MacPro 3,1: videocard upgrade + 3rd monitor

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dOOsi7, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. dOOsi7 macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2010
    A few months back, upgraded MacPro 3,1 with more storage (2TB), and more RAM (16gb total), while using original nVidia 8800GT videocard (with x2 Apple 23" displays). While happily using for graphic design/video editing, only recently started to feel the need to upgrade for following reasons.

    1) faster rendering for FCPX (720p footages, and Motion)
    2) adding 3rd display (another monitor and/or HDTV w/ HDMI)

    Quick search resulted in following...

    1) upgrade to ATI 5770 videocard to help rendering... slightly faster
    2) as long as keep same two videocards (8800 x2, or new videocard x2), I can add additional displays.

    A. Safe (and worth) to use ATI 5770 videocards in MacPro 3,1?
    B. If so, then safe to use TWO 5770 videocards? (8800GT is discontinued, right?)

  2. Phrygian macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2011
    simple rule of thumb, don't get a mac gpu. Get a PC one thats better/cheaper and either flash it our run it without bootscreen. I believe there are cards out there that will do three screens.
  3. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    When I was using my Mac Pro 3,1 recently, I upgraded to a Nvidia 670 to replace the 5770 I had been using a running three monitors off. Whilst losing the boot screen with the 670, I was still able to run three monitors off the 670, two via DVI and one from the display port with a DVI adapter. I did have to install the Nvidia drivers in Mountain lion the get the third monitor to come up.
  4. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    For official Apple solutions, the 5870 would be a better card. It is twice as fast as a 5770, you save two slots, and it can drive three monitors just fine. You may need adapters if your monitors don't have the same inputs as the card's outputs (2xMDP 1xDVI-DL).

    For unofficial solutions you can save a lot of money by using PC cards at the cost of: losing boot screens, some minor incompatibilities here and there, some small hassles, no official support, and the possibility of complete loss of support (it has happened before).

    Nevertheless, there is pretty good Nvidia support these days in Mountain Lion. The upcoming 10.8.3 looks like it will add AMD 7000 series support too. If you are on Snow Leopard and wish to stay there, the AMD 6870 is a pretty good alternative.
  5. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    I have a MSI Twin Frozr II/OC GTX570 with 2xDVI & one HDMI but despite using the Nvidia drivers I can only ever use two monitors (2xDVI or DVI+HDMI) never three. I don't know if this is a limitation of the GTX570 or just my particular model.

Share This Page