2008 Mac Pro and El Capitan

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jayducharme, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. jayducharme macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

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    #1
    I run two labs with 2008 Mac Pros. To keep things humming along with FCPX, I added 16 GB of RAM and an additional 2 GB Nvidia Geforce GT640 card to complement the stock 512 MB card in each machine. Everything worked great up through Mavericks.

    Then when I updated to Yosemite, the Mac Pros went into a boot loop. The machines were unusable. I read that there was a problem with systems that had more than one video card installed. So I took out the original video card. Interestingly, about half the Mac Pros ran fine and the other half stayed in a boot loop.

    So I removed the new Nvidia cards, keeping the stock ones instead, upgraded to El Capitan and now things are running fine. FCPX isn't running as fast, but at least the computers are stable. I have no idea what Apple did with its updates since Mavericks to cause the computers to freak out with non-Apple video cards. But that sort of defeats the whole point of having a machine with lots of expandability.

    Has anyone found sizable video cards that do work with those old Mac Pros and El Capitan?
     
  2. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Looking at Wikipedia, there are 5(!) different revisions of the GT 640 available.
    I guess Apple threw some unused (-> not used by Apple) chipsets out of the system, and I also guess you can enable those cards again by installing the Nvidia WebDrivers.

    The boot loop is a quite common sign that the stock Nvidia driver has encountered a Nvidia device it doesn't know (instead of just refusing to load, like AMD drivers do, it decides to crash the whole system).
     
  3. jayducharme, Nov 19, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015

    jayducharme thread starter macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

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    #3
  4. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    Cool :)

    Just as a warning, I guess you'll have to redo this after every upcoming OS X update.
     
  5. jayducharme thread starter macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

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    Possibly. But I'm wondering if the big change with Yosemite/El Capitan was Metal. It's possible that when engineering a whole new graphics engine, Apple jettisoned drivers it assumed would be obsolete. The new Nvidia driver has an auto-update feature, so apparently Nvidia plans on supporting future Apple OS iterations. (Keeps fingers crossed...)
     
  6. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Well, that's just how it is with graphics cards Apple never used themselves. Sometimes Apple adds new GPUs although they don't use them, but those drivers can also become buggy or be completely removed. There's no need for them to support anything unofficial.
     
  7. jayducharme thread starter macrumors 68040

    jayducharme

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    True. But Nvidia makes graphics cards (and not many of them) specifically for Mac Pros. It would seem as if they could forward those few drivers to Apple. When the Mac boots, it could check to see if updated drivers were available from Apple and install them automatically.
     
  8. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I think the only official Nvidia cards released in this decade are GTX680 and K5000, both of which have official driver support in OS X. Nvidia provides drivers for many other GPUs, but (I guess) Apple isn't interested in including them in OS X.
     

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