MP 1,1-5,1 Fastest Graphics Card for 5,1 Mojave Mac Pro?

rodedwards

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Original poster
Jul 7, 2010
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Hi ! :)

I have a 2009 5,1 Mac Pro. It's been pimped up with faster CPU, Ram etc ... but my Sapphire Pulse 8GB Radeon RX 580 card isn't fast enough for playing 8k 3D 360 video.

I've done Activity Monitor tests and the GPU is hitting the ceiling so i need faster.

Any suggestions or is there not really an upgrade other than non metal NVIDIA cards?

Thanks ! :)

Screenshot 2020-01-28 at 19.42.45.png
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
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Hi ! :)

I have a 2009 5,1 Mac Pro. It's been pimped up with faster CPU, Ram etc ... but my Sapphire Pulse 8GB Radeon RX 580 card isn't fast enough for playing 8k 3D 360 video.

I've done Activity Monitor tests and the GPU is hitting the ceiling so i need faster.

Any suggestions or is there not really an upgrade other than non metal NVIDIA cards?

Thanks ! :)

View attachment 891077
Fastest officially supported GPU with MP5,1/Mojave is Radeon VII.

Catalina don't support MP5,1 but can be made to work easily and then you can use RX 5700XT or the newer/to be released NAVI GPUs.
 

rodedwards

macrumors regular
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Jul 7, 2010
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You da' man Tsialex ! ;) Always so helpful - thank you.
Not sure i can manage the Catalina upgrade as it looks a bit too copmplicated for me. I'm no whizz ... Upgrading to Mojave and fitting h.2 stretched me !
The Radeon VII doesn't seem much faster ... from Geekbench tests i saw. Do you know if they have or can improved Metal support since last Summer - so faster speeds? The RX 580 was getting 45,000 on Geekbench 5 and the Radeon VII only 55,000 - in spite of 16Gb ram.
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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You da' man Tsialex ! ;) Always so helpful - thank you.
Not sure i can manage the Catalina upgrade as it looks a bit too copmplicated for me. I'm no whizz ... Upgrading to Mojave and fitting h.2 stretched me !
The Radeon VII doesn't seem much faster ... from Geekbench tests i saw. Do you know if they have or can improved Metal support since last Summer - so faster speeds? The RX 580 was getting 45,000 on Geekbench 5 and the Radeon VII only 55,000 - in spite of 16Gb ram.
There are several users of Radeon VII here, it's the fastest card for compute jobs by a large margin. Use the search, you will find posts about Luxmark/Furmark/GeekBench with VII.

Benchmarks are just an indication and GeekBench is not a good GPU benchmark. For gaming, NAVI cards are better than VEGA/VII.
 
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rodedwards

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Jul 7, 2010
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Will do ! Thanks ! 👍

Don't suppose it gets a boot screen and a pretty Apple Logo on start up ?

If not, does it cause any problems as i got my RX 580 Flashed by Mac Video Cards.
 

tsialex

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Will do ! Thanks ! 👍

Don't suppose it gets a boot screen and a pretty Apple Logo on start up ?

If not, does it cause any problems as i got my RX 580 Flashed by Mac Video Cards.
Pre-boot configuration support for GOP GPUs only works with MP7,1 or Mac mini 2018. MP5,1 is UGA.

People are using cards without pre-boot configuration support for years without trouble.

You can't use VII + RX 580 without an external GPU or Pixla's mod.
 

rodedwards

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Jul 7, 2010
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Can i add a second card to existing MVC flashed RX 580? Like another non flashed RX 580. They are good price now £165 in uk.
 

tsialex

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Can i add a second card to existing MVC flashed RX 580? Like another non flashed RX 580. They are good price now £165 in uk.
No, it's a dual mini-PCIe 6-pin to 8-pin card, you can't power it unless Pixla's mod or external GPU.

Btw, the video engine of Polaris/VEGA/VII GPUs are essentially the same, VEGA and VII have improvements and more memory bandwidth, but it's not like the redesigned VCE of NAVI.
 

rodedwards

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Jul 7, 2010
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So a second RX580 can't be powered from the CD or DVD drive port?

Mmmmm - Just Google Pixla Mod and it's way too complicated :)
 

rodedwards

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 7, 2010
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Damn ! :)

Ok ... I'll take a close look at the Radeon VII.

Will i notice much difference in playback as the Radeon VII has 16GB Video Ram instead of RX 580's 8Gb.

Or probably much the same?
 

aman88

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2019
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No, it's a dual mini-PCIe 6-pin to 8-pin card, you can't power it unless Pixla's mod or external GPU.

Btw, the video engine of Polaris/VEGA/VII GPUs are essentially the same, VEGA and VII have improvements and more memory bandwidth, but it's not like the redesigned VCE of NAVI.
I though the rx580 could be powered from the pci port and a dual 6 pin to 8 pin connector? It was anything past that graphics card wise that cannot? Also could you not just hook it up to the pci slot and run a cable from an external power source?

looking to buy a Mac 5,1 and modify it... thanks!
 

rodedwards

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Jul 7, 2010
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I heard the RX580 could be powered from the optical bay but I'm no whizz kid. That's wjy i'm asking you guys !

I love my 5,1. It still kicks ass for a 2009 Mac :)
 

tsialex

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I though the rx580 could be powered from the pci port and a dual 6 pin to 8 pin connector? It was anything past that graphics card wise that cannot? Also could you not just hook it up to the pci slot and run a cable from an external power source?

looking to buy a Mac 5,1 and modify it... thanks!
We are talking about a second RX 580. ODD power cable can only provide 108W at the maximum, not enough for a RX 580 that requires 225W or more at load.

Btw, most GPUs use a lot less from the PCIe slot than the PCIe power connectors, RX 580s that are not Dell made use around 50W or less from the slot. No one should buy a Dell RX 480/580 GPU to use with a MP5,1, these cards are not safe for the 75W PCIe slot limit.
 
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rodedwards

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Original poster
Jul 7, 2010
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Can a second RX 580 be powered externally? If so, how would i do that and wouyld that be the answer or just introduce more problems?
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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Can a second RX 580 be powered externally? If so, how would i do that and wouyld that be the answer or just introduce more problems?
There are threads about GPUs powered by external PSUs, use the search and read about.

In my experience the only type of work that have substantial gains with dual GPUs are compute jobs and not video playing or gaming.
 

rodedwards

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 7, 2010
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It's actually for playing 360 VR videos not games. I'm editing in FCPX and exporting to YouTube.

Here's an example - an 8k stereoscopic (3D) 360 video.


The sound is ok but the lips don't sync as the GPU is overloaded.
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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It's actually for playing 360 VR videos not games. I'm editing in FCPX and exporting to YouTube.

Here's an example - an 8k stereoscopic (3D) 360 video.


The sound is ok but the lips don't sync as the GPU is overloaded.
Did you enabled AMD hardware acceleration already? Maybe asks someone with a VII to see if it will make a difference, dual GPU probably won't.
 

rodedwards

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 7, 2010
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Was it not automatically enabled - If not, i don't think so - how do i do that ?! :eek:
 

aman88

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Mar 21, 2019
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We are talking about a second RX 580. ODD power cable can only provide 108W at the maximum, not enough for a RX 580 that requires 225W or more at load.

Btw, most GPUs use a lot less from the PCIe slot than the PCIe power connectors, RX 580 that are not Dell made use around 50W or less from the slot.
sorry I’m still slightly confused... so can one rx580 be safely powered at load using the dual 6 pin to 8 pin cable and the pci slot? Or is that too much wattage required still?
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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rodedwards

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 7, 2010
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Awesome Tsialex ... I'll have a read and study it. Big thanks again !

sorry I’m still slightly confused... so can one rx580 be safely powered at load using the dual 6 pin to 8 pin cable and the pci slot? Or is that too much wattage required still?
I think these are the cables you need for RX580. Two cables and no power problems :

 

aman88

macrumors regular
Mar 21, 2019
115
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Thanks for the help guys! Does anyone know if with that set up you can run Catalina? Seems like the processors in these things are still quite sufficient (especially with the dual processors) just graphics cards need to be updated.

There’s also a site that sells the rx580 and the cable for about $350 not sure if that’s a good price.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,610
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Thanks for the help guys! Does anyone know if with that set up you can run Catalina? Seems like the processors in these things are still quite sufficient (especially with the dual processors) just graphics cards need to be updated.

There’s also a site that sells the rx580 and the cable for about $350 not sure if that’s a good price.
MP 1,1-5,1 What you need to do to make Catalina work with MacPro5,1

A brand new Sapphire Pulse RX 580 can be bought for around $190, cables are ~$10.

Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5 PCI-E Dual HDMI / DVI-D / Dual DP OC w/ Backplate (UEFI), 100411P8GOCL
 
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rodedwards

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 7, 2010
145
18
Thanks for the help guys! Does anyone know if with that set up you can run Catalina? Seems like the processors in these things are still quite sufficient (especially with the dual processors) just graphics cards need to be updated.

There’s also a site that sells the rx580 and the cable for about $350 not sure if that’s a good price.
Amazon in UK sell it for £165. I bought mine from Mac Vid Cards as it's EFI flashed so i get the Apple boot screen. To be honest, as long as you have installed the latest firmwares with a metal supported card you don't need the EFI flash in Mojave.

I'm scared to update to Catalina as it's not simple ... and could all be broken if Apple do an update that breaks it. Happy with Mojave.

Get some extra ram (i have 96Gb 6 x 16Gb), a Samsung 970 h.2 flash drive and you're away. :)
 
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