Video card for Leopard (not Snow) and Lion

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Duarte Costa, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Duarte Costa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Location:
    Portugal
    #1
    Hello there,

    I have a early 2008 MAC PRO, running LEOPARD (10.5.8) and Lion (that I will update to Mavericks very soon), on a dual boot system.
    I really have to keep Leopard, because it is the last OSX system that works with my film scanners drivers and software. There are no updates for the newer OSX systems.

    I plan to keep my Mac PRO for a couple of years more. It still is very competent with the tasks I throw at him. Photography Retouching and Video (with not so much of motion graphics and FX) are my main occupations.
    So I decided to give it a new life by removing the HDD's and replacing them with SSD's, upgrading the RAM and was planning to buy a new video card, since mine is the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT.

    Although I don't know much about drivers and compatibility issues, I figured it will not be possible to buy a recent video card and expect it to work with a operating system that is 4 years old, at least, without some tweaking. And I imagine there are also hardware limitations, regarding the MAC PRO itself.

    So, looking at the options I know that will work for sure, I came up with two possibilitys:

    NVIDIA Quadro 5400FX 1.5 Gb

    or

    NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 1.5 Gb

    These are very good cards, but I really wanted to know if there are any other options for using a newer card, with this two OSX sytems. I guess that faster DDR5 memory, new drivers, new architecture design will make quite a difference.

    I really appreciate any help you can give me!

    Duarte
     
  2. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #2
    10.5.8 is your limiting factor, you won't be able to upgrade your graphics card much beyond anything released around 2008 when Leopard was current, and this card needs to be a specifically made Mac edition model.
     
  3. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    Upgrade your system to (at least 10.8.5) 10.9.1 and use a Virtual Machine to operate your needed scan drivers within 10.5.8! This way you can use a video card compatible with 10.9.1 on your mac pro 3.1 2008 for maximum performance.

    GL & Cheers
     
  4. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #4
    I agree with this for sure. If your film scanning software isn't super intensive, I would run it in VMWare Fusion. It supports OS X VMs, though no Graphics Acceleration. And yes, it's for sure the system that's throttling you. The Quadros that you mentioned might have a lot more VRAM, but they're also 2008 era GPUs, which means that the power coming out of them isn't going to be anything close to what you're paying for. I would do as BDM Studios recommended and upgrade your software, then upgrade your video card, and run Leopard in a VM. I have a GTX 660 that I am very happy with. Check out the pinned thread on NVIDIA PC cards, it's got a lot of great information in it. I got mine clearance at my local Micro Center for around $100 after a rebate, and threw it in my 3,1. Crazy deal, and I couldn't be happier.
    Good luck with your upgrade!
    -N
     
  5. Duarte Costa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Location:
    Portugal
    #5
    Thank you so much for your replies!

    Yes, the benchmark charts of the FX 5600 comparing to the newest average cards (not to mention the GTX 660), are mind-blowing.

    I will try the virtual machine solution, and see how things go. The scanners are not very demanding (at least I don't think so). I was not planing to do any editing in the Leopard. I just need to scan as raw as possible, then send it to a newer system to retouch!
    Actually I read something about the same suggestion you guys are making, but I thought that the video card would have to be compatible with both systems anyway. But maybe I should read more about how a virtual machine works ;)

    Thank you so much!!
     
  6. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #6
    PLEASE BARE IN MIND! Don't forget to make a (bootable) clone copy of your existing OS X system with i.e. Carbon Clone Copy before updating to 10.8.5 or 10.9.1. In case things GO wrong you can easily revert to your old system.

    A clean install of OS X 10.8 / 10.9 and migrating users/apps/setting has always been my way to go!

    Good idea to read more about the use of the VM Fusion, for in many cases it is a great way to test new OS or software.

    CL & Cheers
     

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