Mid 2010 Mac Pro: Compatible graphics cards?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Arkanok, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Arkanok macrumors 6502a

    Arkanok

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    #1
    Prior to 2007, I was a PC guy and built a few of them. Then I got my first Mac, which was a Macbook Pro and I loved it, but was fine with it not being that capable of a gaming machine. I still have that Macbook Pro, but recently acquired a mid 2010 Mac Pro for free and was wondering about swapping graphics cards.

    Now, as I mentioned, I WAS a pc guy, but that was a long time ago and I'm very rusty about computer components these days but I want to know what my options are regarding buying a new graphics card that will work in this Mac Pro. I don't want to spend $400+ if possible, I don't want a powerhouse top of the line card, just a more recent one.

    Any suggestions as to what my options are?
     
  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #2
    There are many GPU options for your 2010 Mac Pro. For Nvidia, you have 680GTX or older GPUs like 570GTX, 580GTX. These are around $300+ Note that GPUs may be flashed to get the boot screen. Other options are the Radeon 5770, 5870 Mac edition that fits your budget.
     
  3. VikNomad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    #3
    http://www.macvidcards.com is the way I guess. All cards are there and 100% working. You can flush yourself of course.
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    Please check the top sticky thread. For gaming, Nvidia is the way to go.
     
  5. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #5
    It all depends on what you want to to, if you want to have a flashed card and if you want to flash it yourself.

    Pretty much any Nvidia card will work with the Nvidia Web drivers, and also many AMD cards will work. If you want to flash the card yourself, options are narrowed down to GTX 680 and a few AMD cards.
     
  6. Arkanok thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Arkanok

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    #6
    Oh so I can't flash just any nvidia card? I saw an nvidia gtx 960 for a good price but I guess it won't be flashable. Is flashing a risky thing to do or is it easy and safe?
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #7
    If you do everything right, flashing itself is quite safe. However, for the gtx9xx card, you have to develope the Mac EFI by yourself before you can flash it. That's the hardest part ;)
     
  8. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #8
    If you're flashing a well-tested ROM (e.g. GTX 680) according to some tutorial the risk is very low. Other Kepler-based cards could be flashed, too, but public information isn't very detailed, so you'll easily produce a brick.

    On dual BIOS cards like most HD 7950/7970/R9 280(X) it's almost impossible to produce a brick.
     
  9. RAMtheSSD macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location:
    High on a Mountain Looking for Wisdom
    #9
    Having found a card with the requisite power draw interface, I will be doing the resistor and the flashing within the next week. If you are willing to wait, I will be doing an R9 280 Dual X and I will be posting my results. I have a preference for ATI since I've had nothing but bad experience (GT120 mild exception) with Nvidia cards; however, I know a number of gamers and they do love their Nvidia cards. For me, the problem is different since what I need is more video memory than I have now and lots more rendering elements but stability and reliability are the top concerns so given that the 7950 is the reference upgrade, a card that is exactly the same except for a PC seemed like the wiser choice; the high marks for reliability and value for the money given by reviewers clinched it for me. There also seem to be more than a few owners of 7950's and R9 280s here at MacRumors but for all I know, there are just as many Nvidia owners.

    One thing I WOULD NOT do is spend good money for old tech like the 5870 etc... The card I got was cheaper brand new than a 5870 used! If you could get one for less than $180, maybe but not for 230 and up when the card I got was 219 with a 20$ mail in rebate on top.
     
  10. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Hay, first what version of osx are you on?
    do you want to play games or just run more displays, which games will you be playing?

    I have a macpro 3.1 with a nvida 660, works fine for most things just needs one 6 pin power cable.

    mine is not flashed so no boot screen apart from that it works fine.
    use bootchamp to boot in to windows & keep your old card in case you have any problems.
    for nvida there is a audio hack to get audio on hdmi etc if you want to run a tv for films

    ps if your not big in to games you can get a super quiet one that requires no power cables
     
  11. RAMtheSSD macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Location:
    High on a Mountain Looking for Wisdom
    #11
    I am 24hrs into the upgrade and the R9 280 (not yet flashed or resistor post op) and the system (El Capitan GM) sees it as a 7950. It takes two 6pin cables but as I have posted elsewhere, so far so good. The cables, once one knows which are the cables that work and which have labels that suggest they would but the seller has no idea one way or the other, are easy to find. This card (Sapphire Dual X) has a mild overclock and so far, the power demand is well within the parameters of the board's energy budget -something that had me greatly concerned at one time. For $200, I got a card that does everything but the boot screen for $300 less than the same card that Sapphire sells specifically for the Mac Pro and my machine identifies it as, 7950. However, that is a reference card and this has a mild overclock so it is faster to boot!

    If your machine can run on Yosemite or El Capitan then this card is plug and play -it is still a PC card so no boot screen- because, even if you do not clip the resistor, it is fast enough. That being said, there has been some concerns expressed by others concerning the card's port configuration and the potential for flashing (gives you boot screen) and I can't say anything about that right now since I haven't even decided if I am going to flash it --I do not use windows and unless something has gone horribly wrong, I would be able to select the DVD as the startup drive before restarting; generally, my machine is always on anyway. Thus, the effect of the lack of boot screen might be more or less significant to you than it is to others. Game wise, the Nvidia cards generally play more games and PC gamers seem to gravitate towards them but it has been my experience that ATI cards are more reliable and with the added benefit of knowing that this is, for all intents and purposes, a 7950 and also a very popular card in both worlds, I felt that this was the right choice.
     

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