Graphics card or more RAM for better video editing performance?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macguy93, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. macguy93 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    #1
    Hello Everyone,

    I just bought a mac pro 12-core 2.4GHz 12 gigs of ram with an ATI Radeon 5770. My question is, will a better graphics card perform better with my video applications than upgrading to more ram? I want to get 48gigs but on the OWC site its $450, a little pricey. So i might just go with 32gigs..

    I mainly use adobe after effects, premiere pro occasionally and FCPX and i do 3d work in cinema 4D.

    I also use an apple 27inch cinema display, would i need to buy an adapter for mini display? (if so will i loose quality?)

    Any suggestions on what the best upgrade options are?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Gymnut, Sep 18, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012

    Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #2
    I run all of the apps you mentioned on 2009 8-core @2.66GHZ w/32GB RAM and had recently upgraded the video card from the stock ATI 4870 to a GTX570 w/2.5GB. You really can't go wrong with either upgrade, however if you're trying to maximize your dollars, upgrading your RAM would probably be your best bet. The OS is probably using 1-2GB of RAM, leaving you with 10-11GB of RAM for your applications. The GTX570 I bought from Newegg was only $300 and while I haven't had a chance to fully put it to use, rendering out previews in AE/PP, and overall responsiveness within CS6 is definitely faster than the stock 4870.
     
  3. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

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    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Zurich
    #3
    Did you manage to enable OpenCL? I use the same card and I didn't make it.
     
  4. macguy93 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #4
    does that card support CUDA cores? if i did my research right after effects on screen preview works a lot better with that? but overall this card will make a night and day difference in after effects preview render?
     
  5. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

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    #5
    Yes it does work. I enabled it, and my After Effects performace is absolutley gorgeous in comparison to my old GT120.

    The GTX570 is the best GeForce you can use for pro apps, the GTX 6xx have limited CUDA, otherwise they would make concurrence to the Quadro series. If you only do graphic design and not gaming, and you have some money to spend, I would think about getting a Quadro card (which also work out of the box with CUDA and everything)
     
  6. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    Apr 18, 2003
    #6
    Yes, the GTX570 is a CUDA supported card; There are a number of threads that encompass this card, the 580(which requires more power, most likely via an external power supply unit), and the GTX6xx series.

    From what I've read, the GTX5xx series, in general, and more specifically, the GTX570 are the better buy for CUDA supported work, i.e. AE/PP. While the GTX6xx is newer tech and has more CUDA cores, those alone are not the be all end all defining factor in performance, and coupled with matured drivers, makes the GTX5xx a more suitable card if you're main intent is to use it for AE/PP.

    From what I've read from MacVidCards, the GTX5xx series cards were matching if not outperforming their Quadro brethren, thus likely to cannibalize their sales; Nvidia got wise to this and somewhat crippled the GTX6xx cards. So if you're in the market for a gaming card, the GTX6xx cards are fantastic in their performance and low energy draw; The GTX5xx are no slouch in the gaming department but are better suited for CUDA related tasks.

    ----------

    Well, bear in mind, I'm coming from an older ATI 4870, but yes it's a pretty marked improvement in rendering previews and output. If you can swing both the RAM upgrade and the GPU, it's definitely worth it, however in your case, if I had to decide between the two and I only had 12GB of RAM, a RAM upgrade would be a no brainer, especially if I were using 64-bit Adobe applications.
     
  7. macguy93 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for your help guys. now is there something i need to do to the card to make it work with mac? or do they sell a mac ready version? Also would i have to buy this: http://www.gefen.com/kvm/dproduct.jsp?prod_id=8913 if so will i still have the same resolution on my 27inch cinema display and no artifacts that would distort the image?

    Also for RAM, if i put 32gig in the system am i going to see a huge performance boost? Should i consider putting in 48gigs or is 32gigs plenty enough?
     
  8. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Location:
    Zurich
    #8
    You have to install the CUDA drivers, which really isn't a big deal. Then, if you choose the 2.5GB model, you have to enable OpenCL which is abit tricky. But there are plety of instructions in the internet.

    I have 16GB RAM, and I would definately recommend 32+ for video editing. I dont do if very often, but when I do it, then I use up all my RAM. The more you have, the better your machine will perform. In your case, I ould get 6 8GB sticks.

    I also use a DVI -> MDP adapter (not the same one thought), and my screen (24" ACD) works perfect.
     
  9. macguy93 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #9

    Are there any other cheap places to buy 48gigs of ram? Its like $450 on OWC and the 32gigs is only $250. I would love to have 48 gigs if there was anywhere cheaper..
     
  10. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #10
    All of the GTX570 cards I have seen that 2.5GB of RAM also have a DisplayPort, which is exactly the same thing as MDP but in a larger package. SO a $10 adapter is all you need to run APple LED displays.

    We sell most 570s that way, including adapter and power cables.

    Or you can use the Nvidia driver package and buy the adapter and cables yourself and live without boot screens.

    Point I was trying to make is that all of the 2.5 GB models I have seen only need a $10 pin to pin adapter.
     
  11. macguy93 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #11
    I will keep that in mind. btw i have been reading about this. however, what do you mean by the boot screens? so if i dont have the proper set up i wont see the apple logo upon start up?
     
  12. Asgorath macrumors 65816

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    Mar 30, 2012
    #12
    Check this thread for details about non-EFI cards, including the lack of boot screens.
     
  13. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    Apr 18, 2003
    #13
    What they mean by boot screens is when you hold down the Option key during a restart or startup, you'll get the screen where you can select your startup disk, be it a different version of OSX, a Bootcamp partition, or a Mountain Lion/Lion recovery volume. GPUs purchased from MacVidCards have an EFI, allowing you to make those selections. Off the wall PC GPUs will work but the screen will be black until it gets to the grey apple screen to your log-in screen(if enabled).

    Some users have thrown in a Nvidia GT120 card alongside their PC GPU card so they can have a boot screen while still having the benefits of having a better GPU.
     
  14. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #14
    I have been PMing the OP about his setup ... now that I've been filled in on some of the more detailed specs, I would recommend a GPU upgrade first and foremost for Cinema 4D and After Effects. 12GB of RAM is indeed a bottleneck, but upgrading to 32 should be enough. Upgrading to a 5870 or higher will have a noticeable effect on performance. I seriously doubt the OP would notice a difference between 32 and 48GB of RAM, whereas you will notice a difference between 12 and 32.
     
  15. macguy93, Sep 19, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012

    macguy93 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #15
    so essentially i should be perfectly fine with 32gigs? I was debating whether or not i should buy 4 8 gig cards or save the extra money and buy 8 4 gig cards. however, i wouldn't be able to upgrade ram as easily if i have all the ram slots filled up..

    I am certainly interested in upgrading my graphics card. I like that the 5870 already has a mini display port for my ACD. Im just confused if both the 5770 and 5870 both have 1gig of Vram, what makes this card so much better? I haven't done much research yet (as i should have prior to asking this..) but is there anywhere you recommend i can buy that card for cheap? I will probably just sell the 5770 after words..


    Also, I should probably ask, how do I even enable after effects CS6 to use my GPU? (5770) I looked in the preferences and couldn't figure out how..

    Thanks for your help!
     
  16. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

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    Apr 18, 2003
    #16
    Can't speak on the differences between the 5770 and 5870, however, AE and Premiere, with the Mercury Playback engine, leverage Nvidia GPUs, and not ATI cards. Interestingly enough, Photoshop and Illustrator utilize OpenCL.
     
  17. macguy93 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 30, 2012
    #17
    So it seems that the cuda cards are defiantly the best route to go in conjuntion with after effects?

    So it only looks that after effects CS5 only works with my ATI card..? Because when i enable openGl the previews are a little faster.. but on CS6 i dont get option.. why?

    (CS6 Left, CS5 Right)
     

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