GTX460 in a MacPro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Corelgott, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Corelgott macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    #1
    Hi @ All,

    I am planing to install a GTX 470 into a Mac Pro early 2009. Up to now I've a Nvidia GT 120 in my system, which has absolutly no perfomace what so ever. Even Starcraft 2 or Half-Life-Source bringt it to it knees.

    So a graphics update is absolutly nessary. But I definitly don't intend to spend 1.5k Bugs on a Quadro card just because apple only supports those card.

    Due to the lack of any other cards with acceptable perfomance I am thinking about buying a GTX 470. (Other recommendations are welcome!) As far as I could find out that I should be able to patch it with Zeus (http://www.groths.org/) to become EFI complatible.

    So the only point would be to have a compatible kext so that osx can really use the card for something more than minimum resolution. (Adapting the guide viewtopic.php?f=15&t=8157)

    The big question is:

    Would that work?
    Would I get some 3D perfomance out of that? - Or does the kext do nothing more than enabling a high resultion but not any of the 3D acceleration?
    Would the described way even work or am I completly off?

    Any comment, help or link to a guide would be greatly appeciated!

    Thanks in advance!

    Corelgott
     
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #2
    I don't believe you can use a GTX 470 under OS X without keeping the GT 120 in there at all times – I know that for a card such as the GTX 285 it required another GPU as a helper.

    You do have other options though – both the 5770 and 5870 will work in your machine, and both can be bought and flashed if you don't want to pay for Apple's version.
     
  3. Corelgott thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    #3
    Hey Mackilroy,

    thanks for your reply! Well what a shame, that the nvidia card wouldn't work out. But you are right: keeping both cards just for the sake of using the GTX 670 wouldn't make any sense.

    Well I gotta confess, that I don't really like ATI due to some bad, Windows & Linux experience with those... But since the only other Nvidia-Card in that performance level would be the quadro series - which is way to expensive...

    So I think I'll be left with no choise but to swollow that ATI - Hopes running high on osx....

    After a little digging I found one for around 200€ - which is within my budget. (http://www.alternate.de/html/solrSe...detail&link=solrSearch/listing.productDetails) Since there are about 5 different vendors for that card: any recommendation? Is XTX more compatible than a Sapphire?
    The other thing missing would be a guide or tutorial how to patch that card... Or is Zeus enought to do it? I would greatly appreciate if you could give me a little more information about the whole topic - my googling up to now was kind of frustrating.

    Thanks again!

    Corelgott
     
  4. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #4
    It probably would, but I don't want to be responsible for you spending 200 Euro and then it not work out for you. :D

    You might want to check out the netkas forums and look around there, that's where most of the guys here who flashed GPUs and did a lot of work have gone.

    As far as Zeus goes, no, it won't work for the 5770/5870, but it will work for the 4870/4890 if you want to look for one of those. I ran a 4890 in my 2006 Mac Pro for a long time and it worked fine. The 4890 requires a QE/CI patch with many updates, though.
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #5
    there are GTX 285's for Mac if you really want nVidia, otherwise get whatever card you want and run it on Windows. Quadros aren't for gaming and shouldn't be considered.
     
  6. Corelgott thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    #6
    Hey Mackilroy,

    about yo beeing responsible: no sweat! I am fully aware that all we are talking is best case scenary and there is a lot of work to be done to get there. And that there are absolutly no garanties what so ever...! I am working in IT for ca. 15 Years now... Mostly Windows & Linux - But it's allways the same... There is a good chance that it should work... So if it dosen't work I can by stuff with a 14-Day-Return-Option. So if I don't brick the card - Everything should be fine.

    But back to the topic: Thanx to Toxic for pointing out the GTX 285 - Seems like a fine card even thought the performance seems to lack a little behind in comparisation to the GTX 470 or the HD5870. Which would be fine for me - But the pricetag beeing at around 500€ - Ouch. That's a lot! You are certainly right that this would be the easy - 100% working soultion and it would be an Nvidia. But as I mentioned before I am (not yet) wiling to pay that kind of money for I thing that I might use about twice a month - and for fun.

    I am quite comfortable when I comes to the part of fiddling around with the card and the firmware on it. I just want to minimize the risk of failure.

    From my current point of view I think considering the HD 5870 makes the most sense. The performance is ok, the "normal" price is reasonable - and there is a apple-clone for the dirver. But if you can't patch it with zeus what tools are there else? In zeus blog he mentions that the apple version only got one DVI / Dual-Link port. So most likely the driver only manages one port. Which would be a vaste - I have two 22'' screens on my machine and I'd like to contious to use them. The option of buying a 100 bugs active-dual-link adapter still remains... but....

    But I am sure I am not the first to face that whole topic of the HD5870. I'll start researching that a little more - perhaps something usefull comes up.

    Any links - guides and comments on this are still very welcome! I am still open for cards suggestions!

    Thanks in advance!

    Corelgott
     
  7. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #7
    You won't need the $100 adapter as long as the resolution of your monitors is 1920x1200 or lower. You'd just need an active mini-DP to DVI adapter, IIRC.

    As for what other tools there are, I believe the Rominator flashes under DOS or Windows – you might also contact Cindori, he has a 5870 in his 2006 Mac Pro that he flashed.
     
  8. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Active adapters are ONLY required if you want to run three displays from the AMD cards. With 2 displays, you're fine with the standard passive adapters Apple provides.
     
  9. colobot macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    #9
    GTX460 in a MacPro

    Hello everyone, I'd like to ask a question regarding this problem.

    I'm thinking about gtx 460 with a helper card on a mac Pro too (for Octane render under windows 7)

    But some people said that gtx 460 was running ok with a bootcamp Windows on a Mac Pro, but the system became unbootable after installing Snow Leopard graphics patch. (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=955949&highlight=gtx+460&page=6)

    So, here's the question: is it confirmed that snow leopard graphics patch is dangerous? And which OSX version is safe for gtx 460 then?
    And, if everything crashes, will I lose my data or I'll just have to reinstall Snow Leopard?

    P.S. Sorry for my poor english.
     
  10. Gman257 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    #10
    I just build a hackintosh & threw the GTX 460 in there but is not 100% compatible. I then threw the GTX 285 in there for 100% compatibility & believe it or not the 285 blows the 460 away. Both under Windows & OS X
     
  11. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #11
    Hm, looking at benchmarks around the web they seem roughly comparable.
     
  12. Corelgott thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    #12
    Hi,

    a GTX 285 better than a GTX 460... Well this really astonishes me... I know all numbers are realtive to the test they are run with... And heavily task dependent but... I habe been using this guide http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/video_lookup.php?cpu=GeForce+GTX+470 as reference... and it's completly pointing into another direction.

    @colobot

    I'd say that you are pretty much on the save side here. Since windows is doing all the driver work for you... The Mac emulates a BIOS for the sake of windows booting into a boocamp... - nore hardware nore software should recognize your machine as a mac based system. So for windows - it's just a pc like every system on the street. If you want to use the GTX 460 while beeing booted into OSX that's a different story. This means no BIOS-Emulation is active (Onyl EFI is up) - so the card is not beeing activated during startup (It doesn't answer to EFI if it calls). Nore is a driver loaded into the OSX kernel. (Due to osx not detecting the card as any compatible device at boot). So the result would be osx putting out no image onto the GTX 460. Worst case senairo - OSX has absolutely no clue what card it might be - and dies (Crash aka Kernal-Panik aka "Bluescreen") when it's trying to detect the card. So OSX patch or not - Without the right EFI-Firmware on the card in OSX is most likely a power-hungry-brick in your system. And would either harm your system geatly or wouldn't affect it at all. But it would, most likely, work under windows - just fine with full performance.
     
  13. Gman257 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    #13
    Cinebench scores higher on both Windows & OS X on my system.
     
  14. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #14
    If you're only using Windows, you don't need the Snow Leopard Graphics Update. If you're also using OS X, you might go to the netkas forums and see if they can shed some light on the situation.

    Gman: you're also using a hackintosh, which changes things somewhat.
     

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