Bad performance on MP 3.1 with GTX 970

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Vuhoo, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Vuhoo macrumors newbie

    Vuhoo

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    #1
    Pretty much what the title says. I just recently got my Mac Pro 3.1 a week ago, and got a GTX 970 and hooked it up to an external power supply.

    My problem is that I seem to be capped to about 40-50 fps on any game. Running the Unigine Valley benchmark I got a max of 49fps. Playing League of legends I was only getting 42fps and it even dropped from there with no framerate cap. League is just an example, I have tried many other games and have around the same results. The FPS is always 40-50 no matter what the graphical settings are whether it be lowest or highest. I have the latest NVIDIA Web Driver 346.02.02f03 installed.

    My hunch is that my CPU is crap right now or bottlenecking my GPU. In my mac system information it says I have a Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 2.8ghz speed. I was wondering if that was somehow capping my graphics card performance, and if it is, if I could somehow fix that by upgrading to dual Quad-core.

    Specs:
    Mac Pro 3.1
    Intel Xeon Quad Core 2.8ghz
    EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW+ ACX 2.0
    32 GB 667MHz RAM
    System boots from PCI-E Sata3 SSD
     
  2. Inutopia macrumors 6502

    Inutopia

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    #2
    Yes if you have the single 2.8 it probably is bottlenecking the 970 a bit. What resolution are you gaming at?

    Also, are you gaming on OS X? If so, why? Performance is massively better and there are more titles available in Windows.
     
  3. Vuhoo, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015

    Vuhoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Vuhoo

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    #3
    Yes I am gaming on OS X, mainly because I got this Mac Pro to have a mac in the first place. I'm starting to think I should have just built another windows computer, but I also wanted to start iOS development and many other mac exclusive things. If

    So do you think upgrading to a dual Quad core (8 core) would increase performance by a lot? Oh and is there a big difference, if I do upgrade, between 2.8GHz, 3.0GHz, and 3.2GHz?

    I was also thinking about Bootcamping Windows 10. Would the performance be even better there too? If it's bottlenecking it in OS X, won't it also be in bootcamp?
     
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
  5. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #5
    A few things to consider here:
    • The Nvidia card will run at PCIe 1,1 speed if its unflashed (in both Win and OSX). Shouldn't cause too big performance hit though.
    • Many games won't utilize all cores, so you'd be better off with a more recent dual/quad core processor than a 2008 octa core
    • Nvidia OS X drivers (and some games, too) might be slower than the Windows counterparts. Install bootcamp to see if you have a hardware or software problem.
    Which settings did you use in Unigine? 42 FPS would be too low for default settings, but for Extreme it would be fine.
     
  6. Inutopia macrumors 6502

    Inutopia

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    #6
    Agree with all of this. For gaming, adding a second CPU will have almost no effect for just about every game. For multi threaded work (stuff that uses all 8 cores) it would make a big difference. Reportedly the difference between the 2.8-3.2Ghz is less than 20%.

    Can you even add a second CPU in the single 3,1s cost effectively? I don't know the answer to this. Not many people bought the single CPU model in the 3,1s the dual CPU was the base model and much better value.

    I'm sorry, but buying a 2008 mac, then expecting 2015 gaming was a mistake. Gaming in OS X, full stop, is also a mistake.
     
  7. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #7
    Dual quads won't help much in gaming now, but more cores will be used by games in the future. Direct X 12 multi core test in 3dmark shows very big improvements from four to six cores. Above six cores nothing...for now.
     
  8. Vuhoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Vuhoo

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    #8
    Ah okay, I didn't realize that

    Oh okay that makes sense, how big is the actual performance change if it's running at PCIe 1.1 speed? I'm going to install bootcamp today and check it out. Yeah that was my problem, 42 fps or so was what I was getting no matter what the setting, so it was fine on extreme, but even at lower settings the fps seemed to be capped around there.

    Ah okay awesome. How big of a difference do you think the 20% will make. I think it is cost effective just buying off of ebay. I have found the Xeon 5462 model around $30 for a matched pair, then I just have to buy another heatsink which is around $45. The 5462 is the 2.8GHz, I found the 5472 matched for about twice as much and the 5482 for twice again.

    Ah sorry, I think I may have been misunderstood or rather, it was a late night and I didn't word everything carefully so I apologize for that.
    I didn't buy this Mac Pro expecting to be gaming on it. I bought it originally because it was at a decent price, the ram was easily upgradable and I assumed the processor would be too. I wanted to begin iOS development and also use the machine for photo and video editing, and around the same time I learned about the Mac Pro and thought it was really cool being a Mac Tower.

    I guess when I was browsing google, I saw the FAQ about Nvidia GPUs and saw that any Nvidia will work now with the current web drivers, so I made one big purchase thinking that the GTX 970 would last me for a while. The gaming was just an extra thing because I had the storage and thought that it would run fine. If this is the best I'm going to get, then that's fine.

    Ah okay thank you. So more cores doesn't improve game performance.


    So I think my plan now, is that I have the GTX 970. I'm gonna sit with it for a while or maybe return it and, either way, get a new less expensive GPU for my Mac Pro for the work I'm going to be doing. What do you guys suggest?

    I'll just save the GTX 970 for when I build my next Windows tower and everything will be fine. Thanks for all of your help guys :)

    I'm setting up bootcamp right now, I'll check back later with results
     
  9. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #9
    This is a clear indication that you are completely CPU limited, i.e. your nearly decade-old CPU technology can't feed enough work to the modern GPU to keep it busy. You can confirm this by getting the OpenGL Driver Monitor from the Xcode tools and check "GPU Core Utilization" and verify it's much less than 100%.
     
  10. Vuhoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Vuhoo

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    #10
    Okay thank you for that, it is definitely well below 100%. So, in that case, upgrading my CPU would not make a difference? Sorry, I'm not sure what I should do now. Should I just stick with my plan and get a cheaper GPU for my Mac Pro because it can't utilize the 970 as effectively?
     
  11. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #11
    Any CPU you can get for that system will be very slow by today's standards. You'd probably be better off buying a cheaper well-supported GPU like one that uses a GK107 or maybe a GK104, but those will probably be hard to find since they're no longer being produced. Failing that, a GM107-based GTX 750 Ti would still run fine in your system.
     
  12. Inutopia macrumors 6502

    Inutopia

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    #12
    Out of interest, could you try a source engine game? ie TF2,LFD, HL2 etc.

    No way you should be getting anything less than 100fps in those, all settings maxed.
     
  13. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68000

    bladerunner2000

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    #13
    It's the CPUs. I learned this the hard way as I have the 2008 Mac Pro as well and they're definitely a bottleneck. I went from a GTX 660 to a GTX 960 4GB and my performance increased only by 5% both in Windows and in OS X. The solution is simple;

    If you want a gaming machine, build a PC/Hackintosh. The new Mac Pros are hot garbage for gaming. The 2009-2012 Macs are great, but they're EOL so there's not a whole lot of sense into buying old tech.
     
  14. filmak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    between earth and heaven
    #14
    Just a question please.
    I thought that the PCIe speed, in the case of GTX cards, is controlled via software, so when you install the nvidia web drivers etc, this is auto fixed to PCIe 2,0 speeds, or not?
    Can you please enlighten me? Thanks...

    P.S. I also have the same setup an old 3,1 + gtx970, but not for gaming - the card is not flashed.
     
  15. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #15
    I'm pretty sure this only applies to MacPro4,1/5,1, could be wrong though. You can check with cuda-z utility.
     
  16. filmak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    between earth and heaven
  17. Vuhoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Vuhoo

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    #17
    I was actually getting around 50-60 playing GMod and Counter Strike Source/GO. Same FPS regardless of settings

    Yeah, I think I'm going to do that too. What are the biggest downsides to doing Hackintosh on like a dual boot? Like if I had all supported hardware and whatnot.
     
  18. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #18
    3,1 doesn't get the PCIE 2.0 bump via web drivers last time I checked

    EFI fixes that in OSX and Windows

    My 3,1 is a 3.2 Ghz and I have found that using Uningine Valley with Extreme HD preset that no GPU does more then 35fps. In a 4,1/5,1 they can stretch their legs a little more.

    The 3,1 has some problems from FSB, some are from driver neglect. Apple and AMD have allowed 7xxx drivers to fail, the cards run better in a 1,1
     
  19. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68000

    bladerunner2000

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2015
    #19
    If you do the Tonymacx86 route with Chimera and Multibeast it's actually significantly easier than you think. The steps are all explained on the site. Yes, you WILL need compatible hardware, but basically the only compatible piece of hardware you need to make sure of is the motherboard. CPUs are pretty much compatible across the board. GPUs will be as compatible as they can be with standard Mac Pros, but stick to Nvidia (they're better anyway). RAM doesn't really matter, but check with Qualified Vendors List for things to go without a hitch. PSU's are mostly all the same. For Wifi, you really only have one three options, either builtin WIFI to the motherboard or a TP-LINK PCIe card or an Asus Wireless N card via PCIe as well. The TP-Link is the most popular as it works right out of the box without any drivers or configuration.

    Dual boot is easy, Chimera bootloader recognizes Windows partitions (though I have Windows on an HDD and OS X on a separate SSD).

    Here's a list of all compatible components;

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/building-customac-buyers-guide-july-2015.html
     
  20. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #20
    Chimera is quite much as investing money in a MP 3,1, it's a dead end.
    It nearly drove me crazy during the iMessage issues last year, finally switched to Clover which I should have done way earlier.
     
  21. Inutopia macrumors 6502

    Inutopia

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    South of Heaven
    #21
    That's not right. You should be getting double that in those games. Are you sure you don't have issues with Vsync or something? Source engine games should be trivial for your setup.
     
  22. filmak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    between earth and heaven
    #22
    Tested my unflashed GTX970 @ 3,1 MP.

    Unfortunately PCIe 1.0 speeds.

    Anyway in everyday use, not gaming, I cannot see any slowdowns, @UI, Lighroom, Photosop, InDesign etc.
     
  23. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    #23
    It very well could be the GPU bug that I've been dealing with -

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-gtx-680-5-1-half-of-games-half-performance.1896296/

    Some engines don't properly engage the GPU core on my 680 running in my 3.2 2010/2012 when on OS X. However Unity Engine games like Interstellar Marines fully maxed out I get sometimes 200FPS, and the fan really ramps up!

    Hopefully Metal will improve things for you, but if pro apps are going full speed I wouldn't worry too much about it.
     
  24. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Illinois
    #24
    The answer is yes. There are processors floating out there on ebay as well as heat sinks, and it's a fairly simple upgrade, having done it myself.
     

Share This Page