Mac Pro: Better GPU (With Decent CUDA)

I’m considering getting a decent CUDA  card for my existing Mac-based system.  Currently its GPU is a GeForce 8800 GT, having 112 CUDA cores and 512 MB RAM.  In contrast, for example, the Quadro 4000 has 256 cores, 2GB RAM, memory bandwidth just under 90GB/s.  Clock speeds are harder to compare in a meaningful way, there is processor clock speed and cores clock speeds, and of course we are dealing here with multicore.

From my research, it seems that:

  • The NVIDIA Quadro 4000 is compatible with a Mac (tower) both under Mac OS and Boot Camp Windows 7 64-bit (as well as some other versions I don’t care about).
  • It is possible to install more than one such card, doubling the number of cores, and benefitting dual-monitor-related performance if the two monitors are each connected to separate cards.


  •  Google: [Geforce 8800 GT]
  • Google:
    • [quadro 4000 mac pro boot camp]
    • [quadro 4000]
    • {These searches in some way identified the following links}
    • Product Specification
      • CUDA parallel processing cores: 256
      • Frame Buffer Memory: 2 GB GDDR5
      • Memory Interface: 256‐bit
      • Memory Bandwidth: 89.6 GB/s
      • Display Connectors: DVI‐I (1), DP (1), Stereo (1 optional)
      • Max Power Consumption: 142 W
      • Graphics Bus: PCI Express 2.0 x16
      • Form Factor: 4.376” H x 9.50” L Single Slot
      • Thermal Solution: Active
      • 3D Stereo: Support via 3 pin mini DIN
    • Supported Platforms
      • Mac OS X 10.6.5 or later with MacPro3,1, MacPro4,1 or MacPro5,1
      • Microsoft Windows 7 (64‐bit and 32‐bit) through Boot Camp
      • Microsoft Windows Vista (64‐bit and 32‐bit) through Boot Camp
      • Microsoft Windows XP (64‐bit and 32‐bit) through Boot Camp
    • {More detailed tech specs, including variants & benchmark test results}
    • Q: I bought a MacPro in APRIL 2008. Will I be able to install this card in that computer?
      • A: The PNY product page for this card says it requires Mac Pro 3,1 or 4,1 or 5,1. These are basically the 2008, 2009 and 2010 models. A Mac Pro bought new in April 2008 is probably the 3,1 or 2008 model, but to be sure check the hardware section of the System Profiler to make sure you are not using a 2007 model (2,1).
    • Q: I have 2 30inch displays. Can I hook up dual monitors on one card?
      • A: Yes, however note that Quadro 4000 has a Displayport and a DVI. Both support 30″ display resolution, but what type of inputs do you have on your 30″ displays? If you do not have Displayport connectors on your displays, you will need to buy a Displayport to DVI-dual-link dongle. You have to make sure it is DVI-dual-link (not single) though.
    • Q: Is there an advantage of running Two of this cards simultaneously on a new mac pro? if so, what is it?
      • A: {Yes}
        • If you’re using applications that take advantage of nVidia’s CUDA (parallel processing) technology, then yes. Adding a second card doubles the number of available CUDA cores.
        • Aside from that, having a second card can give other benefits. Aside from supporting more monitors, you can improve your system’s performance on even a dual-monitor setup just by using a separate video card for each screen.
    • Variety and comparisons…

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