5K 60Hz SHOOTOUT: iMac 5K vs
Mac Pro 'tube' and 'tower'
Posted May 1st, 2015, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
May 4th, 2015, added GTX 970 to the mix
OS X 10.10.3 has added 60Hz support for the Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor at 5120x2880 when dual mDP-to-DP cables are connected to dual Thunderbolt 2.0 ports on the 2014 iMac 5K and 2013 Mac Pro 'tube." So here's another OpenGL "shootout" that includes the 2010 Mac Pro tower sporting top NVIDIA GPUs with two or more DisplayPort 1.2 ports.
MPt6c TITAN X = 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core with NVIDIA GeForce TITAN X GPU
MPt6c GTX980 = 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPU
MPt6c GTX970 = 2010 Mac Pro 3.33GHz 6-core with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 GPU
nMP 8c D700 = 2013 Mac Pro 3.0GHz 8-core with AMD FirePro D700 GPUs
iMac 5K Internal = 2014 iMac 5K Retina 4.0GHz Quad-Core i7 with AMD Radeon R9 M295X GPU using built-in 5K display
iMac 5K Dell = 2014 iMac 5K Retina 4.0GHz Quad-Core i7 with AMD Radeon R9 M295X GPU using external Dell 5K display
All Macs were running OS X 10.10.3. NVIDIA GPUs used the latest web driver (346.01.02f02) and boot-args in nvram set to "nv_spanmodepolicy=1 nvda_drv=1."
Using the best settings with no vsync but with no anti-aliasing at 5120x2880, we entered the game at the same location and observed FPS (Control R). RED graph bar means FASTEST in FRAMES per SECOND.
GPUtest - FurMark
This is a very intensive OpenGL benchmark that uses fur rendering algorithms to measure the performance of the graphics card. Fur rendering is especially adapted to overheat the GPU. That's why FurMark is also a perfect stability and stress test tool for the graphics card. We ran the test at 5120x2880 Windowed with anti-aliasing disabled. (RED graph bar means FASTEST in FRAMES per SECOND.)
GPUtest - TessMark
This benchmark measures tessellation processing speed. The more levels, the more GPU processing power is required. We tested with 16 and 32 levels. (RED graph bar means FASTEST in FRAMES per SECOND.)
This OpenGL Benchmark "flies" through forest-covered valley surrounded by vast mountains. It amazes with its scale from a bird's-eye view of 64 million meters of extremely detailed terrain down to every leaf and flower petal. It features advanced visual technologies: dynamic sky, volumetric clouds, sun shafts, DOF, ambient occlusion.
We used Extreme preset customized to 5120x2880 windowed resolution with no Anti-aliasing, Ultra Quality for Shaders and Textures. Occlusion, Refraction, and Volumetric Shadows were enabled. We posted AVERAGE frames per second. (RED graph bar means FASTEST in FRAMES per SECOND.)
GFXBench - Manhattan On-Screen
The Manhattan scene is a true GPU-intensive test utilizing OpenGL features such as multiple render target for deferred rendering, geometry instancing, transform feedback and many more. (RED graph bar means FASTEST in FRAMES per SECOND.)
The Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor is now the 'constant companion' of our 2013 Mac Pro 'turbo tube.' The iMac with 5K Retina display sitting next to it can no longer taunt it. The two Macs have equally amazing displays. Though we tested at the full 5120x2880, most of the time both displays are set to the scaled 2560x1440 with HiDPI 'Retina' mode in effect.
The Mac Pro tower continues to benefit from the efforts by NVIDIA engineering to provide downloadable drivers with each revision of OS 10.10.xx. The "Maxwell" class of GPU is able to run the Dell 5K display's full potential.
HOOPS and CHOKES
Besides the requirement of an NVIDIA Maxwell GPU like the GeForce GTX 970, 980 and TITAN X, to run at 5K on the Dell 5K display, the Mac Pro tower requires the latest web based driver from NVIDIA designated for the Quadro K5000 for the Mac and the following boot-args in nvram: nv_spanmodepolicy=1 nvda_drv=1.
Then with two DisplayPort cables connected to two of the DisplayPorts on the NVIDIA GPU, you Startup or Restart. Once the Finder screen appears, you must power cycle the Dell 5K display to put it in 5K mode. Don't forget to Option+Click "Scaled" in the System Preferences > Displays tile to see all available scaled resolution settings.
Some games choked at 5120x2880 resolution. Left 4 Dead 2 (Steam) displayed the startup screen fine but when we began the TIMEDEMO run, it displayed the viewport in the upper left quarter of the screen with 'stretch marks' going to the rest of the screen. It runs normal fullscreen mode at 3940x2160 and 3200x1800. Tomb Raider displayed crazy artifacts at startup and/or crashed when we tried to run at 5120x2880. It runs fine at 3940x2160 and 3200x1800. Batman Arkham City was working but lately gives an error at startup and quits.
I trust those developers will soon fix these issues.
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WHERE TO BUY THE GEFORCE GTX 980 and other GPUs
You can buy a 'vanilla' GTX 980 on Amazon. For a modified GTX 970, 980 or TITAN, visit MacVidCards.
WHERE TO BUY THE DELL ULTRASHARP 27 ULTRA HD 5K MONITOR
Amazon has the UP2715K at $1999 (or less). Dell Home and Office sells it direct for $2500 (search for "UP2715K")
WHERE TO BUY MACS AND OTHER APPLE products:
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