Best GPU for Pro Apps Mac Pro 1,1

breeves002

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
12
0
St. Louis
I just got my hands on a Mac Pro 1,1.

2x3.0GHz Dual Core Xeon 5160's
2gb ECC FB DDR2-667
X1900 XT w/512mb
3x250gb HD's

So I've already thrown 16gb ram in it, a 120gb SSD for the boot disk, and two X5355 Quad Core CPUs. What's left? Well of course, the old graphics card!

I will be using this for pro apps. The only reason I bought it was because I got it for a steal of a price at $200. I have an i7 hackintosh and a few G5's as well.

The question is what's the BEST GPU that can be used with the old school PCIe 1.1 bus for pro apps. I know with 10.7.5 I can use any nvidia GPU 5 series or earlier that's PCIe.

Will a GTX 560 give me the same level of performance out of pro apps (Motion 5, FCS 7/FCP X) as something older but originally made for pro apps like a Quadro FX 4800?

Any insight on this would be fantastic. The X1900 isn't a bad card its just quite outdated. Can anyone give me an NVIDIA card to compare it to that has about equal benchmarks? I'm having a tough time finding good benchmark data for it that is relevant to my searches.

Thanks!
 

breeves002

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
12
0
St. Louis
Compressor is able to use all 8 cores which will actually speed up exporting quite a bit. I took that into consideration with the upgrade. Remember I'm using this for pro apps here. Not sure how motion will run on it but we'll see. I previously had a 2008 Mac pro with the dual 3.2GHz Quad cores. Compressor liked that.

Really curious on the difference between quadro FX cards and normal cards. I don't like ATI.
 
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breeves002

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
12
0
St. Louis

Robert Davies

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2011
316
3
People's Republic of Wrexham
Thanks for that info. That was very helpful. The 4800 is out for sure then. However the 4800 is less expensive than the 4000 as of now.

I kinda do want a quadro card for this for use with 3d applications like Maya. We'll see what happens.
Interestingly the GTX 285 came out of that exchange very well, I can't comment on how well it works in 10.7.5.

If you haven't already the sticky thread on NVidia is very worthwhile reading:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1440150

…and Netkas forum is well worth a look for inspiration re: GPUs too, though you'll probably recognise a fair few of the posters on there from here.

http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/board,6.0.html

Oh and I agree re: the price of FX 4800s, they can be had for much cheapness over here on ebay currently.
 

breeves002

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
12
0
St. Louis
I read that. Looks like my best option is to just swap the 560 in my hackintosh over to the pro and get a new card (760 with 4gb GDDR5 anyone?) for my hackintosh.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,348
6,367
If you don't mind unofficial solutions, I believe the GTX 570 is considered the best card for Lion users.
(See http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1440150.)

The GTX 570 is considerably faster than the AMD 5870 (you stated you don't like ATI anyway), and much less expensive than the Quadros. Also, the GTX 570 has considerably more CUDA cores than a Quadro 4000 (480 vs 256). It will be much faster than the Quadro for everything except software that requires double-precision work.

Because these are not official Mac cards, you'll either have to (A) live without EFI boot screens or (B) buy a modded card with EFI from someone such as MACVIDCARDS.

If you are interested, here is more reading about the 570:

Fastest Mac GPUs (Lion era thread)
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1360927

Regardless of what you pick, I hope this helps you make an informed decision.
 

Tutor

macrumors 65816
I just got my hands on a Mac Pro 1,1.

2x3.0GHz Dual Core Xeon 5160's
2gb ECC FB DDR2-667
X1900 XT w/512mb
3x250gb HD's

So I've already thrown 16gb ram in it, a 120gb SSD for the boot disk, and two X5355 Quad Core CPUs. What's left? Well of course, the old graphics card!

I will be using this for pro apps. The only reason I bought it was because I got it for a steal of a price at $200. I have an i7 hackintosh and a few G5's as well.

The question is what's the BEST GPU that can be used with the old school PCIe 1.1 bus for pro apps. I know with 10.7.5 I can use any nvidia GPU 5 series or earlier that's PCIe.

Will a GTX 560 give me the same level of performance out of pro apps (Motion 5, FCS 7/FCP X) as something older but originally made for pro apps like a Quadro FX 4800?

Any insight on this would be fantastic. The X1900 isn't a bad card its just quite outdated. Can anyone give me an NVIDIA card to compare it to that has about equal benchmarks? I'm having a tough time finding good benchmark data for it that is relevant to my searches.

Thanks!
For my MacPro2,1s, I got a bunch of GTX 590s from Ebay for between $300-$400 each. Each GTX 590 is faster in the early MacPros than a oGTX Titan reference design. I installed two GTX 590s in each system using the FSP BoosterX5 to power those dual 8-pin cards. Each card has 1,024 Fermi CUDA cores. Since a Fermi CUDA core is approximately equal in compute performance to 3 Kepler CUDA cores, two GTX 590s (which each have 2 GPU processors [each ~= to a GTX 570] ) is the equivalent of getting 6,144 Kepler cores for between $600-$800. The 3G vram on each card is split equally between each GPU processor - so it's 1.5G vram per processor. But I've yet to find that to be a problem in using them for 3d rendering with Octane render.
 

Robert Davies

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2011
316
3
People's Republic of Wrexham
For my MacPro2,1s, I got a bunch of GTX 590s from Ebay for between $300-$400 each. Each GTX 590 is faster in the early MacPros than a oGTX Titan reference design. I installed two GTX 590s in each system using the FSP BoosterX5 to power those dual 8-pin cards. Each card has 1,024 Fermi CUDA cores. Since a Fermi CUDA core is approximately equal in compute performance to 3 Kepler CUDA cores, two GTX 590s (which each have 2 GPU processors [each ~= to a GTX 570] ) is the equivalent of getting 6,144 Kepler cores for between $600-$800. The 3G vram on each card is split equally between each GPU processor - so it's 1.5G vram per processor. But I've yet to find that to be a problem in using them for 3d rendering with Octane render.
Hi Tutor, a quick question/clarification or two…

Does a single GTX590 still need external power?

What OS do you run, and can the 590(s) be run on?

Sorry for the Qs, but the 590 is outside my orbit as it were, and know next to nothing about them!

-Rob
 

breeves002

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
12
0
St. Louis
I think the 590's require 10.7.5 or newer like the other nvidia GPUs. They are Fermi cores still.

Would be a waste (or would it work?) on the mac pro 1,1 because its only PCIe 1.1.

I'm pretty sure only one 590 needs an external power supply to be safe.
 

Tutor

macrumors 65816
Hi Tutor, a quick question/clarification or two…

Does a single GTX590 still need external power?
Absolutely, Rob. It's a 300+ watt card that has two 8-pin power connectors. You can use a "Y" cable to gang the two 6-pin cables from the motherboard into one 8-pin connector; but you'd still need a source to feed the second 8-pin connector. Importantly however, one of them is the equivalent of two GTX570s in CUDA compute performance and one card is revealed as 2 GPUs in MacPro system info.

What OS do you run, and can the 590(s) be run on?
On Apples, I've only used them in ML and Mavericks 10.9.0, 10.9.1 and now in 10.9.2 on MP2,1s and MP4,1->5,1. I also run some on Win 7, Win Server 2008, Win HPC Server and Linux Mint systems. Another point that should not be overlooked is that because they came at the tail end of Fermi, the vast majority of used ones are still under warranty and EVGA's warranty protects 2nd owners.
 
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Tutor

macrumors 65816
I think the 590's require 10.7.5 or newer like the other nvidia GPUs. They are Fermi cores still.
Agreed.

Would be a waste (or would it work?) on the mac pro 1,1 because its only PCIe 1.1.
It should work. Some MP1,1 owners run the GTX Titan - PCIE 3.0 card. Speed at with GPU internal computations occur is affected only to the extent that PCIe speed affects how fast the card is feed data and returns its work product. I wouldn't view it as a waste in the least. The only faster shipping CUDA GPU is the GTX 690, the GTX 780 TI and the Titan Black Edition. Of course, the soon to be released GTX 790 will blow all of them away. But they all now cost a pretty penny.


I'm pretty sure only one 590 needs an external power supply to be safe.
Agreed.
 

brom

macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2008
16
0
Wow

I just found this thread and am really glad I did...
Tutor I had not even heard of the 790...do you know if this would require an external power supply for a Mac Pro? Thanks to Robert's and others' advice I'm getting closer to thinking about a 780 for my 2009 6-core; but now that I've heard of the 790 perhaps I should wait. Do you have any links to threads about that GPU? Thanks so much...
 

Tutor

macrumors 65816
I just found this thread and am really glad I did...
Tutor I had not even heard of the 790...do you know if this would require an external power supply for a Mac Pro? Thanks to Robert's and others' advice I'm getting closer to thinking about a 780 for my 2009 6-core; but now that I've heard of the 790 perhaps I should wait. Do you have any links to threads about that GPU? Thanks so much...
You can take a look at the first two short articles here - http://videocardz.com/?s=gtx+790 - for info on the GTX790, which some say will drop w/i a month or two. I'm not sure about the power pin configuration, but I wouldn't be surprised if it required an external power source for the Mac Pro because of the 300 watts of power it requires.
 
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breeves002

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 17, 2010
12
0
St. Louis
How does a card like the 590 compare to a card like the 760?

I'm really thinking I'm just going to put my 560 into the Pro (no external power needed that way) and then just buy something new for the hackintosh. Either that or just get something lower end for the pro and save money. A 4gb GDDR5 760 costs $300.... Or I can get a 550ti or something for a lot less money.