Mac Pro early gen 1.1 best video card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by melman911, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. melman911 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    #1
    I have an early gen Mac Pro 2g with 4 gigs of ram. Currently have a GT 7300 in it right now. ANy decent options for me? Thanks for any help.
     
  2. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #2
    best option is to do some research. You can start with the "Search Forums" button up on the right. Type in some text and click on it.
     
  3. melman911 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2009
    #3
    i have but have to weed through all this talk of reflashing. Just seeing if there is any simple solution out there.
     
  4. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #4
    The SIMPLE solution is to buy the ATI 4870 from Apple. Despite what Apple says on their store page, it works very well in the Mac Pro 1,1. If you want to save some money, you can buy the PC-version of the 4870, but the trade-off is you will have to flash the ROM on that card in order to make it compatible. There are a variety of threads here on MR about that very issue, you should review them carefully to see if it's something you want to do before buying the PC version of 4870 (note that not all PC version 4870's are suitable for flashing for a Mac).

    Otherwise, biting the bullet and paying Apple $349 + tax, or a reseller $349 (no tax charged) is going to be your best bet. I bought the 4870 from Apple for my 1,1. It was a drop-in.
     
  5. melman911 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2009
    #5
    Thanks Hmac. That's what i was afraid of.....
     
  6. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
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    #6
    On the positive side, the 4870 is a great card. My Mac Pro came with the 1900XT. It drove two ACD 30's OK, but FPS gaming was not very good. I "upgraded" to an 8800GT a year or so ago. FPS gaming improved a fair amount, but I got a lot of monitor artifact on the non-dominant Cinema Display. A few months ago, I upgraded again to the 4870, and FPS gaming performance improve a HUGE amount, and no more artifact. Very, very pleased with the Apple version 4870, despite the $150 premium I paid for it (not to mention the additional $99 for the dual-link DVI adapter I had to buy. The 30" monitors require dual link. Otherwise, a second monitor can use the much cheaper miniDisplay adapter).
     
  7. johhhn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    #7

    Hi,

    I have a 1900XT PC Radeon flashed with the Mac ROM and it also has an upgraded Fan (stock fans on these things aren't that great).

    mod note: trade/selling not allowed here. see Marketplace rules.

    john
     
  8. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    California
    #8
    jjohn - would you describe the PCIe slot speed limitation on the Mac Pro 1,1?
     
  9. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #9
    PCIe 1.1 as compared to 2.0, methinks.
     
  10. johhhn macrumors newbie

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    Mar 16, 2010
    #10
    here's a link from apple that describes the limitation in earlyl Mac Pros

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2838
     
  11. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    Apr 26, 2003
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    California
    #11
    Is the issue that you are saturating the 16x lane on Mac Pro 1,1 or need multiple 16X lanes active?
     
  12. johhhn macrumors newbie

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    Mar 16, 2010
    #12
    it'd be nice to have multiple 16x, but in my case, no point in having two GOOD cards for 3 monitors, when I only use 1 screen for gaming, and the other two for holding lots of windows
     
  13. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    Apr 26, 2003
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    California
    #13
    I have decided to extend the life of my MP 1,1 - no 3D modeling nor any gaming.

    My most demanding use is 1080p video (FCE) and 2560 x 1600 still photography. There are a few occasions where fully downloaded video pauses in playback and I am trying to determine if the 4870 would be a more robust card that would provide smoother upscaling when watching 1920 x 1080 on a 30" 2560 x 1600 monitor.

    Forgot to mention that I am often driving an ACD 20" at the same time (extended desktop mode).
     
  14. johhhn macrumors newbie

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    Mar 16, 2010
    #14
    i've got a 22" and a 20" ACD running off my 3870 and never have problems like that, and never had problems with my 1900 as well.

    what card do you have now?

    are you low in RAM? i've got 8G in my MP and even with the swap is huge, i usually never get pauses..

    and i'm a big time power user.. i've got 27 apps open right now and probably over 30 web browser windows open with multiple tabs in each one.. machine just humms along :)
     
  15. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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  16. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #16
    As I mentioned, I was using my Mac Pro 1,1 and 4870 driving two 30" ACD's in extended desktop mode. I use FCE occasionally, NX2 and CS4 for frequent photo editing, and a substantial amount of online FPS gaming in both Windows via BootCamp and on the Mac. I also use it for iTunes HD downloads FWIW.

    No problems on that machine. I did recently replace it with a 2009 Mac Pro in order to be able to go 64 bit and to prepare for the possibility that Snow Leopard is the last Mac OS that will support those old 32-bit EFI machines.
     
  17. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    #17
    Hmac - what are your comments about the fan noise with the 4870?
     
  18. johhhn macrumors newbie

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    Mar 16, 2010
    #18
    let me know if you're interested in a trade, otherwise i may slap my 1900xt on ebay soon..

    (btw, i'm a Mac consultant with a legitimate business and can point you to my website and process your credit card if you'd like for part of the trade)

    john
     
  19. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
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    Midwest USA
    #19
    When I boot the machine, I get about a 3 second burst of full speed GPU fan, then virtual silence. I have turned up the fan speeds a little, though. The attached are basically with the machine at idle, only working on this site.

    In Windows, I note that I get pretty high temps from the 4870 while doing FPS gaming. At default fan speeds, it was getting up between 70-80C. Using the Windows Catalyst control panel, I bumped the GPU fan speed a fair amount and now the GPU runs about 45C. It's pretty noisy at that speed, but I only use Windows for gaming and I wear headphones so it doesn't bother me.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    Apr 26, 2003
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    California
    #20
    johhn - probably going to take a couple of weeks sorting the graphics card decision.

    Hmac - so very quiet for non-gaming applications - thanks.

    More noodling on my part I guess :rolleyes:
     
  21. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    #21
    HD's probably

    Pauses during playback of HD video is most likely due to your Hard Drives not being able to keep up. Might need a RAID if you expecting consistent playback of HD video. And there's many flavors of 1080P so without knowing which codec or info on your HD's there's little to add.
     
  22. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #22
    H 264 in QT wrapper

    WD Velociraptor - 150 GB

    Happens infrequently but makes me wonder if the card is a minor bottleneck - especially as I am driving my 20" ACD at the same time.
     
  23. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    Apr 26, 2003
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    California
    #23
    Coming at this another way - are FCE, iMovie HD, Photoshop, iPhoto relying mainly on the graphics card or the cpu?
     
  24. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    #24
    That's odd...

    That's odd. H.264 should play fine, is it from FCE or just quicktime playback. Some of my stuff stutters but it's 10-bit Uncompressed 1080P (which should) coming from a 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache HD. Maybe the drive is close to full?
     
  25. Mrbill317 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    #25
    Card

    I just purchased a used 4870 from an apple employee for 200 and its an awesome card.
    Im running snow leopard and it worked right out of the box.
    Windows 7 all I needed to do was reinstall ATI driver package.
     

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