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Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dosit, Dec 28, 2014.
Hi guys for mac pros 2012 and older can they be upgraded with new graphic cards cpus and ram?
Yes they can, however there are some power limitations on GPUs - If a newer GPU requires more power than the Mac Pro gives you will have to add an external power supply.
Okay cool can you recommend any powerful graphic cards that don't use up too many watts as i am planning on doing a lot of 3d animation,rendering etc
It would seem that any GPU with two 6pin PCI-e power ports will work, it just can't exceed 300W.
(here is Apple's instructions for replacing the GPU: http://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/0/MA926/en_US/Mac_Pro_ATI_Radeon_Graphics_Card_DIY.pdf)
Do your research though as I can't be 100% positive - I don't have personal experience with a Mac Pro as I have built a Hackintosh.
From what I can tell with just a few minutes of research is that a reference GTX 980 would work in your Mac Pro; I'm using a GTX 970 and it works beautifully with OS X Yosemite. You just have to install nVidia's web driver before you install a GTX 970 or 980. The GTX 980 is pretty much the top of the line card right now if you can swing the money. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487067&cm_re=gtx_980-_-14-487-067-_-Product is what I would recommend.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1440150 is a good thread if you read from the end going backwards for information. It appears that people are getting 980's and 970's working just fine! You just have to make sure it has two 6pin power ports, not 8pin ports.
You need a card with ports that look this:
Wow Thanks so much for your help!! just joined this forum and so happy i can get help so quickly but just one more thing is this manual for the 2008 to 2010 mac pros?
I just wanted to throw the suggestion of a 7950 or 7970 card out there. Depending on the program you're using, you may find those work well, and neither require an external power supply. If you're not super-familiar with mac graphics cards upgrades, consider buying one plug-in-ready from MacVidCards. I have a 7970, which has been fantastic for Final Cut Pro X.
p.s. - I am a happy customer, but have no personal or financial connection to MVC whatsoever. Please don't flame me for advertising.
Yes! The PDF says copyright 2009-2010, but I'm fairly certain it applies to the 2008 models as well.
If you look at Step 6 you will see that the 2008 model still has the same two 6pin power ports.
I will say - if you use something like a GTX 980 or 970 you may not be able to use the other PCI-e slots due to the amount of power they consume; at idle they don't consume hardly any power, but fully maxed they consume very close to the 300W limit that Apple says should not be passed by the PCI-e slots combined. (I hope that makes sense?) EDIT: Turns out this is not true, thanks to a post further on for the correction!
+1 for the MacVidCards recommendation. I have not used their products but have heard great things!
Of course they can, unlike the 2013 (6,1) Mac Pro, that's what they were designed for. Everything you mentioned (and More) can be upgraded. Become familiar with the forum and the Search Function. There are many knowledgable folks that are members here.
After you familiarize yourself with what's going on, then ask questions and we will be able to help.
And rather than just shooting out questions without searching, is not really helping you.
Welcome to the forum.
You can go from dual PCIE booster to 8 pin, and dual SATA to 6 pin. A few people here have done that with 6 pin + 8 pin cards.
For the OP, a minimal list of available and soon to be available internal upgrades are:
CPUs up to 12 core 3.46ghz
Memory up to 128GB
SATA 3 expansion cards for internal and external drives
M.2 adaptor cards for NGFF format SSDs
High performance Enterprise SSD cards such as the Intel P3700 or OCZ Z Drive 4500 (these require Windows at the moment
SAS and SCSI
USB 3 and soon USB 3.1 cards
Bluetooth 4 and soon Bluetooth 4.2 cards
All graphics cards with either two 6 pin (225w max) or 6+8 pin connectors (300w max). Dual 8 pin cards have to be externally powered.
Hardware RAID cards
SDI/Component video capture cards
Fibre channel cards
PCIE Expansion cards (to a PCIE Expansion Chassis)
This is wrong. As long as they are fed power from the PCI Boosters and other power sources GPUs can go as far over 300w as needed. That limit is for the PCIE slots only (75w each x 4). It's the same for all motherboards Mac Pro or PC.
You can in fact power dual GTX 970s internally with a little ingenuity from the dual PCIE Boosters and the four SATA bays. The only question is how durable is the SATA rail.
Ah okay! Thank you for telling me! I'll edit my post to reflect that! I learned a new thing today!
I have also heard of potential issues with using the SATA rails, which is why I didn't mention it. (note to OP: ) That is getting more into the modding side of things, something that's very risky for those in not experienced in that area ~
Two or three people here are powering graphics from SATA, and dual SATA to 6 pin cables are easy to find. But we have no long term reports about how stable their systems are because they haven't updated us.
If someone built a Mac Pro replacement power supply with more PCIE Booster cables coming out of it then theoretically you could have quad SLI in a Mac without problem.
The good news is the next generation of graphics cards made with the 20nm and 16nm process are even more power efficient than the GTX 980 so we are going to see tremendous increases in power with just the dual 6 pin connectors.
Yes, the graphics card, memory, and hard drive can be upgraded. Apparently, the processors can as well.
As the 7970 is 6 pin and 8 pin which method are you using for supplying power?
^^^^what he said
after a lot of thought i think I'm going with a dual R9 280X (flashed EFI) set up with additional internal PSU to add to my 4.1 2009 machine
from 8 core 2.66>to 12 core 3.46,
SSD in RAID 0 on PCIe sonnet pro card
640GB HDD>to 2TB RAID 0 on the SATA's and
8GB 1066>to 48GB of 1333 RAM.
usb 2.0>to usb 3.0 PCIe card
BT2.0>to BT4.0LE with upgraded WIFI+BT card for continuity (from MVC)
Superdrive>to Bluray Burner
gt8800>to soon to be dual R9 280X flashed EFI GPU's
so in answer to your question the 2009-2012 machine can most defiantly be upgraded... (there is guys on here still massively upgrading the 1.1 cMP)
A single R9 390X might work without external power and have roughly the same performance. Wait a few weeks and see before you do anything.
Yeah true but you know there is going to be an issue with the first batch of cards, it will be a while before the flashed 380X's start knocking about and i can get a dual set up for a lot less than the what you know will be a $1000/£600 card (based on the GTX 980 sale price in UK)
600 quid should get you dual R9 380x indeed. Seeing as drivers for R9 m295x; the only Tonga card in Macs is already here in OSX and limited drivers in Bootcamp, perhaps we won't have to wait too long. Maxwell support is slower because no Macs are shipping with Maxwell.
I can get a dual flashed R9 280X set up for just over £400 and that will be cheaper and fully functional straight after install (once additional PSU installed) and IMO any new cards will have teething problems... That will do me for a good while #
If you're going to get the aux PSU the FSP Booster X5 is the cleanest solution. Install it in the drive bay, pass the PCIE and power cables through the front corners, connect the molex to the spare SATA cable in the optical bay with an adaptor, install the PCI slot cover plate. No drilling, soldering or mods needed.
But there is a problem. It's very hard to find.
Tell me about it!! The FSP booster X5 is a good one, or the ePOWER 5.25" 450w PSU is another good option but I've found a THERMALTAKE W0157RE 450W which will be fine, read up a lot about dual GPU's in the 4.1/5.1 cMP's so I kind of know what I want to do and I'm sure it will go alright... Let's face it if I can do the CPU swap on the 4.1 then everything else in life should be easy #
Appreciate the advice though thanks, I'm still a learner by far but enjoying the ride#
There were MANY months between when R290X showed up in drivers and when it became actually useable. I wouldn't count on 380X drivers being useable for anything before Q2 2015.
MVC you are one of the most knowledgable sources of information when it comes to Mac's and video cards and I'm sure you will crack it when it does finally happen and who know in a year or so I might be putting a dual 380X set up in my 5.1, the beauty that's is the 5.1 #
Graphics cards, yes (though your selection is limited, pending an available EFI hack)
RAM, definitely; www.crucial.com is your friend.
CPUs, I'm told it's possible, but you're only limited to the socket that the machine used, which is now pretty dated. Upgrades in that area are probably not worth the cost or the risk involved.