Nvidia Geforce GTX 285. CUDA On The Cheap For Mac

July 10, 20124 Comments

I had to get away from Final Cut Pro 7. Render times and overall performance has gone down when editing with HD content. In SD FCP was great. Final Cut Pro 6 came out in 2007 that makes it 5 years old to date.  FCP X wasn’t an option when it was released since it lacked so many features I had to have. It really was time to look elsewhere. I went to NAB this year and spent a good hour and a half at the Adobe Theater watching demos of CS6.  I was sold on Premiere Pro CS6. Premiere Pro looked to have matured into the NLE I needed.

Making It Sing.

I have a 2009 Mac Pro that I was pretty sure would work but the graphics card I had wasn’t a CUDA enabled card. You want and need CUDA for Premiere Pro CS6 mercury playback engine to work. Without it Premiere Pro will struggle and all the realtime performance is limited. It will still be better than Final Cut Pro 7 but come on! You want to play in real time and not be rendering all the time right?

Now if you are a Mac user like me your choices are slim. Very slim. Below is a list of the CUDA cards approved by Adobe. Makes me wish I was using PC. I didn’t say that did I?

The Mercury Playback Engine brings performance gains to all the GPUs supported today in Adobe Creative Suite® 6 software. If you’re upgrading your system and want to get the most out of your configuration, the following graphics cards offer significant additional acceleration:

As you can see from the list above there are only three CUDA cards approved out of a bunch for Windows. Two of them are the high end Quadro cards. The Quadro 4000 cost $750 and the Quadro FX 4800 cost $1400. YIKES! This is annoying, and the only affordable card the GeForce GTX 285 has been discontinued for sometime now. I did some searching to find the GTX 285 new and came up empty. I went to Ebay and found a seller named MACVIDCARDS. This guy flashes the firmware of the Windows version so it works with 2008 or earlier Mac Pros. Enabling 2 gigabytes of VRAM on the card. These cards are a bargain so I took a chance to see if they work. Oh yes It did! The card made Premiere Pro CS6 fly! Scrubbing the thumbnails made me laugh the first time I did it. Pretty much all the CUDA functions worked great. The price? Half what the best approved card cost. n fact I paid less than half. $285. What a deal. Because its an auction the price does fluctuate so if your interested in the card watch it for the best price.

I used the card for several months with no issues. It really was a great find and if your on a tight budget it might be your only affordable one. I know have a Quadro 4000 in both Mac Pros I work on and to be honest I cant tell the difference in performance. Some times you just get lucky. This is one of those times.

Happy editing!

If your interested in purchasing this card I’m selling mine that I purchased for this review. Please leave a comment if interested.

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About the Author ()

I'm a broadcast DP In San Diego. I enjoy sharing what I'm working on and testing new equipment. This blog is also part of giving back. I've learned so much from so many people.

Comments (4)

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  1. Peter Tours says:

    Did you ever sell the card?

  2. Ricardo says:

    Hello, did you end up selling the card? If not shoot me an email with your asking price for it.
    Thanks.

  3. P5W says:

    If you get a second hand GTX285 for a PC and have a Hackintosh, you solve the problem in the cheapest way, dude.

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