Recommendations for graphics card for 2008 Pro to run 3 monitors

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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I'm currently driving a 2560x1440x60Hz off the DVI and a 3840x2160x60Hz off the display port of a GTX680 (inside mac osx). So it works just fine for 4k.

Actually better than the ATI7950 - you can do 4k off that too, but SST monitors like the Samsung get corruption above 50Hz due to a driver issue. Unfortunately affects all the nMP owners too. :(


EDIT: While the Samsung 28" is good for the price, I wouldn't recommend it in general. I actually prefer my Seiki 39" even though its 30Hz restricted - colors are viewing angle way better, and if you want to run at 1:1 the dots are actually acceptably large. The samsung gets you 60Hz, but other than that I'd consider it inferior.
What monitor do you have in 3840x2160x60Hz with the GTX 680 ?
And is your GTX 680 a Mac Edition, it seem the Mac Edition does not support more than 2560x1600 in the display port :

http://forums.evga.com/FindPost/2046462

Well, it run 4K on windows but not on Mac OS, it cost 100$ more than the regular version and does not provide the same functionalities... ?

I've read a lot about the Seiki 39", that's what drive me to buy the 30" DELL.
But I've also read that the 30Hz is really frustrating with a lot of lag with the mouse...

Also, is 39" not a giant monitor for a working usage ?
As you have a 4K monitor with Mac OS, does the fonts are normally readable, or is everything very little ? Do you enjoy the very large resolution for working with ?

Thanks
 

omvs

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May 15, 2011
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At home I have the Samsung U28HD* (can't remember exact number). 28", TN panel ($600). The TN panel is the problem, though most people think the dot pitch is way, way too small. I consider it barely acceptable.

At work I use a Seiki 39" ($400). Dot pitch is comparable to a 30" - I have mine pushed pretty far back though, since my eyesight is good. To help with mouse lag I use smoothmouse, though the 60hz is better. But for 2D cad and programming I do, 30 Hz is fine - probably 5 or more of my coworkers bought same display after seeing mine and are reasonably happy.

For gaming you wouldn't like the 30Hz, which is why I went the samsung for home.

NOTE: With both cards and OSX 10.9.x, you can retina-scale the display, so if you can't handle 3840x2160, you can do a lower res and it will still look fantastic (IMHO). But I consider scaling down a waste of good pixels.... :)



As far as can the GTX 680 MAc Edition do it, I'm almost positive the answer is yes - the only difference between that and a reference design card is the firmware. And I flashed mine so it should be identical.

NOTE: You will not get a boot screen with a SST 4k monitor on the GTX 680. The ATI 7950 won't even boot with a SST attached, which is why I switched back to GTX 680. Not sure about a MST 4k display - those may give bootscreens. I have a 27" monitor also attached, so that gives me the disk selection and filevault password entry.

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Others talking about the GTX 680 mac edition and 4k:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1693937

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1719576

Now I'm less sure about our GTX 680's being the same. Though seems really odd they wouldn't be - I can't believe they'd spin the silicon to add 1.2 support later. Granted I do have a 4GB version, but my understanding is thats the same core, just with more ramchips on the board.

I guess it'd be a slight risk, but with the problems with the 7950 I wouldn't recommend that either unless you knew you were only going to use MST displayport or HDMI for 4k. And everything else would just be a PC card without bootscreen...

Do you a card other than the 8800GT? Like a NV GT120 or the HD 2600 XT - a card that doesn't require a PCIE power? If so you could just double-card the system and use any half-decent PC card (GT 7xx series, AMD 7xxxx/R9 series).
 
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omvs

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May 15, 2011
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Oh, just realized you had the 2008 mac pro - so AMD 7xxx cards probably not a good idea until they fix the driver issue. There is a workaround, but its a bit ugly.
 

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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A user report it seems to work with the Mac Edition of the GTX :
http://forums.evga.com/FindPost/2175480

He said :
"I've tried the GTX 680 Mac Edition at 3840x2160 at 30Hz over HDMI and it seemed to work fine."

So, that's great if I can keep that choice for the graphic card.

For the mouse lag, I suppose I can deal with it, I'm already using Steermouse to get a more speedy mouse on my 24"s.

I've just look that video on youtube where a guy compare a 27", a 30" and the SEIKI 39", it doesn't seem too big on the desktop.

In the comment he explain that :
- He need this adaptor, I suppose you do too ?
- He has to upgrade the firmware to get the TV work in 4K on he's mac, I suppose you do too ?

So for now, the setup will be :
Mac Pro 2008
GTX 680 Mac Edition
Seiki 39" 4K + Adaptor + Firmware update
DELL 24" x 2
 

omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
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Actually, the GTX 680 seems to have HDMI 1.4 built in. I use the Accell adapter at work on my iMac, but I think I've my seiki directly on this card - i can test again a bit later.

I don't know about the firmware update - haven't had to do anything like that. Only thing I remember doing is going into the firmware menu and turning off the 4hr autoturnoff on the seiki - that was a bit annoying when using as a monitor.

If you do get the Accell adapter, make sure to get the displayport version, not the minidisplayport version. Otherwise you'll need displayport -> minidisplayport, since the GTX680 uses full displayport (mac edition too - i can tell from the photo)
 

zineer

macrumors newbie
Jun 7, 2010
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BC, Canada
Hi gviz,

Sounds like the people above have given you some good info and options, but I'll just write back to confirm that yes, the 660 is working great in my early 2008 mac pro.

I can't say its noticeably louder than the 8800GT. The whole system still sounds pretty quiet to me.

I am running DVI to the 2 30" monitors and Displayport to the 24". No adaptors necessary. (Though the male-male displayport cable had to be ordered online as none of my local stores carried one).

You DO NOT get the apple boot screen. The first thing you see is the login page. I don't use FileVault2, so I'm not sure how a non-efi graphics card would interact with that..


hi zineer, I'm looking for a similar configuration for my Mac Pro Early 2008 with 2 DELL 24" in portrait and 1 new DELL 30" in paysage.

I was close to buy a Radeon 5770 and two adaptors to plug the monitor and I just saw your thread.

I'd like to ask you some questions :

1 - Does the card make more noise than the 8800GT when you just do basic things like Coda stuff ?
2 - Do you need adaptors to get this setup running in addition of the card ? If not, it's wayyyyy less expensive than the Radeon setup.
3 - Do you have the apple boot logo like the 8800GT, and if you don't, do you use Filevault2 and everything is working well on the boot ?

I will be more than happy to read from you as soon as you can, my 8800GT is now dead and I need to replace it in the coming days.

Thanks a lot.
 

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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Hi gviz,

Sounds like the people above have given you some good info and options, but I'll just write back to confirm that yes, the 660 is working great in my early 2008 mac pro.

I can't say its noticeably louder than the 8800GT. The whole system still sounds pretty quiet to me.

I am running DVI to the 2 30" monitors and Displayport to the 24". No adaptors necessary. (Though the male-male displayport cable had to be ordered online as none of my local stores carried one).

You DO NOT get the apple boot screen. The first thing you see is the login page. I don't use FileVault2, so I'm not sure how a non-efi graphics card would interact with that..
Thank you for your answer, I'm happy to ear that the card is quiet enough, the 8800GT was the nosiest thing in my Mac Pro !

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Hmm... Can you get a TCL? It looks very similar, I'm wondering if they're all the same guts....
In fact, it seems that 24" + 24" + 39" will be very big too, and that a 50" TV will provide the same display area, without the break a 3 monitors setup has.

I've see that SEIKI also had a 50" TV and that some people use it as a monitor.

Of course, I also cannot have that one in Europe, but we do have 50" 4K TV available like the TV LED UHD PUS7809 Philips at nearly $1500

Again, that's a complete different setup with only one 50" monitor.
That's driving me crazy ^^

I wonder if the 30Hz limitation is a SEIKI limitation, or a 4K with Mac OS limitation ?

Anyone has try or see a 50" 4K TV as a monitor ?

Anyway, thank you very much omvs for all information you provide, that's really helpfull to me !
 

austinpike

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2008
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Should I consider buying a 4K monitor and not the 30" 2K DELL...
Assumed you already owned the Dell; I would not spend the money on it at this point in time given the other options out there. Besides the 4k thing, the Dell has wide gamut/Adobe RGB color which OSX does not deal with. Basically your colors, especially reds, end up highly oversaturated outside of any color aware app (ie, Photoshop.) It has an sRGB mode, but Dell's sRGB emulation has been a bit lacking compared to a native 100% sRGB panel.

I can't see using a 28" 4k at native resolution, I would think the text for coding would be way too small. A 39", while huge, sounds good in terms of dot pitch. Personally right now I'd be looking at a cheap 27" 2560x1440 to "bridge the gap" until 4k shakes out a bit more. You don't lose much compared to the Dell 30" and it should be half the price. I believe the AOC Q2770PQU is available in Europe and gets great reviews, I imagine there are other options.
 

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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Assumed you already owned the Dell; I would not spend the money on it at this point in time given the other options out there. Besides the 4k thing, the Dell has wide gamut/Adobe RGB color which OSX does not deal with. Basically your colors, especially reds, end up highly oversaturated outside of any color aware app (ie, Photoshop.) It has an sRGB mode, but Dell's sRGB emulation has been a bit lacking compared to a native 100% sRGB panel.

I can't see using a 28" 4k at native resolution, I would think the text for coding would be way too small. A 39", while huge, sounds good in terms of dot pitch. Personally right now I'd be looking at a cheap 27" 2560x1440 to "bridge the gap" until 4k shakes out a bit more. You don't lose much compared to the Dell 30" and it should be half the price. I believe the AOC Q2770PQU is available in Europe and gets great reviews, I imagine there are other options.
Hi, thanks for your answer.
Right now, I do not have the DELL 30", I was close to buy it today. I only have the 2x24" DELL.

Maybe your right, maybe it's too earlier to go 4K in 2014 and I should have a transition with a 2K setup until 2015.

I can find 4K TV in 50" like the TV Thomson 50UW9766, but I cannot figure out if they also have the 30Hz limitation (this one seems to be a 100Hz).

omvs confirm me that he run a 3840x2160x60Hz off the display port of a GTX680, so I'm pretty sure I will be 4K + 60Hz ready with this graphic card.

I'll start by buying that piece of hardware today to get back my normal 2x24" setup, that will give me more time to decide for the new monitor I choose to had to my setup.

Right know, I'm not sure I prefer one big 50" monitor over one 39" and one or two 24", because I'm used to multiscreen and it came with a lot of advantages.

Thank you a lot guys for you help !
 

omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
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Hi gviz,

You DO NOT get the apple boot screen. The first thing you see is the login page. I don't use FileVault2, so I'm not sure how a non-efi graphics card would interact with that..
FYI: If you want to use FileVault2 without a EFI card, you need to blind enter password. Assuming there's only one login account (or its the first one), you hit right arrow once, return, then type password (hopefully correctly).

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BTW: Have you looked at the LG 34UM95
3440x1440 in a 34", so its dot pitch is similar to your 30", though less vertical pixels. 50Hz over HDMI 1.4, 60Hz over displayport 1.2

Not something I would do (I'd want the extra dots of 3840x2160), but I can see why others would find it attractive.
 

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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FYI: If you want to use FileVault2 without a EFI card, you need to blind enter password. Assuming there's only one login account (or its the first one), you hit right arrow once, return, then type password (hopefully correctly).

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BTW: Have you looked at the LG 34UM95
3440x1440 in a 34", so its dot pitch is similar to your 30", though less vertical pixels. 50Hz over HDMI 1.4, 60Hz over displayport 1.2

Not something I would do (I'd want the extra dots of 3840x2160), but I can see why others would find it attractive.
No, FileVault2 came with extra problem for European Users, Once in a while, Mac OS setup the keyboard to US, so querty and I'm french, so I've an azerty one. There is a tiny, tiny, tiny menu in the right corner on the boot screen to change the keyboard layout, and as you can imagine, without the boot screen that will be a pain in the ass process...

I do care about the extra vertical pixels, that's pretty the most important thing to me as a developer :)
 

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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I've spend some extra time this morning in research.

As I understand, I need a Display Port 1.2 on my graphic card to output 4K resolution in 60Hz, 1.1 will only bring 30Hz.

The GTX 680 "classic edition" has a DP 1.2 :
http://eu.evga.com/articles/00669/
"Supports four concurrent displays; two dual-link DVI connectors, HDMI and Displayport 1.2"

But the GTX 680 "mac edition" has a DP 1.1 :
http://www.evga.com/articles/00730/#3682
"Supports four concurrent displays; two dual-link DVI connectors, HDMI and DisplayPort 1.1"

There, tomvos said It should be 1.2 on the mac edition too, and maybe they mention 1.1 because at that time Mac OS only support 30Hz and 60Hz only came out in 10.9.3
http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-1719576.html

But nobody have test it and report, so for now there is no confirmation of that, maybe the mac edition is 1.1 and will not work for 4K at 60Hz in the future.

In the main time, I find this shop on ebay : http://www.ebay.ca/usr/phx3.systems?_trksid=p2047675.l2559

that provide nvidia mac edition card like
- GTX 770 4GB
- GTX 780 3GB
- GTX 780 6GB
- GTX 770 4GB
and they ship worldwide.

They claim the card work with 3,1 MP and output 4K at 60Hz, but they do not talk about the EFI and the boot screen, so I will send them a message to know more about this.

At this point I will also consider flashing the regular 680 myself to get the boot screen, 1.2 DP and 60Hz and arrive to a valid solution on this issue.
 

omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
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You might want to check out macvidcards shop - looks like he ships worldwide. I believe all of his listings mention whether they'll have a bootscreen, and I believe he came up with a lot of the original firmware hacking.

http://www.ebay.com/usr/macvidcards?_trksid=p2047675.l2559

To be fair, I have not bought anything from him - just going by reputation.

EDIT: You might want to reconsider a two-card approach. Then you just need one card with EFI for boot screen, and you can have a more modern PC card w/ 4k support. Perhaps a GTX 650 or above...
 
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giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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You might want to check out macvidcards shop - looks like he ships worldwide. I believe all of his listings mention whether they'll have a bootscreen, and I believe he came up with a lot of the original firmware hacking.

http://www.ebay.com/usr/macvidcards?_trksid=p2047675.l2559

To be fair, I have not bought anything from him - just going by reputation.

EDIT: You might want to reconsider a two-card approach. Then you just need one card with EFI for boot screen, and you can have a more modern PC card w/ 4k support. Perhaps a GTX 650 or above...
Your are right, I forget about this guys.
I just send him an email to see what he can propose to me, we'll see.
 

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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I've take a look at actual 4K TV I could use as a monitor.

Of course, I need one with real HDMI 2.0 to get the 60Hz.

I've find two of them actually available in the market at < 1300€ ($1770)

SAMSUNG UE40HU6900 4K SMART

It's a 40 inches tv at 989€ ($1352) with 1 HDMI 2.0 port

and

LG 49UB850V 4K Ultra HD TV

It's a 49 inches tv at 1290€ ($1764) with 1 HDMI 2.0 port

Right know I think that the 40 inches seems to be the best choice as I belive 49 inches will be too big for a monitor.

I'm really curious about your opinion on the size, witch one would you buy ?

Thanks.

PS : It seems that I'll also need this Adaptor Display Port 1.2 to HDMI 2.0.
I'm sure about the DS 1.2, but they do not say HDMI 2.0 on the page, so I've to investigate on this too.

4K@60Hz is something you have to work for to setup this days !
 

omvs

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2011
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I like the 40" size a lot. Its big, but not overly big on a desk. I have the 55" Seiki 4k for a TV at home, and its definitely too big as a monitor. I suspect 50" would be too big too. Unless your eyes are really good, I wouldn't go much lower than 40" unless you plan on running a 2560x1440 and using hidpi mode, which seems like a waste since you already have a 30".

I'm not sure any cards have HDMI 2.0 ports yet - certainly the one on the GTX 680 is a HDMI 1.4 port. Not sure if accell makes a displayport->HDMI 2.0 yet - thats what you really need. Though in the mean time you could do 30Hz. Or you might be able to use switchres to make a >30Hz mode - maybe 40Hz isn't too much overspec such that the video card or converter could handle it?
 

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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I like the 40" size a lot. Its big, but not overly big on a desk. I have the 55" Seiki 4k for a TV at home, and its definitely too big as a monitor. I suspect 50" would be too big too. Unless your eyes are really good, I wouldn't go much lower than 40" unless you plan on running a 2560x1440 and using hidpi mode, which seems like a waste since you already have a 30".

I'm not sure any cards have HDMI 2.0 ports yet - certainly the one on the GTX 680 is a HDMI 1.4 port. Not sure if accell makes a displayport->HDMI 2.0 yet - thats what you really need. Though in the mean time you could do 30Hz. Or you might be able to use switchres to make a >30Hz mode - maybe 40Hz isn't too much overspec such that the video card or converter could handle it?
Thanks again for you feedback, I also own a 47" 1080p TV, and I cannot see that on my desk.
I agree 40" seems to be the right size for a 4K monitor.

I've just looked for the DisplayPort>HDMI 2.0 and you're right, their is none available yet... :(
Well, I assume I can buy the TV now and work in 30Hz as you said, until they build the adaptor.

I'm not sure I understand the part about switchres and the overspec :/

-- EDIT
I send accell an email to try to get a release date for the adaptor
 
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omvs

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May 15, 2011
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You can use a program like SwitchResX to make custom video timings. When I first got the Seiki OSX didn't automatically support 3840x2160x30Hz, so I used it to make a compatible mode for the monitor. Then I decided to see if I could get a slightly higher refresh rate by increasing the data rate. Fastest I got that worked was 31Hz, so not really worth it.

But with a HDMI 2.0 compatible monitor/TV can handle a faster data-rate -- the limiting factor should be the video card, and its possible that might got much faster (40Hz?).

Hard to say since I don't have a HDMI monitor that can handle faster to test -- I'm pretty sure my samsung is only HDMI 1.4, though maybe I'll run some experiments for the fun of it...
 

omvs

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May 15, 2011
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Hmm - this adapter *might* support HDMI 2.0 Its not very clear, but they talk about thunderbolt 2 or displayport 1.2, which would imply HDMI 2.0 rates:

http://www.abt.com/product/80781/Moshi-99MO023208.html?camptype=cpcgoogleFeedpro&gclid=CK2JnoC8pb8CFUEF7AodPUAADA

http://store.apple.com/us/product/HFQL2VC/A/moshi-mini-displayport-to-hdmi-adapter-4k


I tried SwitchResX with my GTX680 & U28D590 connected via HDMI. Can't get much over 30Hz - looks like anything over 300MH dotclock gets rejected by the driver.

If you get a HDMI 2.0 display, let us know how it works. :)
 

EvilMonk

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2006
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Montreal, Canada
You can get an HD 5770 for cheap on eBay... I think it will be the cheapest you can get...

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What monitor do you have in 3840x2160x60Hz with the GTX 680 ?
And is your GTX 680 a Mac Edition, it seem the Mac Edition does not support more than 2560x1600 in the display port :

http://forums.evga.com/FindPost/2046462

Well, it run 4K on windows but not on Mac OS, it cost 100$ more than the regular version and does not provide the same functionalities... ?

I've read a lot about the Seiki 39", that's what drive me to buy the 30" DELL.
But I've also read that the 30Hz is really frustrating with a lot of lag with the mouse...

Also, is 39" not a giant monitor for a working usage ?
As you have a 4K monitor with Mac OS, does the fonts are normally readable, or is everything very little ? Do you enjoy the very large resolution for working with ?

Thanks
The GTX 680 Mac edition does it... I have one and its probably because 4k display were not easily available at the time they released the card that they didn't put it in the specs...
 

giviz

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2014
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You can use a program like SwitchResX to make custom video timings. When I first got the Seiki OSX didn't automatically support 3840x2160x30Hz, so I used it to make a compatible mode for the monitor. Then I decided to see if I could get a slightly higher refresh rate by increasing the data rate. Fastest I got that worked was 31Hz, so not really worth it.

But with a HDMI 2.0 compatible monitor/TV can handle a faster data-rate -- the limiting factor should be the video card, and its possible that might got much faster (40Hz?).

Hard to say since I don't have a HDMI monitor that can handle faster to test -- I'm pretty sure my samsung is only HDMI 1.4, though maybe I'll run some experiments for the fun of it...
Ok, I see the Idea.
I've also see that there is a possibility to get 60Hz from a HDMI 1.4 output (with a HDMI 2.0 monitor) with a trick that cut by 4 the number of colors transmit by the ouput.
With this trick, you get 60Hz but the quality of HD not UHD.

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Hmm - this adapter *might* support HDMI 2.0 Its not very clear, but they talk about thunderbolt 2 or displayport 1.2, which would imply HDMI 2.0 rates:

http://www.abt.com/product/80781/Moshi-99MO023208.html?camptype=cpcgoogleFeedpro&gclid=CK2JnoC8pb8CFUEF7AodPUAADA

http://store.apple.com/us/product/HFQL2VC/A/moshi-mini-displayport-to-hdmi-adapter-4k


I tried SwitchResX with my GTX680 & U28D590 connected via HDMI. Can't get much over 30Hz - looks like anything over 300MH dotclock gets rejected by the driver.

If you get a HDMI 2.0 display, let us know how it works. :)
Yes, I've saw this one on the Apple store, but I'm not sure it's HDMI 2.0 either.
I've post a Q&A and wait for an answer from them.

Today I will go to see the 40" TV that seems to be available in a store next to my home. Their is also a specialized Apple product store next to it (not an Apple Store), so I'll go their to see if they can have the info on the adaptor.

I'll let you know when I get the informations.

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Also, Accell respond to me :

"Thank you for contacting Accell. Unfortunately we currently do not offer or have plans to offer a DisplayPort 1.2 to HDMI 2.0 adapter. Please let us know if you have any other questions."