4K and the "old" Mac Pro - let's get to the answers

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In the last few weeks I have been getting more and more requests along the lines of "will card XXX run a 4K display?"

I have had to answer "I have no idea"

Well, The Great Pumpkin brought me a Asus PQ321.

So, we are going to figure it all out.

To whit:

I am starting with my favorite card of our creation, the EFI'd GTX570 2.5.

These took a great deal of work to solve, and I am quite certain that every single one of these is "based" on our EFI work.

Thanks of course to Nvidia for the drivers and original EFI.

Anyhow, this is first card I will test with 4K.

The good news...4K on DisplayPort !!!

The bad news...Seems that boot screen isn't drawn in a way that translates to 4K, but I will need to experiment more.

I waited a while and it just stayed grey.

Good news is I might be able to fix that.

The other bad news is that there isn't enough oomph to make this more than a desktop/web browser card at this res.

I ran Valley at Ultra but backed off the AA...still a slide show.

I may need to come up with a less painful benchmark.

Anyhow, we will be testing ALL of our cards for 4K compliance in 10.9.

We will update our listings as we get to them, but I will also be happy to answer questions from the curious.
 

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MacVidCards

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curious to see how a 780gtx 3gb would handle 4k:confused:
I haven't benched one yet, but I did play "StarCraft 2 Zergs Forever" last night in WIn 8.

The 780 shows boot screen properly and ran the game fairly well. Much more comfortable with the res than 570.

I had turned down some settings.

I don't have one here right now, every one I get goes right back out.

Will have 2 more tomorrow and run some numbers.
 

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any luck with getting 60Hz mode working?
Excellent Question.

I am using the DP cable from Asus that was in the box.

OSX is only showing 24,25, and 30 Hz as options on the GTX 680 4GB that I have in now.

I will try the Dual HDMI thing later, Halloween is a big deal here and i have friends coming over.

I have switched to "Medium" settings and will retest 570 in that as well.

Will be better to have differentiation rather than a bunch of single digit scores.
 

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thevidness

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i need to chime in here and say hello. i'm also pretty eager to find answers about the "old" mac pro and 4k displays.
if you have a sapphire radeon 7950 mac edition at your disposal, please test that one, too ;)
 

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Updates - no 60Hz in OSX

OK,

Another 24 hours with this beauty.

I have been reading up, it seems that the tech needed for the pixel clock isn't actually here yet.

So....Asus "cheated", they did the next best thing which was to basically configure the panel as 2 separate 1920x2160 panels. Windows drivers for recent Nvidia cards allow blending of desktops over many screens, and apparently that "cheat" is seamlessly built into Windows drivers.

Trying to do such a thing is OSX results in...a mess.

So...the next big question, with a 4K capable nMP coming in a month or so, how do they do it?

I tried an AMD 7970 that many apps call "FirePro D700" and it could either do 30Hz at full res, or a messy screen at 60.

It doesn't help that the display must be manually switched between modes. And the little buttons to do so with are yet another reminder of the things that Apple gets RIGHT. Intuitiveness and usability are gone. It is a series of 7 buttons with no rhyme or reason to their function. To see the labels you either need to swivel the screen, or attach an (included) decal to the front panel to explain it all.

It seems logical that there will be an OSX build specific for nMP. Hopefully it will contain drivers that enable 60hz at full res.

I installed "SwitchResX" but I guess senility has set in, I could not figure out a way to actually use it.

I have written developer and hope that he has a better idea.

On the plus side, flashed 7970 does show boot screens when display is in "SST" mode. No, that doesn't mean "Super Sonic Transport" I think it means "Single Stream Transport". To enable the 60Hz thingie, you need to switch to "MST" aka "Multi Stream Transport" which as far as I can tell, lets 2 separate streams run one panel.

So, a little frustrating as obviously the cards can run the display from 1 @ DP in Windows @ 60Hz. In OSX, the same plug and cable are only good for 30Hz.

There is also a "Dual HDMI" mode that I am still making sense of.

"Bleeding Edge" indeed.

Kudos to IBM who had a T221 running at 4K MORE THAN A DECADE AGO !!! Required even bigger kludges but they ran.
 
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AMD 4870 and 4K

I thought I would start with the first AMD card that had DP.

The 4870 came out in June of 2008 for PC. The OSX 10.5.7 update contained drivers in May of 2009. Yes, so still while OSX had PPC support.

Anyhow, garbled Boot screen, kicked off screen to right until desktop.

Runs at 30Hz just fine. Benchmark score was...well, I went and did some dishes while it ran, painful to watch.

I want everyone to keep something in mind, THIS WAS THE "HIGH END" ATI CARD JUST 4 YEARS AGO FOR OSX. And now today it is pretty much unusable. Guess where those shiny 7970/D700s in nMP are going to be in 3 years? Imagine the middle of road D500s? The "Mamby Pamby" D300s? Imagine how useful those will be in 2 or 3 years?

Note that MP got 4870 slightly less than 1 year after PC intro.

The 7970 will be 2 years old a couple weeks after intro in nMP. So it will have this dated and unusable performance in 2-3 years, all things being equal. The name "Trash Can Mac" will take on new meaning.

EDIT:

Tried using DVI to HDMI.....messy.
 

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thevidness

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well, a multi stream transport displayport 1.2 connection should do 3840x2160@60hz in one display, right?

so i guess we can only hope that the 60hz capability will be a 10.9.1 or 10.9.2 thing correlating with the release of the nMP. remember how the first rMBP came out with its own build of 10.7.4, i imagine this as a similar situation.
 

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Mac AMD 5870 and GTX285

To clarify, the 4870 and 5870 are App,e cards, with original DP.

5870 showed boot screen properly.

Booted to desktop and ran more smoothly than 4870 .

I have discovered that DVI to HDMI will give 4K res, but it isn't useable. When I captured the screenshot showing DVI on 4870 it was unreadable. So, maybe not enough throughput to really fill in the details?

May very well be that MDP cards will work but DVI no go.

I have found that using an ACTIVE DVI to MDP works well and here allows a GTX285 to use Display.

Oddly, I have some Pre-Production Apple OEM 260/285s with an Apple MDP. They show a better boot screen than 4870 but crash at desktop. All 3 I tested.

Using the Atloona DVI to MDP made screen seeable.

Note that score is between 4870 and 5870. I also have recently had it brought to my attention that CUDA support for GT200 series cards seems to be broken in 10.9. So, gone, no more. Whether this is an official "Get Lost, Buy a new card, LOSER" from Nvidia or a driver omission remains to be seen.

If this is true, the only "officially supported" Nvidia cards for OSX 10.9 are the Quadro 4000 and K5000. Good thing someone cracked the Fermi/Kepler EFI and allowed a few more cards. Also BIG THANKS to Nvidia for writing drivers that enable all of these great options.

Anyhow, these came out for PC in Jan 2009, came to Mac in June 2009. So, 4 years old and given a gentle shove in front of bus. Currently not useable in OSX as released. Not able to run 4K without help or a driver fix. Amazing how a GPU goes from "cutting edge" to "unusable" in 4 years. Gives one pause.
 

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VirtualRain

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Well, The Great Pumpkin brought me a Asus PQ321.
Hey, while you're at it can you comment on the display? What's it like working at that res/ppi? Are UI elements too small? How does the display quality, backlight, etc compare to Apples 27"? What kind of finish does it have (matt/glossy)? What else can you tell us? Thx!
 

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Titan - Still The King

Hey, while you're at it can you comment on the display? What's it like working at that res/ppi? Are UI elements too small? How does the display quality, backlight, etc compare to Apples 27"? What kind of finish does it have (matt/glossy)? What else can you tell us? Thx!
Has matte finish.

Seems like a bigger 30". Simply not possible to see pixels.

Use is a pain as long as OSX doesn't support 60hz at this res.

Can see mouse flickering when moving, absent in Windows at 60hz.

Have to sit within 24" to use OSX as is.

I can't emphasize enough how obtuse the buttons on this display are.

Dell got it right on 2010 U24, this one is insane.

Can see bleed in corners when black, but otherwise bright and colors nice.

I have been dealing with editors and colorists working on 4K material for a couple years. They have been unable to actually SEE what they are doing except downscaled or on $20K monitors. This was needed but amazing that controllers for 4K still don't exist so the kludge running panel as 2 2@ 1920X2160.

One more thing, if anyone thinks this isn''t the future they are delusional.

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Numbers speak for themselves.
 

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slughead

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Numbers speak for themselves.
Wow, compared to the other cards that's amazing.

I'd like to know how the 7970 does--maybe that'll give us an idea of how the nMP will do on 4K displays? Although driver optimization could change everything.
 

costabunny

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Wow, compared to the other cards that's amazing.

I'd like to know how the 7970 does--maybe that'll give us an idea of how the nMP will do on 4K displays? Although driver optimization could change everything.
I would love to know how the 7970 handles 4k - not so much for cmv, but for use in Photoshop and other imaging apps.
 

VirtualRain

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Aug 1, 2008
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Has matte finish.

Seems like a bigger 30". Simply not possible to see pixels.

Use is a pain as long as OSX doesn't support 60hz at this res.

Can see mouse flickering when moving, absent in Windows at 60hz.

Have to sit within 24" to use OSX as is.

I can't emphasize enough how obtuse the buttons on this display are.

Dell got it right on 2010 U24, this one is insane.

Can see bleed in corners when black, but otherwise bright and colors nice.

I have been dealing with editors and colorists working on 4K material for a couple years. They have been unable to actually SEE what they are doing except downscaled or on $20K monitors. This was needed but amazing that controllers for 4K still don't exist so the kludge running panel as 2 2@ 1920X2160.

One more thing, if anyone thinks this isn''t the future they are delusional.

----------

Numbers speak for themselves.
Thanks... One other question, if you run this display at normal 1080p for video or gaming does that look decent at normal viewing distances or does that reveal the pixels and make it look "low res"?
 

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D500 aka 7870XT - Not Bad at all

It weighs about half of a 7950/70 but doesn't do too poorly.

I also tried the new Cinebench 15, going to try with a few more cards, see if it works now. It used to be in 11.5 that an 8800GT would score within 2 fps of a GTX580 in OSX, so not a good bench. We will see if it improved.
 

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