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Old Dec 31, 2012, 03:30 PM   #1
ghostchild
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Graphics Card Upgrade

Hey guys I currently have a Mac Pro with a ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB graphics and I want to upgrade it. Any idea what card I should go with? I am a photographer so graphics performance is very important to me. Also is upgrading a graphics card just plug and play? My current configs are:

2010 build
3.20GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
24gb Ram


Thanks.
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2010 3.2GHz Mac Pro: ATI 5870, 1TB + 500GB, 24GB Transintl Ram, SSD (pending) for photography, videography and entertainment
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 04:33 PM   #2
ashman70
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Why do you want to upgrade it? What more from a video card are you looking for? What is your budget
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 02:33 AM   #3
DanielCoffey
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Read the big sticky post at the top of the forum...
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:12 PM   #4
Loa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostchild View Post
I am a photographer so graphics performance is very important to me.
In what way?

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Old Jan 1, 2013, 12:26 PM   #5
violst
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The 5870 is a very capable card, more then enough to run photoshop tasks.

If you do a lot of 3D work then a card with very good open GL support would be an improvement, or if you do motion/video work then a card with Cuda support would also be an improvement.

You don't have many out of the box options but the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 could be an option but I don't think you will see that big of an improvement over the 5870, also you just missed a sale on that card.

People have started to put off the self PC GPU's in their mac pros but there is always some tinkering that goes along with that.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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There was no tinkering at all when I replaced the GTX285 in my Mac Pro with an MSI GTX570. It just works. I no longer have a grey spinning wheel boot screen but I have an SSD it boots very quickly anyway so you don't really notice. My new card was far cheaper than a Quadro 4000 & I believe more powerful for my uses (Premiere Pro). CUDA performance is 2X that of a GTX285 & OpenCL is 3X better.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 05:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by violst View Post
People have started to put off the self PC GPU's in their mac pros but there is always some tinkering that goes along with that.
You mean tinkering such as putting it in and it works out of the box? Any Nvidia card from 9000 series to newer works out of the box with 10.8+. For 10.7 you have to go to the trouble of installing a drive (which is basically about 3 clicks of the mouse).

Yeah I have two Nvidia PC cards in my Mac Pro with no issues. The only loss is the initial boot screen which I keep my old 7300GT just in case.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 05:22 PM   #8
All Taken
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Originally Posted by paulrbeers View Post
You mean tinkering such as putting it in and it works out of the box? Any Nvidia card from 9000 series to newer works out of the box with 10.8+. For 10.7 you have to go to the trouble of installing a drive (which is basically about 3 clicks of the mouse).

Yeah I have two Nvidia PC cards in my Mac Pro with no issues. The only loss is the initial boot screen which I keep my old 7300GT just in case.
Drivers? OS X native for the 6XX series for instance needs the Nvidia ones for performance. HDMI sound modification on some cards.

Anything over 2GB on the GPU side needs modification for OpenCL compatibility. 10.8.3 fixes this but it's still something to consider.

I run a GTX 680 and love it but it's not always as simple as plugging it in and go.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 06:28 PM   #9
violst
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Yes tinkering.

Like flashing the cards rom to get the boot screen, all the ports to work properly and fix the problems with steam and DVD player.

having a card with 2+ gigs of vram causes open CL problems. trying a kext work around to get open CL to work properly

making sure you get the proper 2 - 6 pin cables needed for a mac pro to power most of the newer cards.

making sure your apps can recognize your new nvidia card so that CUDA works correctly with it.

making sure you have the most current nvidia drivers.

Things may work out of the box but most have to be dialed in to get them working just right.

I didn't say it was difficult, but for people who have never used a PC GPU its not always as straight forward as just plug and play.

For many professionals who can not afford to run into GPU problems, I would suggest sticking with an apple approved GPU like the Quadro 4000, if you already have the 5870 as an option.
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Last edited by violst; Jan 1, 2013 at 06:36 PM.
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