Open CL Video card and 1 Gen Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by organicpixels, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. organicpixels macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2008
    Location:
    Simi Valley, CA.
    #1
    Ok,
    so I have a a 1st Gen MacPro. I've just upgraded to Snow Leopard and everything seems to moving along smoothly so far. I would like to take advantage of the new OpenCL Technology. Are the OpenCL capable cards compatible with with these older MacPro's? Are any of them capable or only certain ones? Any help would be great.

    thanks,
    Op
     
  2. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #2
    The Radeon 4870, Nvidia GT 120, and Nvidia 8800 GT.

    Nothing else is officially supported in your machine for OpenCL at this time. 4870 performance at this time is low, but we expect that to change.
     
  3. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #3
    the 4870 is NOT officially supported on the 2006/ 2007 mac pro.
    the 120 is NOT officially supported on the 2006/ 2007 mac pro.

    the 8800 GT is no longer available on the apple store.

    Who's sick of apple's crap? :mad:
     
  4. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #4
    They're not supported (4870 & 120), but they work without a hitch, no drivers needed.

    Honestly?  not mentioning that the 4870 works in older machines bothers me not a little. If they keep not *officially* supporting it but it all works, plug-and-play as tested by Barefeats and others, that's A-okay with me.

    I will agree that you owners of EFI32 Mac Pros got hosed, but hey - the rule still stands: Never buy the first revision if you can help it. Sucks, but that's life in technology.
     
  5. organicpixels thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2008
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    Simi Valley, CA.
    #5
    I'm curious. What do you mean the 4870 performance is low at this time and why should we expect it to change? This could effect my purchase decision.

    Thanks,
    Op
     
  6. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #6
    In the Mac Pro thread, we discuss and quibble about these things endlessly. There are no OpenCL apps at this point, only benchmarks. Thus far, in articles posted online and benchmarks posted by MR members, the 4870's performance has been abysmal - worse than every other card.

    This doesn't make sense, given that the only cards that should outperform it (in a raw power sense) are the Nvidia Quadro and 285 cards.

    Historically, ATI drivers have always made their cards much better performers for the OS and Pro apps, but recently there have been a lot of driver updates for various cards in system software updates, so it is not unreasonable to think that the card's performance may be different after an update or two. However,  has recently been trending towards including Nvidia GPUs and their architecture may at this time be better for OpenCL applications what with the CUDA legacy.

    Barefeats has not yet posted OpenCL tests involving the 4870 yet. They will.

    Benchmarking is inherently artificial and not the same as speed tests involving an application in practical usage (which is what most reviewers, Barefeats included prefer to do). But since there are no OpenCL apps yet, we can only benchmark at this time.

    All of these factors cause me to recommend that you wait before upgrading your card unless you have an extremely compelling reason to do so now. Why bother upgrading to take advantage of OpenCL if there are no apps that use it yet? It just doesn't make sense.

    Right now, the best price/performance video card upgrade for your machine is to take a PC 4870 and flash it with a Mac EFI compatible ROM, if you were dead set on upgrading now. But for the reasons enumerated above, it is best to wait and see.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #7
    Helped me! I'm looking for an OpenCL card to replace my non-compliant ATI 2600HD. Judging by the plethora of NVidia GPU's that work vs the 2 ATI that work... I'd say going NVidia will be the way to go. So, I'm thinking that means the GT120 for me (and a 1920x1200 screen as well, if I have 2 cards, might as well go 3-4 monitors :))
     
  8. organicpixels thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2008
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    Simi Valley, CA.
    #8
    Thanks for the thorough explanation. Good point on the lack of applications at this point. I'll wait to see what happens. Now if they could just implement OpenCL into Final Cut's workflow :rolleyes:
     
  9. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #9
    I'm afraid you'll be waiting a long time on that...

     usually has FCS on a two year upgrade cycle. Unless they've changed it because FCS 3 was such a small update, it means we've got two years to go before Final Cut (finally) becomes 64-bit and taps into OpenCL, before DVDSP does Blu-ray, etc. They have to rewrite all of the carbon code into cocoa and will probably use Quicktime X as the central engine instead of the existing old bloated Quicktime 7 framework. If they do go whole hog on all these changes, which I sincerely hope they will since it will double the speed of FCS or more, it's a lot of effort recoding the apps.

    FCS 3 was a huge disappointment to a lot of people, in much the same way that Adobe's CS4 was. I've decided to skip both of those upgrades and just get the next one.
     
  10. organicpixels thread starter macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2008
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    Simi Valley, CA.
    #10
    Dito
     
  11. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #11
    GT120 doesn't work in EFI32 machines, the Mac Pro 1,1 or Mac Pro 2,1
     

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