3 monitors on a mac pro?

Choppaface

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 22, 2002
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SFBA
Dear Forum,

I have a new Mac Pro with a 1900XT and I'm thinking about adding another 7300GT in order to support a third monitor. Is this a possible configuration? Can I buy any 7300GT, or is there a specific "Mac" one? (Or can I get a generic one and flash it with the Mac firmware updater?) Do I even need a 7300GT for the third monitor, or could I potentially use any PCI express graphics card that has Mac Drivers?

Thank you Mac Pro Experts!
-Paul
 

Kosh66

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2004
467
0
Simple answer. Buy a Mac Geforce 7300 from Apple, install it, and hook up the 3rd monitor.

Otherwise search the forum for the more complicated answer.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,105
234
Dear Forum,

I have a new Mac Pro with a 1900XT and I'm thinking about adding another 7300GT in order to support a third monitor. Is this a possible configuration? Can I buy any 7300GT, or is there a specific "Mac" one? (Or can I get a generic one and flash it with the Mac firmware updater?) Do I even need a 7300GT for the third monitor, or could I potentially use any PCI express graphics card that has Mac Drivers?

Thank you Mac Pro Experts!
-Paul

The only real options are the 3 video cards Apple sells: the Nvidias Quadro 4500 and 7300GT, and the ATI x1900.

Other card options either only work in bootcamp or have really buggy drivers written by 'some dude'.

I have a 7300GT and X1900 in my mac pro right now, it works great.
 

aiongiant

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
542
0
i'm more windows than mac on my mac pro
i took my dell 6800GT and put it in my mac pro with the 7300GT
works great in windows no problems so far.. 4 monitor goodness hehe

if you want something to work both mac and windows flawlessly i would get the 7300GT from apple.. or rahter some users have been running 2x 1900XT i think
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,105
234
i'm more windows than mac on my mac pro
i took my dell 6800GT and put it in my mac pro with the 7300GT
works great in windows no problems so far.. 4 monitor goodness hehe

if you want something to work both mac and windows flawlessly i would get the 7300GT from apple.. or rahter some users have been running 2x 1900XT i think
The 6800GT is an awesome card. Hopefully the new mac pros will use that card so we can get an Apple ROM and driver for it.

That way, you can flash that puppy to be cross platform.
 

Choppaface

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 22, 2002
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SFBA
Oh wow, thanks everybody!! I didn't know apple sold them directly... though it looks like theyre a bit expensive that way. If only I could stick in my 6800 GT :(
 

Choppaface

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 22, 2002
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SFBA
I'm pretty sure I want a 7300gt but I don't want to pay apple $150 when the PC-compatible cards look to be about $80 or so. Is there any way to flash a PC 7300gt for a mac pro? I've looked around a bit on the web and searched the forum, but I haven't found any how-to's or evidence of success. I read an article mentioning that Mac 7300gts have twice the ROM of PC cards, so that may make flashing impossible. Does anybody know of any talk about this issue? Is there a place to buy mac 7300s for less than the apple price? (apple seems to list the part here: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?spart=MA567Z/A )
 

qpid

macrumors regular
Oct 18, 2004
194
0
I'm pretty sure I want a 7300gt but I don't want to pay apple $150 when the PC-compatible cards look to be about $80 or so. Is there any way to flash a PC 7300gt for a mac pro? I've looked around a bit on the web and searched the forum, but I haven't found any how-to's or evidence of success. I read an article mentioning that Mac 7300gts have twice the ROM of PC cards, so that may make flashing impossible. Does anybody know of any talk about this issue? Is there a place to buy mac 7300s for less than the apple price? (apple seems to list the part here: http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore?spart=MA567Z/A )
Some people have been able to flash the x1900xt with an apple rom to get that working, that may be one option for you since you can get a pc version of the card for probably less than the 7300gt from apple. As for cheaper 7300gts, your best bet would be ebay, I've seen some in the $50-60 range.
 

iBeard

macrumors regular
Jan 4, 2005
130
0
The 6800GT is an awesome card. Hopefully the new mac pros will use that card so we can get an Apple ROM and driver for it.

That way, you can flash that puppy to be cross platform.
Apple will put an 8800GTS/GTX in the updated Mac Pro.
It wouldn't make sense to put 3-year old card in there...
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
Found a great way to put extra monitors on, with

extra monitors CompUSA.com | USB-1612 | Arkview USB-1612 USB 2.0 to DVI/VGA/HDMI Adapter les then $60 on sale

visit this website and watch the video, ordered mine, hopefully works as well as advertised.

http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4266219
For about 100 bucks or less (depending on the which exact Pro you have) you can get an additional graphics card that drives two 2560x1600 displays.
The unit you linked will drive a single display with a maximum resolution of 1920x1080.

Even worse is the performance of those units. You simply can't force a 3.96 Gbit/s (single Link DVI) connection through a 480Mbit/s USB port.
I used such a device with a 1280x1024 display one and sold it very quickly.
The performance is just horrible.

Unless you don't already use the 4 PCIe ports of your Pro, get an additional graphics card. Even if, an 5770 or 5870 is a better option as they can drive 3 displays.
 

Rumdrum

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2011
1
0
It works!

I´m running 3 monitors on a 5770. Two EIZO monitors 22" res 1680x1050 and one DELL 17" res 1280x1024. The two EIZO monitors are connected to the mini ports through Dual Link adaptors, and the DELL to the DVI through a VGA adaptor (as the DELL is VGA only). Both USB plugs must be connected to the MAC, even if they are unused at the other end of the adaptor.

I use split desktop solution. I have tried out the option where you want the monitors to display the same and that is best achieved when monitors have the same resolution.

The set up is very stable with no problems at all. My environment is music production and I use Logic and Cubase. I use one monitor for the audio/MIDi recordings, one for the Mixer and the DELL for plugs. The sound card is a Hammerfall that uses two PCIe. In the remaining PCIe I have a USB/FW400 expansion from Sonnet that compensates for the loss of the two used USB for running three monitors. Think this solution cost me somewhere around $300, (two adaptors and USB expansion) but it was worth it!
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
Think this solution cost me somewhere around $300, (two adaptors and USB expansion) but it was worth it!
For your monitors, you could have gotten away with $60 for two single link active adapters.

DualLink is ONLY required for resolutions of 2560x1440/1600.
 

jnc

macrumors 68020
Jan 7, 2007
2,297
1
Nunya, Business TX
For your monitors, you could have gotten away with $60 for two single link active adapters.

DualLink is ONLY required for resolutions of 2560x1440/1600.
Depends on what connections his monitors offer too though. For instance, my Cintiq 21UX is Dual-Link as standard (built-in cable), and requires a Dual-Link DVI to DVI adapter in turn connected to a Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter in order to work on a MDP Mac. Certainly makes me miss the old MBP design which had Dual Link built in.
 

thepawn

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2009
413
7
I'm running an Apple ATI 4870 card and a "flashed" ATI 2600XT card I bought off that guy on e-bay for my 3-monitor setup and it runs great!

 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
I'm running an Apple ATI 4870 card and a "flashed" ATI 2600XT card I bought off that guy on e-bay for my 3-monitor setup and it runs great!
I'm running the same kind of setup (20/30/20 PLP) with an Apple 4870 and Nvidia GT120 and it runs everything but great.
Works only up to 10.6.3. :mad:
 

Ommid

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2008
328
5
That set up looks lush! I am going to start looking around for graphics card options on my 08 Pro!
 

ty4lyfe

macrumors newbie
Jul 15, 2009
3
0
I'm running an Apple ATI 4870 card and a "flashed" ATI 2600XT card I bought off that guy on e-bay for my 3-monitor setup and it runs great!
Awesome setup. Exactly what I'm looking to do. Can you tell me what monitors you have (size & resolutions)? Thanks.
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
Awesome setup. Exactly what I'm looking to do. Can you tell me what monitors you have (size & resolutions)? Thanks.
As mentioned before that kind of setup is a 20/30/20 PLP. 20" (non widescreen) in landscape flanking a 30" widescreen monitor. Really works only with these screen sizes as physical size and resolutions match very well.

Resolutions are 1200x1600 - 2560x1600 - 1200x1600.

You can chose any 30" you want but the choice of 20" screens is limited. Available screens are either the HP LP2065 or the Dell 2007FP. I use the latter and they are really good (IPS). Both are pricey, though (~$450 new).

This is my setup with two 2007FPs flanking a Cinema.
 

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