Mac Pro Video Cards?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Raptura, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Raptura macrumors 6502

    Raptura

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada / London, UK
    #1
    I tried to search for an answer online and on the forums but to no avail.

    I wanted to know if the video cards for the Mac Pro would be the same as the ones for a Windows PC or do you need a Mac-based video card?

    Also, if PC video cards aren't supported, where is it possible to purchase Apple-based video cards other than from Apple itself?
    Thanks.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    For it to work properly, you will need one of the Mac cards, as it uses the EFI rather than BIOS
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    You need a Mac version of the cards which are sold by Apple and select retailers. The Mac versions have a BIOS with an EFI extension to allow booting in OS X.

    If you wish to purchase a regular card, it will only work in Windows. Some cards can be flashed (meaning new firmware is installed into the card) to allow booting and use in OS X; this does save money, but there is a risk of failure and not all cards can be flashed.
     
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    Only in rare cases will you find 3rd-party Mac graphics upgrade options. A couple of somewhat recent examples would be:

    - The 2009 Mac GTX 285 (no longer manufactured) from EVGA; also resold by Apple among other resellers. A few vendors still have them, but by the time you factor in their obscene markup, you're better off buying a faster 5870 (which works in EVERY Mac Pro) directly from Apple. Unless of course, you have a specific reason to want a CUDA card (Adobe Premiere CS5 editors, for example).

    - The new Quadro 4000 sourced directly from NVIDIA; resold by several vendors, but out it's out of the typical consumer's price range due to it being a professional workstation card.

    As you'll probably gather, graphics upgrade options are pretty limited on Mac Pros and really, this has always been the case with Apple. For this reason, some people (at a risk) flash "friendly" PC cards to save money.
     

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