Looking to improve the graphics on early 2008 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mikewebberross, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. mikewebberross macrumors newbie

    mikewebberross

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #1
    I have an early 2008 Mac Pro and at the moment I have ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB. It works but it isn't very great at all. Gaming is a disaster and I can barely edit HD videos on FCP. Does anybody have any ideas on what graphics cards are good, new and will work in a computer this old? I just don't want to buy some random card and have it not run on this computer.
     
  2. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #2
    I upgraded to an ATI Radeon HD 5770 and it works fine on my 2008 Mac Pro. I mainly needed because it can run three monitors. I don't game, so I have no idea if it's any good for that, but I'm happy with it for my use (graphic design and illustration).
     
  3. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #3
    I have a Gigabyte (3 fan model) accelerated GTX570 in the classified section of this forum. It has been flashed by MVC, so it has a proper Macintosh boot screen. It was run in a 3,1 (2008) Mac Pro with good results. Let me know if you're interested.

    Lou
     

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  4. zineer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    #4
    I recently put a Nvidia GTX660 (ASUS GeForce GTX 660 OC DirectCU to be exact) in my early 2008 Mac Pro (running 10.9.2) and it runs great. I also don't do any gaming and needed it for running 3 monitors, but it seems to have good power. Only caveat is since it is the PC version of the card, you don't get the Mac boot screen (nothing comes up until login screen) so when installing OS updates, etc you might not be able to see what is going on. So keep your 2600 around if you do go with a PC card just in case you ever need to swap back to use the mac's boot screens.
     
  5. studlybw, Mar 19, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

    studlybw macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    #5
    Clean install on a non-boot screen graphics card?

    I have an early 2008 (3.1) Mac Pro and my ATI Radeon HD 2600 has finally given out (meaning it's completely dead). I'm waiting for my nMP to arrive but was thinking about breathing some new life into my 2008 Mac Pro.

    Question: If I put in something like a GTX 650, which obviously won't have a boot screen, is it even possible to do a clean install of Mavericks on it?
     
  6. stjames70, Mar 19, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014

    stjames70 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #6
    How much do you want to spend?

    I have an over clocked GTX Titan flashed by MacVidCards. It has a boot screen, makes the 3,1 work much faster as far as graphics, and I have had no issues. I did have to buy an extra power supply.....but why don't you just get an officially compatible GTX 680 from EVGA? It just drops in, its power requirements are normal, and it will make your 3,1 perform much better. BTW, I know, we installed that card on a second 3,1 we own. We have a 3rd 3,1 running with the ATI Radeon HD 5770, and that one has no issued either with speed.

    I have a 2600XT like you that I keep around for emergencies, but c'mon, that card would even make the last gen MacPro run like a pig. You just need to upgrade to anything that will run faster than that.
     

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  7. sketchguy macrumors member

    sketchguy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    My early 2008 (3,1) has been upgraded to an ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1GB and it's been working great with ZBrush, Maya and Modo.

    I'll be very curious to see the performance increase with my nMP (due in tomorrow!)
     
  8. bibi2205 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    #8
    I upgraded my 2010 Mac Pro with a Sapphire HD7950 and used the Apple Radeon 5770 in my 2008 Mac Pro. It's occasionally used now to run Fifa 14 (FullHD and High settings) and some older games on the TV and it runs them great. Don't expect to play the latest & greatest games with the 5770 but for my casual use it's perfect.
     
  9. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #9
    Spent $100 on a GTX 660 2GB OC for my 3,1 and couldn't be happier. Drives 2 1080p displays, and I have my 2600 XT for emergencies or if I ever need a boot screen.
     
  10. mikewebberross thread starter macrumors newbie

    mikewebberross

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    Thanks guys! I just have a little thinking to do now.
     
  11. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    hay iv got a 660gt SC TF from evga works fine (i think, seems ok).

    only thing is looks like ATI is the way to go as ATI will crush Nvidia cards on openCL which is what final cut x loves.

    kind of makes me regret getting a Nvidia card (got it as there was more info here about pc Nvidia cards on macpros than ATI) but if i need a ATI card i will get one when the time comes.

    are you shore your final cut problems are from the GPU and not from HD speeds being to slow, is your video 422? & do you have dedicated project and scratch disc + os disc?
    might just be your HD setup is at fault or simply your macpro3.1 is just getting old (im using a macpro3.1 with osx10.8.5 + finalcut 10.0.9 660gt) and have slowdowns waiting for renders (which is cpu only)

    edit -
    stick it in the second slot no the bottom slot of the macpro 3.1, there can be cooling problems in the bottom slot.
    both slots are the same speed so thats cool it just gives it extra room to ventilate.

    stuck my 660GT in the bottom slot thinking id move it later now it's kind of stuck (+ iv been lazey) hard to get my finger in to pull the leaver bit.
    regret it now so like just stick it in the second one.
     
  12. WildBB macrumors member

    WildBB

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    Location:
    Pandora
    #12
    I just upgraded from the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB to the Nvida GTX680 2GB. I have the MacPro 3,1 as you do. It was an awesome upgrade, like night and day. I was able to pick this card up on craigslist brand new for $200. I have posted my experience upgrading and flashing a GTX 680 here:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1578255&page=7

    Getting a PC version of this card and flashing with the Mac EFI is MUCH cheaper than buying the Mac Card.

    Hope this information helps you in your quest to find a new card.
     
  13. rdsii64 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #13
    I put a stock PC 5770 in mine and it made a world of difference. I can edit with final cut pro just fine. I don't game on my mac pro so I can't help you there. If you can live without a boot screen PC 5770's and PC 5870's can be had pretty cheap. Your OS will report is as a generic 5000 card but it will work just fine.
     
  14. bbembroidery macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Location:
    Georgia
    #14
    Dual MiniDisplay

    Any recommendations for a graphics card that can run 2 Apple 27" mini display monitors?
     
  15. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #15
    HD7950 MAC Edition
     
  16. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #16
    A few of the new Radeon cards have 2x Mini Displayport connectors which would allow you to run your Cinema Displays without adapters. There is a Gigabyte R7 250 that has 2x Mini Displayport if you're looking for something cheap, but if you also want some performance increase in OpenCL, HERE is a Newegg link for an R9 280 with 2 miniDisplayports.
     
  17. bbembroidery macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Location:
    Georgia
    #17
    I currently have a, ATI Radeon HD 4870 512 MB, will I see better results with the Radeon R7 250X 1GB? I found it on newegg for $99. Its going in a Mac Pro 3,1. I mainly use the computer for creating artwork and editing personal video.
     
  18. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

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    Oct 11, 2013
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    DMV Area
    #18
    You should see a marginal performance increase. Nothing huge, since it is a $100 card, but it is ABOUT on par with the HD 4870, but of course supports a few more features and holds the benefits of the newer architecture - less power consumption, DirectX 11.2 vs 10.1 max, OpenGL 4 support, plus OpenCL and 4K support. I think spending an additional $100 or so will get you a much more powerful card, but if you're looking for something cheaper, the R7 might be a good buy, and is certainly an upgrade from your current card.
     
  19. bbembroidery macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2014
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    Georgia
    #19
  20. kaltsasa macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Kellogg IA
    #20
    I have the EVGA 680 in a 3,1 Mac Pro. Works well. One thing to note is some games like Dead Island and BioShock Infinite will run absolutely terrible under OS X on this machine yet run on maximum settings under Windows. i.e. some Mac games will run terrible regardless. That said, anything will be a step up from a 2600. There are several cards (mostly Nvidia) that will work as drop in replacements, you just won't get a boot screen with out the card flashed. Many people just keep their old card incase they need to get to the boot screen for some reason.

    I use my system for troubleshooting other systems a lot, and I boot to Windows and external media semi frequently so having the boot window always available was necessary, thus I grabbed the EVGA Mac card from OWC.

    ----------

    You could probably Target Boot your Mac Pro to the new system with a firewire to thunderbolt adapter. Then you could use the new system as the host to do the installation.
     
  21. energy23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #21
    I got the exact same card, but am powering it with a 6pin to 2 molex connectors for the time being until I get a 6pin to 6pin mini cable. Seems like the card is heavily underpowered as im only getting 32 frame per second in Cinebench R15 GPU test while my friends GTX650 gets about 110 fps.
     
  22. bbembroidery macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2014
    Location:
    Georgia
    #22
    I bought and installed an MSI R9 280X and I'm having problems with it. When I connect a 27" apple cinema display via the mini display port it shuts the computer down. I can connect a monitor via the dvi port and it works fine. Anybody have any ideas of what could be causing this?
     
  23. energy23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    #23
    Update:

    Got a 6pin PCI to 6pin Mini connector and things remain the same. However, performance is great when gaming. I've finally been able to play all Half Life episodes at max settings and 4X FSAA without any lag at all at 1920x1200 (v-sync turned on).
     
  24. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #24
    You need to list which MDP port and which OS.

    It is an established fact that unflashed cards have issues with MDP ports.

    People with 3,1 MP would be better off with Nvidia cards in 10.9

    Apple and AMD have shown no interest in making the 7950/70 work in 3,1 properly in 10.9-10.9.2
     
  25. matty1551 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #25
    Where did you get a 660 for $100?
     

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