Mac Pro - Ati Radeon x1900GT

BlueDude6

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 21, 2007
3
0
I'll be getting a free PCI-Express ATI Radeon x1900GT PC Version video card from a friend who will be upgrading parts of his computer. I was wondering if anyone knew if this card would work in OS X on a Mac Pro because of it's model similarity to the officially supported x1900XT and the fact that Power Mac's ran x1900GT's in OS X too. Even if I can't flash an EFI firmware to the card, it might still work in OS X once it gets past the boot screens maybe? I've read of some x1900XT working unflashed in that manner, I'm hoping a GT might work similarly. (Of course, I currently have the nvidia 7300 currently in the computer.) Any info would be so much apperciated. Thanks.

P.S. I've read up on the whole 6-pin pci-express power cord situation and all that too, so I understand all the tidbits about installing it. I'm just wondering about it working in OS X.
 

trainguy77

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2003
3,567
1
I don't know where you heard about unflashed cards working but i have never heard of that. So i am almost certain it needs to be flashed. However, i don't know if the GT can even be flashed.
 

WildPalms

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2006
995
2
Honolulu, HI
You are right, you can run an unflashed card in OS X but not without some extra effort.

If you boot into Windows, it will work unmodified.

To get it to work in OS X can be done 2 ways:

1. Flash the rom (Caveat: if its a 128kb chip) with the Mac version

or

2. Install Natit or Omni's drivers (search google)

This will allow OS X to use the card, however these are drivers not written by Apple or the vendor and so you *may* get odd behaviour, as its hacked together by community effort. Then again, it may run fine.
 

trainguy77

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2003
3,567
1
2. Install Natit or Omni's drivers (search google)

This will allow OS X to use the card, however these are drivers not written by Apple or the vendor and so you *may* get odd behaviour, as its hacked together by community effort. Then again, it may run fine.
Won't you still have the EFI problem? Without firmware that can talk with EFI i don't think it will work. Aren't those projects just for x86 hack systems?(so no EFI)
 

WildPalms

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2006
995
2
Honolulu, HI
Won't you still have the EFI problem? Without firmware that can talk with EFI i don't think it will work. Aren't those projects just for x86 hack systems?(so no EFI)
Apparantley, it has worked for other users in *cough* another forum.

I have never tried myself, I BTO'd my machine with an Apple supplied X1900 to avoid all that nonsense.

Why dont you ebay the card and buy an Apple one.
 

BlueDude6

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 21, 2007
3
0
Thanks for the replies everyone. I will google those 3rd party drivers and of course make the appropriate partition mirrors before experimenting when I finally get the card :p

To Trainguy77: from what I had read, the video card only needs the EFI firmware in order to have enough functionality during boot to show the high resolution boot screens used by OS X (as opposed to the 256 color stuff you normally see with Windows) before the main OS X driver for the vid. card is loaded.

Some who have plugged in a PC card have had the screen appear blank during boot and then show the desktop once that driver has been loaded, due to the lack of efi firmware, however, with a compatible OS driver still present.

(Of course, this is only what I've read. I have had no first hand experience seeing that happen, and the thread mentioned that not all PC x1900xt video cards showed that behavior. I could've sworn that thread was in this forum too.)

Thanks again, everyone.
 

hugodrax

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2007
896
141
Apparantley, it has worked for other users in *cough* another forum.

I have never tried myself, I BTO'd my machine with an Apple supplied X1900 to avoid all that nonsense.

Why dont you ebay the card and buy an Apple one.
I always tell people, if your gonna get the Mac Pro, get the 1900XT I mean if you are going for a high end machine, do not skimp on the videocard. You can always get 3rd party memory for cheap.
 

BlueDude6

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 21, 2007
3
0
Apparantley, it has worked for other users in *cough* another forum.

I have never tried myself, I BTO'd my machine with an Apple supplied X1900 to avoid all that nonsense.

Why dont you ebay the card and buy an Apple one.
I'm getting the GT free from a friend. It'd just be a nice bonus if I were able to get it to work in OS X in addition to the graphics upgrade for gaming in Windows.

I really don't think the x1900xt was ever worth it at Apple's prices, especially when you can get an underclocked HD2900xt disguised as an HD2900Pro for $270 at Newegg and roll your pci-e power cables for about $5 when you have crimping experience. All the while, keeping a spare 7300 around. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102706)

The 7300 runs Orange Box just fine too ;-)

I bought my Mac Pro primarily for video studio work and web design so a super graphics card isn't essential. Gaming is just another thing I happen to do. And like I said, I'm getting the GT for FREE, so I'm just curious how much I can get this free upgrade to do for me :p

Edit: Apparently NewEgg deactivated that video card sale...it was an insane deal while it lasted, I hope it comes back soon. Read the reviews, HD2900XT speeds for $270 is hard to beat. It was outdoing the more expensive 320MB 8800 GTS in many of the benchmarks I'd seen.
 
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