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Need Help Upgrading My Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Stixx31, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    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
    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
  2. macrumors 65816

    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.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    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.
  4. macrumors 68040


    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.
  5. macrumors newbie

    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.
  6. macrumors newbie

    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.
  7. macrumors 68040


    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?
  8. macrumors newbie

    Single. And What about my boot screen and switching in boot camp
  9. macrumors newbie

    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?
  10. macrumors 68040


    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.
  11. Stixx31, Jan 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013

    macrumors newbie

  12. macrumors 6502a

    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.
  13. macrumors newbie

    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.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    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.
  15. macrumors newbie

    I guess I must have Misread something. Worse comes to Worse I have two of them. Is there any way to put EFI on the 570?
  16. macrumors 6502a

    It requires soldering a new ROM chip with larger capacity to accommodate the required EFI if you could find it in the first place. If interested, you could read this thread from the netkas forum to see what MVC did for an EFI modification.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Alright. So do you know which is the best Processor to put in it?
  18. macrumors 68040


    Best bang for buck would be 5472s. 5482s are triple priced and do not offer equal performance increase.

    Heatsink part number is 076-1303. Check eBay or used parts sellers. New one is bit pricey (~$200)
  19. macrumors newbie

    Alright, So I've upgraded the graphics card in the computer from a 5870 to a GTX570, and am ordering a solid state drive for the main hard disk. I'm guessing the next thing to do is upgrade the RAM.
  20. macrumors newbie

    I'm considering a similar upgrade although I wasn't thinking that big. That said, I'm open to suggestions.

    I have a 2009 MacPro 4,1 2 x 2.66ghz Quad-Core Intel (OS 10.6.8). 12gb of DDR3 ECC 1066mhz ram. (2 slots open) ATI Radeon 4870. I've recently switched from Final Cut Studio to Adobe CS6. I'm mainly looking for a performance boost in After Effects.

    Someone mentioned that DDR 3 1333mhz might be compatible. Can I add that ram to the two open slots?

    I've also been told that there are CAS latency requirements.

    Would be ideal if someone could provide a link to a product they recommend.

    Thanks in advance.

    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Mac Pro 4,1 - 2 x 2.66ghz Quad-Core
  21. macrumors 603

    You need to do some research.

    1333 RAM will ONLY work if you run 5,1 firmware flash and use a 1333 capable CPU. And you have to chuck any 1066 RAM at the same time. (can't have both)
  22. macrumors newbie

    Exactly what he said. By the way, Macvidcards, is there any way to send you a car and have you put EFI on it?
  23. macrumors newbie

    So I've now Installed my New SSD and the new graphics card and installed my OS. What Card should I plug my monitor in? I'm plugged into the 570 right now and not getting any Boot screen even though I have the 2600XT installed in the other X16 slot. How do I enable CUDA? Etc.
  24. macrumors 68040


    If you do use 2 (or more) displays, connect one to 2600 and you will get a bootscreen on this one.

    Install latest CUDA drivers for your OS version, then add your card's name to necessary .txt files in Premiere and After Effects (if you're using this one too):
  25. macrumors newbie

    Alright. The only thing right now is that the 2600Xt is right above the 570, and the 570 fan grinds along the bottom of the car. Can I move the 2600xt to one of the x4 slots?

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