What video card can I upgrade too?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by fenix1, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. fenix1 macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2010
    I have the first version of the mac pro the dual duo 2.66 intel xeon.(essentially a quad core)
    I have loaded this box up with raid,5tb of drive, 16gb ram... so on.
    The graphics card on this machine is a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT.

    I just started editing video and this card is not really cutting it for me but everything else on my system seems to be fine.
    Im having a really hard time finding compatible video cards because there are so many kinds of mac pros.

    I want a really good card and am willing to spend up to $500.
  2. shorafix macrumors member

    May 15, 2008
    Frankfurt, Germany
    There are probably not too many options for your first generation MacPro. Find more information here.
  3. berndkiltz macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Pfalz, Germany
    A friend of mine has exatly the same mac.
    he has a 8800 GT Mac Edition in it, wich runs decent with FCP.
    You can get it cheap via ebay (used) from people who upgraded their 2008 macpro.
    Don't know if the newer cards (Mac Editions) fit, they should though because its pci express and the only problem would be the power connectors. Theoretically the ATI 4870 should be a good option for that computer.

  4. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    I think that's the main thing to look out for.

    I've heard reports of the 5770 and 5870 working in the '06 Pro; and ATi cards still seem to be a lot better than nVidia for work in Color and Motion (FCP only occasionally makes use of the GPU).
  5. fenix1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2010
    Thank you for the replies I really appreciate the help.

    I talked to the salesman at a mac store(3rd party seller) and he said my computer was compatioble with the ati 1900xp which I have been able to find on ebay for between 59-89.

    My question would be is this really that much better than my on-board card now? Seems like the good cards start at about $300.

    It irritates me that I paid $2500 for this computer an I cant find upgrades for it 2 yrs later...

    Final Cut pro only runs on a Mac machine yet my options for graphics cards is extremly limited compared to cheaper windows based machines.

    This is very upsetting as I dont want to spend another 3000 on a new box when my box works great besides the lack of a high end video card.
  6. fenix1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2010
    What about this card?

    A seller on ebay says that this card will work in all mac pro's
    ATI Radeon™ HD 4870
  7. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    As mentioned earlier, the GPU won't make or break your Final Cut performance, so it shouldn't be that much of an issue for straight up video editing.

    Now if you get into motion graphics, 3D, etc, then that's a different story.
  8. fenix1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2010
    Actually I use color alot to do grading and im pretty sure that this is a Video card intensive program. + I also use after affects.

    Sorry for making the reference to final cut, I use studio and although final cut is bread and butter I am heavily reliant on the suite.

    Thank you,
  9. shorafix macrumors member

    May 15, 2008
    Frankfurt, Germany
    If you read the link I have given you above you would know:
    Take into account that your MacPro has been continued almost three years ago - a long time in PC history. Unfortunately your Mac came with PCI Express Standard 1.1 which was replaced by 2.0 shortly after the introduction of your Mac. However, most 2.0 video cards should be backward compatible to 1.0 sockets, using the lower bandwith of PCI express 1.1. In this case you still need to check the power supply of the designated 2.0 video card: cards with 6 pin power plug (max. 75 W) should work fine. Other cards, such as my own GTX 850 with a 6 and 9 pin power plug will not work.
    One more thing: the 512 MB versus 256 MB VRAM may be good for 3-D but not necessarily for applications like Color. I could not find a great benefit of upgrading my own machine in FC Studio, but a tremendous speedup in Premiere Pro CS5 due to it's CUDA support. If you take my advice: save your bugs and time for future investments. :rolleyes:
  10. berndkiltz macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Pfalz, Germany
    I also read the things on the webpage you postet,
    but I don't think that the cards available at the time of the release (and offered by apple) are the only options!
    First thing: PCIe ist downward compatible, so you CAN put a 2.0 card in a 1.1 Slot!
    If the Power Connetors fit (and if the power supply is big enough), you could even put the 5870 in this MacPro.
    Apple just wants you to think it doesn't work, so they sell everyone a new MacPro, which for the newer models, is not quite a bang for the Money.
    I can say FOR SURE that the 8800GT works, and so should the 4870 because it consumes about the same power.
    To Final Cut:
    This Programm has not had a notable update for years (besides some gimmicks) and is - very unfortunately - lacking behind Premiere CS5 bigtime.
    So I would wait for the next Version before doing any upgrade. If Motion uses all cores (wich it only uses ONE at the moment) - maybe you would not even have to upgrade.
    Sad that apple seems to only focus on i-stuff (which is great stuff) and forgets their proline software. But we'll see, maybe FCP4 will blow us all away.
    For the moment I will go with CS5. The Media Encoder alone is worth it, converting to h264 is more than twice as fast as with compressor!!!
    And yes I have set Qmaster the right way.

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