Mac Pro 1,1 - GPU Upgrade Recommendation(s)?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jsurpless, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2009
    Hi everyone...

    I've got an original Mac Pro 1,1... as we all know, the Nvidia 7300 isn't cutting it at all for SC2... as such, I'm trying to weigh my options as far as upgrading the GPU...

    I don't think that I'm really a hard-core gamer... I'd like to make sure that I can play SC2 and Diablo III when it comes out... Civilization 5 whenever it comes out would be nice as well...

    As I see it, I have the following choices...

    Apple ATI4870

    Probably not the wisest choice as it's $$$$ and "outdated" tech, right?

    But it is guaranteed to work...

    PC ATI4870 (Flashed)

    While it's "outdated" too, it's considerably cheaper and more powerful than Apple's version... while I am sure I could pull the flashing off, I do have a couple of concerns...

    1. Damaging my Mac Pro? - this is a home computer so I'd be in a pickle if I toasted it somehow...
    2. Impact of OS X upgrades? - how smoothly do upgrades go with flashed cards? Do they just "work" once you flash them? Or are there quirks and such that one must consider?

    Apple ATI5870

    Not sure if this will even be an option... but it's probably best to wait and see if it works before doing anything? Though, the wait for SC2 will be hard ;-)

  2. macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Those seem like the choices. The Apple 4870 is not realistic though, it's just too expensive when a PC flashable card is under $150.

    I'd love to know if the Apple 5870 will work, but I don't think it will. I've looked for a 4870 to flash, but the link to the ATI power cables I have no longer works, and the sku number doesn't work either, so I don't know if I can still get the right power cord. I have an 8800, but it's dying.

    a 5870 would be great though.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    Last I checked the 5870 will not boot on a MP1,1 due to the lack of 32bit EFI support in the ROM. Possibly, someone may be able to update the 5870 with the necessary ROM in the near future but I wouldn't hold my breath just now. For the time being 4870 is the high-end way.
  4. macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2010
    I am in exactly your situation. MacPro 1,1 with a 7300. The Radeon 5770 is also installed.

    I dual boot into Windows 7 when I need to play Starcraft 2.

    Both video cards are plugged into the one monitor (dual input).

    I believe this is the cheapest solution available. SC II runs on ultra settings.
  5. macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Apple doesn't list the machine as compatible, but ATI is making their cards compatible with both 32 and 64bit EFIs, which is why the 4870 is so easily flashable from PC to Mac.

    Does anyone know for certain that the 5870 will not work in a 2006 MacPro?
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2009
    One thing that I don't understand...

    On what criteria am I to choose which Radeon 4870 I want to get?

    There seem to be little to no differences between the many out there, barring 512MB vs 1GB, of course...
  7. macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Find one that has been verified to be flashable, because not all are.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2006
    Edmonds, Washington
    Rob at Bare Feats today is saying that the Apple 5770 will work in a MP 1,1. This card is comparable to the 4870 but uses less power and runs cooler. Plus it's $249. I'm considering this for my MP, assuming these reports pan out.
  9. macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Does the 5770 require dual power connectors like the 4870? or does 'less power' mean one (or, dare I hope, none)?

    I would like a replacement for the 8800 that did not need the extra power connector. Even if it wasn't up to the 4870 as long as it was comparable to the 8800 (or better).
  10. macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2006
    OWC just posted their findings on the new cards. Here's a link.

    Looks like 5770 works in all Mac Pros and the 5870 works in 2008's and on.

    2006-2007s are stuck to just DVI connections with the 5770...
  11. thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2009
    Interesting... that's good that it works, albeit on a basic level... do you know why the miniDisplayPorts don't work?

    I only have a single 23" Apple Display and I don't really envision getting another display... so I think this is probably the best course of action of me...

    Thanks for the info...
  12. macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2006
    Edmonds, Washington
    The 5770 just needs one power cable.

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