Using a PC graphic card in Mac Pro Rev.A [EFI 32] (Mac Pro 1st Gen/1.1)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by flexage, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. flexage macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Hi all!

    I have been trying to perform some research on this subject myself but my lack of experience in this area is letting me down.

    I have had an 8800GT in my Mac Pro 1.1 for about 6 months and it has now started exhibiting signs that there is a problem. I didn't know this at the time but it seems the 8800's are a bad choice due to some issues with bad joints and failures.

    Unfortunately I just can't afford the cost of one of the newer Mac Pro 1st Gen compatible cards from Apple, which run at £200 - £400 pounds, I don't have that sort of disposable income floating around. :(

    I do however have 3 spare PC Nvidia graphics cards sat around, a GeForce 8400GS, a GeForce 9500GT and an Nvidia 210.

    My question is, can any of these PC cards be flashed to work in my Mac Pro 1.1, or can any of these be used in conjunction with a "helper" card (I'm not to sure on this proceedure). Any advice, instructions and links to relevant pages would be much appreciated ;)


  2. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
  3. flexage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Hi, thanks for your reply... I am using OSX Lion at the minute, but I will quite happily downgrade or upgrade the OS as needs be ;)
  4. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    you just need the Nvidia "magic" drivers from their site for 10.7.4 and any of those cards will work, you just won't have boot screens
  5. flexage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    That's brilliant!!!

    So this way would I just have to put one of the PC cards in Slot 1 or would I still have to include my Mac card in Slot 2, 3, or 4 as well?

    Thanks for the info... I am looking for the "Magic" drivers now ;)
  6. flexage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    OK, so I've tried installing the "magic" driver package metioned further up from the Nvidia website, and when I run the installer I get an error message telling me that the package is not applicable for my model of Mac Pro (1st Gen) :(

    Is there any way around this or any other ideas on how to get any one of the cards I mentioned in my OP to work?
  7. Librarian580 macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    What you want to do is right click on the package for the magic drivers, and select "Show Package Contents". It should open a new folder, then click Contents, then click Packages.
    There should be about 5 packages within there, do "Display Driver", OpenGL Driver, and Video Driver.
    If there is only one package within that folder, Webdriver, then try that one, and let us know how it works.

    Alternatively, you can install ATY_Init, if this doesn't work

    EDIT: which OS are you using? getting it to work in SL is different from Lion.
    Edit 2: You won't need a helper card installed.
  8. flexage thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2012
    Thanks for your reply!

    I followed your instructions to the letter and everything worked!

    I now have my Inno3D GeForce 9500 GT running in both Win 7 64-bit and OS X Lion on my 1st Gen Mac Pro!!!

    Thank you so much for the help!

    Just for the record I am on Lion (10.7.4) and I right clicked the Nvidia Driver installer file as per your instructions and found the webdriver installer right where you said it would be. I then powered down the Mac, took out the failing 8800GT and inserted the 9500GT, upon powering up everything was working well as far as I've been able to tell so far.

    As a side note I'm using "BootChamp" to boot into Win7 when I need to, and Right-Clicking the Bootcamp icon in Win7 to boot back into OSX since the (alt key) boot menu is now inaccessible!

    This should hold up well until/unless I ever have to wipe and reinstall OSX in the future, at which point I can just stick the old 8800 back in for a short stint!

    Thanks to everybody for their help!!! :D
  9. Librarian580 macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2012
    Great to hear that it is working for you!
    The thing to be careful of is OS updates. Unless Apple decides to stop getting rid of the Self-Init feature, OS updates are going to break the capability, until a new magic driver from Nvidia is installed.

    Also, the 9500 is less powerful than your 8800, so you may wish to consider searching out more powerful GPU's if you're going to be doing any gaming, since any 8-series and newer will work.
  10. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that 10.7.5 will usher in a new era of Nvidia self init being built into the OS from Apple.

    Glad this worked for you.

    Thanks to the wonderful folks in Santa Clara who write us these terrififc drivers.
  11. LisAh macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    PC card on a Mac Pro?

    Hi Guys,

    I wanted to know if it's possible to run an Nvidia Geforce GTX560 video card on a 3, 1 Mac Pro (8 Core). It seems like it is possible, but I really need this info. and any help if the instructions to do so differ from the previous question.

    Thanks a bunch!


    Oh, and by the way...I'm running snow leopard..
  12. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Everything you need to know is here.

    In a nutshell:
    Get card.
    Get two power cables here.
    Upgrade to Mountain Lion and do all updates.
    Download Nvidia drivers from their website and install.
    Swap cards.
  13. avemestr macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012
    Based on your first link, it doesn't seem necessary to download and install NVIDIA drivers?
  14. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    In 10.8.1, Nvidia finally offered PCIE 2.0 performance from PC cards in OSX via an extra driver from their website.

    It is likely that they will offer similar update for 10.8.2, but until then, EFI is only way to enable using one of our cards.
  15. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Except in some limited circumstances, it is always better to use the latest video drivers from the manufacturer whenever that option is available to you.
  16. avemestr, Oct 2, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012

    avemestr macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012
    Do you have a link to said driver? I can't figure out NVIDIAs driver-selection page.

    Just to show, that I have given it a try. I go to this page:

    If I select "Product Type = GeForce" there are no OS X available under "Operating System".

    If I select "Product Type = Quadro" (even though I have a GTX 680) I get "Mac OS X Lion 10.8.2" (and others) under "Operating System". But if I select that and press search I get no hits.

    I'd love to find the place on NVIDIAs site, where I can download updated drivers for my GTX 680 in Mountain Lion.
  17. Elandrion macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2008

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