Radeon 280X Card + AUX Power in cMP 5,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kennyman, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. kennyman, Apr 3, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014

    kennyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #1
    Hello,

    As the title reads, I am thinking of upgrading my video card, I want to keep my cMP 5,1 (home computer) for another 2-3 years:p I currently have a GTX 680, overall it is a good card, good for casual gaming as well. However I have been doing some light video editing lately in FCPX for friends and relatives, it really slows things down when I add 2-3 video effects.

    I mostly use Quadros/FirePros at work, I edit video files once in a while at work (just dragging video files in the timeline and rendering it). But I am not ready to invest in pro cards for my home cMP. I know a GTX 780/780 Ti would be a nice upgrade but my budget is very limited this time ($300 max).

    Since both Adobe and Apple pro apps are now optimized for OpenCL, I think it would be great to swap the Nvidia video card for an affordable Radeon card with decent OpenCL performance. I do not edit videos daily, so I would like to hear from you. I know some of you here have their cMP`s equipped with Radeon cards. Could you please let me know whether a 5870/7950 would help in FCPX? What card would you recommend as an entry level to edit in FCPX?

    Thanks
     
  2. 0x2102 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    #2
    Depends on how much you want to spend. I am running an MSI Radeon 280x 3G Gaming in my cMP 5.1 on internal 2 x 6PIN (with 6 to 8 PIN adaptor). The card works OOB (no boot screen) and is fairly quite under full load.
     
  3. kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #3
    Thanks, how is the performance of the card in FCPX? I actually just did a quick search, and found this

    Is that the card that you are running right now? Looks within my budget:D
     
  4. 0x2102 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    #4
    Yes, that's the card I am running. It's basically a Radeon 7970 Ghz Edition.

    It's difficult to say how well it performs in FCPX since I don't have a Geforce to compare to.

    One thing I have noticed in FCPX benchmarks is that two midrange cards are better than one high end card. If you are strictly interested in FCPX performance you might be better off buying two Radeon 7850 if you can still find them. They usually only require 1 x 6 Pin PCIE connector.

    Looking at Barefeats benchmarks the GTX 680 isn't too bad in FCPX - close to a Radeon 7970. Not sure you will see the expected performance boost with a new single GPU.
     
  5. kennyman, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

    kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #5
    @0x2102

    Thanks for your help, I am actually not interested in dual cards setup, it will cost more, and I do not like the noise and heat with dual cards. But it does help with dual, triple displays. I am just looking for an entry-level single card. Hence I wanted to know how for example, how 7950 scales compare to a 7970 in FCPX. I could not find any info about the overall performance in FCPX on the web...I guess no one here either is in the mood to share more:confused:

    Anyway, I bought this today , it was the cheapest 280x I could find on ebay and I also ordered the epower AUX juice box from newegg (for $35), just in case I need some extra power.

    BTW if I may, why you did not efi-mod your card?
     
  6. TzunamiOSX macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    I hope this will help:
    http://barefeats.com/tube05.html
     
  7. kennyman, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

    kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 4, 2011
    #7
    @TzunamiOSX

    Thank you, but sorry I personally do not trust Barefeats scores. This is just my point of view, as a personal opinion.
     
  8. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    I use a 7970 on FCPX, which is probably just at the margin of your price range. It is noticeably faster than my 5770, but I'm not sure whether it will be much better than the 680. Overall, I have been very happy with it. I got mine from MacVidCards, although if the boot screen is unimportant, I think you can use an un-flashed card. If used by itself, it does not require any additional power source.

    As an aside, I recently ordered a used 30" ACD, which I am totally stoked about. Should be here early next week :)
     
  9. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #9
    FWIW mine 7950 WF3 @1175/6000 does BruceX in 40s (to ProRes 422HQ). MP 4,1/5,1 W3570, 48GB 1066 MHz, stock 640GB HDD, FCP X 10.1.1.
     
  10. kennyman, Apr 5, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014

    kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #10
    Thanks guys, appreciate the feedback. I have received my video card:). It works OOTB, show up as 7XXX in system profiler with no information when I try to get PCI cards info.

    I can definitely say that FCPX works much better with AMD cards. I can add 2-3 video effects and the ATI is all right, no image tearing, it also helps in the background rendering tasks and preview does not slow down too much compare to GTX 680.

    I have tried Bruce X rendering file, render it to ProRes 422LT in 68 seconds (GTX 680 was around 130 seconds). I will be doing some testing with other apps, just to make sure everything is working as it should be with the new card:p

    [​IMG]

    Update 1: I am done on the mac side, everything worked fine. I am testing on Windows now, I just uninstalled Nvidia drivers and installed latest Radeon drivers, went fine.

    Update 2: After playing around with gpu clock and voltage, it seems that the best settings for my card will be 1170/1700. If I add more voltage to reach 1.3V, I am stable at 1215/1750, however, it generate a lot of heat. I even tried 1.4V for fun, as AB & TRi would not let me. So I went extreme and mod the voltage on the bios, but it just gave me 1220/1750, not really worth it.

    Update 3: Lastly, just patch the bios for efi (big thank you to Netkas)...done for today. I will be very busy coming 2 weeks, feel great to wrap up the gpu upgrade within the weekend:p

    [​IMG]

    Thank you all for your helpful comments and time.
     
  11. 0x2102 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    #11
    Good to hear everything is working for you.

    In regards to overclocking in Windows...I usually run FurMark the same time I increase the GPU clock and memory to see how much I gain in regards to FPS vs. heat. I usually have my default profile that is set to "under clock" and "under volt" to keep the fan noise for me within an acceptable range and then I have a "gaming" profile when noise doesn't matter so much :)

    This export takes approx. 28 seconds on the nMP 6C with dual D300 (Radeon 7870). This test is very light on the CPU. Activity Monitor shows approx. 200% -250% CPU utilization. The performance gain here comes directly from the dual GPU setup.
     
  12. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Dec 7, 2009
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    Poland
    #12
    Congrats Ken, you almost caught my 7950 ;)
    Did overclocking improve BruceX time?
     

    Attached Files:

  13. emmab2006 macrumors member

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    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Stoke on trent
    #13
    Sounds Good

    Just Curious as to which Version of the R9 280X You went for ? MSI , Sapphire , i am after a new card for my 2008 Mac Pro, as my 5870 is getting Old now and i really need a better card for X Plane 10 , and i would rather not Buy the Official 7950 from Sapphire as its over £300!! , also i see your card is running at 5.0Gt/s which is excellent , which card was it that you brought ? :) , Emma xx
     
  14. kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #14
    @0x2102 @666sheep
    Thank you for your help, appreciate it.

    @666sheep
    Did overclocking improve BruceX time?

    Yes, it did. I can do BruceX at ProRes 422HQ in 46 seconds now (thanks again)
    The new FCPX seems to like ATI cards, the difference is huge compare to GTX 680. I have a better response now while previewing and also rendering in the background in FCP. Overall, I am happy with my cheapo investment, I am still waiting for the aux epower, got everything under my initial budget, not too shabby :D
     
  15. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #15
    Aux PSU will allow you to play with TDP. Your card should gain some more power at current clock from raising TDP a bit. This is what holds back 7xxx cards while overclocking. Regarding heat, you can alter fan curve in ROM to temp=rpm, i.e. 60C=60% fan speed etc.
     
  16. kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #16
    WoW :eek:

    You are very gpu-knowledgeable, that is exactly what I was planning to do. My plan is to wait for the aux power and do some fine-tuning on Volt, load vbe and mod OD and PT, and play around with temp hysteresis, probably with my dec to hex calculator and hex editor while I am at it. You are absolutely right, I cannot run heaven/furmark with internal pcie power, my cMP will behave badly if I start to suck out over 250W from the internal pcie-power. Sorry, I know this is not a forum dedicated to gpu OC :p

    Thanks again 666sheep.....(in my book, you are not a sheep at all, more likely 666wolf:D)
     
  17. TheHerdForever macrumors member

    TheHerdForever

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #17
    Careful there. I have the mighty Titan in my 5,1 Mac Pro and it's very fast. Remember that you are bound by cost.
     
  18. kennyman, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014

    kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #18
    Thank you very much for the reminder my friend. Indeed, you are absolutely right. I am limited financially. My first choice was to opt for a GTX card but I do not have the budget for it. I had a very small budget (300 bucks, as I mentioned on my 1st post).

    I could not even find decent 7xxx series card at an affordable price, which is weird because the 7xxx cards are older than the new R9 series. Hence I bought a used 280x on ebay (cheapest one, $255) and aux pcie power juice box from newegg ($35, including shipping), so total cost is $290.

    As you can see, I am very cost-conscious. I am not trying in any ways to reach the mighty Titan. Thank you for reminding me about the cost :)
     
  19. kennyman, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2014

    kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #19
    Feedback on AUX Power and 280X in cMP 5,1

    Just want to update this post, I can confirmed that 280X works well in Mac Pro 5,1. But I could not run the card at factory clock using the internal pcie power. It would run fine, but furmark and occt will shutdown the computer, maybe it could be done while lowering down the voltage. I bought an aux power separately so did not bother too much testing further with the internal pcie power from the motherboard.

    For those of you who are planning to buy the ePower juice box, please purchase some quiet 40mm fans. The first thing I noticed when I was testing the unit, is that the fans (3 in all) are extremely annoying (up to 35 dB @ full load). I replaced the fans yesterday with some ultra quite ones, below is a picture of how the epower looks inside.


    [​IMG]
    free image host


    Now it is very quiet (16-20 dB max) depending on the GPU workload. I also tuned the GPU and settled down at 1200/1700 @1.25V. I did some extreme tests (1 hour of heaven in Mac, Furmark & OCCT in Windows and so on..) to test stability, all good so far. Luxmark also looks ok.


    [​IMG]
    free upload pictures


    Due to the voltage increase on my gigabyte card, I had to increase the fans on the GPU to lower down the temp while testing and using the video card, it reaches 69-75°C when benchmarking and running luxmark. I do have a GTX cooler somewhere, I will try it on the 280X when I have time. Next step, I need to find a way to clean up the mess as it does not look good at all:p


    [​IMG]
    upload pictures online


    Overall, if you are looking for a gaming card, go with Nvidia. My 280X even OCed is still little bit slow when gaming. But it does well in video/opencl tasks. If you are into video editing with FCPX, then just buy AMD cards.
     
  20. neeraj3339 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    #20
    Planning to buy Msi R9 280x 3g for my mac pro 4,1...
    Hows this is working with your machines ?
    can i go without additional PSU as i have no plans to boost it..
    And pls mention the link to netkas to flash this card..
     
  21. kennyman, Aug 21, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014

    kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #21
    @neeraj3339

    Hello, I have only flashed HIS (280X), Sapphire (old 5xxx series) and Gigabyte (280X). I am currently using a Gigabyte 280X, I do not know much about MSI 280X.

    My 280X card is working ok, I have also upgraded my MACs at work with HIS 280X. However I would recommend you to stay away from HIS. They are unstable under Windows and have some weird HDMI/DVI artifacts from time to time.

    Sorry, I did not test my card with the internal pcie power, I bought a separate PSU, so I have no idea whether it will work or not, with internal power. Below is an updated post about the PSU + 280X card, see post #8

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1714592

    As for the link to flash, just go to NETKAS forum

    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,7515.0.html

    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,5619.0.html

    Lastly, I do not want to sound rude, but there is a great amount of info on video cards on this forum and NETKAS, please kindly do a search before asking such questions. For general questions, we can help here, if you want to know more about say GPU EDID, GPU Framework, GPU EFI, GPU BIOS MOD....and so on, NETKAS is the place to ask for advice. There are some senior members here that are also very active on both forums (NETKAS, MVC/Rominator.. and so on)

    Members that have helped me a lot here with regards to GPU tuning; Tutor, 666sheep, 0x2102..(sorry if I have missed anyone)
     
  22. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #22
    What fans did you put in? I might be getting the same PSU and would like quieter fans.
     
  23. kennyman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #23
    Hello, good question, the brand name is Tranyoung Technology (T&T). It was purchased on ebay, however any 40mm fans will do.

    I would suggest to check the AUX PSU fan noise when you receive it, mine was noisy from day 1. Surprisingly, some of the members here mentioned that the stock fans are very quiet (so it could be that mine was faulty).

    So check the noise level when you receive it, if you are lucky, no need to purchase new fans.

    Also, there are some more info on this post;

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1714592

    Sorry, no time to consolidate these threads into one. But it has some very detailed pictures and have helped others.

    Good luck on your upgrade!
     

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