video card upgrade in Mac Pro 2008

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sashka, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. sashka, Mar 1, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

    sashka macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #1
    Hi,

    I'm new to this forum. I was going through pages and links here. I currently have x1600 video card in my Mac Pro. I don't have problem with it - works fine. But I want to get hardware decoding for h264 video to make my macpro work slightly faster :)
    Anyway, I was looking in list of video cards supporting that feature. I'm not big fan of ATI cards - from very very long time ago, when their drivers sucked (well they still suck on windows, as far as I can see looking at their buggy installer). So I want Nvidia card. I can go and by GT 120 card, which should (should it?) give me what I want for $150+tax in apple store or microcenter. slightly cheaper on ebay.
    But for $150 I can get better card (ati 5770) or nvidia card. Or I might have few around.. My questions are:

    1. Which NVidia card (manufacturer, model) will work best in my Mac Pro?
    2. which 5770 card is best for flashing?
    3. I have Nvidia Quadro fx 370 - is it flashable?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. CaptainChunk, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

    CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #2
    1. Only a handful of NVIDIA cards (official or flashed) are known to work in OS X on a 3,1 Mac Pro. They would be the 8800 GT, GT 120, GTX 285, Quadro FX 4800, Quadro FX 5600 and Quadro 4000 (I might be leaving one out). The most flash-friendly NVIDIA card is probably the 8800 GT (certain models, of course), but good luck finding one these days outside of eBay.

    2. This is a good list covering which 5770 models are known flash well.

    3. Unfortunately, no. I don't think there are any OS X drivers, let alone working ROM images for any of the G84-based GPUs (could be wrong here).


    Just FYI, the 5770 is SIGNIFICANTLY faster than the GT 120. I'd find a flash-friendly 5770 and go that route, especially if the price ends up being about the same. The only caveat is that most (if not all) flashed 5770s won't display a boot screen (i.e. the gray screen with Apple logo) but otherwise work fine once booted into OS X.
     
  3. Dadioh macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Canada Eh?
    #3
    Two thumbs up on flashed 5770.

    BTW, if you use a DVI to VGA dongle on one of the DVI ports you do get the boot screen on a VGA display. FWIW.
     
  4. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #4
    FYI - These days the NVidia drivers are pretty awful and the ATI drivers are pretty good.

    It'll switch back in a few years, don't worry. :)
     
  5. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
  6. sashka thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #6
    Hi,

    Thank you for answers. One more question I've got after doing some research. What about 5670? Will it have also blank screen while booting into OS X?
    Or, better yet, which card should I use in order to use clean OS X (without any patches, if possible) and flashed ATI card?

    I doubt I'll find 8800GT right now - it's kind of old card and guessing on ebay will cost me more.


    Thanks.
     
  7. Dadioh macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Canada Eh?
    #7
    You could check the Netkas forum but I suspect that it will not work. From what I understand Netkas was able to extract the Apple EFI from a mobility version of the Apple 5770. They then used this to create an EFI for the PC version of the 5770. So unless Apple makes a 5670 then there is no way to get the original source to modify.

    Best to stick with GPU's that Apple has used.
     
  8. sashka thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    #8
    Apple has 5670 in mid 2010 iMacs. I couldn't find any mention of 5670 anywhere here or there. Probably, because it cheaper/slower card nobody wants to play with it;)

    iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2010) 661-5546 Card, Video, ATI Radeon HD 5670, 512 MB
     
  9. Dadioh macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    Canada Eh?
    #9
    Aaahh. Well maybe Netkas will take some time to try and figure it out. But with 5770 hovering in the $100 range (PC versions) it may not be worth going there.
     

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