Beachball at 2% resource use level

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by RAMtheSSD, Sep 10, 2015.

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Which Graphics Card?

Poll closed Sep 17, 2015.
  1. 5870

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 5770

    100.0%
  3. Leave the 120 for Option starts use EVGA GTX650 for 145$

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Leave the 120 in and add PC R9 280X

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. RAMtheSSD macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location:
    High on a Mountain Looking for Wisdom
    #1
    OK, just in case the title is unclear: Until El Cap beta (and I have the GM and I still see it, just not as often as I did before) the GT120 was enough for what I needed (I wanted the processing horsepower not gaming graphics) but now, it seems that more of the regular, everyday, rendering work is being passed on to the GPU and it is noticeably slowing down the machine even though almost no resources are being used. There is an OWC SSD, 24Gb of ram (the 32 is coming but 24 seemed plenty for a time) and the (2) 2.26 processors have been and seemingly, continue to be, plenty for most things --I am yet to encounter a calculation so large that I have to wait much; video editing, that is another story but how much of that is GPU lacking horsepower?

    I have looked through the forums and generally, the buying advice concerns older Mac Pros (1,1 and 3,1 mostly) rather than mine (4,1 5,1 flashed soon to have upgraded CPUs) and since these machines are most likely not running El Cap, I am not sure how relevant the points made are in as much as most of the info seems to date back to 2008.

    It would seem that I need a new GPU and I do not need much but I cannot have my train of thought interrupted by a beachball every time I need to switch screens while I wait for it to be drawn. When I play games, I play them on my iPhone and then, usually, only while waiting for something else. However, I type a lot and there are often more than 10 papers open at once (instances of preview).

    I cannot afford a 7950 but 5770 is more than doable and 5870 is a stretch but still doable. So, is the problem the GPU or something else? Would the 5770 be enough and solve the problem? I am tired of freezing while waiting for rendering (tested, music or video continues in the background unaffected but I am stuck on the particular desktop with usage below 10%)

    Although I feel that the GPU is to blame, I am open to ideas.
     
  2. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #2
    I don't think this has anything to do with your GPU. My ancient 2008 MacBookPro with its crappy Nvidia 9400M graphics doesn't do this.
    If you need neither 3D performance nor GPGPU processing power the GPU is pretty much irrelevant.
     
  3. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #3
    Off topic a bit, if you can spend $145 on a GTX650, that's enough to buy a new R9 280, which is exactly the same card as the 7950. I've just done that not long ago.

    And if you have an extra HDD / SSD, try 10.11, in general, it's better than anything from 10.7. It may fix your problem easily.
     
  4. RAMtheSSD thread starter macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location:
    High on a Mountain Looking for Wisdom
    #4
    I am very impressed with the R9 280 and 280X and it just means leaving the GT120 for whenever the boot screen is needed (monitor has two HDMI inputs) but the price is very attractive.

    I am confused by your second paragraph because I've had the El Capitan (10.11) developer's preview since day 1 and I now have the GM and I don't see how, given what I wrote, you would think that I was running Lion (10.7). Ironically, I never had a problem with video rendering until now though I will say it has gotten better with each iteration of El Capitan.
    Still, thanks for the video card advice, I am almost certain that I will go for it.
     
  5. RAMtheSSD thread starter macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location:
    High on a Mountain Looking for Wisdom
    #5
    I am hoping for more input but in the meantime, does either the R9 280 or 280X support open CL? As I understand it, this support is needed for more of the rendering work to be passed to the GPU by the OS.
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #6
    If you are happy to flash the card by yourself, there is no need to keep the GT120 inside your Mac Pro just for the boot screen.

    Anyway, this is the card I get last month.

    R9 280(X) of course support OpenCL, and it's doing quite well in computation under OSX.
     
  7. RAMtheSSD thread starter macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location:
    High on a Mountain Looking for Wisdom
    #7
    Thanks h9826790 :) I just ordered the same card; I am a fan of big heat sinks and large fans and lots and lots of air movement and that card has all that and it seems it is the most like the 7950 and the most supported. I suspect that flashing it will not be any more painful than installing windows 7 on my SSD and upgrading it to 10 in order to do the flashing. I started another thread concerning the cables; I wonder if I could get your input on that regard?
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #8
    Just reply to that thread, I am so sorry to tell you that if you order the 6+8 pin card, which is not the same one as mine. If I were you, I will simply use a mini 6pin to 8pin to power that card, unless it cause me any trouble (hard shutdown etc). If you want to pay safe, you can lock the card at stock 800MHz (disable the factory OC), then I can't see how the card can still draw too much power from that 8pin to cause any damage. The 8pin there is for OC, my standard clock version is a dual 6pin card.

    There is no need to upgrade to Win 10, you can flashed the card in Win 7. Of course, nothing wrong to do that in Win 10 as well, just not necessary.
     

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