Triple 4K solution for cMP 4.1->5.1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JamesScheller, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. JamesScheller macrumors newbie


    Apr 5, 2018
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Hello -

    Like a lot of folks here, I've got an older Mac Pro and eyeballing Mojave and it's Metal requirements coming down the road. I am currently running MacOS 10.13.5, hardware snapshot is below.

    Currently, I have three GT120s. I thought they'd get me through until the next generation MP lands, but one has a fan that stopped spinning and the card now gets super hot, but so far hasn't shut down. Another one has a fan that has been making irritating sounds just inconsistently enough to drive me crazy. I'm worried about cooking components on my motherboard.

    If I'm going to upgrade, I'd like to find a path to a triple 4K setup, so like 3840x2160 x 3, which means a 11,520 x 2160 desktop. I can't seem to figure out whether there are are Mac Pro compatible video cards that would support this, much less ones that don't require a lot of power supply surgery.

    So my ideal card would be something with three 4K capable DisplayPort connections that would run without external power, even it means jumping over to the SATA power or something similar.

    But short of that, I just need something to keep this machine running and be Metal compatible for when Mojave lands even if I have to stay in the pixelated land of Low DPI.

    I am primarily doing software development, occasionally use Screenflow, Photoshop and Lightroom but very infrequently and performance in those apps isn't an issue. No games. No Bootcamp/Windows.

    Perhaps NVIDIA GTX 980 4GB with DPx3?

    I'm hoping someone out there is running something similar, but regardless any advice is greatly appreciated!


    Hardware Overview:
    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro5,1
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.93 GHz
    Number of Processors: 2
    Total Number of Cores: 8
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache (per Processor): 8 MB
    Memory: 48 GB
    Processor Interconnect Speed: 6.4 GT/s
    Boot ROM Version: MP51.0084.B00
    SMC Version (system): 1.39f5
    SMC Version (processor tray): 1.39f5
  2. iGobbleoff macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
  3. kwikdeth macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    980 will do the trick but you'll have to live w no boot screens unless you get a modified one from a place like macvidcards.

    and if you're gonna spend the money to get one modified i'd recommend spending the extra for a newer generation card since we're very close to the 11xx series being announced.
  4. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Keep the good GT120 for boot screen.

    And install any Pascal card that has three display port output, that should do the tricks.
  5. JamesScheller, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018

    JamesScheller thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 5, 2018
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Thanks guys!

    The release dates of the 11xx/Turing cards sound a little fuzzy still and with two cards with cooling problems, I'm worried about limping along too far... If these are likely to ship in July/August, I could see it but some of these rumors are suggesting maybe not until next year even.

    If these do ship soon, is it pretty likely these cards will work in our machines? Driver-wise and power-wise?


    Do you think I need something as expensive as 1070 or 1080 card? Or would the older/cheaper generation cards like the RX980 that kwikdeth suggested support this triple 4K setup? I really don't care enormously about GPU performance as long as the basic screen resolution is acceptably fast for routine coding and other work...

    Is there some magic keyword to search for that reveals what total desktop resolution any of these cards support? Or is that even a thing? It seems like some of the AMD spec sheets I've seen quote something akin to a "max desktop size" but this seems to be an inconsistently reported number. I mean generically, if a card says it supports 4K @ 60hz on it's DisplayPort connector, does that mean you can hook a 4K monitor up to EACH of it's three connectors and it'll to some extent just work (just performance wise a bit slower?).

    Obviously my needs aren't demanding having lived with these GT120s for so long... :)

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4 June 21, 2018