MacPro1,1 Graphics Card and Snow Leopard Advice....

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Andy221, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Andy221 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    So I've been trying to research this as best as I can. I know similar posts have been made but none seem to help me understand any better.

    I have a 1st Gen Mac Pro, 2 x Dual Core Intel Xeon 2.66Ghz and ATI Radeon X1900XT. The X1900XT is failing and Snow Leopard is coming out soon so I figure it is time to update my Graphics card.

    I want to take full advantage of the OpenCL of SL, and also the 64-Bit support. I admit that I don't fully understand the whole 64-bit topic, but I do know that its not as easy as just installing OSX 10.6 and wham-bam it's there (at least in regards to my Macpro1,1).

    I do not care about gaming, I mainly use Adobe CS4 and the Pro Apps.

    So which graphics card should I get that will work in the Macpro1,1 and also take most advantage of SL? and where do I find it?

    I know the 8800GT has been discontinued. I've heard mixed rumors about the ATI 3870, will this or won't this work in the Macpro1,1 with SL? Also the ATI 4870 or 4890 I hear mixed rumors about, would I be able to install either of these with no problem...

    Where would I go to purchase any of these cards?

    Will my system be 64-bit capable?

    I really appreciate any help.... Thanks!
  2. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Posting over in the Mac Pro section may get you a (more learned) response.
  3. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Find an 8800GT on ebay. I just picked one up for my Mac Pro 1,1 for $129 shipped.
  4. popiko macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    SL does not work with 64bits on Mac Pro 1,1
  5. SG1-1 macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2009

    Mac Pro 1.1 is a 64-bit Workstation, It runs applications in 64 bit, The Confusion is the 32-Bit EFI, and this is Different than what you Believe.

    Snow Leopard Will Run In 64 Bit Mode With The Mac Pro 1.1, It Just doesn't Boot the 64 bit code, But after Boot this is Different then Not Being Unable to Run 64-bit

    Read It Here to Help understand The Differences.:apple:

    Mac World Article Here:
  6. SG1-1 macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2009

    Hi Andy,

    It is Confusing, Really Confusing, Allot of information that is not entirely accurate.

    Mac Pro 1.1 Will run Applications in 64 bit.:apple:

    Also Snow Leopard Will Work with Mac Pro in 64 Bit mode But does Not Boot with the 64 Bit Code Due to the EFI being Only 32-Bit, But this may change later.

    Do a Search for Snow Leopard Booting only 32-Bit on newer Systems to explain why, and to add to more Confusion. " There is a Way to Force Mac Pro 1.1 and other Macs to Boot to 64 Bit, Even with The 32 Bit EFI.

    Apple has at this time Artificially Stooped it, Only Xserve will natively boot 64 bit. But That may change at some later time.

    The Mac Pro 1.1 has a 32 bit EFI, and here is the Confusion.

    I have a Mac pro 1.1 with a ATI 3870 Video card, We are not sure at this time if it will fully Support Open CL in Snow Leopard, Since it was a third party option not included by Apple.

    We will have to see if the Driver kext's are included to support Open CL with the ATI 3870, If Not, it will be just like Leopard is now, not utilizing the processing power of the GPU.
    But you will have the added benefit of Grand Central and other updates.

    And yes it is confusing, But the facts are you have a 64 bit WorkStation with the Mac Pro 1.1, It boots into the 32 bit EFI but is capable of running 64 bit Applications.

    There is a new write up at MacWorld that tries to address some of the confusion.


    But to answer directly, You are 64 Bit capable.

    Check out the MacWorld Article it should Help you to Understand a little More.

    As for Video Cards for the Mac Pro 1.1, We have very few options with this Model.
    but, There are posts that show you how to use the ATI 4870 with the Mac Pro 1.1, if you want to go that route.

    I am just going to wait and see if they Support the ATI 3870 with Open CL, Since it is a third party Option, it makes Sense that it would Not be on the Official Apple Snow Leopard Support Page.
  7. popiko macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    But do not think apple is working on this.
  8. SG1-1 macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2009


    As for 64 Bit Yes it is Supported Fully with The Mac Pro 1.1 And Up.

    Now as for Video Cards for the Mac Pro 1.1, We will see With the Release of the New Snow Leopard, But in reality Open CL Support will only work with Applications that are coded to use Open CL also in Conjunction with the Operating System, This is going to take time for all Manufacturers to Support and develop 64 Bit Drivers for Snow Leopard, And Applications to Support all the Feature Base.

    Since ATI is also included with the developing of Drivers for Open CL we will see.

    Also even if the development of 32 to 64 bit kext's & drivers for 32-bit EFI systems are not included, it makes no difference due to the limitations of Chipset and Memory Addressing above 32 gigabyte's, And since Mac Pro 1.1 does Not support 32 Gigs of Physical memory Addressing it makes little to no difference for the User, and would be negligible at best that the user would see a slow down.

    And even the Applications needed to address the memory segment need to be rewritten to use the New Features. And that will take time to develop.

    Snow Leopard Runs unbelievably fast on my mac Pro 1.1 with the Build I Have.
    So the Final release will Surprise Allot Of users-And will included more updated options and drivers then the Build that i have been testing.

    I Have Learned to Never Try To Speculate About What Apple Is Doing,

    You Never Know.:)
  9. popiko macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    Thank you very much for your information.
    You're right and you never know who will Apple :)
    Sorry for my English.
  10. SG1-1 macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2009
    No Problem,

    Your English is Just Fine! :)

    I understood what you meant, Glad I Could Help.:)

    Have A Great Day!!
  11. Andy221 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    Thanks for all your help guys, seriously.. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the 64bit matters, but your info helped.

    As far as gpu's, basically what you guys are saying is it's going to be a waiting game to see which cards support openCL in SL (at least for the 3rd party ones that work in Macpro1.1)?

    The ones that I have to choose from are - NVidia 8800gt, Radeon 3870, Radeon 4870, and Radeon 4890 (w/flashed Mac firmware)?

    Are these the four cards I have to choose from? Are there any others?

    Which one would be best for using the Pro Apps and CS4?

    Thanks again...
  12. popiko macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2009
    I have NVidia 8800gt in me Mac Pro 1.1 and work well with CS4,
    The problem is... if you need reinstall Leopard need the old graphic card..
    I have this problem, I need change the graphic card and install Leopard and later install updates, later change card for Nvidia 8800GT.

    I do not know if this is resolved in SL.
  13. cloudshift macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2009
    Greetings everyone...

    I'm currently looking into a new video card for my Mac Pro 1,1.

    I have the NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT, running dual monitors. I'm wondering about adding a second video card, possibly the 8800GT, and wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this. Video cards have always confused me. Will I be able to run two different video cards? One to my main display, and the other to my secondary display? I run both displays at 1680x1050 at 60 Hz, and would like to get a better refresh rate out of both displays.

    Thanks for any help!
  14. markartsf macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2009
    Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT - Snow Leopard and DVD Studio Pro 4 crashes

    I hadn't bothered to test all of my major applications running under Snow Leopard until a few days ago. Everything in CS4 works for me with: Mac Pro 2.1 (is that right?), quad core Intel 3GHz, 8MB ram and the stock Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT.

    Tried launching DVD Studio pro, and got a message equivalent to: Your system requires Quartz Extreme to run this application." I did a few searches and the articles and forum comments on this were from 2001-2002. They were talkin about downloading an update to the flash ram. What the..

    Always one to solve the riddle, I rebooted from a different drive on 10.5.6, and DVDSPro loaded no problem. Again no problems so far with any Adobe products. So, nothing to do with the Nvidia 7300 GT, I assume it's either an OS update or an application update.

    But the experience made me think more a about updating or adding to the original video card for some reasons you have discussed. I also specifically want one that will give video IN via HDMI-HDTV. So if anyone happens to be familiar with this a few tips would be appreciated. If not a card some kind of prosumer to professional level video breakout box, hub and/or converter. I tried using good old DVI-HDMI adapters that only cost $3-4, but I have an older Cinema Display with the ADC adapter and had to purchase the converter from (non standard) ADC to DVI.



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