Which GPU upgrade for video editing (Mac Pro 4.1) Discussion

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DustinB85, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. DustinB85 macrumors newbie

    DustinB85

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    #1
    So I have read all of the threads and I am still at somewhat of a crossroads on my overall desktop setup. For the past year I have been running a GTX 670 in my Mac Pro 4.1 2.66 quad core with 32gb ram. When I bought the GTX 670 it was right when Apple started adding all the additional GPU support etc. Well once the smoke cleared and Abobe CC and FCP X 10.1 updated, either really played well will the GTX670. Especially Adobe even with the hack to get Premiere Pro and After Efects to recognize the card for the mercury playback engine. With that being said, I just sold the 670 and now am debating between the GTX 680 or looking into one of the quatto cards. (New or used in a comparable price range) It seems rendering has just been getting slower and slower as they release newer verisons on the software I also wondering if it is maybe even time to replace the Mac Pro all together? What are ya'll thoughts of continuing to throw money at a MP 4.1 at is only a quad core 2.66 to start?
     
  2. kennyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #2
    @DustinB85

    Do you use Adobe CC and Final Cut daily? Then if you have the budget, you should get the nMP. Both Adobe and Apple are moving to OpenCL.
     
  3. whwang macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    #3
    sorry if this is a stupid question. So nVidia cards do not support openCL?
     
  4. KBS756 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 27, 2009
    #4
    They do but not nearly as well as AMD cards do ... Nvidia for now at least is focused on CUDA which only runs on their cards
     
  5. Mac Gus macrumors regular

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    Dec 31, 2013
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    New York City
    #5
    Check out the 79XX series GPU. Also consider upgrading your CPU to a 5,1 hex-core.
     
  6. kennyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #6
    No need to apologies, it is all good:D

    OpenCL benchmarks shows that AMD is ahead of the curve when compare to Nvidia. Do Nvidia cards support OpenCL - Yes, sure..they do. However a single Radeon 7970 will outperform a single GTX 680/780 in OpenCL tasks/rendering. And since both Adobe and Apple are optimizing some of their pro-Apps to tap into the OpenCL computing power, it will be wise to invest into something that can help the OP in the long run *depending on his/her budget.

    I read the post and I have gathered the following information from it.

    - OP has MacPro 4.1 with 2.66Ghz Quad Core
    - MacPro is equipped with 32GB of Memory
    - Apps OP is using, FCXP and Adobe CC *Creative Cloud

    Knowing that the OP is using Adobe CC and Final Cut on MacPro 4,1, I just wanted to ask whether he/she has the budget to buy nMP.

    If budget is limited, then definitely invest into buying Nvidia/AMD card. Other option would be to upgrade CPU and add SSD, but again, it would depend on budget.

    But I just wanted to keep my previous post concise and meaningful:p
     
  7. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    #7
    is radeon 5770 still good/okay with tcp 10.1. or later?
     
  8. VirtualRain, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    If FCP X is important to you, you really can't beat the new Mac Pro. It was purpose built for FCP X work. 10.1 utilizes the dual GPUs extremely well. There's probably no better time to upgrade your computer in the history of Final Cut than now.

    While more biased to my type of work (still photography) you can get a feel for some of the improvements a few generations of Mac Pro can make in my review. Granted, your current GPU is not nearly as pitiful as mine was, but you can get the sense that as a system, the nMP is a much better performer across the board in a variety of workflows.
     
  9. stix666 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    #9
    Can we get this thread back on track? It's about the best GPU for video editing on a Mac Pro 4.1, not the best Mac Pro setup for video editing. I'm interested in the answers too.
     
  10. kennyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #10
    Hello, I think the OP mentioned something like "I also wondering if it is maybe even time to replace the Mac Pro all together?"

    So it is not only about the best GPU on MacPro 4,1.
     
  11. Mac Gus macrumors regular

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    Dec 31, 2013
    Location:
    New York City
    #11
    If he is just doing HD editing, I think his 2009 MP is perfectly fine. If he want's to speed it up there are numerous upgrades he can do to his computer. Just look at my sig to see what all I've added to mine. There are many threads on upgrading the 4,1s CPU and GPU. It comes down to how much he wants to invest in an old machine vs saving up for a nMP.
     
  12. DustinB85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    DustinB85

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    #12
    Oh I am about to respond, it is just super long since I am just writing up an entire picture of how I even got into this lol. It was one of those things that you never thought you would do, like but apparently turned out to be good at and has been super rewarding.

    I mean, I work in banking with an MS in accounting and bout to test for my CPA. Being creative and all of that is "not typically our strong suit lol."

    Long post coming in 5..
     
  13. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #13
    Did you install 10.9? Apparently Nvidia support is shaky yet, especially for Cuda, which Premiere would use.

    You probably should have just kept the 670. If your computer is literally slowing down, then I would consider a new hard drive and afresh install (OS and all apps and personal data (no migrating!)) from the ground up. The hard drive is the only mechanical aspect of the system, it will drop in performance over time. Systems just get messy over time. And every one in a while, the best thing is to just start over.

    Already mentioned, if you want to squeeze more out of this box, a CPU upgrade to a Intel Xeon X5677, W3680 or X5690 (bought off eBay) would bring a nice boost to it's total potential. That process is explained a million times across the internet.

    And not that it is the cause of your troubles but still worth knowing, each Mac Pro has an optimum RAM configuration for number and size of the sticks installed. The 4,1 and 5,1 models are best met by 3 equal sticks in the first three slots. Filling all four slots actually makes the RAM run at a lower speed.
     
  14. DustinB85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    DustinB85

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    #14
    Sorry I started off the thread with the sole thought of just upgrading the GPU but towards the end of the post it did raise the question to me if maybe it is time to sell and upgrade. Also thank you so much for the replies. It helped reconfirm some of what I had been thinking. With that being said, I'll put out my scenario with my two options.

    So my overall set up actually is what has been holding me back from just going out and getting a nMP. Not trying to boost saying "money is just no option to me" but it plays no real factor into my final decision other than me thinking I spend too much money on something that might be an overkill for my real uses. So no don't just say ditch the old and buy the new for 9,500 lol. And No I do not edit using FCP or Adobe everyday. I do a full media package for a high school football team so off season I do heavily edit I'd say two weekends out of the month and during the season every weekend and some during the week. I list a write up of what I need and use my set up for at the bottom because it will most likely be long and not everyone will care to read it. But since my real job takes #1 priority and most all of my time, having a computer that is technically beyond my needs is important to me because of time.

    Curent set up is

    2009 Mac Pro 4.1, Quad Core 2.66, 32gb of ram, back to the stock GT120 after I sold the GTX670 FTW. I was running both cards so I had an extra PCI slot and kept the boot screen.
    I run a 256 SSD off a PCI 1x card since the bays do not support Sata III (R/W is is just under 400). It is used for OSX and Apps only.
    Bay 1 has another 250GB SSD in that use as a general scratch drive,
    Bay 2 has a 600GB 10k RPM WD Raptor drive that runs Windows 8.1 via bootcamp (No partitions with Mac OSX) I have thought about moving the bootcamp drive to the SSD and using raptor as scratch. I run some Adobe in Windows and have the a few games like Call of Duty, I might play once in a blue moon.
    Bays 3 and 4 have WD Black 1TBs in a Raid 0 (Almost 300 R/W I think)
    The last PCI slot I use has a raid controller with four external esata III ports with all four ports being used to run two separate HD enclosures with 4x1TB WD Blacks in total in a Raid 5.
    Was running a USB 3.0 in one of the PCI slots over having the GT120 in there since I do have two 3TB WD backup drives for everything (along with a 2TB Time Capsule) but since speed really was not as important to me on the backup drive plus those HDs are too slow to take advance of USB 3.0 I put the GT120 back in.

    That is the bulk of it minus a small NAS server that is used to connect to music libraries and print server etc.

    So with that being said, it seems much much easier to go spend the $600ish on a GTX 680 but I have known the issues with Nivdia lacking in the OpenGL support and it is very easy to tell that since CS5 to CC to has slowed even more and crashing is starting to slowly happen here and there. I picked up FCP X only after Mavericks was released because it was middle of the season and Adobe Premiere Pro/After Effects and Lightroom crashed upon attempting to launch. Since there was no ETA on the fix I picked up FCP X (which I love and does run a WAY faster than Adobe CC does now but still trending slower than it was. I had a few FCPX trials before I went with Adobe CS5, I knew I get FCPX down the road but needed the full Adobe packet to start bc I also use Light room and Dreamweaver and Prelude is perfect for indexing the game footage for me. Which leads me into my next issue. I will be keeping all game footage (which is three different cameras total) so I will have a storage crisis soon. I would have bought big HDs but I already had a few and the Raid set up was more important for editing purposes. I read off one of the raids and write to the other. Original footage is on a external HD or my MacBook Pro until I have time to index it, back it up and finish project so I'm sure not to lose anything. So there is pretty much my situation. Moving to a nMP will require a few adjustments for the raid controller, unless I bite the bullet and get a thunderbolt now and maybe an expansion chassis for the PCI cards. And I have the whole bootcamp HD, and two SSDs that will need a home. I never dreamed I would be this involved so I was unprepared and made due as we went.


    Long Story - I'll just save for later. It was entirely to long and off topic for now.
     
  15. stix666 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    #15
    Any recommendations on comparisons of 7970, 7950, gtx670/80 and gtx 780 for fcpx work?

    Fair enough - I missed that :eek:
     
  16. Robert Davies macrumors 6502

    Robert Davies

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    People's Republic of Wrexham
    #16
    Just a quick answer to the question:

    Reports from friends that use it/them suggest very much so - and the benchmarks tend to back it up too. It's rendering performance in FCP X 10.1 is w—a—y beyond what the 5770's specs would indicate - a pair of 5770s is one of the fastest most cost effective solutions for FCP X available if you look at BareFeats findings.
     
  17. DustinB85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    DustinB85

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    #17
    I had originally thought about picking up two smaller cards but wasn't sure what cards would work given available power supply. The GTX 670 took the 75 watts from the PCI slot and both 6 pins. I see now the 5770 only uses the one.

    Is this pretty much the best place to pick up the ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics card? I love the fact they are only 230 a peace so it is worth a shot.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Apple/MC742ZMA/

    ----------

    ----------

    Annnd now I do not see the ATI Radeon HD 5770 it being supported by Adobe PPro and I willing to bet the same with After Afters. In with cuda or open GL or Mac/Windows

    http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html

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    So really it would be the AMD Radeon HD 7950 vs the GTX 680 for me. Which what I have read the GTX 680 seemed to be a winner in most tests.
     
  18. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #18
    Regardless of how you solve your performance (eg new GPU), you may want to look into consolidating and simplifying your storage solution at some point or it may become a crisis on its timeline rather than yours. It looks like a typical setup that results from drives accumulated over time and a pack rat reluctance to eliminate anything that still spins. :) However, the best time to do that may be when you transition to the new Mac Pro... As Thunderbolt will certainly play a part in what makes for the cleanest, best performing solution.
     
  19. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    #19
    That's real interesting..might get me 1 more then...
     
  20. kic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    #20
    I'm quoting you since you asked specifically, but I think this also has general bearing on the thread.

    I've been running a GeForce 680 (flashed Zotac 4GB) for the last several months in my 5,1 (3.33ghz 6 core, 12GB RAM), but just for kicks I swapped in my old Radeon 7950 (HIS 3GB--no flash/mods) to see what it looks like. Here's the results of the BruceX benchmark:

    GeForce 680: 1 minute 43.6 seconds

    Radeon 7950: 44.87 seconds

    I didn't think the difference would be that great, but it is. Now, this is all with one benchmark, so I'm not sure what the "real world" difference is yet, but it certainly supports the general consensus that AMD has better OpenCL performance.

    Now, back to lurking for another 6 months...
     
  21. gpzjock, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
  22. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #22
    In addition to your scores, few results of my tests:

    Code:
               [B]dual   7770:[/B] 35 sec
               [B]single 7870:[/B] 55 sec
               [B]single 6870:[/B] 57 sec
               [B]single 5770:[/B] 58 sec
               [B]single 7770:[/B] 60 sec
     
  23. kennyman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    #23

    Just want to share with you, Final Cut 10.1 (latest) will take advantage of dual AMD GPUs and OpenCL. It is written and optimised for dual GPUs (AMD OpenCL).

    Final Cut version 7.2 was the last version that scales very well with dual Nvidia Card (leveraging CUDA).

    Iris Pro Graphics on the late 2013 MBPs also give decent scores, however I am not sure if it is using OpenCL framework or Intel Quick Sync.
     
  24. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Dec 7, 2009
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    Poland
    #24
    That's why I've tested dual 7770 setup ;)
     
  25. DustinB85 thread starter macrumors newbie

    DustinB85

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    #25
    Yeah the storage will unlitmely a huge factor since I am not deleting any footage and most will not be archived for years. We index and breakdown and keep all game film and need to have it multiple years and season available quickly. Especially since we want to provide as much highlights for each of the players over the course of the 4 years to help the ones that are looking to go play at the college level. Over the course of a year we rack up a good amount since football is almost year around here now. My main Raid setups are only used on the current year. So those aren't quite filling up but we are only starting our 3 year so we will have to do a major upgrade at the end of the year. Other than that I actually love the HD setup. The only downfall was I stuck with the 1 TB WD blacks so I could have the two separate raids for video work flow. Which in a raid 5 gives me 3TB which holds is about 2/3rd of a season in prores codec. Do will make a few adjustments since I just ordered a Canon 5D Mark III as our third camera. The prior film company were only shooting at 640 × 480 from up top which does fly now days lol.


    Sorry I'll leave the rest of my issues for another thread, since yes the GPU is my main concern. Thank you Kic and 666sheep for posting up the bench marks. I am definably sold on wanting to go pick up a RADEON HD 7950 right now, only thing holding me back is its compatibility with Adobe PPro and After Effects (and a few other CC products). I know FCPX/Motion and Compressor will be all peaches and cream but I still primarily work in Adobe products.

    Does anyone have any experience with one of these GPU in Adobe Ppro CC or AE CC?

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    WAIT I lied, I see that the AMD Radeon HD 7950 is supported by Ppro in Mac's by OpenGL only. Just not Cuda which is fine since the trend seeming to lean towards open GL.

    So with that being said, this looks to be really by best option correct?
     

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