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good Graphics cards for a Mac

Hi guys. I’m having a hard time displaying the shadows when running unreal. The screen seems to get all blocky and pixely when ever i have them one. It also dos the same thing for particles.

I’m not sure if I need a better graphics card. right now I’m running a ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 253 MB card.
I know its old . its the one that came with my 2008 mac. its only now that i’ve started working again. I find my self with some extra funds to up grade.

i’m just lost when it comes to what is a good card for a mac considering most of the good cards I hear about are for PC.

hoping you guys could help me.

I mostly just want something that will make my content good. I want take some screens shot and recordings for my portfolio. here at home rather then trying to do it in class. :slight_smile:

What are the full specs of your Mac? You’ll want to have an Intel i5, 8GB RAM and a R9 270X minimum.

A 2008 Mac that came with a 2600XT would have to be the old aluminum (aloomineeum!) Mac Pro, most likely the Early 2008 model, so we’re talking Xeon Quard Core processors and a spindle drive along with that 2600XT.

Although a pretty hefty machine for its day, it’s getting a bit long in the tooth. Still plenty of CPU power for most tasks, but light on GPU power. Unfortunately, there’s just not a good cost effective path to beefing that machine up to be a great UE4 specs, I’m sorry to say.

The best graphic card officially supported in that machine is the ATI Radeon 5870. For its day, a powerhouse, and still capable of running UE4 (my secondary machine is a 2010 Mac Pro with this card and I’ve run UE4 on it without too much frustration). You can probably pick up one of these for $100 - $200 on eBay, and it’ll work. It won’t be superb, but it’ll be quite usable. All-in-all, this is probably your best option if you’re not interested in dropping a lot of money.

There are third party unofficial mods to make more recent graphic cards work in aluminum Mac Pros. There are people on eBay who mod cards like the Nvidia GTX 980 to work in the Mac, but you’re in the realm of unsupported hardware, and you’re going to drop a fair bit of money to get an aftermarket modified GPU, especially a hefty recent one. I’m not even sure if the graphics bus on that machine is fast enough to really take advantage of newer GPU hardware. I would research very thoroughly before making such a move. You can probably update your Mac to be good for UE4, but I’m not sure it’s going to be very cost effective.

Unfortunately, the situation with Apple GPUs right now isn’t great. With the exception of the highest-end models of the MacBook Pro, the Retina iMac, and the really expensive garbage can Mac Pro, most Macs shipping today just don’t have good GPUs, and even the discrete GPU in the MacBook Pros is at the low-end of acceptable for doing UE4 work. Apple has been focusing on energy efficiency more than raw power lately and gaming still just doesn’t seem to be a big concern for them. Even the Mac Pro, which has two powerful GPUs in it, isn’t as good as comparable PC hardware both because the FirePros are workstation class GPUs and due to the fact that Mac OS lacks the CrossFire support that would allow UE4 to easily leverage both GPUs.

I’m a Mac guy through and through, but if I were in the market for a new machine primarily for doing UE4 work right now, I’d be looking at Windows boxen. :frowning: There’s always the hackintosh route, but IMO, that’s just inviting trouble and headache.

thanks for the help jeff_lamarche.

Getting a new trashcan mac is out of my price range.
so I will be looking into that graphics card. I’m mostly a modeler and want to show off my assets in UE4. I don’t think I will be doing much game playing or testing.

the other option I was considering going with was getting a new PC just for putting my stuff into UE4 and taking some screen renders and recordings with it rather then my mack.

I thought I saw a thread saying a off the shelf PC could possibly handle UE 4 and maybe some of the other things i’m wanting to do with it.
If i’m going to be spending 150-200$ may be I could spend a little more and just get a PC.
Tell me could that be a viable option ?
I’m lost when it comes to PC and windows.
my price range is 200-400$ if needed. I know thats not a lot but I would prefer not to go above that b/c Im also having to pay for school.

any help you can give will be much appreciated. :slight_smile:

Even the highest end MacBook Pro with the NVidia 750m is really poor in gpu performance, especially under OSX, bootcamp the machine in windows 8.1 got me about 20% more gpu power ( fps in engine ). I ended up getting a new Asus ROG G751Y, while expensive, the NVidia 980m can’t be beat in a notebook.

As for building a PC, my guess is you will be hard struck to build anything worth anything below $1000

Case will be at least $60
Power Supply $60
CPU Intel I7, $200 for lower end one
Motherboard for that chip, $100 to $150
Memory $150 for maybe 16GB of a value ram brand
Hard Drive for $60
GPU, GTX 970 for $350

Even with this bargain basement setup, you are still over $1000, but the performance would be pretty **** amazing.

What Jeff said. :slight_smile: I am currently running an unmodified nVidia 970 card in my 2010 Mac Pro at home. As long as you install the web drivers from nVidia, Yosemite seems to run very well with it. However, even a cheap 970 is still in the $300 range and I can’t say for sure how the 2008 MP would handle it. If you’re just looking to put models into the editor for portfolio purposes, I’d second Jeff’s rec for the 5870. Aside from the ball bearings in the GPU cooling fan failing a lot, those cards were very solid. Hope this helps. Cheers,

J^2