Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid-2012) and a new video card/updated Bootcamp/Windows 10

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Nintendork, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. Nintendork macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2016
    I've lurked here for a while to try and get some answers before I newbie'd myself but I'm not really getting anything that makes complete sense to me. Apologies in advance for the level of my questions and assumptions.

    My work was getting rid of some sold Macs after a team was laid off. I bought the old manager's computer (Mac Pro mid-2012) and a 27" LED Cinema Display for $300. I mention the price and all that because I didn't seem to pay much for it and I want to do some upgrades since I want to switch to that as my main home computer. The computer I have at home is one that I built in the summer of 2007 and besides some RAM and a video card upgrade, it's pretty much like when I bought it.

    I've installed Windows 8.1 (It looks like that is as new as I can get with Windows since newer versions of Bootcamp don't support my Mac) and Parallels so I can switch back and forth easily. However, I've mainly stuck to the Windows side and I think I am going to stay that way. It looks like the manager hooked herself up because it has dual 6-core 3.05 GHz CPUs (2x X5675) and upgraded the video card to an ATI Radeon HD 5870. It has 16 GB of RAM so I'm not too concerned about upgrading that and the 2x1TB HDD and 512 GB SSD that the OS is on seem good there.

    I read about upgrading the video cards and it looks like there are some Apple specific ones that need some firmware to boot into OS X correctly but if I am mainly booting in Windows, I can seemingly get whatever I want. I don't really understand that part so I'm not sure what to buy (leaning RX 480 or GTX 1060). I want to get a good video card for random PC games that I'll play but I want to spend money wisely and not get something that the CPU/Motherboard won't be able to take full advantage of. Can anyone recommend something worthwhile to put in this one or point me in the right direction? Here is pretty much what I've read and my assumptions, please feel free to correct me:

    - There may be some editing that I can do to the Bootcamp software files so that I can install the newest version of Bootcamp supporting Windows 10, but I am unsure of the process
    - I can also install Windows 10 on a hard drive that does not have an OS X on it and that'll run fine. If that is the case, is it possible to move an OS X installation to another hard drive? Since I'm going to be running primarily in Windows, I'd rather have the SSD for that.
    - When I tried to install Windows 8.1 on this machine, I had to do it via DVD since Bootcamp recognized the DVD drive and wouldn't let me install through a USB flash drive. This may have made something screwy with EFI/UEFI but I'm not entirely sure what that means.
    - Flashing an AMD card with Mac BIOS isn't impossible but sounds really hard. Also, from what I gather, this is only if you want to see the Apple boot screen. Is that correct?
    - I have a Klipsch ProMedia THX 4.1 speaker system that I want to connect to it and work correctly. I currently have it connected but only get audio out of one speaker and the sub (so 1.1, effectively). I read that I'll need an external sound card and that the ones designed for these Mac Pros are all very old and I'd have to get one used. Has anyone had luck with something like this?

    Thank you in advance for any help you guys are willing to offer.
  2. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    First of all, it doesn't looks like you did read the forum properly before you ask. All the answers are in the first few page of this forum.

    1) You can install Win 10 natively, regardless if OSX is there or not.

    2) Install from USB is fine if you boot from it.

    3) For Windows, AFAIK, yes, flashing the card can only give you boot screen but nothing else.

    Anyway, super good deal to get that all for just $300. It can easily cost more then $1300 on eBay.

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