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Old Jan 30, 2013, 10:53 AM   #1
Stixx31
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Need Help Upgrading My Mac Pro

I bought used from a friend of mine his old Mac Pro 3,1. It came with an ATI 5870, and dual 2600XTs. Now. He was a general user, I'm a video editor and gamer, and I need an Nvidia Card for the CUDA Cores. I had found this
http://www.ebay.com/itm/150985668474...84.m1423.l2649
And thought it was the best deal but Now I've read you can put PC cards in a Mac Pro, which would be a much better deal for me. So My Questions are this-

1. Installing the best graphics Card to use on Mac and Windows for Mainly Editing but also Gaming
2. Adding Wi-Fi? I've read that you can use an Airport express card but every guide I've read contradicts one another
3. Enabling Cards to use CUDA Cores and Effortlessly switch between windows and Mac. The Idea of the Black Screen doesn't appeal to me.
4. Anything Else I may need to know.

Any and All Help is Appreciated
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:12 AM   #2
pprior
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I have a 3.1 mac pro. I also updated from a ati 4870 to get better adobe (premiere pro/after effects) performance. I ended up buying a Nvideo GTX680 card, due to best power/heat performance versus many other options.

However you don't get boot screen. I don't think any 600 series cards you can get bootscreen yet, you have to stay with the 500 series cards which are modified.

There are TONS of threads in this forum regarding these issues. Read read and read more. And macvidcards sells modified cards in his ebay store that will be plug and play if you want that.

As you probably know, Adobe has also started to support opencl so now the ATI cards are almost as good and you don't need CUDA. There are several threads on the new ATI cards in this forum as well, but you also don't get bootscreen with them and I didn't research them as I bought before the adobe support for opencl was available.

Not sure about adding wifi or why you would want to in a tower.

I will say that support from adobe for the nvidia cards is very limited so I have had to modify several files in order for my cards to get accelerated support, but it's not that hard to do. I wish it was plug and play however, but that's adobe's fault.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:32 AM   #3
xcodeSyn
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The GTX 480 has a TDP of 250W, it is over the 225W limit for a single GPU card. Your best choice is probably to get a GTX 570 for CUDA and keep one of the 2600XTs as the boot/GUI card. Read the sticky thread of NVIDIA PC cards to learn more about your choices.

The Airport Extreme WiFi card is located in a different place in the 2008 MP than in the 2009-2012 models, so make sure you get the correct guide for the 2008 model, and this one from MR should be helpful.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 11:48 AM   #4
666sheep
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Originally Posted by xcodeSyn View Post
Your best choice is probably to get a GTX 570 for CUDA and keep one of the 2600XTs as the boot/GUI card.
This and RAM (more=better) + big and fast storage. 570 is powerful in CUDA and OpenCL. To get bigger framebuffer look for 2.5GB one.

Post your current specs (RAM, CPUs, HDDs) and software you're using.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 12:38 PM   #5
jasondixon
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Bear in mind....

Well, the 5870 is about as good as you could ask for for gaming. I'm jealous you got a used Mac with it installed - I'm just about to upgrade from a 4870 to a 5870 in my 2009 Pro. One thing I've learnt though - be careful on the display outputs. I use a 27" Cinema Display and none of the flashed PC cards support it directly. I suspect I would have had to buy an adapter, thus negating any saving against Apple provided cards. There's been some issue with non Apple modded cards too - some glitches and crashes, even when some of the mac geniuses on GPUs have worked on them.

Can't agree more with 666sheep on the RAM front. I went from 8gb to 24gb and the performance improvement was huge.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:32 PM   #6
Stixx31
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The Card may be a 4870, I can't recall. It's at my work right now. It has a 2.8 ghz Quad core in it with 2 1 gig sticks of RAM and 2 2 gig sticks for a total of 6 gigs. At the point of editing I know that the card will improve my performance more tha Ram. I'm planning on putting a 120 gig solid state in as a boot Drive, and possibly throw some other HDDs in for storage, though I mostly use external drives as I currently have my MacBook Pro. I am looking at trying to keep the card under 300 if possible. I would like to put more RAM in eventually. But for the moment a Graphics card is what concerns me most.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 04:00 PM   #7
666sheep
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GTX 570 can be had for ~$200 off eBay. It requires 10.7 at least.
If you're using AE or Premiere, 6GB RAM isn't much. Upping it to 16GB or more + above card would make significant difference in editing and rendering. 16GB (4x4GB kit) is $176 on eBay at this moment.
Is you MP single 2.8 Quad core (BTO) or dual one?
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 04:13 PM   #8
Stixx31
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Single. And What about my boot screen and switching in boot camp
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 07:57 PM   #9
Stixx31
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Looking on eBay I can't find any RAM for the 3,1 Mac Pro under 230 for 16 gigs, and that is in all 2 Gig sticks. As Well, That Guide said not to use AMD and Nvidia Cards in the same Machine... So what do I do?
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 01:55 AM   #10
666sheep
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You may want to check this thread for more info about RAM. You can find few links to compatible RAM there. It doesn't have to be "Apple style" memory. Flat heatsink are fine, RAM runs slightly hotter, though. Ensure that seller offers warranty and exchange possibility.

2600XT should play nice with 570. I'm using Nvidia and AMD cards combo from time to time without issues. If you'd encounter any problems you can always sell both 2600s and get Apple GT120 for bootscreen.

In the future, when you'd have some more $ to spend, you can think about adding second CPU. You'd need Xeon 5462 SLANT or pair of 5472s SLANR and second heatsink.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 09:23 AM   #11
Stixx31
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I may end up getting a 120 just for ease of Mind. The 16 gigs of RAM for 176 bucks sounds like the deal for me. As well about the Processors, Google returned these. For the 5462, is this what I need?
http://www.amazon.com/463076-B21-SLA.../dp/B004RCHOY2
And this seems a lot better of a deal for these
http://www.ebay.com/itm/INTEL-XEON-Q...-/130812585018
But I see some Paired 3.2 Ghz Processors as well. What is going to be my best bet?

Last edited by Stixx31; Jan 31, 2013 at 10:36 AM.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:10 PM   #12
xcodeSyn
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Originally Posted by Stixx31 View Post
Guide said not to use AMD and Nvidia Cards in the same Machine... So what do I do?
May I ask where you found this info? I just recently put a GT 120 back to my MP with a flashed ATI/AMD 6870, so far I haven't encountered any problem but curious why there is a chance of incompatibility. Since ATI alternates with NVIDIA as Apple's GPU supplier, it's hard to imagine that they could be incompatible in the same machine, at least for the Apple official versions.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 12:41 PM   #13
Stixx31
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I ran across it on the forums but cannot seem to locate it now. It appeared people had issues with having an Apple ATI card for boot and an Nvidia card for performance.
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Old Jan 31, 2013, 01:37 PM   #14
xcodeSyn
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Originally Posted by Stixx31 View Post
I ran across it on the forums but cannot seem to locate it now. It appeared people had issues with having an Apple ATI card for boot and an Nvidia card for performance.
After going over more than a few pages of the sticky thread, I think there is nothing official on not to use AMD and NVIDIA cards in the same machine. There were some trying to install all sorts of NVIDIA cards which may not be supported in the driver list. As 666sheep stated, the 2600XT should be fine with the GTX 570. But given the history of 2600XT, it may be better to sell them before they turn bad and replace it with a GT 120, which seems to have a much better quality and low power usage, a good candidate for boot/GUI card.
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