Metal compatible Graphics Card for MAC Pro 5.1 upgrade to Mojave

AndyNWuk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
4
0
Hi everyone, I am in the process of upgrading my MAC Pro 2010 5.1 to run Mojave.I am currently running MAC OS Sierra. I understand that I need a "Metal" compatible graphics card and Apple recommend various ones including RX Vega 64. Therefore I have been looking at the Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 Nitro+ as hopefully a good solution. Just wanted to check if this card is suitable for my MAC Pro Cheese grater.
 

shinkansenwarrior

macrumors member
Sep 29, 2015
83
66
Tokyo
What work do you need the graphics card for? You can pick up a bargain price Radeon RX580 now for 150 dollars as the Radeon 5600 and 5600XT are coming out Jan 21st. The RX580 runs fine in Mojave. I am in the same boat looking for an upgrade but the vega is very power hungry.
 

AndyNWuk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
4
0
What work do you need the graphics card for? You can pick up a bargain price Radeon RX580 now for 150 dollars as the Radeon 5600 and 5600XT are coming out Jan 21st. The RX580 runs fine in Mojave. I am in the same boat looking for an upgrade but the vega is very power hungry.

Hi, that is an interesting point being "Power Hungry", I am a video editor using AVID Media Composer and want to move up to full 4K/60 editing.

I have recently upgraded my MAC Pro 2009 from 4.1 to 5.1 by installing 2X Intel XEON 5680 3.33 Ghz processors and 64GB of 1333 RAM which work perfectly up to MAC OS Sierra, but to take advantage of 4K/60 editing I really do need to move to at least High Sierra or Mojave which will both work fine with my AVID Editing Software.

But of course I need to upgrade the Graphics Card to be "Metal" compatible.\

I have seen the RX580 used and many people like that card, but was wondering if for a few pounds more if there was anything slightly better than the RX580.

I saw a You Tube video this morning where a guy had installed a VEGA RX VEGA 64 and was discussing Benchmarks in comparison to the RX580 and it was extremely impressive, but I didn't realise it was very power hungry so maybe I need to check the Power Supply I am currently using which is the standard supply as installed by Apple from new.

Andy
 

shinkansenwarrior

macrumors member
Sep 29, 2015
83
66
Tokyo
https://www.reddit.com/r/macpro/comments/9z6epv

There is a lot of info out there on graphics cards for MP5.1.

225W is about the limit without doing any kind of mods to power supply of MP5.1.

Even a Radeon RX590 is around 235W so if u put your system under extreme stress it may shut down or you might fry your motherboard. The RX580 is 185W so it is OK.

You want to do 4K video you are going to put a heavy load on your system.

Maybe someone else can chip in here on this thread but long term investment wise you maybe better off with those dual xeons to upgrade to Catalina and go Radeon 5000X series. The driver support is now coming out for 5700/5700XT and Radeon 5800+ cards will come to market later in 2020 I think.
Power consumption is good for these cards. No need to do any mods.

AVID Media Composer needs to be 64 bit to run on Catalina though. If you have lots of 32 bit apps you want to still use it maybe not a good thing to upgrade that far.

5700XT cards are similar performance to Vega 64 ...Radeon 5600XT cards similar performance to RX580/Vega56.
 

shinkansenwarrior

macrumors member
Sep 29, 2015
83
66
Tokyo

This is another good thread on MR.

tsialex is very knowledgeable on MacPro mods and gives great advice. Hope you find the right card!!
 
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AndyNWuk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
4
0
https://www.reddit.com/r/macpro/comments/9z6epv

There is a lot of info out there on graphics cards for MP5.1.

225W is about the limit without doing any kind of mods to power supply of MP5.1.

Even a Radeon RX590 is around 235W so if u put your system under extreme stress it may shut down or you might fry your motherboard. The RX580 is 185W so it is OK.

You want to do 4K video you are going to put a heavy load on your system.

Maybe someone else can chip in here on this thread but long term investment wise you maybe better off with those dual xeons to upgrade to Catalina and go Radeon 5000X series. The driver support is now coming out for 5700/5700XT and Radeon 5800+ cards will come to market later in 2020 I think.
Power consumption is good for these cards. No need to do any mods.

AVID Media Composer needs to be 64 bit to run on Catalina though. If you have lots of 32 bit apps you want to still use it maybe not a good thing to upgrade that far.

5700XT cards are similar performance to Vega 64 ...Radeon 5600XT cards similar performance to RX580/Vega56.

Hi, yes your right about Catalina, if we upgraded to that we would lose the use of our 32bit software like Adobe Photoshop CS5 etc. yes its an old program but for the odd graphics its good enough without splashing out paying Adobe a monthly fee for the latest online versions.

Thanks for the power information, it looks like the RX580 is the way to go without having to upgrade the Power Supply in the MAC but was wondering if this card can handle 4K/60 or is it limited to the lower 4K/30?

Will have a look at the specs to see what it can do but several people have gone for this card and seem very happy with it.

Thanks again for all the info and time taken to reply.

Andy
 

shinkansenwarrior

macrumors member
Sep 29, 2015
83
66
Tokyo
If it helps, I was thinking of going with 5000 series cards myself (and jumping to Catalina) as they are brand new and have lower power consumption but not all cards are yet supported so for now I thought the best way would be to get a dirt cheap 580 card and then upgrade to a 5600XT+ when the prices drop later on in late 2020/early 2021. The best bang for buck RIGHT NOW would be the 580 almost half the price of 5600XT.
 

iluvmacs99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 9, 2019
562
374
Perhaps I can chime into this topic as I own a Mac Pro 5,1 with only 8 core and older E5520 CPUs (roughly the same performance as a Core i3 Coffee Lake in multi-core) and a Radeon RX580 8Gb Sapphire Pulse. I mainly edit video in Davinci Resolve 16 and with 4K/30p source video and I find that the platform is fine for independent movie producers with a good amount of motion graphics, titles, color grading and LUTs. I also use SSDs configured as RAID 0 as well as my 7200 rpm spinners configured to RAID0 and have a RAID 5 Gigabit network drive for archival and footage retrieval. So don't just focus on having the most powerful graphic card.

While having the most powerful card helps you in terms of having a smoother timeline, it won't help you encode and decode HEVC and h.264 material to intraframe, unless you activate AMD hardware acceleration which is only available in Mojave and under certain conditions. Even then, the output quality is what I wouldn't call it professionally acceptable either. So you are bound by your CPU performance which I see you had upgraded to the X5680. All the graphics GPU does is render 3D titles and graphics, motion graphics, color grading and LUTs at manageable speeds. Most people who are serious in editing 4K/60 and higher with Davinci Resolve Studio (which supports multiple GPUs) stay in High Sierra, because you can pair a couple of GTX 1080Ti or Titan X with the Pixlas Mod and Nvidia CUDA drivers to speed up the graphics rendering even more. But then you need the Pixlas Mod to feed more power to the GPUs. The Mac Pro powersupply is rated up to I believe 950-980W and so it does have enough power to drive a Vega 64 or 56 if that's what you want.

A lot of benchmarks you see out there are really for games performance, which don't translate all that well for video editing. Video editing is the sum of your CPU speed + your disk I/O speed + your GPU card. I had met a few indie producers (short film documentary professionals) who are editing 4K/60 material using their older Macbook Pro 2012, albeit transcoding their 4K/60 RAW or interframe HEVC to 2k ProRes so they can work on their timeline with motion graphics using the rather underpowered Macbook Pro 2012 dGPU or iGPU. Even Blackmagic sells the RX580x eGPU, so the RX580 is very capable of working with 4K/60, but you need to really understand the difference working with interframe and intraframe footage in order to harness the speed and power of your current system. Hope this helps.
 
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AndyNWuk

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 9, 2020
4
0
Perhaps I can chime into this topic as I own a Mac Pro 5,1 with only 8 core and older E5520 CPUs (roughly the same performance as a Core i3 Coffee Lake in multi-core) and a Radeon RX580 8Gb Sapphire Pulse. I mainly edit video in Davinci Resolve 16 and with 4K/30p source video and I find that the platform is fine for independent movie producers with a good amount of motion graphics, titles, color grading and LUTs. I also use SSDs configured as RAID 0 as well as my 7200 rpm spinners configured to RAID0 and have a RAID 5 Gigabit network drive for archival and footage retrieval. So don't just focus on having the most powerful graphic card.

While having the most powerful card helps you in terms of having a smoother timeline, it won't help you encode and decode HEVC and h.264 material to intraframe, unless you activate AMD hardware acceleration which is only available in Mojave and under certain conditions. Even then, the output quality is what I wouldn't call it professionally acceptable either. So you are bound by your CPU performance which I see you had upgraded to the X5680. All the graphics GPU does is render 3D titles and graphics, motion graphics, color grading and LUTs at manageable speeds. Most people who are serious in editing 4K/60 and higher with Davinci Resolve Studio (which supports multiple GPUs) stay in High Sierra, because you can pair a couple of GTX 1080Ti or Titan X with the Pixlas Mod and Nvidia CUDA drivers to speed up the graphics rendering even more. But then you need the Pixlas Mod to feed more power to the GPUs. The Mac Pro powersupply is rated up to I believe 950-980W and so it does have enough power to drive a Vega 64 or 56 if that's what you want.

A lot of benchmarks you see out there are really for games performance, which don't translate all that well for video editing. Video editing is the sum of your CPU speed + your disk I/O speed + your GPU card. I had met a few indie producers (short film documentary professionals) who are editing 4K/60 material using their older Macbook Pro 2012, albeit transcoding their 4K/60 RAW or interframe HEVC to 2k ProRes so they can work on their timeline with motion graphics using the rather underpowered Macbook Pro 2012 dGPU or iGPU. Even Blackmagic sells the RX580x eGPU, so the RX580 is very capable of working with 4K/60, but you need to really understand the difference working with interframe and intraframe footage in order to harness the speed and power of your current system. Hope this helps.
- - Post merged: - -

Thank you for that most interesting and informative reply.

It looks like the RX 580 Card will do exactly what I need.

I am not intending doing heavy work in 4K/60 as most of my output still remains in 1920/1080 HD, but was trying to future proof any upgrade I am doing now to be ready for anything that comes in.

From what you said in your last post, would I get much more benefit going for the Vega 56 or even a 64 card or if you was me, would you still opt for the RX580 as the price for this card is very reasonable at this time and maybe I can as suggested even upgrade it later on to a newer 5600XT.

A this stage I would like to try and get my MAC up to using Mojave at least and see how it performs.

Andy
 
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