Mac Pro 5,1 GPU options

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kunia, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. kunia macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    I'm a bit confused as to what will work in my MP 5,1.
    Currently running 5870 and gt120 and would like to upgrade my 5870, primary because of gaming on windows, but still have decent performance in OS X while running lightroom and photoshop.
    From what I've gathered I won't get a boot screen with any of GTX cards, but I'll have the gt120 for that (running a second monitor).
    Would this card work? (comes with a 6pin power connector)

  2. GP-SE macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2013
    that card will work, however it uses 6pin+8pin for power.
    the Mac Pro only has 6pin+6pin, so you would need a 6pin to 8pin adapter.
    Also max Power the Mac Pro can Provide is 225watts.

    I would look for a card with 6pin+6pin for power.
  3. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    Look for the MSI 680 4Gb Twin Frozr as they should have 2x 6-pin.
  4. bsbeamer macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2012
    2 x 6-pin will be your best bet, so look for those. TDP should be no more than 225w.

    If you're looking at PC variants, do read through the sticky - has a lot of information in there that is worth reading through.

    Also worth noting that the GTX 680 for Mac is available now, as well as the Radeon HD 7950 for Mac.
  5. steveOooo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2008
    I think the gtx 670 uses 50w less power than the 680, and is only slightly less powerful (but much cheaper than the 680mac).
  6. kunia thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    and it's nearly half the price for gtx680 mac version and about 100-150 less than gtx680.
    Since I'm planning to leave the gt120 in the mac to run a second monitor, would I get a boot menu on it?
  7. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Really? WHere? You sure you're not talking about the 570 vs. the 680?

    On all the sites I look at the 670 and the 680 are less than $50 apart. I think locally here in Japan too.
  8. lewdvig macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2002
    South Pole
    I was in the same boat and was going to get a 670 or 7950, but found a cheap 7870 on my local kijiji and that is fast enough for me.

    Have you thought about used cards?

    I see 670 cards for $250. My 7870 was $160 and the seller delivered it in a prairie blizzard.
  9. eghop macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2011
  10. notabadname macrumors 65816


    Jan 4, 2010
    Detroit Suburbs
  11. kunia thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    I think I'll dish out the money and get the mac version as well......:)
  12. dpny macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2013
    Be careful: nVidia's OS X drivers aren't nearly as mature as AMD's, and Barefeat's tests don't always show this. Their X-Plane test is completely useless and, in fact, masks the shortcomings in X-Plane performance.

    I'd read the fine print on their tests before deciding.
  13. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Mar 30, 2012
    Based on what, exactly? The Blizzard and Valve games all run really well on my GTX 680 (which matches what Barefeats saw), I don't use X-Plane though. In terms of driver maturity, I would've said the opposite -- for example, NVIDIA has supported geometry shaders for many years, while AMD only recently added support for them.
  14. dpny macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2013
    Based on extensive testing by the X-Plane devs: there's no instancing support for nVidia GPUs in OS X, for instance. The same GPU in Windows will double or triple frame rate versus OS X in X-Plane.

    Additionally, Barefeats X-Plane test is completely useless, as it doesn't test any of the things which push the GPU.
  15. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Mar 30, 2012
    Have they tested with the GTX 680, or another Fermi or Kepler generation GPU? In my experience, instancing performance is vastly improved with those GPUs, and in general instancing performance appears to be the same on both platforms (at least when a modern OS X driver is used).

    I'm not suggesting there aren't perf deltas in X-Plane between Windows and OS X, but I don't think it's simply due to instancing support.
  16. dpny macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2013
    Yes: 670 and 680. Instancing is done in software and not in hardware. When you have 25,000 objects per frame you see the difference very quickly. nVidia/Apple is aware. We just don't know if they care.
  17. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Mar 30, 2012
    Okay, that doesn't match my experience with instancing at all. Hopefully they'll figure it out.
  18. dpny macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2013
    Here's the relevant line from the X-Plane log file:

    Disabling instancing for DX10 NV hw - it is software emulated.
    And here's a frame rate test with the 10.8.3 drivers. Not that forcing instancing results in lower fps:

    FRAMERATE TEST: time=93.0, frames=4267, fps=45.88 (fps=42.27 with forced instancing)
    GPU LOAD: time=93.0, wait=3.7, load=4.0%
    1024x768 2.1 NVIDIA-8.10.33 304.10.65f01 (210/0)
    FRAMERATE TEST: time=93.2, frames=2963, fps=31.78 (fps=27.15 with forced instancing)
    GPU LOAD: time=93.2, wait=2.6, load=2.8%
    1024x768 2.1 NVIDIA-8.10.33 304.10.65f01 (210/0)
    FRAMERATE TEST: time=94.1, frames=2411, fps=25.62
    GPU LOAD: time=94.1, wait=2.3, load=2.4%
    1024x768 2.1 NVIDIA-8.10.33 304.10.65f01 (210/0)
    FRAMERATE TEST: time=93.8, frames=2562, fps=27.33
    GPU LOAD: time=93.8, wait=2.3, load=2.5%
    1024x768 2.1 NVIDIA-8.10.33 304.10.65f01 (210/0)
    FRAMERATE TEST: time=92.8, frames=5129, fps=55.28
    GPU LOAD: time=92.8, wait=5.2, load=5.6%
    1024x768 2.1 NVIDIA-8.10.33 304.10.65f01 (210/0)
    I hope they figure it out, too. I used to run X-Plane all the time. Now I fire it up every other week or so to see if things have gotten better. I really can't blame Laminar for this problem, tho. It's up to Apple and/or nVidia.
  19. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Mar 30, 2012
    Right, but Fermi/Kepler is not DX10 HW, it's DX11 HW. And this is not a Mac-specific restriction as far as I know, the Windows drivers for the Tesla (i.e. DX10) family of GPUs all have the same restriction.

    Those numbers seem way lower than the last time I ran X-Plane on my system, I might have to dust it off and take another look. How are you generating those numbers exactly?
  20. dpny macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2013
    I can't answer that question: you'd have to post on the forums and ask the devs.

    X-Plane has built-in command line frame rate tests.

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