Video Card for Photographer on Mac Pro 4,1 with ACD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Airjarhead, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. Airjarhead macrumors newbie

    Airjarhead

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Location:
    TX
    #1
    Hi all,
    I posted this on Netkas, but I haven't received much response. The posts over there are brilliant, but tend to be a little over my head.
    However, the first sticky in this forum is the most informative post I've ever read.
    I've been building PC's for years, so I have a LOT of experience with them.
    When my wife and I got together, she asked me to improve her Mac. I've upgraded the RAM, added an SSD, but I still haven't been able to upgrade the video card for her.
    I check MacRumors almost daily to see if there are any new developments on upgrading the Mac Pro. My wife is a professional photographer, so performance and 100% stability is important. I tried a few different 6870s a while back, but there was some strange color anomalies in Aperture, so she is back to using her original 4870.
    My question is with the new Mac edition 7950, what would be the best card to get? I'm sure the answer is the Mac edition 7950, but will a PC Sapphire 7950 work just as well? $300 is about the max she wants to spend. Would a 660ti be better? The Sticky above suggests that Nvidia series cards work well, but then other posts suggest they don't. There are also posts saying the 7950/70 works well, and then others saying they work at half speed.
    I've also read posts comparing GTX670/680's and 7970's to the Mac 5870, and the benchmarks are the same. Would it be better to find a used Mac edition 5870?
    I guess it depends on the version of Mac Pro, ML, and if its a hackintosh?

    I've also read posts that Photoshop runs better on Nvidia (CUDA)? Does anyone know about Aperture? Does it use CUDA?

    Anyway, she is running 10.8.3 on a 4,1 with two displays. One is an older 23" ACD using DVI, and the other is a 24" ACD using mdp.
    Also, does it matter if the video card is a reference design? I hate reference design cards because the coolers always suck.

    I've read so many posts here and on Netkas, and I'm just plain confused. So I just figured I should just ask.

    In summary, my questions are:
    1) What would be the best card to get?
    2) Will a PC 7950 card work just as well as a Mac edition 7950 (speed, boot screen)?
    3) Would a 660ti be better (utilize CUDA in Photoshop/Aperture)?
    4) Would a used Mac Ed 5870 be just as good/better than a PC 7950 or 660ti?

    These are the cards I'm looking at:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202006
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125441

    Thank you very much,
     
  2. bleifuss macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    Garwolin/Poland
    #2
    Much better idea is to spend this money for the good monitor. If I were you, I would sell those two you have, add the money for a new card, and buy NEC PA271W or SV271W. 4870 is more than enough for photography.
     
  3. Airjarhead thread starter macrumors newbie

    Airjarhead

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Location:
    TX
    #3
    Thanks for the response. I'm not sure she wants to shell out $1000 on a new monitor. She is pretty happy with her 2 ACD's.
    I think you may have mis-understood about the video cards. I don't have 2 extra cards. I sent the 6870's back a long time ago. The video cards in the link are ones I'm looking into getting.

    You do however, bring up a very good point. If there will not be any appreciable difference in performance for her, she would rather not spend anything more at all.
    So a new question:
    Would any of these upgrades show a perceptible increase in Photoshop / Aperture performance?

    Thanks...
     
  4. bleifuss macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    Garwolin/Poland
    #4
    Sorry. I was not precise. I would sell those two monitors you have :) There is a dramatic difference beetween ACD and NEC PA271W. ACD are not monitors for graphics or photography. They are CINEMA display, for home use. I use 4870+PA271W for retouching and must say, that it's perfect combination. Propably with faster card work would be more fluent, but what for when you can't see photos the right way? Monitor is just more important and will add more value for photographer work. I must add, that at work I use iMac 27" and I really hate this display comparing to NEC.
     
  5. Airjarhead thread starter macrumors newbie

    Airjarhead

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Location:
    TX
    #5
    Ahhh! OK!
    Thank you very much for sharing this. I'll discuss this with her.
     
  6. bleifuss macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Location:
    Garwolin/Poland
    #6
    You're welcome. Feel free to ask if you have question about displays and calibration.
     

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