i used an external power supply to provide extra power for second graphics card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bluesteel, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. bluesteel, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #1
    i have a 2010 Mac Pro with an ATI 5870 that i mainly use with Windows 7 Boot Camp. i needed to install a second graphics card, but could not find a way to power it since the 5870 was using the two existing 6-pin PCIe power cables. at first, i purchased a Quadro 4000 for Mac and powered it by splitting one of the two PCIe cables with a PCIe Y-Splitter. everything worked great, although it made me nervous to split the power from one 6-pin PCIe cable.

    than i returned the Quadro 4000 for Mac for the more powerful Quadro 5000 which also requires one extra 6-pin PCIe cable that the Mac Pro does not have. to remedy the situation, i purchased an external Seasonic X-Series 660W modular power supply. i ran two PCIe cables from the external power supply in through the top-most PCI slot (an empty slot) into the 5870, and used one of the two existing internal PCIe cables to power the Quadro 5000. after jumping the external power supply's motherboard connector with a paperclip and electrical tape, everything seems to be working great in Windows 7 Boot Camp. i just have to remember to turn the external power supply on and off. here are some pics :)
     

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  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    Interesting, thanks for the pictures.

    You can probably create a simple circuit to detect power on at the Mac, and make the jumper connection to the external PSU. This way you don't have to manually turn it on and off.

    Here's a thread about using a second internal power supply to accomplish the same thing. It is purposely shaped to fit a 5.25" drive bay and senses power on/off by connecting to an existing molex connector:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1049668&highlight=epower

    Why are two of your drive sleds blue?
     
  3. bluesteel, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    bluesteel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    i'll have to look into this....it would be nice if the external PSU powered on and off with my computer...

    the two blue drive sleds are "OWC Mount Pros" (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MMP35T25/). they allow me to mount 2.5" drives into those four sata bays . each of those OWC sleds has a 115GB OWC SSD mounted to it, one for OSX and one for Windows 7 Boot Camp...its worked out great. they are a little bit on the expensive side, but worth the cost for their function and build/design quality.
     
  4. tpavur macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2010
    #4
    If you ever decide to sell this system please PM me first... very nice setup.
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Isn't that annoying? Why didn't you go the 5.25" PSU route? Personally, I think it's the more convenient solution.
     
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #6
    very nice setup. I have a link for a surge protector that has a master slave set of plugs. forget the surge protection aspect it is not very good. but the master slave plug is one master plug the mac pro goes in that and 4 slave plugs. when you power the mac pro up the 4 other plugs get power. let me find the link.

    there you go

    http://www.amazon.com/Philips-SPP32...ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1302089240&sr=8-1

    you just need a device that will pull enough juice to trigger the switch. the mac pro will. in fact you may even be able to do it from sleep rather then a hard power off. i use mine with my tv and 5 amps for ht. it saves me 100 watts per hour and turns on the amps when i turn the tv on via remote
     
  7. 100Years macrumors regular

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    Mar 8, 2011
    #7
    That's a nice setup; curious though, how does the Q5000 performace compare with the Q4000? Also, do the heat & noise compare?
     
  8. bluesteel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    i will definitely do that....in fact, i'd be willing to sell it at any time, but are you prepared to drop some $$$..? :)
     
  9. bluesteel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    hello...yeah, very annoying :)

    i did not go with a 5.25" PSU for two reasons. the first is because i have a hard drive in the second optical bay that i wanted to keep there. and second, i couldn't verify the quality of the 5.25" PSUs that i found searching the web. i knew that i wanted to buy a high quality PSU if i was going to try and power a graphics card externally.
     
  10. bluesteel, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2011

    bluesteel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    you know, so far the Q5000 and Q4000 seem similar in noise and heat. once i've had a chance to work with the Q5000 a little more, though, i think i'll be able to say more about its heat/noise and performance attributes.

    the Q4000 was louder than the ATI 5870. the Q4000 fan kicked on intermittently throughout the day as i worked. if i was working on something that taxed the GPU, then the fan would stay on for a while, and then the Mac Pro fans kick up a bit. i kind of like it when i hear the fans working....it lets me know that i'm really using my Mac Pro. and the Q4000 gets hot, and i mean really hot. so hot, that i couldn't touch it after about 1-2 hours of prolonged use. its not something that concerns me, cause i'm sure the Q4000 was built to handle the heat...and it is very well constructed by the way...but yeah, it gets hot.
     
  11. stroked Suspended

    stroked

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    May 3, 2010
    #11
    Will my four year old 17"imac pull enough power to trigger the switch on that surge protector? Will it hurt anything to plug this into my current surge protector? I would like to use this with my external 20" monitor, speakers, and HDDs that are powered by a 400 watt ATX PSU
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #12
  13. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Yes it will. It will work great with your monitor and speakers (as long as they aren't USB... more on that later).

    However, unless you get an adjustable power strip (I haven't tried one of those), your external devices will be switched OFF when your iMac goes to sleep. When this happens, your HDDs and other USB devices will lose power and that will wake your iMac back up... you can see the dilemma.

    You have to make sure that you can set the threshold of you power strip low enough that it will stay ON when your iMac is asleep. Same would be true for the OP if he wanted to use a setup like this to control the power on his GPU.
     
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #14
    40 watts will do it. turning on the imac is going to pull more then 40 watts. My smart switch is plugged into this




    http://www.amazon.com/APC-H15BLK-1-...2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1302112795&sr=1-2


    I then plugged the tv into it (master plug) and a power strip into one of the slave plugs.


    http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/28-11161

    so I have 3 empty slave plugs and one slave plug that attaches to the power strip. the power strip is nice it has 8 plugs with 8 separate switches.
     
  15. bluesteel thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    after a couple of days using the Quadro 5000 with Maya 2011 and Octane Render, i can say that the 5000 is louder than the 4000. it seems to be almost 50 percent louder. at times it will get quite, but i can usually hear the 5000. i'm not annoyed by it, though, cause the power of the card is awesome. the usefulness of it outweighs the noise for sure.

    and yes, it gets hot, really hot...but i think that the Quadro 4000, 5000, and 6000 are known to get really hot. they are really well constructed though, and i've got a 5 year warranty on it, so i'm not worried.

    all in all i'm happy with the Quadro 5000. the only problem in my entire setup is my Mac Pro. i think next time around i'm going to build an expandable PC and save myself a few thousand dollars :)
     
  16. Redneck1089, Oct 8, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012

    Redneck1089 macrumors 65816

    Redneck1089

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    #16
    Old thread, but why was the paper clip used to jump the motherboard on the PSU?

    EDIT:

    Okay, how do I know which holes to put the paper clip for this?
     
  17. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    #17
    The paper clip is used to turn on the PSU. You just jump the green wire and any black wire. There's one green wire so it's easy to find and any of the multiple black wires.
     
  18. jeffkrigstein macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2012
    #18
    Checking in on status

    Hi there, great article and I intend on copying you with a corsair PSU and a GTX680 into my 2010 mac pro.

    I just wanted to ask how your computer is holding up now that some time has passed? A lot of threads talk about methods that have been successful but might drastically decrease the life of either the GPU or the system as a whole.

    Is this rig still running strong?

    EDIT: I also thought I would ask whether you're having any issues with the motherboard not being able to control the amount of power sent to the GPU? Is the card just running at max capacity from the time you switch it on to the time you switch it off?
     

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