Mac Pro: Even-Better GPU (But is too “Bleeding-Edge”?)

I just saw a post on talking about the new Nvidia GTX 680 graphic card.  Much-desirable as it is in terms of graphics computing power, overall it seems too bleeding-edge for me, in terms of compatibility with my current hardware and some of my applications.


    • …will hit the shelves this week {as of 2012-03-22}. It is supposed to have 1536 CUDA cores”
    • …the 680 might not provide much boost over the 580 for (Sony) Vegas.
    • …the compute performance has nearly doubled from 1581 GFLOPS to 3090 GFLOPS partly because the CUDA cores have been tripled and partly because the the core clock and memory clock are running faster.
    • …key reasons to buy this over the GTX 580 is that it uses less power and runs up to 4 displays. It is also based on PCI Express 3.0 and supports 4K monitors – 38040×2160 resolution. IMO the key reason to buy this over AMD is performance gains in other applications like CS5.5.
      • {1536 cores, around 1 GHz base clock speed, 6 Ghz  memory clock speed and 2GB RAM}
    • {As of 2012-06-11}:
      • Got the GTX 670 working. There are a couple of issues here:
        1. Main Concept MP4 converting WILL ONLY WORK using CPU (not GPU).
        2. Compressed HD format AVCHD (even though co-developed by Sony) appears to lose audio synch when previewed at full resolution. Additionally it’s a bit laggy.
    • The 680 doesnt work on the mac side. Only in windows… for the time being.
    • initialsBB:
      • There are NO hacks to make it work under OS X, and it could take a year or more before it happens. For now this card is useless for Mac OS X.
      • If your card has 2×6-pin power connectors it should work fine under Windows, the Mac Pro power supply is good enough. The card will NOT show the grey boot screen on your Mac Pro. You have to first put your old card in, boot into Windows via OS X Startup Disk system preference, shutdown, put in the GTX 680 and restart. Only then will you get the Windows to show. You will NOT be able to boot back into Mac without putting your old card in.
    • gpzjock:
      • The GTX680 is measured to consume 335w at peak load and 102w at idle, the current highest power consumption Nvidia card your Mac Pro can use is a GTX570 with 330w and 150w consumption respectively. I would assume the MP PSU could manage the GTX680 if the drivers existed but they don’t.
      • A GTX580 needs an external power supply added or its voltages and power cables modded to reduce the drain.
        As for Windows I suggest you try downloading and installing the latest Nvidia drivers for that card before fitting it and see if it works.
    • Azgorath:
      • Actually this is not true, you can “Reboot into Mac OS X” (or something like that) from the Boot Camp thing in the lower right corner. You can also do the same thing from the Boot Camp section in the Control Panel. I do this all the time, FWIW I’m currently running a GTX 560 Ti without an EFI and it works fine.
    • initialsBB:
      • You can use a second cheap video card like the GT 120 in another PCI slot that will let you see Mac OS X, but for the moment the GTX 680 won’t work on OS X, there are no Mac drivers at all, no solution possible for now.

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