2010 Mac Pro - Graphics Swap Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by moose1184, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. moose1184 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    #1
    Hey Everyone,

    Like many of you, I've been patiently waiting for the latest Mac Pro update in order to purchase the latest and greatest system with the most bang for my buck. I do a lot of freelance video editing and motion graphics work using Avid Media Composer and Adobe's Creative Suite. With regard to graphics, Avid technically only supports Nvidia cards, and my understanding is that the Nvidia cards are also better with Adobe's software with Open CL / CUDA technology.

    Therefore, while I understand ATI seems to have the upper-hand as the overall graphics choice, I may NEED an Nvidia card in my 2010 Mac Pro for professional work. My questions are:

    1) If I purchased EVGA's current GTX 285 card, would I be able to lift out the Radeon and make the swap smoothly? I know I'd be taking a big generational leap back in terms of overall card power, but for the simple reason that I may need an Nvidia card, I might have no choice.

    2) Would the new ATI card work in, say, someone's 2009 Mac Pro (i.e. would I be able to sell it to get some money back on the Nvidia purchase?)

    3) I can't seem to find a straight answer on this, but does opening up a Mac Pro and making such changes yourself (even, say, increasing RAM) void warranty / Applecare? I'm totally comfortable doing this stuff myself (I built my current PC) but since I'm going to be using the system professionally I need to know I can get it serviced by Apple in the clutch without them looking at it and saying "you swapped the video card, you voided your warranty"

    I can't imagine I'm the only one in this predicament either, right?

    Dave
     
  2. Cocoia macrumors member

    Cocoia

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    #2
    Adobe uses CUDA, and ATI is pushing OpenCL as their GPGPU platform, so yes, ATI cards won't accelerate Creative Suite apps. Though, in my (non-video) workflow, CUDA doesn't make any difference. The GTX285 should work fine, and based on the leaking of Fermi drivers from an Nvidia source, we may even see newer Geforce cards for Macs as an aftermarket kit. This is unsure of course.

    I'd gladly take the ATI card off your hands. They're perfectly fit for resale and work in 2009 Mac Pros, and most likely in 1,1, 2,1 and 3,1 (earlier than 2009) Pros as well.

    You can change memory, HDDs, PCIe cards, optical drives and much more without voiding your warranty. Heck, it even comes with clean and clear instructions :)

    Hope this answers your questions.
     
  3. moose1184 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    #3
    Thanks Cocoia, that does answer all of my questions. I'll probably end up just trying all the software on the ATI card to see what happens, and swapping out for an NVidia card if I run into trouble. I agree with you that there will definitely be some newer Mac Nvidia cards on the market, it's just a question of how long we'll have to wait.

    I'll let you know if I need to sell off a nice new ATI card ;)

    Dave
     
  4. 2contagious macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Hi, so do I understand it right that if I have a 2010 Mac Pro and I replace my 5870 card with a different card and sell the 5870 card on eBay, the warranty/Apple Care of my Mac Pro will stay untouched/working? :confused:

    Wouldn't that mean that I could change the noisy fan on my 5870 with a less noisy one and ONLY lose the warranty/Apple Care on the graphics card itself (not the whole Mac Pro)?
     
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #5
    To be clear, the ONLY Adobe app that uses CUDA is Premiere Pro CS5. No other Adobe app uses CUDA. It sounds like you might use Premiere, but be aware that no other app will show a performance boost.

    Avid Media Composer runs perfectly on ATI cards. Not sure where you've heard they only support NVidia... Maybe they said it themselves, but it's totally not true.

    Edit: Darn, tricked by an old thread again. Oh well, still relevant info.
     
  6. 2contagious macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Does anyone know for sure? I know one can assume changing the graphics card won't 'hurt' the warranty given that apple provides instructions online, but does anyone know the official statement?
     
  7. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #7
    Changing the card does not void your AppleCare. Putting any card whatsoever into your Mac Pro doesn't void the warranty, even if it's not a Mac compatible card.
     

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