:49 PM by Rallymax-forum

    Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.

    Stephen Barrante Level 1

      I'm sure that I am not the only one who was taken back by the underwhelming MacPro "upgrade" yesterday. I have been holding out well over a year for an updated to my current MacPro 1,1, and I'm not sure I can wait much longer...

       

      So, I'm trying to figure out the best solution that will hold me over. I am a Premiere Pro and After Effects power user, and have been excited about the CUDA capabilities and the amazing performance boost it will give. I figured when I upgraded, I would make sure I have a card in the machine that supports that.

       

      I recently visited both "tech-spec" pages for Premiere and After Effects and they still list the same 4 nVidia GPUs supported on the mac. In fact, it looks like when AE and PP CS6 were released, they just changed the header. This hasn't changed in a long while.

       

      1. GeForce GTX 285
      2. Quadro CX
      3. Quadro FX 4800
      4. Quadro 4000

       

      So here lies the frustration.

       

      If I run out and get either a refurb of the 2010 MacPros, or one of the "new" MacPro towers running the ATI cards, I will still have to go out and replaced the video cards with one of the listed above. To make matters worse, the one reasonably priced card (GTX 285) is almost impossible to find. Not the least of which, it's already several years old.

       

      I'm looking for any suggestions people might have, or workarounds, solutions...etc. I've considered picking up one of new Quad-Core's and using the price difference to kick up the video card. I guess I can sell the OEM one on eBay.

       

      Unless someone can convince me that an i7 MacBookPro, and it's new nVideo card will do what I want to do, I'm not sure what other choices I have.

       

      At this point anything will be a ridiculous upgrade from what I currently have. But for someone who wants to get a few years out of this investment, I'd hate to start off at a disadvantage.

       

      I welcome all your thoughts and thank you in advance.

       

      Best

      Stephen

        • 1. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
          jasonvp Level 3

          Stephen Barrante wrote:

           

          To make matters worse, the one reasonably priced card (GTX 285) is almost impossible to find. Not the least of which, it's already several years old.

          Purchasing a GTX285, even if you find it, would be a fairly foolish thing to do.  There are substantially better choices available to those with a bit of patience and know-how.

           

          A vendor on the MacRumors forum that goes by the name "MacVidCards" has cracked the process of turning a PC-based nVidia card into something that'll boot and work fine in a Mac Pro.  He charges a measely $100 for the work, which entails swapping some of the chips.  What you get in return is the likes of a GTX570 (which I have) that will work fine in a Pro, assuming you have nVidia's most recent drivers installed on Lion.

           

          A quick text file edit, and Premiere Pro will recognize and use the card without any issues.  I dropped my exporting time almost in half when I got rid of the Quadro 4k and replaced it with the GTX570.  It made a huge difference.

           

          I don't think this will work in your 1,1 because, as I understand it, the 1,1s don't have PCI-E slots?  But if you buy a refurb'ed 5,1, you'll have the right slots and power ports already there (you might need an extra power cable).

           

          jas

          • 2. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
            Stephen Barrante Level 1

            Thanks Jason.

             

            I don't think this will work in your 1,1 because, as I understand it, the 1,1s don't have PCI-E slots?  But if you buy a refurb'ed 5,1, you'll have the right slots and power ports already there (you might need an extra power cable).

             

            You are correct. Which has been unfortuante because I would have simply upgraded the card a long time ago.

             

            A vendor on the MacRumors forum that goes by the name "MacVidCards" has cracked the process of turning a PC-based nVidia card into something that'll boot and work fine in a Mac Pro. 

             

            I guess I've been just gun-shy about throwing $500 down on a card and having some immediately hack it. But, I completely hear what you are saying, there are so many other options in terms of cards if you go that route. It's possible I might have to seriously consider this.

             

            I'm still blown away that Apple didn't even put a newer video card in the latest towers. But, that's what I've come to expect from my love/hate relationship with them.

            • 3. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
              jasonvp Level 3

              Stephen Barrante wrote:

               

              I guess I've been just gun-shy about throwing $500 down on a card and having some immediately hack it. But, I completely hear what you are saying, there are so many other options in terms of cards if you go that route. It's possible I might have to seriously consider this.

               

              The EVGA 2.5G GTX570 is $329 at NewEgg at this point.  It's the most powerful card we can currently run in our Mac Pros without adding an extra power supply.  The GTX580 will also work, but it has a 6-pin and 8-pin power requirement, something the existing Mac Pro can't quite deal with.  The GTX680 has 2 6-pin ins, but the nVidia driver hasn't been updated to support it yet.

               

              I'm still blown away that Apple didn't even put a newer video card in the latest towers. But, that's what I've come to expect from my love/hate relationship with them.

              They're not really in position to do much more in the way of hardware validation for the existing Pros, so don't expect to see any new video cards added.  Like... ever.  The current rumor is that the Pros won't be re-done until sometime next year, likely when the Ivy Bridge Xeons are available.  Until then, folks are going to have to make do with what little Apple is providing, and perhaps perform their own mods like I did.

               

              jas

              • 4. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                Jeff Bellune Level 5

                [Moved to Hardware Forum]

                • 5. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                  Stephen Barrante Level 1

                  Thanks, I was trying to find the appropriate place to drop this. I appreciate you pointing out the MacVidCards vendor. I've looked him up on eBay and for just a few $ more he has cards already done and ready to ship.

                  • 6. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                    Stephen Barrante Level 1

                    Silly question, but does the GTX570 support all the native Apple rendering, like Quartz etc...

                    • 7. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                      jasonvp Level 3

                      Stephen Barrante wrote:

                       

                      Silly question, but does the GTX570 support all the native Apple rendering, like Quartz etc...

                      I haven't had any problems with it.

                      • 8. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                        rendernyc Level 1

                        i installed the same card in my macpro yesterday but am not sure if something is wrong with the card

                        i pulled my q4000 and isntalled the GTX 570 2.5GB

                        GPU sniffer doesnt see it. system profiler just sees a display card in the slot but nothing else

                         

                        i edited the raytrace file for AE but it doesnt see it either, nor should it if the GPU sniffer doesnt

                         

                        i also have 4 drives in my macpro 3,1 so not sure if maybe its a power issue or i got a bum card... any idea?

                        • 9. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                          Stephen Barrante Level 1

                          @dannyp

                           

                          I'm new to this (as you can see in the post), but I have a card on order and will be going through the process shortly. I know that you have to download and install some drivers and an OpenCl fix. You can get that here http://bit.ly/MIXnsP - just scroll down the page.

                           

                          I assume you are running the latest version of Lion as well.

                           

                          Could be a power issue, I know you don't need another power supply, but it does come with 2 Power cables, so it's possible you need to plug into another AUX jack in the machine?

                          • 10. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                            jasonvp Level 3

                            dannyp wrote:

                             

                            i installed the same card in my macpro yesterday but am not sure if something is wrong with the card

                            i pulled my q4000 and isntalled the GTX 570 2.5GB

                            GPU sniffer doesnt see it. system profiler just sees a display card in the slot but nothing else

                             

                            Does the 3,1 have sockets for 2 power connectors for video cards, or only one?  You need to make sure both sockets on the card are connected to a power source.

                             

                            Also: you MUST upgrade the Lion video drivers to the ones provided by nVidia.  The stock Apple drivers won't work with this card.

                             

                            jas

                            • 11. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                              DavidNDobson Level 1

                              I just edietd 6 30  minute shows on an Asus G74S Laptop that included AE dynamically linked comps and is all DSLR HD footage.  It comes with an nVidia GTX560 card that can be added to the text file list that makes it CUDA capable.

                              But it's not a Mac ....

                              • 12. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                                LisaZuniga

                                Please help

                                 

                                I bought an EVGA nVidia GTX560 2GB (the PC version) card from NewEgg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130662, by mistake for my 3, 1 Mac Pro, and ofcourse was sorely disappointed when I realized it was not mac compatible.  So I'm stuck with this card because I cannot afford the upgrade (hence I am in this forum). 

                                 

                                Does this mean that I have to send it out to get hacked at an extra $100, and then to install it with the rest of the processes involved, or can I simply upgrade my OS (snow leopard) to Mountain Lion (or is it Lion?) and expect the card to work just fine without the extra $100 hack?  Confused.

                                 

                                I've read the threads and wish I was more tech savvy, but I get lost somewhere in between and I need to know the break down in steps for my personal setup....before I go out and just get a refund and purchase the official Mac version ;-(

                                 

                                Sorry for being so long-winded, just wanted to be clear with the facts.

                                • 13. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                                  LisaZuniga Level 1

                                  Please help

                                   

                                  I bought an EVGA nVidia GTX560 2GB (the PC version) card from NewEgg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130662, by mistake for my 3, 1 Mac Pro, and ofcourse was sorely disappointed when I realized it was not mac compatible.  So I'm stuck with this card because I cannot afford the upgrade (hence I am in this forum). 

                                   

                                  Does this mean that I have to send it out to get hacked at an extra $100, and then to install it with the rest of the processes involved, or can I simply upgrade my OS (snow leopard) to Mountain Lion (or is it Lion?) and expect the card to work just fine without the extra $100 hack?  Confused.

                                   

                                  I've read the threads and wish I was more tech savvy, but I get lost somewhere in between and I need to know the break down in steps for my personal setup....before I go out and just get a refund and purchase the official Mac version ;-(

                                   

                                  Sorry for being so long-winded, just wanted to be clear with the facts.

                                  • 14. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                                    Scott Chichelli Level 3

                                    you need to buy the mac only version sorry..

                                     

                                    any relation to Mike Zuniga? in TX?

                                     

                                    Scott

                                    ADK

                                    • 15. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                                      jasonvp Level 3

                                      Lisa -

                                      LisaZuniga wrote:

                                       

                                      I bought an EVGA nVidia GTX560 2GB (the PC version) card from NewEgg by mistake for my 3, 1 Mac Pro, and ofcourse was sorely disappointed when I realized it was not mac compatible.  So I'm stuck with this card because I cannot afford the upgrade (hence I am in this forum).

                                      All isn't quite lost.  OS X will recognize your new nVidia card just fine, but you won't see the grey "Apple" screen when the machine first boots.  It means you won't be able to force it to boot off the DVD, or off a different drive, etc.  But, assuming you have Lion (or better yet, Mountain Lion) installed, you'll eventually get an image on your screen.

                                       

                                      Do you know what video card is currently in your machine?  Is it the low-end nVidia card?  If so, you can leave it in the machine and add your new card to another slot, because the OEM card doesn't take any extra power.

                                       

                                      Ultimately, the better solution is to contact MacVidCards on the MacRumor forums site and have him flash your card so that it supports the Mac's EFI natively.  But it's not absolutely required.

                                       

                                      jas

                                      • 16. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                                        LisaZuniga Level 1

                                        Hi again,

                                         

                                        I have the 8800gt 512mb currently installed, and ofcourse it doesnt allow me to use Mercury on Adobe premiere pro very well. 

                                         

                                        Does the 8800gt have to be on the bottom or top slot, or does that even matter?

                                         

                                        I'm trying to avoid any extra costs right now, so the extra flashing would be a pain, although isn't it necessary since the firmware doesnt have the EFI addition...or is the lack of a boot screen just the side effect of no EFI addition?

                                         

                                        I'll check out MacVidCards if I have to.

                                         

                                        Thanks - Lisa

                                        • 17. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                                          LisaZuniga Level 1

                                          I'm gonna try to work it out with a mountain lion upgrade and installing the EVGA nVidia gtx560 card into the slot on top of the slot occupied by my nVidia 8800gt and see if that works....cause I'm desperate.

                                           

                                          I'll post my results as soon as I can.

                                           

                                          Oh, and no relation to Mike Zuniga in TX - atleast as far as I know LOL

                                           

                                          Thanks,

                                           

                                          Lisa Zuniga

                                          • 18. Re: Upgrading MacPro and nVIDIA CUDA cards.
                                            Rallymax-forum Level 3

                                            I have a MacPro 3,1 and it has an ATI card in it.

                                            I run OS X with a virtual machine (using Parallels) of Windows 8.

                                            I also bootcamp the box to Windows 7.

                                             

                                            I would like to have CUDA working on the OS X and the bootcamp'ed Win7.

                                             

                                            If I add a (PC) nVidia GTS250 I have lying around will it work with both OS X and Win7 (bootcamped)?

                                             

                                            From all the posts it seems as though if you don't have a 64bit EFI flashed card you don't get the boot screen... but if I leave the ATI in there as my primary monitor it wouldn't matter.

                                             

                                            ... or is it a BAADDD idea to mix ATI and nVidia cards?

                                             

                                            If the latter, I'll get one of the flashed cards that the eBay seller MacVideoCards sells.

                                             

                                            thanks for insight.

                                             

                                            Rallymax