The Netkas-Geek-a-GPU approach not for me

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by IceMacMac, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #1
    I was initially intrigued but have quickly soured on the notion of buying and flashing a PC GPU. For professionals that need rock solid reliability the kludge-fudge workarounds seems like a fast-track to nowhere. I have no time for hackintosh or endlessly tweaking kexts, etc. I don't doubt there are those with the time and aptitude and desire to endlessly geek their GPU. Not me.

    Just in the past week we've seen reports go from
    Euphoria! 8 existing GPUs suddenly being compatible
    to
    Modesty: 4 Lesser additional GPUs being compatible
    to
    ?


    We've gone from compatible "except" DVD player and Geekbench to...
    Lacking compatibility with a fleet of apps.

    Every third poster talks about noise or compatibility problems.

    I'd love to buy and run a 6870 (or far better) but Apple has a way of punishing people who don't play by their rules. My plan? I'll keep my Mac Pro according to standard spec...and start building a Windows behemoth where I'm not fighting Big Brother Jobs with every move I make.

    Perhaps in their infinite goodness Apple will give me two or three additional low end GPUs to choose from when Lion is released. Bu I might as well face facts: Apple has become the oppressive bully they so eagerly vilified in the 1984 commercials.
     
  2. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
  3. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 6, 2010
    #3
    Cindori...I have nothing but respect for guys like you and Netkas...and I like what you are trying to do.

    I'm just sharing my sentiment about the realities, given the way that Apple has played its cards.
     
  4. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #4
    Yep, apple has been shi tting on the users for a long time.
    They don't upgrade gpu choices and charge premium
    They don't give trim to other ssd then their own
    Heck they even changed out the screws in MBP and iPhone 4 to a custom screw that didn't exist before, so no screw driver=user, can open it

    Putting anything without an Apple logo inside your
    Mac doesnt just void warranty anymore, they're trying to make it impossible...
     
  5. 10THzMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    #5
    This thread just seems to say you cannot be bothered to experiment a bit.

    Using netkas's stuff I have successfully got going a PC GTX 260, a PC GTX 285, a PC GTX 480 under various forms of OS X and on proper Apple Mac Pros of the 2008 variety. In all cases this allowed me to access more functionality under CUDA and OpenCL programming. So now I am working on a superclocked 580 - not there yet but amusing myself with it. This already runs double precision CUDA code (under Bootcamp) nearly twice as fast as the "officlal" Quadro 4000 and costs about 60% of it.

    I have not flashed a single card - this is all in software - and the satisfaction of working around Apple's daft limitations is great. Now I can access them from Mathematica 8 directly as well.
     
  6. spda242 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #6
    @IceIceMac: If you want your Mac Pro ownership to be as troublefree as possible your only choice are (Right now) the 5870 from Apple, the "Apple Tax" on the 5870 are not fun to pay but if you don't want to invest time instead of money you are out of luck...it is still cheaper than a Windows PC....but I agree with your frustration.....

    Netkas, Rominator, Cindori and the other guys does wonderful things to get us alternative cheaper solutions but they have to play the Applegame and sometimes regardless of how good job they done you might need a patch or reflash or invest some time due to Apple.

    I think the Cards for Mac Pro costs Apple more money since we aretalking about small volume and special efi. The only reason I could think of why Apple want to be in GPU card business are that they Target Mac Pro to professional users which require support.
     
  7. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    I disagree. The support you get (I'm talking software only, hardware support has always been great for me) basically is crap.

    I paid a premium for the Apple 4870 two years ago and what do I get? A card that doesn't work properly any more with ANY OS later than 10.6.3. The same applies for the GT120.
    The Apple store geniuses don't know anything about that (who would have guessed?) and since the card(s) isn't physically broken, they can't help me.

    Support my .... you know. :rolleyes:
     
  8. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #8
    Add to that the flawless implementation of multi-head monitor support on the 5770 and 5780. All issues that could be addressed with proper driver and firmware support..
     
  9. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
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    UK
    #9
    Wait, what about multi-head on the 5000 series? Anything I missed?
     
  10. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #10
    It's been covered everywhere. There are major issues related to multi monitor setups on the 5xxx series of cards. Displays not appearing on boot, etc.
     
  11. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #11
    That's kind of bizarre, because my flashed 4870 works pretty much flawlessly. Hm.
     
  12. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #12
    Here's the thing.

    If a pro is billing out at $70-$120 per hour and he loses an hour here and two hours there to muck around with drivers and compatibilities...

    Or even worse...if his system is down when a project is due because some previously masked compatibility rears its head...

    Business people have to look at total costs of ownership and cannot afford surprises and down time.

    It's obviously a different equation for a hobbyist.
     
  13. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 6, 2010
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    ::1
    #13
    Well said. I make a living out my Mac Pro. I understood the lack of options I was getting into at the moment I bought it. However when considering the stability of Mac Vs Windows Pc boxes even with the lack of GPUs I had to go Mac. It was the best choice I could've ever made.
     
  14. voyagerd macrumors 65816

    voyagerd

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    Jun 30, 2002
    Location:
    Rancho Cordova, CA
    #14
    I'm enjoying my Dual GTX 480s using Nvidia's Quadro 4000 Mac drivers.
     
  15. ListedFirst.com macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    #15

    While I can appreciate your preference of not messing with the flashed cards, you may want to buy from this seller

    http://shop.ebay.com/macvidcards/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686

    WHile you will still pay a premium, it's not as steep as the Apple Store version, and you won't have to mess with flashing. I've purchase pre-flashed before (4890 currently in my 06 Pro) but my office system I went with Apple Taxed 5770, simply because I couldn't afford downtime (With the 4890, there was at least one occasion I forgot I had it, updated to the latest Snow Leopard build, and lost the drivers for a few days while Zeus.app was updated). I've also run a full blown Hackintosh in a Mac Pro case (purchased, didn't build), but in the end, I just preferred having the original, without having to tweak at all.
     
  16. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #16
    Nope. Double check this. Many reports out there of the 2011 MBPs have normal phillips screws to open. The only thing I recall possibly seeing was that the battery had a funny screw.
     
  17. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #17
    I would not even consider doing that. Sorry.

    I buy all my computer and camera gear from Apple, B&H, Other World, etc. I buy from companies where know I get a warranty, customer support...and I know I'm not getting scammed.

    Life is too short and the world is too full of scammers.
     
  18. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #18
    As a new owner of that laptop I can attest that the back is certainly accessible with a Phillips 0 screwdriver. Deeper in the innards I cannot say...
     
  19. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #19
    With the latest generation of ATI cards (5770 / 5780) there is no need for injectors or anything. You just need to flash it so that the OS knows that the card is a graphics card and to initialize it as such.

    The "problem" with the latest batch of drivers is that they do not know which framebuffer (or personality) that matches which card so they default to one that obviously is not optimal. There is a way to fix that.

    Functionally they are identical to Apple's cards.
     
  20. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #20
    ...who said 2011?


    http://www.ifixit.com/blog/blog/2011/01/20/apples-diabolical-plan-to-screw-your-iphone/

    "it first appeared in the mid-2009 MacBook Pro to prevent you from replacing the battery—and Apple is using a similar screw on the outer case of the current MacBook Air. "

    /discussion


    once upon a time, I said that about flashed 4870 cards.

    then came a framebuffer that dropped support for 60% of all flashed 4870.

    now you see threads piling up on tips and packages with drivers way back from 10.6.3, for running those cards.
     
  21. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #21
    Perhaps this is why rotate display support slowed down and got choppy in 10.6.3.
     
  22. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #22
    I've seen a few people now say there is a way to fix it, without providing any instructions or links to instructions. I haven't been able to find the way to fix it. The closest I've seen is Andy's mention on Netkas, which appears to be for hacks only and not real macs.

    So if there is a way to fix it, would you be so kind as to let people know what it is?
     
  23. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #23

    More and more...Apple is becoming a controlling bully.

    I hear today that Apple got the NAB SuperMeet people to strip away all the other vendor's lecturn time in exchange for Apple to make an announcement/appearance there.

    The crap they are pulling with Abobe and Nvidia is BS...

    Bottom line: All that "Think Different" and "Apple is go the good guy" stuff worked well when they were underdogs. Now they are worse than MS ever was.
     
  24. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #24
    If this is in regards to GPGPU support in CS5 (like MPE in Premiere Pro), this can all change when (and if) Adobe decides to support OpenCL instead of strictly CUDA on a handful of "certified" cards. But I'm not holding my breath...

    I fail to see where Apple is "pulling crap" here, aside from the fact that they don't seem to care about collaborating with manufacturers to produce 3rd-party NVIDIA cards that are a little more affordable than the Quadro series. The last time this happened was three years ago with the GTX 285. But then again, this really shouldn't come as any surprise. Apple has been rather close-minded on GPU upgrades on their workstations for years, even prior to the Intel machines.

    Adobe's business partnership with NVIDIA is really the root of this particular problem, if you think about it. If they continue to scratch each other's backs with the whole CUDA thing, Adobe will have no compelling reason to even consider developing GPGPU support using OpenCL.
     
  25. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    #25
    You're using an external PSU right?
     

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