Likelihood of New Mac Edition Video Cards for 3,1 - 5,1 Mac Pros?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by xSinghx, May 13, 2015.

  1. xSinghx Suspended


    Oct 2, 2012
    As the title suggests I'm curious if it is likely at this point we'll see further mac edition video cards for the 2008-2012 line of mac pros as it's been sometime since the 680's came out ( and buying one now seems less than worthwhile.

    It's worth noting the 680 mac edition is not even available (new) at most places like Amazon or OWC anymore.
  2. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I can pretty much guarantee that we will be only source of these.
  3. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    I think MVC is correct, as it's essentially an ever-dwindling market given the nMP not being built for standard graphics cards. I doubt it'd be commercially viable, especially given flashing was always a cheaper option anyhow.
  4. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    I would be surprised if there were. I bought a 680 and flashed it after the 680MAC edition came out. The price premium over the PC versions made it a no brainer.

    It is going to be a dwindling market and no doubt would have to some license agreement with Apple to launch one, who I couldn't see agreeing to it as would be seen as reducing sales on the nMP.

    I suspect that Apple let the 680 and 7950 cards out to tide people over till the nMP came out, and then have shut the door again.

    Nvidia are still providing updated Drivers via the Web to get Nvidia Cards working under OS X, but you do hit potential snags as Apple updates the Build Numbers when patching etc, which then requires a patch from Nvidia to make the Driver work again.

    You also lose the Boot Screen without the correct EFI, and after the 680 there doesn't appear to be freely available EFI's to download for later Nvidia Cards.

    If you live in the US then alway the option of buying one of MacVidCards flashed cards
  5. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    Don't limit yourself to Apple sanctioned cards and you can have the latest and greatest. As long as MFG's continue to build PCIe 2.0 compatible cards, and provide drivers (nVidia) you're fine. Just as with any upgrades, you often have to jump through the hoop of installing drivers for it, but that's nothing new.

    Also, if AMD puts out an updated card for the nMP, it's likely you can find a PCIe counterpart that will work after MVC/netkas do their VooDoo...
  6. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I don't really understand why it wouldn't be commercially viable. They are already making hardware that works in a MP, and they are already writing the OS X drivers for those cards--It seems like the bulk of the work for Mac compatibility is already a sunk cost. They are even taking the time to develop Maxwell drivers for OS X...and there are no Macs shipping with Maxwell.

    So all that's left to do is include the EFI, and they get a huge price premium for that? I mean, they make half a dozen other PC variants. IIRC, the last Nvidia and AMD Mac Edition cards flew off the shelves and were constantly out of stock, so it's not like they sold poorly or less than expected.

    Heck, if Apple starts including Maxwell chips in Macs, then the MAC EFI will be a sunk cost too. At that point, what's the big financial cost for a Mac Edition? A different box and sticker?

    Honestly, I'm playing devil's advocate though. As a pessimist, I don't actually see it happening. I ask the questions above because I don't understand why not.
  7. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    It's the sticker. Do you know how hard it is to run a batch of those off? ;)
  8. avemestr macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012
    MacVidCards is one thing. For EVGA, MSI, ASUS or who-ever to do "Apple-branded" cards is quite another.

    The 2008 3,1 Mac Pro has been "obsoleted" by Apple. The 4,1 2009 will probably follow soon.

    Now, imagine EVGA making a card without getting approval from Apple. They run the risk of Apple intentionally breaking something "whoops, sorry 'bout that, but those machines are obsoleted". Would the customers complain to Apple or EVGA?

    Apple have no interest in approving new cards to cMP. They already know that the nMP is being beaten by the cMP, and do not want to make the old products look even more viable for people today.

    So, in short: Yes, EVGA could make a quick buck by providing e.g. a GTX 970 Mac Edition card. But they would run the big risk, that Apple decides to break something, that would result in a lot of angry customers 1 week, 1 month or 1 year from now.
  9. MacVidCards, May 13, 2015
    Last edited: May 13, 2015

    MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I would guess that a significant cost is the customer support.

    You would have to assemble a team of folks and get them up to speed on the various Macs the cards run in. And you need to create the packaging and get retail channels set up.

    No matter how large or red I make the notes on our website we still get at least 1 person a week who thinks they got a bad card because it won't boot up in 10.8.5 or 10.9. Someone has to answer that email and walk them through installing Nvidia Drivers. Also get at least 1 person a week who thinks the power plugs are optional.

    Yes,we have FAQ and a Blog that clarify all of that but still people insist on getting these answers directly handed to them. So we answer the same questions over and over. Keep in mind that most recent Mac cards were from a specific "board partner". Sapphire, PNY, EVGA, etc. So those PC centric companies suddenly have to become Apple experts with a staff trained to know the machines, cards and drivers.

    And I am convinced that Apple plays a larger role in those cards then we know.

    The Mac 7950 was an enigma. It had an EBC rom that gave lovely boot screens on a 1,1. It seemed like the perfect upgrade for these older machines. It even shipped with a disk of 10.7.5 drivers, the last OS officially supported by 1,1. But somehow, the 32bit driver had a bug while the 64bit one was fine. I don't believe that was an accident. I think Apple insisted that there be no easy way to use those cards in a 1,1. Until Tiamo gave us the modded boot.efi there was no other option.

    I remember it took WEEKS to mod the EFI to work on the Fermi GTX5xx cards. I finally finished first internally powered GTX580 and shipped it off, waiting for the glowing review. Instead I got a fleet of frantic phone calls and emails from a screeching customer. The card was glitchy and unstable and the computer kept turning off !!!! When he finally sent me a picture of the install I saw a single 6 pin cable split into 2. When i pointed this out he couldn't grasp that it meant there wasn't enough power for the card. He returned it, convinced the card was horribly faulty.

    Which leads me to returns. People have gotten used to returning and returning things without ever considering that perhaps they should have researched their purchase in advance. We get 1 or 2 a week from people who think the card is faulty because it didn't speed up something that is 100% CPU. And of course they are angry and think card is faulty and I should refund them full shipping, etc.

    And then there is fraud. We have had 3 cards shipped to an address in Portland that ended up being an overseas shipper. A few months later I got an email about fraudulent credit cards. I am just OUT $1,500. The cards are gone and so is the money.

    And sometimes when you get the return it is obvious that someone got a little eager during the install and scrapped the edge of the slot against the back of the card, knocking off components. There is no way to get customer to pay, it is always the seller's problem. So the testing and repair takes a lot of time.

    In short, it is a lot of work, and we do it on a small scale.

    Did I mention that every month or so I have an e-waste guy come and haul away a tub of dead GPUs? Sometimes I get stuck with the hot potato and end up eating that expense as well.

    It's harder then just slapping it in a PC and running a flash program.
  10. Surrat macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2014
    United States
    Thanks MVC, I think more people need to consider what its like from your end. You provide a wonderful service to the Mac community, and I for one am grateful for both you and netkas.
  11. xSinghx, May 16, 2015
    Last edited: May 16, 2015

    xSinghx thread starter Suspended


    Oct 2, 2012
    Thanks for the responses.

    It's a bit absurd apple is leaving buyers out in the cold given the expense of a mac pro and the necessity of simply needing to replace one part on a machine that shouldn't be tossed (especially something with the relative youth of a 5,1) because a card burns out or gets old.

    Mango laid it out quite nicely, and while I'm also glad there is the option of MacVideoCards, I'm not sure I want to spend $500-800 without a 2yr warranty.

  12. Schismz macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hum, if you feel like getting f----d on price, you can actually still purchase these, there are a few companies left who I guess stockpiled some, and are happy to sell them to you for around $1K each.

    Here's one for the bargain price of only $800+
  13. xSinghx thread starter Suspended


    Oct 2, 2012
    I'm aware. I was just surprised the cards aren't still being made and stocked at the normal outlets since cards burn out, replacements are needed etc. and something that is guaranteed to work, is covered by a warranty and assuming the price reflected the age might be the go to option for a lot of people.

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