Additional graphics card for 3rd monitor?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macshui, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. macshui macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2007

    I just purchased a Mac Pro with the ATI Radeon X1900 XT video card. I plan to run two monitors off of that. I would also like to run a third monitor.

    -- Is the best (and most frugal) solution to add a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT?
    -- Is this a good idea?
    -- Will it negatively impact my system's performance at all?
    -- Is there any significant advantage to adding a second ATI Radeon card, rather than the NVIDIA?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004
    There are other threads on this in the forum. We were just discussing this last week/month.

    Basically you have two choices if you're doing this on a Mac Pro in MacOS X (there are other options in Windows). Buy a Geforce 7300 from Apple or buy an ATI Radeon X1900XT and put it in the other slot PCIe of the Mac Pro (the ATI card is the faster card). It of course won't run at 16x, it'll run at either 4x or 8x, depending on how you configure your slots with the configure utility. But running the Geforce 7300 at 8x likely won't affect the card's performance, might affect the Radeon X1900XT's (someone know?).

    There will likely be some system performance impact, a very small (tiny?) impact, nothing big. Your system has to use some CPU to display stuff. But if you want 3 monitors and you want to display those images the only way is a second card.

    The cheapest option is theMac version of the Geforce 7300 from Apple UNLESS you can flash a PC card and then you have to consider the risk with flashing a PC card if it's flashable. You have to find the right brand, hope the flash doesn't break the card. Probably a small chance of that happening, but then I've never done it.
  3. adamzx3 macrumors regular


    Sep 8, 2007
    NE Ohio
    I would add a 2nd ebay card unless you need the extra processing power of the Geforce 7300 gt. Also depending on what you use it for having two monitors on one card wont allow you to have two separate color profiles if you calibrate your displays.

    on 2nd thought will the older powermac cards work on the new mac pros??hmmm
  4. Kosh66 macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2004
    No, old Power Mac cards (except for the last generation of Power Mac G5) are AGP or PCI. He needs a PCIe card for his Mac Pro as the Mac Pro has all PCIe slots.

    The last generation of Power Mac G5 cards will likely also not work in the Mac Pros as your going from a PowerPC architecture to a x86 EFI architecture.
  5. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    A 7300 will power 1 dual-link device. If you have that and another device plugged it, OSX will tell you it neds to reduce the power to the card, but it will still work fine.

    If you want to use 3 screens, put your main display alone on the ATI card dual link port, and the other 2 on the 7300 then they will all run at full power.

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