Upgrading the early-2008 MP...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Killerbob, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #1
    Guys,

    I am totally happy with the my MP Octad 2.8GHz (8800GT, 16GB RAM). It is still by far fast enough for me and I have no intentions of updating it anytime soon.

    However, what I really want is a new monitor. I have an older ViewSonic VP201b, and I have my eyes set on the 24-inch LED Cinema Display from Apple. I have been holding out for over 18 months now, waiting for the updated 30-inch CD, but to no avail:mad:

    So, to get the 24-inch CD I guess I need to upgrade the video card as well. I have seen the ATi Radeon HD 4870 upgrade kit for Mac Pros, to get a Mini DisplayPort, but are there other options?

    Any suggestions are welcome...

    KB
     
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #2
    Depends if you want Apple branded or various degrees of modification will be good enough. Apple you also get the GTX285. There is a used market for GT120 which got replaced.

    From ATI you get the 3870 Mac&PC which is kind of semi official and needs no firmware fiddling.

    And then you have a wide selection of flashed PC 4870 and related ATI cards that can be made to run by injector software.
     
  3. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #3
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    Reports have the ATI ahead in Pro apps. I will not search sources for that but I'm reasonably sure the OpenGL drivers were inferior.

    The 285 was the much quieter card though by a country mile particularly under high load. So hoping for better pro drivers the 285 would probably make you happy.

    It also depends of your port needs. If you fancy the mini display port the ATI is your card. If I'm not mistaken the NVIDIA has two dual-DVI ports which strikes me as more usefull.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    If you are dead set on the 24" Apple ACD, then the GT 120 and ATI 4870 is your only thing to get, due to Mini Display Port.

    I don't know if any of the flashed 4870/90's have the MDP.

    I would go with the 4870.
     
  6. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #6
    I was planning on getting the 24" LED ACD as well, but after much shopping and research I ended up with an HP LP2475w and an Apple 4870 (purchased used here at a nice discount) and I could not be happier with the setup. My panel does not look as physically sexy as the 24" LED ACD, but I spent $550 shipped for it. It uses an S-IPS panel, is matte and has every input imaginable. The difference in price paid for my 4870 and then some. I'm currently using the mini display port on my 4870 connected to the "normal" display port connector on the 2475, works beautifully. I picked up a mini display port to display port cable and love it, nice easy to manage cable, significantly more compact solution than a DVI cable.

    If your heart is set on the 24" LED I can definitely understand that, but there are some other panels out there that will perform at least as well for a good chunk less money.

    FWIW, I was able to get $150 for my used 8800GT on eBay as well.

    Hope that helps...
     
  7. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #7
    I know, I also looked a the high-end 30-inch Dell, but for now I'd get the Apple CD, and when the 30-inch Apple eventually comes out, I will get it. I know the 30-inch will the dog's bullocks, and then my wife can take over the 24-inch one, to use with her MBA.

    I thought I read somewhere that the GTX285/295 was available with a Mini DisplayPort. Was that just in my head?

    KB
     
  8. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    Yup. Apples nvidia is dual link dvi only. No adaptor exists that I know of to go from DVI to MDP.

    Kind of silly.
     
  9. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #9
    This is the company that I got my mini display port to display port cable from. They have quite a few different type of adapters, I'm wondering if they might be able to fashion a female display port to Male DVI adapter?

    Circuit Assembly eStore

    ... Basically this connector with a DVI Male on the other end: MDP Female to DP

    The dual link issue may still be a problem though. Might be worth a call. The cable I got is a nice high quality piece.
     
  10. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    Looks like they are trying, but who knows how long they have had this up.

    link to DVI to MDP conversion
     
  11. Killerbob thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #11
    I have a friend who works for one of the major computer hardware companies in Germany (not that there are many), and she is adamant that this conversion is not (easily) technically possible. It has something to do with the frequencies and bands that the DVI signal send, which are not at all in line with the ones the MDP needs.

    So, I guess it is time to shop around for a ATi 4870, and the 24-inch ACD:cool:

    KB
     

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