Frequently Asked Questions About NVIDIA PC (non-EFI) Graphics Cards

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Asgorath, Sep 13, 2012.

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  1. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Are you connecting via any kind of adapter, such as DVI to Mini-DP?
  2. wapkaplet macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2009
    Hi all,

    Firstly, thanks to everyone who put together and contributed to this thread, it's great. I just have a few (potentially stupid) questions, so please bear with me.

    I'd like to put a fermi video card in my early 2008 (3,1) Mac Pro so that I can take advantage of CUDA support in CS6. I don't use boot camp, and I don't use the Mac for video games of any kind.

    Here's what I understood from reading through the thread:

    Firstly, as I understand it, if I use a card that does not have a Mac EFI BIOS, I'll be limited to PCI Express 1.0 unless I upgrade to Mountain Lion (I'm on 10.7.5 right now).

    If I do upgrade to Mountain Lion and install a stock PC card, I won't see the boot screen, but that should be the only limitation (barring driver weirdness around sleep, etc.)

    I have an existing GTX 580 that I'd like to use (I'm upgrading the card in another machine), but if I use that, I'll need to run it off an external power supply.

    I guess my questions are as follows:

    1. Are my understandings around the limitations of a non-mac efi card correct?

    2. Should I use the GTX 580, or try to sell it and pick up a 570?

    3. If I keep the 580, can I flash an EFI bios onto it myself? I'd have no problem doing this, but can find surprisingly little info about it.

    4. Do I even need to worry about the EFI bios if I plan to upgrade to Mountain Lion and don't plan on using boot camp?

    5. If I sell the GTX 580, should I look at buying a flashed 570, or just a stock PC version? (sort of the same question as #4 I guess)

    Again, thanks to all involved for creating this thread, and thanks in advance for your help!
  3. nadeama macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2012
    I'm connecting with a Mini Displayport-to-Displayport adapter. However, I've tried with 2 different brands of adapters (I thought the adapter might be the problem at first), but it makes no difference. The variable is the display itself.

    27" Cinema Display = working display sleep
    24" Cinema Display = broken display sleep

    I get the same results using either adapter.
  4. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    1) Yes.

    2) You could, though it might be more trouble than it's worth (especially since it'll be hard to get full retail price for the 580 now).

    3) I think MacVidCards is the only one that has the working EFI, so you'd have to pay him to modify and flash your card.

    4) IMO no, but others might disagree. If you have an EFI card around in case something goes wrong, these days I personally don't see the need to flash the card. One fairly major advantage of not flashing it is that it'll still be under warranty, since you haven't soldered a new (bigger) ROM chip and put a custom EFI on there. YMMV of course.

    5) IMO no, I've been using stock PC cards since the beginning of the year and have been very happy with them. I've only ever needed to swap in an EFI card once, other than that it's been rock solid.
  5. wapkaplet macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2009
    Thanks for the speedy response Asgorath. MUCH appreciated!
  6. sea800 macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2006
    Kepler in Mac Pro 1,1 - slight progress

    I currently can boot in 10.7.5 with the October NVIDIA Drivers with: a 650 card in slot 2, 7300 GT in slot 1.

    GeForce.kext, NVDAGK100Hal.kext, NVDAResman.kext are all edited -


    Yet the kext does not load -

    $ sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/NVDAGK100Hal.kext
    /System/Library/Extensions/NVDAGK100Hal.kext failed to load - (libkern/kext) requested architecture/executable not found; check the system/kernel logs for errors or try kextutil(8).

    clearly, these are 64bit drivers not loading on a 32bit kernel. Next steps are either play with 64bit booting or going to 10.8 ...
  7. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    Has anybody applied the 10.8.2 Supplemental Update with Retail-304.00.05f02- drivers ? Did it break anything ?
  8. bradjshannon macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2012
  9. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Yes. No. My GTX 680 is still working fine.
  10. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    What are the benefits of running nVidia's drivers vs Apple's drivers in OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2 and an EVGA GTX 570 HD?
  11. Reflex 980 macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2012
    Works for me too, evga GTX 570HD, just plug and boot system. I'm using an old radeon2600 as gui, but the invidia works fine as gpu-gui too.
  12. rubefink macrumors newbie

    Jul 10, 2012
    570 w/2600

    I'm running the same combo but I encountered occasional freezes on shutdown plus I use Element 3D in after effects and it acted glitchy with both cards running. Everything went back to normal when I removed the Ati card. Have you noticed any issues with your setup?
  13. muthma macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    I hope this is an easy one. The system i am running is mpb17' mid 2011 with thunderbolt. On the thunderbolt port i have a th05 from bplus and inside the pice slot is a gtx 580 3gb. Software wise i am running 10.8.1.

    The problem i have is that when i click in system profiler on pci cards it says that it can not read the info from the card.

    cuda-z sees no cuda card present, gpusniff shows the intel hd card and the ati onboard.

    What am i doing wrong? Many thanks for your help!
  14. scottrichardson macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2007
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    Anyone recommend a 680 that has two (or more) display ports / MDP?
  15. Anderton macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2012
    Running Mac Pro 1.1. (Lion 10.7.5)
    Just wanted to pop in a cheap replacement for the stock 7300 GT.

    Some questions.

    Looking at this GPU (ASUS GeForce GT 520 1GB SILENT (ENGT520 SL/DI/1GD3/V2(LP)) - PCI-E / DVI / VGA / HDMI).

    What i can read on the forums the GT 520 would work without problem. But just to be sure.

    1. If understand correctly. This card would not require extra power, just install the card and run?

    2. There is only one DVI port. Will the HDMI port work with a HDMI to DVI (running two 24" screens) with the drivers?

    3. Should i remove the 7300 GT card? Or could should i leave that alone?

  16. fuzzypickle macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2012
    How are you powering the card?
  17. MDangerous macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2008
    So, I bought and installed a GTX 470, everything seems to be stable and working fine on the OS X side. However, on the Windows XP side I get random freeze up on games. Actually, I only really play two games, Dawn of War and Dawn of War II. Mostly the freezes happen with Dawn of War, though. I have the latest nVidia drivers for XP installed. Still freezes. I tried to disable the nVidia HD audio driver. Still freeze. I just find it strange that the 470 would have problems with DoW in anyway seeing as the ATI 2600 had no problem with the game. Just weird.
  18. Sharangad macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2008
    Your 650 probably isn't recognized by the drivers. For instance on Windows only Forceware 306.97 (released on 10/10/2012) support the the GTX650.

    Mac OS hasn't had a driver update since 10.8.2 and the nvidia driver contained in that is probably way older. The GTX 680 and 670 came out before Mountain Lion was released and so the nvidia drivers contained within the OS support it.

    In your case you'll probably have to wait for a few more point releases, an updated driver from nvidia themselves or 10.9 to get driver support for the GTX 650.
  19. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    I have a GT610 which is a GT520 repackage. Works fine. No extra power needed. It should drive 2 monitors but I haven't checked to be 100% sure. You can leave the 7300 if you want, but I don't see why.
  20. Anderton, Oct 14, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012

    Anderton macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2012

    Thanks for the reply. How is it with the different brands? Also, i getting mixed messages regarding passive cooling vs fan on the GPU.

    EDIT: Picked up an ASUS GT 520 1GB with Passive Cooling. I will post how it goes.
  21. phickers macrumors newbie


    Oct 1, 2012
    Walla Walla
    It works very well

    Just installed a GTX 570 in my Mac Pro 4,1 (2009) 3.33 GHz Quad Core 16GB running Lion 10.7.5. I moved my GT 120 to the second PCI slot and installed the 570 in number one.Got CUDA running and also Open CL. It seems to be running very well. I am not much of a gamer but will take advantage of it in my video projects. I am so glad I bought a Mac Pro so I could do this upgrade. too bad for all those MBP guys...
  22. Anderton, Oct 15, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012

    Anderton macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2012
    Ok. I picked up the ASUS GT 520 1 GB SILENT (SLOT 1).
    Started the computer (Mac pro 1.1 Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5).


    But some problems. The System Profiler says ”There was an error while gathering PCI card information.”. On the Graphics/Displays section it says ”NVIDIA GeForce GT 520:

    Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce GT 520
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    Slot: Slot-1
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 1024 MB
    Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
    Device ID: 0x0de4
    Revision ID: 0x00a1
    ROM Revision: preset 1.0.0”

    So far so good.

    Then i tried to launch (just for test, as i don't play games so often on this machine) COD 4. Just crashes. Tried Doom 3. The screen goes just black. Force restart. The same for almost every game (Duke Nukem 4 Ever, Prey, GTA San Andreas Even the Old Halo). All started (alo with loosy performance with the GT 7300)

    Photoshop does not detect The GPU.
    The Slot Utility does not start (just crashes).
    Was stupid enough to install the NVIDIA Web drivers. Same results, but with a laggy UI. Reinstalled the 10.7.5 drivers with Pacifist. Reinstalled CUDA Drivers.

    No difference except the UI snappiness was ok again.

    I have a feeling that i missing something.
  23. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    This is a widely-known "feature" of the System Profiler application, it does not handle cards without an EFI. We do not expect this to ever be fixed, since it's an Apple application issue.

    Don't you have to manually add the GPU to the list of supported ones for all the Adobe apps?
  24. Anderton macrumors member


    Sep 15, 2012

    1. Ok. No problems.
    2. Ah, missed that one.

    More info. Installed a fresh Lion 10.7.5 on a sceondary internal drive.Same results with launching a game. Everythings turns black and then a forced restart. Tried UNigine with the same results.
  25. Asgorath thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Have you tried 10.8.2 and 304.00.05f02?


    Updated OP with link to 10.7.5 driver:
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