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Graphics card for Mac Pro 5.1

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Kenneth CleetonGraphics card for Mac Pro 5.1
by on Oct 17, 2012 at 7:31:56 pm

It's important that I premise everything below with the fact that I know very little about graphics cards and GPU's. With that said, I have recently made the switch to Adobe CS 6 for my editing and special effects work and have found myself doing a considerable amount of research about the best option to upgrade my graphics card to get the most use out of Adobe's Mercury Playback Engine. Currently, I have an ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB card installed in my mid-2010 Mac Pro 5.1 that has 2 x 2.66 GHz 6 core Intel Xeon processors and 16 GB of 1333 MHz DDR 3 RAM. My machine is running OS X 10.8.2.

When I began my research I knew that there were very limited options for aftermarket graphics cards available for the Mac Pro, but I had no idea how limited they were. I had only confirmed that the Quadro 4000 was available. I had also found this (http://nrsotw.blogspot.com/2012/09/gtx-660ti-in-mac-pro-and-davinci.html?sh...) blog post, but I wasn't sure about how stable using the GTX 660ti would be when software updates were released either from Apple or Adobe. Am I correct in having these reservations about using the GTX 660ti in my machine?

However, eventually I did find the Mac Vid Cards site and realized the options they have available are abundant. Because I know very little about graphic cards, I am not sure which of their products would best suit my needs. Considering my system specifications, the fact that I need something that will give me the most use out of Adobe Premiere and After Effects, and the fact that I use 3 displays, can you offer a suggestion that will fall into the $300-$400 price range? Would the Nvidia GTX 470 & GT120 for Apple Mac Pro 1.3 GB CUDA Mac Vid Cards (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nvidia-GTX-470-GT120-for-Apple-Mac-Pro-1-3-GB-CUDA-...) has available be a viable option? Or is there something even better in my price range with more CUDA cores that will support 3 displays? I'm really open to whatever solution will work best in my price range.

Thanks in advance for your time and all of your help. I look forward to your response.

K.L. Cleeton
Co-Owner/Lead Editor/Event Specialist
2FAST4U Productions
http://www.2fast4uproductions.com


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Graphics card for Mac Pro 5.1
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:57:31 am

If you can hang in there for a few more months there may be more options available.
If not, the nVidia cards are your best option. For your system you can choose to go the recommended/supported models or venture in the unknown and go for the newer cheaper models based on other peoples reviews. If you have a backup system and you can afford the risk, it will save you some cash in the beginning, but if yur workflow demands a reliable system then you may save more with a more expensive but tested card.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Kenneth CleetonRe: Graphics card for Mac Pro 5.1
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 3:35:35 pm

[Tudor "Ted" Jelescu] "If not, the nVidia cards are your best option. For your system you can choose to go the recommended/supported models or venture in the unknown and go for the newer cheaper models based on other peoples reviews. If you have a backup system and you can afford the risk, it will save you some cash in the beginning, but if yur workflow demands a reliable system then you may save more with a more expensive but tested card."

By recommended/supported do you mean the 4000? That is the only one I have confirmed other than the “flashed” cards from Mac Vid Cards. Am I missing some? If not, do you have any experience with the cards from Mac Vid Cards?

Thanks!

K.L. Cleeton
Co-Owner/Lead Editor/Event Specialist
2FAST4U Productions
http://www.2fast4uproductions.com


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Graphics card for Mac Pro 5.1
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 4:22:56 pm

the 4000 is the only one I know of that is recommended, there's another to come:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/07/nvidia-quadro-k5000-for-mac-hands-on/

I do not know directly of anyone who runs anything else on a mac.

Also, you may want to consider this option to boost performance- just posted on this forum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KMQaDRcr4AU#!

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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walter biscardiRe: Graphics card for Mac Pro 5.1
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 1:53:59 pm

We have a similar 12 core machine here that's running with dual nVidia cards since it's a Davinci Resolve based system. Basically if you want to have the fastest performance with Premiere Pro, you get the most card you can afford.

Honestly I'm not sure what is the best card as we have not researched that for a while since we are beginning to replace our Mac Pros with new iMacs. I'd rather spend the money on the newer machines than try to keep those older boxes running much longer. We're picking up the 27" iMacs with the 32GB RAM kit from OWC and running either AJA IoXTs or T-Taps for output. Working extremely well. I've got multiple blogs on the subject, here's the latest two....

http://www.biscardicreative.com/blog/2012/08/anatomy-of-an-imac-suite/

http://www.biscardicreative.com/blog/2012/10/mac-pc-adobe-and-resolve/

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Kenneth CleetonRe: Graphics card for Mac Pro 5.1
by on Oct 18, 2012 at 3:31:46 pm

[walter biscardi] "We have a similar 12 core machine here that's running with dual nVidia cards since it's a Davinci Resolve based system. Basically if you want to have the fastest performance with Premiere Pro, you get the most card you can afford."

Do you happen to have any idea what model of cards you have in the 12 core machine that is similar to mine?

K.L. Cleeton
Co-Owner/Lead Editor/Event Specialist
2FAST4U Productions
http://www.2fast4uproductions.com


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