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What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?

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Robert Bracken
What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:47:03 pm

If price didn't matter, what's the best graphics card?


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Bernard Newnham
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 3:11:22 pm

Probably -

http://www.geforce.co.uk/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gtx-690

- "...the fastest graphics card ever built..."

Bernie


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Michael Gissing
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 10:01:19 pm

It may not fit in a MacPro and it certainly won't work without a hack. As the 690 is two cards in the one slot, I don't think CS6 works with this card yet so FCPX may not see the second card at all.


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Thomas Alexander
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:46:24 pm

I wouldn't be so sure about that. And i wouldn't recommend a graphic card utilized for gaming for a video editor or linear editing softwares. Geforce is the processor of the Nvidia graphic cards and it is utilized for gaming. Nvidia Quadro K5000. Maybe you should have a look at it. Bang for the buck ;)

Thomas Alexander
Independent Cinematographer
Lightman Films
Nicosia Cyprus


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:03:27 pm

The k5000 is projected to cost $2300 US.

The GeForce is $350.

Is double the memory in the K5000 worth 7 times the price?

For some workflows, certainly, but editing video?


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Thomas Alexander
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:25:21 pm

The Nvidia puts there hand on fire that is good for video two. Now, who knows...

Thomas Alexander
Independent Cinematographer
Lightman Films
Nicosia Cyprus


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Bernhard Grininger
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 3:12:57 pm

If price doesn't matter, it will be the upcoming
Nvidia Quadro K5000.

If price really doesn't matter:
Two Nvidia Quadro K5000 in one machine.


If price does matter, then the EVGA GTX570 with 2.5GB is a good choice.
But be aware: my tests have shown that openGL (GL, not CL)
has a lower performance than with the old ATI Radeon 4870.

So if 3D is Yours, than GTX570 is not the best choice.
And Apple at the moment deactivates openCL for GFX boards with
more than 2Gigs. Might change if K5000 is available with it's 4GB.

Best regards,
Bernhard


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Robert Bracken
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:27:10 pm

Is install easy or should I take it to a shop? I'm worried that if I put it in myself would I be able to troubleshoot to get it working. Is it plug and play?


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Bernhard Grininger
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:55:09 pm

If You want to be at the save side, get the card from MacVidCards on eBay.
These are EVGA cards but with a modified firmware (for the OSX 'BIOS').

Off-the-shelf cards plug and play; but You will not see the boot screen.
You'll only need to install CUDA and I recommend OSX 10.8.

I don't know what You intend to to with the card;
For CUDA you could keep Your current card, get an external
PCI-E expander box and get a GTX580 with 3GB.
Or You wait for a K5000.

An official Quadro4000 would have a similar performance to a GTX570
but is also more expansive.

Best regards,
Bernhard


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Ray Dove Choi
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Jun 6, 2013 at 3:23:16 pm

where can i get a pci-e expander? does it connect to my macpro via a pci-e slot? because I have a USB3 card, and also a UAD2 DSP card already installed, so I can't even put another graphics card in my Mac, I have a stock GeForce GT120 which I REALLY need to upgrade. I know nothing about flashing cards, but would like to do so because I want to see my boot screen as I often need to choose at start-up (command+option) which drive I boot from. I don't want to spend over 250-300$, i have no need for a monster card... what can I get? there are so many pc cards unlike "Mac Editions" which ones can I pick and flash? are there any Mac EFI ROMs for GTX570/580? Radeon equivalent? cos' GTX680 and 7950 cost around 500$! I have only just upgraded my aging 2009 (Quad-core 2.66Ghz 4 x 2GB 1066Mhz RAM) 4.1 Mac Pro into a 5.1 Hex-Core 3.33 with 4 x 8GB 1333Mhz RAM, so the GT120 really is to been ejected. Please help me choose a card and any links to step-by-step guides are welcome! (already searched around quite a bit, but i am totally lost with all the threads on the subject, but no Guides or Selection of a list of compatible cards?)


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Thomas Alexander
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 10:38:03 am

First of all, what will you do with it? Editing, 3D animation, VFX? It depends on your workflow and what gear you already have so you can build on it. Unfortunately you won't need the other cards if you get a good one like the Nvidia i suggested in y previous post. There are also cheaper options. Every graphic card is utilized for different things. Checkout this link and read a bit about it. And when you get a clearer picture than i will explain. Do you have a camera? Do you use RAW? I need to know all these things to guide you.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/workstation-solutions.html

Thomas Alexander | Independent Cinematographer
Soulman Films | Nicosia Cyprus | +357-97697640


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Ray Dove Choi
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Jun 12, 2013 at 9:12:00 am

Hi thanks for your reply here,

I really need a card that supports 3 monitor display, 2 x 27" and a 24" vertically, that's is what I want to set up, I do mainly audio studff in Cubase 7, Logic Pro 9, I also occasionally do photoshop work for Logo's Flyers design. For photos I use RAW sometimes, that's 20% of my pictures i work with, most family pictures are iphone 5 and small canon digital cam. I don't play games on my computer, it is only for work.

I have an upgraded MacPro 2009, to a 5.1 Mac Pro Hex-Core 3.33Ghz - 32GB RAM, but I still have a GeForce GT120. I am thinking of simply saving up a few more months and just get a Radeon 7950 similar (well as close as possible) to the Mac Edition, so I can flash it easily. because it is just to complicated for someone like me to try and save money and get say a 7850, and will probably run into loads of problem flasing it, getting the right ROM EFI, etc...

If you have a good thread where I can read and learn how to choose a card, and then build a custom ROM EFI and flash it, I would love to read and learn, please let me know what you think of my choice. (i would have prefered putting much less money for a 7770 maybe, cos they already support 3 monitors, but I am not good enough to get this to work on a mac probabaly)


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Oliver Peters
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:57:21 pm

Are any of these cards qualified for a Mac Pro as the subject line specifies? Without a firmware hack? AFAIK, current, qualified cards would be the ATI 5770, 5870 or NVIDIA Quadro 4000 or FX4800 (if you can still get one).

- Oliver

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


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Oliver Peters
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 5:00:47 pm

Here's the NVIDIA grid:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/workstation-solutions.html

So, Quadro 4000, FX4800 or K5000.

- Oliver

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 5:13:32 pm

This is worth a look:

http://fcp.co/final-cut-pro/tutorials/948-get-fcpx-running-faster-by-instal...

Not my favorite way to work with all the "hacking" but if you're up for it...

Jeremy


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Greg Jones
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:10:04 pm

I have a GTX570 in my Mac Pro and it runs incredibly fast. Its the 1.2GB model so the only 'hack' I had to do was add it to a small line of text in a Premiere Pro document. No other hacks needed. I'm running 10.7.5 and Premiere Pro flys and does many layers of real time effects. That being said, Final Cut Pro X doesn't seem to run any faster than it did with my ATI 5770, but I'm not using X so it doesn't really matter to me. I've pretty much switched over to Premiere Pro CS6. I would recommend the card sold on ebay by MacVidCards as he has altered the card to boot properly in a Mac Pro.

Greg Jones
D7,Inc.
Orlando,FL.
http://www.d7-inc.com

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


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:25:06 pm

[Greg Jones] "hat being said, Final Cut Pro X doesn't seem to run any faster than it did with my ATI 5770, but I'm not using X so it doesn't really matter to me."

That's what the "hack" does in the video, open up OpenCL on that card which allows FPCX to run faster.

Since FCPX doesn't use CUDA, there's no CUDA to use, but you can reap the benefits of the OpenCL on that card, and also gain the benefits from any CUDA based apps.

Win win, unless you're stuck on FCP Legend.

Jeremy


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Bret Williams
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 3:29:31 am

Let's not forget, a large portion of FCP X's portion is due to Ivy and Sandy Bridge. Neither found in a MacPro are they? Part of why I think many with MacPros don't feel they're getting the performance they think they should. I'm guessing that since the graphics cards in iMacs and MacBook Pros aren't earth shattering, that they're relying quite a bit on this for performance. My i7 imac is pretty solid.

From apple's site http://www.apple.com/finalcutpro/all-features/
"Grand Central Dispatch - For even more speed, Final Cut Pro also uses the AVX capabilities of Intel’s Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors."


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Rich Rubasch
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:25:30 pm

We have the Nvidia Quadra 4000 and it made a big difference with Cinema 4d and AE. About $900.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Bernard Newnham
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 8:45:11 am

If you type "Quadro Geforce" into Google, there's an NVidia technical document that tells you the advantages of the (expensive) Quadro series. There's pages about 3DsMax and AutoCAD etc, but not a word about video. So perhaps my first reply is right after all.

This computer is running a GTX460 and happily runs multi-layered FX in real time. Mind you, I'm using Edius these days.

Bernie


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Gastón Soso
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 23, 2013 at 7:10:42 pm

Sorry Rich, but since we bought our Quadro 4000 we found a complete set of benefits withiinf Adobe AE and Premiere but none using Cinema 4D.
Actually it slowed down the whole thing compared to the native 5770 of our mac pro. Would you please tell me what difference it made for you
using C4D please? It would help us. Thanks!

Gaston Soso
http://www.nocaut.tv


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Thomas Alexander
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Jan 26, 2013 at 9:08:19 am

Nvidia Quadro is for a Mac Pro tower. Plug it in and feel the power. Almost sounds like a poem. lol

http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro-k5000-mac.html

Thomas Alexander | Independent Cinematographer
Soulman Films | Nicosia Cyprus | +357-97697640


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Dennis Radeke
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 22, 2012 at 8:32:13 pm

[Bernhard Grininger] "If price doesn't matter, it will be the upcoming
Nvidia Quadro K5000.

If price really doesn't matter:
Two Nvidia Quadro K5000 in one machine."


I would argue that this may be overkill. While I haven't received one yet to play with, one of the limitations with previous NVIDIA cards is a thing of the past. A single K5000 can support 4 monitors. If you're using an Adobe workflow, we do not support multiple cards yet, so I would argue that there is little value at this point to having more than one K5000.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro-k5000-mac.html#pdpContent=2

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Thomas Alexander
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:44:15 pm

You have two options so far. Nvidia Quadro K5000 for Mac or Black magic Design Deckling HD Extreme 3D. Didn't find anything better for the time being.... Hope that helps. But i've heard that deckling may give you some issues regarding compatibility on OSX operating systems. Now that is not confirmed, just rumors iv'e heard... You never know until you try sometimes.

Thomas Alexander
Independent Cinematographer
Lightman Films
Nicosia Cyprus


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Oliver Peters
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:57:04 pm

[Thomas Alexander] " Nvidia Quadro K5000 for Mac or Black magic Design Deckling HD Extreme 3D"

The BMD Decklink is NOT a graphics card. It is a video capture/output card. It is optional, if you don't need external monitoring of a video signal or capture from videotape. If you do need that, then Decklink is good, but there are tons of options from AJA, Blackmagic Design, Matrox, and MOTU. None of these offer any sort of GPU acceleration.

- Oliver

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


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Thomas Alexander
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 7:21:28 pm

You are absolutely correct! I do know what is a Graphics processing unit and maybe i didn't state the right way my opinion. I didn't coplete my thread the right way. I already own a Deckling Extreme HD and I use it to transfer my video from my camera to the computer through SDI. I haven't had any problems with GPU acceleration meaning that i work with high resolution footage. But this gentleman wants to buy a gaming card for a non linear editing software. But if GPU acceleration becomes an issue than i would recommend Nvidia Quadro K5000. Sorry for my bad english.

Thomas Alexander
Independent Cinematographer
Lightman Films
Nicosia Cyprus


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Bernard Newnham
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:35:44 pm

The K5000 Quadro apparently costs $2,249. Just the faintest bit scary, and you would only want to buy one if you really knew it was going to do you a lot of good. NVidia say -

"The Adobe Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro leverages Quadro GPUs and the NVIDIA® CUDA® parallel-computing architecture to deliver up to 8x¹ faster performance for key features like Three-Way Color Corrector, Warp Stabilizer, and Uninterrupted Playback."

What it doesn't say is whether a GeForce card will do the same. Call me cynical, but I don't believe that they're creating two different architectures in parallel. A GTX 680 costs around £400 ($640) in the UK, and its the top of the range.

Bernie


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Thomas Alexander
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 20, 2012 at 9:06:19 am

I have done quite extensive research about it but you might be right about the fact that it can be a cheap alternative. But the truth regarding graphics cards about how well they do their job, meaning in-depth about Geforce compared to Quadro is that only the ones who manufacture them know truly what's going on or if someone has electronics engineering knowledge under their belt. I've read plenty of reviews about the specific graphic card because as we speak im also in the need of buying a Quadro K5000. Before i had no problem with my Mac processing speed but i want to be prepared and so far it just seems that is the right one for the job. Yes budget can be an issue for some people but i always believed that it is not always the toolset but the mindset.

Thomas Alexander
Independent Cinematographer
Lightman Films
Nicosia Cyprus


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Bernard Newnham
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 20, 2012 at 2:17:29 pm

Another reason not to buy a Quadro for a MacPro is that it's a disproportionate buy. A bit like buying top class new tyres for a rusty broken down old Vauxhall. There is no graphics card of any kind which will make a computer running a Bloomfield processor from 2009 run as fast as a 2012 chip.

No matter how much Mac fans may yearn for an update, there isn't one so far, and may never be. $2000 would be far better spent on a very (very) upmarket PC which could be configured as a Hackintosh if that's what you want.

Bernie


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Bernard Newnham
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 20, 2012 at 7:15:35 pm

Find serious spec machinery here -
http://tonymacx86.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/CustoMac

Bernie


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Bernhard Grininger
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 21, 2012 at 12:58:56 pm

If You are in the CAD business or do 3D VFX,
the the Quadro card is justified also in a 2009 MacPro.
Quadros are optimized for processing huge amounts
of 3D geometry data. This is what they are built for.

A common misconception is that Quadros have necessarily
'faster' GPUs than GeForces.
What is 'fast' depends on the architecture and how well a task uses it.

A complex task could be faster on a GPU with slower cores but a wider
pipeline, than on a GPU with faster cores but a tighter pipeline - and vice versa.
So a GeForce could in fact be faster than a Quadro.
For Mercury acceleration I wouldn't be surprised to get this result.

The best would be to wait for benchmarks. There are some testers at the
Resolve forum. Don't find the link now.


Hope this helps.

Best regards,
Bernhard


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 21, 2012 at 1:47:34 pm

Here's an Ae centric benchmark: http://www.barefeats.com/aecs6.html

Also has CPU results.


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Thomas Alexander
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 21, 2012 at 4:28:43 pm

Good to know, thanks for the information. And what would you recommend also for me that i do video editing but i own a mac pro 2009? Because my major worry is the graphics cards in market are more compatible with workstations like HP Z800 than compatible with mac cause i've heard that the only graphic cards that utilizes the 4 cores and a mac's processing power is Quadro. But if you say that is good for 3D which i do partly but rather editing mostly than 3D so what are my options?

Thomas Alexander
Independent Cinematographer
Lightman Films
Nicosia Cyprus


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Bernard Newnham
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 21, 2012 at 10:06:37 pm

"If You are in the CAD business or do 3D VFX,
the the Quadro card is justified also in a 2009 MacPro."

I would imagine that if you are in the CAD business and can think of buying a Quadro, you long ago ditched any machine of any sort from 2009. A Core i7 3930K, with an SSD as boot drive plus a GTX 680 (or a Quadro if you must) will easily beat anything that old, and actually not be hughly expensive - see the link earlier.

Bernie


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Bernhard Grininger
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 22, 2012 at 7:47:36 am

When You say You are editing 3D,
I assume you mean stereoscopic 3D.

When I told about 3D I meant 3D apps
like CADs or Cinema4D, Modo, Maya, 3DSMAX, XSI, Houdini, etc.


If You are editing HD, not 4K, and need CUDA,
an EVGA GTX570 with 2.5GB is very fast.

It is supported natively by OSX 10.8 !!!
At the moment, OpenCL doesn't work without hack.
(tipp: get a modified board from MacVidCards on eBay)

Best regards,
Bernhard


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brian keith
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Oct 30, 2012 at 5:58:54 pm

I have been intently reading this thread. I am at the final stages of putting together a hackintosh. The big problem for me is getting the correct graphics card. I see after reading this thread, that I had good reason to be confused. :) As it stands right now, I am going to push the buy button on a GTX 680. But there are several versions of the 680. Do I get the one with more ram (4 gig) or the one that can be over clocked? (MSI lightning) Anyway, thanks for all your comments.



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Scott Green
Re: What's the best graphics card for Mac Pro?
on Feb 3, 2015 at 10:57:23 am

Hi Thomas, very informative post.

I have a 2012 12 Core Mac Pro, 64GB RAM and doing a lot of work in AE using Trapcode and a little bit of C4D but After Affects CC is starting to struggle in some of my Trapcode-heavy comps.
I just wondered if the Nvidia Quadro K5000 is still your recommended choice in 2015?

Splurj Creative, Video Production, Motion Graphics & Animation in Manchester UK.


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