External Graphic Card Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by toolbox84, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. toolbox84 macrumors newbie

    toolbox84

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    #1
    Hi,

    I am using Mid. 2010 Mac Pro (The towers), with these configurations:

    Processor: 2x2.4 GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Total Number of Cores: 8
    Memory: 18 GB 1066 MHz DDR3
    Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB
    OS: 10.12.5

    I am using this computer mainly for creative work. The software I use is Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Corel Painter.

    Recently I found out that I could use an external Graphics Card for better performance. I would like to get expert information on this.

    What do you recommend for my configuration? Which external card is good?

    Thank you
     
  2. Prince134 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    #2
    The best card for your job is Nvidia GTX1080 Ti.
     
  3. toolbox84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    toolbox84

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    #3
    Thank you for the suggestion. I want something that will go for about 7 years. Also, I am planning to do 3D work in the near future. Is your suggestion still good for 3D and 7 years?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Prince134 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2010
    #4
    I don't have an answer for this one.
     
  5. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #5
    The cMP (Mac Pro towers) don't need external graphics cards - you can put graphics cards inside the tower.
     
  6. toolbox84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    toolbox84

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2017
    #6
    I was thinking external just incase I want to use it for MacBook Pro too. But I guess that is not the main goal.
     
  7. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #7
    Your safest bet right now is a 1080 Founder's Edition. Both the 1080Ti and Titan Xp have been reported to cause sudden shutdowns. Check the blog at macvidcards.

    All that said, I have no idea whether or not your particular functions are GPU accelerated. Might want to check with your software vendors before taking the plunge.
     
  8. William_si, Jun 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

    William_si macrumors regular

    William_si

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Location:
    Croatia
    #8
    This is not possible - the cMP does not have Thunderbolt and there is no way to add it.

    You can route PCIe external, but this will look weird and is complicated, i did it at one point.

    You mainly want to trash that 5770 or if you have slots 2,3,4 unused get a second much better one - RX4xx and RX5xx cards from AMD are very fast and use only 1 6-8pin connector; with some minor case bending they also fit in slot 4 and cover the HDD bays 3 and 4, allowing the use of all 4 PCIe slots - as the RX cards (reference design) have only the lower row as ports all 4 stay usable. See here in my secondary Mac.
     
  9. Synchro3, Jun 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

    Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #9
  10. William_si macrumors regular

    William_si

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Location:
    Croatia
    #10
    Define GPGPU? I was running displays on 3 cards external (each at x1) and 1 internal (x16) at the same time - OSX does this without issues. With 4 GPUs on slot 3/4 behind another PLX splitter the entire Mac refused to POST though, slot 1/2 do not have this problem.

    Expresscard works, sure, but you waste 3 precious PCIe lanes with it. Interesting concept though, need to see if can get 4 adapters into 1 slot on a PCB and wire them to a PLX splitter, but currently testing SAS to transport 4 lanes (one SAS cable supports up to 4 PCIe lanes as the pin count is nearly the same as 1 PCIe lane per port).
     
  11. Synchro3, Jun 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

    Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

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    Jan 12, 2014
    #11
    The eGPU via Expresscard was just a gimmick, an experiment. :) The Express Card 34 adapter costed me only $15. OpenGL was a lot worse than with the internal card, but OpenCL was benefiting. Never tried a display with that configuration because only 193-199 MiB/s seemed to me a bit too slow:
    CUDA-Z - eGPU GTX 570.png

    Yes, it is a waste of 3 PCIe lanes, therefore I would recommend a PCI-E-16x extender cable or the Amfeltec solution if you need an external GPU.
     
  12. William_si macrumors regular

    William_si

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    Apr 4, 2016
    Location:
    Croatia
    #12
    Did this sync at 2.5GT/s / PCIe 1.1? 200MB/s would be consistent with 1 lane 1.1 (2.5Gbit ~).

    Interesting, might have been cable quality of the eGPU kit - the PLX on 3/4 is sensitive to such things (aside that most cards only run at 1.1 in a cMP, which internal is not THAT bad but matters a lot if you only have 1 lane in use).
     
  13. Synchro3, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017

    Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #13
    2.5GB/s 1 lane PCI-E 1.0 is correct. The limiting factor was the Express Card 34 adapter, it has a maximum throughput of 2.5 Gbit/s through PCI Express: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExpressCard

    The same eGPU (PE4L) via a Sonnet Echo Express Card Pro (Thunderbolt) adapter indicated 5.0 Gb/s. The cable was no problem.
     
  14. William_si macrumors regular

    William_si

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    Apr 4, 2016
    Location:
    Croatia
    #14
    That is weird - same as mini PCIe expresscard was designed for 1.1 but can run 2.0/3.0 fine if the adapter is passive, probably contains some electronic hm.
     
  15. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    it needs to be mentioned that most the software you use will not benefit from a GPU upgrade in a big way
    "Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Corel Painter"are mostly CPU/RAM/drive speed limited so maybe buy SSD instead?

    GTX1080 Ti may be huge over kill if you relay want a GPU upgrade an RX 460 or 1050/1060 may be better options but you will need to look in to it a bit to check there's no problems the ATI cards may be better options but i think you may need to upgrade to the newest os for them?
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #16
    IMHO for these applications you would be significantly better off with a CPU upgrade and, if you are still using a hard drives, an SSD or two. Also memory might help a lot, depending on your usage--check your memory pressure during heavy use.

    As some others have mentioned, external GPU isn't really suited for the 2010 Mac Pro because it doesn't have Thunderbolt. So you can't really just swap a GPU box between your Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, if that was your intent.
     
  17. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #17
    Sonnet and razer enclosures are plug are plug and play. Highly recommended , I've used both.

    As for the card, heck a 1070 will be a massive upgrade for you to be honest. I'd almost say get a cheap 1070 and in a few years upgrade to the 1070 replacement which in that time will make the 1080ti look slow

    1080ti, fantastic card, though still expansive, great for gamers, and given your system specs, I'd invest the saved money into more ram and ssd or even CPU
     
  18. William_si macrumors regular

    William_si

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    Apr 4, 2016
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    Croatia
    #18
    Sure. If you have TB. Which a 2010 Pro does not.
     
  19. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #19
    With something like the core, it's plug and play. I'd honesty put the card into the MP and when I wanted to use i on the MacBook Pro, take it out and into the core. It would take minutes.
     

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