Frequently Asked Questions About NVIDIA PC (non-EFI) Graphics Cards

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Asgorath, Sep 13, 2012.

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  1. Justinf79 macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2009
    Ah ok, thanks.
  2. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Yes, I will go into detail about this in the OpenCL section when I update the OP. I believe you have to modify the Apple OpenCL framework binary to allow acceleration with cards that have more than 2GB. More details to come.
  3. MDangerous macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2008
    Would love to see this thread sticky-ed and regularly updated. So, what's the latest on the OpenCL?
  4. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Jul 21, 2012
    My GTX 570 2.5 GB works awesome, just no OpenCl. I must be doing something wrong, wrecked my system twice while trying to patch it...
  5. Gymnut, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012

    Gymnut macrumors 68000


    Apr 18, 2003
  6. s.m.t. macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2010
    Got a 660 Ti SC+ with 3GB of vRAM... Plays my games like butter! :)

    Now I want to do some more research and see if the stock PSU has enough wattage to do an SLI setup (for the Windows side)...
  7. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    I have a question regarding GUI card alternatives for Da Vinci. I've been holding back getting a second hand GT 120 because they cost over €100, but GT 520 cards have been reported as working... Given I don't need the boot screen would this last card be a valid replacement ?
  8. fhenry macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2012
    no answers?
  9. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    I'm not familiar with any problems, as far as I know the Fermi cards in particular work fine in older Mac Pros (2006/2007). I doubt the Kepler cards will work, since those really need Mountain Lion to run well.
  10. DJenkins macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    I had a look around to see where my suspicion came from, I think it may only have been the fact that newer cards will only work at the PCI 1.0 speed. So maybe not a problem, but could be a slight drawback.
  11. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Thanks for the info in this thread. It should be stickied! Do you have any idea what, approximately, the performance hit for cards running in PCI 1.0 in Windows looks like? There's half as much bandwidth, but what impact does that have on real world performance? Just curious...
  12. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Jul 21, 2012
    Yes, I finally activated OpenCL with my GTX 570 2.5GB!

    I did the mistake that I deleted/renamed the old one and I wanted to put a new version in. But after editing the name, my finder crashed and nothing worked anymore.
    So this time, I changed the permissions so that I was allowed to do changes directly into the OpenCL file without replacing it. That worked, even without rebooting.


    By the way, my LuxMark score was 1161. But no fresh boot and a couple of stuff apps in the background.
  13. Redneck1089 macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2004
    Does anyone know if I can power a GTX 580 from the optical rive bay instead of the motherboard without any power issues?
  14. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    If you are talking about installing a secondary PSU in the drive bay and running the 580 off it, yes.

    If you are talking about plugging it straight into the Optical Bay molex connectors instead, then without heavily down-clocking the card... absolutely not.

    Please do a little reading of the popular threads about the cards here on the forum. You are likely to get deliberately unhelpful replies such as "Try it and report back" if you do not do a little background reading first.
  15. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    The only major impact I've seen comes from specific OpenCL tests, namely the ones that are designed to measure data transfer speed across the bus. There might be a few percent in games, but in general those tend to just download all their resources to video memory and use them there. Maybe things like level load times will be a little slower? In general, I think you're looking at low-single-digit percentage differences.

    Put it this way -- I was using a GTX 560 Ti from Feb/March of this year and only found out about the PCIe 1.0 restriction after about 6 months. The card ran really well, particularly for games.

    TL;DR: You probably won't even notice, especially for games.


    If you're talking about getting a power supply that fits into the optical drive bay (there's a link floating around somewhere, I'll try and find it) then yes, that will work fine.

    If you're talking about rigging up the cables that power the optical drive to power the GPU, I actually don't know. I know the SATA power cable won't be enough. I thought that this would be a no-go, but I can't find confirmation about how much power the molex cable can supply. I would probably not suggest trying this, since we don't know if it'll work and you could end up damaging something.

    If you really have to have a GTX 580, the safest option is an external power supply. This is why most people recommend getting a GTX 570, since it fits perfectly into the 225W power budget and is very close to the performance of the GTX 580.

    Edit: Okay, I found this link for parallel ATA molex cables:

    It suggests they could drive 75W just like the regular 6-pin PCIe power cables. So, this might work if you have a parallel ATA connector from a 2008 or earlier Mac Pro.
  16. Redneck1089 macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2004
    Thanks for the trouble finding the link! Much appreciated.

    I might just go with the 570 then.
  17. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Yeah, if you are buying a new card, then the strong recommendation is to just get a GTX 570. If you somehow ended up with a GTX 580 there are ways of making it work, but I cannot recommend going out and buying one given what we know now.


    Added note about not installing 304.00.00f20 on 10.8.2, this will end in a world of hurt if you try and bypass the installer checks.
  18. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Keep in mind that MP (2006 - 2008) molex power line is single one (2 connectors on single cable).
    Link you've posted states:

    It might work well for some low-power-demand-cards but using this line with cards that need more juice is playing with fire IMO.

    Sorry for derailing you thread a bit, but I think that's important.
  19. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Right, I agree completely. Driving a $400 card in a $2500+ machine with a solution that might work just feels like a recipe for disaster. My recommendations are always:

    1) Just get a GTX 570.
    2) If you really need (or already have) a GTX 580, use an external power supply.

    FWIW I'll be updating the OP this weekend, and will be adding a "which card should I get?" section as well to cover all of this in more detail.
  20. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Reposting my comments from another thread here, to make it crystal clear:

    - 10.8.2 has a graphics driver update (including new frameworks), so it will overwrite the 304.00.00f20 driver if you had that installed.

    - The 10.8.2 driver doesn't have all the improvements that were found in f20. Thus, benchmarks might get slower, the cards will be forced back to PCIe 1.0 speeds etc.

    - The f20 driver WILL NOT WORK with 10.8.2, so don't try and make it work. Guaranteed to be mismatches between the f20 driver and the 10.8.2 frameworks and so on.

    We expect NVIDIA to release a new 304-based driver for 10.8.2 any day now. So, you can either stick with 10.8.1 for a few days (that's what I'm planning on doing), or live with the slower performance in 10.8.2 for a few days.

    Note that this applies to 270.00.00f06 and 10.7.4/10.7.4 as well. Just be patient, based on recent history it's fair to expect NVIDIA to have a new driver out for both OSes within the next couple of days.
  21. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Updated with more information about what to do when the OS gets updated, and a list of recommended cards.
  22. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I'm sure Nvidia will release a 10.8.2 fixer in next few days.

    With our EFI cards it isn't as much an issue, but if running the PC versions you should wait.

    By the time the iPhone 5 furor dies down there should be a driver.
  23. Cuyahoga macrumors member


    Jun 12, 2007
    This is loosely related, but would be useful for troubleshooting: Is there a way to check the current core & mem speeds of the card in OS X?
  24. mac666er macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    San Francisco, CA
    Gtx 680 + gt630

    I can confirm that a GTX680 and a GT630 play both nicely out of the box when installed on a Mac Pro 5,1 and drive 3 monitors at 2560 x 1600

    It plays nicely with Adobe apps, Final Cut pro and Autodesk apps. Plays games and runs Windows natively fine.

    I saw crashes in only one particular situation: running any kind of Flash. Uninstalled flash and the problem went away. RE-installed it and crashes were random when clicking on Flash content.

    GTX 680 is an EVGA 2GB and the 630 is a Zotac 4GB.

    Theoretically can drive 4 monitors @ 2560 x 1600 but don't have a 4th monitor to try it.
  25. vizion macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2012
    Gt630 / gtx680


    Does the flash video problem happen on either card ?
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