Upgrade to....GTX 970? 980? 980 Ti? Or wait?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by StuAff, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. StuAff, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016

    StuAff macrumors member

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #1
    As I've posted in the NVIDIA non-EFI sticky, I've been thinking over my GPU upgrade options for my MP 5,1 3.33 hex core. The various options are straightforward, horribly complicated, horribly expensive, and combinations thereof. I'll also be looking to get a new monitor to take advantage of the extra performance. Given that the price of decent 27" 4K monitors is now not much more than the 1440p ones, I'd probably go for the former- Dell P2715Q, if not a U2715H. With all due respect to MVC and his fine work I won't be going for a flashed one, the tax and shipping, and tax on the shipping, will take a 970 to over £400, non-EFI cards are from about £250. Create Pro? Not in this life. Bunch of crooks, all too literally. If there is a reliable EU flashing provider at some point, I'll still have the option in future.

    Gaming at 4K would be nice, obviously, but 1440p scaled will probably be perfectly OK and potentially save me some money on the GPU. Whatever I buy must be dual slot as all three other PCIe slots will be filled- SSD card, USB 3.0 card and the cheap 2600XT I just got for boot screen. The SSD is for OS X & applications, three HDs (OS X & documents, TM, Windows). Would prefer to avoid additional PSU, or brownouts.....

    And my thoughts at the moment...
    950/960....nope. Just don't strike me as enough of an improvement over a 5770.
    970: Cheapest, obviously. Perfectly good for 1440p as far as I can tell, 4K gaming looks like asking too much for it. But for £250-£300, the best bang for the buck. Definitely OK for internal power in my setup.
    980: Better for 4K, 1440p with all the bells and whistles, not that much more expensive. Fewer advantages when not gaming- extra CUDA performance etc doesn't really help anything I use the machine for at the mo. £400 or so for a decent card. Still A-OK for internal power.
    980 Ti: Most future-proof. 4K gaming at decent speed and few compromised settings. According to most of the reviews, it and the 970 have effectively made the standard 980 a non-choice for many. But £520+, it should be good. There are dual-slot ones, but power consumption might be a concern, particularly with overclocked ones. It's a bit annoying that an overclocked one (e.g. the EVGA SC ACX 2.0 version, which would be my choice on paper) can be had for the same money or less than a reference card, but might just prove too much for the internal PSU!

    EVGA appeal for design/reputation/warranty coverage (plus even the 980 Tis are dual-slot), recommendations welcome.
    Pascal: Worth the wait? The next-gen 970 equivalent would probably tick all the boxes, if it's at the same price point.....I'm not in a rush but there will always be something else in the pipeline, of course....
     
  2. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #2
    The next generation of graphic cards will be the biggest jump in years, so maybe you want to wait out and see what they offer this summer?
     
  3. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #3
    I chose a EVGA 980 with ACX 2.0 cooling (NOT super-clocked) because it was the most powerful card that would run on two 6-pin power cables and would run nice and cool. I have been thrilled with the performance. It leaves my old AMD 6870 in the dust and uses about the same amount of watts.

    During system idle / low use the 980 fans don't even turn on, no noise to speak of. During moderate use (playing a video game, I am into Shadow of Mordor at the moment) the GPU and Mac Pro fans spin up somewhat but you would barely know unless you were listening for it. You only hear the fans and see higher system temps during video encodes that tie up all CPU cores as well, which was always the case. The 980 is a very powerful yet cool and quiet card.

    If you go up to a 980 Ti or a Titan you will obviously get greater performance but will have to deal with more power/heat issues. The Tis generally need one 6 and one 8-pin power cable, and although I bet it would probably work OK with a 6-to-8 adaptor I elected not to go down that road. With the Titan you are looking at some moderate to extensive modifications inside the Mac Pro to get enough power to the card if you are not going the flashing route. It all depends on your needs and how much hassle you are willing to endure to get the performance you want. I picked the 980 because it was the most powerful option that didn't appear to entail much muss/fuss on my part and was cool and quiet.
     
  4. ericazz macrumors newbie

    ericazz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    #5
    I doubt there's much change going to be rolled out this summer. I suggest you to take the 980 TI. I'm currently using the Gtx 650 Ti and I can say it's a great graphic card.
     
  5. StuAff thread starter macrumors member

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #6
    Read up about Pascal and you'll find it sounds like a lot of change....
    --- Post Merged, Jan 10, 2016 ---
    Yup, having looked at the power consumption figures, that's my principal concern about the 980 Ti- TDP for the reference cards comes in at 250W, PCI slot plus the two 6-pin outputs gives 225W max. It'll be fine 90-95% of the time, but when it gets stressed....most overclocked ones come in at 300W.
     
  6. ericazz macrumors newbie

    ericazz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    #7
    I know about Pascal but I don't think that it will be released this year. It's just my opinion. If you are patient then you should wait and see :)
     
  7. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #8
    Get Maxwell. I doubt Pascal is coming to the Mac in any form. I hear rumours Apple is happy with Polaris but only their own custom versions.
     
  8. merlinmage macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2014
    #9
    Pascal comes out in Mid/Late 2016. Not the full Chip, but a big improvement in performance anyway. Especially computing makes quite a jump as the rumors say. I bought a GTX 960 4GB for that reason, to wait for Pascal for my 5,1 Mac Pro.
     
  9. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #10
    What I have read about Pascal sounds incredible...I'm sure it will be pretty spectacular. I pulled the trigger on a 980 now because, as with any tech purchases, when you need an upgrade you need it. The AMD 6870 was getting really long in the tooth - the 1GB of memory was really hobbling it. I was particularly attracted to the 980 because it boasted the same low power and thermal profile with the excellent performance.

    Looking forward, I have to wonder how much longer it will continue to make sense to keep dropping newer GPUs into the cMP. The 980 is great and was definitely an upgrade, but won't we eventually run into CPU and PCI 2.0 bottlenecks such that a Pascal card wouldn't make as much of a difference in a cMP? I am not super knowledgeable about the nuts and bolts though so I would be very interested to hear what others think about this.
     
  10. merlinmage macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2014
    #11
    Depends on what CPU model you are. If you use the 12 core 3,X ghz version, expect to get no bottlenecks at least until the 7,1 or 8,1 is released. Until that point, it should be pretty clear if the Apple route is viable for you down the road. If PCIe 2.0 limits Pascal in video editing terms is quite hard to answer, since it's GPU usage is much more app and task dependent than gaming, in which PCIe 3.0 starts to shine more and more with newer GPUs.
     
  11. StuAff thread starter macrumors member

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #12
    CPU is a W3680, 3.33 hex.
     
  12. Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Up Shellpot Creek
    #13
    The GTX980 will meet any power concerns you might have running at 165W. I have run both the 980 and now a 980 Ti, and IMHO the 980 Ti is a better choice if you're gonna stress the card with multiple high resolution monitors. Otherwise, IMHO the 980 is a great GPU for the $$$. I'd also avoid any OC version and just go for the base GTX 980 from Zotac, etc.

    I also run a non-EFI versions, but use a Mac Mini screen share when I need to overcome any set up issues.

    Good luck with your choice.
     
  13. merlinmage macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2014
    #14
    Then you should be perfectly fine. I got the 3,46ghz version, which offers similiar performance. Do you have a dual CPU Mac?
     
  14. StuAff thread starter macrumors member

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #15
    Just the one CPU. Went for the best bang for the buck, rather than spending £££££ more for marginal gains & more cores sitting idle much of the time.
     
  15. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #16
    My own MP 4,1->5,1 is a 6-core 5690 at 3.46 GHz. I thought that the number of cores would also only matter to the extent that the application is able to make use of them? So if the application is not multi-CPU aware or isn't particularly good at multi-CPU implementation 6-core or 12-core wouldn't really matter in that scenario?
     
  16. StuAff thread starter macrumors member

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #17
    Your 980 Ti running OK on internal power? What spec?
     
  17. Bytehoven, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016

    Bytehoven macrumors regular

    Bytehoven

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2015
    Location:
    Up Shellpot Creek
    #18
    Yes... 2011 cMP 3.46GHx 2x x5690 12 core - using single 6pin-6pin and 6pin-8pin GPU power cables.

    I run (4) monitors off the 980 Ti for my 4K edit setup running Premiere Pro cc 2015...

    2x Dell u2711 @ 2540x1440 off DP 1&2 (desktop)
    1x Viewsonic VP2780 4K @ 1080P off DP 3 (Timeline/Source program Monitors) (I switch to 4K when grading source material)
    1x Dell 2408 @ 1080 off HDMI (Source Bins) (this HDMI output also feeds 1080P Sony SXRD projector in edit suite)

    I also have (3) PCIe cards, ATTO R680, ATTO H680 and Sonnet USB 3.0. Internal temps are good and the rig stays on 24/7.
     
  18. merlinmage macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2014
    #19
    That is right. If your application only uses up to 6 cores, the dual CPU makes no sense.
     

Share This Page