Budget GPU upgrades for light gaming on 3,1?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by VinnyVincent, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. VinnyVincent, Aug 17, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017

    VinnyVincent macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2016
    I know "budget" and "upgrade" don't always belong together, but I'm mainly just playing a little Eve, which seems fairly easy on a GPU.
    Problem is I've got that crappy Radeon 2600 XT that came with the mac, and I would like to crank up the settings to medium-high.(do people steal all the good ones and swap these and and resell or something? Seems like most second hand ones have this card.)

    I found some threads, but am only finding suggestions in the 200-300 dollar range.
    SURELY there is a card in the 100 dollar range that will smoke that 2600 XT?(75-90 would be even better on this "obsolete" machine!)

    I think I'm okay with losing the boot screen, but a sleep/wake is an absolute must and I would prefer one that is a little easier to set up, if possible...but obviously am willing to make sacrifices to not spend a fortune on a mac certified GPU.
    In that respect, is AMD any easier to setup and GeForce? I was reading that they are slightly more compatable due to mac being optimized for AMD. Is there still any truth to that?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 17, 2017 ---
    Another thought;
    I also have a budget Linux computer I built with integrated intel HD 610 graphics, which I think is quite a bit better than the 2600 XT.
    Perhaps it would be better to buy a 15 dollar windows 7 license and just play it on that???

    I mean I know that's blasphemy and all around here, but the 3,1 is getting old :)
    --- Post Merged, Aug 17, 2017 ---
    What about bumping it up to the 5770? Would that be an easy card to swap?

    Really want to avoid any microsoft products lol...Seems like this 5770 would be a pretty decent jump up and should give me enough to run Eve on the higher settings for only 35 dollars.
  2. Squonk macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2005
    I'm curious to see what responses you get. When the 2600XT died on my 3,1 I replaced it with an NVidia GeForce GTX 650 1GB card. I'm not a gamer so I cannot comment on the performance of the card, but it works fine albeit with no boot screen.

    Have you ever played with this site to compare video cards? http://gpuboss.com/compare-gpus

    That price for that 5770 looks great. I believe that should work in a 3,1 but don't take my word for it. And I'm not sure if there are different versions of the 5770 which may or may not be compatible with a Mac.
  3. VinnyVincent thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2016
    It's not the "mac version", so that's mainly why I was asking. Also while it has DDR5 for such a low price...it's only 1GB. Not sure if 2GB DDR4 would be a better choice, if I can find something for around the same price...

    My gaming choice is generally RPG so I'm not sure if that plays any factor on speed VS size, in regards to memory.(I know next to nothing about GPU's)
  4. leon771 macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2011
    Nvidia 680 GTX.
    Flash with the Mac ROM.
    Can't do better than that bang for buck.
  5. InuNacho macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2008
    In that one place
    I bought a used 680 2gb for like $40 locally and its a million times better than the 5870 it replaced. Honestly if you aren't super concerned about performance, buy a used high end card and not worry for another decade.
  6. VinnyVincent thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2016
    I think I have decided on the GT 1030 fanless model. I like it's low power consumption, cost, and it's still overkill for my current needs.

    Can anyone confirm if the GT 1030 will be compatible with the 3,1 running el capitan?
    I was reading that there are issues with the 1060ti, so I just want to make sure before I purchase.
  7. karsten macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    you need sierra for 10 series support
  8. fendersrule macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2008
    I never knew that there's such a thing as a "1060Ti".

    Honestly, the 1050TI is a great budget 1080p card, and I wouldn't be looking downward from there. I wouldn't consider the 1030.
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    GTX680 uses native drivers, will work with El Capitan, and after you flash it you can have your boot screens too.

    GT1030 won't have any of that.
  10. Ben888 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2017
    Newberg, Oregon
    I agree that if you can find a GTX 680 and flash it, it is your best bet. Native support using Apple's drivers, no need for the web drivers. Good performance for a machine of its age. The difficulty is that these seem to be priced fairly high even used, unless you get lucky and find a deal. This is why I haven't done this upgrade yet, but a friend has and I have seen the improvement over the 8800 GT on his Mac.

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