1st Gen MacPro (Dual 2.66GHz) video card options - help.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by RRRize, May 23, 2009.

  1. RRRize macrumors regular

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    Jul 5, 2008
    #1
    I have a Dual-Core 2.66GHz MacPro (1st Gen) with the NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT. I also have both a 23" and 30" Apple Cinema Displays. The 7300GT cannot drive both monitors at optimal resolution (on the 30")

    I am ready to purchase the NVIDIA 8800 GT, but was wondering if anyone can recommend anything better (if there is anything out there better for my MacPro model).

    By the way, I use Aperture in a hardcore way and I may play a few games.

    Thx in advance!
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    The 3870 is better for pro apps, and the 8800 GT is better for games. Make your choice.
     
  3. benborman macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #3
    Also, ATI HD4870 is now confirmed working in the 2006 Mac Pro (with the 10.5.7 update). With the Apple version, you'll need a Mini Display port to DVI adapter to run your monitor setup. This 4870 is a 'newer' card for the Mac Pro, and it may help you get more use out of your machine for longer.
     
  4. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
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    Hollywood, CA
    #4

    Switch the connectors.
     
  5. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Britain
    #5
    The ATI 4870 card has been confirmed to work on the 2006 Mac Pro. This is the best card available by far. As mentioned, you will however need a small inexpensive adapter, since the 4870 comes with one DL-DVI and one Mini DisplayPort. Make sure you use the 30" on the DL-DVI and the 23" on the adapter. This is the required adapter:

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB570Z/A?mco=NDY5OTA2OQ
     
  6. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502

    Wehrwolf

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #6
    The 8800GT was quietly discontinued by Apple no too long ago. They can still be had on eBay, and possibly other 3rd party retailers who still have stock, but I suspect the limited availability will rapidly dry up. As other have already stated, the 4870 (from Apple or a reflashed PC card) is the way to go. Call me cynical, but I wouldn't be surprised if the next batch of these cards gets changed by Apple to adhere with the stated system requirements, (ie, removal of the unofficial support for EFI32 systems) so it may be wise to get one now or go with a reflashed card.
     
  7. RRRize thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 5, 2008
    #7
    I wound up returning the NVIDIA 8800 GT and picking up the ATI 3870, even though they did have the 8800 GT 1st Gen in stock as well. From everything I've read on this thread, on this forum and other web research, it seemed the best way for me to go was the 3870 since I am not a big gamer but use Aperture a whole lot.

    Also, at some point in the next few months, I may sell my MacPro and go for a newer Nehalem MacPro... maybe the 2nd generation Nehalem, so I didn't want to go all out and get the 4870 since it's a bit more than $100 more than the 3870.

    Thanks everyone for your advice and help!:) Much appreciated!
     
  8. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    Apr 29, 2006
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    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #8
    I have the same Mac Pro,

    Whatever you do, DO NOT get the ATI X1900. I have had so many problems with it, it's just unbelievable! I've had 4 replacements since december. (Along with a logic board and a super drive, but that's another matter)

    I'm contemplating calling Applecare today and seeing if they'll give me a whole new computer.
     
  9. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

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    Mid-West USA
    #9
    What else to run ATI 4870 in 1st Gen. 2.66?

    I'm about ready to pull the trigger on this purchase. I see the note about the Mini-DVI converter. What about power? My 3870 has a power cable running to a power out in the Mac. Does the 4870 Kit come with cable, or is it a different power set-up (because Apple expects it to be in a newer machine)?

    Any other issues or gotchas on this card in 2.66 1st Gen. Mac? I intend to run the original NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT or the ATI 3870 at the same time to support a total of three LCD's like I am doing now with my current NVIDIA. When I called Apple for support on the install of the ATI 3870 they seemed concerned about the total power available out of the power supply. Anyone know if the 4870 is less power hungry, or does more power consumption go hand-in-hand with better faster cards?

    I don't want to have to e-Bay the 4870. I'm guessing Apple would not take it back as their site does not list it compatible with the 2.66 1st Gen.
     
  10. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    #10
    It should be able to, as it has both a single link DVI and a dual link DVI port for a 30". The dual link is the one closest to the motherboard (in case you're plugging the 30" into the single link port).
     
  11. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #11
    D'oh, The Rominator beat me to it.

     
  12. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

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    #12
    I probably should have described the current set-up better. Right now I have three Dell LCD's. One is 24" inch and the other two are 22". All three have standard size DVI ports. I've got the 24" and one 22" inch one the 3870 and the third 22" LCD on its own on the GeoForce (the original card).

    If the 4870 works I wonder if I should restrict it to the 24" and let the 3870 run the two flanking 22" LCDs? I think I saw another power connector in there for both the 3870 and the 4870. Again, the comment Apple support say way back when I installed the 3870 was his worry about total power consumption taxing the power supply. I am running 4 Seagate drives in a RAID0 and 8 GB memory.

    I guess I'm also remembering killing an older Mac Desktop with an aftermarket CPU upgrade when the power supply gave out. That is why I'm a bit wary on upgrades. But then again why have a desktop unless you can upgrade right ;) I've got a 4870 on hold at my local Apple Store for pick up tomorrow.
     
  13. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    May 21, 2009
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    #13
    I have run a MacPro1,1 with 12 GB memory, 4 HDD, 2 ODD, 1 X1900XT and one HD3870. I would not be too concerned with the power unit in the MacPro. If in doubt I would run the 4870 from the two regular PCIe connectors and the 3870 from the connector of the second ODD which can be nicely routed into the PCIe bay.
     
  14. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

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    #14
    Thanks for letting me know. Sounds like I should go with it. I appreciate the knowledge and experience people bring to these forums.
     
  15. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #15
    No need to buy anything. Just
     
  16. RRRize thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 5, 2008
    #16
    I tried switching the connectors and it did not work. No matter what port both monitors are plugged into, they both work, but the 30" CANNOT reach optimal resolution. It only reaches 1920 x 1200. For the 30", I should be able to reach 2560 x 1600, but with the 7300GT, the highest resolution I can reach is 1920 x 1200.

    Anyhow, as I mentioned, I purchased the 3870 and that resolved my issue. Thanks again!
     
  17. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

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    Aug 19, 2002
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    Mid-West USA
    #17
    I retreated from Apple Store on the 3870 & Why

    Well I went to pick up the ATI 4870 at the local Apple Store. I knew they were going to say it was not supported in my 2.66 1st Gen. However, when I asked about whether there was a power cable in the box they of course drove home the point that I had an unsupported machine. They clearly didn't know if there was a power cable in the box, though we inspected the outside of the Apple box, which is not like a regular retail box for ATI.

    The Genius Bar overhead my conversation with the sales person and he interjected that they would not take the card back. Also brought up power issues. Then went on to say that had 4 people come back with the card that did not work in the PCI 1st generation slot. I don't know were they trying to put them in //+ ;)

    This started to worry me, as my machine is still on Apple Care warranty. I also started wondering if some of the cards have different firmware and that one version of the firmware worked and another flavor might not.

    The store was busy so I didn't want to negotiate a return even with a re-stocking fee. I think I'd have better luck with the Manager on a slow day. So I didn't pick up the card. I am going to mull it over and maybe make a try when I'm in a better frame of mind.

    Frankly, I've got a small war fund for tech. and I'd like to also get a 3G iPhone or an Apple tables or netbook (should WWDC) pop one out. I can bide my time on the graphics card as it isn't like I don't have a working machine. I do like to tweak though and the 4870 is still calling to me however fainter ;)
     
  18. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Sweden
    #18
    Probably the ones who failed had tried it before 10.5.7 was out. Before that, 1.1 mac pro's did not have the drivers for the card.
     
  19. jazz1 macrumors 65816

    jazz1

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    Aug 19, 2002
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    Mid-West USA
    #19
    It would have been nice if the Genius Bar person would have a least entertained the idea that people have reported it did work in older machines. It was clear they weren't going to go down that road. I guess they probably have had customers come back and complain that they allowed them to purchase something that officially is not supported.

    Is there anyone out there that found the card did not work? I'm seeing people respond it has worked for them. But no negative responses from anyone that may have taken the leap. If you are out there speak up now or watch me throw $300.00+ down the toliet :confused:
     
  20. chocobavits macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #20
    So I think I'm in a similar position as well. I have a Mac Pro first gen (2.66 Ghz dual core zeon, 1.33 Ghz buss) and I'm running a Nvidia 7300 GT. I want another graphics card and found that all the cards that I know are compatible are discontinued. So I have a few questions from what I've read.

    1. I can run the ATI Radeon HD 4870 on my computer now right?

    2. Can I use any of the other current model cards like the Nvidia GT 120?

    3. Can I use my current Nvidia 7300 GT AND the ATI 4870 at the same time to run 3 monitors at once?

    If this has been answered somewhere else I apologize. I've been looking for hours.
     
  21. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502

    Wehrwolf

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #21
    Yes, I'm running one in my 1st gen Mac Pro as I type this on OS X. Just make sure you're running 10.5.7. The official Apple upgrade kit comes with the card and 2 appropriate power cables to plug into the motherboard.

    As far as I know, none of the newer Nvidia cards will work on the 1st gen. This includes the GT120, and the upcoming 285. I guess Nvidia has little interest in marketing to us 1st gen owners.

    Haven't tried this, but I don't see why not.
     
  22. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2007
    #22
    So The Apple stores carry the 4870's? That would be better than ordering it.
     
  23. tgebauer macrumors newbie

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    Jun 30, 2008
    #23
    Can anyone confirm that this works with Bootcamp/Windows? I'm assuming the standard ATI driver will work but who knows with the Mac version.
     
  24. OZMP macrumors 6502

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    Feb 18, 2008
    #25
    my 8800 has been great. but if Open CL does what it is meant too, getting the 4870 will defiantly be the way to go IMO
     

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