Mac Pro 1,1 graphics upgrade


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014

I spent a while last night researching whats is possible to upgrade to on the 1,1 generation. From what I can gather, the 5770 works out of the box in regards EFI boot and driver compatibility in Lion, but it isnt really up to task of gaming.

What Im really looking for is to be able to play World of Warcraft on ultra and my question is , what would be the best card for this ? I would more then likely be using boot camp to run Win7 for steam games and WoW so OSX performance isnt an issue for me.

So ideal situation is:

Mac pro 1,1 running mavericks and able to play WoW on ultra in bootcamp Win7 :cool:

I see that the 5870 can work also, and the 7950 but the 7950 requires mavericks I think ?

Unsure of the nvidia path but if there is a particular card that would suit the above needs better I'm all open to suggestions.

Thanks for your time :)


macrumors regular
Mar 26, 2008
I've been trying to keep the 1,1 relevant for gaming as well. Upgraded to mavericks and installed a gtx660. It runs better than the 4870 it replaced but there seems to be a bottleneck or driver issue since the 775m on the iMac is much smoother with the fps.


macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2013
Baltimore, MD
I would first check THIS out. This is a guide on how to install Mavericks on your 1,1 - also keep in mind that the 1,1 isn't the best with gaming applications. Most games are single threaded applications, designed to run on newer iSeries hardware from Intel. That being said, your Xeons might not quite put out the CPU performance to run super ultra quality games, even with a great graphics card. Regardless, you should be able to upgrade your 1,1 to any new NVIDIA card, provided you install Mavericks first. The limit on the 1,1 and 2,1 machines is that Lion doesn't support Kepler GPUs, so 600 series and 700 series NVIDIA cards, but Mavericks does. With the thread I linked, you'll be able to install Mavericks, and upgrade your GPU as much as you would like. Personally, I, too, am a huge fan of the GTX 660, as that is what I have in my machine. It's priced very well at local hardware shops, especially refurbished or used. I've picked up two in the last few months, both for around $120 before a rebate at my local Micro Center. They'll be able to run just about anything on Very High, usually Ultra. I wouldn't recommend anything much higher than that, because then your CPUs will be the bottleneck.

Keep in mind, EFI boot won't work on these NVIDIA cards, as they're PC based. If EFI boot is something that's super important to you, then by all means go a different route, but I personally only boot OS X and Windows 8.1, which can be swapped via Startup Disk and BootCamp Assistant, respectively, without the need to hold the Option Key at startup and select the boot disk. Also remember that if you do your Mavericks upgrade, it's VERY likely that whatever video card you have in your system at the moment won't have drivers under Mavericks. Give the first page of the thread I linked a good read. I wish I had a 1,1 or a 2,1 to try it out, but I've heard good reports. Hope this was helpful to your upgrade endeavors.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.