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Guest kittonian

New Graphics Card - Which one for Mac?

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Guest kittonian
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  • Like others, we are experiencing problems with Yosemite and the ATI video cards with C4D and OpenGL. Right now we are still using GT 120 and Radeon 4870 cards in our Mac Pro machines, and need to find a solution that will allow us to show shadows in the viewports without causing the whole system to take a dive. Right now, as long as we don't enable extra things such as shadows in the viewport, all is well.

     

    On top of that, we just purchased a few LG 34UM95 ultra-wide monitors and want to get all that we can out of them.

     

    In looking at the discontinued GTX 680 Mac edition cards they seem to support the higher resolutions required but top out at OpenGL 3.x. The current production Quadro 4000 and K5000 cards don't list the higher resolutions as supported and also seem to top out at OpenGL 3.x.

     

    Since Mavericks, OS X has had OpenGL 4.x support but I'm not even sure that C4D uses anything above OpenGL 2.x as MAXON's website states most any video cards that support OpenGL 2.x+ on their system requirements page.

     

    We are not using VRay or any 3rd party render engine that takes advantage of GPU processing at this time, though we may in the future if it becomes necessary, so we'd like to be prepared with whatever cards we invest in. We do use Adobe's CC suite including After Effects which I believe takes advantage of CUDA. As our machines do not have Thunderbolt we will be using the Display Port to connect the monitors.

     

    We are running Mac Pro 5,1 (2009 4,1 machines flashed to the 5,1 firmware) with dual 6-core Westmere processors and 32GB of 1333mhz RAM on Yosemite 10.10.3 with the latest C4D R16 revision.

     

    Thanks!

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    You may save yourself a lot of ball ache and look into switching to windows machines if thats an option?  Iam reading so many posts about various issues with macs and graphics cards these days it seems like Apple are more interested in making watches and phones right now.

     

    ten

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    Guest kittonian
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  • You may save yourself a lot of ball ache and look into switching to windows machines if thats an option?  Iam reading so many posts about various issues with macs and graphics cards these days it seems like Apple are more interested in making watches and phones right now.

     

    ten

    Heh. Not switching to Windows. We're a Mac house. Just need the video card advice.

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    Guest darby
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  • Almost any nvidia card can work in a Mac (I have a 560Ti in my Mac pro) but the drivers won't necessarily allow for flawless operation.

    If you're not even willing to entertain the idea of Windows machines then I have to assume that your desire to achieve reasonable graphics card performance is not at the top of your current needs.

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    Guest Scottishcpt
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  • Heh. Not switching to Windows. We're a Mac house. Just need the video card advice.

     

    Then your choices are exceptionally limited:

     

    - eVGA 680 GTX

    - PNY Quadro K5000

    - NVIDIA Quadro 4000

     

    I'd even scratch the 4K off that list, it's not a very good card and sells for an absurd premium. I haven't heard many good things about the K5000. I personally own the eVGA 680 GTX Mac Edition and it's a fine card, though you can generally find a PC version for cheaper and flash the firmware to create the same card for less (which I believe is even what eVGA is doing these days if you have to send the card in for repair).

     

    Also, note that the SMC firmware on the MacPro5,1 is bugged. There is a 99% chance your fans will run faster then they should when you install a third party graphics card. If you stress the system out a bit, the fans will throttle up to full speed then drop down to what they should run at and stay there until you reboot the system. It's not that big of a deal, but it's still kinda annoying. Apple knows about the problem but refuses to fix it.

     

    -SC

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    Guest kittonian
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  • darby:

     

    Not to sound rude, but if you honestly believe that you cannot achieve "reasonable graphics performance" on a Mac I have a hard time believing you've ever worked on the platform in a professional environment. Most design houses are Mac based and with the amount of money we've invested in Mac Pro machines you don't just "switch to Windows". This is not a situation of a student in a bedroom, this is a company.

     

    ScottishCpt:

     

    Thank you for all the info. I am aware of the mac specific nvidia options available (the 680 being the best of the 3 you mentioned), but there are plenty of flashed cards available as well from macvidcards.com. My big concern was getting the high resolution from the 34UM95 monitors we just purchased as well as improving viewport performance in C4D. I can get a 680 or perhaps a 980 which seems to be quite a bit better, but also much more expensive ($350 vs $850 per card). I was hoping someone would have direct experience with these monitors and a Mac Pro that could shed some light on the subject.

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    Guest Scottishcpt
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  • If that's not a "4K" monitor and you're not using display scaling (can't imagine why you would with a height of 1440 pixels), then you should be fine. C4D's viewport is pretty fast and doesn't tax the GPU that much- you usually land up bottlenecking somewhere else before that ever becomes an issue (ie, heavy Xpresso setups, or dynamics simulations, or other things that need to be executed on a per-frame basis that don't strictly deal with OpenGL).

     

    I can tell you that my eVGA 680 GTX runs like a dream under 10.8.5 and C4D R15/R16 at a resolution of 2560x1440. The 34UM95 isn't far off at 3440, it's not like you're quadrupling the size of the display or something ridiculous. I think that if you're going to have any problems at all, it's going to be with Mac OS X- I've seen some pretty weird monitor voodoo going on with 10.9 and 10.10 that just doesn't happen under 10.8.x (mostly with OS X misinterpreting the display type and locking out settings like the refresh rate).

     

    If you can test one of these monitors on some other system (or your existing setup) first and OS X is happy with it, then the 680 GTX (or other) should bring you a solid performance increase in C4D and other 3D applications.

     

    PS: I kinda have to agree with Darby to a certain extent. My 680 GTX works fine under OS X, but it feels significantly faster under Windows. It's actually disappointing how much more performance I seem to get out of it under Bootcamp. It seems like OpenGL performance isn't a high priority over at Apple anymore, which really sucks (though, then again, I'm not sure it ever was).

     

    -SC

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    Not to sound rude, but if you honestly believe that you cannot achieve "reasonable graphics performance" on a Mac I have a hard time believing you've ever worked on the platform in a professional environment. Most design houses are Mac based and with the amount of money we've invested in Mac Pro machines you don't just "switch to Windows". This is not a situation of a student in a bedroom, this is a company.

     

    Not great with analogy's but if your company were spear makers, and a lot of your competitors had already moved onto making rifles, at some point you might need to consider doing the same no matter how much you had invested into making spears.  Worth throwing the idea at whoever pays the bills and could save you more in the long run including machine setup/usage headache.

     

    ten

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    Windows vs Mac is such a BORING topic and hasn't changed one speck in 15 years. Pretty comical. Whatever happened to this message area being for sharing knowledge?


    Whoever said that things don't make you happy obviously didn't have Cinema 4D

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    darby:
     
    Not to sound rude, but if you honestly believe that you cannot achieve "reasonable graphics performance" on a Mac I have a hard time believing you've ever worked on the platform in a professional environment. Most design houses are Mac based and with the amount of money we've invested in Mac Pro machines you don't just "switch to Windows". This is not a situation of a student in a bedroom, this is a company.

     

    You have to get used to this at The Cafe. If you say you use a Mac then some kindly Windows user will be along, unprompted and in no time flat, to tell you the error of your ways. And then, to add irony to ignorance, they'll usually throw in the "All Mac users are zealots!" meme as well. Its a laugh a minute. How I've ever managed to turn out any quality work, I'll never know...  :-)

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    Guest kittonian
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  • Ten:

     

    The total cost of ownership of Mac vs PC is hands down on the Mac side. Yes, I understand you get a bit better performance on the Windows side, but for that slight increase you have to deal with massive security holes, constant updates, reboots, registry errors, formatting the drive and re-installing every 6 months, the list goes on. I owned a technology company for many years. We built high end Windows and Linux machines for the government and corporate arenas. From there I went to work at Apple HQ in Cupertino and though I left Apple after a short while I have never had a desire to work on a PC again if I don't have to.

     

    I am the person who pays the bills and investing in anything Microsoft is not in the cards.

     

    StCanas:

     

    It's actually kind of funny because I usually hear the exact opposite argument. Anyone who is on Windows in a design or audio related field gets chastised about not using a Mac.

     

    ----------

     

    Regardless, this discussion needs to refocus onto which video card to get.

     

    I have a similar topic going on at MacRumors and the consensus is between:

     

    GTX 980

    GTX 680

    Quadro K4200

     

    They are saying the GTX cards are more powerful than the Quadro, but the Quadro is the one I should be purchasing because of its superior stability in C4D and AutoCAD. Of course, others are arguing in favor of the GTX series, and so far everyone is agreeing that any of those cards will have no trouble driving the 3440x1440 34UM95 display.

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    On a side note, I'm using a ATI Radeon HD 5770 on the last generation of square MacPro and I'm not having any problems with Yosemite. I do, though, tend to work in the simplest view I can get away with as I find shadows and all the bells and whistles in the viewport quite distracting. Most of the time I don't even have textures switched on.

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