Mac Pro (2008) Graphics Card Upgrade Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by StarlightSun, Apr 25, 2016.

  1. StarlightSun macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    #1
    Right now I'm running my 2x 2.8GHz Quad Mac Pro 3,1 with the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB. Currently on OSX 10.9.5 with no issues. However, I can see myself upgrading to El Capitan or whatever comes after that eventually, and probably start to use some more image processing software (Pixelmator, Adobe cc etc) as well.

    I'm not planning on doing graphic-intense things (like heavy video and 3D rendering, animation etc) but I'm thinking in terms of having the Mac more compatible with current and future applications, video resolutions/outputs etc: is there a current equivalent (or better) card to the ATI Radeon 2600 from 2008 that I could be looking at to upgrade it? Do I need to?

    I'm not great with knowing which cards are best. From what I have read briefly is that Nvidia cards are probably a better option, but I'd rather ask for opinion from the macrumors community pros :) Any help and recommendations appreciated!
     
  2. filmak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
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    between earth and heaven
    #2
    Perhaps you can have an idea from this thread
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-early-2008-graphics-card-upgrade.1912935/

    I personally believe that a 5770 or 5870 or gtx680 (mac editions) will give you good compatibility and more than enough performance for your applications and of course boot screens, so I recommend them to you for more peace of mind. Also a newer card like gtx 970 will work but without boot screens and needs a web driver install from Nvidia, specific to every os x release.

    Have in mind that there are some bottlenecs in 3,1 GPU performance, so you won't notice while using your applications, any significant improvement with a newer card than the 3 already mentioned.
    Also another option is a sapphire 7950 mac edition.

    Will you use a 4k monitor?
     
  3. StarlightSun thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    #3
    Thank you :) I have no plans for a 4k monitor.
     
  4. lom2pac macrumors newbie

    lom2pac

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Location:
    montreal
    #4

    Hi filmak, thank you for the info above. As I am in the same situation as StarlightSun, I got the early 2008 mac pro 2x2.8Ghz quad core(running on OS X 10.11.5), and I now bought a 4k TV, which offers both the 30 & 60hz through HDMI...and wanted to see which card should I get to use my TV fully, without having problem on the bootscreen....I use it mainly for video editing...your help would be appreciated. thanks!
     
  5. isisism macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    #5
    I just bought a Gigabyte R9 280x for my early 2008. It's flashed for Mac and has 4k capability. You can get the same card of this brand or other brands for around $250 on ebay with a buy it now listing, or bid on one and get it for under $200 as I did. If you do a buy it now be sure to read the description as some of the cards do not have HDMI (and maybe something else like 4k) functioning.
     
  6. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
  7. filmak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    between earth and heaven
    #7
    If you can work with 30hz, a GTX 680 will give boot screens via HDMI.
    Or you can use it via MiniDisplayPort and add a MDP to HDMI adapter to get 60 Hz. (if your display can be recognized by your Mac correctly).

    If you ever going to need the boot screen you can just swap ports (using a HDMI only cable).
    --- Post Merged, Aug 25, 2016 ---
    Also see this:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...-mac-pro-2010-2012-5-1.1935713/#post-22210057
     
  8. lom2pac macrumors newbie

    lom2pac

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Location:
    montreal
    #8

    Perfect! Thanks buddy. GTx680 it is. I won't be using the boot screen much, but just in case, I will use both the hdmi & the MiniDipslayPort ready to swap.

    Thanks everyone for the help. Cheers!
     
  9. filmak macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2012
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    between earth and heaven
    #9
    You 're welcome!:)
     
  10. lom2pac macrumors newbie

    lom2pac

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2016
    Location:
    montreal
    #10

    Perfect, I didn't know that there is the gtx680 for Mac, I will follow your advice

    One more thing, it seems there are many GTX 680 on the market...nVidia, Geforce, etc. Any one in particular I should go with ?
     
  11. pkouame macrumors regular

    pkouame

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2016
    #11
    Hi all -

    Is it possible to flash an evga gtx 680 (or 570) from a virtual box like Parallels running Windows 10? I'm currently running Sierra on a MacPro 3,1 and don't have an extra pc desktop lying around.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  12. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #12
    I'm afraid not. Only from Boot Camp or a PC.
     
  13. CapnDavey macrumors 6502

    CapnDavey

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2015
    #13
    I have to agree and you can find good flashable 2 gig cards for about 100 dollars whats not to like
     
  14. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #14
    Still running a 2600 in my 3,1. Not the original though as that died and was replaced by Apple under warranty. So sometime before 2010 it was replaced.

    Keep checking out MacFidCards but have some difficulty finding what I want for a good price point.
     

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