video card upgrade for early 08 mac pro.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mnm321, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. mnm321 macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2014
    My early 08 mac pro has an ATI Radeon HD 2600XT 256 mb card. My machine is has 2x2.8 Quad core intel Xeon with 10GB 800 MZ DDR2 F8 Dimms. I use it for photoshop and video editing. Dual op systems are 10.6.8 and 10.9.1 on second disk. I would like to upgrade to a video card with more ram. 512 or 1GB would be good. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    If 10.6.8 is a must, it narrows your choice to 5770, 5870 or 6870. Especially if your video editing software is FCP. Any of these will run circles around your current card. Think about the RAM as well. PS loves RAM and since CS5 it's able to utilize as much as you can give it.
  3. mnm321 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2014
    Thank you for the advice. However, I don't know what you mean by 5770, 5870 or 6870. Are these ATI cards? Could you please give me a little more descriptive information so I can identify replacement cards that will work with my machine.

    I have tried using OS 10.8 and 10.8. However, i have had problems with my machine locking up. Therefore, I installed a new HDD and loaded 10.6.8. So far it has been working fine.
  4. willtothewong macrumors newbie

    Jul 19, 2009
    I am not sure the exact hardware/software requirements but 10.9 has all the newest drivers for various graphic cards.

    I think before you upgrade your card you should upgrade your OS.
  5. flyingmanatee macrumors member


    Jan 7, 2014
    ATI is no longer. Its AMD now.

    If you're insisting on using 10.6.8, you're going to be locked into graphics card hell. The AMD Radeon 6870 flashing utilities require 10.7, and while the card will boot in 10.6.8, the performance is glitchy at best, with quicktime often refusing to play, where as 10.7+ its fine.

    10.8 never gave me any issues on my 2008 Mac Pro, and 10.9 seems to run better than any of the previous iterations of OS X on it. Any instability is likely due to a software problem, (be old kexts looming in your library or other evil glibblies).

    Please please please, don't take this the wrong way but I get the sense that you may not feel comfortable flashing your own video card, so you're best bet is to look for either pre-flashed cards or buying used OEM video cards like the GeForce 8800 GT.
  6. mnm321 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2014
    Thanks to all of you. I will start with updating to 10.9 again. The new clean disk may make the difference. I have flashed the bios on PCs in the past. However, I don't know how to flash a video card but I can learn. Any suggestions on specific cards that would work with the early 08 machine? My current ATI Radeon HD 2600XT 256 mb card in in a double wide pci- express slot. I have three additional single wide slots. Would I be able to find info on how to flash the card on the web?
    I am running Photoshop CS6 and Final Cut Express 4.
  7. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    I am running a GTX 680 (two 6-pin connectors) with 4 GB of vram on it with my mac pro 3.1 which is absolutely awesome. Works very fine with a 2560*1440-monitor and any software/game that I've thrown at it.

    Have only tried it on Mavericks though.
  8. BConvery macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2009
    Did you flash it or use it out of the box?
  9. mnm321 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2014
    Due to not having any experience in flashing a video card, i will follow the above advice of installing an nVidia Geforce 8800GT 512MB PCIe Video Card. However, my current ati 2600 PCIe card does not have a power cord attached. Could someone please tell me where I would attach the 6 pen power cord to the MB? Is the connector hidden behind the HDD bays or the optical drive bay?
  10. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    out of the box

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