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Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
I have a Mac Pro 4,1 with 5,1 firmware to get Sierra installed without any hacks. It currently has a flashed Radeon HD5870. I'm looking to upgrade the video card and want the best bang for buck route that I don't have to deal with constantly (if possible). I've read Sierra natively supports Polaris cards now so I was looking at an RX480, but I read that the last update killed it. nVidia cards I've never dealt with but I think require a web driver install after every OS update? Just looking for some advice on best route to get a "user friendly" less hassle - work like it should setup. Any help is appreciated.
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,615
8,548
Hong Kong
Only RX460 has supported natively, and not every single card (e.g. some XFX card and all single slot card are not supported yet).

RX480 require Kext edit to work properly, and not sure if it's 100% stable at this moment.

Only some Nvidia card require web driver (e.g. Maxwell card), the GTX 680 has very good native support.
 
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Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
Only RX460 has supported natively, and not every single card (e.g. some XFX card and all single slot card are not supported yet).

RX480 require Kext edit to work properly, and not sure if it's 100% stable at this moment.

Only some Nvidia card require web driver (e.g. Maxwell card), the GTX 680 has very good native support.
I'm not too familiar with the Nvidia cards is the GTX 680 an upgrade to the 5870 I currently have? I basically want to be able to run FCPX and Photoshop (4k files) without any lag.
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,615
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Hong Kong
Yes, GTX680 is an upgrade.

For FCPX, R9 280X is a better option. Which has the same device ID as the nMP's D700. Apple is highly optimised FCPX to utilise this GPU.

Doesn't really matter for Photoshop, any GPU we mentioned can do the job properly.
 

Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
Yes, GTX680 is an upgrade.

For FCPX, R9 280X is a better option. Which has the same device ID as the nMP's D700. Apple is highly optimised FCPX to utilise this GPU.

Doesn't really matter for Photoshop, any GPU we mentioned can do the job properly.
The R9 280X appears to be a rebadged 7970? Is it worth upgrading to that? Better question - is it plug and play? No Ktext edits, no upgrades breaking it..etc. ? The GTX680 appears to be slightly better on GPU Boss but that doesn't mean anything on paper I suppose. Is the GTX 680 plug and play as well or would it require all sorts of mods and hacks to keep it working properly? I self flashed my 5870 and haven't had a single problem. I dont mind doing work if its needed.. flashing an EFI or whatever, but I dont want to have to constantly edit Ktexts or worry about my machine not working because of an update. From my research I think I could handle disabling auto updates and just loading the new web drivers as needed. I'm just trying to keep this thing going for as long as I can. LOL.

After Looking at Newegg it appears both cards you listed are too old to be purchased new. Neither are listed for sale on there. (sigh)
 
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h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,615
8,548
Hong Kong
The R9 280X appears to be a rebadged 7970? Is it worth upgrading to that? Better question - is it plug and play? No Ktext edits, no upgrades breaking it..etc. ?

Correct

IMO, Yes

Yes, but you better study about the power management (same for 680 anyway).

As I previously said, it has the same device ID as the nMP's D700. So, it's actually the safest unofficial GPU that can be plug and play.

It's easy to flash the 280X especially you have the 5870 experience.
 
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RAMtheSSD

macrumors regular
...I dont mind doing work if its needed.. flashing an EFI or whatever, but I dont want to have to constantly edit Ktexts or worry about my machine not working because of an update....

I have been meaning to write up my experience (I asked a lot of questions, read a lot of stuff, worried and worried... ) which was, thanks to MacRumors and NetKas, easy enough to amaze (I was expecting a serious brain press!) and disappoint (a hobby has to use time and mental effort to be relaxing LOL!)! However, that is going to have to wait until I do the CPU upgrade this coming week (I am using what amounts to disposable but lidded processors with the expectation that all the bugs and controversies that seem to surround the process will be resolved in either success or informative --though, hopefully, not spectacular-- failure)... I suspect, this, will be an adventure worth the story!

I was looking for something other than the $$$ stuff like the "Mac ready out of the box" 7950 and I have a bias from experience towards ATI when it comes to actual work (I will stipulate that consumer level cards from Nvidia are great for gaming) so I was looking for something like a FirePro but for less than a new computer!
Even though h9826790 has had an R9-280x running for some time (as far as I know, still does) without issue, I was concerned that the R9-280x would demand too much power and either fry the motherboard or the power supply -I might not have the best luck-- so I opted for the R9-280 (this is a good review of the version I finally ended up with http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/62...80-dual-x-3gb-oc-video-card-review/index.html). At first, I was mostly concerned about temperature and voltage so I looked for something mild and a build that was all about cooling and HIS ICE-Q seemed like it would work but they took forever to answer any tech questions (about a month after it was all over!) and it had to come from Hong Kong and it was backordered! Asked some more questions... the Sapphire version (which has a mild overclock) was on sale for $200 at MicroCenter and I could drive to one rather than wait so.... The voltage concern came up again when I went to the store because a few more $$ and I could have had a FirePro they had on sale! I didn't risk it.

I told you that whole story because had the installation been any easier, it would have been plug and play and the story would be boring LOL! There is one resistor to break (R17) and that is only to get the full 5 GT of speed available from the card (the resistors are labeled well enough but I took a photo, magnified it, followed three different lines to the resistor (marking it with a sharpie each time), clipped it, plugged it in, and that would have been it if I did not want the Apple welcome screen etc... You have to be in Windows to flash the rom but it really isn't bad and there are some great write-ups on that.

It has been more than year without a hitch. The voltage demand is well within specs, the temperature is actually better than it was with the OEM GT120. Even though sometimes I wish I had gone for the extra power supply and the FirePro, for $200 and some sweat equity, I could not be happier. Interestingly, the card is basically the low end FirePro with half the ram so, if a problem with software demanded it, that rom could be flashed on one side but I haven't had any problem with software looking for the FirePro and being unhappy with my "7950".
 

Theophany

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2008
633
186
NW London.
Go R9 280X if GPU compute power is your main concern or GTX 680 if gaming is your main concern. Both have great MacOS support in Sierra and their PC versions can easily be flashed to give you boot screens.

Personally, I went for the GTX 680 because I didn't need the edge in compute applications.
 

Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
Go R9 280X if GPU compute power is your main concern or GTX 680 if gaming is your main concern. Both have great MacOS support in Sierra and their PC versions can easily be flashed to give you boot screens.

Personally, I went for the GTX 680 because I didn't need the edge in compute applications.

I've been looking at the GTX680 myself. I don't really game though .. if I do I do it on my Xbox or PS4. I'm really looking for photo and video editing power. Also I have a sweet Samsung curved 4k monitor but only able to display it at 1080p with my 5870. Really I just want the best card I can get for the money that won't give me an endless headache or software problems.

I've been really considering a GTX 980, but having boot screens on the 680 is appealing.
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,615
8,548
Hong Kong
I've been looking at the GTX680 myself. I don't really game though .. if I do I do it on my Xbox or PS4. I'm really looking for photo and video editing power. Also I have a sweet Samsung curved 4k monitor but only able to display it at 1080p with my 5870. Really I just want the best card I can get for the money that won't give me an endless headache or software problems.

I've been really considering a GTX 980, but having boot screens on the 680 is appealing.

If you don't want to deal with any trouble, avoid all Maxwell card. They are not just no boot screen, but no screen at all if Nvidia web driver is not installed and correctly activated. And that will happen on every single OS update. Because you can't pre-install the new Nvidia web driver. Therefore, you must upgrade the macOS first, and then update the outdated Nvidia web driver with black screen only (a work around is by using remote desktop). If you pay more for the flashed 980, then you can have an unaccelerated screen to install the driver. However, you still have to make sure the driver is avail before you update the OS. If you update the OS too early (e.g. auto update, before Nvidia release the new driver), you will be stuck (or forced to restore / downgrade).
 

Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
If you don't want to deal with any trouble, avoid all Maxwell card. They are not just no boot screen, but no screen at all if Nvidia web driver is not installed and correctly activated. And that will happen on every single OS update. Because you can't pre-install the new Nvidia web driver. Therefore, you must upgrade the macOS first, and then update the outdated Nvidia web driver with black screen only (a work around is by using remote desktop). If you pay more for the flashed 980, then you can have an unaccelerated screen to install the driver. However, you still have to make sure the driver is avail before you update the OS. If you update the OS too early (e.g. auto update, before Nvidia release the new driver), you will be stuck (or forced to restore / downgrade).

The more research I do the more I dont think I want an nVidia card. I currently have a w3690 2.9Ghz Quad core. Im looking at upgrading the CPU at the same time I upgrade the GPU. I don't want to have any longer rendering times in FCPX than what I do with my HD5870. Preferably would like them to be better. If I go with the GTX 680 all work in FCPX will be done with my CPU rather than my GPU due to no hardware acceleration from the nVidia card utilizing CUDA and not OPEN CL. The GPU I go with is going to directly impact my choice for CPU upgrade. I'm looking at x5690/w3690 x5680/w3680 or x5677. If I can get an RX460,480 or something AMD of this era to work with hardware acceleration and at proper link speed (5Gps) I'm thinking of going with the x5677 as its 1/4 the cost of x5690 same specs minus two cores. I dont really need the extra cores unless I go with an nVidia GPU which makes me lean more towards the x5680s because they are about $100.00 less and pretty close in performance. What are your thoughts?
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,615
8,548
Hong Kong
The more research I do the more I dont think I want an nVidia card. I currently have a w3690 2.9Ghz Quad core. Im looking at upgrading the CPU at the same time I upgrade the GPU. I don't want to have any longer rendering times in FCPX than what I do with my HD5870. Preferably would like them to be better. If I go with the GTX 680 all work in FCPX will be done with my CPU rather than my GPU due to no hardware acceleration from the nVidia card utilizing CUDA and not OPEN CL. The GPU I go with is going to directly impact my choice for CPU upgrade. I'm looking at x5690/w3690 x5680/w3680 or x5677. If I can get an RX460,480 or something AMD of this era to work with hardware acceleration and at proper link speed (5Gps) I'm thinking of going with the x5677 as its 1/4 the cost of x5690 same specs minus two cores. I dont really need the extra cores unless I go with an nVidia GPU which makes me lean more towards the x5680s because they are about $100.00 less and pretty close in performance. What are your thoughts?

GTX680 do have OpenCL, and able to accelerate in FCPX. I think you have some misunderstanding about Nvidia GPU.
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,615
8,548
Hong Kong
Then apparently everyone has a misunderstanding >

nVidia cards to include the GTX680 sucks in FCPX

??? We all know the 680 is not the best performing card in FCPX, however, it DOES support OpcnCL, and it DOES have hardware acceleration in FCPX.

You said "If I go with the GTX 680 all work in FCPX will be done with my CPU rather than my GPU due to no hardware acceleration from the nVidia card utilizing CUDA and not OPEN CL", which clearly is not correct.
 
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Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
??? We all know the 680 is not the best performing card in FCPX, however, it DOES support OpcnCL, and it DOES have hardware acceleration in FCPX.

You said "If I go with the GTX 680 all work in FCPX will be done with my CPU rather than my GPU due to no hardware acceleration from the nVidia card utilizing CUDA and not OPEN CL", which clearly is not correct.
I said that because that is what I read on another thread on this forum. All I was trying to say is I dont want to spend money on an "upgrade" that is going to make my computer perform worse than it already does in FCPX.
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,615
8,548
Hong Kong
I said that because that is what I read on another thread on this forum. All I was trying to say is I dont want to spend money on an "upgrade" that is going to make my computer perform worse than it already does in FCPX.

You can try this test with your 5870. I am quite sure the 680 still an upgrade. ( I assume you know how to follow every single step to do the test to get a valid / comparable result)

Anyway, regardless where you get that info. That's wrong. In fact, the video you post already shows that the 680 has hardware acceleration. The 5870 should finish BruceX in about 100s. If 680 has no acceleration. then 5870 is decelerating the process.
 

Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
You can try this test with your 5870. I am quite sure the 680 still an upgrade. ( I assume you know how to follow every single step to do the test to get a valid / comparable result)

Anyway, regardless where you get that info. That's wrong. In fact, the video you post already shows that the 680 has hardware acceleration. The 5870 should finish BruceX in about 100s. If 680 has no acceleration. then 5870 is decelerating the process.
Im not currently home to run the test which I will do, but looking at other peoples benchmarks it looks like 75 seconds is the average time for BruceX with the HD 5870.
 

orph

macrumors 68000
Dec 12, 2005
1,884
393
UK
FCX will use any GPU, iv used gt120/GTX660/GTX770 & Quadro (something :S dose not have number on the card Quadro 4000? maybe came with my 5.1 and was slower than my GTX660 :p cant be bothered to stick it back in just to find the model number).
with atmonitor i have seen GPU & CPU use in FCX with all cards as well as all cards running Luxmark.
 

Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
FCX will use any GPU, iv used gt120/GTX660/GTX770 & Quadro (something :S dose not have number on the card Quadro 4000? maybe came with my 5.1 and was slower than my GTX660 :p cant be bothered to stick it back in just to find the model number)
with atmonitor i have seen GPU & CPU use in FCX with all cards as well as all cards running Luxmark.

I ended up going with the GTX 680. I will report back with differences between my HD 5870 and the GTX 680 once I get the card.
 

Theophany

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2008
633
186
NW London.
I ended up going with the GTX 680. I will report back with differences between my HD 5870 and the GTX 680 once I get the card.

I think you'll be pretty pleased. I thought there was a massive speed boost going from a 5870 to a GTX 680. I'm tempted to put my 5870 on eBay as Mac flashed ones seem to be priced around £100-130 which would mean I upgraded my graphics card for free/profit.
 

Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
I think you'll be pretty pleased. I thought there was a massive speed boost going from a 5870 to a GTX 680. I'm tempted to put my 5870 on eBay as Mac flashed ones seem to be priced around £100-130 which would mean I upgraded my graphics card for free/profit.

My 5870 is flashed as well but I rarely have my boot screens. I'm using the display port though so I don't know if that's why. It seems if I boot the computer and turn my monitor on a few seconds after the chime I have a 50-50 shot at getting them. Generally though I never see them. I'm hoping the 680 is like normal after I flash it.
 

Theophany

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2008
633
186
NW London.
My 5870 is flashed as well but I rarely have my boot screens. I'm using the display port though so I don't know if that's why. It seems if I boot the computer and turn my monitor on a few seconds after the chime I have a 50-50 shot at getting them. Generally though I never see them. I'm hoping the 680 is like normal after I flash it.

There's no reason it shouldn't - I always get boot screens with mine and I'm using DisplayPort to connect to my monitor!

Top tip though to save you wasting a load of time scratching your head like I did - when you follow the instructions to flash your card with nvflash, make sure you download the EXACT version mentioned in the tutorial (v5.134.0.1). If you use a later version it won't let you flash the ROM to the card (I have no idea why).

Here's a link to download the exact version: http://www.3dfxzone.it/programs/?objid=11709, other sites like TechPowerUp only have the latest release which won't flash your card.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,612
6,907
I ended up going with the GTX 680. I will report back with differences between my HD 5870 and the GTX 680 once I get the card.

There is a step-by-step GTX 680 flashing procedure in my signature. It includes links to the proper files that work.
 

Barton261

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
16
0
Omaha
There's no reason it shouldn't - I always get boot screens with mine and I'm using DisplayPort to connect to my monitor!

Top tip though to save you wasting a load of time scratching your head like I did - when you follow the instructions to flash your card with nvflash, make sure you download the EXACT version mentioned in the tutorial (v5.134.0.1). If you use a later version it won't let you flash the ROM to the card (I have no idea why).

Here's a link to download the exact version: http://www.3dfxzone.it/programs/?objid=11709, other sites like TechPowerUp only have the latest release which won't flash your card.

Thanks for the heads up. I already had the guide from @ActionableMango bookmarked. I was not aware the nvflash version mattered. I should have the card tomorrow. I have Windows 10 via Bootcamp. Will the flashing guide work in Windows 10? Obviously it was likely made for Windows 7.
 

CapnDavey

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2015
345
87
Yeah the newest NV Flash won't flash a GTX 680 I messed around with it for a week and found other people were having the same issue the 2013 or older flasher will work fine good luck
 
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