PC PCIe Video Card Experience with a Mac Pro

superorc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
11
0
I just got a Mac Pro just over a week ago. My PC had a eVGA 7800 GT graphics card in it, which I really wanted to get working in my Mac, at least under Boot Camp. Well I moved my 7300GT to the top slot, and put my 7800GT in the bottom slot. I had the display hooked to my 7800GT and when OS X launched, the screen was blank. So I switched the video cable to the 7300GT and OS X came up. I went to system profiler and the 7800GT showed as G70 dispaly. I switched the cable back to it, and low and behold Mac OS X showed up on the 7800GT. I ran glxinfo and glxgears in Apple's X11, and it was reporting the video card as a 7800 GT, also glxgears was giving out a 2x increase. So I loaded up World of Warcraft, and it ran ALOT better then the 7300GT was capable of. Did some benchmarking with Quake3 (only Mac OS X game I could find with a built in benchmarking tool) and the 7300 GT got 400 fps at the highest settings my monitor can handle, while with the same settings my 7800GT got 600 fps.
System Profiler Link
 

Wintrmte

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2006
117
25
Idaho
superorc said:
I just got a Mac Pro just over a week ago. My PC had a eVGA 7800 GT graphics card in it, which I really wanted to get working in my Mac, at least under Boot Camp. Well I moved my 7300GT to the top slot, and put my 7800GT in the bottom slot. I had the display hooked to my 7800GT and when OS X launched, the screen was blank. So I switched the video cable to the 7300GT and OS X came up. I went to system profiler and the 7800GT showed as G70 dispaly. I switched the cable back to it, and low and behold Mac OS X showed up on the 7800GT. I ran glxinfo and glxgears in Apple's X11, and it was reporting the video card as a 7800 GT, also glxgears was giving out a 2x increase. So I loaded up World of Warcraft, and it ran ALOT better then the 7300GT was capable of. Did some benchmarking with Quake3 (only Mac OS X game I could find with a built in benchmarking tool) and the 7300 GT got 400 fps at the highest settings my monitor can handle, while with the same settings my 7800GT got 600 fps.
System Profiler Link

How did you get power to the 7800GT ?
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,856
387
London, UK
Wow, that's great news. It shows that OS X does not use the EFI part at all in the driver but only for initialising the card on initial boot up. Maybe someone can extract the EFI part of the 7300gt or Quadro bios and add it onto the regular bios of a generic GeForce card.
 

superorc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
11
0
Wintrmte said:
How did you get power to the 7800GT ?
I currently have my old PC sitting next to my Mac Pro with the sides off ATM and a PCIe power connector running from the PC into my Mac Pro. Hope to remedy that somehow in the coming days.
 

Wintrmte

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2006
117
25
Idaho
I just tried it with a BFG 7600 GT OC card in the same exact configuration (7300GT in the top PCI-e slot, 7600 in the bottom) I was not able to get the 7600 to detect that there was a display plugged into it.

Oh well. :S My 1900XT will ship soon enough.
 

aiongiant

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
542
0
sweet! thats definetly good news!!
now gotta figure out why your 7800 card works but Wintrmte 7600 card didn't
any chance that OC deal has something to do with it?
or maybe it's a brand thing? eVGA guys do anything special to thier cards?
 

superorc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
11
0
Did you do these things:

1. Leave the 7300 GT in?
2. Boot up with the monitor plugged into the 7600?
3. When OS X comes up did you switch the monitor to the 7300?
4. After the the 7300GT display comes up did you switch the monitor back to the 7600?

Also try different DVI ports as for some reason I had to use specific DVI ports.

Also if the 7300 works when the 7600 GT is in the system, see if you can see anything in System Profiler.
 

superorc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
11
0
Yeah it doesn't look like eVGA does anything fancy with their cards.
 

aiongiant

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
542
0
i would try something but i don't have any spare G70 chip card
i am planning to buy a 7950 GX2 card for my Mac Pro under Windows but if a card that works on both that would be sweet! (waiting a lil bit maybe near end of the month as a new nvidia card is suppose to come out G80 series)

i think we need more ppl to test it out for us to figure out what made it work!
 

displaced

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2003
1,425
180
Gravesend, United Kingdom
superorc said:
I currently have my old PC sitting next to my Mac Pro with the sides off ATM and a PCIe power connector running from the PC into my Mac Pro. Hope to remedy that somehow in the coming days.
ghetto! (cool :))

One of these should do the trick. However, you might be able to hack something up yourself. Does the MP's optical drive use a SATA power connector or a ye olde Molex one?
 

aiongiant

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
542
0
it uses the normal IDE power connection

possible to route it down to the vid card? not sure never tried but i think some ppl here have it going?

i ahve the 7300 right now... havn't really looked into it
but isnt' terhe a power plug for the vid card like the x1900 and the quardro right tehre in the vid card slot?
 

displaced

macrumors 65816
Jun 23, 2003
1,425
180
Gravesend, United Kingdom
aiongiant said:
it uses the normal IDE power connection

possible to route it down to the vid card? not sure never tried but i think some ppl here have it going?

i ahve the 7300 right now... havn't really looked into it
but isnt' terhe a power plug for the vid card like the x1900 and the quardro right tehre in the vid card slot?
Good point! Surely the BTO VGA card for the Mac Pro's require external power... so you're probably right - there's most likely a power connector somewhere on the board... unless Apple run an extension off the optical drive's power connection with a nicely routed cable.

If not, it's easy to do something yourself with the IDE's optical cable. Most VGA cards that require external power, and even PC case fans, usually come with a Y-splitter -- one power socket running into two power plugs - one for the existing device (the optical drive) and another for the new VGA card. Length will probably be an issue, but you can either buy an extension or make one yourself. The cables are colour coded, so (for the love of Jeebus!) make sure you get it right :) My now-retired PC was a rat's nest of self-made extended power cables, mostly for the crazy amount of fans required to stop it melting through to the core of the planet.
 

superorc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
11
0
Whelp I took a look at the PCIe connectors on the motherboard, looks like an Apple non-standard PCIe power connector. Anyways so I'm back to the ghetto configuration at the moment, and the display trick still works.
 

superorc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
11
0
Spanky Deluxe said:
Wow, that's great news. It shows that OS X does not use the EFI part at all in the driver but only for initialising the card on initial boot up. Maybe someone can extract the EFI part of the 7300gt or Quadro bios and add it onto the regular bios of a generic GeForce card.
I think thats highly unlikely, as from what I remember the EFI 7300GT has a 128kbyte ROM chip while normal 7xxx series nVidia cards have a 64 kbyte ROM chip. So it won't fit.
 

Wintrmte

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2006
117
25
Idaho
Here's what I tried:

I placed the 7600 GT OC in the slot where the 7300 GT was. I placed the 7300 GT into the top slot.

I had two monitors with DVI ports, so I plugged a monitor into the 7600 GT, and a monitor into the 7300 GT.

When I started up OSX, the 7300 GT came on (as expected) but was greated with a PCI Express application asking me to change the speed (do I want full 16x access on the graphics, or do I want to split it across).

I opted to leave things as they were and the machine rebooted.

The machine came back up (again on the 7300GT). The monitor that was connected to the 7600GT was blank. I went into the profiler and it did see two cards:

G73 Card
NVIDIA 7300 GT

When I clicked on the G73 (7600 GT) card, it said there was no display connected. I tried both DVI ports, no response.

I also rebooted with the monitor plugged into the 7600GT card first, then moved it to the 7300, same thing. :(
 

Wintrmte

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2006
117
25
Idaho
superorc said:
Whelp I took a look at the PCIe connectors on the motherboard, looks like an Apple non-standard PCIe power connector. Anyways so I'm back to the ghetto configuration at the moment, and the display trick still works.
So, do you have to switch monitor cables every time you reboot (it's not often, it's a Mac. ;) )?
 

fuzzylogic12

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2006
1
0
My PNY 7800GT also works. I currently have it in slot 4 (top - not optimal) with my 7300GT in its original slot (1).

I made a power extension cable from the optical bays to the 7800GT by cutting off a lengthy piece of power cable with molex connectors from an old power supply. I then spliced it into a molex power splitter I had in a junk drawer. I had to make four splices -- one for each of the four wires.

Works great once OS X is approaching the login window. Prior to that there is no video. I haven't tried it in Windows yet; but I will soon. BTW, I have one analog and one digital (DVI) monitor attached to each card (4 LCDs total). No issues with Mac OS X detecting the displays.

For Wintrmte: Can you try an analog monitor (DB-15) to see if it works?
 

stapler

macrumors member
Sep 3, 2006
73
0
superorc said:
I currently have my old PC sitting next to my Mac Pro with the sides off ATM and a PCIe power connector running from the PC into my Mac Pro. Hope to remedy that somehow in the coming days.
We'll probably gain some insight into this once people post pictures of their X1900 XT Macs.
 

Wintrmte

macrumors regular
Aug 21, 2006
117
25
Idaho
fuzzylogic12 said:
My PNY 7800GT also works. I currently have it in slot 4 (top - not optimal) with my 7300GT in its original slot (1).

I made a power extension cable from the optical bays to the 7800GT by cutting off a lengthy piece of power cable with molex connectors from an old power supply. I then spliced it into a molex power splitter I had in a junk drawer. I had to make four splices -- one for each of the four wires.

Works great once OS X is approaching the login window. Prior to that there is no video. I haven't tried it in Windows yet; but I will soon. BTW, I have one analog and one digital (DVI) monitor attached to each card (4 LCDs total). No issues with Mac OS X detecting the displays.

For Wintrmte: Can you try an analog monitor (DB-15) to see if it works?
The 7600 GT OC card I have doesn't have any analog ports. I'll give this another try when I get home and post my results.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,856
387
London, UK
Maybe some people could try out a 7900 GTX. Now that really would be interesting. This is great news that these other cards are working though.
 

aiongiant

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2006
542
0
Spanky Deluxe said:
Maybe some people could try out a 7900 GTX. Now that really would be interesting. This is great news that these other cards are working though.
yea and maybe a 7950GX2 :D since i plan to get that one hehe
 

superorc

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
11
0
Spanky Deluxe said:
Maybe some people could try out a 7900 GTX. Now that really would be interesting. This is great news that these other cards are working though.
I also want to point out that this is all done with no software/hardware hacks, other then getting power to the new PCIe video card. It just uses the stock OS X nVidia drivers. I'm also glad it works for you fuzzylogic.