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Nvidia GTX 980 or alternatives for Mac Pro 4,1

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Volker Schanbacher
Nvidia GTX 980 or alternatives for Mac Pro 4,1
on Jul 9, 2015 at 5:17:58 am

I have a 2 x 2.26 Quad-Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro (Early 2009) and would like to update my graphics card to get faster for After Effects CS6 and then also latest Maya.

To be able to use CUDA I would like to have a NVIDIA card. (So far I had ATI Radeon HD 4870).
I thought to buy a NVIDIA GTX 980 (simple, that means NOT Ti).
My price range is about 500 Euro (corresponding approximately to 500 $ for the US market).

My question is will the NVIDIA GTX 980 work in my Mac Pro 4,1 (Yosemite OSX) since NVIDIA does not offer Mac drivers for this card (also there seems to be no mac version of this card).

Is flashing the NVIDIA GTX 980 a reliable option and where would I find how to do this for this card.

If difficulties are expected what would be the alternatives for using After Effects and Maya with CUDA for the 500 Euro price range and comparable speed as GTX 980.

(A friend working mainly with Adobe Premiere put a Radeon HD 7950 in the same type Mac but this doesn't support CUDA)

I appreciate any advice on this.


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Jim Scott
Re: Nvidia GTX 980 or alternatives for Mac Pro 4,1
on Jul 9, 2015 at 2:08:37 pm sells a GTX980 4GB, however it's over your budget at $835. They also offer a flashing service for $180.

Within your budget you should consider the GTX780 3GB for $499, or the GTX680 4GB for $450.

I am not associated with this dealer in any way, but have heard good reports. Since they are a Mac video card specialist I'm sure they can answer any questions you may have about using the proper Nvidia drivers.

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Nvidia GTX 980 or alternatives for Mac Pro 4,1
on Jul 9, 2015 at 2:37:12 pm

The only thing the GPU accelerates in native After Effects is the ray-traced renderer. See this link for more info [link].

The GTX 980 will not work to accelerate the ray-traced renderer.

The ray-traced renderer is considered obsolete by the After Effects team, but you're still using CS6, so it might work for you.

I'd recommend getting a third-party solution for 3d though. If you do use third-party plugins that utilize the GPU (such as Element 3d or Zaxwerks 3d Invigorator), then you'll need to check with the plugin-makers to see what cards work for them.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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