Help confirm upgrade path for mac pro 3,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by skiguy, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. skiguy macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2013
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm upgrading a Mac Pro 3,1 for my wife who uses it for some light gaming (think portal, civiliation, some indie games like trine) and for iphoto, netflix etc.

    I've put in an SSD and have upgraded it to 8 GB of ram. So far so good! I now want to upgrade the video card.

    I've read something like a gazillion posts on this forum. After reading most(?) of them, I'm thinking of getting this:

    A few questions:
    1) Can I leave my current video card in the mobo now or do I have to pull it out?
    2) If I connect my monitor through a dongle that converts the dvi to vga, will the boot screen still show?
    3) If I connect my monitor twice (once through the dvi and once through the vga dongle) can I just select which one and if I select VGA the boot still shows?

    4) Any difference, betwen the Ti/Ti-SC/Ti-FTW that I should know?

    5) Do I need any extra connectors (and if so which)?

    6) Is the card enough for my wife to do some late gaming/iphoto touch ups? (I'm assuming netflix, hulu, etc is all pretty trivial).

    7) More importantly, is the ugprade worth it -- will the machine actually function as a fairly competent box for the next two years or so?

    Sorry for all the questions but I'm almost done so I figured I'd ask all of them at once rather than piece by piece...

    Thanks for your help!!
  2. thehimay macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2009
    Toronto, ON, CA
    Should be fine leaving it in, if it's any of the original video cards that came with the 3,1 (I had the 8800, which only required one of the PCIe 6-pin power supplements).
    I can't speak to 2, but if you leave the original card in, you can certain just switch between the card inputs (e.g. old card on VGA, new card on DVI).
    It looks like they just scale in overclocking/clock rates (in the order you listed).
    You'll need a supplementary PCIe 6-pin cable like the likes of this variety if you leave the original card in (or if your original card doesn't use a 6-pin power cable). 4-pin plugs are difficult to reach in the 3,1 chassis (if any are even free to use with the adapter in the video card kit), and the mainboard's 6-pin out is a smaller, non-standard size with respect to typical 6-pin PCIe plugs.
    I'm using an (aging) GTX470 and have been running all those games you listed fine with high settings at 1920x1200. I would (reasonably confidently) assume that a 750 would also handle them painlessly.
    If you're upgrading from an original video card for the 3,1 (the 8800 or weaker), that'll breath a lot of new life into it. Hell, for that price I'm contemplating ordering a GTX750 myself now…
  3. skiguy, Dec 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2014

    skiguy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2013
  4. yaboo007 macrumors newbie

    Nov 22, 2014
    I just upgraded yesterday to a nvidia gtx 680 card.

    I was told you needed to find the gtx 680 with two six pin power connectors as the unit with eight pins that the mac pro can not power those gpu's.

Share This Page