1st Gen Mac Pro want to update video card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ronweathers, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. ronweathers macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2010
    #1
    I just purchased my first Mac... a used Mac Pro...2 x2.66 dual core with 8 gb of ram and a 7300GT video card. (built Aug 2007)

    I want to upgrade the video card. I have tried to follow earlier postings, but need a bit more clarification... It appears that the 8800GT mac version is the only recommended card, but Apple no longer sells them. I can still find these 1st gen cards on eBay for approx $250-280. I have also read where others of you have installed new cards, such as the 4870, in your 1st gen mac, but using these newer cards seems to require some "flashing" of the card or other such tweaks--which, unfortunately, I am not that familiar with.

    With the 8800GT, it seems you can just swap out the cards, update the drivers and you are good to go... am I wrong in thinking that the newer cards are more difficult to get up and running? Would appreciate any advice.
     
  2. Techhie macrumors 65816

    Techhie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Location:
    The hub of stupidity
    #2
    Apple made a special legacy version of the 8800 GT after a huge gripe in the community (some hoopla about it not being "compatible" with older PCIe slots :rolleyes:), so you will have to be sure that the card you buy is compatible with Mac Pro 1,1 (2006).
     
  3. PurpleLogix macrumors member

    PurpleLogix

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #3
    Go the "flash" route. Its really not as hard as it seems and reads!! Have a look a the monster 4870/4890 thread and have a look at Cindori's guide herehttp://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=713428

    I flashed my card and it was the first time for me as well, but so easy and fun to do!!
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    The HD4870 will actually work in the '06 and '07 models. :) You can even get a PC version and flash it to save on the cost (thread/s on it around MR).

    It's just not capable of double precision floating point calculations (in Open CL use). And that issue would be with any card you use, as the EFI firmware in the system is only 32 bit (64 bit would be needed, and Apple's not going to release an update).
     
  5. akadmon macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #5
    Feed Steve (God knows he could use some feeding!) by spending a little more money on an Apple branded 4870. Mine's working great under 10.6.2 and Win 7.
     
  6. amtctt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #6
    so the apple branded 4870 works in first Gen MP? no issues, other than the floating stuff discussed earlier in the thread?
     
  7. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #7
    apple 4870 works out of the box.


    but seriously, a PC 512mb 4870 retails for like $100. spend a little more for double the VRAM, use my tool to flash with one click (provided someone writes you a rom, which some people, like me, may do)
     
  8. amtctt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #8
    just might do that. any word on the 5000 series and doing stuff like this?
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    They'll work just fine. :)

    The only reason for mentioning the PC version flash method, was as a possible way to save on cost. But you do have to be careful, as not every model will work, as the ROM chip must be capable of being used to contain the EFI firmware that is used on the Mac version. Which is why you want to find the thread on it, and pay close attention. But if you're nervous about it, go with the official Apple version, and be done with it.

    More money but no potential headaches vs. lower cost, and the potential of having to return it, and find one that does work (headache). So the choice is up to you. ;) :p
     
  10. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #10
    i'll get right on it when apple releases drivers for it, aka when they release the 5870 card aka when new mac pro is released.
     

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