Mac Pro 3,1 - Which GPU would you reccomend?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by user1690, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. user1690 macrumors regular

    user1690

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    #1
    Greetings all!

    So i got a HD5770 in my Mac Pro (3,1 2x 2.8GHz Quad Core Xeons with 8GB DDR2 800MHz RAM running OS X 10.9.5) , but i think its time i got something a little better. Dont get me wrong its a nice card and it does some low to mid range gaming (I think anything higher than Portal 2 is a no go).

    Im looking to get a Nvidia card for the machine, does anyone have any reccomendations? I got a budget of about £150-200. I thought about getting a GTX660 (have seen a few going for about £90-120) but im not seeing good things about it in terms of performance (Apparently theres alot of bottlenecking but thats understandable as this Mac Pro is somewhat old now). I dont care about not having the EFI bootscreen, i deal with that on the HD5770 and i just use the startup disk prefpane.

    If it helps with the reccomendations, the system is mainly used for video editing (FCPx and iMovie) and gaming (Like i say, Portal 2, Half-Life and occasionally SOMA (on low settings >.< )
     
  2. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #2
    IMHO I think you should buy AMD for this if it's important.

    I have a GTX 960 I'm happy with it, I had a 760 in the MP I sold and I was happy with it.
     
  3. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Especially for a 3,1 this isn't very easy to answer:

    From my experience OS X Nvidia drivers have a bigger CPU overhead than AMD drivers, so the cards are more easily bottlenecked in CPU demanding applications.

    AMD drivers have a power management issue (starting with HD 7xxx generation) that will always keep the GPU in a low power state, resulting in very bad performance. This can be resolved by deleting two PM related kexts, however this is a no-go with SIP activated on El Capitan.

    If you don't want to upgrade to El Capitan, I'd go for an AMD card (supported and DIY flashable cards are listed in other threads), the kext removal is easy to accomplish. Otherwise get an Nvidia card.
     
  4. user1690 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1690

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    Hmm, interesting, ok then what AMD GPUs would you guys reccomend then? I dont plan on ever going to El Capitan on this system either since a few apps that are mission critical flat out dont work on it (or Yosemite)
     
  5. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    HD 7870, 7950, 7970, R9 270X, 280, 280X.
    Brand doesn't really matter as long as you stay away from XFX.

    If you're interested in flashing the card, get one with 2x mDP, HDMI, DVI. Bootscreen isn't necessarily enabled on all ports, differs slightly be exact card/revision.

    Some older Radeons (e.g. 5870, 6870) work, too, but won't be a very big improvement over your current card.
     
  6. user1690 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1690

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    Thanks! I think i'll go with a 7950 then, theres a few of those going about that are well within my budget. :D

    Out of curiosity, why should one stay away from XFX?
     
  7. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Many XFX vBIOS are incompatible with OS X.
     
  8. user1690 thread starter macrumors regular

    user1690

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    Noted, thanks for the info :)
     

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