Which is the bleeding edge GPU w/wo EFI for a Mac Pro 3,1 running El Cap?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pullman, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. pullman macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #1
    I have no intention of updating my Mac Pro 3,1 beyond El Cap. With that in mind, and the power limitations of the 3,1, which is the most powerful GPU I can get today with EFI and without EFI?

    I need to be able to drive two screens at full HD which my Radeon 5870 is not able to do (the card simply cuts the video).

    I've been trying to understand the nVidia and AMD GPU names but find them confusing so would appreciate a bit of help. I use this computer for image editing using Photoshop CS6.

    Thanks in advance
    Philip
     
  2. tsialex macrumors 68030

    tsialex

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    #2
    You can use any AMD GPU up to R9-280X - and you can flash it for boot screens. El Capitan don't have drivers for R9-4xx on wards.

    Nvidia ones that have El Capitan support are more complicated. I tested Kepler NVIDIA GPUs, so any GTX-680/780 will work. I'm no sure that you can install Maxwell ones, maybe someone will confirm that.
     
  3. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #3
    Thank you very much. I'm not sure I understand - are nVidia cards more complicated because it is uncertain which models are supported by El Capitan?

    Given that I need the card for image editing using Photoshop CS6, is there any particular brand/card I should consider?

    Thanks in advance
    Philip

     
  4. tsialex macrumors 68030

    tsialex

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    #4
    Apple native NVIDIA drivers support up to Kepler GPUs, so you can use GTX 680/780 without any driver. NVIDIA web drivers for El Capitan support up to Kepler GPUs too:
    You can use almost any GTX 680 to flash with eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition firmware, just some really exotic ones don't work, read this threads:

    To flash a GTX 680 is a 5' job, it's the easiest card to flash and a very sought after GPU.

    I don't use CS6, so I'll leave this answer for someone with experience with that.
     
  5. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #5
    Thank you again. I read the links you posted and realise that I need to flash using a PC or Windows running natively on the Mac Pro, neither of which I have so I guess I'm out of luck and need to get a Mac-specific card, unless I find a pre-flashed one of course. But I'm wondering what the risk is that I'd find myelf in a situation that I would have to flash the card again and not be able to.

    I also read in one of the threads that most of these higher-end GPUs are made for gaming and not meant to be in a Mac Pro, being a more workstation type of a computer. So now I'm not sure what to do.

    Basically I just want a solidly functioning card that can easily drive my 24" Eizo CG247x and 23" ACD at full HD for image editing in Photoshop CS6. I wouldn't want a card that revs the fans all the time because it gets too hot not having been designed to work in a Mac Pro.



     
  6. tsialex, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

    tsialex macrumors 68030

    tsialex

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    #6
    You can download an ISO from Microsoft, burn a DVD and install it on your Mac Pro, works for 30 days, free of charge.

    EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition - 02G-P4-3682-KR is the best supported NVIDIA GPU for a Mac Pro and the PC versions made by eVGA (02G-P4-2682-KR or 02G-P4-2680-KR) are 99,9% identical to the Mac Edition one. Quadro K5000 is based on the same GPU processor as GTX 680, btw.

    You won't find a better card to use into a MP3,1. AMD ones don't work if you go past 10.12.6. 10.13 and 10.14 AMD drivers needs SSE4.2, MP3,1 Xeons don't have it.

    I have a MP3,1 running Mojave with a GTX 680, with an almost standard install of macOS.

     
  7. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #7
    Thank you, I didn't know I can download a trial of Windows.

    So the EVGA 680 Mac Edition comes with EFI from the factory then, and is Apple approved, meaning I wouldn't need to flash it myself? I see that PassMark gives it (or at least a generic 680) a very good result of approx 5600.

    The other one I have considered is the HD7950 Mac, because Barefeats lists is as almost neck and neck with the 680 for OpenCL tasks which are relevant for Photoshop. But if the 680 Mac works well in a Mac Pro and can drive two screens at native full HD, that might be the way to go.




     
  8. tsialex macrumors 68030

    tsialex

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    #8
    The only difference is the firmware, labels and the box between 02G-P4-3682-KR and 02G-P4-2682-KR/02G-P4-2680-KR. A real eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition goes for $350+ on eBay, you can buy one of the two identical ones for half or less.
     
  9. OS6-OSX, Dec 2, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018

    OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

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    #9
    1. Showing GTX980ti that is installed in external Netstor box as GPU (connected just for screen shots) and booted from 10.11.6 SSD in MP
    1.png

    2. Showing GTX980ti that is installed in external Netstor box as GPU (connected just for screen shots) and booted from 10.11.6 SSD in Netstor
    2.png

    3. Showing Quadro 4000 that is in the MP and booted from 10.11.6 (regular setup) The GTX 980ti works in the MP's bottom slot but based on 250w and MP's 300w max, the 3 other cards in slots 2-4 won't allow it. Q4000 in bottom slot
    3.png
     
  10. JoSch macrumors regular

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    #10
    You can install Maxwell cards. I had a 750Ti in my Macpro. But it's important to know, that you always have to install the drivers before installing the card. Also, keep a supported card like a 5770 or something around, because sometimes you have to pull the Maxwell card and then need a working GPU.
     
  11. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #11
    Thank you for the further replies. Any particular recommendations for Photoshop work?
     
  12. pullman, Dec 3, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018

    pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #12
    Thank you for these screenshots. I'd be interested in your views on those cards. The Quadro is that one of the older ones? How does it perform today? And can the 980ti be flashed to get boot screen?

    Awfully sorry if these are rookie questions but the whole video card business is like Greek to me.

    EDIT: I've read also that the Quadro M2000 could be a good card for Photoshop. Any views on that card? I am curious about it because it allows 10-bit colour which I can display on the Eizo.

    Thanks in advance
    Philip

    --- Post Merged, Dec 3, 2018 ---
    Thank you for this. I believe the above-mentioned Quadro M2000 is a Maxwell card. So if I keep my Radeon as backup, and since I won't upgrade beyond El Cap on this machine, I guess I could use that one, or am I missing something?

     
  13. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

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    #13
    1. Since you are going for 10bit you need to stay with Quadro and not GTX
    2. The 980ti is used for GPU in Resolve and the Quadro 4000 Mac is for GUI.
    3. The ole Q4000's performance is limited to running an older laCie 324 with hood and a 24 inch tv as a 2nd monitor.
    324.jpg
    Nothing like running an EIZO 4K @10bit with a hood!
    Sir! You are using a hood with the EIZO aren't you! :eek: Oh, the Humanity! :p


    Three articles/reviews you should read pertaining to the m2000 and or EIZO if you have not already

    https://hothardware.com/reviews/nvidia-quadro-m2000-review-affordable-pro-graphics?page=1

    https://www.theinquirer.net/inquire...d-quadro-m2000-gpu-can-drive-four-4k-displays

    https://www.eizoglobal.com/support/compatibility/gpu/photoshopcc2017_18-nvidia-amd/
     
  14. JoSch, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018

    JoSch macrumors regular

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    #14
    I had an HD5770 alongside the GTX 750Ti. That gave me a boot screen and I had a backup GPU.
     
  15. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #15
    Thanks very much for the links, I really appreciate them.

    Oh yes I have a hood for the Eizo, it's a fantastic screen :)

    Just for the benefit of the idiot in the room (me) - to run the Quadro M2000, will I need to install some nVidia drivers? I'm asking because the Eizo link says "Setting up by the NVIDIA control panel is unnecessary because Photoshop CS6 or later support the 10-bit display".

    I'd be OK with not having a boot screen since I'll keep my HD 5870 as backup in case of troubles. And I only have one OS installation on the computer anyway.

    Thanks a lot again
    Philip

     
  16. Ludacrisvp macrumors regular

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    #16
    I have a Quadro M2000 4Gb card in a Mac here but I’m on 10.13.6 so not sure if there’s any info I can provide that may help.
     
  17. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #17
    Thanks for replying. Do you have it in a Mac Pro and did you need to install Nvidia drivers for it to work?

    Oh and how do you like the card?

    Cheers
    Philip

     
  18. Ludacrisvp macrumors regular

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    #18
    I temporarily had it in my Mac Pro 3,1 while I was testing some different GPU configurations in my latest hack to decide what machine to have the M2000 in. It does work fine in 10.13.6 and should run Mojave fine as it is a "Metal" card.

    It does require the NVIDIA WebDrivers in order to have any acceleration in macOS.

    I'm just using it to run multiple displays, 1 native DP and 3 via DP active adapters 2@ 2560x1440 1@ 2560x1600 1@ 1920x1080.
    I'm not using it for any of the CUDA (I do, however have CUDA drivers installed and current) or real Quadro features.

    It is currently in a hack that is roughly equivalent to a MP6,1 based on Geekbench scores ...
    Dell T5810:
    C610/C612/X99 chipset
    Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1650 v3 @ 3.50GHz
    32Gb DDR4

    While in the hack I did some basic benchmarks under non-ideal conditions (lots of apps open) so this may give you some ideas on the ability of the card.
    I'd suspect that the 3,1 wouldn't be able to hit these same numbers with this card due to PCIe version differences and probably CPU / RAM differences as well. But I figured I'd try to give you some idea here.

    Is there some specific test I could run for you?
    Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 11.41.26 PM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 11.50.55 PM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 12.18.30 AM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 12.18.45 AM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 12.20.47 AM.jpg
    Screen Shot 2018-12-06 at 12.20.07 AM.jpg
     
  19. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #19
    Thank you very much for all this info. It helps immensely. I also think I won't get those numbers but I don't mind as I am only interesting in a stable well functioning and capable card for Photoshop work.

    I looked at the web driver and found that there is a version for El Capitan running on Mac Pro 3.1. It does say, however, that it is only compatible with:

    Quadro Series:
    Quadro K5000 for Mac, Quadro 4000 for Mac

    Quadro FX Series:
    Quadro FX 4800, Quadro FX 5600

    I'm wondering now if that driver can support the M2000? I hope so, because the High Sierra driver also only mentions those cards.

    Br
    Philip

     
  20. Ludacrisvp macrumors regular

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    #20
    The web drivers only claim support for true Mac cards typically. But in reality they work if there’s a supported card in that family. Like for example how the GTX 650 works with web drivers even though it’s not listed as a supported card but since the GTX 680 is in the same family and is supported it works.
     
  21. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a

    AlexMaximus

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    #21

    Great info, thank you so much! One questions remains, you mention the Nestor box, obviously you are using a PCIe expansion version, could you elaborate on this a bit more.

    I would love to get a Nestor box (this one down below) How is your experience? Can you recommend this?



    https://www.span.com/product/NetSto...-x8-+-One-x4-inc-Desktop-Card-amp-Cable~63658
     
  22. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

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    #22
    1. Using the model NA211A-GPU with the 34expresscard
    2. Using a PCIe card controller
    CONI_ATAC_PE_EC_more.png
    3. Chose the 34expresscard over the Desktop PCIe because of 2 PCIe card controllers in the MP due to swapping in several 34expresscards (HDX-SDI, UAD etc)
    4. Since the GTX980ti is "double wide", there is only one available slot left which has a PCIe card with a bootable 10.11.6 ssd on it.
    5. Even though there is a fan on the 980ti and one in the box, I attached a small "computer" fan in the box for extra air flow!
    6. My experience is limited to the box solely used to house the 980ti as a GPU for Resolve and booting from the ssd in the box. That being said, there has never been an issue with booting from that ssd or Resolve recognizing the 980ti. The most likely issue to occur with this setup is for the 34expresscard to have not been placed in the card controller. o_O I think the additional fan took care of any potential over heating. :D
    6. Recommendation would be based on the 300w max. You just have to keep that in mind when you think of the "card(s)" that will go inside. Also, read the specs carefully to make sure nothing is over looked.
     
  23. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a

    AlexMaximus

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    #23

    Wow! Thanks a lot, this is an outstanding setup. This proves again, that an additional Cuda GPU for Resolve with PCIe extension is so much better and a lot more interesting and beneficial than a newer Machine/CPU with a kind of nonfunctional eGPU because of gimped Apple support. (disabled, gimped MP6.1 eGPU support)

    This is smart!

    Doing only iMovie so far, I am in the process to decide if I should go the FCPX or the Resolve route.
    I did consider to do one last Vega 64 upgrade with the Pixlas mod in order to get Mojave on my old 5.1.
    How ever my last research shows, that Apple intentionally gimped several encoding features in Mojave for MP 5.1 users
    to make the hardware intentionally slower. So I guess its time to show Apple the finger, scrap the Vega 64 upgrade and go for a Nestor Box with a strong Nvidia GPU Cuda booster with the latest Resolve version for HighSierra.

    Thanks again OS6, your opinion is highly cherished in this tricky upgrade market of older but legendary mac hardware.
     
  24. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

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    #24
    Don't forget there is a free version of Resolve to test CUDA results.
    Avid forced many users to render in Resolve due to Avid's ancient play back engine and none use of a "Mercury" type engine. Where a file took 18mins to render in Avid, (saved as an AAF from Avid) it takes under 3mins in Resolve! Resolve 15 also recognizes multiple CUDA cards. Avid is suppose to have a "trick" up it's sleeve next year. If it is a new engine it should be "Mecury" like and use CUDA cores in addition to RAM. Mercury used CUDA or RAM. If Avid is smart they would have found a way to use CUDA or RAM plus CUDA and RAM. With those two together you play 800 trks of 8K! :p
     
  25. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #25
    Apologies for the delayed follow up, but as I am looking around on eBay I see that there are Quadro M2000 cards which are labeled, variously, Lenovo, HP and PNY.

    Are there any differences between these cards or are they just re-labeled nVidia cards?

    Cheers and thanks in advance
    Philip


     

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