"upgrading" GPU on mac Pro 1,1

mcthrill

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
Recently, the video card (ATI Radeon 3870) on my Mac Pro 1,1 died. I have been searching for a replacement, and not having much luck. However, I've found 2 likely candidates and need some advice on which to pick.

The first is a Nvidia 8800GT 512MB, for $200
The second is an ATI Radeon 5770 1GB, for $266

Price to performance wise, the 5770 wins for sure. However, I'm not too sure it will work in my computer if I don't have Snow Leopard installed (before my computer became inoperable, I only had 10.5.8 installed on it). I have already purchased one card (gt 120) which didn't work as I only have a 1,1 mac pro and I am looking to avoid future mistakes. I know that I will have to upgrade to Snow Leopard to get the drivers for the ATI card, but will i be able to at least boot up my computer and install snow leopard on it if I buy the ATI, possibly in a limited resolution or color mode?

It really, really sucks that these are my only options for upgrading. Anecdotal evidence from Amazon customer reviews says that the 5770 will work on a 1,1 mac pro, but I have no idea if any of those users had snow leopard installed or not. Any help appreciated, thank you so much.

mac Pro 1,1
OSX 10.5.8
6GB Ram
quad-core 2.66Ghz
no video card :(
 
Last edited:

ashman70

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2010
942
0
If these are Mac models, then go for the 5770, it will work in your Mac Pro 1,1 I had one in my Mac Pro 1,1 for almost a year, fantastic card, and well worth the money IMO.

Just noticed you mentioned 10.5.8 are you still on Leopard or did you upgrade to Snow Leopard or Lion? I know the 5770 will work in Snow Leopard or Lion, not sure about Leopard though.
 

mcthrill

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
If these are Mac models, then go for the 5770, it will work in your Mac Pro 1,1 I had one in my Mac Pro 1,1 for almost a year, fantastic card, and well worth the money IMO.
It is the Mac model, yes. Just curious, did you have Snow Leopard running when you installed it? That is literally my only concern about buying the 5770.
 

ashman70

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2010
942
0
Yes when I got my Mac Pro 1,1 it was running Snow Leopard, and I had no issues running the card which is also fully supported in Lion. If you are buying the card used, make sure it comes with a power cable, its a power cable that goes from the video card to the motherboard, the card won't function without it.
 

mcthrill

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
Ahhh, that's my problem - I'm running Leopard, the version right before snow leopard. I've read that snow leopard was the first version of OSX that had drivers for those cards, and that's why I'm concerned about not having it installed. I have no way of upgrading to snow leopard until I get a video card, so I don't want to buy a video card that requires me to upgrade to snow leopard first. Thanks for the recommendation on the 5770 though, if I hear that it'll work without snow leopard I'll definitely pick it up.
 

mcthrill

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
I don't see how I can, I have no video card at all right now so I can't even boot up my computer until I have one. If you can think of a way to do so, i'd love to hear it - the 5770 is sounding nice.
 

ashman70

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2010
942
0
Yeah it looks like the 5770 was supported as of 10.6.4 in Snow Leopard. Do you have a current backup? You could always buy the card, boot up off a Snow Leopard DVD, and install fresh? Just an idea.
 

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
Yeah it looks like the 5770 was supported as of 10.6.4 in Snow Leopard. Do you have a current backup? You could always buy the card, boot up off a Snow Leopard DVD, and install fresh? Just an idea.
he cant boot SL dvd if he has one that is 10.6.0 version.
it will kp with 5770.
 

ashman70

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2010
942
0
Are all SL discs 10.6.0 or are there some that are newer builds? He would need one of at least 10.6.4
 

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
there are 10.6.4 ones.

if his is not, I would say OP could download one "illegally" (don't think it is if you own a license) that is of newer version. actually saves both apple and him trouble, cause only other option is to call them and get a newer disc.
 

mcthrill

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 6, 2012
7
0
Well, after looking around it seems that the 5770 WILL allow you to boot to desktop, you just can't run any applications needing hardware acceleration because 10.5.8 won't have the drivers. But, it will allow you to upgrade to 10.6 with a disk. While I don't have a disk now, I can head to a nearby apple store and get one. I'll make sure to pick up one that is 10.6.4, thanks for the heads up, Cindori.
 

Fangio

macrumors 6502
Jan 25, 2011
325
296
On topic first, I would recommend the 5770 also. Couldn't be happier with it.

I have a slightly OT question though, just out of curiosity. Reading this thread, I wonder why it's possible to start my MP 1,1, running the ATI as main GPU, but using another startup disk w/Leopard 10.5.8? The machine will even boot from a 4th disk and 10.4.11 Tiger?

Is that because the original NVIDIA 7300 GT is still inside and funktional, moved to slot 4 but not connected to a monitor?
 

Fangio

macrumors 6502
Jan 25, 2011
325
296
Anyone? Pics or it didn't happen?
I have added 2 screenshots.

Btw I hope this question is not considered inappropriate for some reason, or even a thread hijack? :eek: If so, I'd like to apologize to the OP.

... it looks like the 5770 was supported as of 10.6.4 in Snow Leopard.
 

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Cindori

macrumors 68040
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
without any tweaks? that's pretty nice! usually unsupported cards will boot 1024x767 (just "generic vga driver") which you can get to 1920x1200 with some tweaks.

no quartz extreme enabled, so you won't get anywhere near full performance. still not supported ;)

I believe it's a different story when booting DVD's, they tend to just KP instead of using some generic driver. atleast did for me when I used MP 1,1 restore disc from 2006 with nvidia 8800gt released in 2007
 

Fangio

macrumors 6502
Jan 25, 2011
325
296
without any tweaks? that's pretty nice! usually unsupported cards will boot 1024x768 (just "generic vga driver") which you can get to 1920x1200 with some tweaks.
No tweaks.
no quartz extreme enabled, so you won't get anywhere near full performance. still not supported ;)
You're right of course. :) Wish there were ways to enable it..?

Maybe just good to know anyway. QE support is not a must for all applications.
Thanks for answering (and all the R&D you do and share btw).
 

minifridge1138

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
1,045
65
To the OP, do you have any friends with a Mac that could lend a hand?

If so, there are some more options for you.