3rd party video cards in the Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ksgant, Feb 6, 2007.

  1. ksgant macrumors 6502a

    ksgant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I was wondering if I bought a bare-bones mac pro with the 7300GT as the video card if I could upgrade it to the ATI x1900 later on from a 3rd party? I mean, could I buy one from NewEgg, where I can get it cheaper, or do I HAVE to go through Apple and pay through the nose to get it? If so, why? Isn't it the same card?

    I can get an x1900 XT for around $270 at NewEgg, instead of the $400 at Apple. If I have to buy it from Apple, that's not much of a choice.
     
  2. ksgant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ksgant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    after not finding anything in the search function, I decided to just go through each post one-by-one seeing if the title would yield any info. Finally I found something and it shows that you can't in fact do this with any PC video-card...which makes the Mac pro kind of useless for me personally. If they're trying to compete with PC hardware now, shouldn't they make their machines able to take in different videocards? It's one thing to say that Apple is just trying to control the hardware to make the OS more stable, it's another thing to charge outrageous prices. I mean, come on...$400 bucks for a $270 dollar card. Not to mention the fact that ATI has moved on beyond the x1900 to faster cards now. It's a driver issue and a ROM on the card issue. Are they that strapped for cash that they can't just have regular ATI drivers and video cards?

    Oh well, guess the Mac Pro is out for me. Hello iMac then.
     
  3. flyinmac macrumors 68020

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    The iMac would be a fine choice. The only thing I don't like about them, is that I end-up buying a new monitor and throwing the old one out (essentially) every time I move up to a new iMac. So, my next machine will use a separate monitor. I just hate waste.

    Anyway, the reason the PC video cards won't work, is because they all are designed for standard PC's which use the standard BIOS and CMOS setup. They expect to be initialized / activated a certain way when the computer is turned on.

    The Intel Macs are using the newer EFI instead of the traditional BIOS. I expect EFI will catch-on over time. But, for now, only cards that work with EFI systems will work in the new Macs. Obviously, that means that the standard PC cards won't work now. But, that doesn't mean it will always be that way.

    I guess it's just important to understand that it is a fundamental design difference that prevents the standard cards from working. It's not just that Apple has a flaw that prevents it. It's a design difference.
     
  4. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #4
  5. ksgant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ksgant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago
    #5
    Thanks flyinmac for the info. I see now where the problem lies with the different cards and how the different machines (Mac and PC) sees them. This is something though that doesn't come up much in the PC vs. Mac flamewars I've seen about pricing out different equipment and their equivalents, so maybe it's not that big a deal.

    Seems that bottom line, if you're buying a Mac Pro and are going to get the x1900 sometime down the road, best you just go ahead and buy it with the Mac, that way you're only spending the extra $250 instead of shelling out $400 later on.
     
  6. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #6
    they will have more cards available soon. have patience.

    and how exactly would an iMac be better for you if a swappable video card is a big issue to you? the imac is not well suited for anything graphically intensive. nor will it be upgradeable in the future.
     
  7. flyinmac macrumors 68020

    flyinmac

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    United States
    #7
    Yes, that is the best way to go.

    If you don't have the $250 now, then I'd probably just wait until you did so that you could get it now. Better to just get it as you want it instead of paying more later and having the old card just sitting around.
     
  8. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #8
    or you could read the above posts, and links and know that you can pick up a cheap new or used PC x1900xt on ebay, (now or in the future) and flash it to work with the mac pro.
     
  9. ksgant thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ksgant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago
    #9
    I read as to why the PC cards won't work, and I even wrote that...showing that the Mac Pro for me personally isn't an option...for ME. That's why I said I'm going to go with an iMac instead.

    And I'm trying to get the Mac now...not wait 6 months for maybe some other thing to come out...but wait! Don't get it then either because 6 months down the road something ELSE may be coming out! I'd like to start working on one now with the products that are available NOW.
     
  10. product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #10
    You still do not realize that you can put a $250 PC version of the card in a Mac Pro and flash it with the proper firmware. 'ugghh $400 for a $250 card.. uggghhh' NO it is $250 for a $250 card.


    I never said to wait to buy a mac.

    just that if you go the imac route, you will NOT be able to upgrade.

    buying the mac pro will allow you to upgrade after companies start to release more mac pro compatible video cards.
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #11
    You know what I love about MR? The fact that you can ask questions and get answers. What else I like? That you don't have to reply to threads that irritate you.

    Just to be perfectly clear: it's OK to ask questions. It's nice to search first, but the search function isn't the best, and advice changes over time.

    Let's be civil here, please.
     

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