Seeking graphic card upgrade for Mac Pro 4,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by captainhook79, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. captainhook79, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017

    captainhook79 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    #1
    Hi guys,
    I run/own a commercial recording studio and our main control room has been centered around my early 2009 Mac Pro since I purchased it new (can you believe it still rocks!) At any rate, I upgraded the control room's main monitor to an ultra HD monitor and I will be needing to upgrade the Mac Pro's stock graphics card. My budget is around $150. Can you guys recommend a solution.

    I'll need atleast one DVI port
    System specs:
    Quad Core 2.6
    19 GB Memory
    Yosemite

    Any help you guys can offer is much appreciated
     
  2. natjonesart macrumors newbie

    natjonesart

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    You could pick up a used Nvidia Geforce GTX680 for that price. Easy upgrade, the standard Windows versions will work out of the box. Easy to flash for EFI boot screen as well
     
  3. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #3
    What software do you use at the studio? Could matter a lot in terms of what GPU I'd recommend
     
  4. captainhook79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    #4
    Primarily Pro Tools
     
  5. natjonesart macrumors newbie

    natjonesart

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    It is my understanding that Pro Tools does not use GPU so there is really no need to break the bank. I stand behind my suggestion of upgrading to a GTX680. It will drive up to 4 monitors and handle 4K and has 2 DVI outputs as well as Display Port and HDMI. Nvidia Geforce GTX680 is a solid card that can be found reasonably priced/cheap. It is one of the easiest to flash to Mac efi and you don't have to worry about web driver issues or power issues as long as you get a dual 6 pin reference card. EVGA released a genuine Mac Edition a few years back when the 680 was one of the fastest GPUs out there, they can be found but are more expensive. Great card for guys who aren't heavy gamers or doing heavy rendering. I work mostly in Photoshop and and I have an EVGA GTX680 that I flashed myself, I am very happy with it.
     
  6. captainhook79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    #6
    Champion! That sounds like a great recommendation. Many thanks for your expertise
     
  7. Theophany macrumors 6502a

    Theophany

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    NW London.
    #7
    I'd definitely second this. I picked up a reference EVGA GTX 680 Superclocked on eBay the other day for £100 (would've been cheaper, but didn't want to wait for the auction end). Difference between the old Radeon 5870 in my 4,1 is pretty big.
     
  8. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #8
    If you haven't already done so, update your Mac's EFI to the 5,1 firmware so you can run Sierra and, if you wish, update your CPU(s) to hex Xeons. If you move to Sierra, this $110 card is quite nice:

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125897

    Pulls all its power from PCIe slot. Has DP, DVI and HDMI ports. Run native under Sierra (missing initial phase of boot screen, however) with no modification.

    I am running this GPU in my 2009 4,1>5,1 in a recording studio environment, driving a 40" 4k Samsung television via this DP > HDMI converter:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017BQ8I54/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Using SwitchResX software, I get 60 Hz at 4k, plus the card is also driving a second 1080 monitor. Very cool in the studio.
     
  9. casperes1996 macrumors 65816

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #9

    Only thing I'm thinking is it might be overkill if the primary use will be Pro Tools. Finding something with a lower TDP would mean that all the power could be drawn from PCIe, and no power pins would be required, plus potentially be cheaper. And driving displays only with no high-resource content on them is something most cards can handle. You've recommended a great card that works well with Macs, but in this case, great doesn't seem to be a requirement for the GPU. Maybe a 750 would be a better pick, since it can work entirely from PCIe
     

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