Reasonably Priced Video Card for 4K/60hz SST

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by lhotse, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. lhotse macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    #1
    Hi all,
    I'm looking to upgrade the GTX285 in my mac pro 4,1 to drive a Philips BDM4065UC at 4k/60hz.

    I have done some research but am feeling a little confused re which cards will and won't work. From what I can tell I need a 6/7/9xx series Nvidia card or ATI 79xx - either of which with DP 1.2 and at most 2x6-pin power. Is this the case?

    I'm a developer so the card won't be used for gaming / video work so doesn't need to be particularly high performance. What is the most reasonably priced card that should drive the display at 4k/60hz without use of an external power supply?

    Any advice much appreciated ....
     
  2. dmylrea macrumors 68000

    dmylrea

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    Sep 27, 2005
    #2
    I think a question that will be asked here is what version OS X are you running (or plan on upgrading to)? From what I've read, 60hz support on many cards is OS version dependent.
     
  3. omvs macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2011
    #3
    The Quadro K600 can drive a single display port 1.2 display - I've tested it with my samsung display under 10.10, and it gives a full 60hz output. Plus its pretty cheap used, and uses *no* PCIE power connectors. Doesn't require nv web drivers. No bootscreen though...

    3D performance will be pretty low of course. It also only has 1GB ram, and not sure how smooth it would be an a HiDPI mode other than 1920x1080. I just tested with 3840x2160 native & increased contrast mode, so wasn't necessarily banging on the card that hard.

    If you want a card with more performance or more outputs, the GTX 960 looks promising - there's versions with 3 displayport connectors. Uses a single PCIE for auxiliary power.
     
  4. dmylrea macrumors 68000

    dmylrea

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    Sep 27, 2005
    #4
    I had read that the 960 does not have native support yet, and the web drivers work, but only show it in OSX as a "nVidia Graphics Device". I have one, but not a 4K display so I can't know for sure.
     
  5. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

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    #5
    If you're looking for something cheap and easy, I can tell you that I'm currently running an Ultra HD Display at its native resolution under OS X Yosemite using a GTX 660. They're cheap used, usually just over $110, or at least that's what I paid for both of mine, and they only take 1 6-pin power connector. It's no beast by any means, but it certainly gets the job done.
     
  6. lhotse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 6, 2010
    #6
    thanks for the info people :) both the K600 and GTX660 seem like well priced options.

    I will be using 10.10 and plan on following the regular upgrade path if that makes a difference.

    On top of development I also use lightroom (v5) to process images from my DSLR - from what I can see lightroom is not GPU accelerated - does anyone think I will see a difference in performance between the K600 and GTX660 for this use.

    I'm currently leaning towards the K600 which can be had very reasonably now and importantly doesn't require any messing about with 6-pin / 8-pin power cables etc.

    Thanks again
     
  7. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

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    #7
    It would depend on your longevity goals. In my opinion, the 660 is a better purchase, because it will give you more raw horsepower in regular day-to-day GPU activities, such as watching full screen videos on your 4K monitor - something that I've noticed my GPU handles very well, but which puts a much heavier load on it than it did when I had just a 1080p monitor. I fear that while the K600 might be able to DRIVE a 4K or UHD monitor as well as the 660, should you need to do any GPU intensive tasks, the 660 will hold up better.

    I've also noticed that different sites use different variations of Flash - in particular, Twitch.tv (not sure if you use or would ever use, but just an example) is MUCH more intensive on watching videos than something like YouTube. That's a key area I feel like the K600 might struggle a few years down the line.

    The 6 pin cable is a very easy thing to do. There is a header on the logic board that just takes a $5 cable off Ebay to plug into the card. From a glance at Ebay, it just seems to me like getting the beefier card might be worth the 6-pin power adapter, especially because of how close they are in price.
     
  8. omvs macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2011
    #8
    Yeah, a $100 660 is probably a better value than a $50 k600. I wouldn't buy one new though - ~$200 seems way too much. As others said, the power cable isn't a huge hassle.1

    Another option is the GTX 750 - those look about $100 new - not as power as the GTX 660, but way, way faster than the K600. Unfortunately, that seems to require the nvidia drivers as well as 10.10, just like the 960.


    BTW: Are you planning on running 3840x2160, or one of the scaled resolutions?
     
  9. lhotse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 6, 2010
    #9
    Yep - I'll be running at true 3840x2160 resolution not a scaled option.

    While the K600 seems like an easy option (there are some local for sale for ~$90) I'll also look into the Nvidia cards mentioned - am I right in thinking that there are variety of flavours some of which will require 6-pin some 8-pin? also it seems that only some flavours have display port - I am presuming this is the only way I'll get 4k@60hz so I'll need to make sure I find one with the right outputs too.

    Do the Nvidia cards have boot screen problems like the K600?

    Thanks all
     
  10. omvs macrumors 6502

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    May 15, 2011
    #10
    With a non-scaled resolution you may be just fine with the K600.

    Unless you buy pre-flashed (from MVC or other sources) or flash it yourself (which basically means a GTX 680 reference), no boot screens. Even with a flashed card, you might not get a bootscreen on a 4k SST display - I do not get one on my flashed GTX 680. No idea if the flashed 980's can do it.


    Almost all the high powered are going to require at least 1 6 or 8 pin connector, and every non-quadro card I've seen with displayport 1.2 requires at least a 6pin. The very beefy cards require 2, and some will draw so much power that the mac pro won't be able to supply it directly. If the vendor doesn't tell you what the card requires, you can probably look it up on amazon or newegg or someplace and it should say.

    The K600 and Quadro 410 are the only nvidia cards I've found with both displayport 1.2 and no auxiliary power requirement.
     
  11. Keter macrumors member

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    Jan 30, 2015
    #11
    Today I picked up a EVGA GTX 680 SC 02G-P4-2682-KR for $140 on Craigslist.

    Once home I pulled the 5770 and installed the 680, booted into Windows 7 then pulled down nvflash along with the base gtx680mac.rom file. After I had the firmware I changed the clockspeeds with Kepler BIOS tweaker to match my cards original settings. Flashed card with a few line in DOS, reboot and DONE.

    Took me about 30 minutes but that because I was reading news.

    Very happy with the results, the process was simple. No boot issues, I get the grey Apple logo boot screen and I am connected at 5 GT/s on 16 lanes.
     
  12. scotttnz macrumors 6502

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    Auckland, New Zealand
    #12
    I'm running an unflashed Asus GTX 760 with that screen. Seems to work pretty well. Ocasionally I get a blank screen after waking from sleep and i have to cycle the power on the screen, but not too much of an issue for me.
     
  13. lhotse thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 6, 2010
    #13
    Update...
    Last night I checked the inside of my mac pro and realised that the current GTX-285 I have in there is already using 2 x 6-pin connectors - so no need to buy new ones.

    This afternoon I won a very reasonably priced ($60 plus postage :)) Gigabyte GTX 660ti 2gb. From looking at a couple of reviews I am really hoping this card will work - it seems to have DP 1.2 for 4k/60hz goodness and require 2 x 6-pin pci-e power connectors which I should be able to swap from my old gtx-285.

    Once it arrives I'll post back here with my progress.

    Thanks to everyone for your assistance and advice - it's much appreciated.
     
  14. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

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    #14
    Congrats on your new card! That's quite a good deal. I'm a huge fan of Gigabyte cards, personally. Hope it works well for you!
    -N
     
  15. snipper macrumors regular

    snipper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    #15
    Mac Pro 2008 / UHD / CUDA / OpenCL

    Hi, is it OK if I join this conversation or should I start a new thread?

    I have a similar queeste: I'm looking for a card for a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 running Yosemite so I can use that same Philips BDM4065UC at UHD / 60 Hz.

    Do I understand correctly that any GTX 660 card will do, like the used MSI Twin FrozrIII nVidia GTX660 2GB that I found online?

    Will CUDA work as well? Do I have to install CUDA software or any drivers?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  16. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

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    #16
    That card will work fine. I have personally run an MSI GTX 660 in a 3,1 before. You'll need to install a CUDA driver, but it's just a simple package you can download from the NVIDIA website. As long as you run via DisplayPort, you shouldn't have too much trouble.
     
  17. snipper macrumors regular

    snipper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    #17
    Thank you so much! :)

    Just out of curiosity: Will a GTX 670 / 680 / 760 etc. make a lot of difference anyway? Since the Mac Pro 2008 can (theoretically at least) only use the PCIe 2.0 speed, half of the PCIe 3.0 speed of all these cards.
     
  18. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

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    #18
    Give the topic at the top of this forum a read. The one about PC video cards. If you're doing as OP is doing and just using the card to drive the display, I'm not sure you'll see a huge improvement in day-to-day usage, but a GTX 680 can be flashed for PCIe 2.0 speeds and boot screen. All other PC cards will run at PCIe 1.1 (or 1.0? Someone correct me) speeds because the negotiated link speed in NVIDIA cards is determined by the ROM. It's not as huge of a bottleneck as it sounds, unless you're gaming, which isn't going to be that great on a 3,1 anyway.
     
  19. snipper macrumors regular

    snipper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    #19
    I read it several times, really, but I couldn't get my head around it, because it assumes too much knowledge I don't have. For example: What is a Kepler GPU? EFI seems simple at first but I get the idea I don't fully understand how much influence it has (and on what).

    I tried to read up on those subjects, but there are so much variables that I kept losing oversight. For example HDMI '1' can't do UHD so you need a card with Display Port. Drivers are only supported for OS X version so-and-so, except for version.. etc.

    I often wished there was a set of tables where you could look up, but I understand that it's hard to maintain such a table.

    - - -

    But the more thankful I am with your advice!

    So unless you fork out around €/$ 400 to 600 for a Mac Edition or flashed GTX 680 or a 'Mac version' of it, you'll be stuck with the PCIe 1 speed, which is slow for even a Mac Pro 2008. Then again, if you really want to have something that is fast, you need a more recent computer anyway, I get it now.

    Thanks again.
     

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