Mid 2010 Overhaul

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by advmac, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. advmac macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I'm working on a Mid 2010 Mac Pro and was wondering what I could do to update it. Its purpose is a presentation and multimedia machine for a church. Lately, it has seemed much slower than what it should be and isn't meeting the demand.

    Here's the basic run-down: 2.8 GHz Quad Xeon
    8GB 1066 MHz DDR3
    ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB

    The main thing I am looking to do is upgrade the graphics card but I am unsure of what I can put in it. I see that it takes a PCIe slot, but does this mean I can put just about any graphics card in it or will it have to be mac specific? I'd also like to make sure I can run three HDMI outputs from this. I'll take any advice/suggestions on this.

    I'm also looking to put in an SSD (probably Samsung), and put in 16 GB of RAM. Would it be recommended to put in a higher speed of RAM such as 1866 MHz?

    Any advice on what should be done will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    Based on your usage, it's entirely possible a new GPU won't help at all. I suspect an SSD will help the most.

    But it is hard to tell without knowing what's going on. What about it feels slow? That's important for targeting a useful upgrade.
     
  3. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #3
    I would recommend running Activity Monitor (In the Utilities folder under Applications) and attempting to get a feel for where the bottleneck might be. It will show you CPU, disk, and memory activity (as the big ones...there's more but it sounds like you may not be technical so I'll keep it simple and high level).
     
  4. advmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I actually don't use the computer very often and I'm not around it currently. An SSD would make the most sense, actually. They complain that the programs (mainly ProPresenter 6) take a while to load and are 'acting funny'. I'll have to take a look at the Activity Monitor next time I'm there.

    They've also expressed that they want three HDMI outputs. Would I mostly look for a card with three DisplayPorts? They are also looking into being able to add live video into their presentations, so would a good card be needed for this? Here's what I'm currently looking at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487136
     
  5. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #5
    The RAM speed on 5,1 cMP (mid 2010 and mid 2012) is controlled by the CPU. The CPU in your machine is a Xeon W3530 and will handle RAM speeds up to 1066MHz. Other CPUs will allow speeds up to 1333MHz in a 5,1. So, while 1866MHz RAM will fit and work in a 5,1 it will only operate at the speed allowed by the CPU.

    So, an SSD is should be your first order of business. A RAM Upgrade is second. Further down the road maybe a CPU and GPU upgrade. And yes, for your use, the GPU will need to be Mac specific so it will show the boot screen.

    Lou
     
  6. advmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Okay, awesome. Thanks for setting me straight, Lou. How can I tell if a GPU is Mac specific? Will most of the GeForce 9 and 10 series work?
     
  7. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #7
    ^^^^The GeForce 9 series will work in a cMP, but won't show a boot screen unless flashed by:

    http://www.macvidcards.com

    And for them to work you'll have to download Nvidia Web Drivers from here:

    http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/105646/en-us

    And those drivers will need to be updated after each point OS update.

    Apple does not, as of yet, supply drivers for the 9 series.

    No Apple drivers from Nvidia for the 10 series as of yet.

    The last Mac Specific Nvidia card sold was the GTX 680 Mac Edition.

    Lou
     
  8. advmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Ah, okay. So a Radeon would be the best option for native support? What would be a couple recommendations?
     
  9. yurc macrumors member

    yurc

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    #9
    just for additional tips : when choosing 9 series card..pick carefully. Look at specification and picture of their port, because some manufacturer change port output to save production cost and became a cheaper card...usually a config like (1DP 1HDMI and 2DVI).

    Reference card is safe bet..or if hard to find reference card use custom card is okay as if still have 3 DP ports.

    The current compatible radeon card only give 2 DP ports (in miniDP form factor)

    Radeon option :
    Hassle free : Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition, but old and quite expensive

    Required Flashing :
    Any PC 7950 7970, R9 280X card. If not flashed performance not too optimal and appear as 7XXX card in system profiler but it cheaper option than sapphire offered.

    If i in your position, i'll just go with 9 series card and keep old 5770 for troubleshooting/bootscreen required operation.
     
  10. bax2003 macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

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    Belgrade, Serbia
    #10
    Last Mac Specified nVidia card was Quadro K5000 for Mac.
     
  11. advmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    So if I buy this card I could flash it and install the drivers I would be good to go? I could easily handle about anything thrown at it and have three separate displays running?
     
  12. yurc macrumors member

    yurc

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    #12
    Actually without being flashed, this card work will work without problem as NVIDIA web driver installed, but show no boot screen. You get black display on booting but it will arrive at your login screen.

    Your PNY card in link above only had 2 displayport. Theoritically this card support triple 4K display via 2 mini display port and one in HDMI 2.0 port, but i concern lack of VRAM. My question, what resolution being used in your triple display setup?
     
  13. advmac thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    They'll have a main working screen, output screen, and a b/w notes screen (for people on stage). Two will be in 1920x1080 and the other won't really matter. We used to use three outputs with VGA but the current card won't handle three ouputs with HDMI/DVI.
     
  14. yurc macrumors member

    yurc

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    #14

    Technically your old 5770 will suffice for doing those task. Officially amd 5770 support triple display with max out with QHD resolution (2560x1440 or such). Those card have dual mini display port and single dual link DVI. I saw old man near printing studio driving dual apple cinema display and single samsung lcd monitor through DVI to D-SUB converter. That computer used only for viewing raster because those mac pro was configured only for outputting negative film ffor printing plate, so actually it's doing same job with your need, for displaying only.


    Unless no GPU computation/operation, displaying job is no problem. Have you try hooked triple display into 5770 before? Better save money for other component that give huge boost for your mac such as SSD.

    (my mac pro still using old 5770, i'll upgrade later lol~)
     
  15. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #15
    I seriously doubt ProPresenter 6 is GPU accelerated, so I'm going to be contrary here (and agree with @yurc) by saying that for something simple like 1080p multimedia presentations for your church, the 5770 is fine.

    I feel all this advice about getting a new card, flashing, not flashing, etc is a lot of hassle, extra cost, and won't improve your specific use case.

    An SSD however will definitely help.

    The current 5770 absolutely will handle three HDMI outputs. Get two MiniDP-to-HDMI active adapters and one DVI to HDMI adapter.

    If you could only get two screens working in the past, it's almost certainly because your MDP adapters were passive adapters. At least one of the MiniDisplayPort adapters has to be an active adapter.

    If you already have two passive adapters, just replace at least one of them with the following active adapter and all three displays should work:
    https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-DisplayPort-Supporting-Technology/dp/B00PJ3LSIG/

    I don't really want to get into lengthy explanations, but basically the 5770 has two clocks in it that support up to two legacy type connections. If you want three legacy type connections (HDMI and DVI are legacy), an active adapter contains its own clock, thus getting around the two clock limitation of the card. (Two clocks on the card plus one clock in the adapter to support three monitors.) This is why only one of the adapters has to be active. There is no clock in a passive adapter.
     

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