Two Video Cards in Mac Pro 1,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rokeneer, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Rokeneer macrumors regular

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    #1
  2. Graeme43 macrumors 6502a

    Graeme43

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    #2
    I have a 1,1 and I have one card running at 16x (4870) PCI-E and the other at 4x (7300GT)

    So you would probably lose performance on one of them due to the limitations of the PCI-E system... unless 8x is enough for both

    Not sure on that card tho but id wonder about the power plugs
     
  3. strwrsfrk, Feb 26, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012

    strwrsfrk macrumors regular

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    #3
    I just repaired a Mac Pro and put two 5770s in it. You can set which PCI expansion slots to run at x16 and which to run lower, if you want to run two cards at once.

    Make sure you have the power connector(s) you need; I got mine from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UR1654/ref=oh_o02_s00_i00_details

    I don't know much about the x1900, but 5770s each require a 6-pin power connector, and a 5870 would require both (your Mac Pro has two such plugs in the motherboard by the 1st and 2nd HDD trays).

    I think the 5870 is the most powerful standard component option available to you that will run natively out of the box, and its performance for games is quite good. Browse eBay and Craigslist; I got my 5770s for about $60/ea, and you could probably find similar deals from people who are upgrading their rigs.
     
  4. Rokeneer thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    The one in it uses one power cord I believe. You are saying that the 5870 uses two? If so, how many does the computer have?
     
  5. CaptainChunk, Feb 26, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012

    CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #5
    Yes, the 5870 uses two auxiliary PCIe power cables. All Mac Pro logic boards have two PCIe power headers. If you need three auxiliary feeds, you'll have to either branch off of an unused Molex power connector (like the one for the lower optical drive bay, assuming nothing's installed there) with an adapter or run a secondary PSU. Several companies make small PSUs that fit in an optical drive bay.

    However...

    Unless you plan on running more than two displays, there's very little point in keeping the old X1900XT in your machine after you upgrade. A newer card should run your older games just fine. Just keep in mind that 5770/5870 cards require Mac OS 10.6.4 or above to work (otherwise they won't have drivers). So, if you're running an older version of Mac OS, you'll need to upgrade first.
     
  6. Rokeneer thread starter macrumors regular

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  7. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #7
    why would you want to keep your x1900?

    its not like old games are only compatible with old graphic cards
     
  8. strwrsfrk macrumors regular

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    #8
    Yes, the 5870 would use two. If the x1900 uses a 6-pin PCIe power connector, then you can re-use its cable for whatever video card(s) you use to upgrade.

    That will probably run. If you browse the forums, you'll see that a lot of people (myself included) generally have luck with XFX cards. This is not the exact card I used, but it should be very similar. You should be able to find 5870s for less than $475. The Apple-specific card is that much, maybe, but PC components are not.

    And if I understand your question about the 2nd optical drive correctly, then yes: if you simply swap a 5770 in in place of the x1900, you will not need to purchase or install any new cables.

    This. Once you start seriously adding more hardware that requires more power (like additional video cards), you're going to have a much more serious project on your hands. Very doable, but a hassle. And I HATE dealing with PSUs, so adding additional units are generally something I try and avoid.

    My understanding breaks down a bit here. I think both the 5770s and 5870 will support three displays under Mac OSX using dual-link DVI (if I'm wrong, someone please correct me). If I am indeed wrong, and you require a second low-power card for your third monitor, might I suggest finding an original Apple 7300GT? It's a god awful card to use as your primary GPU, but for simply running an extra display, it should do nicely. It also has no additional power requirements other than the PCI slot: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...3&_nkw=apple+7300gt&_sacat=See-All-Categories.
     
  9. Rokeneer thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Ok, so what I understand is that any radeon hd 5xxx will work in it. I am however eyeing up the 6970. How many (if any) of the 6xxx gpu's work if I flash it to the Mac?
     
  10. strwrsfrk macrumors regular

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    #11
    Many people use 6870s OOB. No flash required.

    Some people have reported success with the 6950s without flashing. There apparently is a 6970 ROM floating around, but I've never used it, so I cannot say as to its effectiveness. Something to keep in mind is that the 6970 uses a 6-pin and an 8-pin PCIe power cable, so you will need to get an adapter or something to properly power it.
     

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