Video card help for 4-core Mac Pro (2.6ghz)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Digidesign, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #1
    I have one of the older generation 2.66Ghz Mac Pros. I upgraded the video card from the NVidia 7300GT to the ATI X1900XT card.

    Unfortunately, after a year and half the ATI card is on its last legs. I even upgraded the fan/cooling unit TWICE, but it's now heating up so quickly that just a few minutes around Finder will cause artifacts to appear on the screen. I've already cleaned the fan units and tried Arctic Silver Compound on the connection points to the heatsink.

    I'm wondering what my options are, and your suggestions for a replacement video card. The card can either be for AGP or for the PCI-Express (x16 I believe) and must work in OS X, so no Windows only options.

    So far all I know of is either to get the same old cards of:
    - nVidia 7300GT
    - ATI X1900XT

    Are there any other options for the older 2.66Ghz Mac Pro? Will the HD2600XT or 8800GT work? I don't believe they have PCI-Express 2.0 so that limits many of the newer cards.

    Thanks
     
  2. Digidesign thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #2
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    The Mac Pro doesn't have an AGP slot, but a x16 PCIe slot for graphics. Apple has released a GeForce 8800 GT upgrade for the 1st-generation Mac Pro.

    The ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition also works in the 1st-gen Mac Pro at PCIe 1.0 speeds.

    Some people have had success with getting some 3rd-party (PC) versions of NVIDIA and ATI cards to work under OS X, but it isn't exactly plug and play. Mac graphics cards have EMI ROMs instead of BIOS, so they need to be re-flashed.
     
  4. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philly
  5. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #5
    Both the HD2600 XT and 8800 GT will work, I've had both installed (though, as CaptainChunk pointed out you'll need to buy the 1st Generation edition of the card). If you're looking to do lots of Core Image-based work, your best bet is the HD3870.

    You can use certain third-party cards, but only if you know how to flash them. That's not particularly difficult, but not for the average Joe computer user either.
     
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #6
    The 3870HD is an ideal replacement for the 1900XT and is the one I, and many others, reccommend.
     
  7. Digidesign thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    #7
    Very helpful information.... can't thank you enough, as everyone's post here helped me to make a decision.

    I'll go for the ATI 3870 HD from OWC. :)
     
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Whoops, my typo. :)
     

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