Most Powerful, low power Video Cards

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ZombiePhysicist, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. ZombiePhysicist macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #1
    I need to get 2 video cards in my Mac Pro 5,1. Problem is the Mac Pro has only 2 power cords, and most modern video cards need two power cords.

    So question is, what are the most powerful cards that require only one power cord. Super bonus points if the cards are single slot.

    The original ATI 5770s only require one plug and you can get 2 of them in there. Question if there are more modern cards that can do this?

    I think the AMD Radeon R9 Nano would work, power wise, but does anyone know if it will work in the Mac Pro?
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    I am now running dual 7950 with internal power only. Not exactly what you want. But I can tell you that by running at stock 800/1250MHz, and lower the voltage as much as possible.

    Both card runs stable and quiet for a year now (including heavy crossfire 4K gaming in Windows which push both GPU to above 90% continuously).

    In my experience, I found that some 7950 draw more power from the slot, the other may draw less (but more from the cable). It's hard to tell which one is the best. But I can say that if you get a card that can draw >40W from the slot, then it can easily run both 7950 with internal power only without go over the 75W 6pin limit.

    For normal use in OSX (including 4K rendering in FCPX), but not benchmark / Furmark. The card rarely draw more than 65W, and one of my card can draw more from the slot, so that it demand less from the cable, which keeps the power draw always lower then 75W.

    However, if you don't need the boot screen (with low cost), there is not much benefit to run this config now. I am sure a single new high end GPU can do better then 2x 7950 in some task.

    May I know why you need 2 graphic cards? You need to power lots of screen? (More then 6)

    I think the Nano only works in the Sierra beta as an eGPU with the nMP at this moment. Not a real option for cMP yet.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...mac-with-2-d700s.1732849/page-5#post-21722712
     
  3. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #3
    I need to run 6 30" cinema displays, so they need dual-link.

    I was driving a single vision 7870 vision tek card for 9 months or so, worked great. Then randomly, it stopped driving more than 3 ports. I can run any 3 monitors, in any 3 ports, but if I try to plug in a 4th or more monitor, all the displays go wonky randomly blacking and and trying to recycle to no avail. Unplug all but 3 displays, and it works great.

    It's beyond bizzare. At first I thought that the card died, so I bought another one, same thing. So maybe its the motherboard or power supply? Really at a loss, but I need to get my 6 screens going. :(
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    I see, then this dual 7950 setup should works well, and should be more stable then a single 7870.

    Even though I am not sure what will happen with dual GPU to power 6 screen. However, it's clearly a that single 7950 can drive 3 non 4k monitor without any problem. Since the nMP can drive 6 screens. So I think I can safely assume that the there is no restriction in the OSX side but just the graphic card or driver's problem in your case.

    If you want to have boot screen, and don't want to do any PSU mod. At this moment, I can't think of another easier, cheaper, but more powerful setup then dual 7950.

    Dual 7970 is more powerful, but quite impossible to power them without power mod (or more precisely, only by that 2x 6pin source).

    From my study, the 680 also draw more power then the 7950. Also, I don't think you can be easily under volt the card + flash Mac EFI. Since the under volt 7950s are already right at the edge of the power consumption that the 2x 6 pin can deliver, I think dual 680 is also not quite possible without PSU mod.

    If no need EFI (or don't mind to pay for it), and don't mind to deal with the web driver, may be dual 750 Ti or dual 960 is also work. But AFAIK, it's not necessary more powerful then dual 7950. With total 4GB VRAM on these 2 maxwell card vs 6G VRAM on the 7950 (to drive 6 screens), and no significant performance improvement, and no free EFI option, and no native OSX driver support. I personally don't think this is a good option.

    Anyway, if you want to know more about my setup. Please feel free to tell me. However, I cannot run the 6 screens test for you.
     
  5. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #5
    Be a little patient. By October you will know if you can install a pair of Radeon Nano or Polaris alongside a cheap GT120.
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
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    #6
    Even though I agree that the GT120 is a very handy card in the cMP, but the cheapest good condition GT120 I can get still cost about $100. I think it's not worth at this moment. Unless I need to run the 2nd GPU with the GT120 installed. Otherwise I may just keep my 7950 in the box as a backup.
     
  7. Synchro3, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016

    Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #7
    Instead of a GT 120 you could use a new cheap GT 630 (GK107 Kepler chip in the link below, actually an HP Nvidia OEM model, has two DP 1.2 and one DVI connector): http://www.macvidcards.com/store/p80/Nvidia_GT_630_2_GB.html

    If the card is only for display 2D graphics.

    I'm using a PC version of that HP Nvidia GT 630 for eGPU with a Mac Mini, works like a charm with OS X drivers, in my opinion the successor of GT 120.

    http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/hpe-oas/product-detail.html?oid=5285071

    Passmark:
    GT 120 -> 301
    GT 630 -> 793 (2.6 times faster than GT 120)
     
  8. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

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    A400M Base
    #8

    If you can wait, the option above may work very well. In case you can't wait, you could have a look at two Nvidia Quadro 4000 PNY Mac Edition aftermarket cards. - You would have full support and no driver issues or flashing. They are single slot and only need one power cord per card. It would be a workable setup that matches your requirements, however it also depends on your eBay skills and timing to source two cards on a low budget to make it economically feasible.
    The performance of those cards are medium level, I think comparable to the ATI 5770 with a small cuda bonus. - Nothing fancy but workable.
     
  9. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #9
    Amazed that anyone can charge $100 for the GT120. I can get a Radeon 6900 series for that much.

    I don't think anyone should pay more than $50-60 for a basic bootscreen card.
     
  10. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #10
    Thanks for the suggestion. However, the shipping cost will make it much more expensive then $100 for me.

    Anyway, do you know if this card can work with the Maxwell card together in Windows? I think the GT120 cause some issues in Windows 10. If this card can co-exist with the Maxwell card (and hopefully the 10xx series) without any driver issues in Windows, then may be it worth that price for me.
     
  11. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #11
    No because Windows 10 attempts to roll back the Nvidia drivers to an older version that isn't Maxwell compatible.
     
  12. Synchro3, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016

    Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #12
    I disagree. GT630 (Kepler GK107) should co-exist fine with a Maxwell card. Not like the very old GT120.

    Note: There are even newer GT630 with GK 208 chip, but I don't know if native OS X drivers will support that chip (without Nvidia web drivers).
     
  13. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #13
    Thanks. Seems like if I want ease of use installation I'm going old school with this (or might as well just use the 2 5770 cards I have. (I gave one card to a buddy, but will scrounge it back to see if they solve the problem).

    Or going the 7950 route and hoping to keep things on the cusp of not using too much juice.

    Good lord would it be great for apple to update the mac pro. This is all kinds of suck.

    Thanks guys, this has been helpful. I'm going to try some of your suggestions and see what happens.

    Still one one of the craziest failures I've ever had on a computer system. Just bizarre.
     
  14. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Jul 4, 2015
    #14
    I only spoke about the GT120 being dropped from Nvidia's current drivers.
     
  15. ifraaank macrumors regular

    ifraaank

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    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Odense C, Denmark
    #15
    I use the GT120 alongside my 980Ti. I just disabled the GT120 inside Windows Device Manager, and then I'm able to install drivers for my Nvidia 980Ti :)
     
  16. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #16
    Yeah that's one way around it. I tried it a year ago when Win10 was released but it kept forcing the installation of the GT120 even if I disabled it. The behaviour probably changed since then because Microsoft isn't supplying Nvidia drivers anymore via Windows update.
     
  17. ifraaank macrumors regular

    ifraaank

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    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Odense C, Denmark
    #17
    I disabled it, and Windows Update still updated the driver. But when I removed the driver for the 2nd time after I disabled it, it didn't install it. And it haven't done it since. :)
     
  18. firedownunder macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    #18
    The card in my sig will drive 3 screens no problem. Single slot, board powered, no extra connection needed.
     
  19. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #19
    Thank, but the ASUS GeForce GTX 650 2GB card cannot drive 3 30" displays at the same time. :(
     

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