GTX 480 in a dedicated Windows-only Mac Pro - possible ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Dragonforce, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    Apr 9, 2008
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    #1
    So, I pretty much made up my mind that I'm going to use this 2009 Mac Pro
    as a "Windows-only" machine which will boot by default into Windows 7 x64
    and use the upcoming 2010 Mac Pro only for OS X.

    Now, nVidias GTX 470 / 480 are due soon, and I was wondering if I can hook
    up one of those beasts to the 2009 Mac Pro - would that work ? It should
    need no EFI when its booting Windows only, right ?

    Also it looks like the 480 uses one 6 pin and one 8 pin power connector,
    could that be a problem like does the card draw too much power ? AFAIK
    the MP has only 2x 6 pin connectors. Is it even possible ? Are there cables
    that plug in with 6 pins at the logicboard but end with 8 pins for the GPU ?

    Can anyone shed some light on this ?
     
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #2
    You can get 6 to 8 pin adapters. This should work just fine although, to be honest, you'd be much better off selling the Mac Pro and buying a PC instead. There's a hell of a lot of "Apple Tax" locked up in the 2009 Mac Pros. Chances are you'd make enough selling it to buy an i7 PC and a 480 too. Although having seen the benchmarks for the 480s, I'd rather opt for a 5870 or spend a few dollars more and get a 5970 - both are simply better value and run a lot cooler.
     
  3. Dragonforce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    #3
    I don't mind the Apple and nVidia tax ;)
    I really just want to know if its technically possible.
     
  4. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #4
    You'll want a mini-PCIe to PCIe adapter to connect to Apple's propriety board connectors. For the 6 pin power plug you could use a dual molex to 6 pin power adapter cable and two SATA male to molex female adapters and power the card from two of the SATA connectors. It should set you back about $50 in adapters at a guess though and will make a cable mess of the insides of your Mac Pro!
     
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #5
    It's more than a financial tax though. Your system should fetch enough for a 4GHz+ 6 core system with a decent SSD and whatever card you want. I can understand keeping it because it works already, or because you don't want to build it yourself, but you have so many better options available.
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #6
    Yes, it's technically possible. The power cables would need to be handled properly as already mentioned (miniPCI power attached to a 6 -> 8 pin adapter for both connectors on the board, so 2x each to make a pair).

    That said, you'd be better off with one of the ATI cards recommended IMO as well (the fact that they run cooler is important).
     
  7. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #7
    You have a suit made out of hundred dollar bills, don't you?
     
  8. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    Jul 21, 2004
    #8
    Isn't the best rated computer for running Windows a Mac? If I was going to get a new Windows only machine I'd just get another Mac too.
     
  9. 10THzMac macrumors 6502

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    Dec 17, 2007
    #9
    I am going to try a card when the new 400s hit the UK, but will do it with an external PSU - I have a Toughpower waiting for this project - and will need external due to 285 as main card. I won't be able to report back until at least mid-late April and mine is 08 Pro. I will also see what happens under OS X but I think it is 99% likely it will be nothing or blue screen of death, unless the drivers are miraculously in 10.6.3 and the injectors work.
     
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #10
    The Macbook Pros were rated as better for vista years ago by some reviewers. The Mac Pro is very limited and expensive compared to off the shelf components or a pre-built workstation from Dell.
     
  11. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #11
    Well that's just not true.

    Go on Dell's site, go to their workstations and configure it similar to a Mac Pro. They're at par or more expensive.
     
  12. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #12
    A Dell T3500 configured like the quad Mac Pro with Applecare is $1,400 compared to $2,750 and the T5500 configured like the 8 core is $2,600 compared to $3,450, you can also save $100-$200 on the Dell's by using 3rd party memory. That was through US small business with the current savings applied.
     
  13. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #13
    Are you sure?

    Dell Precision Desktop Workstation T3500 with 2.66GHz Quad core, 500GB HDD, 3GB RAM, 512MB Quadro FX 580, 3 year's warranty and NBD on site service - $1279.

    Apple Mac Pro with 2.66Ghz Quad Core, 640GB HDD, 3GB RAM, 512MB GeForce GT 120, 3 year's Applecare - $2748

    Dell Precision Desktop Workstation T5500 with Dual 2.26GHz Quad Core, 500GB HDD, 6GB RAM, Quadro FX 580, 3 year's warranty and NBD on site service - $2757

    Apple Mac Pro with Dual 2.26GHz Quad Core, 640GB HDD, 6GB RAM, 512MB GeForce GT120 - $3548

    The 2009 Mac Pros have been significantly more expensive than the competition since the get go, especially the insanely overpriced quad core. 2006-2008 Mac Pros were very competitively priced and were usually cheaper than the competition but Apple decided to up their margins by about $1000 across the line with the 2009 model. This was pretty well discussed at time of release. They put their prices up but moved to use processors that were significantly cheaper than the processors in the same price tier 2008 Mac Pro models.

    Edit: Whoops, forgot that all the Dell prices had 3 years warranty built in as standard so updated the Apple prices to include Applecare.
     
  14. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #14
    I was speaking 8-core.

    2 x 2.93 from Dell is over $7k
     
  15. Major Reeves macrumors regular

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    #15
    Apple is only cheaper on the top of the line models.
     
  16. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #16
    Which is just a difference in business strategy in how they utilize their online stores. You can get the Dell's cheaper than Apple's retail pricing if you speak to a business rep.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #17
    If you call, you get better prices from Dell and HP, and it's likely to be lower than the same CPU P/N and quantity Mac Pro. Not by a massive amount, but less. And don't forget to add in Apple Care to the MP's price, as the Dell and HP's will have a 3yr on-site warranty.

    The rest is impossible to get exact parity, but you can get fairly close (i.e. RAM speeds, various capacities may not be equal,... but say a 640GB HDD vs. a 750GB HDD isn't that big a deal IMO, as the cost difference is minor).
     
  18. Major Reeves macrumors regular

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    #18
    Apple Care ins't mandatory.
    I've never bough it, never will, never bought a warranty extension for my nextstation, never had a problem with both next and apple products, and some countries specially in the EU have mandatory 2 years minimum for warranties, so before wasting € check your county's legislation 1st.
     
  19. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    #19
    I was just ball parking it in regards to the fastest PC you can buy talk

    I know when you go down towards the bottom, you can't compare pricing, that's obvious, but when you compare top to top there isn't much difference.
     
  20. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #20
    Gulftown where?
     
  21. Major Reeves macrumors regular

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    #21
    Cray, Sun, Hp and Dell didn't released yet workstations with xeon x5600 parts so I guess that your point is moot.
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #22
    It was mentioned for a better comparitive, as the PC versions carry a 3yr on-site warranty included. Without it, the financial comparison isn't accurate.

    And though it's not mandatory, it's not a bad idea, given the cost of repairs to MP's once the warranty is expired. The parts cost alone gets awful (i.e. ~$300USD for a PSU, ~$800USD for a logic board last I checked, both of which are more expensive than the cost of the warranty before adding any labor :eek:). Given the cost of Macs in Europe, I'd expect the repair parts to be higher than the US as well. :(
     
  23. Dragonforce thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dragonforce

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    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
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    #23
    Thanks for the few informative posts.
    I already ordered one vom EVGA, lets see when it arrives.
    Will report back if it works and if it fried my MP. ;)
     
  24. DesmoPilot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #24
    You're going to want to keep a very close eye on temps, also I don't know how strong the MPs PSU is.
     

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