eVGA GeForce 8800 GTS on my Pro, 3dMark 9800+

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macsimus prime, Jul 27, 2007.

  1. macsimus prime macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
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    Canuck
    #1
    It wasn't pretty. I don't yet have that hard-to-find molex adapter to power the 8800GTS card yet (local dealer and Apple Canada didn't know what I was talking about). As a temp fix, I ran the 6-pin power chord from my PC's guts (been building my own for about 15 years) into the guts of my Mac and attached to to the 8800GTS. (see the attached pic). I installed the driver for WinXP and wham! it soared to a respectable 9826 on 3dMark. My Mac's spec when running Windows under BootCamp is:

    mac pro 2.66 GHz Quad Core Zeon (2X Dual core 64 bit w/1333MHZ front side bus)
    3GB Ram
    Single 250GB Western Digital Caviar 8mb cache
    Windows XP SP2 (32 bit) w/Direct X 9.0c
    the GeForce 8800GTS 640MB with latest driver for XP


    Found this 5.25 inch power supply on the web, which I might consider using in lieu of powering it from the board....reason is I want to still run my 7300GT for a 3 monitor set up and Mac Pro's guide says don't draw more than 300W total for PCI-e cards....the GeForce 8800 GTS alone takes 24A peak at 12V.

    So then I put the card back into my PC and ran it on 3dMark which I hadn't done yet. Here are my comparable PC specs:

    Asus M2N-E mobo
    AMD Athlon 64 Dual Core 4200+ CPU
    4GB Ram (effectively 3.5GB only under 32 bit Vista)
    Two 160GB 16mb cache Seagate Barracudas in Raid 0
    Windows Vista Ultimate (32 bit)w/DirectX 10
    the GeForce 8800GTS 640MB with latest driver for Vista

    It scored 7030.

    The greatest lesson I learned? Apple is completely unprepared for the wave of "PC Enthusiasts" about to invade their shores with all kinds of demands for weird parts for modding and customizing. I think they're seeing the past with a market of folks who buys Macs precisely because they don't homebrew-and are frustrated trying get Windows to work-and to the future at technology that won't need (or allow?) any homebrewing anymore (so they think;-). Which leaves us mod-happy PC converts in the middle somehere risking our Pro's to try wierd things to make it go faster.

    But I'm proud and impressed with what I could do with my Pro tonight and glad to be back.

    ps the following picture will seem odd and even offensive to some old-time Mac users and downright sexy to PC enthusiasts. In the background is my 3dMark score.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #2
    Nice. There's no doubt in my mind that the Mac Pro's are just breathtaking systems, but then they're more workstation than desktop and similar components are now quite readily available in the Windows world at PC prices.

    I think Apple will always have very tight control over the hardware that works in their machines. Their whole hardware/software mantra is based around tight integration, and the only way to effectively manage that is to keep the hardware range to a minimum.
     
  3. macsimus prime thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2007
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    Canuck
    #3
    an ex-PC guy waxes phiosophical about it all....

    It is true that it's always been hard to customize Macs, if not impossible, but I almost get the impression that now it's not because Apple opposes supporting a little of that, they just don't seem to care whether we do or not. If Apple was opposed to users meddling with the hardware, they didn't show it by buiding a machine that could finally make it possible, particularly by making it Windows compatible. It's not Apple's hardware that stopping us from trying stuff, it's the drivers, the software they didn't develop.

    I say forget about taking months and years to build a Mac-compatible piece of ATI video hardware; just code up a mac driver to run an 8800GTS just as it is.

    So with this machine, they allow for this kind of experimentation, they just don't take the extra step and support it with a little work like developing drivers or teaching their techs about that little cable we all need. The hardest part now is that Apple doesn't need to the money of the enthusiast market that's coming over anyway.

    So I predict that third parties will begin to step in and we'll find that little 'mini-fit' Molex cable and such, a little more available someday soon.

    Meantime, the challenge has made being a hardware hack that much more intriguing again, like the efforts this fellow goes through to make that cable himself.
     
  4. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #4
    You are a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    I'd never begin to try something like that.
    But if it works, good for you!
     
  5. eMagine macrumors regular

    eMagine

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    Sep 18, 2006
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
  6. macsimus prime thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    Canuck
    #6
    Thanks eMagine. Yep, that's the one. I'll be trying to find it locally today, not optimistic.

    If others have subbed Mac cards for Windows compatible cards and made alternate arrangements for power, a post here on what you did would be appreciated.
     
  7. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

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    Sep 23, 2006
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    Kilrath
    #7
    Do these card upgrades only apply to the Windows Boot? Do you still need to remove the new card to get OS X to boot? I seem to remember all sorts of little annoying issues with doing this. Have those been resolved?

    Cheers,
     
  8. macsimus prime thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2007
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    #8
    Yes, this card will only work under the Windows boot :(. My next experiment is to leave the original card that came with my Pro (7300GT) in the case with the 8800 and run one monitor to the 7300, one to the 8800 and ensure OSX will be ok. Will get back to this forum with my result...and if the riddle about swapping quad core Zeon CPUs with the Dual cores has not been fully resolved with the year, I intend to try that too one day.

    Any know of conclusive evidence we can just swap out our duals for quads?
     
  9. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #9
    Anandtech did it ages back...
     
  10. macsimus prime thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Anandtech, but....

    Yeah, read that quite a while ago. But it's the part about "We can't say with 100% certainty that you will be able to upgrade to Clovertown when it comes out, but so far the results are looking good.":confused: He was using "betas" and so my question extends a little further...can we ramp this certainty up to 100%?

    Searched a little more and found it done again in other places...now I'm fully satisfied.

    -http://www.hardmac.com/articles/70/ Again, using the pre-production engineering CPU's

    -http://reviews.cnet.com/4531-10921_7-6663792.html Once again using (beta?) Quad cores before the Octo-core Pro was publicly on the market.

    -http://www.o0o.it/pro/. Here finally a Mac Pro CPU swap done with current market Quad core Zeons at 1.86Ghz, then modded up to 2.33...these chips for sale in Canada for $350 (http://www.memoryexpress.com/index....ProductDetail.php&DisplayProductID=10369&SID=)
     
  11. flappo macrumors regular

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    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    in the cubicles
    #11
    i have to ask what's the point of a card like that on a mac ?

    which leads me to question why exactly people are waiting for an updated videocard when there's nothing on the mac that even stresses the x1900 let alone an updated version
     
  12. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    Nowhere
    #12
    Mac Pro's are workstation machines and not gaming. I recommend that people build a separate Core 2 Duo machine (Very cheap nowadays, even with a single Quad Core running at $280) and use that for gaming. Leave the Mac alone, it's using a server motherboard and server CPUs and worse (for gaming) server ECC RAM @ DDR2 530...DDR3 800 is already out so why bother with the Mac which wasn't designed for what you guys are trying to do in the first place? But oh well, it's your Mac and you can do whatever you want with it :)
     
  13. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    #13
    Exactly. So stop stirring the pot. :rolleyes:
     
  14. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    Nov 6, 2006
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    Norfolk, UK
    #14
    Old school chieftec dragon case :)

    And I have a pet niggle, its Xeon with an X not a Z.
     
  15. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #15
    Cool test macsimus prime. Hopefully Apple offers new video cards for the Mac Pro in the near future. :)
     
  16. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #16
    I bought an X1900 for windows and flashed it for use in the mac pro.

    Personally, I bought the cable from welovemacs. I stress all other options first, however, because welovemacs charges $30 for the $10 replacement part.

    If you really want to be thrifty, however, the thing to do seems to be to make your own:
    http://www.tenthousandpercent.com/?article=96&section=other

    You can do it for under $3.
     
  17. flappo macrumors regular

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    #17
    it's sad when we macusers all argue about stuff

    we should really keep all our nastiness for the non-believers and steve ballmer
     
  18. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #18
    Noone is trying to "stir the pot" just explaining what the Mac Pro is for :cool:
    People expect the Mac Pro to be using regular P965 chipsets (Consumer) when in reality even the box says "Workstation Class".

    You can get pissed off at the iMac for not doing that because it is a "consumer" device...and even then, we all know Apple is really tight on their hardware specs and doesn't allow any room for personal modifications unless you're a techie.
     
  19. suneohair macrumors 68020

    suneohair

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    #19
    Well you can a least reference the P35 chipsets... you know since those are available to buy and what not. P965 is so early 2007 :cool:

    Oh yeah, and there is the new X38 (975X replacement). The Bone Trail, heh. http://forums.legitreviews.com/about10254.html

    Just keeping it current. Carry on.
     
  20. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #20
    Yeah the P5K Asus mobos carry the new chipsets, if I'm not mistaken. I can't believe these CPU's are so cheap now. You can actually build a pretty top of the line computer for $1,000. Crazy.
     
  21. macsimus prime thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 27, 2007
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    Canuck
    #21
    Because we're old enough to still be affected by Oscar Goldman telling us "faster...stronger....better. We can rebuild [it]."

    Actually yours is a good question...I've sat with buddies around a table full of a gutted PC and wires and cards as we upgraded a machine and asked ourselves why were upgrading perfectly fast machines. Then we went back to work. Absurd as it sounds, the answer lies somewhere in not asking the question....sort of "because the upgrade is there".

    But since you asked, for me it's mainly because I already own the card and I need more power for my three monitors to run Flight Sim X full on. Even a Pro with 256MB card can't provide the oomph. Which is what now drives the Pro to upgrade realms...the insatiable demand games, especially Windows-based games, have put on systems to be stronger, faster, better. "We can rebuild it."
     
  22. macsimus prime thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    That used to be true, then they went Intel, allowed for Windows, and now they are both workstations and great gaming rigs if that's what you want.

    Sometimes I am a sophisticated power-user respecting the engineering that is a Macintosh workstation, other times I'm a hack giddy about pumping up my Pro's innards just because I can.

    To be honest, at times I find the whole dichotomy a little tiring....
     
  23. motoxpress macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2006
    #23
    Where do you plug this into the MacPro?

    -mx
     
  24. LeviG macrumors 65816

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    #24
    there should be a socket on the motherboard (6 pins) that connects to the graphics card via that cable.
     
  25. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #25
    Not true. Even on the PC side, people who have Xeon Workstation machines (such as HP workstations) rarely play games. Workstation motherboards usually have slow PCIe slots and slower RAM, compared to "consumer" Core 2 Duo lines.
     

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