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Graphics Cards

Journeyman III

Mac Pro 5,1 GPU for ArchiCAD and Twinmotion

I currently have an Apple EFI flashed NVidia GTX 780 (6GB) in my 2010 Mac Pro (Dual 3.46ghz 6-Core, 64GB 1333mhz RAM) and my two main applications are ArchiCAD and Twinmotion.

AMD is recommending the WX 9100 for Twinmotion, which I assume means it's overkill for ArchiCAD (which is fine), but since that GPU was released more than two years ago, I'm wondering if that is still the best solution.

I need to be able to drive an LG ultra-wide display and use Twinmotion on Ultra without any lags or stutters. Right now I have to reduce video performance to medium in Twinmotion is order to work and then switch to ultra to check the output, which is of course very cumbersome as medium doesn't show me nearly the same image or details.

There is no gaming happening. This is an arch/viz workstation. I am happy to purchase the WX 9100 if that's the way to go, just wanted to check with the community before spending that kind of money.

4 Replies
Journeyman III

Nice to see another LGA 1366 user; the Mac Pro will do fine in TwinMotion with a beefier card.

I use a GTX Titan X Maxwell 12GB in my 2.66GHz 12-core, and a GTX 1070 8GB in my 3.46GHz 12-core, both EFI flashed by MacVidCards for dual-boot, and both fly with TwinMotion. I even have an 8-core Mac with a $150 GTX 980 ti, and it keeps up with the Titan in TwinMotion on typical projects! All of these cards are nearly twice as fast as the GTX 780 6GB, which was very good for its day. I'm actually typing this on a GTX 580 3GB at 969MHz, and it still does everything at a functional level (even helping to finish small projects on a deadline), so I don't see any of these newer cards becoming obsolete anytime soon (although my RTX2060 Super 8GB is the super fast bargain of the decade, so far...). Really happy.

Since the Titan uses more than the 225 Watts which the stock Mac is certified to supply, I modded it a little and plugged the two mini 6-pin cables into an 8-pin wye, then split it back out into the 6-pin plus an 8-pin for the Titan. This load balances the power inputs, which seems to work 100% of the time, and should help in any situation with any card. Installing iStats can verify all of this for you. I have even heard of Mac Pro users getting away with an EFI flashed GTX 1080 ti cabled this way.

The GTX 1070 uses only 150 Watts, is very quiet, and runs both TwinMotion and Octane Render very well. It would be my first choice for recommendations.

Macs are still limited to High Sierra with OSX using Nvidia for dual-boot, but I have moved on to Windows 10 for my dual-boot Macs, doing all heavy lifting in Windows now, and booting up High Sierra when I just want to be happy!

I'm very interested if AMD can bring back both value and performance to the classic Mac Pro platform; best quality workstations ever made...


Thank you for the response, but my question was about getting away from NVidia altogether. I want to go AMD so I can upgrade to the latest Mac OS, have drivers built into the OS, etc. Looks like the WX 9100 is my best bet according to the responses I've received when posting this same question on Macrumors.



Nice chatting...

Yes, true; although I hope you liked the power cable tip I relayed, since the WX9100 is still over the 225w Mac Pro basic power spec. My fastest Mac Pro (a modded 2009 4.1 3.46GHz flashed to 5.1 w/ two de-lidded X5690 cpu) could not boot my Titan X no matter what I did, so I went with the GTX 1070, very nice. It still holds top OSX spot on Thea Render 1.5 CPU Benchmark (archiblender).

Also, I noted the original GTX 780 you are running needs 250 W power, yet your 5.1 boots fine and stays on. However, you might experience something like what I discovered. While my Titan X was fine in my factory 2010 5.1 2.66GHz 12-core running Octane Render 3, when I upgraded to 4 it would periodically shut the machine down, drawing too much power with the added AI lighting and AI noise reduction features turned on, further stressing the card. The cable wye trick solved the problem!

Although I also like the CUDA rendering options supported by Nvidia, ArchiCAD and TwinMotion on Mac is sublime, and AMD is back! Good for you!



Thanks. I appreciate the info.

For even more in-depth information regarding powering a higher end GPU in a MP 5,1, I wrote a lengthy post about what to buy and how to accomplish it: