New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

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Ian Henderson

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New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 1:45 pm

I have a 2010 Mac Pro 5,1 - lower spec one, unfortunately - 2.8GHz quad, 16GB RAM, SSD system and internal RAID. It's still got the standard AT 5770.

For the purposes of editing and grading BMMCC 3:1 RAW - so only HD - is it worth replacing the GPU - with say a Nvidia 1070? Or is there a better choice of card if I'm staying with this computer for another year or so?

Or is it a case of dump it and start putting a Hackintosh together? I don't want to move to Windows at this stage, and a high-spec iMac is out of the question right now.

The machine has been dead reliable, and performs pretty well on FCPX with HD content, and I don't really need to move to the 4K world right now...
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Uli Plank

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Re: New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 2:57 pm

The bottleneck might be your CPU, since it's single.
We have sped up a dual CPU 5,1 MacPro with a Titan X and it works really well. But maybe a 1070 is worth the investment for yours.
Resolve Studio and Fusion Studio
iMac 2017 Radeon Pro 580 8 GB VRAM and 32 GB RAM
Mac mini 16 GB RAM plus eGFX Breakway Radeon RX 580
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Dermot Shane

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Re: New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 3:59 pm

Server monkey has 5670's on offer for $45 each, maybe look at getting two of those, gives you 12 cores @ 2.93 for $90;
http://www.servermonkey.com/2-93-ghz-si ... cache.html

- i have three machines that are the same generation as the 5.1, a z800 and two T5500's, all have dual 5680's, but not much to give between the 5670 and 5680
- the T5500's have a single 1050Ti in them, they run HD just fine all day long, they are mainly used for conform / titleing / versioning / export
- the z800 has a single 1080 in it, and is mainly used for gradeing HD in client attended sessions, runs like a champ.... sturggles in UHD, but it can get there by leaning on source & node cacheing, in HD it's a transparent, solid working tool
- you would need to re-allocate RAM or maybe buy more sticks,not a Mac guy so not sure how/what/why, i have 96gig in the z800, 64gig in the T5500's
- i run external arrays with SAS raid controlers. this keeps heat / power draw off the machine's resources, your internal array may be worth revisiting

end game, should work well for HD if setup well, the windows version of the 5.1 certianly does
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Ian Henderson

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Re: New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 5:03 pm

Thanks Dermot - helpful info. Do you know if those processors are a swap? Can my motherboard just take the dual processor?

I guess if I stick in a 1080 and an external RAID I can always use those when I move to a new system.
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leesumners

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Re: New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 6:46 pm

On the CPU side, if you have a single CPU 5,1 MacPro, you will need to swap the bottom tray to a dual CPU.

If you search Ebay, there are several vendors who specialize in MacPro 4,1/5,1 tray swaps. That's what I did and it's run like a champ.


On the GPU side, I think the 1080 is definitely worth the extra ~$100 over the 1070. That will be the sweet spot for price and performance. If you want to go with the 1080ti or the Titan X (Pascal) or the Titan Xp, you will need to do the SATA-power trick, as it's been reported those cards can overload the system under a full load and shut the tower down.

http://www.macvidcards.com/blog/the-pes ... -and-titan

What is the read/write speed of your internal RAID?
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Ian Henderson

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Re: New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 6:49 pm

Thanks - that's helpful. No idea what speed the RAID is - it's just four 7200rpm drives on software RAID. I guess I could get an external thunderbolt RAID but then I'd need to get a thunderbolt card too - don't have that on the older machine.
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leesumners

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Re: New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 6:59 pm

Anything Thunderbolt will not work on a MacPro 5,1.

Download the free Blackmagic disk speed test program.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blackma ... d425264550

The maximum speed you can get from an internal software RAID on a 5,1 is about 550 MB/sec read and write. It's because the 5,1 is SATA2, not SATA3, which means even if you had 4 super-fast SATA3 SSDs, you'll still only get a max of 550 MB/sec.

https://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/deta ... d-sata-iii

If you want to get faster than 550MB/sec, you'll need one of those internal SSD cards like this

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempossdproplus.html



Regarding a Hackintosh, unless you have a lot of experience building them (and more importantly troubleshooting boot flags and plists), I would not advise going that route. You can definitely get a vastly superior system for a decent price, but it will a painful path.
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Jack Swart

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Re: New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 7:35 pm

I have a TITAN X as well as the components below.
Never had a shutdown due to power, or anything else.
The only issue is to install a manual fan control such as SMC.
The old girl can get hot when asked to perform.
Spinning the fans up takes care of that as does a regular clean out of dust.
DR 16.1 Studio, 2012 Mac Pro 5.1, 10.13.6, 2x3.46GHz 6 core Intel, 96 GB ram, GTX 1080Ti 11GB graphics card.
USB3 card, BM SDI 4K card, PCIe SSD boot disk, 3x4TB SSDs in raid 0, 12TB HDD backup.
Tangent Elements TK panel, FSI DM240, 55"LG C8 OLED
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leesumners

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Re: New GPU on Mac Pro 5,1?

PostTue Oct 17, 2017 10:09 pm

You could have the Titan X (Maxwell). Maxwells are the 900 series Nvidia cards. Pascal are the 1000 series cards. I have the older Maxwell Titan X...I've actually had that card in my 5,1 MacPro for over 18 months with no issues.

And, you might not ever experience any shut downs. If you read that link I posted, the shut down only happens under extreme load (i.e. benchmarking or gaming), which Resolve might not hit since CPU vs GPU is based on whatever codec you're working with.

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