Mac users, what video card do you use?

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Old 09 September 2013   #1
Mac users, what video card do you use?

Hi guys,

I am on a Mac Pro (Mid-2010) and I had my Radeon HD 5870 go kaput at the worst time possible so I ordered a Radeon 7950 to replace it but there is absolutely no performance increase (and actually a decrease in Mudbox). I want to get a different card but its almost impossible to find information on a card that is good for 3D work.

I use Modo and Mudbox mostly with some Maya, Houdini, and Realflow thrown into the mix. I simply want to be able to texture paint smoothly and have nice viewport response in heavier scenes.

I'm only a hobbyist so I'm trying to avoid spending $1800 for an Nvidia k5000 card or a FirePro w8000 card although I'll do it if need be. Does anyone have a suggestion on what card would be good on the Mac for the above apps?

I was looking at the Nvidia GTX680 too but I'm seeing very mixed reviews.

Last edited by chrono1081 : 09 September 2013 at 06:11 PM.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #2
don't bother with the K5000 - it doesn't perform as well as the Geforce 680. That's the one I would get if I were you. My friend runs immense models in it in Maya, Mudbox and the Mac mari beta and he loves it. He bought a vanilla PC card (not Mac version) of the 680 and it runs fine on his Mac Pro but personally I would buy the more expensive Mac version because you get EFI boot screen support with it. If you buy the vanilla PC version, keep a cheaper Mac video card around for when you need to reinstall a system from CD or something.

I was really disappointed with the AMD 7950 Mac version when I tried it out. It barely performed better than 5870
 
Old 09 September 2013   #3
If moving from the 5xxx card to the 7xxx card made no difference then its likely not the gfx card thats the bottleneck. Spending more on another card is very unlikely to make any difference.
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Old 09 September 2013   #4
Originally Posted by imashination: If moving from the 5xxx card to the 7xxx card made no difference then its likely not the gfx card thats the bottleneck. Spending more on another card is very unlikely to make any difference.


I have a pretty decent computer. Its an Intel Xeon 3.33 Ghz (6 core), 24gb ram, with lots of drive space.

For games there was a performance increase but not for the 3D apps I use. Mudbox actually fared worse although Mari seems to be working really well.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #5
Originally Posted by imashination: If moving from the 5xxx card to the 7xxx card made no difference then its likely not the gfx card thats the bottleneck. Spending more on another card is very unlikely to make any difference.


no, it was AMD's drivers that sucked.
 
Old 09 September 2013   #6
Well here's something I didn't count on...

Apparently there is no way to connect two Apple cinema displays to the nVidia cards because there is no reliable way to go from mini display port male (what the cable from the monitor is) to hdmi male or dvi male....

You can't replace the cable in the monitor either, its a proprietary one that splits into a usb cable, a power cable for laptops and a mini display port. (It sounds great until you're in this kind of situation.)
 
Old 09 September 2013   #7
Originally Posted by imashination: If moving from the 5xxx card to the 7xxx card made no difference then its likely not the gfx card thats the bottleneck. Spending more on another card is very unlikely to make any difference.

In all fairness some apps, and Mudbox is one of them, are very heavily GPU reliant, and some Mac drivers, and AMD isn't new to this, are so appalling as to completely flatten the gap in hardware performance.

There are good chances moving from pre 9xxx AMD to nVIDIA alone in this case would help.
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Old 09 September 2013   #8
At work I use a Mac and have for a few years because that's what they happened to have already. The graphics options for Mac are all a crapshoot (ancient OpenGL, buggy drivers, only handful of options). The GTX 680 is the best option like mentioned above but they're hard to find and overpriced.
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Old 09 September 2013   #9
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