Looking to upgrade my ageing 285 to a 680; want to double check my method.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by juliancs, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. juliancs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #1
    Hi Folks,

    I'm still running 10.6 and desperate to upgrade my GTX 285 for Bootcamp gaming. I've read the stickied post and it almost seems too easy to be true, so I just want to check my plan isn't insane.

    If I update to the latest OS, restart, (I guess update to latest Nvidia drivers). shove a GTX680 in, is that all I have to do? Will the card work as intended and flawlessly in Windows 7?

    Having a hard time finding the difference between the PC 680 and the EVGA MAC 680; as far as I can tell it's just the lack of a boot screen? Which I can totally handle.

    I'm doing this only for bootcamp gaming; I've got a 2009 Quad 2.93Ghz, but a little worried the improvement in games will be minimal since many are bottlenecked by the processor these days.

    I'm a little concerned about if I need to buy an extra power cable for the new card or not. As far as I know the 285 has two power cables to it so I'm hoping this could be a straight swap.

    Many thanks to anyone who answers this.
     
  2. malana macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    #2
    did the same thing with my mac pro 3,1. upgraded from 10.6.8 to 10.8.4, switched from 5770 to gtx 570, everything worked flawlessly. 2 cables (although I had to buy one) do the trick.
    if it doesn't work, try to move the slot. mine is in the 2nd (no specific reason).
    keep one "native" card in case you have to repair something in single user mode, might not work with the new card.
    I think, video card is way more important for gaming than cpu. but I'm not gamer.
     
  3. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #3
    Some 680s such as the MSI 680 4Gb Twin Frozr are 2x6-pin for their power requirements. There are plenty of posts on the forum listing the correct Mac Pro-specific power cables to get too.

    If your budget is tight, you can always choose a 670 or an 7950 3Gb. The 7950s are very easily flashed and the details are over at Netkas. Some of us may be able to help with an EFI rom if you have the exact same model.
     
  4. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #4
    Hi guys,

    Many thanks for your replies. I'll be buying the card second hand so will look for power info once I find one to buy.

    Suppose I'll start updating the OS.

    By the way, can I still boot into bootcamp/windows even if I don't see the screen? I know how long it takes to get to that grey selection screen now so don't need to see what's going on...
     
  5. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #5
    There is a free app called BootChamp which makes switching from OSX to Windows very easy. The author's site is here... http://www.kainjow.com
     
  6. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #6
    No boot screens and half the PCIe bandwidth in Windows.

    Easy to flash card to fix both issues. There are threads in this forum for flashing both the 2GB and 4GB models.
     
  7. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #7

    Wow, hold up. The PC Card will give me half the pcie bandwidth in Windows?
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    Unless you flash it, it will run in Windows at PCIe 1.0 speeds instead (2.5GT/s instead of 5GT/s).
     
  9. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #9
    Hmm. I can't get my head around Netkas' site, it is all written in a way I don't understand. I'd need baby instructions to flash a card. Besides, I assume I'd need two cards plugged in (one for the display, one to get flashed) and not sure how the power cords work for all that.
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #10
    Which card did you get.
     
  11. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #11
    Thanks for sticking with me on this. None yet, want to make sure I know what I'm doing first; not too savvy with this sort of thing. But it will be a GTX680 of some sort.
     
  12. Korican100 macrumors 6502a

    Korican100

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #12
    i just updated to the latest os, and then bought the gtx680 mac edition. popped it in, and everything worked perfectly!
     
  13. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    #13
    Yea, trying to avoid getting a MAc 680; run around £550+ here, and for that kind of money I might as well build a gaming PC. Plenty of second hand PC ones around for ~£180 so if I can figure this out that's my plan :)
     
  14. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #14
    The reason why I ask which card is that there are variations of memory size and power connections among 680s. So any instructions, firmware, and power suggestions would depend on the exact model you get.

    If you get a 4GB model, Dr Stealth packaged the correct firmware and all the correct flashing software together with step-by-step directions here. There are many reports of success in the thread, so I'd get one of the models that's already been proven to work (although I suspect any normal 4GB 680 will work). It's a really good thread and I encourage you to read through the whole thing. Even if you aren't getting a 4GB card, the information and steps are both fresh and relevant.

    If you get a 2GB model, this thread by xcodeSyn lists confirmed models known to work. However, the list has not been maintained so there are many more confirmed models in separate threads that are not listed there. xcodeSyn also provides links to software and instructions in the first post. Again, I encourage you to get a card that's been confirmed in that thread (or elsewhere) to work.

    I don't have time to get into all the detail about power, so just try to get a model with 2x6-pin power connectors. It is my personal belief that any GTX680 card confirmed so far to work with the flashed ROM will work with 2x6-pin power even if it has 8-pin power connectors, but that is just the opinion of a non-expert. My belief is based on the fact that the larger power connectors are for overclocked/overvoltage cards, and once you flash the ROM into them they return to reference values anyway. Nevertheless, I'm not promising you anything and if you get a card with 8-pin power connectors, you do so at your own risk.

    Lastly, if you find you have choices in cards and one of them is eVGA, I encourage you to get the eVGA. If it were not for them, we wouldn't have this ROM in the first place.
     

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