What additional graphics card would work?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by KP Nuts, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. KP Nuts macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    Cornwall England

    Thanks in advance for the advice. I warn you that I am not up on my tech, and my questions are probably stupid...

    I currently have a ATI Radeon HD 4870 in my Mac Pro 2 x 2.26 Quad.

    I use the latest 24" Apple Display.

    I want to connect an additional, identical, 24" Apple display to create a dual monitor set up - my main area of use if FCP3 and Lightroom.

    I also have a Samsung 40" LCD HD TV in the studio which I would like to preview my video edits on as well as play slide shows on etc

    When exporting a signal from my old PC via a dvi - vga adaptor the Samsung 40" all of the photos displayed were stretched. There is no manual aspect con-fig to the TV and this issue rendered the TV unusable as clients would look at the images and feel fat...

    Can anyone suggest a graphics card (i'm on a budget...) that I can install which will be able to support the additional 24" and the TV in the correct aspect.
    Also, how would I connect the TV? I have a mini display post to HDMI adaptor, which I recently bought in preparation however I am not sure if it is the correct way of doing this.

    Sincere thanks


  2. thehimay macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2009
    Toronto, ON, CA
    I don't have any personal experience with the miniDP -> HDMI cables, but I would assume they should work fine. To get these digital televisions to display properly with a computer, usually you want to go with a DVI->DVI, DVI->HDMI, or some other comparable digital-type connector (e.g. DVI/DisplayPort/miniDisplayPort -> DVI/HDMI). If your Apple Display is already on the miniDP connector, then you'll want a DVI->HDMI cable (or adapter) for the television. If the Apple Display is already on the DVI, then your miniDP->HDMI adapter should be fine. You shouldn't need any additional card with your setup (unless I've completely forgotten what some of the limitations of the Mac-versioned 4870 were).

    VGA connections are limited to a specific set of resolutions that often don't play nicely with widescreen televisions (unless you can verify it supports some of those resolutions over VGA), whereas I think DVI/HDMI are far less restricted in this regard. You might have to play with overscan settings a little bit, but it should work just fine. I often have used my MacBook Pro with a DVI->HDMI cable as a HTPC with Plex. Try to stick with one of the "TV" resolutions (see below), and you'll be set!
  3. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    If your TV has a HDMI input, a MDP-HDMI cable should work fine.

    The additional cards you can run are 7300GT, 2600HD or GT120. Listed by performance, GT120 being the most powerful.
  4. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    The cheaper NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 would work just fine. Your LCD would work off the DVI port of either card just fine as well.
  5. KP Nuts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2009
    Cornwall England
    4870 + Gt120

    So these two different cards will work along side each other in the real world. I just called Apple and they said it's not guaranteed with out a lot of headbutting of the office table in frustration!!?
  6. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    What a coincidence! You messaged me on the bay about my 4870!

    I can test the 4870/gt120 in the same machine but only powering a single monitor...

    I don't see why it wouldn't work tho...
  7. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    I ran an HD2600 XT and a 7300 GT together for a while, so there's no technical reason for your HD4870 and a GT 120 not to work together, unless something has changed since 2008 in that regard.

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