Expanding or extending PCI-E ports in Mac Pro 5,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MannyGamazo, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. MannyGamazo macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2012
    Las Vegas
    Hello everyone,

    I have an interesting question: Currently I'm running my Mac Pro with two GPUs: The Apple NVIDIA GT120 (so that I have a boot screen) and an EVGA NVIDIA GTX 1080 FE (just using the native drivers)

    I know one easy solution for me would be to send my GTX 1080 to MacVidCards.com to flash the EFI (I really wish I could just do it myself) but what I would like to do is buy the Apple Radeon 5770 (or 5780 or another Apple card), insert it into slot one, and then make a PCI-E EGPU enclosure for my GTX 1080. That way I could use two cards, create some breathing room in the chassis, and I could have the freedom to remove the GTX 1080 and put it in a TB3 E-GPU to use with my 2016 15" MacBook Pro.

    I'm also trying to make an easy setup for me to sell my Mac Pro once the redesign is officially released and we see what that will be all about.

    Had also considered just expanding my PCI-E slots but I have had a hard time finding out how to do that and I learned that the two x16 slots are already reduced to x8 when both are in use.

    Basically I want to use an external PCI-E GPU, what would be the best way to do that?
  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
  3. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base

    For the MacPro 5.1 there is only one real working pice expansion available that I know off. Have a look here:


    Great solution that works for the 5.1 - however it is expensive as you will shockingly see. The good thing about it, it's basically the technological precursor to today's thunderbolt expansion chassis, based on legacy pci technology.
    There are noumerous devices out there, if you are lucky, you can score one on eBay if you are pacient.
    However it is kind of old tech and even if you can get one cheap, you most likely will not be able to use it in the nex gen Mac machines, at least that's what I predict. See it as the absolute last pimp up option for that dying 5.1 that soon will be stamped vitage.

    In terms of IO speed upgrades, there is only the card from cal digit out there, that gives you one usb c port. It has the speed of thunderbolt gen 1 but it's not enough or designed to run an external gpu.

    CalDigit FASTA-6GU3 Plus PCIe Karte - Zwei USB 3.1 Typ A/C & Zwei eSATA 6G Anschlüsse für Windows und Mac https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0196YO9JI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_i_wZH5AbFVMA31N
  4. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    T-Bolt is a PCIe extension - but limited to 4 lanes. It's a crippled duck.

    OneStopSystems and other companies make a lot of PCIe expansion products.
  5. thornslack macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2013
    Pretty sure the Mac Pro x16 have all their own lanes, but the two upper pcie slots share lanes.

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