What's the most powerful card I can put in the current 12 core mac tower, that will accelerate Adobe Premiere and After Effects CS6?
I think it's the Nvidia GTX 580? Or is the GTX680 also compatible?
gtx 580 will work right away with latest nvidia drivers for lion, not sure about 10.7.4 though, that broke nvidia drivers as every update does, not sure if they fixed it yet.
however the 580 may overdraw the power existing in the tower, as the PSU wasn't meant to handle that much power consumption. not sure about the 680 but i'm sure it draws even more power. you may have to look into a external powering solution for the 580.
best bang for the buck in my opinion are flashed 470's. they wont' over draw your system, and still have a lot of cuda power for the system.
Jeff Kilgroe has written extensively and accurately on this topic
Positive. Apple updates have been killing nvidia drivers since 10.6.6. U gotta be careful nd wait before ne os update. Id keep an eye out for new nvidia/cuda drivers. Should fix ur woes
I've got a PNY GTX580 3GB card in an '09 Mac Pro right now. Running OSX 10.7.4 and latest nVidia drivers... Here's the pros/cons of that configuration:
It's cheaper than a Quadro 4000 and is a badass card if you also boot into Windows or Linux on the same system. CUDA performance is great -- a little better than the Quadro 4000, even when running on the Mac and given the other shortcomings I'm about to list. Under Windows, it screams, it smokes the Quadro 6000 in everything but OpenGL performance when in Windows. And that comes down to different driver optimizations.
Drivers do not currently support proper power management or monitoring, fan control, etc.. for the card. It really does need a hack to work 100% properly. Drivers only see and allow for using 2GB of that 3GB onboard RAM. OpenGL performance is abysmal -- Cinebench scores are 30% less than the Quadro 4000 and so is overall OpenGL performance in apps like Maya, Lightwave, etc..
So... GTX580 makes a great secondary GPU in a PCIe expander for CUDA processing. Cheaper than a Tesla card and almost as good. Great primary card if you will be spending most of your time in Windows or Linux, but it's a dog in OSX unless we start hacking some config files and whatnot to make it work properly.
All things considered, I think the best card to buy for a current Mac Pro (or 2009 model, possibly '08 model if you still think it's worth spending money on) is the Quadro 4000 Mac Edition. It's officially supported, although the superior drivers come from nVidia, not Apple, so OSX updates tend to break compatibility with the latest "good" drivers until nVidia releases their updates a week or so later. IMO, not a big deal, on a production system no one should ever jump on a new OS update when first released.
The Quadro 4000 is a solid card, only takes one slot width and one 6-pin power connector. Two of them fit great inside a Mac Pro for additional CUDA acceleration in Resolve. If you need more 3D / OpenGL horsepower than what the Qudro 4000 gives you, then you probably should be looking at a Windows or Linux box for your software anyway. For 2D performance it does great. Personally, I think some of the ATI cards handle better under OSX for 2D performance and overall smoothness in running the GUI. The ATI 5870 isn't a bad card either and has decent OpenCL performance for FCPX. It's not on the supported list for CS6, but I believe you can change the text in the config file to make it work, just as you can with nVidia cards for CUDA. MPE does support OpenCL now, but it's not as complete or robust as the abilities with CUDA.
You can power the 580 fine as long as it's running at stock speed. You need a 6-pin to 8-pin adapter for one of the PCIe power cables.
That said, I don't recommend the card in the Mac. I've played with it more today and it's just not a good way to go in OSX, none of these GTX5xx cards are. Get the Quadro 4000 Mac edition. Used ones are about $150 more than GTX580, but overall performance is better and to have proper support is huge. While I stated above that CUDA performance is good on OSX, I have to retract that somewhat. It can be good, but can be bad. Only time it's good is if the drivers aren't' flaking out and you're running it as a secondary GPU for processing in Resolve. Otherwise the card is like dragging a power-sucking boat anchor. Get the Quadro.
GTX570 has all the same restrictions. The driver support is there to make those cards work, but they don't work well. Not by a long shot with the current OSX and driver implementations. If you run these as a secondary CUDA GPU, you will need a primary GPU that doesn't use additional power connectors, or will need to pull power from somewhere else. In a 2008 Mac Pro, you can pull from the optical bays. In a 2009 and 2010 Mac Pro, you would need external power.
If you need a dual-GPU setup for Resolve, but want your primary GPU to also offer decent acceleration, your best bet is to go with the Quadro 4000 as your primary GPU and then use another for the second, or use a PCIe expansion box that can take other cards and put a GTX580 out there solely for CUDA.... And pray it works when you need it to.
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