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  • Nvidia and ATI Graphics Cards in Mac Pro Issues

  • Ryan Placko

    July 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I have a 2009, (4,1) Mac Pro and have two graphics cards in it. An ATI 5870 in slot 1 powering my GUI with two monitors connected, and a nVidia GTX 285 in the second slot with no monitors connected. CUDA-enabled programs like DaVinci Resolve, Premiere Pro and After Effects run great, but FCPX is virtually unusable. If I take the GTX 285 out, FCPX runs well, but I obviously lose the performance in the other applications.

    Any ideas to help these cards play better together? Any way to selectively disable the 2nd PCI slot for when I’m in FCPX?

    System Specs:
    OS X Lion 10.7.4
    Mac Pro 4,1 (Early 2009)
    Eight Core 2.26 Intel Xeon
    32 GB RAM

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  • Ryan Placko

    July 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    The follow up to this is I was blaming the GTX based on a lot of posts I read.

    The issues I was having did not have to do with the 2 video cards, it had to do with corrupted Render files in the FCPX project. Once I deleted all of the render files, performance greatly improved with both JUST the 5870, and also BOTH the 5870 and GTX 285 together.

  • Jose Angel Lago Leiros

    October 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Ryan…

    if you please answer me…

    does final cut X work without issues in a double graphic card configuration… Does it use the power of both cards, one for gui and the second for computing and render.

    So i have too a mac pro 4.1 and a nvida quadro fx4800 and if you are working with the two cards… i also have a GT120… so i connect my 2 monitors to it and leave FX card for render… if it´s a right configuration, and if it works for you i think also works for me…

    Thanks in advance


  • Ryan Placko

    October 18, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Jose,

    Well as an addition to this post, part of my problem as it turned out was that my GTX 285 was failing. It died a few weeks after I made this post. It’s true that flushing the render files helped my problem, but ultimately it was the dying card that gave me trouble.

    But currently I am running a ATI Radeon HD 5870 with two monitors for my GUI, and I have a Quadro FX 4800, like you, in the 2nd slot, with no monitors hooked up to it. I’ve had really good performance out of FCPX, but from what I’ve read, that’s because of the Radeon card, not the nVidia card.

    My current configuration has been good because it gives me good performance in FCPX, and also good performance in CUDA-enabled software like Resolve, After Effects, Premiere, etc

    Hope that helps.

  • Jose Angel Lago Leiros

    October 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks a lot, your answer it´s more helpfull for me. I use too AE sometimes, so if it´s ok i will test it.

    Now i´m having issues with my FX4800, PNY and apple support are both currently working on it, i hope in a few days they can provide a solution. I think it´s a problem with cuda and gpu drivers over mountain lion´s osx.

    Again, thanks.

    Best Regards,


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