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If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......

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Steve Connor
If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:44:27 pm

I'm considering options at the moment and buying a 12 core might be viable for me IF I can user a better GFX card. I note the Quadro 4000 isn't a BTO option although it's still available on the Apple Store, does anyone know if the Quadro is still well supported in Lion and are drivers likely to be available for Mountain Lion?

Steve Connor
"The ripple command is just a workaround for not having a magnetic timelinel"
Adrenalin Television


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Chris Harlan
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:48:45 pm

[Steve Connor] "I'm considering options at the moment and buying a 12 core might be viable for me IF I can user a better GFX card."

Not crazy. I get where you are coming from. Because of my circumstances, the thought has run through my head, as well. I'm not there yet, but the right combo of late summer action might put me there, so I do get it.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:49:16 pm

The Quadro 4000 is underpowered, overpriced and almost as old as the MacPro... if you buy one do not buy it from Apple store - you can save hundreds at other sites.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Irvine, California



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Dennis Radeke
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 16, 2012 at 12:27:23 pm

[Lance Bachelder] "The Quadro 4000 is underpowered, overpriced and almost as old as the MacPro... if you buy one do not buy it from Apple store - you can save hundreds at other sites."

Totally agree that customers can probably save some $$$ on graphics card by purchasing separately.

While the technology may be a couple of years old, it is still an excellent card. More importantly, one of the distinctions about Quadro vs. GeForce is that the card's shelf life lasts over several years which is important to larger enterprises that may want to buy a PC 12-24 months later and still be able to buy the same thing essentially. This is important for some but not all customers. Think VizRT and other more broadcast centric installations for example.GeForce comes and goes in 12 months or less typically.

And don't forget that NVIDIA and other suppliers are often limited by what Apple chooses to support. On the PC you could get the 2000,4000,5000, 6000, 6000D, C2075, etc. On the Mac, just the 4000, and no GeForce (officially). So part of the problem may also rest with Apple.


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Michael Hancock
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 7:58:12 pm

The Quadro 4000 works fine in the 12-cores. We bought a 12-core a couple of weeks ago and picked up the Quadro 4000 from B&H. Popped the ATI card out (burned me up that we had to pay for the stupid thing since Apple won't sell you the nVidia card BTO), put in the nVidia card, booted, installed the nVidia CUDA drivers and it's been running ever since. No issues so far and Premiere screams on it.

Will it work in Mountain Lion? Who knows. But if your apps work fine in Lion you can just not upgrade, at least for a while.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


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Greg Jones
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:18:19 pm

I'd look into the Nvidia GTX570. There is a company called MacVid Cards that flashes them to work in mac pros. They are supposedly faster than the Quadro 4000 and work great in the Mac Pro. You just have to download the Quadro 4000 drivers for it to work.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nvidia-GTX-570-for-Apple-Mac-Pro-2-5-GB-CUDA-DaVinc...

Greg Jones

Greg Jones
Orlando,Fl.
http://www.d7-inc.com


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Justin Ferar
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:19:36 pm

Well my 2007 8 Core just croaked so I was forced to buy a new one.

Went with 6 core 3.33 and added the Quadro 4000 (from BH).

Quadro 4000 has no problems with FCP 7, or Lion but I will say that it is positively pitiful with Motion. Had to put the stock 5770 ATI back in just to do my titles in FCP!

That said the 4000 rocks with Premier CS6.

More info on the Nvidia problems with Motion here...

http://www.barefeats.com/wst10g12.html



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Tim Wilson
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:22:11 pm

[Justin Ferar] "That said the 4000 rocks with Premier CS6."

That's the thing. The much-heralded Mercury engine? Developed with NVIDIA. I don't know anything about other software besides what I'm reading on this thread and the Resolve forum, but if you're using CS6, your Quadro investment will be rewarded.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine
Twitter: timdoubleyou



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Paul Jay
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:23:59 pm

Get a quadro or 470.

Even pc versions run great with the latest nvidia/cuda drivers.
And get a SSD bootdrive. With a 3th party.


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Gary Huff
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 8:29:54 pm

[Paul Jay] "And get a SSD bootdrive. With a 3th party."

The Crucial M4 drives just dropped quite a bit on Amazon, and I picked up a 512GB version. It literally makes my MacBook Pro 17" (RIP) scream.


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Oliver Peters
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 12, 2012 at 11:18:11 pm

Get the fastest quad or 6-core (single CPU). Speed trumps multi-processors. Period. Little or nothing benefits from the 12-core, especially nothing Apple makes. Load it up with RAM. I've run both the 4000 and the 5870 in my 8-core and the 4000 tends to crash. Plus it's hot as blazes to the touch, although the fans don't kick in much. Little or no advantage for me with the CUDA.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Shawn Miller
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 13, 2012 at 1:13:16 am

[Oliver Peters] "Little or nothing benefits from the 12-core"

Except for most advanced 3D rendering engines... in that case, 12/24 slower cores can be better than 6/12 faster ones.

Shawn



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Justin Ferar
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Jun 13, 2012 at 5:49:23 am

Since we're talkin' Quadro's and 5770/5780's I wonder if it's possible to run both my Quadro 4000 and the ATI 5770 at the same time and use one for Motion work and the other for Premier work?

I have no idea if these apps can select the card to use in preferences and also wonder if this would fry the power supply...



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Dustin Ward
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 14, 2012 at 6:25:58 pm

Oliver,
Maybe you would know a little more about this than I would, and I can't find a forum on it anywhere. I ordered a quadro 4000, but my Mac Pro 12 core came with an ATI Radeon 5870. Can these cards be run together, or is that what you are saying you don't recommend? Can the Mac Pro be altered to accept both the cards? Thanks for your help.


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Oliver Peters
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 14, 2012 at 11:43:20 pm

[Dustin Ward] " Can the Mac Pro be altered to accept both the cards? "

What are you trying to do and why do you want both cards? The 5870 requires power from both aux connections on the motherboard. The 4000 would also require one of these. So you are short of sufficient power for both. I believe you could run the 5770 and the 4000 together. Or an older GT120 and the 4000.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Dustin Ward
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 15, 2012 at 6:25:43 pm

It's just that my mac pro came with a 5870, so I wanted to be able to utilize it with my quadro 4000. Someone recommended this cable:
http://www.amazon.com/CB-6M-68F2-6-pin-PCI--Dual-Cable/dp/B005GWFZ8Y/ref=sr...

I'm more of a creative designer, so I don't know much about the hardware except that I don't want to get rid of a perfectly good card that I already have. Is this cable all that I would need?


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Walter Soyka
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 15, 2012 at 6:31:02 pm

[Dustin Ward] "It's just that my mac pro came with a 5870, so I wanted to be able to utilize it with my quadro 4000. ... I'm more of a creative designer, so I don't know much about the hardware except that I don't want to get rid of a perfectly good card that I already have. Is this cable all that I would need?"

If you don't have a specific reason to want to run both cards together, I'd advise against it. Most (but not all) GPU-aware applications will only use the GPU that the main monitor is attached to for acceleration anyway, so you'd have another card in the system, another set of drivers loaded in memory, and you'd be taxing the Mac Pro power supply for no reason.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dustin Ward
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 15, 2012 at 6:44:34 pm

Thanks, you have been extremely helpful. This is sort of an open ended statement, but since you mentioned applications, I thought I would mention that I primarily use Premiere, After Effects and Davinci on my system.


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Walter Soyka
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 15, 2012 at 6:57:39 pm

[Dustin Ward] "Thanks, you have been extremely helpful. This is sort of an open ended statement, but since you mentioned applications, I thought I would mention that I primarily use Premiere, After Effects and Davinci on my system."

Premiere wants the Q4000 as the primary GPU. If the monitors are not driven by the Q4000, you cannot use CUDA hardware acceleration for the Mercury Playback Engine.

Ae will use the Q4000 for the 3D ray-tracing renderer whether it is attached to the displays or not.

Resolve can use the Q4000 as a single card for both the UI and for computation. You can get better performance with a dedicated UI card driving the monitor in the first slot and the Q4000 in the second slot, left for computation only. The supported UI cards are the ATI Radeon 5770, the NVIDIA GeForce GT120, and another Quadro 4000. Lots of people are using GTX500-series cards instead of the Quadros in these configurations.

I can offer an anecdotal counterpoint to Oliver's experience. I had loads of stability issues and kernel panics running the old NVIDIA GeForce GTX285 for Mac in my Mac Pro. I replaced it with a Quadro 4000, and I have found it to be stable. I guess your mileage may vary.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Oliver Peters
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 15, 2012 at 7:17:53 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I replaced it with a Quadro 4000, and I have found it to be stable. I guess your mileage may vary."

In my case, the 4000 was stable now, too (with recent OS and CUDA driver updates). However, in direct comparison of the ATI versus the Nvidia, Media Composer was the same, FCP X/FCP 7/Color better with 5870, Resolve better with the 4000, Premiere Pro the same (except certain accelerated effects).

The 5870 cannot be safely used with Resolve with anything below 10.8.2 (glitches in highlights). If you run two cards, I found that the fps increase was marginally better over a single 4000. FWIW - real-time playback has been better with Color and SpeedGrade over Resolve, although similar with the 4000 installed. Resolve has awful playback with the 5870 compared with the others. By and large, RT playback performance with SpeedGrade is significantly better than with Resolve, using a single GPU card (either).

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 15, 2012 at 7:39:46 pm

Cool, thanks for the detailed information, Oliver.


[Oliver Peters] "Premiere Pro the same (except certain accelerated effects)."

Some of those accelerated effects may be pretty signficant (like the Fast Color Corrector, Ultra Keyer, and Warp Stabilizer).

There are some things that CUDA accelerates (beyond effects) that are worth noting: scaling, deinterlacing, blend modes, color space conversions, and handling frame rate differences, field order differences, pixel aspect ratio differences, frame size differences, and alpha channel representation differences.

Additionally, scaling with CUDA acceleration uses a different algorithm and yields higher-quality results than scaling without acceleration.

How important all this stuff is depends on the work you do; for some folks, this isn't a blip on the radar, but for others, acceleration may offer significant performance advantages.

Here's loads more information from Todd Kopriva.

http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2011/02/cuda-mercury-playback-engine-and...

http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2011/04/adobe-premiere-pro-cs5-5-improve...

http://blogs.adobe.com/premierepro/2010/10/scaling-in-premiere-pro-cs5.html

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Oliver Peters
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 15, 2012 at 6:46:43 pm

[Walter Soyka] "If you don't have a specific reason to want to run both cards together, I'd advise against it."

Agreed. Multiple-GPU operation is application specific. Plus, in my testing of both of these cards, I've been happier with the 5870 than the 4000. The Nvidia card is somewhat faster/better with Adobe Premiere Pro (some effects only) and with DaVinci Resolve. Otherwise I prefer the ATI card. It's also a little bit quieter and runs cooler. However, if you prefer the 4000, then simply install it in place of the 5870.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Dennis Radeke
Re: If I was stupid enough to buy a new Mac Pro......
on Nov 16, 2012 at 12:29:51 pm

[Paul Jay] "And get a SSD bootdrive. With a 3th party."

Life changing for computer nerds... I can't go back at least for my laptop. I'm trying to get some more for my desktops...


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