Non-Apple Graphics Card Fully Compatible with 27" Display

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by colorspace, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2005
    I need to upgrade the video card in my Mac Pro 4,1 from the stock 120. The obvious candidates the "Apple" Ati 5770 and 5870 would obviously be significantly faster and provide full compatibility with my 27" Apple display, but seem to be be pretty grossly overpriced for the performance (the 5770 seems to be barely better than the stock card in my '11 iMac).

    That said I'm curious the 3rd party alternatives such as the GTX5xx and 6xx cards as well as the ATI 6870 (others?) AS LONG as they are fully compatible with my 27" Apple Display including sound (over mini-displayport? or USB?) and the built in iSight webcam -- I rely on being able to use these both for Skype and to record Screenflow tutorial. Blank boot screen I can live with if EFI is not supported.

    Does any one here have HANDS ON experience with the 3rd party video cards and full compatibility with a 27" Apple display?

    If any one can also get me pointed to a compatible 3rd party alternative cards that don't require additional power (via cable), that would be great as well.

  2. macrumors 68040


    If it's a 27" Cinema Display, you can run any card that runs (Mini) DisplayPort displays. The rest is attached via the USB cable.
  3. macrumors 601


    Sep 21, 2010
    Even the Apple 5770 and 5870 require additional power cables. Any card that doesn't use these isn't going to be particularly speedy.

    Third party cards often don't come with the right cables for Mac Pro, but the cables are relatively inexpensive.
  4. macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I did the non-apple thing it was fun but in the the end I settled on an apple card. I know they're expensive and out of date but they have a warranty and are PnP with boot screens
  5. macrumors 604

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    We have a couple of cards that support MDP and offer boot screens but if you want the audio to go over the MDP cable you have to use a 5770 or a 5870 and also flash your 4,1 into a 5,1. Apple has intentionally put drastic limits on which cards can send sound via those cables.

    If you can live with sound over USB, that opens up your choices a bit.

    If you don't care about boot screens, the threads about NVIDIA cards and 6870 cards might be good read.

    There are ways to hack drivers so that sound is sent via MDP but they are fiddly and need to be updated frequently.

    Sadly, in Windows this little miracle is as easy as waking up. Any card can do it with ease. Apple wants you to feel gifted when they enable It on a select few cards.
  6. macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2010
    There's a long thread about the various Nvidia options on this site, so search that - AFAIK, if you want ATI, the best card will be the 7950 (look for ones that have 2 6 pin connectors), but you need to wait until 10.8.3 for these cards to be natively supported by OS X.
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2005
    Ati 7950


    I'll do a bit of research on the ATI 7950 -- I wonder if people have already been playing on this with pre-release versions of 10.8.3? mmm
  8. macrumors 604

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Yes, I found them to work and a variety of people have been playing since
  9. macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2013
    I have the same question concerning a MacPro 1,1 and Cinema Display 27"

    Currently I got an AMD (Powercolor) 5870 PC Graphics Card in the Mac Pro. I can't get the Cinema Display working connected via Displayport to MiniDP adapter. My Dell runs fine on Displayport, even by connecting it with an adapter-chain (to test function of DP-Adapter) Dell>DP-Cable>DP-to-miniDP>miniDP-to-DP>5870.

    If i'll get a GTX 660/670 would the Cinema Display work with the DP-to-miniDP-Adapter? Because there aren't any GTX 6xx Cards with native miniDP, right?

    Next thing is, i'm on 10.7.5 and have not planned to update to mLion. GTX6xx should work on 10.7.5?

    Thanks in advance.
  10. macrumors 604

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Very few flashed 5870s work with MDP and sadly the DP function varies in different OS's.

    Just about any NVIDIA card will have functioning DP which can be adapted to MDP with a $7 adapter from Startech.

    See Asgorath's sticky thread at top.
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2005
    Thanks MVC! I'll probably wait to make a decision to see what you guys do with the 970/980 cards.

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