8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 14, 2013 6:51 PM by wfmc staffer

    Mac Pro Graphics card

    curbsydeproductions

      Hi all,

       

      I'm looking at updating the stock graphics card in my 2009 Mac Pro.  2 x 2.26 quad core.  I currently have the NVIDIA GT120 with 512mb of RAM.  I've been reading about the cards from Macvidguy on Ebay.  Is this the best bang for the buck solution?  Also will this help my rendering speed by enabling CUDA support?  Just trying to see what my best upgrade option is.

       

      Thanks in advance

        • 1. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
          wfmc staffer Level 2

          Well, currently you could look at a Quadro card($) or buy a PC with a GTX card.

           

          I think that there was a GTX285 for Mac, that may be CS 5&6 approved. Good Luck finding one.

          • 2. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
            Jeff Bellune Level 5

            [moved to hardware forum]

            • 3. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
              jasonvp Level 3

              curbsydeproductions wrote:

               

              I've been reading about the cards from Macvidguy on Ebay.  Is this the best bang for the buck solution?  Also will this help my rendering speed by enabling CUDA support?

              I have one of Dave's nVidia GTX570s in my Mac Pro, and it's helped enormously.  However, you have an advantage I didn't: you have one of the impossible-to-find nVidia GT120s.  Since it's powered from the PCI bus, you still have both of the motherboard power plugs available for another video card.  Meaning you could keep the GT120 in, and install a normal PC-based nVidia card.  The GT120 will provide the EFI boot screen for you, and then once the OS boots and the drivers load, you'll have full access to the processing power of the PC card.

               

              Dave's research has led him to the conclusion that the 500-series nVidias are better than the new 600-series for CUDA processing.  For gaming specifically, the 600-series cards destroy their predecessors.  But for parallel number crunching, stick with the 500s.  If you can find a PC-based 570 with 2 6-pin power connectors, that'll be your best bet.  Just bear in mind that the OS X nVidia driver only enables 2 of the 4 output ports on the nVidia card.  So you'll only be able to drive 2 panels from it.

               

              Good luck!

               

              jas

              • 4. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
                Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                With a new PPBM benchmark I have found that for Premiere on a PC that the 600 series is about 10% faster than the 500 series and the major advantage is the much lower power.  My 680 has only two six pin connectors where the 580 one six and one eight pin connector.

                • 5. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
                  curbsydeproductions Level 1

                  So I can use a card like this right off the shelf then in conjunction with the GT120.

                   

                  http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7218672&csid=_6 1

                  • 6. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
                    jasonvp Level 3

                    curbsydeproductions wrote:

                     

                    So I can use a card like this right off the shelf then in conjunction with the GT120.

                    Assuming it has 2x6-pin power connectors and not 1x6 and 1x8, yes, you can.  I'd try to find a GTX570 with a higher amount of RAM though.  They're out there.

                     

                    jas

                    • 7. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
                      wfmc staffer Level 2

                      So do you know what customizations have been made to for the GTX cards to work with Mac Pros?

                      • 8. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
                        jasonvp Level 3

                        wfmc staffer wrote:

                         

                        So do you know what customizations have been made to for the GTX cards to work with Mac Pros?

                        Do you mean the ones that Dave (MacVidCards) sells?  He reflashes them so that they recognize and respond to the Mac's EFI as well as a PC's BIOS.  The basic advantage this gives over a standard, unflashed PC card is that the grey Apple boot screen will show.  Without the EFI flash, that screen won't show up.  It might not seem like a big deal, but if you want to boot from a different hard disk, or netboot and re-install, or boot in single user mode, or... you'll need that Apple boot screen.

                         

                        No one's cracked the 600-series cards yet, so if you buy a GTX600-series card, you won't be able to see the Apple screen.  The very latest OS X has drivers for them, so once the OS boots, it'll display properly.  But without EFI, you'll miss out on the boot screen.

                         

                        jas

                        • 9. Re: Mac Pro Graphics card
                          wfmc staffer Level 2

                          Thanks. I had assumed that there might be physical alterations as well. We have a 2011 Mac Pro at work that is just sucking up space, I never knew about this after market option for gtx cards on mac towers.