ATI X1900XT is still viable in Mavericks

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MIKX, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. MIKX, Feb 26, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015

    MIKX macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2004
    I have a 2,1 Mac Pro 8 core 3 Ghz ATI X1900XT.

    This is a long winded tale which showed me that I COULD use my ATI X1900XT to upgrade to Mavericks on my Mac Pro.

    I also have a 2014 Mac Mimi Core i5 OS X 10.10.1

    I wanted to upgrade the Mac Pro to Mavericks with a PC MSI r5770 1 gig.


    I've seen in many different forums that my original ATI X1900XT 512mb cannot be used but I thought that I would give it a try anyway.

    1. I prepared a Mavericks 9.1 boot USB as per the many guides
    available on the net.

    2. I installed OS X 10.6.8 on a spare SATA drive in an external
    enclosure connected to the Mac Mini.

    3. Booted up the Mac Mini with the Mavericks USB card connected and
    selected it (USB card ) to boot from.
    INSTALLATION of Mavericks from the USB boot drive

    4. Started installing from the USB card to the external 10.6.8 drive.

    5. After the install finished I restarted the Mac Mini with the new
    external-Mavericks drive still connected.

    6. Started MainMenu Pro ( Terminal can be used also ) to show all
    invisible files.

    6.1 This allowed me to do the Tiamo efiboot replacement process on
    the external drive.

    7. Disconnected the external newly Mavericks installed HD and
    installed it the Mac Pro ( with my old ATI X1900XT installed too.
    ( NOTE : The new Mavericks drive was the ONLY drive in the Mac Pro)

    8. Booted . . . .. . YES ! my ATI X1900XT booted Mavericks and ran
    well on 1920 X 1080 ! So much for the doom sayers.

    9. Graphics card upgrade : MSI r5770 Hawk 1 gig

    I found this 2nd. hand PC card for about US$ 49 here in Japan where I live.
    It booted up OOTB in 10.6.8 - no boot screens of course.
    This card has not been flashed and won't be in the foreseeable future as I rarely need the Apple boot screens unless I come across another MSI r5770 Hawk to be used as a guinea pig. In any case Clover allows boot selection.

    9.1 Shut down the Mac Pro, removed the X1900XT and replaced it with
    the MSI r5770 Hawk connected using a DVI-VGA adapter to a
    Samsung SMS23A350H LED monitor (The Mac Mini is connected
    to the HDMI Samsung port.)

    Booted . . .yes ! Happiness ! Mavericks + MSI r5770 Hawk.

    There ares probably still quite a few Mac Pro 1,1 & 2,1 owners with ATI X1900XTs installed. I posted to show that you CAN install Mavericks using this still handy card that was great in it's day.

    More to the point, there are still plenty of cheap MSI r5770 Hawk cards available on NewEgg & Amazon, this card is a huge upgrade from the X1900XT eg : I could not even run X-Plane Version 10 ( flight simulator ) on the X1900XT on 10.6.8 With the non-flashed MSI r5770 Hawk installed it runs very well in almost full on graphics settings.

    The r5770 Hawk has two silent fans, used only one 6 pin PCI power connector cable and is . .faaast.


    Attached Files:

  2. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    The X1900 and 7300GT will sorta work, the EFI allows them to show 1 display.
    They will be seen in system profiler as having a paltry amount of RAM...under 10Mb and you will have the following issues:

    1. Anything requiring 3D or OpenGl won't work at all
    2. Anything transparent or translucent will either be opaque or invisible.
    3. Many animations will either not work or be choppy

    In short, the CPU is doing the screen drawing, not the X1900 or 7300.

    Just met with a guy and gave him this exact advice, that he could use X1900 to install Mav or Yose but it wouldn't actually be USABLE there.

    BTW, one issue that many 5770 and 5870 cards suffer from is non-functional DP, especially with Apple mdp.

    Have you tested? This is good info, but important that people with DP or MDP displays know that a PC 5770 or 5870 may not work with their display.
  3. MIKX, Feb 27, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2015

    MIKX thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 16, 2004
    Haven't got a MDP cable at the moment.

    Didn't have time to check HDMI - HDMI but will check on the weekend & report back.

    Worked very well with DVI - HDMI.

    Have you ever worked on this card ? I'd be willing to help with testing, I follow your comments around the web. You know graphics cards.

    MSI r5770 Hawk (impressivefor the price )Specs :
    875MHz Core
    1GB GDDR5 4800MHz Memory
    Video Output Function
    DisplayPort x 1
    Dual-link DVI x 1
    HDMI x 1
    2 silent fans
    1 x 6 pin power socket.

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