Bring DisplayPort to the 2006 MacPro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by lethe, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. lethe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #1
    I want to hook a Mini DisplayPort 24" LED Cinema Display to my 2006 Mac Pro (it's actually the 2007 8-core refresh (specs), dual processor 3 GHz Clovertown quad core Xeon X5365 with 8 GB 667 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM RAM, identifier MacPro2,1). This machine shipped with the ATI Radeon X1900 XT video card (with two dual link DVI ports). It has since been upgraded to the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT upgrade card for first gen Mac Pros that Apple offered after-market (here).

    The Mini DisplayPort video cards that ship with the new March 2009 Nehalem Mac Pros are also being sold by Apple after-market. They're saying the NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 (here) is compatible only with the new 2009 Mac Pros, but the ATI Radeon HD 4870 (here) is compatible with both the new model (2009 Mac Pro) and the previous model (2008 Mac Pro).

    So there are two video cards available for the Mac Pro, but allegedly neither of them is compatible with my 2006 Mac Pro. Google turned up this thread (" Radeon 4870 in 2006 Mac Pro? " on hardforum.com) where they say the 2006 Mac Pro has 32 bit EFI, which makes it not work with the newer video cards. Also, the PCI Express slots in this machine are PCIe 1.1, whereas the 2008 Mac Pro's are PCIe 2.0, as are the slots in the new Nehalem 2009 Mac Pro. But wikipedia says
    so maybe there's a chance that the new card will work in my old Mac Pro, even though Apple doesn't explicitly support it? I'm thinking of just buying one to try it, and returning it if it doesn't work. What do you guys think? Is there any chance it will work in my machine?

    Alternatively, if the newer video cards won't work in this old Mac Pro, then what about an adapter? Apple sells Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapters (here and here) which allow to plug DVI displays into new Mini DisplayPort macs, but so far I can't find any DVI to DisplayPort adapters, neither from Apple nor from third parties. Do such adapters exist, or will they any time soon?

    What do you guys think? Is there a way to get the Mini DisplayPort monitors hooked up to my rig? I don't think I can justify upgrading my cheese grater for another 2 years probably... :(
     
  2. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #2
    There are better, cheaper, more color-accurate monitors out there than the 24" cinema display.

    Why are you in such a hurry to buy a monitor that will mainly be remembered for auguring in the return of proprietary ports and intrusive DRM at Apple?
     
  3. hms84 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #3
    I wanna do the same thing I just wanna hook up the new display on my max pro, I'll be waiting fir your result.

    Cheers
     
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    Well first all, DisplayPort isn't proprietary. It's an open standard that will eventually replace DVI on displays. This is not quite the same thing as ADC was. There's no DRM on Apple's implementation of DisplayPort, either.


    To the OP:

    OWC did some testing not too long ago with the new GT120 and 4870 cards pulled from 2009 MPs on the 2006/2008 models. Apparently, neither card works in the 2006 model, but something tells me this might have to do with drivers. See this thread.
     
  5. Wormy23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    #5
    Barefeats confirmed ATI HD 4870 does in fact work on First Gen MacPros. See this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=669221

    I doubt the 120 GT would. You'll probably have to wait for a special 32-bit edition 120 GT and I doubt Apple will release that one.
     
  6. dimme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #6
    The displayport Apple uses is there own design of the display port it is clled mini display port, based on the display port standard. So YeS it is proprietary because Apple is the only one using it. I thinkyou can find a better montor out there. Apple does not make the best monitors.
    Good Luck
     
  7. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #7
    Terrible argument. It's a free standard.

    Find a 24" LED H-IPS monitor with a built-in webcam, speakers, a microphone, and laptop charger for less than Apple's Cinema Display.
     
  8. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #8
    Mini DisplayPort is part of the DisplayPort specification. It's totally open and free to use. If no one uses it besides Apple, thats their problem.
     
  9. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #9
    @OP - as has once been said it looks like you'll eventually be able to use the radeon 4870 in the mac pro classic. barefeats confirms that it works. however, it didn't work on their system without a workaround. they had to insert the boot drive from the 2009 mac pro into the 2006 mac pro to get it to work. so, hopefully, with a software upgrade it'll be good to go without a workaround.
     
  10. lethe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #10
    @CaptainChunk, Wormy23, and bozz2006:

    Thanks for the infos and links.

    In the thread you linked (Interesting news from OWC regarding 4870/GT120 in older Mac Pro's), CaptainChunk, tobyg suggests reading the thread about flashing the 4870 ROM. I presume he meant this thread (Race to dump the 4870 ROM, Who's first? )? I looked at a couple of posts, but that monster is 11 pages long! I hope I don't have to flash any video card firmware, I've no idea how to do that.

    But from what I've read in the thread that Wormy23 (OEM Radeon 4870 working on First Gen Mac Pro ), it seems like the ATI Radeon HD 4870 will work with the 10.5.7 drivers. That's great news! If I'd found that thread with google, I probably wouldn't have posted this thread. So I think I'll wait until 10.5.7 drops, and then try the upgrade to the ATI HD Radeon 4870.

    I will post back to confirm whether it works for me. I guess it might be a couple months before 10.5.7 is released though. Thanks again all.
     
  11. benborman macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #11
    I credit you with coining the term "Mac Pro Classic". Well done, I like it. :D
     
  12. lethe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #12
    OK, 10.5.7 came out, and I got the ATI Radeon HD 4870 and the Apple LED Cinema Display. I accidentally snapped the little clip at the inner end of my PCIe slot, whoops. But aside from that snafu (I guess the card isn't mounted as snugly as it should be), the new display works over the Mini DisplayPort connection.

    One problem, the built in mic and speakers work too, but so far I can't get the built-in iSight to work. The iSight shows up in System Profiler, but my Photo Booth and iChat and Google Voice browser plugin don't. They say "no camera". Dunno what's going on there.
     
  13. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #13
    I bet you could hack it to work. I don't know how, but I bet it could be done, lol.
     
  14. lethe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #14
    A reboot (with the display's USB plugged in) and the iSight works. I guess it's not hot-pluggable? Whatever. I'm all set. Thanks!
     
  15. benborman macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #15
    Phew! Glad to hear that everything is working! My Apple OEM ATI HD4870 will be here on Monday,and I'm planning on getting the LED Cinema display, esp. if Apple does not announce any new "Pro" displays this month.
     
  16. jasonbrennan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    #16
    So you've said you got the Octo-Core Mac Pro? I'm trying to decide if I should do this as well, I've got an original Mac Pro, from Aug 2006. Are there any differences do you think? I'd love to know!
     
  17. macpro2000 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    #17
    I am having a hard time purchasing a graphics card for for my 2006 Quad 2.66 for $350 just so I can hook up a $900 display...all of a sudden the display is $1250...especially since I was looking to get dual LED 24"s instead of a single 30" Apple display even though they equal the same price ($1800). But all of a sudden the 2x24" are going to cost $700 more than the 30". Guess my mind is made up...are there any other suggestions besides switching display companies???
     
  18. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #18
    Are you that dead-set on buying Apple displays? LED backlighting isn't the end-all, be-all of display feature sets. There are other things that are more important to me at least, like accuracy and real control over color.

    I have two HP LP2475w displays. They use nice IPS panels, have lots of inputs, and after calibration, they look outstanding. I paid $600 each for them on Amazon with free shipping. Most 24" class displays with IPS panels and feature sets like this command $800+.

    Another avenue you might want to explore is possibly finding used or refurbished 23" ACDs (you know, the ones that the 24" LED models replaced). Those connect via DVI and can be used with any graphics card you want. Though the display tech is older, you can accuse the 30" model of the same thing.
     
  19. nurv2600 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #19
    It is a free standard, and will soon be adopted on Windows boxes. It supports higher resolutions than DVI and is a newer standard and is easily adaptable back down to HDMI, DVI, DL-DVI, and VGA. Just because Apple is the only one who widely adopted the standard does NOT mean it's proprietary. Apple's minidisplayport fully conforms to the displayport/minidisplayport standard.
     
  20. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Actually it has already been adopted by AMD. Most Radeon 6xxx cards ship with miniDP connectors these days.
     
  21. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Sweden
  22. nurv2600 macrumors member

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    #23

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