help adding another video card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by alexstjo, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. alexstjo macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Hi all,

    I am thinking about buying a MB871LL/A (Early 2009) 4,1, it has a NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 card that can drive 2 monitors, i need 4, can i buy another gt 120 card and install it? does the board have an extra slot? will the power supply be able to handle the extra card??

  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Yes, yes, and yes.
  3. Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

    Feb 17, 2013
    United States
    There is one more x16 PCIe slot (Slot 2) just above your GT 120. Mac Pro 2009 is designed to accomodate 2 video cards. I belive it was a 'Build To Order' option originally.

    Easily. Especially the GT 120.

    If you decide to buy a card that is more powerful, then you may need to plug into the motherboard with power plug. These plugs are inexpensive and easy to find. I think OWC sells them. And Amazon.
  4. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    there are 2 PCIe x16 slots and 2 PCIe x4 slots. The GT 120 is quite a slow card and can run at full speed in the x4 slot aswell. Built to order configurations included up to 4 GT 120s for 8 displays. So its actually designed for 4 video cars as long as they are single slot height. Only 2 double height cards will fit (HD 5770 for example).

    So OP, you can put another 3 GT 120s into the Mac Pro.
    The GT 120 doesnt need any extra power and is happy with what it gets through the PCIe slot (75W). The power supply in the Mac Pro is rated at 980W for your information. You can run two processors, 4 hard drives, 4 GT 120s at their max and still have some wattage to spare :D
    You can also run 2x HD 5770 and have support for 6 displays and much better graphics performance. These cards are a little bit more expensive though.
  5. sunsetsothickly macrumors member

    May 21, 2005
    How about one of these?

    ZOTAC GeForce GT 640 LP 2GB [ZT-60203-10L]
    ZOTAC GeForce GT 640 2GB 128-bit GDDR3 (900 MHz/1782 MHz)

    If you are particularly keen on a single-slot, slot-powered card, I can recommend it. You will get your boot screen on a display connected to the GT120 and then this has a considerable performance advantage. Also has 2GB of VRAM and costs very little.
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I agree that GT 640s are very good alternatives. You can also try searching for newer versions of the GT 640 that use GDDR5 instead of the first revisions' GDDR3. These perform even better than the initial batch of GT 640s. The newer revisions can be identified by the codename GK208.
  7. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Moore's Law illustrated

    We have offered a GT640 EFI card for a couple months now.

    I finally sat down tonight and ran it head to head with a 8800GT.

    So, new entry level compared to 2008's High End.

    The GT640 is 2GB of DDR3. The only GDDR5 cards I have seen at Newegg have had odd port combos. I picked this model to do because it has 2 @ DVI ports and an HDMI port. And it can run all 3 at once.

    The 8800GT is Dual DVI only.

    The GT640 doesn't need a power cable, the 8800GT does.

    I will do a follow up with power consumption and OpenGl 4,1 tests from 10.9.

    But, from my point of view, the GT640 kicks the 8800GT's butt.

    No power cables means if you want more OpenCl on top of your 7970 or Titan, you just fill any remaining slots with 640s.

    Only place the 8800GT won is in older OpenGl and this would be based on throughput/bandwidth.

    Note that I ran the Uningine benchmark at "Basic" preset as either would have given slide show type performance in the "extreme" preset I prefer.

    Wouldn't it be awful if your 2008 Mac Pro was STUCK in time using some outdated card that you couldn't replace? Fortunately, removable cards means you can bring your machine back into newer spec.

    So, in 5 years top of heap is beaten by bottom.

    Attached Files:

  8. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    It's remarkable how much GPUs have advanced in five years. I anticipate that ss more and more apps begin to take advantage of GPGPU, these single slot, PCI-e powered cards will become increasingly popular.

    Are you aware of any single slot, PCI-e powered AMD cards that work well? I only ask because, historically, AMD has had a large advantage when it comes to OpenCL.
  9. pastrychef, Oct 18, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013

    pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY

    Attached Files:

  10. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Most powerful bus-only powered AMD card is 7750. Outperforms 5770 in OpenCL.

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