Graphic Card upgrade to replace the GT120 in the 4.1 Mac Pro?

Mac Pro 2009

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
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Hey!
So, I know there are a lot of unofficial graphic cards out there that can work on a Quad Core 4.1 Mac Pro but I was wondering, what is there that will work with my machine and is officially supported? (I do want the pretty Apple boot screen) I'm mainly a retoucher but I'd love to do some gaming on a windows partition, something I haven't been able to do with a mac in many years! Basically I'd like to know what my middle and top of the line options are? The GT120 is kinda basic. (Oh and I plan on using Mavericks)
Thanks guys!

Tony
 
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Noctilux.95

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2010
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I upgraded (MP 4,1) from the GT 120 to an ATI Radeon 5770 couple of years ago and have had no issues.
 

Mac Pro 2009

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
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What are the officially supported Graphic Cards for my machine that are still relevant today and would be good performers for intensive retouching and occasional gaming and will stand the test of time?
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2007
2,042
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Canada
What are the officially supported Graphic Cards for my machine that are still relevant today and would be good performers for intensive retouching and occasional gaming and will stand the test of time?
GTX680 and HD7950 are the highest specification cards on sale at the moment for your machine. As such they stand to be relevant longer than anything else you can put in there that is officially supported. Although now I think about it not sure if nVidia has a Quadro laying around that goes in there.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2007
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Canada
Yes, there is the Quadro K5000 for Mac and it's also available in the Apple store for $2,499.95.
That is what I thought but never checked into knowing it would be retard priced really your better off selling old mac pro putting cash with what you would spend there and get nMP if you were going to go that route. That is unless you are the one in however many thousands it would be that would actually have a specific need for that card.
 

Mac Pro 2009

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
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Ouch, when I said High End I didn't meant a Luxury Graphic Card. :)

I just want a good, durable card that is officially supported.
 

Macsonic

macrumors 68000
Sep 6, 2009
1,605
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Ouch, when I said High End I didn't meant a Luxury Graphic Card. :)

I just want a good, durable card that is officially supported.
You can try Nvidia EVGA 285gtx or Radeon 5870HD. They're both official Mac edition cards I have been using these cards with no problems. There is also the Mac edition Nvidia PNY 4000 Quadro with only one power cable required. But it's pricey and it's featuresand speed are just about the same as the Radeon 5870HD.
 

ybz90

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
609
2
Ouch, when I said High End I didn't meant a Luxury Graphic Card. :)

I just want a good, durable card that is officially supported.
How high end are you looking? Honestly, "official" cards aren't even worth it. An outdated card like the 5870 or 5770 fetches around the same as a used GTX 680, which can be flashed to the Mac firmware. And if you want to get an official Mac edition GTX 680 or 7950... oh boy. There's a $300+ premium on those for no good reason.

PM me if you have more questions about this, I'm happy to help.
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,091
30
What size display and are you gaming in OS X or Windows? GTX 680 is way faster than the 7950 in Windows but in OS X your card speed matters less as there are slowdowns all over. The gap is shortened. Anything and I mean pretty much any modern card is better than a GT120 (including Intel's integrated stuff on the consumer Macs). No bad moves:) For $100 less than the price of GTX 680 you can get a GTX 780 and flash it and be really moving but you said you wanted boot screen.
 

Mac Pro 2009

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
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I think I'm gonna go for a 5870, I looked up all the suggestions and it seems to have the best reviews overall. Hopefully it will be a solid performer for years to come even though some people seem to be saying that it runs hot, nothing that will wear it out too quickly I hope. Thanks for your help everyone!
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,248
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^^^^^So, if I understand correctly you've decided to invest in a graphics card introduced in 2009:confused:

Lou
 

riggles

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2013
256
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^^^^^So, if I understand correctly you've decided to invest in a graphics card introduced in 2009:confused:

Lou
I'm not sure what's more confusing. That it's a 2009 card, or that it's supposed to be an upgrade from the existing 2009 card.
 

Mac Pro 2009

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
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Well, it's the only official option for under 500 euros, or did I get that wrong? The 7950 is said to be incompatible if I want to stay in 4.1 ant the GTX680 while great is very expensive.
 
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riggles

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2013
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Don't let any of us rain on your parade. My comment wasn't entirely serious. Other than the 7950 and 680 Mac Edition cards, the only other ones even more expensive workstation cards. So the really silly part is the lack of official fully supported cards and the exorbitant costs of the ones that do exist.

That being said, there is a lot of information on this site about other cards that you flash to run like a fully supported card for much less money. And some, like me, would much rather live without a boot screen in order to upgrade our graphics cards without paying for overpriced hardware.

But it's totally your show, and if you're happy with the 5870, who are we to judge?
 

Mac Pro 2009

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
88
0
Don't let any of us rain on your parade. My comment wasn't entirely serious. Other than the 7950 and 680 Mac Edition cards, the only other ones even more expensive workstation cards. So the really silly part is the lack of official fully supported cards and the exorbitant costs of the ones that do exist.

That being said, there is a lot of information on this site about other cards that you flash to run like a fully supported card for much less money. And some, like me, would much rather live without a boot screen in order to upgrade our graphics cards without paying for overpriced hardware.

But it's totally your show, and if you're happy with the 5870, who are we to judge?
Are you sure the 7950 works on a 2009 4.1 Mac Pro? According to everymac.com it is not compatible. Only on the 2010 and 2012 models.
 

riggles

macrumors 6502
Dec 2, 2013
256
0
Are you sure the 7950 works on a 2009 4.1 Mac Pro? According to everymac.com it is not compatible. Only on the 2010 and 2012 models.
Oh, you know, I'm not sure sure. It's tough to keep track of what does and doesn't work natively in which year MP.
 

ybz90

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
609
2
Are you sure the 7950 works on a 2009 4.1 Mac Pro? According to everymac.com it is not compatible. Only on the 2010 and 2012 models.
Did you see my post earlier? Just flash -- trust me, it's worth it. You can get GTX680 used in the $250-$300 range and flashing is easy. It's not worth it to pay the same or more for something like the 5870.
 

Mac Pro 2009

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Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
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I'd rather avoid flashing, I am a novice at hacks like this...

Does anyone know if installing more than 16GB of RAM or upgrading the GPU with a 680 makes the Mac Pro a Hackintosh or does it legally remain a mac that Apple will service?

Does the Mac Version GTX 680 have any known issues? Does it have a boot screen? I've been offered a good deal.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
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Sagittarius A*
Buy a used PC reference GTX 680, mine was an evga identical to the Mac edition card, was unregistered for the warranty and after buying a pair of new PCIe power leads came to the total of £210 all in - $344 USD.

Takes a few minutes from an admin command prompt in bootcamp to flash it and easy for someone only slightly experienced and voila it's a mac card with a boot screen.
 

Mac Pro 2009

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 3, 2014
88
0
Buy a used PC reference GTX 680, mine was an evga identical to the Mac edition card, was unregistered for the warranty and after buying a pair of new PCIe power leads came to the total of £210 all in - $344 USD.

Takes a few minutes from an admin command prompt in bootcamp to flash it and easy for someone only slightly experienced and voila it's a mac card with a boot screen.
Some threads here from users with Flashed Cards talk about corruption issues though, scary...

What about the Hackintosh issue? Also since my Mac is 2nd hand, do I register it somewhere? (For insurance etc)
 
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