Latest post Fri, Oct 27 2017 1:05 PM by pierreh. 18 replies.
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  • Thu, Oct 19 2017 7:07 PM

    • flashavid
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    GPU upgrade recommendations

    Hi,

    I need to upgrade my GPU as I'm experiencing poor performance with realtime fx with my current card that only has 1GB memory, and Avid info is telling me it's not sufficient.

    I would really appreciate anyone's experience with installing and using an Nvidia gtx card - what are all the different models about ? How to get the extra power to the card, and driver installation ??

    I've not found any useful YouTube videos - I think most are aimed at gamers who don't need instruction just loud dance music to install their hardware!

    Many thanks for reading.

    MC 8.9.2 Symphony - MacPro 2.66Ghz 12core 48GB ram - OS 10.12.6 - BM 4K Extreme - Sapphire pulse RX580 8GB -SSD boot - 3 x 2TB internal WD caviar black... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Oct 19 2017 7:40 PM In reply to

    • pierreh
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    I'm a big fan of the 9XX series from Nvidia. First they can be flashed and be more Mac friendly. Second, being older, the drivers are better than the ones for the current 10XX cards. And my GTX 980Ti simply is insanely fast with Resolve and Premiere, thanks to CUDA.

    But... if you're primary editing with MC, I would not recommend a Nvidia GPU. I'm having a lot of annoying glitches when I'm using Full Screen Playback.

    I'm considering getting an AMD RX580 8G (ideally a Pulse from Sapphire as it's the one that Apple sells with their GPU kit). It works out of the box on a "cheese grater" Mac Pro running 10.12.6 and various reports say that it works wonders in any Apple app. I don't do FCPX but it probably also shines in Compressor. You would need two adapters to power it from the motherboard. Prices are getting more sane as the "mining" craze is shifting to another flavour of cards.

    - Work: MacPro 2010 3.46Ghz 12 Cores 48Gig mem, int and ext Raids, Mojo DX, 10.12.6 - Home: MacBookPro 2.5Ghz quad-i7, 16Gig Mem and SSD OSX 10.9.5 [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Oct 19 2017 7:46 PM In reply to

    • flashavid
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    Hi Pierre,

    thanks for your thoughts, I am still somewhat confused over the power issue - do I need to find an extra power source, as I don't think I have a spare since my ssd boot drive is using the spare optical power.

    i will definitely look at the AMD cards as the Nvidia does sound complicated software-wise.

    MC 8.9.2 Symphony - MacPro 2.66Ghz 12core 48GB ram - OS 10.12.6 - BM 4K Extreme - Sapphire pulse RX580 8GB -SSD boot - 3 x 2TB internal WD caviar black... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Oct 20 2017 4:52 PM In reply to

    • pierreh
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    Most RX580 have one 8-Pin connector (check the specs before you order one though!), so you just need this adapter that will combine both connectors on your motherboard into one 8-pin for the GPU.

    - Work: MacPro 2010 3.46Ghz 12 Cores 48Gig mem, int and ext Raids, Mojo DX, 10.12.6 - Home: MacBookPro 2.5Ghz quad-i7, 16Gig Mem and SSD OSX 10.9.5 [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Oct 20 2017 6:47 PM In reply to

    • Editmvp
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    I replaced the stock 5770 ATI Radeon card in my Mac Pro with the NVIDIA Quadro K5000.  For me, it was well worth the cost just for the greatly increased speed endoding video with Adobe Media Encoder.  It is also rock solid in Media Composer.

    Primary System: Media Composer 2019.8 w/Symphony Option | Phrase Find | Avid Artist DNxIO | Mac Pro Mid 2012 12-Core 3.46 | OS10.13.6/64GB/1TB-SSD/Quadro... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Oct 20 2017 9:09 PM In reply to

    • flashavid
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    Thanks Pierre,

    so there are two 6 pin connectors on the motherboard , thanks for explaining.

    I looked at the sapphire site and there was no mention of Mac compatibility , so I contacted them and they told me the GPU was not compatible with Mac OS.

    so that's confusing.

    MC 8.9.2 Symphony - MacPro 2.66Ghz 12core 48GB ram - OS 10.12.6 - BM 4K Extreme - Sapphire pulse RX580 8GB -SSD boot - 3 x 2TB internal WD caviar black... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Oct 20 2017 9:16 PM In reply to

    • flashavid
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    Editmvp:

    I replaced the stock 5770 ATI Radeon card in my Mac Pro with the NVIDIA Quadro K5000.  For me, it was well worth the cost just for the greatly increased speed endoding video with Adobe Media Encoder.  It is also rock solid in Media Composer.

    Hi thanks for your experience, I'm having trouble when adding matte blur above 1 to a  spectramatte effect, the playback just struggles - I assume you have no problems with real time fx ??

    MC 8.9.2 Symphony - MacPro 2.66Ghz 12core 48GB ram - OS 10.12.6 - BM 4K Extreme - Sapphire pulse RX580 8GB -SSD boot - 3 x 2TB internal WD caviar black... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Oct 21 2017 11:32 AM In reply to

    • funckdren
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    flashavid:
    I am still somewhat confused over the power issue - do I need to find an extra power source

    Hi flashavid. I went through this same learning curve, wondering what kind of GPUs can be safely run from Mac Pro's internal power. Short answer is you can safely run any card that has 2x6 pins or 1x8 pin.

    Techically you can run a card like the 980Ti that has 1x6-pin and 1x8-pin with adapters, but you do so at your own risk. That's more power than the Mac Pro is designed to provide, and it will power the card in low-demand situations, but as soon as you push the card you could trigger a complete shut-down of your Mac Pro.

    This video should be useful for you.

    Mac Pro Westmere 12-Core 3.46GHz, Media Composer 8.6.4, Mac OS 10.11.5, 64GB RAM, Mojo DX [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Oct 21 2017 11:38 AM In reply to

    • pierreh
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    I'm not surprised that a random guy in support wouldn't know of what's going on the Mac platform. Basically, people started to notice drivers for the Polaris GPU series early in the first betas of Mac OS 12. More info came through and it made sense as this series is used in iMacs (and the iMac Pro is supposed to also get a Polaris GPU, probably a slower RX Vega). So it makes sense that Apple would be making drivers in collaboration with AMD for those cards - without Sapphire knowing about it as they make PC cards, not the chips going on them.

    So people found a way of modifying the drivers to make them work with generic PC AMD Radeon RX480 and RX580.

    Earlier this year, Apple announced that they would sell an external GPU kit and it includes a Sapphire RX580 "Pulse" GPU. And so they included full support for this actual card in OS 10.12.6. No more drivers hacking required for those cards in general, and if you have an actual Pulse, it even displays its real name in the About This Mac window - if you have another card, it just shows up as AMD Polaris or something generic like this, but this is purely cosmetic.

    When you use a PC card in a Mac Pro, it's better to stick to what is called a "reference card", in other words a card based on the one that AMD (or Nvidia) introduced as the blueprint. GPU makers almost always offer the reference card, and then they start to offer variations to appeal to gamers (faster chip, slightly different port layout, more/less memory, fancy fans), but as we're on Mac it's way simpler to stick to a reference card. In the case of the RX580, one of them is the Sapphire Pulse (8gig of memory). From what I know, the reference RX580 only has one 8pin power connector. Some of the faster cards come with 2 power connectors, and the Mac Pro wouldn't be able to supply enough power - hence the importance to stick to the single 8pin.

    If you can get a Sapphire Pulse 8g, then it's super easy-peasy. But it seems they've stopped making it. A bit of research would get you another brand/model that works as easily.

    Some reading here and there.

    - Work: MacPro 2010 3.46Ghz 12 Cores 48Gig mem, int and ext Raids, Mojo DX, 10.12.6 - Home: MacBookPro 2.5Ghz quad-i7, 16Gig Mem and SSD OSX 10.9.5 [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Oct 23 2017 6:25 AM In reply to

    • flashavid
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    Hi Pierre,

    thanks for all the information, very interesting yet frustrating.

    Its not easy to find a replacement card I think, it seems none are made for Mac so will not work "out of the box".

    yes you can "flash" a card and it may work, if you can supply the correct amount of power on the correct connector(s), or not.

    My current GPU does not now have enough memory to run realtime avid fx properly, I just want to get this functionality back so I can complete my work easily.  I don't need the latest gaming GPU that lights in many colours or has too many cooling fans, I just need something with more than 2GB of memory that Avid and my Mac will like. 

    Surely it's not that difficult is it ?

     

    MC 8.9.2 Symphony - MacPro 2.66Ghz 12core 48GB ram - OS 10.12.6 - BM 4K Extreme - Sapphire pulse RX580 8GB -SSD boot - 3 x 2TB internal WD caviar black... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Oct 23 2017 10:45 AM In reply to

    • funckdren
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    flashavid, I'm not sure if your options are quite as dire as you think. I for one am quite happy with my GTX980 ACX 2.0. They can easily be found used online. It is a 4GB card that runs off 2x6 pins, so it does not over-tax the Mac's internal power supply.

    It's a card for PC, but it works just fine in my Mac Pro with current Nvidia drivers -- I simply don't get a boot screen at startup. I could change that if I decide to flash it, which i don't know how to do, but macvidcards.com are reputable and offer that service. I guess it sort of depends on how you define working "out of the box." Mine worked just fine out of the box.

    I don't know exactly how much benefit you'll get with real-time effects. i do know my real-time effects from BorisFX are considerably better with this card, but that's due to the CUDA cores it offers, which Boris utllizes. FWIW.

    Mac Pro Westmere 12-Core 3.46GHz, Media Composer 8.6.4, Mac OS 10.11.5, 64GB RAM, Mojo DX [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Oct 23 2017 11:08 AM In reply to

    • pierreh
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    It's not easy as soon as you step outside the box, the Mac box should I say... It also depends on how techy you are with your Macs.

    If yes, then I would get the power cables from Amazon or eBay, but as they'll come from China, it might take a while. At least, they're dirt cheap. Once received, I would get a Sapphire Nitro+ from Amazon as you have a month to return it if it doesn't work. The Nitro+ is said to work pretty well and some people reported succes with flashing them to make them appear as a Pulse.

    If you're not too techy, then I would get an AMD R9 280X flashed for Mac Pro. They're easy to find on eBay, there's probably even UK based sellers. It would come with the required cables, and it would work exactly like a native card - no drivers to install, Apple logo on startup, and happy to run from OS 10.8.3 up to the lates High Sierra. It's an amazing card - it works on the Mac because it's essentially the same card that is in the Mac Pro "Trashcan" under a different name. I have one I flashed myself, and it's just great and simple, and pretty powerfull. Oh, and it has 3gig of memory, so plenty enough for what you want to do.

    - Work: MacPro 2010 3.46Ghz 12 Cores 48Gig mem, int and ext Raids, Mojo DX, 10.12.6 - Home: MacBookPro 2.5Ghz quad-i7, 16Gig Mem and SSD OSX 10.9.5 [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Oct 24 2017 6:38 AM In reply to

    • flashavid
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    funckdren:

    I don't know exactly how much benefit you'll get with real-time effects. i do know my real-time effects from BorisFX are considerably better with this card, but that's due to the CUDA cores it offers, which Boris utllizes. FWIW.

    Yes, I'm starting to lose sight of the goal !

    i want to get back my realtime fx in Avid, so...

    Is CUDA important if "yes"then it's an nvidia card, if "no" then an AMD card - am I correct?

    is there anywhere on avid site that gives an explanation of what's needed, or any idea how I can get a straight answer from Avid ??.

    MC 8.9.2 Symphony - MacPro 2.66Ghz 12core 48GB ram - OS 10.12.6 - BM 4K Extreme - Sapphire pulse RX580 8GB -SSD boot - 3 x 2TB internal WD caviar black... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Oct 24 2017 10:00 AM In reply to

    • pierreh
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    Well Avid doesn't do GPU acceleration so the RT fx you'll get won't change much. The machine will feel better, and some FX will benefit from it, but it won't be a day/night type of change.

    I love my Nvidia GTX card and what it offers with Resolve (haven't tried Premiere, I don't edit with it) is great as rendering lowrez DNxHD files is 50% faster than with the R9 280X, and it makes a big difference when you have to convert 200 hours (I won't even try with the stock GT120 as Resolve probably won't even launch).

    BUT... it's a disappointment with MC, and whilst Support have been nice and helpfull, the fact that I'm running a very specific non-qualified niche machine, there's only so much they can do to help. If I was using MC with the Mojo DX all the time it wouldn't be a problem, but I'm often using it with Full Screen Display and that's where the bugs are.

    So you're back to square one. I think it boils down to how much do you want to spend and what exactly you're using your Mac for.

    - Work: MacPro 2010 3.46Ghz 12 Cores 48Gig mem, int and ext Raids, Mojo DX, 10.12.6 - Home: MacBookPro 2.5Ghz quad-i7, 16Gig Mem and SSD OSX 10.9.5 [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Oct 24 2017 5:02 PM In reply to

    • flashavid
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    Re: GPU upgrade recommendations

    Hi Pierre,

    I work only in Media Compser and I do a lot of green screen, in my last project I noticed that after applying and editing a spectramatte the footage wouldn't playback without stuttering - I've been doing these kind of jobs for years and this was the first time I had encountered this issue.

    I find that the spectramatte keys and plays back perfectly until I add a matte blur - so these extra computations must be handled elsewhere - in the info pane of the project it tells me that my GPU does not have enough memory. See attached photo:

    so I 'm assuming that if I upgrade the GPU then I can regain the ability to see my spectramatte without having to render first?

    I just want to make sure I get the correct card to get those GPU accelerated effects back, I've only noticed in spectramatte but many other fx may behave the same.

    what do you think?

    MC 8.9.2 Symphony - MacPro 2.66Ghz 12core 48GB ram - OS 10.12.6 - BM 4K Extreme - Sapphire pulse RX580 8GB -SSD boot - 3 x 2TB internal WD caviar black... [view my complete system specs]
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