It’s indeed a relevant question for many people who are on the verge of building a powerful Hackintosh system for their professional creative workflow, especially when it comes to combining optimal performance, speed, and efficiency on the same machine. Plus, building a Hackintosh workstation has its quirks and specifications, so it’s always useful to know which GPU to pick for your configuration.
Avoiding trial and error is an essential aspect of the assembling process particularly when working on a budget, so let’s see which one of the two options you should eventually opt for. The answer, of course, is never that simple and straightforward. So, if you want to get to grips with putting together a Hackintosh workstation without spending some extra cash, check out the follow-up of the original 9to5Mac video series regarding the Mid 2017 Hackintosh build that we’ve previously covered on the blog here.
One of the proven methodologies on those occasions is performing a few popular benchmarks such as LuxMark OpenCL, BruceX 5K, LaMetric Time4K Export used as a blueprint by many industry professionals that could give us some clues regarding the expected real-world performance of these two rivals. Interestingly enough, the Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti outperformed slightly the AMD RX 480 in the OpenGL test even though some of you might have expected just the opposite results.
Nevertheless, we could clearly see a huge difference when it comes to the actual real-world performance. All in all, when exporting 4K video in FCPX while using a single pass or multipass render method, the RX 480 card literally blows the GTX 1080 Ti out of the water.
It’s quite reasonable to ask why there is such a big difference between those two video graphics cards. According to Jeff from 5to9Mac, when you have software that is specifically designed with these particular hardware components in mind, it’s quite normal to get such results. Considering that Apple utilizes proprietary AMD hardware components for their professional line of computers, no wonder that you get improved performance even on a Hackintosh system as well.
Nvidia, on the other hand, specializes more in the Cuda development in comparison to OpenCL technology so we shouldn’t be much surprised what we get in that regard. Ultimately, if you are planning to use your Hackintosh predominantly with Final Cut X as your primary NLE, then obviously the RX 480 or any other AMD GPU would be the better choice for your creative workflow, especially in the long run.
It’s also worth noting that the AMD hardware needs more technical skills to install than the Nvidia counterparts. For instance, on Hackintosh machines, the latest AMD cards require the iGPU to be enabled on boot plus you need to edit a few kernel extensions in order to get GPU acceleration working with the RX 480. So, it really comes to what is your initial choice of NLE and what type of software do you plan to use on your Hackintosh in general.
If your focus in on Final Cut X and render times do matter at the most, then the AMD GPU would be the better choice. If you plan to use Adobe products or DaVinci Resolve as your main NLE then the more expensive, but much more powerful GTX 1080 Ti would serve you better. So, which one of the two GPUs would you choose if you need to build a Hackintosh today? Let us know in the comments below.