More efficient GPU with EFI for my Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by estutmirleid, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. estutmirleid, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013

    estutmirleid macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012

    Is it possible to improve on the stock 5770 that I currently have in my 2010 Mac Pro such that (in order of importance, most important first):

    1) it remains compatible with the EFI boot (ie. doesn't require bootchamp etc.)
    2) it is more energy-efficient (ie. draws less power whilst offering equal performance)
    3) offers better performance for Windows 7 gaming (Fallout 3/NV)
    4) offers better performance for Mac gaming (Bioshock 2, CoD 4: MW)

    Ideally I'd like it to wholly replace the 5770 I currently have, with a view to selling it on and recouping some of the cost of this projected new card.

    It's a long time since I bought a graphics card so I'm really behind the curve. Advice is welcomed.

    Thanks :)
  2. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    There are some EFI flashed cards sold by Macvidcards that may suit your needs. Maybe someone can link his Vendor page?
  3. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2012
    This criterion basically cancels out your other criteria. It's true that you could get an EFI version of the GTX 570 from MVC on eBay, but most people buy it now for CUDA, not for gaming, since the GTX 6xx series has much better gaming performance and consumes less power. One alternative is to sell your 5770, get a used GT 120 for boot screen, then get a GTX 670/680 for best gaming performance. Or you could wait for Apple's next generation video cards with EFI.
  4. estutmirleid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
    Just on this point: I've just read here that the Idle power draw of my 5770 is 18W, whilst the GTX 670 is between 100 and 120! Whilst when I'm gaming through Boot Camp this isn't going to be an issue, if I'm booting into the Mac and not gaming, this is really going to add to my electric bill (here in the UK that's a legitimate concern, as DanielCoffey will confirm). Is this low idle power an AMD-only feature?

    Oops, I meant to add that I don't mind if I have to perform the EFI flashing myself to make the card meet my criteria. All I care is that, after performing the flashing, the card remain stable and all of its features.

    Oh, which reminds me, I read during my brief research on this topic today about how the flashing procedure makes graphics cards work with PCIe 2.0 on the Mac side, but only PCIe 1.0 on the Windows 7 side. Is that still the case? Is that likely to form an unacceptable bottleneck with a new GPU?
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    The 5770 was already a pretty good balance for energy use/power. I'm not sure there are any cards that dramatically improve on that.

    Given the combined power use of your machine though, a 100-120 watt card may not be that big of a deal.
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
  7. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2012
    As 666sheep already pointed out, the 100 and 120 you cited were for total system idle power, the GTX 670 in general consumes less than 18W when idle because it's a much newer design than the 5770/5870 generation.
  8. estutmirleid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
  9. estutmirleid thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
    Well, turns out I don't need a GPU upgrade. Instead, I installed Tiny7 and found that the FPS increase in my games was more than sufficient - phenomenal actually.

    If you've got a license for Windows 7 Ultimate and play a lot of games, I highly recommend using Tiny7. What. A. Difference. You may find you have to install an audio codec pack though.

    Cheers to all those who responded :)

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