Mac Pro 2nd Card Recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by honopu, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. honopu macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    I have a Mid 2010 Mac Pro base with only one PCI-express card installed, the stock ATI 5770. I am running 10.7.5, 16gb ram, drive bays 1 2 and 3 are occupied, 4 is empty.

    I currently have 3 monitors, one of them running off of a diamond NV195 since the default 5770 can't handle 3 displays. running 3 displays was the original reason for buying the mac pro.. so this has been a bit of a thorn in my side.

    I have a dell 24" running off of displayport and two other samsung monitors. All 3 won't run at the same time which is why i have to use the hacky usb display adapter.

    Last night I added a Geforce 8600GT that i had laying around after reading about the new drivers. It worked! I was happy I had my 3rd monitor running, but the PCI fan ran at about 1500rpm, which combined with the additional noise from the video card was pretty annoying. I am trying to determine if the additional PCI fan speed was due to the fact that the 8600gt i used didn't vent through the back and only blew air away from the videocard for the other case fans to get rid of.


    I would like to run at least 3 monitors, perferrably 4 without having to resort to either:

    a.) buying a 27" cinema display since it'll make the rest of the monitors look bad :)
    b.) totally replacing my existing video card since i need it for bootcamp/etc and it's already there.

    What I am looking for is any recommendations for a video card which doesn't make the PCI fan ramp up and can sit alongside my 5770. If anyone has an recommendations for a card that can sit alongside or replace the existing card and enabling the use of at least 3 monitors or optimally 4 all off of dvi that would be great.

    I don't play any games on this workstation. I do web development and light photoshop/illustrator. I just want everything to be fluid across multiple monitors.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Bwa macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Boston & San Jose
    The 5770 will drive 3 monitors just fine, but you need the expensive active adapters to do it. I run 3x30 on a single 5770 and have been doing so for quite some time.

    You can also run a pair of 5770s; I have done that with 5 and 6 monitors in a 2008 Mac Pro.
  3. honopu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    Thank you

    So I have:

    Samsung 1920x1080p DVI
    Samsung 2048x11something (DVI) portrait
    and Dell U2412M portrait on Display Port

    do I need just one of those $100 adapters or do i need two?

    Thank you in advance for your help. It's hard to figure out exactly what I need.
  4. Bwa macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Boston & San Jose
    Sounds like you just need one adapter. You don't need an adapter for a native DisplayPort display or for the direct-connected DVI display.
  5. honopu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    I'll order one and put the card back in until it arrives. And to think..I just freed up that USB port for the UPS! :) I'll be researching USB3 cards next.

    Thanks again.

    Cool office!

  6. honopu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    The Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapter worked perfectly. My PCI fan speeds went from ~1500rpm back to 800 rpm. I think if you are going to add a second card make sure it vents out through the back and doesn't just blow around into the case.

    My power supply fans went from 1000rpm back to 600rpm as well. I don't know if this was caused by the voltage pull through the PCI express slots or what, but the mac pro is back to being or or less silent. Thanks again Bwa.

    So i have 2048 x 1152(dual link dvi adapter), 1980 x1080(mini display port to display port cord) and 1920x1200 (standard dual link dvi cable) running off of one stock Apple/ATI 5770.

    Hope that helps someone.

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