Mac Pro 2009 Graphics Cards

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by englishman, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    I've just bought a 2009 Mac Pro and I'm looking to upgrade the graphics card GT 120 to a 5770 or maybe a 5870 or something else not too noisy and as cheap as possible that will be better for Bootcamp gaming.

    Looking on Ebay UK the 5770 upgrade seems go for less than the GT 120 that I will be replacing it with - I'm confused - why would a lower power card go for more than an upgrade?
  2. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    Supply and demand is my guess. A lot of people want the GT120s because they're low-profile cards that are useful for boot screens if you're flashing a card.
  3. netkas macrumors 65816

    Oct 2, 2007
    Skip that overpriced outdated hardware and go straight to 7950 or gtx680 mac editions.

    but if you want cheap and fast, take a look here - gtx760 might be best for you.
  4. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    If you have spare PCIe slot. For bootcamp gaming, just get an extra PC graphic usually is a better / cheaper option than upgrade to a Mac Edition 5770 / 5870.
  5. englishman thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    I was thinking of just a cheap 5770 on Ebay ( they go for £30 or so) not looking for a Mac version as I understand a PC one will work ok with both Windows and Yosemite and selling the GT120 to get some of the money back.
  6. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    If I were you, I will keep that GT120. It's not that much money you can get from it anyway, but if anything goes wrong, you want to have that backup card with you. Especially you will switching between OSX and Bootcamp. It will increase the chance that have problem during boot.
  7. englishman, Apr 27, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015

    englishman thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    Thanks I'll look at that - the price of the mid-range card GTX 760 is more than I wanted to spend, but the low-end card GTX 650 seems suitable.

    Still trying to get Bootcamp installed so I think graphics updates will have to wait.

    I am "upgrading" (hopefully) once I get Bootcamp to work, from an HD4000 Mini - the performance of the 5770 (or 650) will be 3 or 4 times better. Both of these seem to go for similar prices on Ebay - £30 ish.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I should mention that the entire thread I linked to is about using PC cards in your Mac Pro.

    If you want officially supported Mac cards, there aren't a lot of choices. In the last 5 years there is the Apple 5770 and 5870, EVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition, and Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition.

    I would avoid the 5770 because there is a fairly common SMC firmware bug that frequently causes a fan issue with 2009 Mac Pro.

    To answer your original question, many "Mac" cards on Ebay are the far less expensive PC cards flashed to work as Mac cards, and will go for a price lower than the official Mac card.
  9. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    I purchased my MP with the 5870 and it's a great card but as others have said, why replace old with old. I replaced mine with a 7970 HD flashed by MVC. It preforms very well. I can't find a single fault with it. I don't game, but I do use FCPX which makes great use of OpenCL. If I were a gamer I might have selected a different card. Also, the 7970 is functionally the same card as the D700 in the nMP. Granted it's not the fastest kid on the block but it should never have any OS X install issues or driver issues with Apple, since it's a D700 in a different pair of pants.

    When and if Apple ever includes driver support for the GTX980, that'll be my next GPU.
  10. firedownunder macrumors regular


    May 5, 2011
    Recently put an Asus in mine, plug and play, no extra power/cables needed. Works just fine. I don't game, but Plex looks a lot better :)
  11. englishman, Apr 28, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015

    englishman thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    Thanks for that I'll look out for an Asus GTX 650 :)

    Might try and borrow my sons GTX 760 from his gaming rig and try that just to see if it works.

    Had to order the 2 - 6 pin cables - very cheap.
  12. englishman, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

    englishman thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006
    Yeah, bought the 2 6-pin Mac power PCI cables and using the borrowed (unflashed stock windows) GTX 760 worked great on Windows 7 and Mac OSX Yosemite 10.10.3 on my Mac Pro 2009 using the excellent information supplied by folks like Netkas and MacVidcards on his site.

    So now that test worked I just need to find a suitable card to buy.

    Another bonus seems to be that the Nvidia Web Driver seems to make my displays look better than the default OSX driver - not sure if that's possible but it seems brighter and sharper somehow now even with the old GT120 card.

    Notice on the new cards though instead of 2 DVI connectors (I have dual screen setup) they often have 1 DVI and then HDMI and displayport - why have they moved to these new ones? Is it better then for the 2nd DVI monitor to get a HDMI-DVI cable or a DISPLAYPORT to DVI cable? Or adapters?

    Thanks to all.
  13. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Good to hear that your son's 760 GTX works fine on your classic Mac Pro. You can consider the EVGA 760 GTX with the twin fan ACX cooler. It runs very cool under heavy use. It runs cooler than the OEM Radeon 5870 HD or 5770 HD Mac versions. Most likely the prices of the 760 GTX have gone down.

  14. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    To me the best 760 is the itx one form MSI.

    It has 2 @ MDP. So can work with 2 @ Apple LED displays, no adapters needed at all.

    And it is also the least expensive card I have found that will run a Dell 5K.
  15. jblagden macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2013

    MSI also has good cooling systems. The fans actually spin backwards on startup to get rid of dust.
  16. englishman thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006

    In the end found a cheap 5870 so just waiting for it to arrive. Might try the flash thing.
  17. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    I upgraded the graphics card on my 2009 Mac Pro to a Sapphire HD 7950 Mac edition. I highly recommend it.
  18. woodenbrain macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Count me among the confused here. I am also in the process of upgrading my Early 2009 Mac Pro. It has the NVIDIA GeForce GT120.

    What, if any, are my options for:

    1. having a boot screen (don't understand what EFI is)
    2. supporting Metal
    3. having a mini display port and a DVI (as this currently does; I'm using a DVI-to-ADC adaptor for an old secondary monitor)
    4. no cooling issues etc.
    5. no need to install any drivers (running 10.11.x now and planning to update to 10.12)

    I should mention I don't game much but might more with a good card, and that this component is the lowest priority for me (already getting a new CPU, RAM, USB 3.0, Wifi/BT4.0).

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