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Mac Pro 5,1 PR CC2017 user thinking about new Nvidia Pascal cards after the update. Can I just buy ASUS?

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Osku Petteri
Mac Pro 5,1 PR CC2017 user thinking about new Nvidia Pascal cards after the update. Can I just buy ASUS?
on May 17, 2017 at 7:31:22 am

Hey guys,

As a Mac Pro 5,1 user, I am thinking about updating my GPU to Nvidia Pascal card. Nvidia itself is the only one informing us that they will work, but how about the third party manufacturers? For example ASUS. I could have this one super cheap and it is Pascal driven - So does anyone know, or have you guys tested that do the ASUS-cards work with Premiere with the latest OS X and CC 2017. Can I just get the drivers from the Nvidia site and they work with the ASUS card too?

Thanks a lot for the info!


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Brent Marginet
Re: Mac Pro 5,1 PR CC2017 user thinking about new Nvidia Pascal cards after the update. Can I just buy ASUS?
on May 17, 2017 at 1:56:34 pm

I have been using a PC version of the GTX-980 and then upgraded to the GTX-980Ti for awhile in my two 5,1's and do have some info and advice to share. First there's no increase in performance from the 980 to the 980Ti and so I doubt that the 1080 will do any better. I speculate that the bottleneck is the Gen 2.0 PCIe slots, bus architecture and bus speed of these older machines. I've also tested both EVGA and ASUS Cards with the same results. Probably cheaper to buy a used 980Ti from eBay than a new 1080.

Next, things get a bit tricky getting the OS to recognize the PC Versions of these cards. When installing a new OS. You must have a card with MAC Firmware on hand. In my case I must pull the 10gb CX-4 Card in Slot 2 and install a Mac Card like a GT-120 there which does and must not require external power. Next install the NVidia Web Drivers found at, to get the correct Drivers open "About this Mac" and click where it states your OS X version and the Build number should show up, then grab the proper version from there site. At least they won't install if you download the wrong ones. Now install the CUDA Drivers from the NVidia Site. In my case I return the CX-4 card in slot two since all my slots are populated and connect my monitors to the 980Ti.

Now here's the tricky part, for some reason Apple requires an update of the Nvidia Drivers after every Seurity Update is done and after installed and the system reboots my monitors do not come up. The NVidia Control Panel resets to the built in OS X Drivers and they don't recognize the 980Ti. Instead of reinstalling the MAC Card every time I always leave remote login and management turned on under Sharing in System Preferences. I remote in from another machine, log in and go to System Prefernces. Then in the NVidia Control Panel click on the Check for Updates if it doesn't automatically pop up and after installed a reboot is required. Your monitors will now come up but you will not see the typical MAC Grey boot screen, you will go directly to the desktop or login window depending how you have set up you system. Be patient it can take a minute or two for your monitors to come back to life.

Last bit of advice, turn off automatic updates and before you do any security update note the version of Drivers currently installed. Now go to MacVidaCards and make sure there has been a newer release of the NVidia Drivers otherwise you will be doing a complete OS Reinstall like I had to do once, learnt my lesson from that one. The update took a month to show up.

Last bit of info in this long winded reply. There has been a bug with either the NVidia or CUDA Drivers since Yosemite that is a PITA. It hasn't occurred in every version but it's a real pain if your using a single card like me. This bug effects both Media Encoder and DaVinci Resolve. If you setup a large batch of encodes in either the system will crash hard randomly and sometimes fairly often so here's the workaround. I've even had cases where Safari causes the crash while the encodes are happening. Don't reboot but shut down your machine and after restart setup your encode(s) and go to town. Try to minimize useage of GPU intensive software during your encodes and if you start another one after a period of doing whatever else do the Shut Down again.

I think that's it, hope this helps and please as questions if I've confused you in any way.


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Osku Petteri
Re: Mac Pro 5,1 PR CC2017 user thinking about new Nvidia Pascal cards after the update. Can I just buy ASUS?
on May 17, 2017 at 6:09:20 pm

Thanks! I will take your advice and think about the 1080 versions again. PCI-ports will probably be the bottleneck, but my current GPU is an old AMD, so even one of the cheap 1060-version will speed it up if they work. I will try one of those first.

Cheers mate!

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