Cheapest replacement GPU (Locally)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TheSandman2236, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. TheSandman2236 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #1
    Hey guys,

    My boss just gave me a Mac Pro A1186 -- as he just upgraded to iMacs in our office. Its got 6GBs of RAM and I'll be replacing the HDD (possibly with an SSD) and the GPU. I've read a fair amount of the numerous threads here regarding the GPU upgrades but I can't find a 5770 in store -- except for Apple. Any suggestions so I can finish this weekend project?

    (If I can find a different model in store will I have to do a bios update?)

    Thanks a ton!
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #2
    There is no BIOS in a MAC, the card has to have apple EFI code, so either you buy a card specific to mac, new or used, or you buy a flashed card from someone like macvidcards which you can find on ebay. When these guys flash a card, the add the code the mac is looking for to the card ROM.

    Typically apple is the only store that will stock the mac video cards.

    The A1186 is like 2006 vintage?
     
  3. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #3
    Oh damn...Well I guess I'm stuck buying the one from Apple. Yeah, it's the Mac Pro 1,1 Model (2006) - I've seen some mods making it an 8 core. I'm going to breathe some life into this sucker.
     
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    If you don't care about the initial boot screens then you can use just about any Nvidia pc video card. I'm using an Nvidia gt 440 that I paid about 50 bucks for on newegg. You just need the Mac drivers off their website....

    Edit: I did the octo core upgrade. Got a pair of used x5355s on eBay for 100 bucks. Took all of 30 minutes to swap if you have the proper tools!
     
  5. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Wait...any Nvidia GPU? Tell me more :)
     
  6. Librarian580 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #6
    With 10.7.4 and the Nvidia drivers installed from their site, you can use any 8000 series or newer Nvidia card in your mac pro (up to the 500 series for Lion). And I mean any (as long as it's PCIE, of course).
    Only thing is there's no grey boot screen, so nothing until you reach the desktop. For many that's fine, if you want to switch to windows just use Startup Disk or bootchamp.

    Only thing to keep in mind is that the Mac Pro has its own power cables for Cards (google 'Mac Pro PCIE Cable'), and getting the drivers installed initially.
     
  7. Asgorath macrumors 65816

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  8. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #8
    Well guys...I yanked the XFX 6870 out of my desktop gaming PC and it worked like a charm! No BIOS/EFI updates or driver changes. (10.7.4) Only thing I don't have is the ability to use bootcamp, but someone left a suggestion for that. Holy smokes this thing screams now!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #9
    Great job.

    For people who aren't unhinged by lack of boot screen/EFI enviroment using PC cards is now a fairly good choice.

    Is the card id'd as "n140" or something like that? Or Radeon 6000?

    you might find that DVD Player won't work.

    And Steam games may have issue, but I am not ATI/AMD guy so perhaps I am remembering incorrectly.
     
  10. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #10

    Thanks man -- but it looks like you're right, I can't run ANY steam games. Diablo 3 works like a champ... I don't mind losing the EFI boot screen, but do you have any suggestions of a card that's pretty much plug n' play? Maybe a 550/560ti? Or a 460? Is it safe to assume that the nvidia support is better than AMD? I just want to be able to play CS:GO and Diablo 3 on here.

    Thanks again for supporting this community!
     
  11. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #11
    Look in my signature. I have created a database software with Mac compatible firmwares for PC cards. There is one there for 6870 with a comment that suggests it works really well.

    You can use Windows to flash them or burn a "bootcd" with atiflash.exe (there is lots of tutorials).

    This will give you bootscreen and steam compatability...
     
  12. GermanyChris macrumors 601

    GermanyChris

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Location:
    Here
    #12
    6850/70 seem to be the bang for the buck cards.
     
  13. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #13
    But not in 1,1 that OP has ;)

    OP: To cure DVD player and Steam issue install ATY_init from netkas.
     
  14. avemestr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #14
    Not to capture this thread, but a quick question..

    I'm contemplating a GTX 570, and would love the hassle-free MacVidCards version. Being in Europe, though, the mark-up in customs, taxes and fees makes it quite expensive.

    Would using the ROM by th3joker shown in Freya bring the exact same benefits as a MacVidCards flashing? There's boot screen, but will it also raise the speed to PCI-E 2.0? Will there be any difference in the two "solutions".

    (Again, I think MacVidCards provides a great service, it's only due to customs I'm afraid of ordering a card that way)
     
  15. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #15
    The Jok3r is an actual clown named Adrian Stowe who has "borrowed" our roms. He asked for the rights to distribute our products and I turned him down. Much like the Joker as played by Heath Ledger, he has nothing to offer the world, he just wants to see it burn.

    His "work" on them has been solely limited to yanking our name from them.

    We have lower cost 570s and cards are valued at lower levels on customs forms.

    Please support the people who actually make these cards happen, not the clowns and wannabes.
     
  16. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #16
    Is this the file I need? If so -- where do I install it to? I've been trying to find some install instructions :/

    http://netkas.org/?p=640
     
  17. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Atlanta, GA
    #17

    I actually ran your app and the screen comes up empty...not sure why.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. avemestr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #18
    No offense intended. I recommend your cards broadly. And in the end, I'll probably buy it from you anyhow to avoid hassle.
     
  19. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #19
    Anyone know how to get this installed? Or maybe an alt. card that's steam-friendly and 'plug-n-play'?
     
  20. Cindori, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012

    Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #20
    Yup.



    Thesandman: wait for next beta, eta next week
     
  21. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #21
    Awesome -- thanks for the info, I'm assuming that will help me out running my 6870? Sorry -- I'm really lost in all of this, the netkas site kinda confuses me without a guide/instructions to install these kexts.
     
  22. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #22
    Well yeah. But to not keep you waiting:
    Here is the relevant firmware from freya:

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/Firmwares/83/firmware.rom

    And here is a comment someone made on it:

     
  23. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #23
    Oh awesome -- so all I need to do is flash my 6870 with this and I'm good to go? Any chance I can pay you to set this up for me? :p
     
  24. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #24
    set you up? all you need to do is to flash it.

    boot windows with card

    download this

    maybe download this to backup your current firmware

    then flash and try boot OSX

    you can try my 6000-series version of Zeus to flash in OSX but it will probably say "card not compatible with zeus"
     
  25. TheSandman2236 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #25

    Alright awesome! I'll give it a try tonight when I get off work, if I flash with that new "firmware.rom" in windows -- will I still be able to use the card on my PC, but it will also work with OSX (with EFI)?
     

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