Graphics card options for original Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Russell L, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Russell L macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #1
    I have an original, stock Mac Pro (August 2006), which has performed flawlessly until yesterday. It seems to start up fine (I can hear the usual hard drive spinning sounds, but my display (Apple 23" LCD) is now totally blank (black). The power light on the display is lit (and I've verified that the display still works by connecting it to my MacBook Pro), so I can only assume that the graphics card (Nvidia GeForce 7300GT) has died. What are my options as far as replacing this card nowadays? I don't play games on my Mac Pro, but I do use it for Photoshop and iMovie and also to watch QT videos and DVDs (as well as browsing the internet, of course).

    I should add that I have zero experience with installing graphics cards, but I'm comfortable with getting into the machine and doing simple things like adding memory and additional hard drives.

    Thanks....
     
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #2
    I run an ATI Radeon 4780 in mine but that sounds like overkill for you. An Nvidia GT120 should work and be a good match for your needs. I'm not sure if the GT120 works in the 2006 Mac Pro though. I had to look for awhile to make the ATI card I use actually did work as Apple officially say it does not.
     
  3. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    I'm pretty sure the only option right now is the 4870 Mac edition. If I were you though, I'd wait for the 5870s to end up in people's hands so that it can be checked that they don't work in 2006 Mac Pros. In the likely event that they won't work, there will probably still be an influx of 4870 Mac editions onto eBay as 2008/9 Mac Pro owners sell off their old cards after getting a 5870 so the price should drop a fair bit in the second hand market.
     
  4. Russell L thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #4
    @Cromulent: Did you mean 4870 (as Spanky Deluxe mentioned) and not 4780?

    Another question: Would installing this card be a simple plug-and-play procedure (swapping out the old card for the new one)? Or would I have to do anything special to make it work?

    Thanks again!
     
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
  6. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #6
    Yes it'd just be plug and play (assuming you're up to date with your software updates). Leopard requires the latest updates but Snow Leopard supports it right out of the box.

    As GoMac said, the 3870 Mac Edition is also an option but it's a fair bit slower (about half the performance) and support is from a third party not Apple. I had one of those (well two) a few years ago in my 2006 Mac Pro before I upgraded to a 4870. It did the job but the 4870 was twice as powerful and quieter running.
     
  7. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #7
    Note: in some cases, an exhausted NV-RAM lithium battery can cause a blank display at start-up time. Replacing the battery and then hitting the motherboard reset switch can fix the problem. It's worth a try and it's a lot less expensive than buying a new video card.

    If this works for you, then you owe me a beer.
     
  8. Russell L thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #8
    Thanks--I'll look into it. Do you (or anyone else) happen to know what kind of battery it takes? (I'm at work now, so it would be nice if I could get a new battery before going home tonight.) And is the motherboard reset switch easy to locate?

    And yes, if this works, I'll get you a beer. :D
     
  9. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #9
    CR2032 (3 volt lithium coin cell, very common)

    Also: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964

    Also: http://www.macusersguide.com/2009/06/reseting-the-logicboard/ (has picture)
     

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