New GPU. Titan or wait something?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by marioav, Feb 1, 2016.

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  1. marioav macrumors newbie

    marioav

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    #1
    Hello. I have cMP 5,1
    12 core 3,46Ghz
    128GB ECC Ram
    256Gb Startup SSD on PCI-E
    and flashed by macvidcards nVidia GTX780 3GB.

    Since I worked only with gopro videos, everything was fine but as I bought Sony A7SII — GPU is always full and I have to close almost everything to work in Davinci Resolve. I don't like that situation, when I have to wait to close FCPX and Motion, then open Davinci, then close Davinci and open other apps again, and over, and over. It is really annoying and steals a lot of my time in total.
    So I decided to upgrade my gpu. As I see, the best solution I can have on inner psu is Titan 12gb. Is it really good as it has to be or better just buy 2 980ti for sli?(Does SLI have support in latest OSX - 10.11.2?!)
    Or maybe I have to wait a bit and nVidia will run out something new to the gpu market.

    All I need is fast and smooth work with UHD and 4k videos without compromisses.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Bytehoven, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016

    Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #2
    If you research reviews on the Titan X versus 980 Ti, you will find many suggesting a single 980 Ti offers the best bang for the $$$. 2x 980 Ti will require an external PSU and SLI is not supported.

    I am quite happy with a single 980 Ti supporting (4) monitors in my 4K Edit workflow. If I was inclined to go with multiple 980 TI GPUs to benefit from the CUDA acceleration, I would probably pull the trigger on an external PCIe box and build out accordingly.

    There is always something new coming. If you read thru the forums, you will see many saying or hoping this is the year AMD pushes out something ground breaking. Right now for the cMP, Titan X is top dog on the CUDA team, but with some saying the 980 Ti being the smarter investment.

    As far as fast and smooth uHD/4K workflow... IMHO adding in a single 980 Ti or Titan X AND a speedy RAID0 for data storage should just about max out your current rig and max out what the cMP is capable of wrangling.

    For speedy RAID storage, I use an ATTO R680 hosting a 24TB RAID0 built with (8x) Seagate 3TB HDDs, and an ATTO H680 hosting a 12TB RAID0 back up (4x 3TB HDDs) + 4 bays for single HDD project archiving. I have yet to need the 12 TB RAID0 back up, but it's there is case the main RAID0 would ever go down during and edit session. I chose this dual RAID0 set up over running a RAID5 on the main production RAID. I also use a Mobius 2 Bay USB 3.0 enclosure because it supports 8TB HDD archive volumes.

    I have looked into adding an LTO-6 or LTO-7 and could add it to the H680, but with the current cost of LTO-7 tapes, buying 5TB or 8TB HDDs is a cheaper and more flexible option right now.

    PS... even in my tweaked out set up, some 4K codecs benefit from transcoding to PreRes, so all of my camera compressed source gets transcoded to 4K ProRes 442 LT, 442 or 442 HQ before the project begins. None of my clients work in uncompressed so I have no need to go higher than 442 HQ.
     
  3. netkas macrumors 65816

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    #3
    If you need lots of VRAM better go with titanX
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #4
    It's all about how much VRAM you need. If 6G is enough, a single 980Ti should be a better choice. Otherwise, no choice but a Titan X.

    And my understanding is NO, SLI is not supported in OSX. But that should be quite irrelevant for video editing.

    You can always wait. But if you prefer a flashed card. Then I don't think the new card will be ready in the next few months. We need to wait until the card actually announce, launch, MVC get it, make sure the web driver works (hopefully no major / performance bug), write / test EFI…

    Since you said all you need is just a card for smooth video editing. Then I don't see any reason to wait.

    Will waiting achieve what you want? NO

    Will the Titan X achieve what you want? YES (assuming no software issue)
     
  5. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I am surprised that if the graphics card is the bottle neck that closing applications would improve performance. That is normally symptomatic of insufficient RAM but as you already have 128GB that seems unlikely too.
     
  6. marioav thread starter macrumors newbie

    marioav

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    Feb 1, 2016
    #6
    Only Davinci ask me to close other apps but I cant stop working there - it is really best solution for color grading on the market. And I never was able to use more than 64GB even if opened huge 2-5gb files in Ps, while opened FCPX and motion and chrome with thousand pages and chats of coursw - I always able to switch between application really quick without issues but if I want to open davinci - it goes to be butthurt. I have to close everything that uses gpu ram.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 2, 2016 ---
    Thanks for sharing experience. Yes you are right, I can just buy titan and level up of my cMP to maximum.
     
  7. DearthnVader macrumors 6502

    DearthnVader

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    #7
    The Titan maybe the most powerful video card you'll ever be able to get for your MacPro. Netkas and MVC are the experts on this, so I could be wrong, but they need EFI Roms to edit and create new AMD/nVidia cards from. All the current Mac's, and presumably all Mac's going forward, have there video Rom's in the EFI System Firmware. Not on a flashrom chip on the graphics card itself.

    Here's the part I could be wrong about......If you dump the PCI Rom of the graphics card, all you'll get is a Bios image for BootCamp. The EFI Rom is loaded from a .efi module in the system firmware, while it is possible to extract this module from the system firmware, it's not a Rom image, unless Netkas/MVC/Someone can convert a .efi module to a Rom image we maybe stuck with all the graphics cards we'll ever have for the cMP /EFI Roms.
     
  8. marioav thread starter macrumors newbie

    marioav

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    Feb 1, 2016
    #8
    Hmm, but what if I buy PC version of Titan - can I use it? I don't need boot screen. Also I can save my 780 for case if something happens with drivers. What do you think? Seems it is a good way to save 400-500 bucks.
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #9
    As long as you have your way to deal with the driver / OSX update without anything on your screen (not just no boot screen), then the PC Titan X is fine (of course, you can always swap your 780 back in to install the driver).
     
  10. netkas macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Looks like pascal cards aren't coming for another 6 monthes at least, better to go with titanics now.
     
  11. Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #11
    I'm using a PC version of the 980 Ti and it works fine. I use screen sharing to do most of the stuff for which you would need the EFI Flash. However, there are just some things which get tougher, such as any serious Windows maintenance such as testing or using rescue media. I have an EFI friendly 5770 I use for this but I will probably send my 980 Ti into MacVid when I get some extended down time to accommodate the shipping loop.
     
  12. marioav thread starter macrumors newbie

    marioav

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    Feb 1, 2016
    #12
    but can you say for what purposes i will need efi? Btw remote desktop is good idea - i have 2 mac laptops and can use them for it.
     
  13. Bytehoven, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016

    Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #13
    Not to sound incomplete, but EFI would be needed anytime the screen sharing option will not work. For instance when needing to run Windows rescue media from a USB or DVD source. The rescue media menus so far do not appear when using a non-EFI GPU. However, this is my 1st attempt at doing this kind of Windows maintenance setup with a non-EFI GPU. I'm hoping maybe someone else chimes in to confirm the inherent limitations related to such windows based maintenance.

    EDIT: just confirmed... when I initiated a "restart and scan disk" on my Win 10 volume, it happened in the dark, and once finished and there was a 2nd restart, when the GPU drivers loaded I could then see the 100% complete message for the scan and repair function. No problem there but then again I did not need to respond to any menu choices.

    On the other hand... any time the Mac is running on OS X, screen charing will let you see what's going on when the non-EFI in unable until the proper drivers are enabled.
     
  14. marioav thread starter macrumors newbie

    marioav

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    Feb 1, 2016
    #14
    i just never ever use windows and even dont see any occasion to use it once. if the problem only windows running incompatibility - i really dont care.
     
  15. Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #15

    Then you should be fine. I have yet to miss EFI for anything OS X related. There is one exception.... running a OS X installer or Apple Hardware Test (AHT) from DVD. Those require a friendly EFI to display their screens and I don't think they can be accessed via screen sharing. If I had to run AHT to diagnose issues on my Mac Pro I would swap in the 5770.
     
  16. marioav thread starter macrumors newbie

    marioav

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    Feb 1, 2016
    #16
    oh man, thanks! I have an opportunity to buy titan for $700 and this is really great deal that i dont need re-flash it!)
     
  17. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #17
    When you need to boot into the recovery partition.
     
  18. ActionableMango, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #18
    Quite a bit, actually. Whether or not any of it is important though, is entirely up to you.
    • Proper listing of card model in OS X system information.
    • Full PCI 2.0 speed in every operating system (without EFI, the PCIe speed is cut in half for Windows and for older versions of OS X).
    • For Nvidia Maxwell cards, the ability to boot into OS X and see the GUI with default Apple drivers loaded.
    • Ability to install Windows in EFI mode instead of BIOS emulation mode, with related benefits such as fast boot, faster drive access (AHCI mode), no weird hybrid partitions, support for more than 4 partitions, and support for partitions greater than 2TB in size.
    • Ability to use the 1,1 to 2,1 firmware upgrade utility.
    • Ability to use the 4,1 to 5,1 firmware upgrade utility.
    • Boot screens:
      • Ability to do a clean install of an operating system.
      • Booting into the recovery partition so you can use one of its many features: restore from a Time Machine backup, reinstall OS X, set a firmware password, or use Disk Utility to repair your drive.
      • Selecting an operation system at boot time for dual-boot systems, or any time you insert a boot disk or USB thumb drive.
      • Ability to see in Safe Boot mode.
      • Ability to see in Single User mode.
      • Ability to see in Verbose mode.
      • Ability to see the password prompt for systems with the firmware password enabled.
      • Ability to see the password prompt for systems with Full Disk Encryption, such as Filevault.
      • Ability to see in any number of bootdisk-based utilities, such as AHT (Apple Hardware Test), MemTest86, CloneZilla, any number of Linux Live discs, etc.
    Note that a lot of the items in the "boot screens" list will seem unimportant as long as everything is working well. But the moment you have problems, you will find that many normal avenues for troubleshooting, recovery, or even starting all over from scratch, are not available without boot screens.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think screen sharing helps with anything on the list except perhaps bullet #3.
     
  19. Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

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    #19
    I am curious... I have been able to enable audio from my non-EFI 980 Ti while many others have been reporting issues. Is it possible if I had the EFI flashed I might lose the HDMI, DP audio output? I ask because since I no longer have an alternative HDMI output to monitor 5.1/7.1 surround, it would be a major problem.

    Thanks

    BTW... the main thing that prevents me from getting my 980 Ti flashed is the uncertainty of turn around time. So I have putting off even entertaining the upgrade until I could live without the GPU for a week or two.
     
  20. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

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    #20

    Every single one of the actions that require an Apple boot screen can be accomplished by using a Mac nNvidia GT120 or ATI Radeon HD 2600 available used for about $70. Keep it on the shelf & pop it in if you ever need to boot from the recovery partition.
     
  21. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #21
    I am not knowledgeable on that topic. My list is a collection of what others have said. That bullet point is referring to this post, so you might ask your question of that poster. "The problem is Apple EFI Rom graphics cards build custom properties in the device tree that are needed for HDMI/DisplayPort Audio."

    But if you have audio without EFI, then this indicates otherwise, so I have removed that item from my post.

    Yep, that's a popular alternative. In fact it makes a lot more sense to keep a $70 EFI card in the closet as you suggest, than OP's plan to keep a $400 EFI card in the closet as a backup.

    He could also sell his old card on Ebay, pay for flashing service, and then he would have EFI in his main card with all of the benefits instead of in a backup card in the closet, not to mention the extra ~$200 in his pocket. That's what I did.
     
  22. DearthnVader macrumors 6502

    DearthnVader

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    #22
    Bytehoven is using the HDMIAudio.kext that injects the values into the Device Tree that Apple's OEM Rom graphics cards do for DHMI/DisplayPort Audio. Even the cards MacVidCards flashes or the Retail cards nVidia sold don't have these values, so in order to have Audio these cards still need that kext.
     
  23. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #23
    Thanks for the clarification. Do you need both the KEXT and EFI? This is h9826790's stated experience here, but one person's experience isn't necessarily the rule.
     
  24. DearthnVader, Feb 5, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016

    DearthnVader macrumors 6502

    DearthnVader

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    #24
    You shouldn't need both, but the kext was never open sourced, so we don't know the properties it builds in the device tree for some cards. It appears that, for some cards, the properties are not complete.

    Lot's of people use just the Kext with PC Bios nVidia cards, but some people do report it not working on some nVidia cards too. Not all the Audio chips that nVidia used are supported by OS X native AppleHDA, in that case HDMI/DisplayPort Audio will never work on those cards unless it works with VoodooHDA.
     
  25. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #25
    It's a shame the guy doesn't open source it or maintain it. A lot of people make use of it.

    Or even more to the point, it's too bad Apple doesn't just do this officially. On my hardware I get audio over DisplayPort in Windows, but not in OS X.
     

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