GFX Card recommendations

Can anyone recommend a Flame friendly graphic card for use in a 2019 Mac Pro?

I think my Radeon Pro Vega II is about to die, as its started doing crazy shit - switching off/on randomly every few minutes…and its getting worse. I know its not the cables as i have tried different ones, and different ports, and have even replaced the screens with a brand new one.

I think the Vega II is still the best available as the MPX cards have been abandoned since Apple Silicon was available in the Mac Pro.

I’d be wary of buying a non MPX Radeon card as often they don’t fit or the driver doesn’t properly support them.

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Thanks Adam….I was hoping I would never have to deal with this crap again. I just want a machine that works.

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sell the 2019 mac pro and buy a mac studio these mac pros are just dead weight at this poitn


They’re good for Resolve and that’s about it. They still get ok prices on eBay.

Ok peeps let’s simmer down on the Hyperbole! LOL

New Mac Studios are awesome but a proper 2019 MacPro is not a piece of trash running Flame:)
In fact I’ve been on more then one AWS machine in the last couple years that was not as snappy or as stable as my Mac. One a year ago definitely seemed slower all around.

A last ditch shot but what OS are you on? Perhaps the card didn’t update to the latest firmware, driver, bios etc versions?
This is running Sonoma 14.3

My two Vega II cards used to have different firmwares/bios before an update a couple years ago.

Maybe not but is this short thread at all useful? It was all I could find but it did have a solution:

There are 2 cards you could upgrade with but I think would be better to put it towards in new Mac Studio or Pro unless you want to eek out your MacPro for another several months or so and you see a great deal on EBay or Mac sales/OWC.

  • W6800X Duo or W6900X(might as well get a MacStudio for what it was priced at new)
  • with the duo(or 2 cards) things like NeatVideo render very fast. I have 2 ProVegaIi cards myself.

Also if you have MacPro with your internal NVME raid then may be better to get the new MacPro to avoid buying new hardware for a slower storage?

  • or keep it as server for a MacStudio?

From what some have posted seems like my 28core MacPro is still faster at TimewarpML then the Mac Studio’s?
Because of more RAM maybe?

Also with the switch to Metal the machine is noticeably snappier and renders fast.
Personally if the next M4 rumored MacPro comes out relatively soon I may hold out for that. If not then will turn it into a server for a MacStudio or just replace it with the current MacPro.


thanks Ben,

just checked and my Pro Vega has exactly the same numbers as shown in your screengrabs…although my mac is running os 13.6.3 ( haven’t had a reason to move up to 14 yet).

Alongside the 16 cores, and 224gb ram, my mac does have a recently added 8tb nvme raid, and a brand new Dell 42’ screen. I’d rather not change it just yet.

Aside from the screen flashing to black (randomly - some days it never happens, others it never stops) - unbelievable…it just flashed…apart from that, the mac works perfectly for my needs - Flame and C4d. so i can’t justify replacing the entire thing when its a single component playing silly buggers…isnt that the point of a component based system?

I have just tried switching around which thunderbolt ports are feeding the screen to see if there is a conflict there.

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What is your cable setup going from your Mac Pro and your monitor?

I have a fibre optic thunderbolt 2 cable connected via a tb 3to tb2 adapters at both ends, and a Display port to tb2 cable with the same adapters.

Both cables feed the same Dell screen (in split screen mode)

Tried looking for TB3 cables longer than 2-3mtrs and thats where i struggle. The mac is in a rack and the cable run to the desk is just that bit too long.

I will definitely try upgrading cables before gfx card.

I had a similar issue like over a decade ago on a Mac Pro 5.1 and it wasn’t the cable that necessarily fixed it, it was swapping from HDMI to Display Port. It didn’t seem to be a dodgy input to my monitor either as other computers I had worked fine on the HDMI input.

Totally not saying it is that but anything is worth a try before spending lots of money. Can you bother another monitor to see if it’s an issue between the two of them? I know there is no technical explanation but it’s like the old it doesn’t work until there is a tech in the room.

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its not the monitor. I bought the Dell screen thinking the old LG monitor that was 9 years old was dying. It wasn’t that.

The old LG used the TB cable and the second monitor i used to have used the displayport cable. When the issue occured on this setup, it only affected the LG (thunderbolt port) and not the displayport fed screen.

Now the Dell is failing whilst both cables are in use. Last week i had no feed on the usb cable for an entire day.

I am also going to try bringing the mac closer and using shorter tb3 and hdmi cables.

edit: displayport replaced with a longer hdmi-hdmi cable. Lets give that a day to see what happens.

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Long cable runs like this can get tricky because of the data rates. And it will only get worse over time.

I’d consider either an IP based KVM (example: DKX4-101 - Raritan Dominion KX IV-101 Ultra High Performance 1-Port 4K KVM-over-IP Switch - requires more research, this is just for illustration).

Or for that price you can buy a lightweight Mac Mini to run on your desk and then remote into the MacPro via Parsec or your favorite tool.

I have two desk setups - one on the main floor and one in the basement. I don’t run monitor and cables between them, I just use Parsec and VNC to login from the main floor to the basement if I don’t feel like sitting in the basement. On the local network latency and bandwidth is no issue.

I’ve heard Corning Fibre Ootic Thunderbolt cables are pretty solid. I just looked and saw they make a 50 metre one. That’s nuts!!

One other thing. Do you have anything on the same power circuit that might be causing interference, like a fridge or Microwave? Bad power can cause these sorts of issues too. I’ve seen HDMI over Cat6 get affected by fridges, water coolers and automated blinds where the monitor would black out for a few seconds when they switched on/off. This was with top quality shielded belkin cable too. Also tried running ferrite filters on any non balanced cabling in case it was RF noise. Would be interesting to get the system and monitor close for a couple of days to see if your issues stop. Since your cable is Fibre, RF won’t be an issue but dirty power at either end definitely could be.

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Yes fiber optic thunderbolt cables are super solid. When I was staff we ran a couple(like 50 foot I think), and never an issue.
Maybe the tb3 to tb2 adapter is causing the issue?

But also Adam brings up a great point about power and it jostled my memory.
I had the MacPro and monitor plugged through Furhman Power Factor Pro. This is one from the 90’s for musicians when doing gigs but works great for the computer.
Anyways when I tried rearranging the plugs to get 2 powered external drives I switched the XDR monitor to one of the non Power Factor(that’s what they call it) outlets while leaving the Mac plugged into a Power factor outlet.
So basically it’s like they plugged into separate circuits now.

Long story short, the monitor started freaking out kinda like what you’re describing. Then all was well when I plugged it back into the other power factor outlet.
Maybe try plugging them through the same outlet if they’re not?

all good points…thanks chaps…my power is fine - it’s all connected to a battery UPS which filters out any mains noise.

I have just moved the Mac into the edit suite so i can shorten the cable runs, and also use hdmi-hdmi and TB3-TB3 cable - so not having to use any adapters. So far it is looking promising, but may be a few hours before the flashing happens again.

As for fibre cables - i have a few 10mtr runs and for a lot of things they are great. Connecting my raid to the mac via the fibre cable - BIG NO!! It constantly causes the raid to unmount from the desktop. I have a feeling the raid relies on a constant physical copper connection, which fibre does not do.

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Did you manage to sort it?

i think so…had it running for two days without a flash to black.

I’m giving it a week so i can be sure (this issue is very random and has been known not to strike for days) but so far, having shorter cables with no adapters in the signal path seems to be the solution.