Mac Pro and 8800GTX

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by footballcoach, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. footballcoach macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2006
    I've poked around here a bit and I do understand that the 8800GTX is not yet supported by Apple. According to some of the posts I have read this is due to the BIOS. I know that WinXP under BootCamp will work. Since I need a new computer now or in the next few months my question is this:

    Does anyone know (or can reasonably predict) that Apple will support the 8800GTX line of video cards? I find the Mac Pro a very attractive solution for my needs. It *could* be the best of both worlds for people like myself that enjoy OS X, but also enjoy gaming within WinXP on the side.

    The frustrating thing for me as a person that wants to purchase a Mac Pro for my main (and only) computer is that there is such a lack of support for high-end graphics cards. If Apple would address that one issue I would buy a Mac Pro and never look back. I'm sure I am not alone...

    Anyway, I guess I am interested in feedback from many of you Apple fans here on this forum. Is Apple waiting until Vista is released (Directx 10) before they add support for the 8800 line of video cards? Or is this simply an issue where those cards may never be supported on this particular iteration of Mac Pros?

    If I knew that they were coming out with support eventually I would buy a Mac Pro today with an ATI X1900XT and play the waiting game. Not knowing if support will ever show up really puts a damper on me spending $3000+ for a Mac Pro when I may have to buy a PC on top of that down the road.

    Any thoughts or opinions are greatly appreciated.


  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Apple does not support DirectX, Apple basically is OpenGL.

    And it is driver support that is lacking, not BIOS support, since Apple doesn't supply the card with new machines -- there isn't a reason for the to supply/make a driver.

    If Apple doesn't ship a similar card, it'll be up to Nvidia (slim chance if they don't ship a Mac version) or for a 3rd Party to write/port a driver to Mac OS X.

    So either Apple or Nvidia will offer a driver, or you will have to wait for a ported/hacked driver -- and the last time those things were popular under Mac OS X, they were problematic.
  3. footballcoach thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2006
    Thanks for the information you provided. Yes, I do know that Apple doesn't support DirectX. My question was geared primarily at whether they are waiting on issuing an OS X driver for these cards when Vista (which supports DirectX10) comes out. Apologies for not being more clear in my first post. My thought was perhaps the release of DirectX10 and Apple's willingness to come out with a driver for the 8800 in OS X were tied in some way (maybe BootCamp support for Vista?). In other words, maybe they are waiting to ensure things work cohesively together if someone were to purchase one.

    From what you have said this is up to Apple because like yourself I doubt Nvidia has much interest in issuing one. It's too bad...I think there is a great market that Apple is missing here. Namely, PC gamers that are fed up with hardware issues and want a better OS to get real life things done yet still want to play their games. In fact, in the most recent PC Gamer magazine they reviewed a Mac Pro against a similarly configured PC (with ATI X1900XT) and the Mac Pro actually got a very good review. However, they also mentioned the lack of 8800 support and that is what has me concerned.

  4. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    You can actually run a Geforce 8800 in the Mac Pro but it will not boot into Mac OSX with it, so you have to take it out and put the card it comes with back in for that.

    A hassle (for now) but it can be done.
  5. aiongiant macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    i can confirm that it does work having a 8800GTX in a MacPro working under Windows XP only
    as thats what i have running as we speak =)
    and it runs great!
  6. Tangerine macrumors regular


    Jan 5, 2007
    I'm in the same situation. I think Mac will never have the upgradeability like the PC. The only thing putting me off about my Mac Pro is the high-end upgrade card and direct X 10 support. This would really kill me when higher resolution games comes out. Making a $3,000 machine not a very good machine anymore. For games that is.
  7. footballcoach thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2006
    This is truly unfortunate. It would make the Mac Pro the perfect machine! I've submitted my thoughts/feedback to Apple on this but unless a lot of people do then it's probably never going to happen...

    Just a question for all of you familiar with programming in OS X. How hard would it be for Apple with all their resources to make a compatible OS X driver for newer video cards? Is it a time consuming process?
  8. djray77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2007
    These were the exact same questions I had about the macpro last week. Well I just got my macpro with the x1900 for now untill they support the 8800, and its unreal. I have the same video card in a pc and I play World of warcraft and the mac blows the pc away. I dont know why but its amazing.
    I wouldnt worry about the 8800 for now, at first it was going to be my deciding factor but after wanting a mac for a couple years I wasnt going to let a video card come in the way.
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    I don't think its just drivers. For example you need to flash a x1900 card from being a PC card to a mac card to make it work in OS X. So Nvidia and ATI need to get going if we want more cards. And once those cards come out people will find ways to reflash PC ones to mac. But until that time we can't really do much except bug apple and Nvidia. :(
  10. footballcoach thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2006
    Thanks djray77. That certainly helps to hear your feedback. Especially since you are also a gamer. Have you played anything else besides WoW? What resolution are you running your games in? I have a 24" and need to hit 1900x1200 at acceptable framerates. I'm sure WoW will do that since it's not demanding, but have you tried other games as well?

    It sounds like you believe they will support that 8800. I hope you are right. Another question: Is there a way to add different hard drives to the Mac (like something I would purchase from NewEgg)? Apple wants a lot for their 500GB drives and I would rather have (3) 320GB Seagate drives if it is possible to just plug them in and configure them.

    Glad you like your new computer. I really believe that the Mac Pro is on the verge of getting a lot of attention from many, many gamers. I'd enjoy nothing more than seeing Apple start selling them to gamers and having them fall in love with OS X as well. Support for high-end video cards would sell a LOT of these systems...especially since similarly configured Alienware and Dell gaming PCs are more expensive! Alienware will run you $4k. I wish Apple would step up because I really see them selling a lot of hardware to this market if they did.
  11. dkoralek macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2006
    Adding SATA/3 hard drives can't be much easier than it is on the mac pro. You can pick up any SATA/3 hard disk off of newegg, open the mac pro by popping the latch out and dropping the side, pull out an empty carrier, take the screws out, align the slots of the carrier over the threaded holes in the new hard disk, screw the screws back in and slide the carrier into the slot, close the computer and turn it back on (and then format the drive appropriately). No cables to attach! :). I just got my new mac pro today (2.66/2gig/500gig/7300/bt/ap) and it took me 5-10 minutes to add ram and two more hard disks.

  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    It is possible, even likely, that Apple's next update of the Mac Pro will include a GeForce card with a G80 core. If that happens, it will be possible to flash the 8800 to an OS X-only card.

    It is also possible that, if/when Vista adds support for EFI, someone will develop a hacked ROM that will allow cards to be flashed with a dual platform ROM that will give full functionality in Windows AND Mac OS.
  13. djray77 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2007
    I have a 24" also and Im running 1920x1200 no problems at all, smooth as silk :) I have not tried any other games yet wow is the only game I have that supports XP and Mac. I wouldnt underestimate on the demands of wow, on my pc with same x1900 it would drop real low in some crowded towns.
    I am not sure of the FPS in the mac version of wow I have to see if the mod for it to show that is available in mac version.
  14. michaelsaxon macrumors 6502

    Nov 15, 2006
    I'm very similar to you in that I am an avid PC gamer and I recently switched to Mac. I have a Mac Pro with the X1900 and I've been very impressed with it's performance in both OS X (with WoW) and in Boot Camp with the rest of my games. I came from a very nice AM2 machine with a 7950GT graphics card.

    I'm also concerned about DX10 and future cards, but I think there is reason to believe that there will be a bump in card options by the time that we'll really need it.

    Bottom line: aside from the Mac Pro's non-existent handling of 3d directional sound for games, I'm very happy with it as a gaming machine. I have a set of 5.1 USB headphones that I use for Windows gaming and I bought a home theater 5.1 system with optical in for Mac use. Not ideal, but it works.
  15. ^squirrel^ macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2006

    I am also a Macpro owner calling for cards like the 8800 to run in my machine. I got Flight Simulator X for xmas and my X1900XT 512mb card struggles to run it a high rates at 1280X1024. I am going to upgrade to a 24" screen and i'm pretty such my card is going to have a heart attack at 1900x1200!!

    I am seriously considering building a PC with the 8800 and possibly selling the Mac and replacing it with a Macbook. If i can get the 8800 working in the Macpro i might consider keeping it. (only had it 2 months)

    Is there anywhere in the UK where i can buy that 6pin GPU cable from for the macpro?


  16. waremaster macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006
    I would actually like to chime in on your observations with the x1900xt and FSX. I run FSX on a 22" flat panel at 1680x1050 and it runs great. You may want to check out some of the FSX forums to help resolve your performance issues. There are some settings that can be changed I believe one of them is autogen. I have yet to run any application or game that makes my mac pro struggle. My mac pro is a 2.66 with 2gig of ram an x1900xt and 1 150gig (Raptor) drive and 2 500 gig drives.

    Good luck

  17. ^squirrel^ macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2006
    I did turn my rates up to almost full. I just downloaded a document that shows me some tweaks to do to make it smoother. Can i ask what tweaks you have done?

    What FPS do you get?
  18. Grenadier macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    F.E.A.R., quite possible the 2nd most demanding game ever made (With Oblivion being the most demanding game) was tested, and with a 8800 on full settings @ 1920x1200 it ran like a dream (According to another user).
    He stated that he had to try incredibly hard to get low a FPS count.

    I want ATi to hurry up with that R600 so I can try that out !
  19. jpkogelman macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2007
    I have an odd question, I own a Mac Pro and just purchased an eVGA 8800 GTX card. I seem to be missing where I can get the second power lead for the video card (it seems to require two power leads instead of one like most video cards). With my current card, an eVGA 7900 I was able to modify a connection and run it to the second lead off the DVD drive (I only have one DVD drive)

    I believe there are two connectors on the mother board, but have never seen a cable that would connect that to a video card. Could someone offer some assistance please?

  20. aneks macrumors regular

    Aug 29, 2006
    My hard won distaste for all things ATi is preventing me running an x1900 in my mac. I use some heavy openGL apps and although I should really buy a quadro I refuse to pay nvidia's premium for these cards.

    I really hope that one of the upgrade, release options we see this year is new line of Graphics cards for the mac pro. I have seriously considered buying a 7900 and trying the titan hack, but as I use my machine for work stability is a major concern. The only gripe I have with it is that when I boot to windows to play games or use Maya, I take a beating because I am using a 24" monitor.

    Cummon, release an 8800gtx for mac and I'll buy one and an iPhone !
  21. Chone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2006
    I think you can run a Mac Pro in the way that you can use a 7300GT (or any other Mac card like the X1900XT) and run OSX and then use the 8800GTX for Windows without having to swap constantly if you have a dual input monitor, for example using VGA on the 7300GT for OSX and DVI on the 8800GTX for WinXP and just pressing a button on the monitor to alternate betwen signals to use the different systems.
  22. aiongiant macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    you can do a quick search in the forum me a couple other ppl have been discussing how to use the 8800 GTX on the MacPro

    but no you can only have 1 card in there... the 8800 GTX does not like to run with another card in the system
    ive yet to try a solution to use the 8800 GTX on both windows and osx
    if anyone knows pls let me know

    i bought power cord the pci express power for the mac from welovemacs it's a small 6 pin to normal 6 pin connector you can grab power from the motherboard itself and works great!
    however if you dont' want to buy the power cord (i think is well worth it) i had it hooked up via my dvd drive power plugs and just route an extension to the vid card

    do a search for that thread for pics and such

    in order for me to use OSX i will need to swap cards... i was hoping i can keep the 7300 in there but the system won't start with it in there
  23. jpkogelman macrumors newbie

    Jan 12, 2007
  24. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Apr 19, 2004
    I've read that someone has both ATI 1900xt and nVidia 7300GT installed and working on the Mac Pro. Is it just that the 8800 doesn't like other cards or has this been tried?

    I would be interested in a MacPro if I can have the 7300 for OSX and 8800 for XP.
  25. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Some people have also found that the ATI and Nvidia cards do confict with each other under OS X, and it seems like the newest driver conflicts are not limited to Intel machines only -- seems sticking the ATI 1900xt retail G5 Edition into a G5 might also run you into some conflicts.

    Conflicts such as stuttering video, poor frame rates, kernal panics etc. in some apps. And there are a few apps that cause problems, likely rarely used sections of the drivers.

    Might be fixed, or become a three-way finger pointing session between Apple, ATI, and Nvidia.

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