10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2018 8:31 PM by jfoiles

    Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?

    pp1995 Level 1

      Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?


      Looking to improve rendering times, export times and realtime playback.

        • 1. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
          RjL190365 Level 5

          Nothing that's currently available, I'm afraid. This is because your Mac Pro is now severely outdated (dating from early 2008), being based on a Xeon equivalent to the Core 2 Quad. And we all know that the Core 2 Quad is too slow to do much if anything at all whatsoever when attempting to run any newer versions of Premiere Pro—if that ancient Mac can even support the newer versions of OS-X that are definitely required to run the newer versions of Premiere Pro.

          • 2. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
            pp1995 Level 1

            Bummer--thanks for the feedback. Anyone else has hardware suggestions please let me know.


            The CPU is actually "2 x 3Ghz Quad-core Intel Xeon"


            It is running 10.11.6 and Premiere Pro CC 2017. Was just used to cut a primetime hour long show for a major cable network without too many hiccups. BUT...especially on color correction it is starting to seriously drag and lag.

            • 3. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
              RjL190365 Level 5

              Here's the deal:


              Those two quad-core Xeons are as old as the Yorkfield Core 2 Quad CPU that they're based on. And even two of those CPUs put together are still significantly weaker than a current-generation mainstream quad-core i7 CPU, even without overclocking the latter.


              And since relatively few rendering features use GPU acceleration anyway, this makes the CPU the primary limiting factor when it comes to rendering/exporting/playback performance. No GPU can meaningfully speed up the performance of a system that already has a weakling CPU to begin with.



              • 4. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
                RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                a faster gpu can help if performance takes a dive after adding gpu accelerated fx, like lumetri color. a gtx 960 4gb or gtx 1050 ti 4gb would be decent performance options for HD and entry 4k. the gtx 960 or 970 might be slightly better for OS compatibility as the gtx 1000 series mac driver was just released, but the gtx 900 series is older and might have to be purchased used.


                i'm not sure which cards would be best for compatibility with the mac pro 3,1 and the OS version you have, so you might want to check on mac specific forums for compatibility. i think all gtx 960's and 970's will require a pcie power cable or possibly two, but i think some of the gtx 1050 ti's do not. if your computer doesn't have a pcie power cable already, you would need to purchase one or look for a gtx 1050 ti that doesn't need one.

                • 5. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
                  pp1995 Level 1

                  Thanks Rj and Ronin;


                  I think my problem is a combination--performance is not fantastic at any point (which I guess is not fixable with this machine), but it really takes an unacceptable nose-dive once we start adding lumetri effects.


                  RoninEdits Neither of those GPU's are listed as compatible by Adobe for the Mac version of the software; I'm guessing that Adobe just does a poor job of updating this list and the GPU's will work fine? I was considering a GTX 770 as this was the card that was recommended by MacVid Cards for a 3,1 system....but when I checked the Adobe list, the card appeared in the PC side, but NOT the mac side.


                  I've never bought a GPU specifically with the intent of using it with Premiere, so I'm not sure how seriously to take Adobe's recommendations. Thanks, appreciate your thoughts!


                  I Want The Best Graphics Card for my Mac Pro, Where Do I Start? - MacVidCards.com


                  Nvidia GTX 770 2 GB and 4 GB


                  Adobe Premiere Pro System Requirements


                  Mac CUDA:

                  • GeForce GTX 675MX
                  • GeForce GTX 680
                  • GeForce GTX 680MX
                  • GeForce GT 750M
                  • GeForce GT 755M
                  • GeForce GTX 775M
                  • GeForce GTX 780M
                  • Quadro K5000
                  • 6. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
                    RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                    adobe hasn't updated their system requirements page, so it only lists old cards. however adobe has said any video card with 1gb of memory or more should work, and folks have been using newer cards fine.


                    i would stick with the gtx 900 or 1000 series vs the older gtx 700. the newer cards will have a longer lifespan before nvidia retires them for a forced upgrade to sell more cards. inventory on mid to high tier cards is currently low and often overpriced, so it might be difficult to find something new at a reasonable price other than the gtx 1050 ti. some gtx 1060 3gb cards are selling for ok prices near $220 and would be ok for HD as well, while the extra memory on the gtx 1060 6gb version would be better if attempting 4k. MacVideoCards also appears to be limited on inventory as several cards are listed out of stock.


                    as far as overall performance goes, using prores codec/media might help. if you end up with a more powerful video card like the gtx 970 or gtx 1060 then you could also try transcoding to cineform as its suppose to tap into the gpu to help with performance.

                    • 7. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
                      jarroda69270977 Level 1

                      The old mac pro 3,1 is highly upgradable. i am running yosemitie (on a SSD) and could run the latest OX if needed.

                      also i have 32 gb of ram and 8SSD.

                      • 8. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
                        jarroda69270977 Level 1

                        best thing you can do is

                        1)upgrade to SSD and run your OS off of it..

                        2)add maximum ram up to 32gb

                        3)run a AMD HD 5770 1gb or whatever higher graphics card the system will allow for. i think i read the GTX 780?


                        chack macsales.com for all those upgrades except the video card there is a page on everymac

                        • 9. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
                          naveenmedia Level 1

                          Old post but felt the need to chime in as I'm still using a Mac Pro 3,1 as my system and still love it though yes, it's showing it's age at times.


                          For running newer versions of OS X, it can go as high as El Capitan (10.11.6 on my system). I believe this is the latest OS it can run.


                          As to Premiere Pro, it runs fine for all HD purposes. Where it has trouble is 4K, particularly when you try to grade footage.


                          Here's a grading workaround: nest the 4K clips into an HD timeline (scaling the clips down to 50% before nesting). Then apply Lumetri. It was work in real time. Then copy and paste those grades onto the 4K clips.


                          I've had this system for almost 10 years now, putting it through some serious paces, and it still runs great (knock on wood). It can't do everything but still does quite a lot.

                          • 10. Re: Best GPU for upgrading 3,1 mac pro?
                            jfoiles Level 1

                            Good news!  I found a thread that explains how a little bit of light hacking on the logic board (changing some lines of code) and some heavier hacking on your video card (firmware flashing), you can essentially raise Apple's glass ceiling on these machines.

                            Mac Pro 3,1 and Metal? | MacRumors Forums