EVGA GTX 680 or Sapphire 7950 (Mac Editions)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by devinci99, May 17, 2013.

  1. devinci99 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    First why I want to upgrade:

    I got a Mac 4,1 8 core 32GB RAM with GTX 570 + GT 120 now to power 3 displays.

    My issue is on 10.8 randomly my system will crash and restart. I reported the issue each time, but I decided to do some investigating to see if the issue is with the 570, 120, both in a weird combo, etc. It also seem to crash when playing a lot of videos on all monitors at once esp with flash.

    It also seem to crash when playing video or flash video off the 3rd monitor hooked up to the GPU of the 2nd 16x PCIe (anything that is not on the 1st PCIe 16x)

    I found:

    1x GT 120 in 1st 16X PCIe -- no crash

    1x GT 120 in 1st and 2nd 16X PCIE -- crash with a lot of flash running -- only crashes if I play videos hanging off the display hooked to the second CPU

    1x GTX 570 in 1st 16X -- no crash

    GTX 570 in 1st PCIe and GT 120. Crash when video is playing off GT 120.

    GTX 570 in 1st PCIe and GT 620. Crash when video is playing off GT 620.

    GTX 570 in 1st PCIe and GTX 650. Crash when video is playing off GT 650.

    GT 120 in 1st PCIe and GT 120. Crash when video is playing off GT 120.

    I don't have the resource to run more scenario testing, BUT i found that the issue is triggered either on an second GPU and related to flash.

    Going off a hunch, I was thinking I can resolve this annoying issue with a single GPU solution that can support 3x displays.

    Unfortunately the flashed GTX 570 only supports 2 displays.

    So, I am eyeing:

    EVGA GTX 680 and Sapphire 7950

    The difference in price isn't the huge factor here if there are stability differences. If both are equally stable (hopefully resolve the random crash when Flash is playing). I don't game on the Mac (I got a PC to do this)... so I'm trying to figure out which card would be a better and more stable fit to power 3 displays and not randomly crash on me when I visit sites that has heavy flash like IGN.

    Anyone out there has any of these cards powering 3 or more monitors without issues??
  2. sn1p3r845 macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    I just tossed a GTX 680 in my mac pro 5,1 (coming from a 5770). I was powering 3 displays with it. Super solid card, did a few render tests and things are rendering 2x or 3x as fast (depending on the heaviness of the project).

    With my 5770 I had this issue where I would be working in AE (one monitor as fullscreen playback, another as my work area) and the preview monitor would just go white. I could still work normally but couldn't really ram preview.. So to fix that problem I had to restart the app (happened a lot, maybe once every 30mins or so). With my new GTX680 it solved the problem.

    I'm loving it so far, love the cuda cores as well! I can playback full 5k red raw footage in full res with effects and color on it.

    I was about to shell out $1800 for a Quadro K5000 until I read the bearfeets review on the GTX680 and it either tied or beat the K5000 in every test they ran..
  3. devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008

    I wonder how the 7950 fairs, (not in speed) in stability and reliability.

    I'm more worried about spending $450+ on a solution an *STILL* get random crashes.

    I mostly run VMWare fusion with Windows running on 1 full screen, and the other is for Mac OS. I usually load Safari on one window reading websites like IGN, Macrumors, etc. I'm not doing much at all.

    But the annoying random crashes is bugging me out... and it only seem to happen when I play video or move video between monitors and onto a monitor powered by a second nvidia GPU.

    I'll greatly appreciate if you let me know if your setup ever causes os 10.8.3 to crash esp loading a website that plays flash videos and moving that browser window between all your monitors. That seem to be the trigger.


    If no one else post anything good about the Sapphire, I'm leaning towards the 680.
  4. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
  5. devinci99, May 18, 2013
    Last edited: May 18, 2013

    devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    The latest *since 3 months ago*.

    Don't know if there are any new since. (I didn't check every day) I will check again.

    Just released a few days ago!
  6. sn1p3r845 macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    it seems to me your problem is from using more than one card in your system. wouldn't buying a card that can handle all your displays be the fix?

    like i said, iv been running 3 monitors for as long as I have had my mac pro on one card and I've NEVER had that problem before.
  7. devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    Yup I'm suspecting the multi-GPU being an issue and am leaning towards a single GPU solution.

    Now, AMD HD 7950 or nVidia GTX 680?

    Anyone used 7950 with 3 monitors yet and no issues visiting sites with a lot of flash, like ign? on all 3 monitors?
  8. peabo macrumors regular

    Feb 14, 2008
    I'm using a 7950 with 3 screens and haven't had a single issue yet. I got it when they were released
  9. devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    peabo@THANK YOU.

    Though, you made my decision a little more difficult in a good way.

    Too much choices. But for my usage, since 7950 and 680 are equal for me, 7950 being cheaper might just win.

    Giving the 680 one last consideration.
    Since I don't really game, or do anything visually intense (I don't use resolve, video edit, etc), is there anything about the 680 that could benefit a user like me over the 7950 to make the $150 worth the difference.

    Any thought from anyone on this. For $150, would you think 680 is worth it over the 7950?

    I'll even take better future proofing, but I think both are PCIE 3.0 ready.

    My 10.8.3 also has the latest nvidia drivers ready; would 680 be a smoother and cleaner upgrade over a AMD (where I might need to do a clean install to get clean out stale drivers?)

    I'm equally a fan of AMD and nVidia... tough choice! Going to finalize my decision in 3 days, hopefully to make the best informed decision possible from as many input as possible.
  10. devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    with 2x GT 120 with latest drivers installed couple days ago, I finally got a panic.

    Similar to this:


    I don't think it is specific to GT 120's. But from all the report, it seems related to nVidia (I didn't see any one else with similar panics on AMD branded cards)

    I know it is not just GT 120, because I removed them and used GT 620 and 570 combo and gotten the same panic.

    Interval Since Last Panic Report:  1153518 sec
    Panics Since Last Report:          1
    Anonymous UUID:                    4273A447-DBFF-17F6-1BE9-48C2A73FBE21
    Sun May 19 19:25:52 2013
    panic(cpu 10 caller 0xffffff801fa51107): "IOGMD: not wired for the IODMACommand"@/SourceCache/xnu/xnu-2050.22.13/iokit/Kernel/IOMemoryDescriptor.cpp:1424
    Backtrace (CPU 10), Frame : Return Address
    0xffffff83a26fb0a0 : 0xffffff801f61d626 
    0xffffff83a26fb110 : 0xffffff801fa51107 
    0xffffff83a26fb1a0 : 0xffffff801fa515e9 
    0xffffff83a26fb2a0 : 0xffffff7fa16bb93d 
    0xffffff83a26fb320 : 0xffffff7fa1713e96 
    0xffffff83a26fb370 : 0xffffff7fa1713dd7 
    0xffffff83a26fb3c0 : 0xffffff7fa16fc0de 
    0xffffff83a26fb450 : 0xffffff7fa16fa2ba 
    0xffffff83a26fb4a0 : 0xffffff7fa16ea528 
    0xffffff83a26fb550 : 0xffffff7fa171129f 
    0xffffff83a26fb750 : 0xffffff7fa17129e3 
    0xffffff83a26fb820 : 0xffffff7fa199ecd3 
    0xffffff83a26fb960 : 0xffffff7fa199e7be 
    0xffffff83a26fb970 : 0xffffff7fa19956d5 
    0xffffff83a26fbdb0 : 0xffffff7fa194240e 
    0xffffff83a26fbde0 : 0xffffff7fa1946533 
    0xffffff83a26fbe00 : 0xffffff7fa08dc2a4 
    0xffffff83a26fbe20 : 0xffffff7fa08dc237 
    0xffffff83a26fbe50 : 0xffffff7fa19532b8 
    0xffffff83a26fbe80 : 0xffffff7fa1942b04 
    0xffffff83a26fbed0 : 0xffffff7fa1940adf 
    0xffffff83a26fbef0 : 0xffffff801fa467a8 
    0xffffff83a26fbf30 : 0xffffff801fa452aa 
    0xffffff83a26fbf80 : 0xffffff801fa453d9 
    0xffffff83a26fbfb0 : 0xffffff801f6b2977 
          Kernel Extensions in backtrace:
                dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(2.7.3)[1D668879-BEF8-3C58-ABFE-FAC6B3E9A292]@0xffffff7f9fc81000
                dependency: com.apple.iokit.IONDRVSupport(2.3.7)[38C214C0-83C8-3594-8A4C-DC6AC3FEC163]@0xffffff7f9fd03000
                dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOGraphicsFamily(2.3.7)[74E3E50F-E50A-3073-8C96-06F854292A91]@0xffffff7f9fcc0000
                dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(2.7.3)[1D668879-BEF8-3C58-ABFE-FAC6B3E9A292]@0xffffff7f9fc81000
                dependency: com.apple.iokit.IONDRVSupport(2.3.7)[38C214C0-83C8-3594-8A4C-DC6AC3FEC163]@0xffffff7f9fd03000
                dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOGraphicsFamily(2.3.7)[74E3E50F-E50A-3073-8C96-06F854292A91]@0xffffff7f9fcc0000
                dependency: com.apple.NVDAResmanWeb(8.1.4)[99C75C62-8B1D-3D43-9DF1-BFB88E7D3A8A]@0xffffff7fa16b6000
    BSD process name corresponding to current thread: kernel_task
    Boot args: nvda_drv=1
    Mac OS version:
    Kernel version:
    Darwin Kernel Version 12.3.0: Sun Jan  6 22:37:10 PST 2013; root:xnu-2050.22.13~1/RELEASE_X86_64
    Kernel UUID: 3EB7D8A7-C2D3-32EC-80F4-AB37D61492C6
    Kernel slide:     0x000000001f400000
    Kernel text base: 0xffffff801f600000
    System model name: MacPro4,1 (Mac-F221BEC8)
    System uptime in nanoseconds: 121154307325135
    last loaded kext at 52255972586002: com.apple.driver.AppleUSBEthernetHost	2.3.6 (addr 0xffffff7fa1cfa000, size 28672)
    last unloaded kext at 52272162191053: com.apple.driver.AppleUSBEthernetHost	2.3.6 (addr 0xffffff7fa1cfa000, size 20480)
    loaded kexts:
    com.vmware.kext.vmioplug.10.1.24	10.1.24
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    Model: MacPro4,1, BootROM MP41.0081.B08, 8 processors, Quad-Core Intel Xeon, 2.26 GHz, 32 GB, SMC 1.39f5
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, PCIe, 512 MB
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, PCIe, 512 MB
    Memory Module: DIMM 1, 4 GB, DDR3 ECC, 1066 MHz, 0x857F, 0x463732353155363446393333334700000000
    Memory Module: DIMM 2, 4 GB, DDR3 ECC, 1066 MHz, 0x857F, 0x463732353155363446393333334700000000
    Memory Module: DIMM 3, 4 GB, DDR3 ECC, 1066 MHz, 0x857F, 0x463732353155363446393333334700000000
    Memory Module: DIMM 4, 4 GB, DDR3 ECC, 1066 MHz, 0x857F, 0x463732353155363446393333334700000000
    Memory Module: DIMM 5, 4 GB, DDR3 ECC, 1066 MHz, 0x857F, 0x463732353155363446393333334700000000
    Memory Module: DIMM 6, 4 GB, DDR3 ECC, 1066 MHz, 0x857F, 0x463732353155363446393333334700000000
    Memory Module: DIMM 7, 4 GB, DDR3 ECC, 1066 MHz, 0x857F, 0x463732353155363446393333334700000000
    Memory Module: DIMM 8, 4 GB, DDR3 ECC, 1066 MHz, 0x857F, 0x463732353155363446393333334700000000
    Bluetooth: Version 4.1.3f3 11349, 2 service, 18 devices, 1 incoming serial ports
    Network Service: Ethernet 1, Ethernet, en0
    Network Service: Ethernet 2, Ethernet, en1
    PCI Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, sppci_displaycontroller, Slot-2
    PCI Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 120, sppci_displaycontroller, Slot-1
    PCI Card: pci1b4b,9230, sppci_ahci, Slot-4
    Serial ATA Device: HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GH41N
    Serial ATA Device: OWC Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD, 479.95 GB
    Serial ATA Device: M4-CT512M4SSD2, 512.11 GB
    Serial ATA Device: Hitachi HDS723030ALA640, 3 TB
    USB Device: hub_device, 0x050d  (Belkin Corporation), 0x0307, 0xfd100000 / 2
    USB Device: hub_device, 0x0409  (NEC Corporation), 0x005a, 0xfd130000 / 4
    USB Device: Creative Xmod, 0x041e  (Creative Labs), 0x30d0, 0xfd140000 / 3
    USB Device: hub_device, 0x0409  (NEC Corporation), 0x005a, 0xfa200000 / 2
    USB Device: BCM2046B1, 0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.), 0x4500, 0xfa230000 / 4
    USB Device: BCM92046DG-CL1ROM, 0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.), 0x2148, 0xfa233000 / 6
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    USB Device: USB Receiver, 0x046d  (Logitech Inc.), 0xc52b, 0x3d100000 / 2
    USB Device: BRCM2046 Hub, 0x0a5c  (Broadcom Corp.), 0x4500, 0x5a100000 / 2
    USB Device: Bluetooth USB Host Controller, apple_vendor_id, 0x8215, 0x5a110000 / 3
    FireWire Device: built-in_hub, 800mbit_speed
    I'm really really getting more certain its related to having more than one (possibly nvidia brand only) GPU...

    What I am not 100% sure is if its only happening if the second GPU is nvidia brand only or if this happens on 2x AMD GPUs, or 1x nvidia (as primary) 1x AMD (as secondary).
  11. devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    I'm looking at the Amazon page for this card. On the pictures and discription I can't tell if this card comes with the 2x PCIE-to-mini-PCIE power cords or not. I would so, but I don't want to assume.

    Do I need to buy those power cables separately?


    Does gthe 680 comes with all the necessary PCIe power cables needed to work right away, or are those separate purchases?
  12. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    On OWC website, their GTX680 includes 2 6-pin power cables, DisplayPort to mini-DisplayPort adapter, DVI-I to VGA adapter and user manual.
  13. devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    Looks like the decision may have been made for me. EVGA 680 is out of stock at Amazon, and wait time appears to be 1-2 months.
  14. Shaun39 macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2013
    The 680 comes with everything you need right out of the box. it even comes with a hdmi to mini dvi cable. You'll have everything you need from the get go:)
  15. devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    the $599 from amazon has a 2 months waiting period so basically it's sold out. Other sellers are selling it for $650!

    On the other hand, the Sapphire was in stock and had an additional price drop. I ordered that; I hope I won't regret.

    I was leaning a little towards the 680 to hope for better future proofing when Apple ever releases a new Mac Pro so I can move the 680 to there.

    Sure hope 7950 is future proof enough. Hopefully that will solve my issue. Can't wait for wednesday!
  16. sn1p3r845, May 20, 2013
    Last edited: May 21, 2013

    sn1p3r845 macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    they're in stock from evga directly. (came into stock today)

    i bought mine from newegg when they came into stock, but they disappeared VERY fast.

    not sure if you saw this yet, but check out the benchmarks.


    oh just saw you ordered it.. regardless you're going to love it, huge jump in performance all around.
  17. devinci99 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    I feel a little regret already!

    I matched 7950 to GTX 670, and told myself 7950 is AMD 2nd faster single GPU on a single card, while 670 is nvidia's 3rd fastest which Titan being the fastest, and 680 the second. 680 matches up with 7970.

    But I should have research actual benchmarks on Mac. The difference looks much larger (I was expecting 70-80% of the performance).

    Also I had to get it from Amazon as I had $500 worth of reward cards from work. I checked a for 2 days if it came back in stock, and it didn't.
  18. Severio macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2013
    Hi all,

    I have a Mac Pro 5.1 (2010) 2,8 GHz with 5770 and a 30' display (2560x1600), I am running on OS X Lion 10.7.5. I am thinking about upgrading the video card to achieve higher performance and downloading Mavericks in the coming weeks. I use Cinema 4D 13, After Effects CS6 and sometimes Premiere CS6. I hesitate between the 7950 and the GTX680. Despite my research, I didn't find any performance difference between these video cards by such softwares. Some of you know something about it ? The Quadro K5000 is too expensive. Do you think the new 7970 6GB will be launched for Mac ?

    In the future, I plan to get a second monitor.

    Thank you in advance for your help.
  19. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
  20. Cubemmal, Aug 16, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013

    Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    I have three monitors and two cards. I forget the card numbers, one was the standard GTX 120 2009 that came with the machine (that old horrible GTX card) and the other is the upgraded AMD (but still old) for $250 from the Apple store, the 5770.

    Anyhow it works perfectly with two 24" Cinema and a 27" Cinema, so a-priori having different cards, even from different manufactures isn't the problem. Like all things old Mac Pro you found one of the many combinations that Apple didn't test.
  21. lantree macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2010
    I just returned the 7950 mac edition due to screen flickering issues on video playback, don't get me wrong it was a good card apart from that. But I'm not going to risk another one as it looks like there is a bad batch of them out there. Anyway when the cash get's refunded to my account I'm going to give a flashed gtx 680 from ebay a try.
  22. handheldgames macrumors 65816


    Apr 4, 2009
    Pacific NW, USA
    Amazon sells "USED" 680 EVGA GTX's for under $300. Mine arrived yesterday, was a new product, shrink wrapped and sealed from EVGA. Had never been installed in a system. It's a great card and easily flashed, avoiding the Troll Tax on ebay.
  23. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    get one with 4gb for 375 rite now
  24. Severio macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2013
    Draeconis, thanks for your reply ! I will definitely buy a GTX680. When I have got it, I will keep you updated.

    Cubemmal, interesting what you said.
  25. swaproot macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2013
    I have the same system (4.1 8 core) and it is also restarting. I thought it was my AMD7950 graphics card overheating, in fact I started another thread about it, but now that you have the same problem I don't think that the card is the problem. I hope we can solve this since I need to do some serious video editing on it.


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