Low power GFX card for FCPX editing - AMD R9 270X?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ShawnF, Sep 11, 2014.

  1. ShawnF macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    #1
    Hi all

    I just upgraded my Mac Pro 5.1 (flashed) system to a hex X5670 2.93GHz. But I see little improvements over my quad 2.66GHz for FCPX editing. I have a Leadtek GTX 660Ti 2GB and 20GB PC1333 RAM. My Mac Pro is using SSD for OS and scratch disk.

    I am thinking of switching to the AMD R9 270X. It seems to have a similar power consumption to the GTX 660 Ti and I'm thinking it may serve me better for FCPX editing work.

    Does anyone know if the AMD R9 270X card can run on the Mac Pro 5.1 out of the box without any firmware flashing? I am ok with not having a grey screen on bootup. If yes, what brands? Also please share your experience.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ShawnF thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #2
    No response? So i take it that no one has tried or that the R9 270X is not any faster for FCPX edits than the GTX 660 Ti?

    The reason I'm asking is that FCPX feels a bit sluggish even when editing and rendering just 720p footage. I was hoping it would feel faster that what I am currently experiencing.
     
  3. electonic macrumors member

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    Mar 18, 2014
    #3
    Stay away from 270/270x right now, if you can. You will need custom drivers.

    Get a 7850 2GB, works out of the box in Mavericks, but no boot screen.

    Best Option is to look for decent priced 7950, because that works 100% and can be flashed for full support with boot screen.
     
  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #4
    [​IMG]

    7870 = R9 270X
    GTX 570 > GTX 660

    In this case MP model is irrelevant to performance difference between cards.
     
  5. ShawnF, Sep 12, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014

    ShawnF thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #5
    Thanks! So no 7870 or 270X then.

    What brand would you recommend for the 7850? Any particular brands that work well on a Mac Pro?

    Edit: I saw on Macbreaker or some other forums that the 7870 works better OOB than the 7850 in Mavericks. Doesn't required kext modification etc. Any thoughts?
     
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #6
    7870 works without a problem. I had 2.
    270X is rebadged 7870 hence equality sign.

    Avoid XFX and HIS. Poor quality.
     
  7. ShawnF thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #7
    Thanks. This is getting a bit confusing though - the first guy who replied said I shouldn't get a R9 270X. :rolleyes:

    So just to confirm - I should AVOID the R9 270X and go for the 7870 right? Even though the 2 cards are using essentially the same hardware?
     
  8. tityexplod macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2014
    #8
    good info,Stay away from 270/270x right now, if you can. You will need custom drivers.thanks[​IMG]
     
  9. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    Charlotte, NC
    #9
    So I'm wondering the obvious...

    How come the 7870 works well and doesn't seem to have any driver issues, but the same card with a R9 270X sticker on the side has driver problems?
     
  10. ShawnF thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #10
    Me too. I'm thinking the hardware may not be 100% percent the same. I'm willing to give it a try though as I see some 7870 on ebay going for around $120.
     
  11. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #11
    I'll try to explain. 270X have had some framebuffer issues on hacks. Hence the opinion that it isn't a good model. Issues IMO came from the fact, that 98% of these cards are 2x DVI + DP + HDMI. Only HIS and XFX were mDP ones AFAIK. 7870 is more like 7850 and 7950 display layout-wise.
     
  12. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #12
    Hacks?

    Hackintosh or hacked video cards?

    So if I'm understanding correctly, steer clear of the HIS, XFX or any model that includes a mDP?
     
  13. 666sheep, Sep 13, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014

    666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #13
    Hackintoshes.

    I don't recall any other mDP 270X than HIS and XFX. Hackintosh guys usually don't pay attention to port layout when buying the card because they're loading and patching different framebuffers.
    Best practice is to choose the card with port layout matched with drivers you want to use. So in case of AMD 7xxx drivers it's two mDP + one DVI + HDMI, like Sapphire 7950 ME.

    And these 2 brands are also most troublesome even when comes to models that work without issues as 7950/70/280X.
     
  14. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #14
    Honestly, for me, if I decided to upgrade from my 5870' I'll prolly just get one that's already been cooked by MVC.

    I'm just not sure if any of them are that much better for me than what I already have. I don't game but I do a little FCPX from time to time. A little Photoshop CS6. It would have to be a really big improvement before I'd buy (I think). Unless I just get bored I guess... :rolleyes:
     
  15. ShawnF thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #15
    I do mostly corporate videos (the boring events, celebrations and announcements kinda stuff). Most of my videos are under 5 minutes. But adding a few effects here and there with videos in 720p seems sluggish on the 660Ti.

    The stuttering (when you do real time previews by hovering of the timeline) gets worse the more effects and layers you add into the timeline. With my improved RAM, CPU and SSD setup, I'm kind of disappointed that I'm still experiencing this sluggishness in rendering. That said, FCPX encoding and exporting video performance are perfectly fine for me on this current config.

    I'm keen to improve on that hence I thought about the Radeons and their strong Open CL performance. So if I do get a 7870 it will be a gamble because I won't know how much of a real world improvement I'm getting till I plug that card into my Mac Pro.

    So fingers crossed!
     
  16. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #16
    My FCPX projects are 30-60 min. I don't have any stutter or drag. I'm guessing my 5870 is a pretty good card for that app. but the 7870 is probably stronger.

    I heard that dual 5770s really rock over and above any single card solutions. I don't have any more slots, and I'm not having any issues right now, so I can't justify the cost. Am curious though. I'd like to try one out just to see.
     
  17. ShawnF thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 10, 2014
    #17
    They probably would - and consume more power too. The 7870 - from what the charts tell me - appear much more power efficient than the 5780/5770.

    I'm hoping to get that ideal balance of price-power consumption-performance.

    Too bad FCPX doesnt support CUDA :(
     
  18. artherd macrumors member

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    Apr 14, 2013
    #18
    I wouldn't buy anything but a 7950 these days. No brainer.
     

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