Graphics Card Question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sdwaltz, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. sdwaltz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2015
    Location:
    Indiana
    #1
    Last week, I purchased a used 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 off Craigslist. I know it's old, but I absolutely love this machine - dual 2.8 Ghz quad-core Xeons, w/16gb ram. I put a SSD in it, and this thing absolutely screams...especially for 8 year old hardware. I also put a graphics card from a Windows PC (Nvidia GeForce GT 610 w/2gb VRAM) in it, which leads to my question:

    It still had the original Radeon 2600 XT installed, and I wanted a bit more muscle. Since the GT 610 is a non-EFI card, I lose the boot screen, which I realize is completely normal. In a perfect world I'd like to get the boot screen back, but I have zero interest in buying a new graphics card. I realize this may be a dumb question, but is it possible for me to re-install the Radeon 2600 XT and run it side-by-side with the GeForce GT 610, or will that cause problems? Furthermore, if it IS possible, I assume the monitor would need to be plugged into the Radeon, so what would I need to do within El Capitan in order to use the GeForce?

    Thanks for any comments, this forum has always been very helpful to me!
     
  2. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #2
    I don't think it's worth the trouble. Both your cards are complete absolute low-end. I'd either keep the HD 2600 XT in or get a (flashable!) GPU with more power.

    In case you still want to use GT 610 + HD 2600: You have to attach the monitor to the card which should provide the display output: 2600 for boot screens, 610 for OS X.
    If your monitor offers multiple inputs, you could also attach both and switch inputs.
     
  3. sdwaltz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2015
    Location:
    Indiana
    #3
    Thanks Fl0r!an.

    I'd be lying to you if I said that I knew a lot about graphics cards as I generally don't do a lot of graphics card-intensive work - gaming is done mostly on console and I don't really do a lot of photo or video editing. I was under the impression that since the GT 610 had 2gb of VRAM, it was a pretty good card, but I guess I'm wrong. Would you or someone else mind explaining to me what makes it a low-end card?

    Also, one of the primary reasons I purchased the machine is because I wanted to be able to convert old family VHS to digital format (on a budget) for preservation purposes. Will this card (or the Radeon) be capable of doing so?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #4
    The amount of VRAM doesn't determine the computational performance of a graphics processor.
    The GT610 is clearly meant for office computers requiring no graphics power at all. It's quite hard to find any 3D benchmarks for this card, but from what I've seen, an old GTX 680 2GB is easily 10 times(!!) faster.

    Converting your old family videos shouldn't need any GPU power though, you should easily be able to do this with any GPU.
     

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