2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 26, 2013 6:34 PM by Lucid_Pictures

    Would a Mac-ready GPU work in a PC?

    Lucid_Pictures

      I've been doing a lot of reading on getting the right graphics card for my set up and I can't get a fix on this question: Could I use a Mac-ready GPU in a PC?  (And if so, are any mods necessary?)

       

      I have a Mid-2010 Mac Pro (8-core) that currently has a stock Radeon HD 5770.  I mostly edit video for a living and I've somehow gotten by with that card alone.  But it's time for an upgrade and all reasearch points to the Nvidia GTX 680 (for Mac). 

       

      I understand you can flash a card to be EFI compatible, but there is little to no discussion about going in the other direction.  Why would I even bother?  Because it looks like Apple is abandoning the "Pro" line up as the 2013 Mac Pro is not meant to be upgradeable like previous versions.  And generally speaking, I'm feeling increasingly locked in to whatever Apple wants me to do next.  (No hate for Apple here, but I'm just keeping an eye out for the future.)

       

      The only indication I've found online is The Golden Guide to Flashing Graphics Cards  (I can't seem to insert the link but you can Google it easily).  It is a general but still thorough breakdown of how/why cards are flashed in the first place.  And since EFI is a "successor" to BIOS, the guide explicitly states that Mac-ready GPUs work fine in a PC.  It's going from PC to Mac that is the problem.

       

      I know it's explicitly talking about booting up in one OS vs another, but is this generally true?

       

      I also suspect that there's no way of telling what mods I'd need until I know what my future set up would be.  (I have no idea what that set up would be, btw.)

       

      Right now it seems that it wouldn't matter which card I pick because one way or another it has to be Mac ready.  Any insight would be appreciated, though.  Thanks!

       

      To be thorough:  I'm currently running CS6 and most of my work is in Premiere Pro where I need to do rdiciulous amounts of Color Correction, blurring, scaling and more Warp Stabilizing than should be necessary.  The GTX-680 seems like the right card.

        • 1. Re: Would a Mac-ready GPU work in a PC?
          Lucid_Pictures Level 1

          I thought I left something out...

           

          EVGA's GTX 680 for Mac has a reduced power need of only 195W versus the original's 550W.  Would this be a benefit or a hindrance in a PC?

           

          And the Mac version only supports PCIe 2.0.  I imagine I would be limited to that through-put on a PC that supports PCIe 3.0.

           

          The power usage I'm genuinely curious about.  The PCI limitation (unless I'm missing something) I'm not hugely worried about.

           

          Thanks!

          • 2. Re: Would a Mac-ready GPU work in a PC?
            Lucid_Pictures Level 1

            And I have the answers, according to a rep for EVGA, maker of the GTX 680 for Mac:

             

            In response to my initial question: The 680 Mac card will work in Windows in addition to the Mac OS.

             

            In response to my questions about the power supply and the PCIe slots:

             

            There are no issues when using the card in a PC, you would connect it just like you would normally. The card would operate as normal since the power in a PC is directly given to the graphics card as opposed as received through the motherboard for a MAC.

             

            The card will work in PCI-e 2.0 and 3.0 slots. 

             

            It's not the most thorough response (as I asked if the Mac version would do the same job but with less overhead as the original and what through-put I'd get from the PCI slots) but they have confirmed twice that the card works just fine.  So, apparently, when you pay the extra money for a Mac-ready card, you're also paying for backwards compatibility.  Maybe that's a bit of a broad generalization, but it's true in this case.