Graphics card compatability

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JmacHS, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    #1
    Hello,

    I am sorry if this is an over-asked question however i have done a lot of research on this topic with varying results. I have a dual quad core mac pro version 4,1 which has a Nvidia GT120 graphics card installed. I do a lot of 3D design work in CAD applications and using various Adobe suite tools, and this card is very underpowered for these applications. I would also like to be able to play the odd game. I spend almost 100% of my time on this computer in windows under bootcamp however, and honestly i cant remember the last time i switched back to OS X. I simply dont have the need to.

    My question is, am i able to install a windows graphics card in my mac, while leaving the GT 120 in? My (likely highly flawed) logic is that with both installed the system will function normally under windows and will use the GT 120 when i occasionally boot into OS X. This is something i remember reading a few days ago, sorry if this is silly. There is simply a much greater range of cards for PC and the prices are not comparable with those for mac. And considering i use windows 8 the vast majority of the time regardless, i would like to be able to take advantage of the features offered by these cards specific to my applications.

    Any help on this topic would be greatly appreciated. My research has possibly left me more confused than before :eek:

    Cheers
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #2
    Yes. See the FAQ thread for details about how NVIDIA cards work under Mac OS X. You can use whatever card you want when running Windows.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    #3
    Thank you very much for this information. One issue i was not able to clarify through this article was the boot process. I am currently running windows 8 and since there is no support for this with bootcamp, my only reboot to OS X option is to shutdown, hold alt and select it at the boot screen.

    From this post and others i am assuming i can leave my GT120 in, however will this mean the boot screen is still displayed?

    Thank you
     
  4. DanielCoffey, Nov 8, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #4
    If you have a single OSX installation and a single Windows installation, get a copy of the FREE app called BootChamp from www.kainjow.com

    It is a little app that when installed adds an icon onto the top right of the title bar that you can click to select "Restart into Windows. A couple of clicks and the Mac reboots and starts up in Windows for you without having to hold down any keys.

    It is a great free app and widely used.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    #5
    Thank you for this suggestion.

    I have been looking around for different cards and the Nvidia GTX 570 seems appropriate. I have also seen it in the link above to be recommended. I am confused again however as the mac pro power supply is 225W, yet all information i can find for this card says it requires far greater than this. On Nvidia's website the required max power is as mentioned in the above guide, however all of the cards i have been able to find when purchasing are different?

    Sorry to ask what i am sure are very basic questions. Thank you again for any help.
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    #6
    I am using a very similar hardware setup (not doing any windows stuff though) with a GT120 and a EVGA GTX570 2.5GB. Works flawlessly. Of course, there is no boot screen with the GTX but I can always switch to the GT120.
     
  7. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #7
    it's 980

    the graphics card limitation is 225W
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Anywhere
    #8
    I think 225W is the max supported power draw on the PCI-E slot.
     
  9. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
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    #9
    PCI-e is 75 W

    each 6 Pin PCI-e power cable is 75W

    75x3 is 225

    225w Max on a graphics card or really and card in a MP
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    #10
    Thank you very much for letting me know. I dont like messing around with my MP so it nice to know i shouldnt have any issues. Could you please let me know how you have it setup? ie which slots you have the card in and any additional components i will need to order? Also i am using a 24" cinema display, will i need an adapter to mini-display port? Cheers

    Oh ok i understand now, i was a little confused by this :eek: Thank you
     
  11. macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #11
    I have installed WIndows 8 64bit on both a 4,1/5,1 Mac Pro and even a 1,1 Mac Pro.

    The 1,1 required quit a bit more fiddle faddling but BOTH work A-OK.

    You can even choose Windows 8 as startup from "Startup Disk".

    Required doing some arcane rebuilding of 64 bit ISO via some info I found via several hours of googling and trial and error.

    But it most definitely can be done if you apply some logic to it.

    The 570 2.5 is best card for Mac right now.

    If you wish to avoid the fiddly plug switching, etc, get one from us and enjoy boot screen. We have version that includes adapter for Apple LED displays and the special Apple power cables. Turn key install. You can sell or trade in your GT120 to cover cost of EFI mod.

    But I want to reiterate, Windows 8 64 bit can be installed on ANY Mac Pro. And it will enable being able to choose via "Startup Disk" but you MUST use Bootcamp assistant to partion drive to have this ability. Both WIndows 8 installs were purchased from MS, one I bought at Staples for $70 and the other I bought from MS for $40. If you have a recent purchase of Win 7 there is a way to get a Promo to get Win 8 for $15.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    #12
    Thank you for your help. And thank you for your offer however i would like to keep the GT120 and the GTX 570 is probably the most money i wish to spend at this time.

    If anyone would be able to let me know what extra components i will require that would be much appreciated. Also are these two cards able to connect by SLI?

    Thank you
     
  13. macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #13
    Why not get what I got a 560Ti 448 its 95% of a 570 30ish cheaper and fits in the power envelope.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    adder7712

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Location:
    Anywhere
    #14
    For SLI, you would need two identical cards. So you can't SLI a GT 120 and a GTX 570.

    I'd also suggest you consider the NVIDIA GeForce 6xx cards. To be more specific, the Kepler-based ones (GTX 650 and above) as they are really power efficient.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #15
    Does his MP mobo support SLI connections? Will it only work in Windows or not at all?
     

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