Mac Pro with 9 Displays (30")

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jkheit, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. jkheit Guest

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    Aug 27, 2010
    #1
    Hi All:

    I'm working on a project where I want to get at least 9 30" (maybe 27") displays working on a new Mac Pro. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get a Mac Pro to use that many displays?

    I think the most you can do from Apple is 6 via two ATI 5770 or 5780 display cards (3 displayports per card).

    To make this work though, I think I would need to use either the ATI 5770 Eyefinity (supports 5 displays) or the ATI 5870 Eyefinity (supports 6 displays). Unfortunately there is no Apple blessed version of this card.

    However, I'm aware that there has been some success flashing non-apple blessed ATI 5X70 cards (at least that are close to the reference design). In following the threads in the forums, I've seen success with cards supporting 3 displayports like the apple/reference design.

    Has anyone tried/succeeded in flashing the Eyefinity versions of the card like this single slot version and do all (5 of) the displayports work?

    http://xfxforce.com/en-us/products/graphiccards/hd 5000series/5771.asp

    Thanks for any ideas/help!
     
  2. ventro macrumors 6502a

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  3. jkheit thread starter Guest

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    #3
    A custom desk.
     
  4. strausd macrumors 68030

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    #4
  5. jkheit thread starter Guest

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    #5
    Thanks. I thought of the various USB'ish solutions. But really am looking to get a 2 or 3 card solution so the performance is something more reasonable.
     
  6. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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  7. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #7
    3 GT 120s and a 5000 series card should theoretically give you that.
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #8
    If you don't mind using Windows, then just build a PC with 2x 5870/5970 Eyefinity 6 GPUs and you can get up to 12 monitors.
     
  9. jkheit thread starter Guest

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    Aug 27, 2010
    #9
    Not a big windows user. I would love to get 2 5870 eyefinity cards. I wish someone would try to flash them and try them on OSX.

    Not sure this would work, the new macpro only has 3 slots. It will fit 2 double wide cards, so you can't just put in 3 5770s. You could put in 2 apple cards, and the try flashing a 3rd parry single slot version of a 5770 that is close to the reference design. That might work.

    I guess that leaves 2 questions: 1) does anyone know of a single wide version of either the 5770 or 5870 (that supports 3 30" displays--most seem to have one hdmi port, which I think mazes out only at 1080p), and 2) would having 3 cards make the Mac pro howl (my 2006 Mac pro would be fine with 2 video cards, but the third would make the system sound like a jet engine)?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #10
    What makes you think that?

    It has 4 slots and the easiest solution has already been presented by Umbongo.

    Three GT120s (single slot) in the three upper slots. plus a single 5770 or 5870 in the first slot.
    Gives you 9 ports that each support up to 2560x1600.


    Reference 5770s in a single slot design are for example made by Sapphire.
    Just check out the threads for flashing PC cards if you wanna go that route.
     
  11. jkheit thread starter Guest

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    Aug 27, 2010
    #11
    I have two apple 5770s and only see 1 free slot. Maybe one of the cards blocks a slot? I'll check.

    I don't see any single slot sapphire cards:
    http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&leg=&psn=000101&gid=3&sgid=643


    If there is a single slot sapphire reference-based card that supports 3 30" displays, that would be great. Thanks.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #12
    The slot #1 doublewide so if you take out the 2nd 5770, you should have three empty slots which can be populated with GT 120s as they are single-slot cards.
     
  13. gjarold, Feb 3, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

    gjarold macrumors regular

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    #13
    I'm resurrecting a dead thread here because I am now faced with the same issue.

    To wit: I need to connect EIGHT 2560x1600 displays to a single 2009 mac pro.

    One easy way to do this is with 4 gt120s. Ok, no problem.

    However, I am ALSO interested in a pcie based SSD card, and am wondering if there is any way possible to do that ... basically, drive 8 displays with only three pcie slots ? (since the fourth will be used for the SSD).

    It doesn't look like this is possible ... the 3x display cards apple sells (HD 5770 and 5870) are both dual height, so wouldn't that eat all four slots ? If I get one of these 3x display cards and put it in the top slot, and put gt120s in the next two slots, that only gets me to 7 displays.

    So correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems there is no way to get 8 displays in 3 pcie slots ?

    Thanks.

    EDIT: SORRY - original post I said 4 displays, I meant 8 - I need to connect 8 displays, and am wondering if I can do it with three cards...
     
  14. Stephen23 macrumors member

    Stephen23

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    #14
    This doesn't seem to have been mentioned in this threat before, so you might want to look into it:

    http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/gxm/th2go/

    takes three displays and combines them into one, 3x wide. Very useful for entertainment solutions and display situations, though I don't expect they would be much good for gaming, if that is what you're after.

    Stephen
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

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    #15
    Two 5770s and two GT 120s will get you 10 displays.


    Or two 5770s?
     
  16. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    #16
    You wouldn't be able to fit two 5770s from Apple and two GT 120s – not unless you were using a single-slot PC 5770.
     
  17. mulo macrumors 68020

    mulo

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    #17
    you guys do know each displayport supports four displays on its own right? - daisychain it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort
     
  18. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #18
    And you know that there is no adapter for daisy chaining, right?
    I haven't heard of a single card that supports this feature yet. Even Matrox cards don't support it (and I suspect them to be the first ones to implement such a feature).

    Anyhow,
    2 5770s give you 6 display outputs and leave the upper most PCIe slot for the SSD. That way you won't cut the PCIe performance of the two upper slots (they share 8 lanes). And 8 lanes is more than enough for a SSD.
     
  19. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Aside from needing a card that supports DP 1.2, you also need monitors that support daisy-chaining as well. Don't know if those exist either.
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #21
    AMD 6000-series supports DisplayPort 1.2 and daisy-chaining

    [​IMG]

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/...renewing-competition-in-the-midrange-market/3

    Unfortunately MST hubs or displays with daisy-chaining don't seem to exist, yet.
     
  21. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #22
    Oh, I wasn't aware that the 6 series already implements 1.2.

    Where the heck are the 6 series cards for Mac? :mad:
     
  22. gjarold, Feb 4, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

    gjarold macrumors regular

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    #23
    Ughh... I misspoke in my original thread-resurrection-post.

    I need to connect EIGHT displays, not four, and I am wondering if there is a way to connect 8 x 2560x1600 with only three total video cards ?

    I know I can do it with four if I use 4 gt120s ... that gets me 8 displays.

    I am just wondering if there is any possible way to get to 8 displays, but only use 3 pcie slots... since I already have one single slot device in the system. I don't think I can use 2 5770s and a gt120, since each 5770 takes up two slot spaces...

    Thanks.
     
  23. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    Jun 29, 2006
    #24
    If you don't mind using that USB adapter mentioned earlier you can do it, but otherwise I can't think of any combination of cards that will supply enough ports for your needs.
     
  24. Bwa macrumors 6502

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    Jun 20, 2007
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    Boston & San Jose
    #25
    9 displays == 1x 5770 (3) + 3x GT120 (6) or 2600s.

    You could also look into an PCIe expansion chassis. These run around $2000 - $5000 depending on what you're buying.

    http://www.magma.com/

    bhphotovideo stocks a few by other manufacturers as well, I believe.
     

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