Reasonably priced nVidia GPUs for a MP 5,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by FluJunkie, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    So my current machine, a MP 5,1 has served loyally and well as a testbed for all manner of programming projects. I'd like to expand its capabilities into GPU computing, and while the 5870 I've got in there right now can handle OpenCL based stuff, I'd really rather be dabbling with CUDA, which at this point seems to have better support.

    The problem being the Quadro 4000 costs as much as one of my kidneys, and I don't actually need that much horsepower. I'm looking for a "check that the code works" card before hurling it off to a server somewhere.

    Purchasing suggestions?
  2. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    Guess it depends on what you mean by 'reasonably priced'

    Here is a new Nvidia GTX 285 card I found on eBay. Now it doesn't explicitly state that its a flashed card and I don't know if these were ever natively produced for Apple, but I get the feeling it is flashed card.

    There are quite a few people on here with far more knowledge and ability to answer this question, and I am sure they will respond. Thought I would just post this to get things going.
  3. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I have a GTX 285 for Mac that I found used for $300 a while back. I used it for a while for Adobe Premiere CS5, but in the end found that my 5870 actually seems to work better for my needs, and I shelved the nVidia card for now.

    CUDA only works on certain effects, and in many cases it isn't as good as the 5870. I use After Effects heavily, and it seems more stable there, too. For example, I can play un-rendered RED 4.5K R3D footage at half resolution almost perfectly smooth... 1/4 resolution is perfectly smooth... and I'm using a 5870. Not sure if that's why you want a CUDA card, but I'm throwing that out there for you.

    The Quadro 4000 is (in my opinion) overpriced and underpowered. Flash a GTX 560Ti or GTX 580 instead, if you're into flashing PC cards for Mac use. Way better bang for buck, but then you hassle with flashing and funny boot behavior.
  4. FluJunkie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    Nope, I'd be using it for out-and-out GPU computing stuff, relying on my code rather than a package using my GPU.

    The rest of your advice is appreciated however.
  5. carylee2002 macrumors member


    Jul 27, 2008
    I was shopping around and I found one on Craigslist for 600.00 practically new. Later found out that the original buyer didn't know how to correctly mount it so it ended up DOA. He did offer me a refund on the spot but He had the original receipt from the store he bought it from. We tested it at the store and it was DOA. So they exchanged of a new one under warranty. He bought 4 cards but found out he can only use 3 for his Devichi Resolve setup. So at the end I was lucky to get a new card via exchange. Now my rig is flying using the CUDA for AE, Premiere, Photoshop,..all CS5.5.
  6. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA

    Thanks for the plug, we are the ONLY place to create alternatives to the Quadro 4000 for CUDA. Apple and Nvidia have been kind enough to include drivers for a great many cards. These drivers are built right into the OS since Lion came out. We are the only people writing EFI ROMs for the cards to get them functional with boot screens, etc.

    We have managed to get a variety of cards running, and when they do, they run at PCIE 2.0 speeds of 5.0 GT/s. I recently broke the news that Nvidia's driver update for 10.7.3 allowed many cards to work without EFI. This is another option if you don't mind not having a boot screen. Also, many cards run this way will run at PCIE 1.0 speeds only. (i.e., 2.5 GT/s). I have yet to test if the 10.7.4 Beta continues to allow these cards to work this way. If not, you will likely be able to use ATY_Init from Netkas to enable them again should Apple or Nvidia discontinue this support.

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