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Author Topic: Need some advise Mac Pro 3.1, Sierra, need new videocard  (Read 1588 times)
ChosenFew
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« on: January 23, 2017, 09:30:15 PM »

Hello everybody,

I hope you guys don't mind I'm posting this topic but I really need some advice from someone who knows what he's talking about. First sorry for my bad grammar, I'm not a native English speaker :-) Let's go:

I'm running a electronic music studio using a Mac Pro (Early 2008 3.1.). It's the 2x Intel Xeon Quad 3.2 GHz version and the machine is tweaked a bit. It has 32 GB 800 MHz RAM and a SSD drive. It is running MacOS Sierra using the dosdude1 patch. The graphics card is the original Nvidea 8800GT (yes i know... yikeess).

I took me while to get to this level, but everything is running fast and stable now.. except one thing; I use Avid Pro Tools 12 it's my music composing software. When I open the piano roll of a track the sequencer stops with an error (cpu overload). I did some deep digging and according to the software developers website (Avid) it is caused by the low profile videocard. Which is understandable. Everything points in the direction of the GPU. The system itself is very powerful with lots of DSP power. And I know the current graphics card has to not enough power for some component of Sierra in general. I did all kinds of performance measurements to pinpoint the problem. As the application itself indicated that there is almost 0% CPU and Memory load.. the GPU must be the actual problem.

Now I need some advice from you guys please. I need a stable video card solution that is more powerful than the current one. I did some research and I was thinking of the R9 290 series. I have been considering buying an original apple card but the prices are terrible high. So I'm thinking of flashing a PC card myself. There is a lot of info on the web on this subject. But my problem is, this machine is in my studio completely built in and hard disconnect it etc. So any mistakes that can be prevented are more than welcome. I am a software developer myself, so I ain't afraid of bit level alchemy. I have heard some horror stories of people buying the wrong card and ended up with poor performance, which is a killer for my type of application. I'm just afraid of buying the wrong card. So i just need a push in the right direction. Can somebody recommend me a good card (brand + type) which can be flashed for my system. I have a separate modern i7 PC system which can be used for flashing. I need a card that displays the bootup screen, when the system in the studio is down i need to have debug information or the possibility to choose boot options.

Help is much much appreciated.  Cool

Thank you,
Best,

Bastiaan



« Last Edit: January 23, 2017, 09:36:38 PM by ChosenFew » Logged
tomtomgps
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2017, 10:31:06 PM »

honestly, I'm not sure buying a new GPU for the 3.1 Mac Pro is worth it. Maybe you could build a hackintosh ?
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ClassicMartini
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 06:43:21 AM »

Hello everybody,

I'm running a electronic music studio using a Mac Pro (Early 2008 3.1.). It's the 2x Intel Xeon Quad 3.2 GHz version and the machine is tweaked a bit.

It is running MacOS Sierra using the dosdude1 patch. The graphics card is the original Nvidea 8800GT (yes i know... yikeess).

As the application itself indicated that there is almost 0% CPU and Memory load.. the GPU must be the actual problem.

Now I need some advice from you guys please. I need a stable video card solution that is more powerful than the current one. I did some research and I was thinking of the R9 290 series.

Help is much much appreciated.  Cool

Thank you,
Best,

Bastiaan


http://www.macvidcards.com/store/c8/Recommended%3A_Mac_Pro_3%2C1.html
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mysticalos
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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 07:43:41 AM »

honestly, I'm not sure buying a new GPU for the 3.1 Mac Pro is worth it. Maybe you could build a hackintosh ?
I second this. even many of cards off macvidcards won't help. 3,1 cpu is just too old that it bottlenecks any modern gpu too much. you'll barely get any fps improvements and in some cases will get fps loss do to power management issues with 3,1 and more modern gpus as well. Build a hackintosh and give your 3,1 to a relative for facebook browsing. That's what I did with mine.
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jmp473
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 06:48:23 AM »

I'm quite happy with my Mac Pro 3,1 (early 2008) 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core, running a Sapphire Radeon RX460 2GB  Unigen Valley Benchmark 1.0 score is 1583. Only get 1077 with (flashed) Radeon HD5770   Although the card doesn't always restart correctly from sleep (get a garbled screen) and then I have to shut-down/restart with the power button - I'd rather put up with the restart issue for now, no other problems.  DK if that would be considered stable enough for you.  Wish I could advise you about the R9 290 - no experience there - but for my money the Mac Pro 3,1 is definitely still worth upgrading.
  

[MacOS Sierra 10.12.3 dosdude1 patch and Live 9]

Since you have a PC available to flash a card maybe look at the GTX 770. 
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 07:26:59 AM by jmp473 » Logged
Spacedust
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 04:09:19 PM »

Send me a PM - I got a flashed R9 270X for sale.
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