Vidcard for Mac Pro 5.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by carambo, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. carambo macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2009
    Hi, a simple question (cannot find a clear answer so far...) from a FCPX/Motion user on Mac Pro 5.1 (2010):
    - Is it worth to switch from 5870 to 7950 or 7970 for FCPX edit works/Motion works
    - If yes, which one is better. the 7970 or the 7950 ??
  2. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    My understanding is NO (up to 1080P). Even though the 7950 or 7970 is a stronger card, however, Apple highly optimised the 5870 for FCPX / Motion. The result is that the 7950 only a little bit faster (in general) than the 5870, and the 5870 may be even faster on some particular task.

    For 4K, I don't know, my dual 7950 setup works very well. But I didn't own a 5870, so can't compare.

    The 7970 should be a better card (if you know how to power it).

    If you can get a very cheap 7970, may be still worth to upgrade. But don't expect too much.
  3. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I upgraded my 5870 to an R9 280X 3G (basically a 7970 for all intents and purposes). I would say the upgrade was definitely worth it. I edit mostly 1080p with FCP X and it is much faster overall. I immediately noticed how much faster it was, and when I switched back to the 5870 temporarily I knew I wasn't imagining it. It wasn't too costly. What I did was buy a PC version from R9 280X 3G like this (don't overpay for it, they're not super new anymore). I then sent to MacVidCards to flash it and he sent it back.
    I wouldn't know what to recommend as far as a more recent video card that is fast for Open CL and is also as compatible as the R9 280X has proven to be. If you get a 7970 or R9 280X go out and get an external GPU PSU with the right ports (6pin plus 8pin) this is what I got:
    That way it doesn't overdraw power from the board and cause problems. This setup has been reliable and fast, and I'm using it at this very moment!
  4. carambo thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 29, 2009
    OK thanks guys, I will give the 7970/R9 a try, it seems it doesn't need an external PSU, but I note your link in case of.

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