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TOPIC: Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) …

Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 20 Dec 2013 09:38 #36655

  • Karsten Schlüter
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no-budget Hobbyist here ;)

I'm speculating, eBay et al soon offer tons of OLD hardware… for a good price. :lol:

I'm completely lost with all this hardware-bushwa…I'm a Mac-user, never ever interested in chips, and Rams, and cards, and whatsoever. What I know: GPU should support OpenGL (right?), and the old MacPros offers PCI-slots to add'cards'.

Dummy idea: What about some older MacPro, adding TWO GPU, installing Mavericks + FCPX.10?? Not the non-plus-ultra, but maybe my own hobbyists wet dream??

Is that possible?
Which MacPro does allow dual-GPUs? What GPU do I need (are there Mac- vs. PC-versiosn?)? Does it make any sense at all, concerning costs, or is 'grab any iMac i5' the better advice?

… thanks for sharing insights & keywords, I could use for a more effective googling.

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Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 20 Dec 2013 13:57 #36680

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Dual GPU support is for the new Mac Pro "tube" only, period.

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Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 20 Dec 2013 15:17 #36703

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BenB wrote: … period.


A clear statement.
No 'cheapo' wannabe-MacPro for me.

… to be honest: I don't like those 'tinker solutions' either.- :lol:
… I'll wait, until a new MacMini raises… 

Thanks for the info, Ben.
btw: bad news for all those 'hackintosh'-activists, isn't it … ? :silly:

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Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 20 Dec 2013 18:14 #36730

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update …

In the meantime, I've studied a few other sites, mainly all those DIY-Mac-builder thingies… 

OH MY GOODNESS! This is sooooo complex!

First time ever (as mentioned above… shop/unbox/use only for 30y) I've read about 'certified' hardware - way beyond my imagination, that software has to be 'accommodated' to chips! I'm still under the childish impression, a computer is a 'universal' machine, OS is for translation btw. apps and chips - not so, Hr. Schlüter. :blink:

... ok, just a silly idea, booked under 'get wiser every day'.

And again huge fun, to read all these Bob The Builders, telling me, they get their wires&boxes half price than from Apple - not noticing, even 3 GPUs could be slower than a single but certified one.

Case closed. Thanks again to Ben ........

Looking forward for first real-world-tests, Tube vs. rest.-

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Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 22 Dec 2013 21:51 #36989

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BenB wrote: Dual GPU support is for the new Mac Pro "tube" only, period.


I thought that was true, but then I read this post regarding an original 2006 Mac Pro that was upgraded with two 5770s. He ran BruceX with one, and then with two, impressive.

www.fcp.co/forum/4-final-cut-pro-x-fcpx/...hmark?start=80#36883

There really is no reason that it wouldn't work in an old mac pro with dual GPUs. It doesn't make sense that they would cripple FCP X on older hardware just because you didn't get the latest and greatest. Now iPhones, different story..

Invalid consumer key/secret in configuration

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Last edit: by Darren Roark. Reason: adding

Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 23 Dec 2013 05:14 #37030

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I would love if FCP X does in fact use dual (and I assume they must be identical) GPU cards in older Mac Pros. That means those machines would have a much more expanded life span.

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Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 28 Dec 2013 17:45 #37540

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Mavericks does indeed allow dual GPU usage. This is software controlled, not hardware.
Here is article by BareFeats showing dual and single GPUs in a 2010 MacPro using AMD 7970s
www.barefeats.com/tube02.html

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Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 02 Jan 2014 18:03 #37863

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BenB - are you certain? Have you tested that; I mean like have you installed Mavericks on a recent aluminum Mac pro and updated to 10.1 and then installed two video cards? ATI 5770 x2 or 5780x2? I'd really like t know about this. I think the 10.1 and Mavericks might make two GPU's a possibility?

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Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 03 Jan 2014 16:55 #37979

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I posted that before the Mac Pro shipped and anyone had a chance to test it out. And I said it would be nice "if". I didn't say I knew for sure.

Since that post, the Mac Pro has shipped, and it has now been tested numerous times, and Mavericks + FCPX 10.1 on an older Mac Pro will recognize dual identical GPUs.

I've yet to see a test with non-identical GPUs.

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Question about the OLD MacPro (which one?) … 04 Jan 2014 02:29 #38077

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BenB said "I didn't say I knew for sure."… "Dual GPU support is for the new Mac Pro "tube" only, period."
Seems definitive to me.
Dual GPUs focussed on single task is really the question, i.e. openCL. This is software controlled, not hardware which is what BenB originally stated above.
As to whether an older MP can utilize dual GPUs with an increase in rendering speed in FCPX 10.1/Motion5.1 and other programs written to take advantage of dual GPUs, while running Mavericks 10.9.1, then we have our answer, definitely, Yes. You must be running Mavericks and software that is written to utilize multiple GPUs. See Darren's link and my previous link to BareFeats.
As to using non-identical GPUs, this is an open question, but not what Dude asks.
Interestingly, Apple's implementation of OpenCL and dual GPUs in the new MPs, one GPU seems to process actual video rendering, while the other GPU is responsible for compute processes along with the CPU. Under Mavericks, rendering and effects is not handled equally by both GPUs, it is in fact quite complicated. Interesting as this leaves open the possibility that non-identical GPUs could be utilized with an increase in overall speed. Maybe, maybe not. There would be some issues of process timing and complications in thread coordination. In the linked AnandTech article it is interesting to note the comparison of the two 2013 rMBPs; one having a discrete GPU and one only having the integrated GPU and the vast difference in speeds. Is the rMBP with the discrete GPU actually using both GPUs?? Anand does not say. If yes, then it might be that even these two very dissimilar GPUs are dividing the workload under Mavericks and results in faster processing. Hope someone sticks in a couple of different GPUs in an older MP tower and tests this theory.
Bottom line is that adding a second identical OpenCL aware GPU will result in a faster experience with programs written to take advantage of dual GPUs. No cross fire wires required. As to non-identical GPUs, the jury is still out.
Power/wiring still is an issue. Also there are many other differences that will make the new MP faster like PCIe3 and number of lanes along with PCIe flash memory instead of ssd/hdd. Still upgrading the GPU(s) in an older MP seems viable and saves $$$. I'm using a AMD 6870 "PC" card out of box with no problems in a 2006 MP1.1. Haven't installed Mavericks yet on it, but the 6870 is definitely an improvement over the original nVidia 7300. Have a 2012 rMBP that I'm editing on as well.
AnandTech article on the new MP…http://www.anandtech.com/show/7603/mac-pro-review-late-2013
I really recommend everyone interested in dual GPUs and the new MP read it.

Everyone should also note the way that Apple has divided the 3 ThunderBolt Port controllers going to the 6TB ports, the layout is not logical to me. You will want to make sure you use the different controller ports to balance the work/monitor loads. Placing a 4K monitor and an expansion box on the same controller paired ports could cause issues. Would have made more sense IMHO to put a separate controller on each set of horizontal pairs, not how Apple has done it. What was Apple thinking???
images.anandtech.com/reviews/mac/MacPro2013/tbportmapping.png
Hope this helps, Greg

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