2006 Mac pro GPU recommendations

philm001

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2018
46
1
Hello all,


I have a 2006 Mac pro that I would like to upgrade the GPU on. I already flashed it to 2,1 and I have OSX El Capitan installed.

I would like to get a graphics card with more then 1 GB of VRAM.

I am currently looking at this card:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NVIDIA-Quadro-FX-4800-by-PNY-1-5GB-GDDR3-VIDEO-CARD-works-including-Gsync-card/202448416144?_trkparms=aid=555017&algo=PL.CASSINI&ao=1&asc=54463&meid=c9e8ba27c0824eaebabf46a5732bfdb9&pid=100505&rk=1&rkt=1&&itm=202448416144&_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226


However, according to the listing, 2006 models are not compatible with the card. However, I believe that this is because of the OS.

My question is this:

1) Has anyone tried this card in the 2006 mac and did it work?
2) Would I be able to get some recommendations on which gpus are good for the 2006 mac pro that are more the 1GB of VRAM or am I going to have to stick with an 8800?
 

miguelsan22

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2007
20
11
Hey. So the good news is that you can use most current gen ATI cards that will take advantage of the native macOS drivers. I use a RX480 with no modification while running four monitors. You can get something like an R9 380, RX 460 or something a little older for a good price.
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
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Hey. So the good news is that you can use most current gen ATI cards that will take advantage of the native macOS drivers. I use a RX480 with no modification while running four monitors. You can get something like an R9 380, RX 460 or something a little older for a good price.
You are mistaken, you can't run 10.12 with a 2006 or a 2007 Mac Pro, so no AMD cards that needs Sierra or High Sierra like RX-4xx on wards.
 
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Project Alice

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2008
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Do NOT try to use an AMD card in any pre 4,1 Mac Pro. This is due to lack of SSE 4.2. This includes MP 3,1s, like mine. The drivers for AMD cards require SSE 4.2.

As for your 1,1/2,1 Mac Pro, if you install 10.11, you should be able to run a GeForce 980 or older. As long as you use the web drivers, available here: https://www.tonymacx86.com/nvidia-drivers/

See this thread for more information.

I currently have a GTX 1060 in my 2008 3,1 however I don't believe this will work in yours, I think the pascal drivers weren't in the web driver until 10.12, and I couldn't get it to work with proper acceleration until 10.13 came out. Your 2006 will only take 10.11 from lack of SSE 4
 

philm001

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2018
46
1
I tried using my RX480 in the computer and it did not work. Still looking for gpus that I can use in the machine.
 

philm001

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2018
46
1
That is fine, I have a EFI bootable card that I can use. Since the GTX 780 works, I am assuming that any card underneath that one will also works?
[doublepost=1539637603][/doublepost]
Do NOT try to use an AMD card in any pre 4,1 Mac Pro. This is due to lack of SSE 4.2. This includes MP 3,1s, like mine. The drivers for AMD cards require SSE 4.2.

As for your 1,1/2,1 Mac Pro, if you install 10.11, you should be able to run a GeForce 980 or older. As long as you use the web drivers, available here: https://www.tonymacx86.com/nvidia-drivers/

See this thread for more information.

I currently have a GTX 1060 in my 2008 3,1 however I don't believe this will work in yours, I think the pascal drivers weren't in the web driver until 10.12, and I couldn't get it to work with proper acceleration until 10.13 came out. Your 2006 will only take 10.11 from lack of SSE 4
Yeah so in another post, I noticed that there was an issue with installing the web drivers. Maybe you know something about it? the post is at this link:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/gpu-issues-with-2006-mac-pro.2146069/#post-26651793

it is the last post
 

philm001

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2018
46
1
Nvidia GTX-680 and 780 are a great fit. Native driver of 10.11 supports both and works with MP1,1/2,1 Xeons. Bootscreens will not work, even if flashed.
Is there any particular brand that you recommend?
 

philm001

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2018
46
1
OK, so looking through, it looks like the GTX 780 is a very good candidate. I found some reasonable prices on different cards. Mainly the GTX 760, GTX 670, and the GTX 770.

Since the GTX 780 is able to work in the mac pro 2006 model, is it safe to assume that any of the other cards listed above will work on the 2006 model?
 
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Traace

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2018
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There is a HD 7970 with crazy 6GB VRAM (Sapphire Vapor-X) , it can be flashed for Mac and give bootscreen in a cMP 1,1 / 2,1 ;)
 

miguelsan22

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2007
20
11
You are mistaken, you can't run 10.12 with a 2006 or a 2007 Mac Pro, so no AMD cards that needs Sierra or High Sierra like RX-4xx on wards.
You're right about that. I should have clarified that I used the 480 in El Capitan when I got the card.
 

MacDann

macrumors 6502a
More importantly, what do you do or want to do with this computer and GPU? Just getting the highest performance GPU that the machine will run might be a waste of money.

I highly recommend the GTX 680, as they're plentiful, relatively inexpensive, and easily flashed. If you stick with a reference model you'll be in good shape for a long time. I run one on my current 3,1 and it works great driving two 30" ACDs with no trouble at all.

MacDann
 
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philm001

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 29, 2018
46
1
I am building this for a friend who is doing some video editing. They already have a 2009 model with a really good hook-up. They got the 2006 model for free and figured they would invest a little to make it better.
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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I am building this for a friend who is doing some video editing. They already have a 2009 model with a really good hook-up. They got the 2006 model for free and figured they would invest a little to make it better.
Go for GTX 680, since you can flash yourself and it's a easy card to find used. Don't buy 670 or 770 cards. With GTX 780, only the GTX 780A model, the oldest one, can be flashed with eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition firmware.
 

MacDann

macrumors 6502a
If they're processing video the best bang for your buck isn't going to be in the GPU, but in the processors. E5472s or E5482s coupled with 800MHz RAM will make this box squeal.

And an SSD for the boot drive, and ideally the scratch or swap drive for video, too.

MacDann
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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If they're processing video the best bang for your buck isn't going to be in the GPU, but in the processors. E5472s or E5482s coupled with 800MHz RAM will make this box squeal.

And an SSD for the boot drive, and ideally the scratch or swap drive for video, too.

MacDann
It's a MP1,1 not a MP3,1.

X5365 (4 cores, 3.0GHz, 667MHz) is the fastest Xeon for a MP1,1/2,1 and the RAM is always 667MHz (533MHz if you use a Xeon that only supports this FBDIMM speed).
 
Last edited:

LightBulbFun

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2013
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London UK
im surprised people are recommending a GTX 680 to a MP1,1/2,1 user

as those are EFI64 cards and the MP1,1/2,1 is EFI32 so even if you flash a GTX 680 you wont get boot screens

the best card with Boot Screens you can put into a MP1,1/2,1 is a Mac edition/Flashed AMD Radeon 7950/R9 280 or AMD Radeon HD 7970/R9 280X
 
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MacDann

macrumors 6502a
im surprised people are recommending a GTX 680 to a MP1,1/2,1 user

as those are EFI64 cards and the MP1,1/2,1 is EFI32 so even if you flash a GTX 680 you wont get boot screens

the best card with Boot Screens you can put into a MP1,1/2,1 is a Mac edition/Flashed AMD Radeon 7950/R9 280 or AMD Radeon HD 7970/R9 280X
True.

I was thinking they were asking about a 3,1 which was why I recommended the 680.

I ran an ATI 5870 in my 2,1 for some time. It did a great job and worked well.

MacDann
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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just for information, have a 1.1 cMP running El Capitan on an R380 4go without issue
MP1.1 and MP2.1 can't run past El Capitan.

MP3.1 can run Mojave with little or no hacking, but can't use AMD GPUs. Every AMD driver for GPUs newer than GCN1.0 requires SSE4.2 since High Sierra. So, no go with MP3.1 Xeons.
 

Macschrauber

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2015
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I'd vote for a amd r9 / hd79xx

Those got if flashed properly dual efi32/64 for bootscreens from 1.1 to 5.1 and so they are future proof up to Metal needs of Mojave if the box got upgraded to a 4.1 / 5.1 - no 3.1 with Mojave.
 

lilins

macrumors member
Apr 25, 2018
92
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Villeurbanne
MP1.1 and MP2.1 can't run past El Capitan.

MP3.1 can run Mojave with little or no hacking, but can't use AMD GPUs. Every AMD driver for GPUs newer than GCN1.0 requires SSE4.2 since High Sierra. So, no go with MP3.1 Xeons.
you may be right on the technical point but it just work. i can make you a screenshot of system profiler. my 1.1 upgraded 2.1, with el cap special install work with r9 380 4go