Best GPU

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Chazz08, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. Chazz08 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #1
    I was wondering what you guys think would be the best GPU to buy and use with a Mac through the Thunderbolt port? I didn't really know where else to put this question, and I guess it would be a peripheral now. haha.

    Any thoughts, guys?

    [EDIT] Oh yeah, I'm specifically looking for gaming GPUs. Forgot to mention that.
     
  2. EpicBlob macrumors member

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    Feb 29, 2012
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    Mid-West
    #2
    I've got a 660 hooked up to my Mac Mini and it works great.

    All new nVidia cards should work fine (4xx and above) just don't get an AMD one.
     
  3. eladnova macrumors member

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    Aug 31, 2012
    #3
    What's your setup and enclosure? And are you running the games on boot camp?
     
  4. Chazz08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #4
    Good to know! I was looking at the high end nVidia Titan cards. Think those will work? I was looking around, but couldn't find anything on this one. It seems from what you said it should.

    ----------

    Sorry for the late response! I didn't realize I had a reply and forgot about this thread until now. haha. I'm actually trying to decide if I should buy the new Mac Pro or just an iMac, but I want the best graphics possible for gaming. So I'd probably have to connect it through the Thunderbolt Port (I'm pretty sure I've seen something about that being done.) I was looking at the nVidia Titan, but I'm not sure if it will work with the Macs or not.
     
  5. EpicBlob macrumors member

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    Feb 29, 2012
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    Mid-West
    #5
    Not sure if a Titan would work. Technically yes, but it may not in OS X. This is my current setup below. It's a Mac Mini connected to a ViDock GPU enclosure. Are you planning on gaming on OS X or Windows?

    Also, keep in mind that if you purchase an iMac, you will not be able to use the internal screen and you'll have to purchase a seperate screen. This is because nVidia Optimus lets you use the internal screen as long as you have a Integrated Intel GPU (only the low end 21inch model has one, so that might be the best option for you). I bought a mac mini because CPU wise it is close to the imac and the nVidia optimus gives me a huge boost in performance.
     

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  6. Chazz08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #6
    Hmmm. Interesting. I'm probably going to do some gaming on both Windows and OS X actually. Right now all of my games are on OS X, but there are a few my friends play that are Windows only at the moment. I'm looking into the ViDock thing right now. And the Optimus, because I'm not sure what that is. haha. Do you know if you can upgrade the CPU in a mini?
     
  7. EpicBlob macrumors member

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    Feb 29, 2012
    Location:
    Mid-West
    #7
    Nah, that's the one downside. But the 2.6ghz i7 in the Mini will definitely be good enough for most cases.

    Looked into it and it seems the 21inch imac has the soldered cpu, only the 27inch can change. But a desktop quad core i5 is still a very nice CPU (and I'll be honest, i7s are usually best for the designing rendering crowd while i5s are fine for gaming).

    Alright so Optimus is a technology nVidia made for their GPUs. You need a system with an intel integrated GPU (such as the intel hd3000, hd4000, iris pro, etc.) to use it.There are two main aspects of Optimus. One is that is allows you to render the internal screen, meaning you don't have to purchase an external (OS X doesn't support optimus so youll need an external screen for os x use). The internal screen also puts a hit in performance because some bandwidth is being used to pipe back to the internal screen, so internal screen performance will be worse than external. The second part of Optimus is compression. You'll be on a PCI-e 2.0 x1 link and the compression boosts performance in the range of 100-300%.

    Not gonna lie, the easiest setup would be something like my setup, a quad core mac mini, external display, and external GPU. This gives me more than enough power to play games to edit video and since it is an external display, I can run OS X and Windows 7/8 easily.
     
  8. Chazz08 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2012
    #8
    Nice. I'll start looking into buying a non iMac. I do some graphics editing and publishing as well, but that should be alright, I think. If I do need something more, I could opt for the cheapest Mac Pro since those have been confirmed as upgradable later on and it would use an external screen. Although, your setup seems really enticing right now. :) Cheap and good.

    I might wait a while though and see if they offer any updates later on this year. I wonder if they will ad 4K support for it or if they will just leave that with the Mac Pro. I'm thinking that latter.
     
  9. Chazz08 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #9
    By the way, how do you know what GPUs would work with this? I've been trying to search the web, but I can't seem to find specifics about GPUs that work with this kind of setup. I did find a website that ranks he GPUs though based on performance and the price to performance. (http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+780+Ti&id=2717)

    What do you think of this site? And this card? I'm currently pricing things out right now.
     
  10. EpicBlob macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Location:
    Mid-West
    #10
    Made this video a while back to show off video editing with and without an external GPU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoZmbshYVWU

    Well the thing is Optimus wouldn't work with the Mac Pro because there isn't an Intel GPU inside, but theoretically you could plug in a nvidia gaming GPU via the thunderbolt port.

    Like to drive a 4k screen? I mean the Intel 4000 can drive 4k, just no very well haha. If you plugged in a good card it'd do much better.

    It's a pretty sweet system. It can pretty much take anything I throw at it, editing 1080p video, playing any game, rendering.. It's a Mac that rivals the performance of a high end iMac but for $1400.

    Also, keep in mind that right now, ViDock is limited to expresscard which isn't as fast as thunderbolt. But the only thunderbolt enclosures are both extremely expensive and aren't even designed for graphics cards.

    A 780ti should work (someone got a titan working as an external card in windows) but depending on your choosing of native thunderbolt or expresscard, that might be overkill. For expresscard, a 670 is about as good as you can get until you start to not see any performance increase. Thunderbolt will raise that, but there's also the issue about the issues with native thunderbolt. It's pretty confusing haha
     

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