Extreme Makeover: Mac Edition

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Jprice32, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. Jprice32 macrumors newbie

    Jprice32

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    #1
    Hey everyone I'm so excited to be posting my first thread on here. I'm not new to reading the forums but as you can see from my profile ranking I am a Macrumors virgin so be gentle. I am going to try and give as much detail as possible about my situation and while I know it's probably not unique I can't find the answers I'm looking for. So here we go.

    I am in the process of moving my music composing suite from a spare bedroom to an actual studio space. With that is coming a huge upgrade to my 2009 Mac Pro (current specs, 32gb 1066 RAM, 2 x Xeon Quad-Core processors, stock video card, bay 1= 1TB HD, bay 2 = 4TB HD, bay 3 = 500GB HD). I will be upgrading everything in this to 2010 specs as I already have the ram 128GB and the processors for such an upgrade. Here is my question.

    I will be buying a 40"+ 4K computer monitor (Brand TBD) so I can take advantage of the real estate it can provide vertically over an untrawide display. I am wanting to get a new video card that will power such a monitor but here's the thing. I DO NOT GAME. I am a film composer so the most intense graphics I deal with are videos and most of them NOT in 4K aside from the occasional YouTube flick. I found this little guy...NVIDIA GT 630 2 GB that seems like a good way to go but again I'm not a video guy I'm an audio nerd. Would this be a smart option? I am wanting to stay under $250.

    Any comments would be welcomed thank you for your time and advice.
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #2
    If you don't need GPU horsepower, something like a GT 630 would be fine. Just make sure it has HDMI 2.0 and/or DisplayPort so that you can get 4K@60Hz with your monitor. Of course, you'll have to determine what ports are on your monitor...
     
  3. Silencio macrumors 68020

    Silencio

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    You'll also want a lower powered GPU in order to keep the heat / fan noise down.

    The GT 630 is a good, cheap option, but I think I'd step up to a GTX 960, which should also fit within your budget.
     
  4. Jprice32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jprice32

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    #4
    Thanks a lot. I appreciate it. I know all the monitors I've looked at have display and HDMI 2.0
    --- Post Merged, Apr 26, 2017 ---

    Keeping the fan noise down...good call I'll look at this GTX 960. Thanks for the response.
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #5
    I actual believe GT630 is a better option. Anyone don't need GPU power should NOT go above GTX680. That most likely will result in black screen on every single OS update (including security update). Because without Mac EFI, all the "new" Nvidia GPU will not able to display anything until Nvidia web driver is installed and activated. However, the driver is OS build specific. Which mean you CANNOT update the driver before the OS update, which also mean the system do NOT have the proper web driver after system upgrade and reboot. This is not fun at all. If the user need the GPU power (e.g. TitanX required), then it may be worth to go this route. However, for just powering a screen. I really can't see any point go above GTX 680.
     
  6. Jprice32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jprice32

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    #6
    So what you're saying is:

    Gt630 = boot/update screen visible

    GT680 = boot/update screen NOT visible.

    And this is due to the on board GPU of the GT680. While the GT630 is a pci card and is powered by the CPU? Do I have this correct?

    Thank you for your reply.
     
  7. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #7
    Be carful the cooling fan on that GT 630, I have the Quadro 600, they are really the same card, but my fan spins over 5K RPMs at idle, and when it ramps up, over 7K.

    It's very loud, I would avoid the entire GF108 and try and find a GK chip, they should run cooler.

    Code:
    0x0f00    GF108 [GeForce GT 630] Not this one!!!!!!!
    Code:
    0x0fc2    GK107 [GeForce GT 630] Maybe this one.
    Code:
    0x1284    GK208 [GeForce GT 630 Rev. 2] or this one.
     
  8. Jprice32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jprice32

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    #8

    Sorry to be a nube but do have a link for the GK208 GeForce GT 630? I can seem to find it...
     
  9. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #9
    I really disagree with everyone's advice here regarding the GPU. I'll start this off by saying, I am not a gamer. In the past 5 or 6 years I have used 3 Nvidia GPUs in my 5,1. All of them have been flashed by MVC for a boot screen. So, all this discussion about boot screen is moot thanks to MVC. My cards have been a GTX 570, a GTX 780 and now a GTX 1080. With each iteration of card, I have noticed improved performance. Screen redraws are faster in everyday local use and on the web. And with each update the cards have gotten quieter and more power efficient.

    With the size of the display and the resolution the OP wants, IMHO, he needs as much video RAM that he can get for decent performance in todays environment. At least 4 or 6GB.

    Also I see no mention by the OP or in any answers here about an SSD. That IMHO, should be the OPs first modification. Preferably one mounted on a PCIe card. The OP may also want to think about USB 3.0.

    Just my 2₵

    Lou
     
  10. DearthnVader macrumors regular

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #10
    therein lies the rub, nobody want's to post the specs of the GPU, so you know you'll be getting a GT 630 but you don't know the Device ID until you install it.

    I would go for something else, as all the GT630's I see are like my Quadro 600, a half height PCIE card. Being half height means they have to put a smaller fan on the card. A smaller fan has to run at a higher RPM than a large fan, that they can put on a full height card, to move the same amount of air.

    Faster the fan === more noise.

    Believe me when I tell you, you don't want a small fan card in a audio production setting.

    I would go for a card like the GTX 1050, it's a little more trouble to install the nVidia drivers, after each MacOS upgrade, but this is a 75 Watt card, with two big fans, that can turn very slow and quiet. Because you are running a PC Bois on the card, you should be able to under clock the bios, for even quieter operation.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487299

    Also, I don't know how well the GT 630 supports 4k, as I've never tried it on my Quadro 600, but the GTX 1050 supports Displayport 1.4( 8K ) HDMI 2.0b and Dual Link DVI-D.


    The three 630 Gt's run from 49 Watts to 65 Watts, to 25 Watts for the Kelper GT 630, but you don't know which one you will get, and they will only have one small, loud fan, unless you can find a full height Gt 630 in stock somewhere.
     
  11. Jprice32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jprice32

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    #11

    So you would recommend a huge card like you have listed even if I'm not going to do any video rendering or gaming? I've only got about $250 for this particular upgrade...

    Thank you for your feedback!
     
  12. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #12
  13. jeeplj8 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    #13
    I agree. I don't game either, but I am running a GTX 970. I do some photo editing and even lightroom can push some older video cards at higher resolutions. Why get a modern 4K display and then use a video card designed when 2K was the "new thing?"

    IMHO you have two options, pony up 450 or so, go to macvidcards and get something that is truly an all in one solution. those are cards with mac os efi loaded on them. or...

    do what many people have done, keep your old video card for troubleshooting, buy a good card like a GTX 980, install the nVidea drivers and enjoy some great GPU performance. in a year or so you might need to go through the process of updating, but it truly is not that big a deal.
     
  14. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #14
  15. akidd macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tunbridge Wells, UK
    #15
    Just wanted to say this is great thread: helpful, informative and not having a go at anything or anyone. As it should be.
     
  16. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #16
    There may be exceptions, but I think the GF 7 series is about as low as you can go with 4K @ 60Hz, and make sure it's got HDMI 2.0 if you're hooking up to a TV without DisplayPort.

    As someone else commented, the first upgrade I'd recommend above all others is adding an SSD as your OS drive.

    Good luck!
     
  17. fastlanephil macrumors 6502a

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #17
    I see that MACVIDCARDS has the GT 630 2GB that will do 4K. Features mentions something about Boot Screen using all ports for standard, non-4K monitors. The guestion is will you have a boot screen using one of the Mini DisplayPorts connected to a 4K monitor.
     
  18. rippiedoos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    #18
    Wouldn't an AMD RX460-1024/RX560 be a smarter choice? That card has low power, low cost and native support in macOS. No boot screen unfortunately but no hassle with drivers like more modern NVIDIA cards.
    Also the added OpenCL performance for video software is nice.
     
  19. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #19
    No, GTX680 still able to display. However, anything beyond / above that (e.g. GTX960, GTX1050, or some GTX 7xx card) may only shows black screen (screen NOT visible) after every single OS update.

    I personally just can't see why you need such a powerful card. Yes, it may draw the screen better, but is it really important to your workflow? I personally don't think single 4K desktop environment is a demanding situation at all. GPU utilisation rate is extremely low most of the time. And screen size simply not a factor to consider in this situation. No matter how big the screen, 4K is just 4K, it won't be more demanding to the GPU. Even an iGPU can handle it without any issue. Almost any reasonable dGPU can do the job. Just pick the cheapest one that works for you.

    For $250, I will say it's plenty for just to get a GPU that can drive a 4K screen.

    If you are with macOS Sierra, I may even consider the RX460. The reference RX460 is the newest known OOTB card that work in cMP (but MacOS Sierra is REQUIRED). In your case, I will not go for any non OOTB card. Which means any Maxwell and Pascal card are out of equation.

    Anyway, I suggest you read through this thread (at least the very first post), which will let you know more about which Nvidia card can work OOTB (If you prefer Nvidia). What's the limitation. And what special care required for the Maxwell / Pascal card.

    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...out-nvidia-pc-non-efi-graphics-cards.1440150/
     
  20. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #20
    Anything that speeds up may cMP is certainly important to me. Why upgrade storage (SSD), CPUs and RAM and have an antique for a video card is beyond me.

    Yes, I know the cMP is itself an antique, but there is nothing better to replace it with IMO.

    Lou
     
  21. CapnDavey macrumors 6502

    CapnDavey

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    #21
    here are some things I did get a GTX680 EVGA brand is best these cards are easy to flash for boot screen and give 4k video.
    Get a SSD and a PCIE card for it. larger hard drives help to and more ram. good luck
     
  22. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #22
    Just to mention: If you want HEVC (h.265) hardware acceleration buy a GTX 1050 (Ti), GTX 1060, GTX 960 or GTX 950.

    I have the GT 630, and this card could also be too weak for 4K videos. I prefer a GTX 960 for light use.

    If you buy a card from MVC: All Maxwell cards (GTX 9xx) and above provide boot screen on 4K resolution. GTX 6xx/GTX7xx do not, even with MVC EFI ROM.
     
  23. JeffPerrin macrumors regular

    JeffPerrin

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    #23
    I will second flowrider's advice that any major upgrade should seriously consider an SSD, for the boot drive at least. I added a 1TB SSD drive to my 2012 5,1 and then later added a 500GB SSD for my sample library disk (NI Komplete Ultimate, Garriton GPO and a couple others). My DAW projects reside on a 1TB HDD (which is fine for audio-only projects). Life with the 5,1 is sooo much better with the SSD drives! :)

    //
     
  24. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #24
    I was talking about OP's case. He only use the GPU to drive the screen, that's it. It won't speed up anything. I never ever see "draw the screen better" can speed up the work flow under normal situation. Just like a display that has better colour won't speed up anything. Is it good to have a better display? Yes. Is it important for graphic designer etc? Yes. But it won't make the computer "faster". OP already clearly state that the most intensive graphic work is just video, and rarely 4K. How a GPU draw the screen better can speed things up in his case?

    I am not arguing he should not upgrade to SSD or get more RAM. Those are important for his workflow. I just want to say that he doesn't need to pay that amount of money to buy a seriously overkill GPU. Especially he said the budget is $250, and want a smart option. But not no budget limit, and the most powerful option.

    I won't say I am smarter than you. Everyone has different value. I totally respect that you want a better graphic card even just able to draw the screen better. However, what I tried to do is to give OP a more balanced suggestion which can fit in his budget and description. If speed is everything. I sure will ask him to go through the Pixlas mod, buy a flashed TitanXP, install a RAID 0 4xSM951.....or even go for the Hackintosh.

    Anyway, same here, I love to have a newer computer (mainly the CPU). But still nothing can replace the cMP yet. In fact, I doubt if the new 7,1 really a better Mac. Or just another disaster. fingers cross. :cool:
     
  25. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #25
    WOW:eek: That's a heckofa statement!

    Lou
     

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