Which graphics card upgrade for mac pro 4,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DivianBE, Mar 31, 2018.

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  1. DivianBE, Mar 31, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018

    DivianBE macrumors newbie

    DivianBE

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    #1
    Hi,

    I was wondering. I do have a mac pro 4,1 with 18GB RAM (3x4GB + 3x2GB) and 2x 2,26GHz CPU running on several SSD's for both OS and scratch disk.
    I'm currently using a 27" screen but resolution doesn't seem very good with the standard card, which made me consider... Still running Mavericks but willing to upgrade.

    I wish to use the mac pro for audio, photoshop and small video work (after effects+premiere).
    Everything considered I'm still happy with the machine besides the graphical card. What is the best solution for a graphics card that doesn't break the bank and runs silently (with mini displayport or HDMI output)?

    What do you guys suggest? Thanks in advance.

    ps: I'm not that tech savy in mac upgrades in general.
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #2
    Upgrade graphic card won't improve the monitor's resolution.
     
  3. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

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  4. DivianBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    DivianBE

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    #4
    Hi, thanks for the reactions.

    I'm currently using: BenQ EW2770QZ with the native graphics card. I believe that's "NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB".
    But not sure what resolution to use since it's currently using overscan and 60 Hertz (NTSC). Not sure what best to choose or what this overscan actually does but I do believe the current graphics card doesn't deliver towards the monitor.

    https://www.benq.com/en/monitor/video-enjoyment/ew2770qz/specifications.html
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #5
    So, what's the resolution shows on this page?
    HiDPI.jpg
    P.S. This is the capture from the latest 10.13.4. From memory, there was only one "resolution" in the older OS, which is actually equals to the new "UI Looks like" resolution.

    Your monitor has the same resolution as the 27 Apple Cinema Display. The GT120 should able to drive it properly (via display port).
     
  6. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a

    AlexMaximus

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    #6
    If I would be in your shoes with the stated use of your current software, I would recommend the EVGA Nvidia 680 Mac Edition or a flashed equivalent of that card on eBay. This is by far the best "non-geek" card I used- that still works under the original Apple driver package. There are many better cards out there, but anything above the 680 can be considered as a mutant card that works with Nvidia Web Drivers.
    Many on this forum would recommend an AMD card because of your Open GL professional app use, however I was very disappointed with the AMD 7850 Mac Edition card years ago. The Nvidia 680 was just better and faster in every aspect.
    It also depends how much money you would be willing to spend on a better card and how long you want to use your 4,1 down the road. But sind the 4,1 could be very easy upgraded with faster de-lided hex CPU's and a number of other perks, you could easily keep it for a lot longer if you choose to do so.
    The only real good AMD card that comes to mind is the 580 Pulse with 8 GB video ram. That would be for sure a great upgrade, but a lot more expensive. Maybe someone who has that card here can chip in.
    Regarding your monitor I don't know what overscan means. The resolution should be equal to a 27' Apple Display of that year, which means around 2560 x 1440. Your current gpu Nvidia 120 should be able to handle that, you might have a setting or driver problem. You may also install Nvidia Cuda driver package as a test, knowing it would not contribute much because of a very low number of cuda cores on that card. But its worth a shot.
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #7
    AFAIK, Nvidia usually work better on OpenGL (Graphics). AMD card usually work better on OpenCL (Compute). But this is only true when comparing the same price range, and don't consider CUDA. For high end card, and no limitation on API, there is only one choice, Nvidia, in both graphics can compute.

    When the monitor detected as "TV" by the OS, "Overscan" will appear.
    Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 18.59.02.jpg
    From my experience, just leave it selected, no need to touch it.
    Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 18.07.25.jpg
     
  8. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

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    #8
    + just check you have the correct resolution for the display selected ie 2560 x 1440‎ (as mentioned in the displays specs)
    & check the info in system info to check the info on the display

    mine shows
    BenQ BL2410:
    Resolution: 1080 x 1920 @ 60 Hz

    ie 1080p at 60fps/hz

    it's not going to be something silly like a old hdmi cable?

    my benQ GC2870 is also seen as a tv which bugs me but seems fine & i have the overscan on too
     
  9. nigelbb macrumors 65816

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    #9
    I totally agree. I have a 2GB GTX60 in one of my 3,1s & a 4GB version in the other.
     
  10. DivianBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    DivianBE

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    #10
    Thanks for the information so far. Will look into it.
    The following info is from my mac pro 4,1 at work (but is more or less similar besides OS version and monitor)...

    OFFICE
    I'm using a standard HDMI cable that came with the monitor. I'm using the mini display port from the graphics card and I'm using the Belkin adaptor (which should support up to 4K resolution: http://www.belkin.com/au/p/P-F2CD079/ ), running El Capitan.

    As you can see, the image shows indees as my monitor is a TV?
    It's strange since the monitor's indeed showing this lower 1920x1080@60 resolution and the recommended should be 2560 x1440@60 according to the monitor's built in menu. From what I thought prior to the purchase, the default card should be able to handle the max resolutions just fine.

    Screen Shot 2018-04-03 at 17.39.19.png

    source: https://support.apple.com/kb/SP506?locale=nl_NL&viewlocale=en_US

    I've even updated osX 10.11.6 (15G20015) and downloaded the driver from Nvidia (not using Nvidia Web Driver). Extra CUDA download is not needed with this card from what I could read on their info since, it wasn't listed as is.

    HOME
    At home I'm using the BenQ 2775 and attached to my old macbook pro (2009 or so) and mac pro 4,1 (same way as with other monitor but running Mavericks) It's a similar issue but some text is more of a problem to read with these combinations (resolution of this monitor is lower however: full HD). Monitors should be very decent but I'm a bit dissapointed at how it's lacking proper resolution and the "overscan" issue.

    ps: I've mailed towards BenQ marketing regarding the overscan issue and the resolution on itself. As soon as I've got my results, I'll post it back up here.
     
  11. orph, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

    orph macrumors 68000

    orph

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    #11
    well you have the display at not the native resolution can you just change it to 2560 x1440 ?
    that is your problem you have a lower than native resolution that is not 1/2 or 1/4 of the native resolution so it will look vary blurry compared to native.

    you dont need to buy a new gpu to fix this it will be the cable or your systems settings

    this has nothing to do with drivers or cuda etc..
     
  12. h9826790, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

    h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #12
    Mystery solved, wrong setup.

    1) Display 1080P on a 1440P monitor make everything looks burry. I suspect this may be why you feel the resolution is bad. 1080P is not that bad indeed. On a 27" display actually very comfortable (but consider not much desktop working space in general). 1440P provide more space, but text could looks a bit small on 27". In any case, both shouldn't looks too bad. But if you display 1080P on a 1440P monitor, yes, that's bad (I tried that, even gaming looks bad).

    2) Your adaptor is WRONG. That's just a passive adaptor, can only support up to 1080P 60Hz, NOT 4K 60Hz. You need a display port to HDMI ACTIVE adaptor. Which can actually support 1440P 60Hz.

    If you don't need a new GPU for 3D / compute work, but just want it to power the 27" monitor. I recommend you get a the correct ACTIVE adaptor first. Go for newer GPU is easy, but get a newer GPU that can provide boot screen and display 1440P 60Hz via HDMI port may actually harder than what you believe.

    Update 1: Just read your post again. Your 27" 1440P monitor has Display Port input. Why you get a HDMI adaptor? You should simply get a Mini display port -> Display port cable (or mini display port -> display port adaptor, if you already has normal display port cable), and connect the monitor to your cMP by that. Then your problem should be solved (with very low cost).
     
  13. AlexMaximus, Apr 3, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018

    AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a

    AlexMaximus

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    #13
    The thing is, HDMI is not really a computer port, its actually a kind of TV port, - that also works for pc's with lower quality resolution.
    H98 is exactly on the spot. Use the correct display port on that monitor. The hdmi triggers the Television setting and makes your resolution blurry & lowers quality designed for TV's as H98 described. Go for a display port cable together with either a DVI adapter or mini display dongle and you will be fine.
     
  14. DivianBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    DivianBE

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    #14
    not familiar with HDMI and such. So this is what I should be looking for?
    Mini display port -> Display port cable (I can just ask in a pc store?)
    Strange, since I had a look at the apple online store and had the idea this was the correct thing to get, since there were no other options (then again I was thinking every port was HDMI)

    https://www.apple.com/us/search/Mini-display-port?src=globalnav
     
  15. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a

    AlexMaximus

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    #15

    Theoretically you are corect, but I have not found a cable yet that has that combination, so you would need a regular display port cable and the dongle that adapts to mini display port. But I checked again, -Since you have a DVI port on the Nvidia, you can go with just one cable, like this one here

    https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-Gold-Plated-DisplayPort/dp/B004C9M7UG

    I think that should work according to the specs of your benq, having two hdmi and one display port on the back.
    So you need a display port - to dvi - cable I think
     
  16. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #16
    This kind of cable is very easy to get in my local computer store. Not sure if also true in your city. But any, it just cost me 15 seconds to get this result from Google.

    https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Mini-DisplayPort-Cable-Feet/dp/B013PWQPFS
     
  17. DivianBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    DivianBE

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    #17
    Thanks all,

    Just called my local dealer. I might have to go with a "mini display port - display port dongle" combined with a "display port cable". This is ok for best results?

    - No difference in choosing display port over DVI I suppose?
    - At Home, the BenQ only has 2x HDMI and 1x VGA, would "mini display port to VGA dongle" and "VGA cable" be the obvious choice then? Why do they offer HDMI inputs in the monitor then? This is just complicating things, which made me take the wrong choices.
     
  18. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #18
    mini DP -> DP adaptor is fine. I have this find of adaptor, no problem at all.

    Your home monitor is just a 1080P monitor, any mini DP to HDMI adaptor should work fine.

    VGA is analogue, HDMI is digital, totally different. Also, HDMI support both video and audio via single cable, VGA cannot.
     
  19. DivianBE thread starter macrumors newbie

    DivianBE

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    #19
    Thanks.

    But this one isn't a good choice then since overscan is used here as well (at home) http://www.belkin.com/au/p/P-F2CD079/

    i'm currently using this one but text doesn't seem as sharp as I thought it would be.
     
  20. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #20
    Doesn't matter, as you can see from my post, even I am with pure Display port connection, overscan also shows up on my display preference. I just leave it ON, and my display work flawless.

    Your primary issue is running 1080P on the 1440P monitor, nothing because of that overscan.
     

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