Mac Pro1,1 Video Card Upgrade Options

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by QuestionSanity, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. QuestionSanity, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

    QuestionSanity macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2011
    #1
    Hey guys, I've been going through the forums, but I'm having difficulty finding a clear answer.

    I have a 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon, (1,1) with a GeForce 7300 GT in it at the moment, and I'm trying to find a compatible card that is Open CL capable so I can run Final Cut X. (Under Lion.)

    For instance, will a flashed nVidia 8800GT graphics card, PCIe card fit in that?
    I've heard both positive and negative about the GT120 sold by Apple as well.

    Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. AngryRedTicTac macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2011
    #2
    I wouldn't get an 8800 unless it was absolutely all you can afford. The 120 is fine for lighting up a monitor, but that's about it. I would personally get an Apple 5770, they are the best cards for a 1,1. I love mine and it is conveniently on sale at OWC right now. People are reporting good results with PC 6870s, but that functionality isn't nearly as guaranteed as a factory Apple card, even one that isn't officially supported in 1,1s.
     
  3. QuestionSanity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2011
    #3
    Does it support dual display? On your suggestion, I started investigating the 5770. I read somewhere that it will only work with the DVI connector, not the mini's. I suppose it's not a deal breaker, could I even leave the other card in?
     
  4. AngryRedTicTac macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2011
    #4
    You can run 2 displays very cheaply, one hooks up to the DVI port, the other to the first MDP with a MDP to DVI adapter, 20 bucks for a generic adapter, 30 for an Apple one. 3 displays is another story, you need MDP to DL DVI adapters, which cost 100 bucks a piece. The good news is, if you need more than two displays, the 7300 can indeed be left in place, and works great in the top slot, which is a x8 slot in regular configuration.
     
  5. Quest4Sanity macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #5
    Awesome. I already own a couple of MDP adapters from my last iMac and past couple of laptops (seriously, I have like four of them kicking around, it's ridiculous).

    My biggest trick is trying to find one locally for cheap. I'm in Canada, and the shipping cost is bringing the price up quite a bit.

    That's great news about leaving the 7300 in too. No longer do I have to decide between the second display or my cintiq.

    Thanks, that's been a lot of help.

    One other question if you have the answer - have you run it with BootCamp?
     
  6. AngryRedTicTac macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2011
    #6
    The 7300 should work fine for the Cintiq. As to Bootcamp, just make sure you have current bootcamp drivers and the 5770 screams, I'm guessing you are looking to game a bit? The 1,1 with a 5770 is still better, or at least equal to, a new top model iMac at most games. It's a real desktop card that is actually pretty quiet, even running Crysis with most everything maxed at 1920x1080, and doesn't feel like it's going to catch on fire like my new iMac.
     
  7. Bhang macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #7
    So, all Mac versions of the 5770 should work with a Mac Pro 1.1 ?

    Can you do dual monitor on a MP 1.1 with th... ? oops ... You mmention this right above ... sorry


    Any issues with it ?

    Thanks,


    Bhang
     
  8. AngryRedTicTac macrumors regular

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    Jan 15, 2011
    #8
    The only issue I encountered was having to switch which monitor was plugged in to which port to make them both light up, it's not an uncommom issue with the 5770, and doesn't have anything to do with the 1,1 being unsupported. Easy to figure out, and after that was done it's operated flawlessly since last November.
     
  9. QuestionSanity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2011
    #9
    Funny you should mention your new iMac, I was considering trading the tower for a new low end quad core iMac, trying to decide which one is better for Final Cut X.
     
  10. QuestionSanity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2011
    #10
    Any thoughts on that, Mac Pro 1,1 vs quad core 2.5ghz 21.5 inch iMac for video?
     
  11. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #11
    It would be a trade-off. The iMac will probably be slightly faster CPU-wise (newer CPU architecture), but you're stuck with the GPU (the desktop 5770 is also a faster card) and your expansion options would be a lot more limited...

    With your Mac Pro, you have a 32GB RAM ceiling (although FB-DIMMs are kind of pricey), 4 internal SATA bays and 2 ODD bays that can be repurposed for more storage if you wanted.

    Also, assuming a stock 3.0GHz 1,1 model, you'll probably only get around $1000 for it if you sold right now.

    As long as it's still working fine I'd hold on to it for now and drop a Radeon 5770 in. Just my opinion, anyway...
     
  12. QuestionSanity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2011
    #12
    I'm in the position that they'll do a straight swap. I have numerous fw800 drives so external expansion is not an issue. I'm thinking from best final cut experience.
     
  13. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #13
    Well, I suppose it will depend on what your needs are as an editor (complexity of projects, formats shot on, etc.). FW800 drives bottleneck very easily with multiple streams of HD ProRes. The new iMacs do have Thunderbolt, but there's not a whole lot of storage solutions currently available - and the ones that are (Promise enclosures and soon, prebuilt LaCie drives) not exactly cheap.

    And like I mentioned earlier, a desktop 5770 will wipe the floor with a 6750M chip in the base iMac in practically everything, including OpenCL.


    Note that I'm not necessarily bashing the iMac. It's a lot of Mac for the money. But you have a far more expandable Mac Pro now that appears to only need one upgrade to run FCP X. Just a thought.
     
  14. QuestionSanity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2011
    #14
    90% of the time I'm doing web development work, and photography, CS 5. I occasionally put together HD movie projects for clients.

    The Power Mac is not mine persey at this moment. I traded in some previous hardware, and so now I have to choose between the two. The price comes out to the same between the two of them, the tower with the upgraded card vs. the 21.5 iMac. I can get 8GB of RAM with the iMac for super cheap since I have suppliers.

    So my question is this, assuming storage isn't an issue, (I have enough external drives, and I don't do that much video), what's the better computer, in your opinion? Keeping in mind with a new machine, I get a warranty, etc.
     
  15. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    Jul 5, 2002
    #15
    As mentioned earlier, one huge plus in favor of a MacPro is the dead-easy and inexpensive multi-monitor setup (plug in another graphic card, connect inexpensive mainstream monitor(s) and off you go), which may come in very handy, e.g. with Photoshop: Image on main screen, palettes and tools on secondary screen (and maybe the OS with drives, browser etc. on third screen). Same for Web Development: Editor on main screen, preview on secondary... you get the idea.

    With a current iMac you would have to use original Apple monitors with Thunderbolt-In for a multi-monitor setup (-> pricey!). And the 21,5" screen of your favored iMac is not exactly big when it comes to the kinds of work you mention.
     
  16. ORTOX macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2011
    #16
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but why not get a Fermi Nvidia GPU? I've been doing a lot of reading on getting a GTX470 going in my Mac Pro 1,1 because my brother will be shipping one to me soon. It seems completely capable of working.

    Check out this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=13594126#post13594126

    Any of the Fermi cards are super capable, some faster than any of the compatible Radeon cards.
     
  17. Neodym macrumors 68000

    Neodym

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    Jul 5, 2002
    #17
    For quite some time Apple has now focused on supporting ATI/AMD Radeon graphics, which effectively means that the drivers for those are more fine-tuned than their nVidia counterparts.

    If a card can't actually deliver on graphics power due to driver limitations, the theoretical advantages quickly become moot.
     
  18. QuestionSanity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 15, 2011
    #18
    Thanks for the reply Neodym - but the current iMac has the MDP out as well, so it would just be a matter of grabbing their forty dollar adapter. (Alas my mini-dvi out adapters from my previous iMac are now useless...)

    What I really need is someone who has done some heavy lifting (FCPX & CS 5) on both systems and can just tell me, go with this or that.
     
  19. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #19
    The problem is, there's really not a ton of FCP X specific benchmarks. I would venture to guess that background transcoding is purely CPU and things like real-time effects get help from OpenCL. But the real question is how well OpenCL in FCP X scales across various GPUs. I haven't really seen anything that gives us an answer on that yet.

    What we do know though is that Compressor 4 has practically identical performance to the previous version and it relies solely on CPU. In that particular case, the new iMac will probably be faster. Motion seems to benefit from having faster GPUs.

    When you mention CS5, are speaking strictly for its web development apps (Flash, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, InDesign, etc.)? All of those apps use very little, if any help from a GPU. The only CS5 app that really makes use of the GPU in a big way is Premiere and that's only supported on select CUDA (NVIDIA) graphics cards.


    Overall, the answer isn't really clear. People can compare the performance between different Macs on Geekbench scores all they want, but these are synthetic benchmarks that only measure raw CPU and memory performance. There are several other factors that go into play with real-world performance. I for one am not ready to give up fast, cheap storage by ditching my Mac Pro, but that's just me.
     

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