AMD 7970 / GTX 670 + Mac Pro = ???

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by revilate, May 18, 2012.

  1. revilate macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I've suited my Mac Pro out to the max... BluRay Drive, 2TB HDD x2, OCZ A3 SSD x4, etc.,... but to be honest I'm getting a little fed up with how long it's been for a graphics upgrade or any other upgrade period. My Mac Pro is the LATEST model even if it's from July of 2010?! It's almost July of 2012 for heaven's sake!

    I'm really getting tired of this to be honest... and on the subject of truth... I only use this Mac Pro for two reasons: I'm a Steve Jobs fanboy and I need a stable platform to run Logic Pro 9 on.

    I really can't stand using this 5870, and I've often contemplated just selling it off, counting my losses and building my own PC and using Logic in VMware or something.

    Question is... "supported drivers" aside, what would happen if I just went out and bought a 7970 today and plugged it in? Would the resolution be crap? Would I just not even get any video feed at all? What would be the result? I've only been registered here since November 2011, but even in that length of time people here and else where are still talking about whether or not these cards will be supported!

    So I also ask you guys and myself... should I just build a machine of my own so I can do what I want when I want?

    I still wouldn't give up my 27" LED display either way, too gorgeous...
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    Why do you need a GPU upgrade when you just said your only needs are Steve Jobs love and Logic? Using Logic in VMware from a PC would be boneheaded unless all you track is like 8 tracks. You're 27" screen is the problem. Very few GPU's in PC land can even drive that in native res with all the bells and whistles. If that is the goal you really should get a PC + xfire/SLI and stop the suffering. Or get a smaller screen. My 20" NEC rules with all games pretty much maxed out on my 5870. Plan ahead and know what HW can and can't do. Life will be easier. I would never have bought that screen knowing I wanted to have a great gaming experience. PS. You should probably mention you want to play games in the post as it really makes no sense as is. Best that you can do now is GTX 570/580 unsupported but working.
     
  3. revilate thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #3
    The 27" screen has less pixels than a 30" screen and plenty of cards can drive them.

    You seem to miss my point about just how OLD the 5870 is... and it's (at least directly from Apple) THE highest option in terms of upgrades. These cards are more than three years old for heaven's sake...

    I never said my only computing uses are for Logic and Steve... I said my only uses for a Mac in general is pretty much to run Logic.

    The games you're "maxing out" on your 5870 are probably years old and 20" screens in today's terms are small.
     
  4. jmcgeejr macrumors 6502

    jmcgeejr

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    Oct 7, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    Actually you did

    "I only use this Mac Pro for two reasons: I'm a Steve Jobs fanboy and I need a stable platform to run Logic Pro 9 on."
     
  5. revilate thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #5
    Fixed.

    **** off if you're going to pick words apart and not bother about the subject of the thread.
     
  6. Wardenski macrumors 6502

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    Jan 22, 2012
    #6
    What games in OSX challenge a 5870 or are you using bootcamp?

    If you bought a power booster you could use a GTX690 in bootcamp and rejoice at the expense of wallet rape.

    Actually, the 690 seems to have a 6 pin and 8 pin connector only so you may not need a booster.
     
  7. revilate thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #7
    I don't play any games in OSX.

    The most GPU intensive game I play is BF3 and that's in bootcamp. Depending on what would happen with a card like a 690 or 7970 when I'd bootcamp back into OSX I might just keep the Mac Pro... pretty clean Windows install on it without all the third party crap from custom builds/etc.
     
  8. Wardenski macrumors 6502

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    Jan 22, 2012
    #8
    I used a PC 5870 2GB "Toxic Edition" before the Mac version came out, it just sat there and did nothing in OSX. Did you install the latest ATI drivers in Windows?

    Then again I only game at 1900x1200...I can max out Crysis 1 but not Crysis 2 in DX11 mode with the high resolution pack :(.
     
  9. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #9
    I play everything from BF3 to Crysis 2 high res pack to Skyrim high res pack to Arkham Asylum etc.. Not too many people are able to use a 30" at 2560x1600 with a single GPU and max stuff out. Unless of course 12-40 FPS is enough for you.
    Here is a chart with BF3 at only measly 1920x1200. See anything? No way you'll be getting playable frames on that 27" with everything maxed.
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-670-review/20
    I use a small screen because it is super fast IPS and I come from counterstrike days on CRT's where I need high frames 60+ for twitch. More important than a lumbering giant whose pixels I cant fill with a stuttering mouse delay etc...
    But I understand if facts are not your thing.
     
  10. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Sweden
    #10
    at this time, black screen.
     
  11. revilate thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #11
    What about just getting another 5870 and cross firing it?

    Would a Mac Pro's standard PSU be able to drive those two cards (with the appropriate split power cables/adapters)?

    What would happen if I left the two 5870s crossfired and I booted up in OSX, or would I have to shut the machine off and disconnect them every time?

    Would I even notice an increase of performance in BF3 for example with two 5870s like that or does it favor one more powerful card over two lesser combined?
     
  12. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Location:
    Sweden
    #12
    OSX ignores crossfire. No drivers.

    Mac Pro PSU is ~900w (depending on model).
    But it's tricky to split power properly since you need to route it from DVD bay. It's recommended to not split onboard PCI-power slots since the tracers on the motherboard might not handle it. See my golden guide thread for more info on power.


    Without crossfire, other cards can not "help" the card that runs the display. Performance will not increase.

    I don't think you need to disconnect Crossfire bridge, but I am not sure about this.
     
  13. elvisizer, May 23, 2012
    Last edited: May 23, 2012

    elvisizer macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I'm surprised you're feeling that much angst over the 5870's performance . . . I'm running the apple 5870 in my old 2.8 octo 2008 pro connected to a 27" LCD cinema display, and I'm getting acceptable performance under windows in games running the native 2560x1440 res. I'm not going to win any epeen competitions, but I really do not like low frame rates, and the 5870's running things fine for me.
    I do not play BF3, though- mostly mass effect 3, deus ex:hr, diablo 3, world of tanks lately.
    Not the most taxing stuff, but it all runs at decent frame rates with AA+AF and games settings mostly maxed.
     
  14. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #14
    I don't get it.

    The only problem I see the OP talking about is that the 5870 is not new anymore.

    You do your gaming in windows.
    You mainly have a mac for Logic Pro 9 (which isn't graphics intensive).

    Is there some other program that you're trying to run that isn't performing well?

    As for screen size, I'm running the 30" ACD and the 5870 can have problems running it at full resolution in OSX. But that's because of the drivers, not the card. A newer card won't solve a driver problem.

    I don't get it.

    Or were you just trying to vent to a sympathetic crowd?
    In that case, I agree. There are newer graphics cards available. And I'd love to be able to run one straight out of the box.
    But the cards that are noticeably better than the 5870 (I'm looking at you GTX680) are more expensive than the 5870 with its Apple Tax.
    But it will work in a Mac Pro running OSX with the latest drivers from NVidia. Getting drivers from the manufacturer isn't a problem to me.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #15
    Using... Logic in VMWare?

    Whatever your platform feelings are, that idea is clearly a few french fries short of a happy meal. For quite a few reasons.
     
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #16
    So the GTX680 has drivers in OSX?

    When did this happen?

    I think maybe you mean GTX580.
     
  17. revilate thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    #17
    If the GTX 680 is supported on either Lion or Mountain Lion or will be supported in the next few months I'll just tough it out for a little while to wait for that. With a bench of 4,031 compared to the 5870's 2,752 that'd well be worth the wait.

    I noticed just by looking at some 680s on Newegg that the power consumption and connectivity would work perfectly with the Mac Pros... would be a shame if they wouldn't take the opprotunity to at least upgrade to 5xxx series Xeons, up the GPU to these 680s and tweak a few other things perhaps.

    If we're looking at an upgrade timeline of a year+ i'll probably leave Mac all together or just learn how to author my own drivers... :confused:
     
  18. revilate thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #18
    Editing my last post...

    Could someone give a timeline or an estimation on when the Mac Pro will be upgraded in terms of a GPU?
     
  19. Velin, May 23, 2012
    Last edited: May 23, 2012

    Velin macrumors 65816

    Velin

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    #19
    OP, you're in luck. I just did exactly what you were contemplating. I own the 2008 Mac Pro, two of them in fact, one for the office, one at home. Great machines for work, and will continue to be for years to come.

    But I did want another machine to mess around with. Something I could customize and configure, and for not a lot of money. So yes, I built my own, a PC from scratch. Used an Asus motherboard with the 1155 socket, an i5 3750k Intel processor, and I did purchase an HD 7970 in it as well (made by Diamond, they were the cheapest of the 7970 vendors).

    My vote is, build yourself the PC. You can do it very cheaply nowadays, and the components are getting better and better. The name brand motherboards today are real quality, and even a novice could build their own with some solid research and reading the motherboard manual. Just be sure to pick up a nice case (Coolermaster is my vote) and a good power supply.

    As for the HD 7970 in the PC, this GPU is amazing. The stock card is fast. Best thing is the 7970 has two minidisplay port out, and it drives the Apple 27" LED just perfect (make sure you plug in both the USB and the port).

    Even better: you can use AMD's supplied software to overclock the 7970. And this card can be pushed. A lot. Right now the AMD software allows you to bump it around 20% with the same voltage, the performance is fantastic. Again, this is AMD's own software that allows you to overclock. Serious overclockers are using aftermarket products to boost it much more, in some cases close to 50% more, albeit with the fans blazing at 75% else the card will die. A close to 50% bump is insane, not something I would do, but it confirms this is an amazing GPU for the price, the best price/performance card on the market right now, in my opinion.

    You also can overclock the Intel i5 3750k, or any of the i5 chips. Right now mine is running at around 4.1, again using Asus's own software with the motherboard. Make sure you get an Intel processor that is designed to be overclocked (like mine), install an aftermarket air cooler, and you are set. Don't waste money on water cooling, it is stupid and a massive waste. I think i5 chips with the 1155 sockets are the sweet spot right now, don't waste money on the more expensive i7 chips and more expensive mobo/socket (I think the latest is 2011 socket), it can easily be double the price for minimal performance gains if you buy bleeding edge. Big waste of money.

    My conclusion is this. I really like Apple products, they are hands-down the best for serious work.

    But if you want to make yourself a gaming rig or build a PC -- do it. You won't be disappointed. For half the cost of a Mac (or even less), you can build yourself a screaming gaming machine, designed as you want it, and in truth, it is going to destroy Apple's current offerings when it comes to gaming. I know of what I speak. Plus it is fun to tinker with these things, right down to the BIOS settings, which you really can't do with Macs, or at least not without a lot more difficulty. I can set the processor exactly as I want, right down to the voltage. Heck, I'm even setting the particular speed of all my case fans, and can do it easily with the Asus motherboard.

    So you can safely overclock both the processor and the GPU, these products are designed to be overclocked, and the performance they are pumping out is amazing. Put in the GTX 690 when it comes off the current $1k price tag, which is ridiculous, you can build an entire fast PC for that price.
     
  20. revilate thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #20
    Thanks for your reply, I'm definitely considering building my own machine considering the only real reason I have a mac is for running Logic... the rest of the time I'm bootcamped in windows.

    What would my options be for running Logic on a windows machine I'd build via VMware or something? Would it be so unstable (crashing, locking up while recording, etc.) that it would just be not even worth trying to run? Or would it be reasonable?
     
  21. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #21
    The is no reasonable way to run Logic in VMWare. The CPU overhead+latency would likely not be acceptable, and I can't imagine what complications the audio drivers would introduce. I don't think VMWare even does audio out of the box for OS X.

    It sounds like you either need to build a separate PC or suck it up and get a non-Apple card.
     
  22. revilate, May 24, 2012
    Last edited: May 24, 2012

    revilate thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #22
    If the GTX 680 is supported or will soon be supported I'll definitely pick that up.

    Anyone tried putting a GTX 680 in there?
     
  23. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Sweden
  24. revilate, May 25, 2012
    Last edited: May 25, 2012

    revilate thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 4, 2011
    #24
    Anyone know if it will be supported in the near future?

    You guys keep mentioning things like drivers being found in developer versions of Lion, yet nothing... and now the same with drivers for these newer cards being found in Mountain Lion, yet probable nothing now or what?

    On a second note, this idea may sound a little bit out there, but what do you guys think about building a windows machine and also including a logic board from a MBP in it? Logic Pro 9, even with a bunch of tracks and processors and audio files runs pretty well on my Pre-Unibody 2008 MBP. I'd figure that with a DVI port on them, I could just sell off my 27" LED and go to a couple of 23" LCD ACDs, having one for my windows machine, and one for the MBP logic board inside.

    This might be a little technical, but as "lego" as building PCs are really, I could see it being done pretty easily. The only concern I'd have is if I'd have enough air flow over the MBP board or not and how to get the power to it...
     
  25. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #25
    Probably. They hit the sweet spot for Apple to green light them. Price/ performance/ power. Too bad Apple's got an issue with Nvidia. I am sure that whenever the drivers start showing up (if they do) you'll hear about it here.
     

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