Fastest Mac Pro 5,1 Gaming Card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by adversus, Feb 1, 2014.

  1. adversus macrumors regular

    adversus

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    So I've been browsing through the various Video card threads and it seems like there's some Mac specific cards being made, some cards that work natively in Mac OS + Windows without flashing the ROM, and some that require ROM flashing.

    Assuming price isn't much an issue, anybody have an opinion on the "best" overall graphics card for gaming on a Mac Pro 5,1 in both Mac OS X and Windows 7? I really only play BF4 in Windows, and WoW in Mac OS.

    For context this machine is primarily a photography workstation (3x Samsung SSD and 32GB of RAM). Obviously any card suitable for gaming will continue to function fine in Aperture + Pixelmator.
     
  2. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #2
    An opinion is irrelevant when performance numbers can show you the difference. The GTX 780 is easily the "best of both worlds" card if you're looking for super high end. The gaming performance in Windows outperforms a TITAN, especially if you don't need the graphics memory that comes with a TITAN. Unfortunately, the 780 Ti isn't supported in OS X at the moment, otherwise that would be the most powerful gaming card. Look up some benchmark numbers, but realistically, the 780 is the best way to go at the moment. I haven't seen reports of 10.9.2 supporting the 780 Ti fully, but I have seen reports of a stable graphics driver using OpenGL in OS X. However, I don't believe OpenCL and CUDA have been coded in yet; might have to wait on NVIDIA for that performance spike. Keep in mind, OS X is ALWAYS going to have worse gaming performance than Windows, and if you're not concerned about a budget, then go for one of these options.

    That being said, a Xeon in a 5,1 isn't going to have the same gaming performance as say an overclocked i5-4670K, since most games tend to rely on single-threaded performance. You might get to the point where the CPU is the bottleneck if you can't manage to max all your settings, but if there's a card that's going to do it, it would be a 780 or 780 Ti.
     
  3. superdx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #3
    There's no functional "need" to flash any of the GTX cards. I've asked before even in the netkas forums and the response was that you simply get the Apple boot screen.
     
  4. adversus thread starter macrumors regular

    adversus

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    So any off the shelf PC card should work? Aside from needing more power which I've already read.
     
  5. superdx, Feb 2, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014

    superdx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #5
    Yes, that's right.

    Here's a pic of my cheap/ghetto MSI GTX 680 which I bought a year ago. I just plugged it in.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. adversus thread starter macrumors regular

    adversus

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    So from a practical standpoint how do you handle getting a boot screen if necessary (for OS installation/recovery drive boot/external drive boot)?
     
  7. superdx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #7
    You can always plug back in your original Mac card, i.e. GT120 if you need the boot screen.

    I have mine plugged in, as I have 6 monitors on my desk, so I see the Apple boot logo on the one monitor that's connected to the GT120.
     
  8. adversus thread starter macrumors regular

    adversus

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    Gotcha. I'm running the 5870 at the moment. But I imagine trying to run that + a GTX 680 will be too much for the PSU to handle?

    Sorry for the nub questions, at one point I was a hardware geek but the last 15 years I've moved to the software side :)
     
  9. superdx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #9
    I assume the 5870 requires power cables, so yeah you wouldn't have any cables left to power the 680.

    You can always pick up a GT120 for cheap, they're single slot and bus-powered. Unless you need to access your BIOS frequently, you could always just swap your 5870/GTX680 cards as needed.
     
  10. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #10
  11. superdx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    #11
    If I could go back 3 months and kick myself for buying the 780 to replace a 680, I would have done so. 770 would do fine I think. 680s are even cheaper these days.

    It's about a 20% improvement. Faster yes, but definitely not worth the money. Also took me about a day and ended up with blistered fingers trying to route the FSP Booster cables.
     
  12. riggles macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2013
    #12
    Oh boy, haha. Yea, it was a pain for me, too. Decided to disassemble the whole MP, remove the logic board, and route the two 8-pin cables from the back behind the corner of the logic board. Didn't want to make any chassis modifications. Tight fit though.
     
  13. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #13
    Thanks to Netkas and MacVidCards, there are now Web Drivers for the GTX 780 Ti, so the real answer to your question is that the GTX 780 Ti is the most powerful gaming card you can use in the Mac Pro 5,1 at the moment, all other considerations aside.
     
  14. TheHerdForever, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    TheHerdForever macrumors member

    TheHerdForever

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #14
    Where are the drivers located? I can't find it on Netkas website. Thanks!

    Never mind....I found the drivers.
     

Share This Page