Mac Pro upgrade

I updated my Mac Pro to OS-X 10.9 Mavericks last weekend, and after doing that the iMovie update wouldn’t install, it claimed that the ATI X1900XT video card that shipped with it wasn’t compatible; which with the help of one of my friends at Apple we determined that the new version of iMovie (like Final Cut Pro) wanted a video card that supported OpenCL.

I’d considered upgrading the video card awhile ago, but I just wasn’t too interested in spending $399 or so for something I didn’t use very much. 

A quick look for compatible cards found an ATI Radeon HD6870 which had Mac (EFI) support and the Mac Pro power cables (plus a mini-display port adapter, which I didn’t need since the card had two DVI ports and I only have two monitors on my Mac Pro — that may change now) for $169.00 (free shipping)… and since I had almost $100 in eBay vouchers/credits that were going to expire in a little over a week I was like “no problemo” — lol.

I ordered the card, and it arrived today — I won’t say it was easy to install (Macs, even Mac Pros aren’t really designed to be easy to upgrade), but it installed with no problem and it’s working just fine.

Is it faster?  Probably, but I won’t know if it really makes a big difference until I try and do a video encode (the GPUs on the card will be used in addition to the eight cores of CPU — though my bet is the 32GB of memory really makes the biggest difference in the encode speed).

While I had the Mac Pro opened up, I went ahead and replaced one of the 500GB hard drives with a 3TB hard drive I had around… since I tend to mostly use the Mac Pro for video project I figured having a local copy (at SATA speeds) would be handy.