Mac Pro 2010 5,1 Best Current GFX Card

ntemples1

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 11, 2013
16
1
Hi all,

I was wondering what is the best graphics card I can put in my Mac Pro 2010 5,1?

Using the existing PSU?

It is a genuine 5,1 and has the stock HD 5770 in it at the moment.

Thanks
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,025
New York City, NY
I think best bang for buck would probably be GTX 980 Ti.

If you want to stick to staying under 225W, GTX 980.

GTX 970 has TDP of 145W which means that you can install two using existing video power connectors of the Mac Pro to power two of them if CUDA cores are important to you.
 
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Hirakata

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2011
306
399
Burbank, CA
Hi all,

I was wondering what is the best graphics card I can put in my Mac Pro 2010 5,1?

Using the existing PSU?

It is a genuine 5,1 and has the stock HD 5770 in it at the moment.

Thanks
As the two posters above stated. The Titan X is the best, but the 980 Ti would be much better for the money.
 
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bmxfr

macrumors member
May 8, 2014
37
0
Valencia
I have a mac Pro 4.1 upgrade to 5.1 6core .
And a NVIDIA Quadro 4000 2048 MB I think is to hot and noisy.
What is the best card silent and cold ?
Thanks
 
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JM-Prod

Suspended
Apr 10, 2011
145
50
I run GTX980ti, but have some severe OpenCL issues (crashes). Anyone else experienced this?

Examples:
RedCine X (OpenCL debayer crash application, CUDA and software debayer works fine)
Alien Isolation (won't start any level)

El Capitan, 10.11.3
 
Last edited:
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JM-Prod

Suspended
Apr 10, 2011
145
50
I run GTX980ti, but have some severe OpenCL issues (crashes). Anyone else experienced this?

Examples:
RedCine X (OpenCL debayer crash application, CUDA and software debayer works fine)
Alien Isolation (won't start any level)

El Capitan, 10.11.3
Just a heads up; latest nVidia drivers fixed the issues.
 
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Draeconis

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
967
264
Hi all,

I was wondering what is the best graphics card I can put in my Mac Pro 2010 5,1?

Using the existing PSU?

It is a genuine 5,1 and has the stock HD 5770 in it at the moment.

Thanks
I think it depends what your usage and experience with swapping these things out is, and what your budget is.

If you're a basic user who wants a simple hassle-free upgrade, and you'd like to use OS X as you're used to, I'd try and source a Mac Edition EVGA 680. Alternatively, you could buy a 680 second hand and flash it; there are plenty of solid guides on this site for doing that.

If you're a little more advanced, and you can live without boot screens (seeing the Apple logo), then currently a 980 is the best performance you can get for the Mac Pro. Nvidia have just announced the 1080 and the 1070 which could both also work when released, but currently there aren't any OS X drivers for them, meaning you'd be limited to using it in Windows.

If you're more than comfortable with OS X and 3rd party hardware, the Nvidia OS X Web Drivers support up to the Titan X and the 980Ti, but these cards draws 250w, 25w beyond the power your Mac Pro can safely deliver. To power cards in this range, you're best off obtaining an additional power supply to power these directly, or if you're very brave, some people have successfully modded their PSU to provide more power (though this seems quite excessive to me personally).

Unfortunately, AMD haven't been so kind with OS X support despite their prevalence within Mac hardware these days. They offer no OS X drivers past what is provided with OS X (which I believe is written by Apple anyway). As such the latest AMD card officially supported is the 7950/7970, although there are reports that higher cards work because they share the same Tonga chipset. Fiji cards (Fury Nano, Fury X) aren't currently shipped with any available Mac, so there is no driver support within OS X.
 
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Honumaui

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2008
747
48
just had one of our Mac Pro card die :( was one of our 3,1 boxes so took the card out of the 5,1 (5770)
then got a new card for the 5,1 (3.2 quad 24 ram SSD boot and Areca Raid)
so far doing great just put it in a couple days ago
https://www.asus.com/Graphics-Cards/STRIXR9380DC2OC4GD5GAMING/overview/
was $209 with $20 rebate
only thing I had to do was get a 6 to 8 pin adapter
no boot choice screen like others know just goes to login ? not a huge deal for me but could be a issue of course for some

I looked at the Nvidia but each non supported brings its own issues :) also price balance for a old machine I felt this was a great card
we have a post production company for Photographers so mostly for C1 LR and PS work and some other layout tools
but so far in C1 the 5,1 machine is working way way smoother
and it does seem that the AMD cards do a bit better with C1 than the Nvidia (price models being equal)
 
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Jul 4, 2015
4,488
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Paris
The 1080 only uses 180 watts!! Anyone know about drivers for it?
Might work in backwards compatability mode just like the 9 series did, but you won't have driver support for the specific features of the newer generation. The web drivers are only optimised as far as the Kepler architecture.
 
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mtasquared

macrumors regular
May 3, 2012
193
38
Might work in backwards compatability mode just like the 9 series did, but you won't have driver support for the specific features of the newer generation. The web drivers are only optimised as far as the Kepler architecture.
Hmm. The 5,1 is limited as to the cpu, you can only upgrade it so far, and the motherboard is an old fixture without thunderbolt, but aside from that I was kind of thinking that you could upgrade the GPU ad infinitum. This is wrong? I mean, if Nvidia was kind enough to keep upgrading the drivers.
 
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Jul 4, 2015
4,488
2,548
Paris
Hmm. The 5,1 is limited as to the cpu, you can only upgrade it so far, and the motherboard is an old fixture without thunderbolt, but aside from that I was kind of thinking that you could upgrade the GPU ad infinitum. This is wrong? I mean, if Nvidia was kind enough to keep upgrading the drivers.
They are kind enough to update the drivers to support the cards that they officially license and support for the Mac.

Nvidia's drivers reached peak development last summer during development for El Capitan. At that time in August 2015 support for the Kepler architecture was finally optimised. They wrote a blog post to state that Maxwell support was in beta.

Since then they have only been updated the drivers just to version lock each driver update to support each OSX update. In terms of support for Maxwell architecture optimisation there has been no progress. There are no official Nvidia licensed distributors for the 9 series and no sign of a Quadro M6000 Mac Edition.

So Pascal might also work in backwards compatibility mode, but don't expect any optimisation for a long time. The web drivers are ported almost directly from the Windows drivers. Look at the version numbers and you will have some clue how far behind the Mac drivers are.

Windows 365.19
Mac 346.03

When Maxwell was released Windows drivers were 344.07 (beta) according to the Anandtech review. So the Mac web drivers are just on the verge of supporting Maxwell officially, only if they have official licensees and distribution (too late for that) and optimisation is far off. True Pascal support is a long dream away, unless Apple has decided to ship a product with it.
 
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mtasquared

macrumors regular
May 3, 2012
193
38
They are kind enough to update the drivers to support the cards that they officially license and support for the Mac.

So Pascal might also work in backwards compatibility mode, but don't expect any optimisation for a long time. The web drivers are ported almost directly from the Windows drivers. Look at the version numbers and you will have some clue how far behind the Mac drivers are.

Windows 365.19
Mac 346.03

When Maxwell was released Windows drivers were 344.07 (beta) according to the Anandtech review. So the Mac web drivers are just on the verge of supporting Maxwell officially, only if they have official licensees and distribution (too late for that) and optimisation is far off. True Pascal support is a long dream away, unless Apple has decided to ship a product with it.
Thanks for the informative post! Does it make a difference if one games exclusively in Windows in Bootcamp? Then you would be using the Windows drivers (with all the features/secret sauce) I assume? Its a little confusing.
 
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Jul 4, 2015
4,488
2,548
Paris
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