Two Mac Pro Questions

applereviewguy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 22, 2011
117
0
So I got a Mac Pro 3,1 for $200, which is pretty cool, and I'm looking to upgrade the RAM (it only has 3GB). Do you actually need the Apple type with the heatsink, like the one Macsales sells, or can you use different brands like this: http://www.serversupply.com/products/part_search/pid_query.asp?pid=157162?

The last question is can you use a 7xxx series AMD GPU or a 7xx NVIDIA card without flashing?

Thanks,
Alex
 
Last edited:

jaxhunter

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2012
118
15
Maryland Eastern Shore
You definitely need RAM modules with heatsinks and it would be best if you get them so they are compliant with Apple specs. Apple sized them to fit properly and work with the cooling system in the case. If you get modules that are not Apple compliant then your fans will run at higher speeds.

But really that is the only consequence (unless you get modules with giant heat sinks that don't fit in the case, which is a different problem). You do not need the Apple RAM, just Apple spec compliant RAM.

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Also, I believe people have successfully used both of those series of cards in Mac Pros, but I do not recall where the starting line was. I believe the biggest issues are the 64-bit EFI and power. I'm reasonably certain the 3,1 can handle those card but if you go high end on them you may need to look at an auxiliary GPU power supply. I won't go into huge detail on this though because there are many threads on this forum dedicated to the subject of video cards upgrades for the Mac Pro.

Without flashing the cards though you will not see any boot screens. You will have no display until the OS loads. Also, some features may not work properly.
 

xcodeSyn

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2012
548
5
So I got a Mac Pro 3,1 for $200, which is pretty cool, and I'm looking to upgrade the RAM (it only has 3GB). Do you actually need the Apple type with the heatsink, like the one Macsales sells, or can you use different brands like this: http://www.serversupply.com/products/part_search/pid_query.asp?pid=157162?
You can only use dual-rank (2R) FB-DIMMs for your 3,1 as explained in this thread. Many people in the past got burned by buying the wrong kind of FB-DIMMs which don't work with their MPs. If the seller can't tell whether they are selling dual rank FB-DIMMs and the price is too good, then chances are they are not for you.

The last question is can you use a 7xxx series AMD GPU or a 7xx NVIDIA card without flashing?
As long as you are running OS X 10.8.5 or 10.9, the AMD HD 7870, 7950, and 7970 and NVIDIA GTX 760 and 770 should work out of the box. But you need to be careful about the TDP of certain overclocked 7970 models.
 

applereviewguy

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 22, 2011
117
0
Also, just wanted to let you guys know I let go of the machine to my good friend- he's been wanting to switch to Mac for a while, so I am going to add some RAM into it for him.

Thanks All!

(now off to find another Mac Pro, lets try for a 2009 this time :D do a W3680 swap)
 

westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
Also, just wanted to let you guys know I let go of the machine to my good friend- he's been wanting to switch to Mac for a while, so I am going to add some RAM into it for him.

Thanks All!

(now off to find another Mac Pro, lets try for a 2009 this time :D do a W3680 swap)
You can also transfer the heatsinks from the old sticks to newer bigger sticks. That's what I did on mine. Temps dropped about 10*C on the replacement memory compared to flat heat spreaders they came with. Of course you can't use the old sticks at that point.