Best "bang for my buck" <$250 Flashable PC GPU's for Mac Pro 3,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by BigYellow, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. BigYellow macrumors member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Hey guys,

    There are a million threads that cover various cards that are useable in a Mac Pro, to various degrees, but I was reading a performance-per-dollar article on Toms Hardware about some of the more inexpensive cards that are out there these days, and I was having trouble finding information on a lot of them with regards to performance/issues in a Mac Pro, so I thought I'd fish for information from people who have used them.

    I was looking in the CAD $150-250 range, as I'm finding my Nvidia 8800GT isn't quite keeping up with some newer games. I came across these options and wanted to see what people's votes were for easiest/most reliable from an installation/usage/flashing (if needed) perspective:

    ATI Radeon 7770 1GB ($110-140 locally)
    ATI Radeon 7790 1GB ($140-160 locally)
    Nvidia GTX650 Ti/Ti Boost 2GB ($150-170/$175-200 locally)
    Nvidia GTX660 2GB ($200-240 locally)
    Radeon 7870 ($230-270 locally)

    My usage will PRIMARILY be gaming via Bootcamp, but I want to REPLACE the 8800GT as my primary/only GPU, and would like to have the Option-key boot screen as well as have it fully functioning within 10.7 (although I have a copy of 10.8 that I could install if needed for driver support). I'll be using it with a DVI/VGA capable LCD monitor, as well as with an HDMI connection to my TV (I'm currently using a DVI/HDMI adapter for this). HDMI/MiniDisplay Audio support would be a huge bonus. In a PERFECT world, if I don't need to bother with a new Power cable/adapter from what my 8800GT uses that would be great but not a big issue.

    Does anyone have any direct experience with any of these cards, in this type of application?

  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    What you're asking for is very optimistic.

    The problem is that official EFI firmware doesn't exist for the mid-range cards you've mentioned (namely, because Mac versions of these cards were never made). This makes things a lot more tricky if you need EFI boot. But with free utilities like BootChamp, you may not even miss having a boot screen and most GeForce 600 series and Radeon HD 7000 series cards will function fine in Mountain Lion right out of the box.

    If you absolutely must have an EFI boot screen, you may want to check out some of Macvidcard's eBay listings. He modifies quite a few AMD and NVIDIA cards (with custom ROMs and other tweaks) to work in 3,1 and later Mac Pros with full EFI boot support.

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