Graphics cards - CS5 (InDesign/Photoshop/etc)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by stonewashddag, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. stonewashddag macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2010

    I have a Mac Pro 4,1. 10gb ram.
    I got the cheapest graphics card from Apple:

    NVIDIA GeForce GT 120:
    Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce GT 120
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    Slot: Slot-1
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 512 MB

    On the understanding that I would buy aftermarket (not from apple store). I'm struggling to find a compatible card that is a good step up, but isn't the FX4000!

    Can anyone suggest anything?
    My computer is often slow when working with big documents in indesign, big images and so forth - it never uses all memory, it sometimes uses all of one CPU (but hey, that's life).

    I'm running a 30" display.

    Would love to know your suggestions or experiences with cards that would improve performance and are compatible. That aren't £1500.
  2. stonewashddag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2010

    sorry - anyone? was hoping to order today!
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
  4. tomscott1988 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2009

    The offering from Nvidia use cuda, which although only used in the video aps by adobe (after effects etc) hopefully it will come to the other aps. Although a graphics card isnt going to do much in these aps, it will help alittle. Rendering 100's of objects in an illustrator or indesign document, a better graphics card will speed up this.

    But if you have a mac pro and are maxing the cpu in indesign you sure your workflow is correct? maybe you should design your documents with abit of optimization in mind? might speed up your workflow.

    I know exactly what you mean, my graphics projects tend to get out of hand and things start to slow down but you should def look to get a better card, i bought the 285 gtx because it is the cheapest offering that supports cuda, the ati graphics cards arnt as well supported by adobe but i hope this changes in time.
  5. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    There is two flavors of rendering. One is creating an image from a model of shapes , light sources, and textures. There is no image it gets created. The other is taking some imagines and composing them on the screen (know what need to "draw" primarily just need to draw them in right order and overlaps. )

    The latter can be done with OpenGL. Adobe apps support OpenGL. So does AMD/ATI and Nvidia ... in fact AMD/ATI slightly better usually at an incrementally higher version point step than Nvidia. Apple is lagging a bit so the floor is the same but there is no huge gap there.

    There is zero reason that Adobe would push CUDA everywhere into their app stack. Right tools for the right problems. GPGPU programming is not a universal solution. Many of the problems that apps need to tackle are OpenGL drawing problems. What Adobe is taking incremental steps toward is using more OpenGL and less proprietary "Quickdraw" and "DirectX" mechanisms. CUDA is just going down the non-portable rat hole of the latter mechanisms.
    CUDA got used because there was no viable open competitor to it a couple of years ago.

    If OpenCL doesn't mature and get preformance competitive with CUDA then Adobe will continue down the proprietary track. However, since they need to sell mutliplatform apps that is not historically the path they have tended to take in the past.

    That isn't really true.

    The HD5000 series, used in the new Mac Pros, is supported. There are about as many Nvidia gaps for the mac on those charts as there are AMD/ATI ones. For AMD/ATI gpus is shipping now with current mac products there aren't any in those charts.

    If want to narrow the scope down to whether ATI graphics cards support Nvidia only extensions then yeah. Howver, you are changing the entire scope of Adobes apps into just that. That's a huge scope change.
  6. OptimusP83 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2010
    Honestly, I dont know if a New Graphics card is going to help much with Illustrator's general lagginess, though I've heard in CS5 OpenGL support is much better, still on CS4 here. I would get a Radeon 4870 on ebay and flash it with a Apple EFI rom. Thats pretty much your only option unless you want to spend 3x as much on identical Apple branded one, or wait until the 5770 is released. Honestly, unless you're gaming heavily, you wont notice a single difference between the 5870 and 5770. They both have a ton of grunt. The 5770 is about equal to the 4870 performance wise, but the 5770 uses way less power at load and idle, and thus is quieter and produces less heat, both good things.
  7. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    If you are using Premiere, you definitely DO want an NVidia card, CUDA is not heavily used in After Effects though. Premiere CS5's whole rendering engine is CUDA based (with a software fallback.)

    Hopefully in time they'll adopt OpenCL so it'll work on both ATI and NVidia.

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