display card upgrade for macpro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by lon3lysnake, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. lon3lysnake macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    I've just ordered a 8800GT for my 1st gen mac pro, and it will be shipped on Friday. The only problem is I don't know how to install the card. It will be much appericated if someone can teach me step by step, in order to work on OSX leopard and windows XP.
  2. sirnh macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2006
    If you have 10.5.2 or later installed, it's a rather simple matter to install a 8800GT in a Mac Pro. Note, do not get rid of your old video card. If you ever need to clean install Leopard, you will need the old card. The Leopard DVD does not contain the drivers for the 8800GT - I learned this lesson the hard way last weekend.

    Installing the card is a matter of opening the case, loosening 2 screws and removing a bracket that holds the old video card in place, and unplugging the old card from it's slot. Note, there is a little flexible plastic lever on the slot that sort of locks the card into the slot... just gently pull the lever to the side and the card should come out with minimal force.

    Once the old card is out, it's time to put the new card in. The only tricky part about this is getting the power cable plugged into the motherboard. If you have the old 1900 XT, that cable already exists and is plugged in. Make certain you leave it plugged in when you remove the old card, it makes it easier. Since you have a first generation mac pro, you probably have a 7300 GT, though, which does not need the power cable. The power cable that I speak of comes in the box with the 8800 - along with installation directions, by the way. You need to plug the smaller end into the mother board and the larger end into the 8800 GT. Then just plug the card into the slot you removed the old card from. Note, make certain to plug it into the bottom-most slot. Even though they all look the same, only the bottom-most slot runs at full 16x speed.

    Once the card is plugged in the slot, and the power cable is connected between it and the motherboard, you just need to re-screw the bracket down, plug in your monitors, and you are good to go. The mac should come right up with no problem.

    Windows, under Boot Camp, is another matter. I suggest going to Add Remove Programs in XP, or Programs and Features in Vista, and uninstalling the ATI and nVidia drivers that boot camp installs.

    Reboot back into Windows and your card should come up in VGA mode. To be thoroughly safe, you should download "Driver Cleaner Pro" and use it to remove all the left over drivers and registry settings from the nVidia drivers. It seems that going forward from the 16x series of drivers to the 17x series will sometimes leave behind part of the 16x series. "Driver Cleaner Pro" is an easy to use and free utility which will take care of this issue. But only run AFTER you have uninstalled the old drivers in the normal manner.

    Once you are certain the old drivers are uninstalled, you can get the latest from nVidia (currently 175.19). Just download these drivers and they should install without a problem. Once you reboot, you are good to go. If you are using Vista, you may need to re-enable Aero, if you care for that theme.

    I hope this helps
  3. lon3lysnake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    A lot of people come accross with the driver problem (under XP/Vista), they told me the offical dirvers doesn't work for them, how can this be solved if I also experience the issue?
  4. sirnh macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2006
    As I mentioned, if you uninstall them then run "Driver Cleaner Pro", you will clean out the drivers provided by Boot Camp, and then you can download the latest drivers from nVidia. I have done this and things are running great in my first gen Mac Pro.
  5. lon3lysnake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    well... i actually did installed the card, but I broke the tiny plastic lock when I was trying to remove my old 7300. Does it going to cause any problems? I hope not...
  6. lon3lysnake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    and btw... how much slower does the card runs on 2nd lowest slot? cause I broke the plastic lock in the lowest slot and i'm not sure if it's okay to us that slot.
  7. kahine macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008

    You'll be fine if you are talking about the little plastic lever - I did the same on mine the first time as couldn't even see it and my fingers were too big to get a decent hold on it - my first mac pro replacement so wasnt sure exactly where it was

    Its meant to hold in the heavy graphics card more securely but I've yet to see a heavy one for a mac pro between the 8800gt and 3870 - not compared to the monstrous pc ones

    So if thats all you are talking about then yes its fine to use it just make sure to line it up correctly inserting the card and to securely fasten it with the screwplate
  8. sirnh macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2006
    You definitely want to use the lowest slot. The 2nd lowest cannot run at 16x. I can't remember if it defaults to 8x or an even lower speed.

    That lever will not keep the card from operating, but it helps longer, heavier cards remain in the slot when you move the machine around.
  9. canadianpj macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2008
    Perhaps a silly question, how about the 2nd Generation Mac Pro that come with the card and reinstalling if required?
  10. kahine macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2008
    The Mac Pro OS X DVD that came with your machine has the drivers necessary to get it installed ok - it's the original Leopard DVD that doesn't
  11. lon3lysnake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    thank you for all the replies, but i'm having another problem with my mac pro. After installing the card, my disc drive ejects the disc every time I reboot my computer, anyone have the same problem after upgrading the 8800GT? I can't install windows XP because the mac pro keeps ejecting the XP disc, and I'll have a black screen saying disc error or something like that.
  12. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    Try installing Windows XP with the original card in, then swap it for the 8800 GT.

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