Dual Graphics Card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by llirik, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. llirik macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2011
    I have an early 2008 Mac Pro and decided to upgrade it a bit instead of getting a toped out iMac (i save money a bit, and the 4 internal harddrives are quite necessary for my work).

    This is what I do with my machine:

    - Design... lots of Photoshop at print resolutions.
    - Photography... Aperture 3 mostly, and it hangs a bit here and there
    - Video Editing... don't really do anything too big on top of Color Grading. A bit of After Effects here and there.
    - A little gaming here and there, not much at all though.

    The machine is currently:
    - 2 x 2.8 quad-core
    - 14 Gb 800mhz ram
    - 256 SSD main drive
    - the stock NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB card

    so now... i think the card is old and suffering a bit with age and I want to upgrade. I use 2 monitors, so as I understand, have 2 cards at 1gb doesn't actually equal 2gb. I only really use one monitor for most of the work, with the second to speed up workflow.

    On this thread, there seems to be a differing opinion as to which card is actually better. For my uses above... will i actually see ATI 5880 over the ATI 5770 gains? I dont care so much for the "loudness"... my card now gets really loud when playing on Steam as it is.

    Also, since i still DO have the original card (doubt there's much resale at this point)... is it compatible to use both cards, so i can have my primary on one, and the secondary on the other? Or is it just one or the other? I haven't been able to find any info on that.

    Finally... im thinking of getting the Thunderbolt Display.... i know the thunberbolt options won't work with the actual Mac Pro... but can the minidisplay still be linked and used just as a display to the thunderbolt. I dont really care to get the Cinema display as i do have a 2011 Macbook Pro and want to take advantage of that.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
  3. llirik thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2011
    hmm, is there confirmation it will be compatible with 2008 mac pro?
  4. llirik thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2011
    so then... no one knows?

    also, was asking if my current card will be able to work at all with any other card, or as soon as I upgrade, it'll become garbage?
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Depends on the other card you buy. A 5770 can run with it, but a 5870 requires too much power and you wouldn't be able to run both at the same time without some serious hacking.

    Honestly, the 8800 GT is so flaky I wouldn't worry about it, just remove it.

    Finally, the Thunderbolt display does not work with the Mac Pro. Do not buy it for your Mac Pro. It will not work at all, not even as a mini display port display.
  6. llirik thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2011
    hmm... so it probably makes sense to just get either 5870, get rid of the 8800GT and not worry about waiting a month or 2 for the other card? i mean hopefully by then... SOMEONE will make the thunderbolt display compatible somehow, right?
  7. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Nope. Have to buy the older 27" Cinema Display.
  8. bobmane macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2009
    OK so i just bought the thunderbolt display with :

    Belkin 12' HDMI to DVI-D Cable

    because the apple chat guy said it would work with my mac pro + 8800gt

    i assume he was wrong?
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    the TB Display has a TB connector. where are you going to plug that HDMI into?

    for video cards, get the 5770. if you're using two displays, keep the 8800 and use one display per card. always do Ap3 edits on the 5770 since it will use lots of VRAM.
  10. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Yes he was. Both about the cable and the display.
  11. bobmane macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2009
    the 5770 in a mac pro 2,1?
  12. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    I was running a 5770 in a Mac Pro 1,1 no issues.
  13. llirik thread starter macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2011
    Well, I got the 5870 before the new year and overall, I'm quite happy with it on a dual-monitor setup.

    Now, i'm looking into connecting a 3rd display (my TV)... i have the choices of VGA or HDMI. I tried connecting via the displayport to hdmi (with an adaptor) and on 3 displays it makes one stop working... not enough power i guess? So since I have the 8800GT lying around collecting dust... is there a tutorial on HOW to get it working? I'd use this card dedicated to connect to my TV.

    I had read also that the 5870 would work with passing the audio through HDMI but no luck so far. :S

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