15 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2011 2:17 PM by lasvideo

    Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?

    lasvideo Level 4

      Ive been thinking about replacing my ATI Radeon HD 3870  with the Nvidea Quadro 4000 and have seen rather mixed reviews. Ars Technica had good and bad to say . Some users complained of driver issues (Im on a early 2008 Mac & 10.6.7) and kernal panics. What is the experience of folks here with the card on a Mac?

        • 1. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          No personal experience, but I'd recommend approaching this purchase decision from the context of what it can do for your video editing workflow, and not a general overview of the card. Check out Scott Simmons' article on PVC about the Quadro 4000: NVIDIA’s Quadro 4000 for Mac, more affordable speed for the right application

           

          Obviously, your choices for the Mac are a bit more limited than for the PC, so it's more of a question, "Do I want it or not?"

          • 2. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
            lasvideo Level 4

            Thanks Colin. I just read that article earlier today and found myself still straddling the fence. $700 is a lot to spend if my work flow wouldnt benefit AND I end up having to deal with bugs or glitches.

            • 3. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
              jasonvp Level 3

              lasvideo wrote:

               

              Ive been thinking about replacing my ATI Radeon HD 3870 with the Nvidea Quadro 4000 and have seen rather mixed reviews. Ars Technica had good and bad to say . Some users complained of driver issues (Im on a early 2008 Mac & 10.6.7)

               

              I don't yet have any experience with the Quadro, and have been considering it myself.  However, one thing that's made me pause is: we're literally hours or days from OS X 10.7's release.  Before I make any hardware changes to my Mac, I'd like to get my hands on Lion.  As well as let nVidia get their hands on Lion (I'm sure they already have it) and get drivers released for it if necessary.

               

              Just some random thoughts.

               

              jas

              • 4. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                lasvideo Level 4

                Lion is not an issue for me since I wait a year until I adopt a brand new operating system. I get the feeling all the drivers are functional now for 10.6.7. Its the personal experiences with the card I am curious about.

                • 5. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                  jasonvp Level 3

                  lasvideo wrote:

                   

                  Lion is not an issue for me since I wait a year until I adopt a brand new operating system. I get the feeling all the drivers are functional now for 10.6.7.

                   

                  Sorry if I mispoke, but it was sort-of my point: it sounds a lot like things are going to be ironed out a lot for Lion with regard to video cards.  That's why I suggested waiting.  But, if you're on year-lag for OSs, then nevermind.

                   

                  jas

                  • 6. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                    Colin Brougham Level 6

                    Looking at it solely from a perspective of what the hardware-accelerated Mercury Playback Engine brings to the table, I'd say that $700 is a small investment given the benefits. To be fair, I plunked down $500 for a GTX480 that isn't--and won't be--officially supported in Premiere Pro. It still works, though. I'll say this, though: 95% of the issues that I've had with Premiere Pro CS5 and CS5.5 have been because of hardware MPE. I can crash CS5.5 HARD with 100% reproducibility, and it's because of hardware MPE. Fortunately, at present, I know to not taunt Premiere Pro in that regard And, beyond all that, Premiere Pro CS5.5 is rocking with hardware MPE. It's p-a-i-n-f-u-l whenever I have to do anything in software mode!

                     

                    I know there have been some issues, especially as of late, with the Q4000 and Mac; just last week, OS X 10.6.8 was causing the loss of hardware MPE. Nvidia responded quickly and as far as I'm aware, things are sailing smoothly again. With these sorts of things, its always a crapshoot. I agree that $700 ain't small potatoes, but it might be trivial in the long run if your workflow would benefit from the GPU acceleration.

                    • 7. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                      RDA972 Level 3

                      FWIW: make sure you test/use the card with CS5.5.

                      I am on a PC with a Quadro 5000 and the move from 5.0 to 5.5 yielded massive improvements in the CUDA acceleration department.

                      I recently tried to push the system to its limits but I stopped testing when I saw that I was still able to play back more than 100 tracks of Full HD HDCAM EX material at full resolution with CUDA-accelerated effects in REAL TIME using nested sequences. Quite an impressive performance which prompted a friend of mine on a new 8-core Macpro who witnessed the feat to order the Quadro 4000. I'll let you know how it performs on his machine as soon as it arrives.

                      • 9. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                        RDA972 Level 3

                        My pleasure.

                        Welcome aboard the Premiere Pro train.

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 10. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                          Keith Moreau Level 1

                          I have a similar Mac Pro as you and a Quadro 4000 with a 30" and 21" monitor attached to it. It is worth it for me for the CUDA enabled effects. I think it also helps with rendering those effects as well. I tend to choose CUDA effects now (not all effects are Cuda enabled) because it makes them play back real time, which is great.

                           

                          I am on Mac OS 10.6.8, but was running the Quadro 4000 with previous 10.6.6 and 10.6.7 and it was pretty stable. Once in a while I'll get some strange video behavior, and I'll reboot and it goes away. I had a Quadro 4800 as well, but I returned it as I couldn't justify the $15000 price tag. Then I got a GTX285(?) which was another Mac compatible card and used that for a while, but it has CUDA track limitations (3 at a time max -artificially imposed by Adobe and Nvidia for marketing/business reasons) and seemed less stable than the 4800. When the 4000 was announced I got it and sold my GTX285, and I'm happy with it.

                           

                          What I'm not all that happy with is are some of the performance bugs in Premiere Pro that seem to affect just the Mac platform, but hopefully Adobe is working on this now that they're probably getting a flood of new Mac converts.

                           

                          I think having real time CUDA effects is worth it. Good luck.

                          • 11. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                            lasvideo Level 4

                            Thank you Keith.So you are driving 2 monitors with the 4000. I have 2 27" Apple HD cinema displays but I saw only one of the correct connections (DVI I think) on the back of the card. How do you deal with that situation?

                            • 12. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                              Keith Moreau Level 1

                              Nvidia includes an adapter that converts the other strange video port on the 4000 into a DVI, so you can use 2 DVI monitors, your 2 x 27" should work. I believe I had the same exact ATI card as well before I replaced it with the NVidia cards, that I believe had a displayport and DVI? So it's a similar situation.

                              • 13. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                                lasvideo Level 4

                                Thanks, thats very good to know. Im holding off a bit before upgrading until I get a better sense of what I will gain. From reading Adobe reports Im not convinced its going to change alot since my priority is to use the Kona 3 for tape capture when necessary,  client screening and QC on my engineering monitor. I do appreciate the info.

                                • 14. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                                  WKMG Engineering

                                  I spec'ed 5 MacPro's, all with 4000s to originally use Final Cut Studio 3/FCP7, and also put CS5.5 Production Premium on for PS and AE. After Apple decided to change FCP to a "non-professional" version, I decided to look at PPro on the same boxes. I'm still testing workflows and configurations, but what I've found is the 4000 speeds up exports dramatically. I had a 1 minute XDCAM HD sequence that had 6 layers of XDCAM 422HD. With CPU-only Mercury engine, it took 15 min to export an H.264, 20Mb/s file. With Hardware assisted (Quadro) Mercury engine, the same export took 2 1/2 min. A huge difference for me. Time is valuble when trying to make air deadlines.

                                   

                                  What has been slightly disappointing is the real-time playback power. With the same sequence, and 5 of the 6 layers set for 30% opacity, the sequence will play for 5-10 seconds before stuttering in the monitor, set for 1/2 resolution, one field only. This is playing media from a 4Gb fibre NAS.

                                   

                                  On the bench though, I was playing back 8 layers of resized HD with a Matrox MXO2 mini feeding a 1920x1200 Dell U2410. Fantastic performance. The media was just on the system drive.

                                   

                                  I may have 2 bottlenecks - NASstorage speed (originally spec'ed for 25 streams SD across 7 editors (now 10), and non-Matrox sequence settings. I've yet to reinstall the MXO2 drivers. That's for tomorrow,

                                   

                                  One caveat: be careful with plug-ins that use GPU-CUDA processing (such as GenArts Sapphire). The applications start to fight over who has priority over the GPU. GenArts recommended to turn off GPU processing to stop the freezes and crashes.

                                  • 15. Re: Switching from ATI 3870 to Nvidea Quadro 4000 (Mac)?
                                    lasvideo Level 4

                                    Helpful info. I ordered it today. I feel confindent it will fit my workflow since at MOST I  have 2 video tracks. For anything more I always use After Effects. So I wont be challenging the MPE with 9 way split screens with animationg text  ;-)