4K capable video cards for Mac Pro 2010/2012 (5,1)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by akadmon, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    I have a 2012 MP (which is, FAI&P, identical to the 2010 version) and I'm considering upgrading at least one of my displays to 4K. Of course having a 4K display will do me no good if my MP is not able to drive it. So my question is:

    Are there any video cards out there that will drive a 4K display straight out of the box? By "straight out of the box" I mean just that: a card that is designed to work in a Mac Pro, not a PC PC card flashed by some kid in his mom's basement, that may or may not work next time Apple updates the OS.

    My current card is Radeon ATI 5870.


    Sorry if this is a question that has been asked before numerous time (I bet it has!). There is no forum search function that I can find.
  2. Fl0r!an, Nov 7, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015

    Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2007
    No, there's not a single official card that has been designed for 4K@cMP.

    The GTX 680 MacEdition will support 4K@60Hz in OS X, but may get stuck on boot when a single DP1.2 device (->4K@60) is attached. It will boot when the display is off, so you'll never see a bootscreen. IMO a worse solution than getting any unflashed stock PC Kepler card.

    The HD 7950 MacEdition will support 2 4K@60Hz displays in OS X and may or may not show a bootscreen.

    MVCs GTX 9xx "MacEdition" cards have 4K boot screen support but need the Nvidia Web Drivers since Apple refused to add drivers for their cards.
  3. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    On my flashed GTX 680, I can get boot screen when connected via HDMI but HDMI is limited to 30Hz. It works fine at 60Hz via DisplayPort but no boot screen.

    However, the following works:

    1. Boot with HDMI connected to get boot screen.
    2. After booting, plug in DisplayPort cable and disconnect HDMI cable. Now you will be on DisplayPort @ 60Hz.

    I just left it on DisplayPort and only used HDMI when I absolutely needed to see the boot screen (almost never).
  4. akadmon thread starter Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    Anybody using OWC Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition? I boot into Windows quite often, so I need a card that works seamlessly in both environments. I don't want to be opening the side panel to flip dip switches every time I go from one OS to the other. OWC's HD 7950 seems to require just that. Also, I've read somewhere that the HD 7950 is not supported by Adobe apps for graphics acceleration. That's a bummer, as I spend a lot of time in Lightroom. Finally, I looked at barefeats benchmarks, and while HD 7950 is faster than my 5870, I'm not sure it's $559 faster. So...given all this, is GTX 680 a better choice for me?
  5. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009

    Adobe suggests something newer than both 7950 and 680.


    although does hit the minimums and is pretty close to what the D700 is. However, not likely a test case hardware for Adobe validation. It probably won't get an overt "official support" certification badge out of them.
  6. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    I have one and it's still inside my cMP. There is no need to flip the switch when boot into windows. Keep the switch at the Mac EFI position allow you to boot into both OSX and Windows flawlessly . EXCEPT if crossfire is enabled in Windows, then you have to leave the switch in the other position. It seems you have no plan to do that, but if you do, you can simply keep the switch at the UEFI position to boot into both OS. There is no performance penalty to boot without Mac EFI, just no boot screen, and the card natively support PCIe 2.0 inside cMP regardless the switch position.

    I am now running crossfire in my cMP, and I can tell you don't need to pay 559 for that (it's hard to believe that they raise the price, I bought it with just 4xx long time ago). Get a PC 7950 (or R9 280) and flash it by yourself. You can have a card that with identical performance and better cooling but only $150 (new card).

    I know you are looking for an OOTB solution, and everyone value the card in a different way. So, you can still go for the 559 route if you believe it worth.

    For info, the 680 was about $100 above the 7950 when they both existing on the market. However, I didn't see any new 680 Mac Edition on the market for quite a few months already. But if you can get it and 2G VRAM is enough for you, that may be a better option. The 7950 is good in OpenCL, and perform very well in FCPX, but that's it. In other real world task, I don't think it can beat the 680, especially if you can take benifit from CUDA.

    Last but not least, make sure you know what port you want. e.g. MDP only exist on the 7950, but not 680. Of course you can use adaptor, but I don't know if you prefer it work natively without any adaptor.
  7. bmxfr macrumors member

    May 8, 2014
    Hello I hope some can help me ,
    what is the best for 4k and Final Cut x better than my card .
    I have a mac Pro 4.1 upgrade to 5.1 6core .
    And a NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2048 MB I think is to hot and noisy.
    What is the best card silent and cold (not to expensive?
  8. h9826790, Feb 16, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    I am now running dual 7950 for 4K editing FCPX, internal power only is good enough for dual non-OC 7950. Each card may draw close to 75W (and very occasionally reach ~85W) via the 6pin cables during rendering, but most of the time, the power draw is less than 50W.

    The BruceX result is between 15-18s, depends on if I run anything in the background (my Mac Pro is also my media server etc).

    IMO, it's cheap, a single new 7950 only cost <$150. So, only $300, you can have a FCPX orientated machine.

    The reference card may be a bit noisy (due to poor thermal paste application in the factory), I open it up and re-apply the thermal paste (with the no brainier AS5), big improvement. And then I further lower the voltage to 0.956V (stock at 1.094V), the card now is virtually silent during use (the PCIe fan etc is louder than the GPU's fan).

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