Graphicupgrade MacPro 2009

  • what is the better Graphicupgrade for my MacPro 2009? - the AMD Radeon HD 7970 3Gb (ram) with 20% better open gl and 1gb more ram or the EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX680 2 GB which can CUDA - is cuda anyway relevant for Isadora? or just fpr AE and FC?


  • The 7970 requires 6pin and 8 pin power cables. The 680 is an OK card.

    My advice would be to look at the nVidia 970 or 980 cards which have excellent CUDA and OpenCL performance which you'll benefit from in AE and FCPX and who knows maybe Isadora down the road.

  • thanx Unfenswinger - but the power cable come with the card - i think the nVidia 970 is to much for the budget and i have a macpro 2013 for rendering - the macpro 2009 quadcore,ssd,16gb ram is a showcomputer which i want upgrade for a show where i have to run 2 fullhd projector, with a lot of mapping and maybe 8 layer of full hd content in the same time- you thing the 680 will do that?

    ciao Bodo

  • It hasn't got anything to do with the cable coming with the card, the Mac Pro is not designed to draw the required power for that 7970 through the power cables. This will mean more power is drawn through the PCIe connector than Apple designed for.

    The nVidia cards I specified both fit within the designed power draw limits for the Mac Pro.
    It's up to you if you want to risk your logic board and in terms of OpenCL performance the 7970 is much better than the 680\. There are plenty of people using such cards in their Mac Pros but I chose to go with the 680 because my Mac Pro is heaving with HDDs, external HDDs and expansion cards so I didn't want to risk overloading the PSU.

  • Dear @Ufenswinger,

    Thanks for the excellent advice.
    Best Wishes,

  • thanx!!! and you think it is a problem if it is a flashed pc card card but with original mac bios and same plate?

  • The flashed BIOS does nothing to alter the power draw of the 7970 unfortunately.

    Only you can decide if you want to take the risk using a card that exceeds Apple's design spec. I made the decision to keep within Apple's guidelines as a logic board failure would be an expensive replacement and I'm trying to eek as much life out of the computer as possible until I replace it with the next revision of the new Mac Pro.

  • sorry Unfenswinger was my mistake - i meant if it is a problem to buy a flashed nvidia 680...

  • Unless you need the boot screen i.e. for Bootcamp etc on the Mac just get a standard PC card.

    I've got an unflashed EVGA 680 PC card dual 6pin power which is identical to the Mac version minus BIOS, works perfectly well. There are super clocked versions of the 680 that exceed Apple's guidelines, normally they've got 4GB VRAM and have 6 pin and 8 pin power.
    You may find the GPU fan speed is slightly higher than with a flashed card, if it bothers you run something like Geek3D Benchmark for a few seconds which causes OS X to notice the card, then spins the fans to 2000 rpm then back down to a quiet 800 rpm.

  • thank you! - very helpful!