Recently Apple announced the new Macbook Pro Retina touting several new features. However what they failed to release was a long over due update to the MacPro line. Many professional editors were sadly disappointed by the “refresh” of the MacPros. This left many of our edit suites aging and unable to keep up with software demands such as the recent Adobe CS6. To make matter worse , I had my old Nividia Quadro 4000 recently fail, which left me with out a Cuda for CS6. Enter the EVGA GTX570 Nivida GeForce card.
Yes this card is a PC not designed or officially supported by Apple. (Warning I am not responsible for any damages caused if you attempt this on your on MacPro towers. ) However thanks to a great colleague form twitter Juan Salvo I did not have to spend a huge chunk of cash on another Quadro 4000. I could spend less than half that price on a PC graphics card known as the Nividia GTX570, and to my amazement, installing it is a simple plug and play. Now, will this work for your MacPro tower really depends on which verion you have. From what I understand this card will only work on MacPro 3.1 and above.
The GTX570 snaps in like it was meant to be there. All that is required is the right cable to power the graphics card. A 6pin to mini 6pin cable is needed. You will need 2 of these cables, although they can be easily found on Amazon or Ebay for cheap.
Now in terms of software you must be running OSX 10.7.4, the latest Nividia graphic drivers (the one I used was 270.00.00f06) and the latest Nividia Cuda Drivers (4.2.10). The combination of the 2 provide support with OSX. the interesting part is that both OSX and Nivida are supporting this card “ unofficially” , this may hint to a refreshed MacPro in the future, or Nividia is moving to one driver to rule them all scenario. Once installed everything should run smooth except with minor hiccup. Unless you have another card for your displays, you will lose EFI. What does that mean? Well you will no longer see the spinning circle upon boot up. It will wither go straight to your desktop or login screen. To me this is not a deal breaker as the cost alone is worth it. Plus I also have another older ATi card I can use for display.
Now that everything is installed the finally process is to modify the Adobe CS6’s supported GPU accelerated graphic cards and adding the GTX570 to the list. This requires the use of Terminal. Now this is quiet easy to do, but if you are not comfortable with working with Terminal. Then Stop! It is very easy to cause other damage to your software / MacPro if you don’t know what you are doing in Terminal. Again I am not responsible for any damages caused by following this method.
There are many tutorials on the web on how to accomplish editing the Adobe CS6 supported cards. However, I find this video does the best job from Mike Gentilini, Jr does a great job.
Adding the GTX570 not only sped up my Adobe Premier Pro , and After Effects, but it made my MacPro feel all new and shinny again. I have been working with this card for the past few weeks and I have been very satisfied with it. If you are looking to update your tower to support CS6 and all it’s Cuda accelerated glory, then this may be the ticket for you.