Mac Pro DIY Upgrade Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ZeelessOne, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. ZeelessOne macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    I'm looking on getting my first Mac, and, coming from a PC background, I'm used to building my own computers and upgrading them over time. Because of this, I have some really simple questions about upgrading the Mac Pro.

    Does it come with screws for additional hard drives and an additional optical drive? I generally buy these two OEM and use the screws that came with my tower.

    How do PCIe power cables work on the Mac Pro? From what I've gathered, there are two 6-pin PCIe power outlets on the motherboard. Does it come with the cables? Do the graphics upgrades come with the cables?

    How do new graphics drivers generally get distributed? With Windows, when I get a new graphics card, it runs with minimal graphics until I can install new drivers. I see that people who upgraded to an 8800 GT had trouble doing fresh OS X installations. This bothers me, because I know it's the first thing I'll want to do after recieving my computer and installing a 3870.

    What update of OS X can I expect to be on the installation disk I recieve. Does it depend on the retailer and when I buy it? Is there a way to know for sure?

    And finally, what about Boot Camp drivers? For graphics, are these just the generic Forceware and Catalyst drivers I can get at the NVIDIA and ATI websites, or are they special somehow? Also, can I just jump to the 2.1 drivers by downloading them or do I need to install whatever version comes on my Leopard disk first?
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza

    It doesn't come with extra cables.

    Your version of OS X doesn't matter. Just update to the current one.
  3. bandaros macrumors member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Boot camp works like this.

    From OSX -> Run Boot Camp.


    Install Windows or whatever.

    Boot Windows.

    Pop the OSX installation disc in and run the driver setup exe. A single installer installs every driver for all your out of the box hardware.

    As far as installing the absolute latest drivers for graphics cards, I haven't done it myself, but I have heard that it shouldn't be a problem to just download them from official sites and install them.
  4. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    1. Screws - doesn't need them, the drives fit into little bays that already have them attached. As for the optical drive, mine doesn't have any screws in it at all.

    2. No, it doesn't come with the 6-pin cords, but when I purchased my 8800 GT from Apple the box had one in it.

    3. Typically new drivers come when Apple releases a new OS update (or, in one case, the Apple Graphics update). Those people's trouble came from their version of the 10.5 DVD not having the drivers on them because those DVDs were made before the drivers were released. A 10.5.3 Leopard DVD will have the drivers.

    4. It depends on when you buy it, you'll know for certain once you install it. ;)

    5. Boot Camp installs a set of drivers based on whatever computer you own - if you're dissatisfied with them, you can easily download the newest drivers from AMD or NVIDIA's website.
  5. ZeelessOne thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 1, 2008
    So you're saying the 3870 drivers were already in 10.5.3 or the 8800 GT? How do you know what drivers are in OS X updates?
  6. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    I have the original 10.5 disk before even 10.5.1

    If I get a new video card and lets say I stick a new harddrive into it (no OS) am I SOL since my DVD has no drivers, or does it boot into VGA mode like windows and then you install the drivers.
  7. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    Unless barefeats had a pre-release copy of 10.5.4, then the 3870 drivers were in 10.5.3 because he released speed results before the release of 10.5.4.

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