GTX 660 OC Edition - Working in 1,1 Mac Pro w/ El Capitan 10.11

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PowerMac G4 MDD, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Jul 13, 2014
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    Hi everyone,

    So I recently purchased a GTX 660 - the ASUS version that's factory overclocked. I just wanted to confirm that, so far, I have had it working nicely in my 1,1 Mac Pro, which runs 10.11 (and will be upgraded to 10.11.1 soon).

    Special thanks to Fl0r!an for recommending this card, BTW.

    I wanted to call it to attention because I've seen older threads where people have had issues with them, or where people have doubted a 1,1 Mac Pro's ability to run one.

    Currently, I have my 1,1 with El Capitan; the card was recognized immediately and my desktop came up very quickly. Of course, there is NO boot screen because this is a non-flashed PC card. I have it hooked up to my primary HDMI monitor and secondary DVI monitor. Both ports seem to be working properly.

    I haven't done official benchmarks yet, but I have tried it out with some games. I have the Nvidia driver in place at the moment, rather than Apple's stock driver. Since this card isn't flashed, I'm sure that its performance in Mac OSX is a bit low compared to how it would be in Windows. However, it does still seem to be okay with the games I have. I noticed, though, that it wasn't any better than my flashed Radeon 5770 at Minecraft and Assault Cube. (Yes, I know that Assault Cube isn't the game on which I should test a GPU, but large maps are laggy. Frankly, I went down to 30 FPS or so on those larger maps.)

    I tried Dirt 2, which ran just fine (as it did on my 5770), Left 4 Dead, and Left 4 Dead 2 (all under Mac OSX - I have no Bootcamp partition yet). Left 4 Dead seemed to run just fine--pretty much no hiccups. I have the graphics on higher settings for both games, and each did fine with this card. Note, though, that the mouse cursor felt somewhat slow in Left 4 Dead 2; I didn't have time to play with the settings, though, so I cannot confirm what it was about. Note that this isn't the most scientific way of testing this card; I was sort of pressed on time and had tons of work to do, and I only briefly tested this card with some of my games.

    I've seen reports of sleep issues with this card and Mountain Lion; however, in El Capitan, I can confirm that I have had ZERO sleep issues so far. The card will allow the computer to fall asleep by itself just fine, and it wakes up fine as well. I can also manually sleep the computer just fine.

    The card operation is spectacular; I don't think that I can even hear the card. The GPU's fans are the first to spin up when I wake the machine, and no audible noise has been expelled from them. I highly recommend this ASUS CU II cooler; it has two open-blade fans and is advertised as keeping the card 20% cooler than normal. Now, I wouldn't know how loud the EVGA version's blower fan is... but it's possible that this ASUS cooling system is far superior and quieter. Modern blower fans are pretty quiet, but you can still hear them whispering--at least, I've heard that from my brother's GTX 560 Ti.

    Issues: Really, I think there are only three, and the last one may not even be related to the card. Firstly, the latest Nvidia driver (I have the second latest one), once installed, cause Assault Cube to crash immediately after opening. I'm not sure what the deal is, but once I reverted to the previous Nvidia driver, things worked again. Secondly, with Hardware Monitor, I noticed that--momentarily--a white box would appear over the text in my menu bar. Maybe it was while the application refreshed its stats, but I'm not completely sure. I have to also go back and see if it does this while the GPU is idle, as it could have only been under stress. The last issue may or may NOT be related. However, when I open Sys Prefs and go to 'Desktop & Screensaver,' wait for my personal pictures to load, then exit out and pick 'Energy Saver,' Sys Prefs gives me the wheel. IDK what it is... maybe residual stress from the lagginess of my pictures loading in 'Desktop & Screensaver'? It only seems to happen with 'Energy Saver.' Anyway, my GTX still does better than my flashed 5770 did at loading those pictures. With the 5770, if I moved the Sys Prefs window around in circles while those pictures were loading, I would get some lag. Anyway, I'm gonna try having it default to Apple's pictures and see if this 'Energy Saver' pane issue persists.

    Otherwise, this card seems to work without any real issues. Most people say that there isn't a problem, yet list a whole bunch of deal-breaking issues that they think are no big issue... but, in this case, none of these 'issues' are worth worrying about. That last one may not be related to the card, and the second one was likely just the new Nvidia driver's fault (and it only happened with Assault Cube... and IDK anyone else around me who plays that game). The first and foremost issue wasn't a big deal either, but it could have been the one directly related to how the card works in Mac OSX. I'll investigate it further. Later, I'll be trying Windows on this, in which the card should perform nicely.

    Anyway, I would recommend this card if you want something that works out-of-the-box (and better with Nvidia drivers). System Profiler recognizes the card in full, and no flashing was necessary to get it working. I also would recommend going with the ASUS version. Just make sure you don't go with a 'Ti' version of the card, as I've heard that those are the ones that have issues; however, don't quote me on it. I just purposefully didn't go with one because I was wary about possible issues. I think, though, that Superclocked and Overclocked versions will work fine. The card I bought was used--it was $100+ $6 shipping, which is pretty good. It would be worth-it, unless you REALLY care about boot screens. As it is, a little 8800GT 512MB can run you that much or more. I think that this is worth it, assuming you don't care about boot screens.

  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Congrats and it's great that you were able to get hold of an ASUS 660GTX twin fans card. I haven't used this card and the feedback I got from a friend of mine said this card runs very cool without any heat issues on his cMac Pro. It's a good GPU and a nice deal. Below must be the same card you are using:


    The cMac Pro is still a good machine that you can make upgrades on the GPU. There was a YouTube video I saw that a guy installed a 970GTX on his 1,1 2006 Mac Pro. Enjoy and have fun with your new card. :) :cool:
  3. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

    Jul 13, 2014
    At the intersection of Conch and Coral.
    Yep, that's my card! It's pretty much inaudible. I saw that video; that guy was able to play modern games just fine on his Mac Pro.

    Thanks, I will! Trying to get Windows installed right now. Looks like I'll have to do with with some other Mac, though, since I can't straight-up install 64-bit Windows from the Mac Pro.

    EDIT: And now it looks like I'll have to use a secondary Mac that's NOT an El Cap Mac. Their new Bootcamp assistant is awful; it tells me that there is no drive for it to use, and that one must be prepared by Boot Camp Assistant... yet there's NO option to format a drive for Bootcamp anywhere.

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