Best GPU choice for upgrading a 1.1 macpro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jvernet, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. jvernet macrumors newbie

    jvernet

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    Mar 21, 2016
    #1
    Hello,

    I have a macpro 1.1 (2x2.66Ghz, RAM 12GB, stock GT7300 card) to upgrade to El Capitan. It's hooked to an Apple Cinema Display HD 23".

    It's used (intensively: 10h per day since 2006 !!!) only for Microsoft Office (2008) and Photoshop/Illustrator CS3 (not more, old licences....), Internet and Google Earth.

    No games, nor Windows.

    I read almost all post about video card here, without making a choice. Which option is the best for you?

    It have to be the cheapest, easiest (Boot Screen, installation, should work under 10.7 and 10.11), reliable option.
    I do not want to "flash" card, also, even If I should be able to do that with my Hackintosh.

    I found a list of working "out of the box" card in their Mac versions:
    - ATI Radeon X1900XT
    - ATI Radeon 2600XT
    - nVidia GeForce 8800GT
    - nVidia GeForce GT120
    - ATI Radeon HD3870
    - ATI Radeon HD4870
    - GeForce GTX285
    - ATI Radeon HD5770/HD58770
    - nVidia Quadro 4000

    Does a simple 8800GT will be enough ?

    Thanks
     
  2. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #2
    Hello . I would rebuild your ten year old Mac Pro 1,1 (2006) . It's not too difficult and will survive even longer if you do , under load conditions .

    It's a rock solid Mac that will run non-high performance apps in El Cap with some modest upgrades . It would be better if you had OS X 10.10.5 Yosemite , as the latest OS X version will not be as solid .

    Get a SSD for your OS X and a genuine Mac Edition ATI 5770 (which has EFI) . This is a proven configuration for your needs . A real 5770 will look like this, notice the black card support guide and dual mDP ports :

    ATI-5770.jpg

    You should also buy one rebuilt or learn to rebuild it yourself , as it is 6 years old . Don't worry, most of your other choices are even older :D .

    Here are the instructions on how to rebuild an ATI 5770 Mac Edition :

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...n-ati-5770-mac-edition-graphics-card.1900883/
     
  3. jvernet thread starter macrumors newbie

    jvernet

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    #3
    Thank for your advice. So, you said that 10.10.5 will be better for my 1.1 ? I can deal with that (Even, with 10.9 that was also a good version).
    I can find on eBay gennuine Apple HD5770, but prices are very high.

    What about PC flashed ATI 5770 that can be found also ? Do they work ?
     
  4. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #4
    I might be alone in thinking this, but, personally, I would not throw too much money at a computer this old. A Mac Mini would probably outperform it in most ways and use a lot less electricity while doing so. Plus, you won't have to jump through hoops trying to install the latest versions of OS X.
     
  5. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #5
    I would not recommend a flashed card, if you can get a real Mac Edition . There are just too many issues with them . I would only do this as a last resort , like when there never was a real Mac Edition ever made (e.g. GTX 970 ) .

    Using a flashed PC Edition 5770 didn't work out for this guy, that also has a Mac Pro 1,1 running a modern 64 bit Mac OS X install .

    He wound up stalling his boot sequence so bad he had to return the card and it was professionally flashed :

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/video-card-upgrade.1959093/

    Forget all the days of agony involved , just get the real deal .
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #6
    Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1 require EFI32 firmware for boot screens.
     
  7. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #7
    :) It's "Let's have fun time."

    What the latest Mac Mini cannot do that a ten year old upgraded Mac Pro 1,1 can .

    1) Have 8 Cores .
    2) Have 64GB of installed memory .
    3) Have 24TB of hard drives installed internally .
    4) And also have a bootable 2TB SSD installed internally .
    5) Have a GTX 980 Ti installed internally .
    6) Have a Blu-Ray drive installed internally . Or even two . I know ...
    7) Have a 2 GB/s mSAS connection .

    And , it can do all of this simultaneously .

    Enjoy your Mini toy . :p
     
  8. jvernet thread starter macrumors newbie

    jvernet

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    Mar 21, 2016
    #8
    Yeah... The Mac Mini is an option (1494€ for a 2.8/2Tb Fusion Drive and 16Gb of RAM).
    My Macpro have 4 TB of disk inside, 12Gb of RAM. For 80€ I can have 2 5565 4 core processors, add 150-200 for the RAMCARD, and this one will work for ten years more.

    I also have a MacPro Quad Core (2005...) to get running. Nearly as fast as the Macpro 1.1.
     
  9. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #9
    You can believe what you want, but the 1,1 and 2,1 are really past their prime and have serious bottlenecks all over the place. Unless you run specific apps that can utilize 8 cores, the Mac Mini can run circles around it.

    By the time you spend all that money to put:

    2) Have 64GB of installed memory .
    3) Have 24TB of hard drives installed internally .
    4) And also have a bootable 2TB SSD installed internally .
    5) Have a GTX 980 Ti installed internally .
    6) Have a Blu-Ray drive installed internally . Or even two . I know ...
    7) Have a 2 GB/s mSAS connection .

    You can have a much better machine that's faster, more efficient, and cooler running, whether it be a more modern Mac Pro, iMac, or Mac Mini.

    In the original post, the OP mentioned Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Illustrator, Internet, and Google Earth. A GTX 980 Ti would do little to nothing for him, neither would two blu-ray drives, and he didn't mention having any problems with lack of storage which can be easily remedied with external storage.

    Rather than throwing money at such an old machine by purchasing an outdated video card, why not just save up for a newer, more modern computer?
     
  10. jvernet thread starter macrumors newbie

    jvernet

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    Mar 21, 2016
    #10
    I also have to say that this MacPro is my father's one. He tried last day my hackintosh (Core i7, 16 Gb RAM, SSD). Well, it was a shock....
    Money is not really a concern. But he like his machine.
     
  11. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #11
    A fusion drive is not a solid state device . It is only partially solid state , but most of the capacity is spinning rust . As such , it's performance will be inferior .
     
  12. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #12
    The 1,1 and 2,1s are limited to 53xx and 54xx series Xeons.
     
  13. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #13
    Actually , they are limited to X53xx chips . But collectively a pair of these chips will still outperform the best Mac Mini CPU .
     
  14. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #14
    Well, if there's an emotional attachment to it, then that's an entirely different story...
     
  15. jvernet thread starter macrumors newbie

    jvernet

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    Mar 21, 2016
    #15
    Yes, sorry, 5355 or 5365 Xeons. But do not think it have any real interest for the use.
     
  16. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #16
    Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 5.46.46 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 5.48.48 PM.png

    This is the lowest i5 option available for the current Mac Mini vs the fastest possible CPU for a Mac Pro 1,1.
     
  17. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #17
    Hehehe You originally said "Mac Mini." Now you have added two more models after your Mini got flattened ;) . This sounds like a fair fight !

    Would you be as kind to price out , say , a Cylinder with components that match or exceed the performance of what I just designed with our humble Mac Pro 1,1 ? You'll win this contest , but I will enjoy seeing your System Build as its price tag reaches the stratosphere . And , it will still look really ugly on someone's desktop with all those cables and expansion boxes . Our 1,1 has everything internally installed . Nice and neat and sweet . If you like , I'll do it for you later as I have to take my daily jog now .
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2016 ---
    Geekbench 3 64 bit Multicore score of the fastest Mac Mini CPU (the dual core i7 3.0GHz) = 7,308 .

    Geekbench 3 64 bit Multicore score of a Mac Pro 1,1 upgraded with $25 worth of X5355s = 10,508 .
     
  18. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #18
    I said Mac Mini before you added thousands of dollars worth of accessories.

    Don't forget the 1,1 is limited to PCI 1.0 slots and all those SSDs you plan on getting for it will probably never run to their potential speeds.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2016 ---
    Look at the apps the OP will be running. What matters more to him, multi core performance or single core?
     
  19. ActionableMango, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #19
    Your 7300GT won't work, but I suspect you know this already or you wouldn't be asking in the first place.

    The 8800GT is the absolute minimum for 10.11.

    On the other hand, with Apple occasionally dropping support for older GPUs and Metal support becoming more useful, I'd personally go with something newer like a 5770. If you get the bare minimum 8800GT you might have to do this all over again soon with the next release or two of OS X.

    On the third hand, there's no guarantee the next couple of releases of OS X can be made to work on the 1,1 anyway. So buying a 5770 or better for the purposes of future-proofing may end up not being worthwhile.
     
  20. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #20
    But that is exactly the point . It is a comparison of a System that has an open architecture (cMP) and a System that has a mostly closed architecture (Mac Mini) . They are two entirely different products with different capabilities . The ten year old Mac Pro 1,1 are still used professionally by editors . Mostly music guys running Ableton and Cubase , although I do have clients that prefer to run older versions of Logic and Pro Tools .

    I have not forgotten , as I build cMPs every week of the year . But a decent graphics card like a AMD 7950 in a cMP will greatly outperform the integrated Iris of the Mini , even if the 7950 is running in a PCIe Rev 1.1 slot .

    My MP 1,1 Build only had one SSD , but with twice the capacity of the biggest solid state device in the modern Mini . It will not have very high throughput in a PCIe 1.1 slot, so it should not be used for writing workflow data . It would perform nicely as a boot and app drive due to its high IOPS .

    Have you ever worked with PCIe SAS RAID in a cMP, pastrychef ? This is your high performance drive array dream achieved . Assuming you could get graphics card support in a cMP 1,1, a four drive internal array is fast enough (up to 2000 MB/s) to write 4K RAW without latency . If we were to use four SSDs , mounted in a DX4 and powered by an optical drive logic board header pass-through cable .

    I don't drive the race cars... I just build them . But pro apps tend to be highly threaded with my clients . So if the hardware is present , the apps will likely take advantage of it . A creative client just today brought in an eight core Mac Pro 3,1 (2008) for rebuild servicing and he mentioned that Logic Pro 10.1 takes full advantage of all eight cores and runs his projects nicely . Not too bad for an 8 year old machine running a very recent version of an Apple pro app .
     
  21. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #21
    You are talking about entirely different usages from the OP of this thread. Audio pros can make use of the PCI slots for sound cards, MIDI controllers etc. The number of concurrent tracks you can have in Logic scale with the number of cores you have. Unfortunately, the OP doesn't seem to be doing any of this.

    Different tools for different jobs.
     
  22. AidenShaw, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016

    AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #22
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2016 ---
    Never mind...

    I'm waiting to hear some honest soul say "send MP3,1 and earlier to the eWaste bin". And send MP4,1 to the bin as well unless you've done the 5,1 upgrade.

    Girls - look at the writing on the wall. Stop putting money into old MPs that Apple is going to drop support for.
     
  23. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #23
    I agree. The 3,1 and older are just too old now and it's unwise to toss more money at them. Things like hard drives and SSDs would be alright since you can bring them with you if/when you get a new computer.
     
  24. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #24
    But he can build it to be as fast as my 2011 Laptop or the same speed as/bit slower than modern i3 while spending lots of money. You don't see value in that?
     
  25. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #25
    Apple is going to drop support quickly anyways for everything , whereas the build quality of these Mac Pros, properly maintained, virtually guarantees one or two decades of longevity . When I was a pro manufacturer of durable goods and chemicals , we depreciated tools and equipment over a period of decades . It involves the TCO . These Macs are so well made and robust , we unexpectedly face a similar situation .

    In my neck of the woods, there is a sizable market for capable OS X workstations in the sub-$1000 category . Maybe, sub $1500 category if it can handle nice performance still and video editing and demonstration (like AR) . Few creatives here are going to buy a brand new Cylinder (or the product that replaces the current nMP) for 3000+ bucks . I'm not located on the West coast or in a big city out East . The Mac community here is relatively small and permanently broke :rolleyes: .

    I think what you are really looking for , Aiden , is a method for time-sharing Tianhe-2 . :D
     

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