Can someone please help me pick a video card for 3D work for a 2010 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by chrono1081, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. chrono1081, Sep 8, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013

    chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I'm so sorry to ask about this again but I'm flat out confused as far as graphics cards go.

    I want a card that will be good for Modo, Mari, Maya (some), and Mudbox. (Realflow too but I don't know how much that uses the gfx card).

    I bought a Radeon 7950 and there is no performance improvement for 3D apps (and its actually worse in Mudbox).

    Now I'm looking at the GTX 680 which seems to be sold out in a lot of places or a Quadro k5000 which I hear mixed reviews about.

    I don't care about gaming performance I only want to be able to do nice texturing and 3D work.

    Anyone able to steer me in the right direction? I'm on 10.8.4 and 10.9 (DP7). If the GTX is the way to go which one should I get? There are a million of them. I understand I can flash them with ROMS (I already read through that whole thread) to get them to work on Mac and Windows.

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

    EDIT: Also let me state that I've been through every article imaginable from Tom's, to Barefeats, to AndandTech, Xbit, etc and still can't figure out which one to get :/
     
  2. flat five macrumors 601

    flat five

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    newyorkcity
    #2
    what type of performance improvement are you expecting a new gpu to give you? and what is 'actually worse' in mudbox?
     
  3. chrono1081 thread starter macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #3
    Painting on denser meshes is very slow, almost unusable. My HD5870 would get around 15 - 20 FPS which isn't terrible but my Radeon 7950 only gets around 2 - 5 FPS which is completely unusable.

    Also in apps like Modo I would see people post 70 - 100 FPS test scenes where as on my 5870 I would only get around 23 FPS. With my 7950 I only got 24 fps :/
     
  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #4
    Is this 7950 Mac edition or PC one? I.e. does it run @5.0 GT/s or 2.5?
    AFAIK Mudbox is one of these programs where CPU->GPU transfer speed matters a lot.
     
  5. flat five macrumors 601

    flat five

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    #5
    are you sure the 'test scene' is actually testing anything? i assume it's some sort of user made test and not an official luxology-test_ur_card benchmark.


    test aside, do you personally see a difference with the 2 fps result vs the 24fps ?

    i mean, you definitely should see that sort of result with your own eye but i highly doubt you see it (i.e.- the test is baloney)

    add--
    I assume this test is some sort of high poly deal which spins around? (I've seen similar in sketchup)... that stuff isn't really gpu related anyway.. it's mostly clock speed of a single CPU core which affects that type of performance.
     
  6. malana, Sep 8, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013

    malana macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #6
    in realflow, you can simulate using gpu. quite fast!

    k5000 is cool but very very pricey - just buy a used gtx 570 for 120 euros (from a shop) and a used quadro 4000. that's what I am doing. normal PC versions, not flashed. although - if I understand correctly - they benchmark higher when they are flashed..

    ah, found it, I think: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1366650.
     
  7. chrono1081 thread starter macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #7
    Its the 7950 Mac edition. The hardware I have is a 2010 Mac Pro, 3.33Ghz Intel Xeon (6 core), 24 GB of RAM, lots of hard drive space.

    They were user made test scenes. The one for Modo I have a large array of cubes that spins. Others doing this test scene would see 70+ FPS while I only see around 24 on both ATI cards.

    For Mudbox I painted the exact same model. Its very noticeable too. Its almost impossible to paint using the 7950 where as its just slow and cumbersome using the 5780.

    I know they're not the best test scenes but its close to real world usage for what I do.

    Thanks for the insight! Unfortunately I can't use the 570 since its an unsupported card in Mari. I have to go with the 580 or higher.
     
  8. flat five macrumors 601

    flat five

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    newyorkcity
    #8
    yeah man, i don't know.. i mean you're claiming these cards are unusable but then i read people who are producing amazing work talking about how good zbrush and c4d are on a rMBP

    glen southern re: zbrush/mbp
    http://southerngfx.co.uk/2012/06/4503


    to me, it sounds more like you have a zillion polys in a model then blame the computer for poor performance.. the software can't handle it and is telling you to refine/rethink/re-approach your approach..
    (obviously, i could be very wrong here.. just skeptical is all ;) )
     
  9. chrono1081 thread starter macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #9
    Well ZBrush is different, it doesn't have any GPU requirements at all (it uses its own CPU based solution which is why you can run it on Macbook Airs).

    According to other places I've looked it appears AMD's drivers are to blame since NVidia users are getting much better results. I've even tested both the 5780 and the 7950 on a brand new install with nothing but 3D apps on it (and two games) and no performance increase in the 3D apps :/ (Games saw an increase but not a $500 price difference increase).
     
  10. chrono1081 thread starter macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #10
    I sported for the nVidia Quadro k5000 and it is...amazing...

    Not only are my scenes VERY fluid even very complex ones with tons of geometry, but I've noticed drastic improvements in:

    Houdini
    Maya
    Modo
    After Effects
    Realflow
    Mari
    Mudbox (The viewport is still laggy with Mudbox when painting dense meshes but the painting itself is now buttery smooth!)

    The price is high but I'm definitely impressed!
     
  11. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #11
    Good to hear. That's one of the cards I was looking at when putting together a parts list for a PC I was thinking of building.

    I'm still holding out to see what comes out of the whole Mac Pro situation, but I'll probably revisit the k5000 again if that doesn't pan out.
     

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