Upgrade video card MP 5,1 with ACD mDP

GMunroe

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2012
49
1
Hi, I am looking to replace my aging 5870 video card in my 6 core Mac Pro 5,1 with Apple Cinema Display running High Sierra APFS on a Samsung EVO ssd . My main question that I have been looking for an answer for is if the comparatively newer nvidia cards.. like the 1050ti will work with my particular setup? I like the price @$200 and it has a Display port. Will it be a significant enough upgrade? Apart from the video card, I find no issue in my use that would justify the cost of a new Mac. yet.

The two concerns for me is 1) will it boot, and if it does take me to the desktop, 2) will the fact that I will have to use a female miniDisplay port to male Display port adapter cause an issue with the signal from the card to the ACD?

My uses vary, from media server/photos/light photography editing (photoshop) to at most some gaming (Battlefield 4, etc) in Bootcamp Win10. I also have looked at a similarly priced PNY GTX 970 with 3 mini display ports without the need for an mini display port adapter. Any other suggestions welcome.. like sell and buy/build something else, whatever is valid. Please feel free.

I will likely look at a AC wireless/bluetooth card pkg if I stick with the iPhone for the handoff continuity.
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,021
95
Oregon
Doesn't your ACD use a DVI connector? My 30" ACD is DVI, and when I had other cards, I used an Apple active DVI to mDP adapter, but now that I have a 980 Ti with DisplayPort instead of mini DisplayPort, I use a $10 adapter from Monoprice. Check to see if your ACD has an adapter on it already, and take that one off first.

Product
12784 DisplayPort 1.2a to DVI Active Adapter, Black 1 $9.99 $9.99
 

GMunroe

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2012
49
1
Doesn't your ACD use a DVI connector? My 30" ACD is DVI, and when I had other cards, I used an Apple active DVI to mDP adapter, but now that I have a 980 Ti with DisplayPort instead of mini DisplayPort, I use a $10 adapter from Monoprice. Check to see if your ACD has an adapter on it already, and take that one off first.

Product
12784 DisplayPort 1.2a to DVI Active Adapter, Black 1 $9.99 $9.99
I should have been more specific, sorry. My Apple Cinema display is the 27 inch version with a USB, magsafe and MiniDP. Otherwise, that would be the ideal solution.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,799
5,617
Hong Kong
For your usage, it seems the best Nvidia card for you is the famous GTX680 (self flash for boot screen).

Since you are low demand on GPU power, IMO, it's not worth to deal with the Maxwell / Pascal driver issue. It's not fun at all. A simple mistake may cause your Mac in a boot loop, or nothing to display, etc.

If you want direct mDP support, HD7950 is a good choice. That's quite a bit stronger than the 5870, and should be good enough for your work. Reference HD7950 come with dual mDP and dual ROM, which gives you direct connection to the 27" ACD without any adaptor, also makes you fail safe when flash it to get the boot screen.
 

GMunroe

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2012
49
1
For your usage, it seems the best Nvidia card for you is the famous GTX680 (self flash for boot screen).

Since you are low demand on GPU power, IMO, it's not worth to deal with the Maxwell / Pascal driver issue. It's not fun at all. A simple mistake may cause your Mac in a boot loop, or nothing to display, etc.

If you want direct mDP support, HD7950 is a good choice. That's quite a bit stronger than the 5870, and should be good enough for your work. Reference HD7950 come with dual mDP and dual ROM, which gives you direct connection to the 27" ACD without any adaptor, also makes you fail safe when flash it to get the boot screen.
Thanks for that info. Those cards are not an easy thing to find now, either not in stock (amazon etc.) or on ebay for a decent price. I'll keep an eye on the used ads. For new, I see the PNY XLR8 gtx 970 4GB which is unfortunately out of stock, for just over $200. I was hoping that would do the trick, but I'd don't want something that is more trouble than its worth.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,799
5,617
Hong Kong
Thanks for that info. Those cards are not an easy thing to find now, either not in stock (amazon etc.) or on ebay for a decent price. I'll keep an eye on the used ads. For new, I see the PNY XLR8 gtx 970 4GB which is unfortunately out of stock, for just over $200. I was hoping that would do the trick, but I'd don't want something that is more trouble than its worth.
It should not be too hard to get a used 7950 (also named as R9 280), and it’s very possible to get it below $100.
 

Naimfan

Suspended
Jan 15, 2003
4,669
1,996
You could also use an AMD RX 560/70/80. I bought a RX 580 and it worked right off the bat - no drivers, etc, needed.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,799
5,617
Hong Kong
You could also use an AMD RX 560/70/80. I bought a RX 580 and it worked right off the bat - no drivers, etc, needed.
I agree that RX580 is a good choice, except it’s a bit over price now, and no boot screen available. But as long as OP keep the 5870 in a safe place for emergency use. Boot screen ability generally don’t really matter.

But I will still avoid the RX560 and RX570, they are not that much cheaper, but may suddenly lost native driver support after an OS update. IMO, not worth to take that risk.
 
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GMunroe

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 24, 2012
49
1
I agree that RX580 is a good choice, except it’s a bit over price now, and no boot screen available. But as long as OP keep the 5870 in a safe place for emergency use. Boot screen ability generally don’t really matter.

But I will still avoid the RX560 and RX570, they are not that much cheaper, but may suddenly lost native driver support after an OS update. IMO, not worth to take that risk.
I would definitely hold on to the 5870 for when I need boot screen etc. It is working good, just a little old. At the moment I am waiting on whatever I find for a @$200 - $250 price range new or used. I don't want to sink in too much money, but upgrading my entire system would be quite expensive given the useful performance increase for a general home computer running MacOS. Running mostly as a server for media files and spam filter for my iCloud account but I would like to play the odd game on in bootcamp. Concerning the ACD with miniDP I haven't any issues with that either, save for the more difficult to partner video cards. My standing Amazon order for the GTX970 is still there, although may never restock.