Mac Pro 5.1 - Help me choose out of these GPU's?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Beno201, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Beno201 macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2016

    I'm looking to game on my 2010 W3680 Mac Pro.

    I was wondering what people thought about the 4gb GTX 960? Is it still a relevant card in 2016 and does it work through OSX relatively well?
    It can be had for very cheap at the moment so it's spiked my interest (around £160)

    After deciding against the 1070 through boot camp and the 980ti due to not really knowing enough about PC gaming to know what I actually want out of it graphics wise. (I don't even know what 60fps looks like, and I've never seen a game running in even 1080p; let alone the resolutions of 1440p and so on that the Higher end cards boast)
    I've decided to go for something lower speced.

    The 4gb 960 seems like a very decent package for the money, performing well in all the new games I've seen it running in.

    I have also been thinking about the 1060 run through bootcamp, as that too seems to have a good price performance ratio.
    I just don't know weather I'd appriciate or notice that much power or not - it's £100 more than the 960 but obviously a lot more future proof.

    It's hard to juggle all the different variables like upfront cost, future proofing, power etc to make a decision, and a great deal harder when, as I said, I haven't seen anything in action to be able to say "that's what I want to buy".
    The 960 seems great now, but I worry that by next year I'll barely be able to run anything.
    On the flip side, the 1060 wouldn't have that issue, but then I don't know weather it's worth an exter £100 for me.

    There's also the Xbox Scorpio.
    If it can truly run 60fps at 4K when it comes out next year, I might end up getting one of those later on down the line.
    I'd hopefully still be able to play the PC exclusive games I like (like RTS games, which aren't very power hungry)
    And I'd have the benifit of having a 4K ready platform at an affordable price (apparently they're going to be selling it at a loss)

    If that were the case, it'd surely be a waste of money to get a 1060 if I did end up getting a Scorpio in a year or two to play the majority of my games on.

    Any Thoughts?

    Thanks allot.
  2. h9826790, Aug 10, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    AFAIK, the 960 works well in Windows, but not that simple in OSX. You must install and activate the Nvidia web driver before you install the card, otherwise, black screen only. Also, Only 10.10.5 or later works (with the corresponding web driver only).

    It also makes OSX upgrade more tricky, because each driver only works for the corresponding OSX. Therefore, you can't pre-install the driver, and then upgrade OSX. You must upgrade the OSX, and use some method to install web driver without a working display (e.g. via remote desktop). If you forget may, may get into a boot loop, or not display, etc.

    The 1060 card not work in OSX yet, so, seems not good for you now.

    I will says it's quite impossible for the Scorpio to perform at 4K 60FPS. 4K 30FPS is totally possible, I think most likely it will display 4K 60Hz, but render at somewhere between 1440p and 2160p to keep the 60FPS. However, according to the rumoured spec (6 TFLOPs), it should able to perform 1080P60 extremely well (e.g. all special effect on with proper AA).

    The scorpio should be stronger than the 1060. Since the games on console usually has much much better optimisation. Therefore, it should be never worst then the 1070 in real world, and may able to catch up the 1080's graphic performance in some poor optimised PC games.
  3. Beno201, Aug 10, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016

    Beno201 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2016
    Interesting, thanks for the information.

    The 960 perhapse doesn't seem a great option, then.
    And no, the 1060 doesn't work in OSX yet - is it not usuable in Windows bootcamp?

    Perhapse a card middling the two, like the 970 or RX480?

    Or maybe waiting for the Scorpio would be better...
    Even if it can't do 4K 60fps, a console equal to the 1070 would be a serious contender, I would've thought..
    I wouldn't want to spend all the money on a really good card, to have the Scorpio come out at a great price point with 1070 performance.
  4. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    I was planing to get a gaming PC this year, however, once the news about Scorpio released. I just wait for that. I really enjoy the painless feeling of gaming in consoles. In PC (or bootcamp), there are lots of things can go wrong, poor optimised game, driver crash, BSOD, controller not supported, some games not really support 4K and have strange behaviour (e.g. slow motion), shuttering, crash...

    P.S. the 1060 should work in Bootcamp. 970 is same as 960, require the same Nvidia web driver. RX 480 only works in 10.12 beta at this moment, need some hack, and no OpenGL support.
  5. Beno201 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2016
    I have to admit, the Scorpio IF it delivers does seem like a good thing if the price is right.
    I suppose though, since I'm only buying a card it's easier to justify than if I were to build a full PC, if I were to end up getting the Scorpio.

  6. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    All Maxwell cards like the 960 and 970 will have that same problem. However, a Maxwell card flashed with a Mac EFI ROM is much easier to update in OS X. I have a flashed card and my process is: Update OS X, reboot. Update Nvidia drivers, reboot.

    The flashing service does add to the cost, but also enables boot screens and quite a bit more.

    There are some AMD cards which you can self-flash, and the GTX680 can be easily flashed yourself too, but the 680 is a bit old by now for your purposes.
  7. Beno201 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2016
    Thanks for the response.

    I'm not very tech savvy in that department. Considering I don't even know what "flashing" is exactly, I think I need to do some more research haha.

    Would it not be better/possible, to use the stock Mac card to boot into OSX, and then just use the new card only in bootcamp with Windows 10?
    That might be a ridiculously naive question so my apologies in advance.

    I mean, my reason for getting a new card is to play games in Windows 10 on the Mac, rather than building a whole new PC and instead utilising the already decent hardware of the mp.
    I don't really have a use for the new card within OS X - I use my Mac for music production with logic.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Without getting into a ton of detail, "flashing" is basically making a PC card into a Mac card. Some cards you can do this yourself, others require a professional service for. For example:

    You can use two cards, one Mac and one PC, as you describe. However, it depends on the card models as there has to be sufficient power for both of them. Also, Nvidia Windows drivers are starting to drop support for older cards like the GT120. I don't know about AMD.
  9. Beno201 thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2016
    So I presume you wouldn't need to flash the card if you were to just use it with Windows in bootcamp?

    Also, how do you tell if there's going to be sufficient power?
    If I was going to do this, I'd put the 1060 in there so long as there was enough wattage.


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