New graphic cards and old Mac Pros

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mikee1979, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. mikee1979 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #1
    With the new generation of graphics cards coming out all being PCIX 2, does this mean that the 2006 mac pros won't be able to upgrade? I know the 8800gt had to have a special verison released for the 2006 mac pro, but am I right in saying that ati cards all work on the 2006 mac pros including the 3870. Will this be the case I wonder for the next ati cards?
     
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #2
    If ATI does the same thing they did for the 3870, there's no reason to expect the newer cards not to work in pre-2008 Mac Pros. The only reason the 8800 GT didn't work in both 2006 and 2008 Mac Pros was because it didn't have a large enough ROM to hold both, while the 3870 did.
     
  3. tobyg macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #3
    Wow. So much inaccuracy here it's not even funny.

    First, no Mac Pro's have PCI-X slots. They are PCIe, PCI Express. The old PCI-X, PCI eXtended, slots are quite different and neither are compatible with each other.

    And secondly, the reason they had to come out with a different version is not because of ROM size but because they only developed the 8800GT originally to work with EFI64, which is what the new Early 2008 Mac Pro's use. They had to redevelop the ROM to work for EFI32. Now why they can't make a single card that works in both is beyond me. Maybe ultimately it is size related, but that wasn't the initial reason. And I doubt it's size related as ATI has been able to do it (make their 3870 card compatible with PC Bios, Mac EFI32 and EFI64) without making multiple cards and still a single 128K ROM. I think the only reason they don't make a single card to handle both now is because they don't have to, and this way they can make us buy new 8800GT's if we ever upgrade from our old Quad 2.66 to the newer Octo Early 2008 Mac Pro's.
     
  4. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #4
    You just contradicted yourself there. :p You can't say 'It's not because of the ROM' first and then say 'It's because of the ROM' second. It either is or isn't, and in this case, it is. The 8800 GTs for the 2006 and 2008 Mac Pros have only 64kb ROMs, unlike the 3870, which as you indicated has 128kb.
     
  5. mikee1979 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #5

    Was'nt meant to be funny.
     
  6. tobyg macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #6
    I didn't contradict myself. Initially the reason was because of the EFI64/EFI32 issue. Now, why they continue to make two new cards might be because they are not smart enough to combine them and make them functional on both without larger ROMS.

    The 8800 GT's for the 2006 and 2008 Mac Pro's have 128KB ROMs, not 64KB. Do some checking. The file size of the EFI32 8800GT rom is 112,640 bytes. The EFI32 8800GT rom is 126,464 bytes.

    So maybe they reason they still have to separate cards is because they aren't smart enough to join the two, as ATI has, and make a single compatible card. But initially the reason wasn't anything to do with the ROM size, it's because they 'forgot' to test it in the EFI32 old 2006 Mac Pro's.

    So in this case, it isn't.

    I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just stating facts.
     
  7. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #7
    So I might've been wrong about the ROM size, but I'm still right about the cards not having enough space to store them both. If you don't have the ROMs for both, then it won't work. No testing needed. Didn't you read about people buying the 2008 8800 GTs and discovering they didn't work in their 2006 MPs? Testing wouldn't have fixed that –*adding the ROM in would.

    I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just stating facts.
     
  8. tobyg macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #8
    Yes, I did read about it. And the issue is they only included a rom that was compatible with EFI64, that's why it wouldn't work in a 2006 Mac Pro. ATI includes a rom that is compatible with PC (Standard BIOS), EFI64 and EFI32. There is no reason they couldn't combine the two roms (I'm sure 95% of the code in the rom is the same) on the 8800 GT and have plenty of space to fit in a 128k rom, I believe they're just lazy now. If you recall, they didn't come out with the cards at the same time. So it's not as if they already tried and decided the rom was too small to fit both so they had to come out with 2 cards. They were just too lazy to test it on an original Mac Pro and make a fully compatible EFI32/EFI64 rom. So now they have 2 cards, most likely not because of the rom size, but because of being lazy.

    This has gotten way off topic. I think we're done with this thread.
     

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