MacPro 1.1 - Graphic Cards updates help

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kitki83, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I am really lost on the specs and details on what graphic cards works with my Mac Pro 1.1.

    Right now I am looking at these options
    1. Apple ready:
    ATI 5770
    Are there any cheaper versions?

    2. MR Sale
    Someone is selling on MR a ATI 2600HD Video Card for Mac Pro 2008 (3,1) but I am struggling finding if this works on my 1.1

    3. Flash a graphic cards
    This is really annoying to do since I am very busy and just want to get something to work without struggle, unless someone sells them flashed and ready to pop, then I can manage the updates.

    Lastly... I do game a lot and have steam and it would be awesome to play games on Mac instead of Windows.

    Appreciate any help on this.
  2. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    A good and fast(er) alternative to the 5770 you mention would be a standard (and comparably inexpensive) PC 6870, which requires at least 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) or 10.7.x (Lion) to run out of the box without any flashing involved.

    Drawbacks are that you would lose the boot menu (need to have a second card for that if you want to have access to it) and that neither the original DVD player nor Steam games would run on it (solution: installation of ATY_Init.kext).

    Apart from that the 6870 is probably the current sweet spot for 1,1 graphic card upgrades. Keep in mind that the 6870 will require 2 aux power supply cables - the PC cables found in the box are not suitable and you need to purchase Apple-specific cables separately.

    Apparently Lion will offer support for newer nVidia cards (see this thread), though it seems that currently its not as stable/easy as the abovementioned 6870 alternative.
  3. DanCT macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2012
    I recently got myself an HIS 6850. It is worked great out of the box after installing ATY_init.kext.
    However, I can't make the HDMI ports work :-(

    Any chance there's an updated ATY_init.kext out there, to fix this?

  4. Kkwwb macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2012
    [QUOTE=Neodym; Drawbacks are that you would lose the boot menu (need to have a second card for that if you want to have access to it) and that neither the original DVD player nor Steam games would run on it (solution: installation of ATY_Init.kext).

    Hi Neodym, What's the reason for the loss of the boot menu? I've noticed this myself after installing the ATI 5770. It does work a charm, having run Mass Effect 3 at full settings via Bootcamp + Win7.

    But, in order for me to boot from Win7 I have to insert the Windows 7 disc prior to restarting. Annoying!

    I've even tried rEFIt, but that almost screwed my OSX. Only managed to fix it after booting from a Lion recovery disk, doing a disk repair and then deleting the rEFIt blesser from startup items. Oh... and flashing the PRAM.
  5. CaptainChunk, May 1, 2012
    Last edited: May 1, 2012

    CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    The 2600 XT was a very slow card, even by 2008 standards. They're really only useful for driving additional displays. Avoid for gaming. Even the 5770 is several orders of magnitude faster. B&H Photo Video has the cheapest price I'm aware of for the official Apple 5770 at $229 (free shipping).

    Outside of that, you could also pick up a PC 6870 as mentioned earlier (no flashing required), but you won't get a boot screen and you need to be running 10.6.8 or later. AND you would have to do an ATY_INIT hack to get Steam working. But if you want something that's simply plug and play with no hassle, I'd suggest the official 5770.

    You lose the boot screen on a 5770 because the card would lack EFI firmware. But I don't even think flashed ones will even show a boot screen (might have to do with something missing in the hacked firmware).

    You could use BootChamp to get around this. It places an icon in your OS X menu bar that gives you a "Restart into Windows" option.
  6. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    The hacked firmwares rely on 64bit EFI components, while the MacPro 1,1 and 2,1 still run a 32bit EFI only. Afaik the situation won't change unless someone makes a 64bit EFI for the older MP's or the EFI dependability in the graphic card firmware could be resolved by other means. Both is unlikely...
  7. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA

    5770 and 5870 use EBC EFI.

    This means it works in either 32 or 64.

    The Boot screen is present on both cards, but only via VGA.

    The issue is caused by the port mapping not matching the Apple cards.

    Could be fixed if someone went wading into the EFI and did some extensive reverse engineering. But even then, the final driver in the OS still expects ports matching the official Apple cards. FIxes are available for cards final behavior but have to be re-written for each OS update.

    It is the 6870 which uses an EFI firmware that is EFI64 only. This is because the EFI comes from an iMac, which has no need for EBC. ATI/AMD was very nice to Mac folk by using EBC on 5770 and 5870, I'm sure Apple didn't give a flat damn either way, ATI made the cards possible for 1,1 and 2,1 because they wanted to.

    Kudos to Netkas for all 3 of these firmwares. He made all 3 work. Even if they are limited in functionality, they are far better than NOT having EFI for these cards.

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