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I´m looking for a new graphics card for editing

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Guðni Sæmundsson
I´m looking for a new graphics card for editing
on Feb 14, 2014 at 2:51:21 pm

I´m editing on a mac pro, early 2008 with Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5

I´m looking to upgrade some of the hardware and one is the graphics card.

I currently have the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB

and I want a significant upgrade for editing on Final Cut Pro 7 or Adobe Premiere (thinking about switching over). My setup has two Apple Cinema Displays, if that makes a difference.

I looking to spend no more then 400-500 dollars.

There are so many to choose from. Can someone please give me advise on a good graphics card to get.

Gudni.


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Don Eitner
Re: I´m looking for a new graphics card for editing
on Feb 15, 2014 at 7:15:48 pm
Last Edited By Don Eitner on Feb 15, 2014 at 7:46:32 pm

Are you looking to stay within the "fully supported" realm of Mac-specific cards or are you willing to go with a PC card which works well but isn't officially supported by Apple?

There are some good benchmarks for newer cards in Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5 (if you choose to go with those) up on http://www.barefeats.com.

I myself just got a GeForce gtx760 card (PC version, no Mac boot screen) which works well in the Mac Pro tower because it only needs 2x6 pin supplemental power which the 2010 Mac Pro provides (not sure about the 2008 model).


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Guðni Sæmundsson
Re: I´m looking for a new graphics card for editing
on Feb 15, 2014 at 9:39:53 pm

Thanks Don, I had a good look at the GeForce gtx760 and It seem to be a good card that would work for me.

As for using PC cards in my mac, I have no problem with it, as long as it works! If I go for the GeForce GTX 680, do I need to do anything other then plug it in and turn on the computer?

Is it possible my operation system is too old for the card? I'm using mac os x 10.7.5 ?

BTW, I found GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition, but it cost almost three times more!

Do I need to buy the power cables separately if I go for the GeForce GTX 680 PC version?


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Don Eitner
Re: I´m looking for a new graphics card for editing
on Feb 16, 2014 at 2:55:28 am

What cables you need depends on what your Mac Pro offers. The 2010 Mac Pro has 2x6 pin PCIe power leads, but they're a non-standard size (what a surprise in an Apple device, eh?).

The card which shipped with my Mac already had one cable so I had to buy a second one on Ebay (about $6) to power the gtx760 which needs 2x6 pins power (note that some 760s instead have either 1x8 pin power or 1x6 + 1x8 pin power). There are many discussions all over the internet about the pros and cons and the risks of running a card in the Mac which has different power requirements than the Mac officially supports. I chose to go the safe route buying a card with 2x6 pin power.

I think built-in drivers for the modern cards come only with Mountain Lion 10.8 or Mavericks 10.9. Nvidia has Mac drivers on their site which may or may not work in Lion, I'm not positive. You would probably want to upgrade your OS if you go with a card that's not Mac-specific. For me running 10.9.1 it was plug and play with my gtx760 once I purchased the mini-PCIe power cable needed for the Mac Pro.

Like I said, there's tons of discussions on the web (check e.g. MacRumors forums) on the topic.


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Guðni Sæmundsson
Re: I´m looking for a new graphics card for editing
on Feb 16, 2014 at 11:38:42 am

Thanks Don for taking the time to help. Much appreciated.


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