HELP!! video card issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by plastiksmoke, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. plastiksmoke macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2014
    Seattle Wa.
    Ok I am a total noob when it comes to this, but still learning. I have a late 2004 G5 desktop running OS X 10.5.8. I just recently picked up a Mac Pro 3,1 but there was no video card present (brought off eBay). I googled and saw that I can use a non Apple video card. I went ahead and picked up an ATI Radeon HD 2600 while I wait for my Sapphire Radeon 4870 to get here.

    Anyways my problem is, is that I pulled the hard drive from my old system and tried putting it into my new system. When powered up I get nothing, but a black screen. What I need help with is how do I get my video card to work on the current OS I have installed. I am willing to format and install a new OS but how would I do that?
  2. lexR, Jul 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014

    lexR macrumors regular


    Dec 12, 2013
    WOW, i thinking you have a lot of problems here...

    firstly (others can comment) pretty certain you can't just pull a hard drive from a G5 machine and put it in a MP and expect it to boot, secondly you will require a mac edition GPU to run the start up/recovery/boot camp as its not allowing the PC drivers (used for non EFI cards) to run the PC card.

    lastly you would need OSX install disks or a flash drive to install a new version of OSX onto your hard drive but as with everything worth making a lot of back ups.

    Im still learning too and hopefully other (more tech savvy) will offer a more detailed route to take.

    worth listing key spec items of the system and components your using when trouble shooting.
  3. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    2600 and 4870 won't work unflashed.
    You need at least 5xxx series, depending on OS.
  4. gslrider macrumors 6502


    Nov 4, 2005
    You can't use your G5 drive in your MP. That maybe a reason why you are getting a black screen. Because your MP isn't powering up properly. Second, you have to flash non-Apple GPUs for it to work on Macs.

    My suggestion is, since you don't have a usable video card for the MP, to either find someplace that can flash your current 2600, so that you can at least get video feed. You'll also have to do that with the Sapphire. If you can return those, check out macvidcards. I've personally never used them, but from what I've heard from others, they are pretty good. Their cards are already flashed so that they can be used on compatible Mac systems.

    Once you get video, you then need a bootable OS X disc or flash drive (don't use the one that came with the G5), so that you can reformat the G5 drive, and install the proper OS for the MP. The 3,1 can run Mavericks. And you can download Mavericks for free in the App Store. If you have an 8GB flash drive, you can make into a bootable drive, to startup from so you can install the OS.
    Note: you'll need to use another system that has video so you can download Mavericks.

    Your biggest issue right now is the video card. You need to see what your doing. ;-)
  5. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    No, you do not have to flash non-Apple GPUs for them to work in the Mac Pro 3,1, you just need to make sure that it is one that is compatible. What you won't get is a start-up screen if it is not flashed. I am currently using a GTX 660 video card in my Mac Pro 3,1 and except for a few connection issues at the start, trying to figure out what port to use to get the right video, it worked out of the box.

    Now whether the card you have will work is a different story. There are several posts in here on 3,1 compatible video cards, and if you search, you can find them, which is what I did before buying my card (good price, good graphics for what I do).

    I think the real problem is expecting to just move a hard drive from one computer to another and expecting it to work. There are also a number of posts on how to load the OS into a computer, using the cd-rom drive with a system disk being one of them, but I am almost positive that swapping out a hard drive from one computer to another isn't one of them. Search the forums and you will find the help you need. If after searching and trying the recommendations of the various experts here, you find that it's still not working, that's when you should ask again for help. My guess is that after reading up a bit, you will get things working pretty quickly, because there is lots of good advice to be found here if you look for it.
  6. gslrider macrumors 6502


    Nov 4, 2005
    Is the connection issue every time you start up? You are correct, that some GPUs will work out of the box, but that is a hit and a miss, to find one that doesn't have any issues. Even when starting up. A properly flashed card, and from my understanding, it's almost any properly flashed GPU, will not have those issue. Startup or otherwise.

    It's like putting after market parts in your car. It may work, but it doesn't necessarily mean it works optimally as it should, and can cause issues down the road. I always err on the side of caution. If one is to spend some cash on something, best to get something truly compatible and reliable. Otherwise, you may end up spending more in the long run.

    That said, where did you get your 660 from? I'm in the market for a new card, and not squeamish about tinkering with my Mac. ;-)
  7. plastiksmoke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2014
    Seattle Wa.

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