Recommendation for video card to drive 4K monitor

Noctilux.95

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 20, 2010
504
257
LA
Hey guys

I have a 2009 Mac Pro that has gone through a second Ati 5770 card in 30 months.
I figure now is a good time pick a video card that will be able to run a future apple cinema 4-K and my current cinema 27.
I only use my computer for photoshop, aperture, and Lightroom. No gaming at all.
Thanks!
 

cebseb

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2011
246
1
Hey guys

I have a 2009 Mac Pro that has gone through a second Ati 5770 card in 30 months.
I figure now is a good time pick a video card that will be able to run a future apple cinema 4-K and my current cinema 27.
I only use my computer for photoshop, aperture, and Lightroom. No gaming at all.
Thanks!
What happened to the two 5770s? Most current video cards and even the integrated graphics on mac minis can power a 4k monitor for your needs. The issue is that current osx scaling is not optimized for it.
 

mikeboss

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2009
1,274
451
switzerland
Most current video cards and even the integrated graphics on mac minis can power a 4k monitor for your needs.
uh, not really true. at least if you want 60 Hz refresh, it's not as easy as you might think. the GeForce GTX 680 will work with LCDisplays capable of SST (Single Stream Transport) and the Radeon HD 7950 will drive the 32" displays needing MST (Multi Stream Transport). I'm pretty sure there are other cards that'll work too... and no, 30 Hz is not an option IMHO.
 

omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
478
10
I would expect you will not be able to drive any apple 4k display since it will require thunderbolt, and that is simply not possible on the classic Mac Pro's

But you can drive other vendors displays. Here's what I know:

4k x 60 Hz displayport 1.2 SST
GTX680 Mac edition (what I use). Has bootscreen on other ports, but will get no boot screen on 4k display. I have a 27" for my bootscreen.
ATI7950 Mac edition - will not boot with Samsung monitor, not sure about other SST models. Can hook up monitor after boot or boot card in PC mode (no bootscreen)
I'd expect any PC ATI/NV card newer than these should also work, albiet with no bootscreen. You could use a second card for bootscreen with the 27" - I've done this with a GT120 & the ATI7950 card.

4k x 60 Hz displayport 1.2 MST
I've heard the nvidia drivers don't work well here(?), but ATI cards do work well? No personal experience...

4k x 30 Hz HDMI 1.4
Probably any card with a HDMI 1.4 port will work. I believe both the mac edition ATI7950 & GTX680 will give a bootscreen, but been a while since I tested.
 

cebseb

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2011
246
1
uh, not really true. at least if you want 60 Hz refresh, it's not as easy as you might think. the GeForce GTX 680 will work with LCDisplays capable of SST (Single Stream Transport) and the Radeon HD 7950 will drive the 32" displays needing MST (Multi Stream Transport). I'm pretty sure there are other cards that'll work too... and no, 30 Hz is not an option IMHO.
Why is 30 Hz not an option? I use my 4k monitor for photoshop and lightroom which is the exact same purpose the OP stated. A 30Hz refresh never bothered me since the image I'm working with isn't moving.
 

mikeboss

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2009
1,274
451
switzerland
Why is 30 Hz not an option? I use my 4k monitor for photoshop and lightroom which is the exact same purpose the OP stated. A 30Hz refresh never bothered me since the image I'm working with isn't moving.
maybe I'm a bit picky, but the mouse pointer is jumpy, moving anything around on the screen doesn't look smooth. for me (that's why I wrote "IMHO") 30 Hz is terrible.
 

cebseb

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2011
246
1
maybe I'm a bit picky, but the mouse pointer is jumpy, moving anything around on the screen doesn't look smooth. for me (that's why I wrote "IMHO") 30 Hz is terrible.
Fair enough. I also agree that 30 Hz can get a bit annoying, but not too many "foolproof" options out there for 4k capabilities. I would wait at least 4 more months before going all in on a future-proof purchase.
 

MacVidCards

Suspended
Nov 17, 2008
7,506
1,029
Hollywood, CA
Fwiw, just about any card with a DP or MDP can handle 30hz at 4k, even lowly GT120.

Dvi and HDMI from same era will give much poorer image quality.

Yosemite contains 60hz 4k for Nvidia cards but Apple has the switch flipped off. Fortunately you can switch back on.
 

mikeboss

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2009
1,274
451
switzerland
not too many "foolproof" options out there for 4k capabilities. I would wait at least 4 more months before going all in on a future-proof purchase.
full ACK! everything with 4K is somewhat uncertain right now. I guess that MST will disappear in favour of SST soon. computers and graphics cards will get HDMI 2.0 which is also capable of 4K @ 60 Hz.
 

Rohirm

macrumors member
Aug 25, 2010
44
15
4k x 60 Hz displayport 1.2 SST
GTX680 Mac edition (what I use). Has bootscreen on other ports, but will get no boot screen on 4k display. I have a 27" for my bootscreen.
I have the same card. The specs says that it has DP version 1.1. So that is not true? You can get 60Hz 4k with the EVGA GTX680 Mac Edition?
 

omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
478
10
I have the same card. The specs says that it has DP version 1.1. So that is not true? You can get 60Hz 4k with the EVGA GTX680 Mac Edition?
I believe your card does have DP 1.2. I don't actually have the exact same card - mine is a EVGA PC card that I flashed, though I believe they're both reference designs, and probably nearly identical hardware. It seems unlikely e that your hardware is DP 1.1 - perhaps at the time of card release it was software limited...?

I get 4k x 60Hz on the Samsung 28" (SST). Again, no boot screen on that monitor, which is one reason I keep a generic 27" 2560x1440 hooked up to the DVI port.

I wish the Samsung had a better panel though (and was bigger). If only my seiki 39" had a DP1.2 port I'd be in heaven...
 

KlausE

macrumors newbie
May 10, 2008
22
1
I have the EVGA 680 GTX Mac Edition running in a MacPro 5.1 at 4k/60Hz on a Samsung U28D590 in Yosemite, Windows 7 and Linux Mint. The packaging says DP 1.1, but it does in fact support DP 1.2

- Klaus
 

cebseb

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2011
246
1
I have the EVGA 680 GTX Mac Edition running in a MacPro 5.1 at 4k/60Hz on a Samsung U28D590 in Yosemite, Windows 7 and Linux Mint. The packaging says DP 1.1, but it does in fact support DP 1.2

- Klaus
I can confirm this. I just installed the same card into a relative's Mac pro and it is running at DP 1.2 specs
 

ThoreEliasson

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2014
21
0
Fwiw, just about any card with a DP or MDP can handle 30hz at 4k, even lowly GT120.

Dvi and HDMI from same era will give much poorer image quality.

Yosemite contains 60hz 4k for Nvidia cards but Apple has the switch flipped off. Fortunately you can switch back on.
Hello MVP,
could you point me into the direction where I can find about this switch that would enable 4K60 on my SST enabled display via a 750ti or 970 nVidia card?
This would most helpful!
Thank you!
 

ThoreEliasson

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2014
21
0
Oh dear ^^

That is not what I had hoped for haha. But thank you very much, Mike!
Seems like there is a lot of MST involved over in that thread. Is it a different story with SST enabled displays?
 

ThoreEliasson

macrumors newbie
Oct 21, 2014
21
0
Hi,

no, I haven't as I haven't yet received either the 750 or the 970. That would be most brilliant of course!
Ok, with this in mind I'm just going to wait a couple more days to find out. After all the horror concerning 4K and OS X I didn't expect the solution to maybe, hopefully be that simple. I'll certainly report back :)

Do you know if success only depends on the display itself or does the graphics card play a role as well (680 vs the above mentioned with the same display for example)?

Thank you very much you two!
 

CASLondon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 18, 2011
535
0
London
Naive question here - I'm display shopping, and I'm trying to get my head around this SST/MST issue.

Say I'm looking at a new model monitor like this NEC. There are several new displays coming on the market in this niche over the end of this year/start of next year, from NEC, Eizo, Dell, etc. If they aren't MST, are they SST by default?

http://www.necdisplay.com/p/desktop-monitors/pa322uhd-bk

How can I tell which technology is being used?
 

zickboom

macrumors newbie
Feb 4, 2015
10
0
I have the EVGA 680 GTX Mac Edition running in a MacPro 5.1 at 4k/60Hz on a Samsung U28D590 in Yosemite, Windows 7 and Linux Mint. The packaging says DP 1.1, but it does in fact support DP 1.2

- Klaus
Hi,
I purchase the new philips BDM4065UC.
I have a MacPro 4.1>5.1 upgrade 12cores 3,46Ghz.
I look for the good graphic card.
If GTX680 2Go run with a dell3214 (4K@60hz) i could hope that i is the same with the philips 40" ?
If not, what else ?

Regard,
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
The easiest fix for 4k resolution work at the moment is the 5k iMac. The 5k screen allows a tool bar space round a full 4k resolution image. What you lose in performance you gain in real estate.