What's the best 1,1 Mac Pro GPU for $150 or under?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PowerMac G4 MDD, May 4, 2015.

  1. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #1
    Hey everyone,

    So I recently bought a 8800GT (1GB of video memory) for my 2006 Mac Pro and upgraded this baby past its native Lion.

    I am pretty happy with this card, but I am aware that it is rather old... I am always seeing the 5770 around (which is another favored Mac Pro card), and almost contemplated selling this and buying one of those. After all, I have even found that these cards are usually cheaper than what I paid for my 8800GT 1GB.

    However, while not having a boot screen doesn't seem like a big deal, I make good use of the boot menu--especially because I currently have an unofficial installation. Updates may need re-patching, etc. I also do not like the idea of having to use one of those VGA adapters in order to get a picture.

    So, does anyone know the best GPU I can get for this thing that is $150 or under, is BETTER than my 8800GT (with 1GB of video memory), and works fine out-of-the-box? Currently, with my 8800GT, I am enjoying the luxuries of a card that neither has to be flashed, nor does it need adapters.

    I want a card that will extend the life of this desktop (not as if my 8800GT doesn't already do so, but its life is dwindling), and one that can provide a smooth experience. My 8800GT is smooth, but I'd like something more modern. I am not a huge gamer, but I do like GTA IV on my Windows partition. This 8800GT is better than my 2600XT was (which was horrible for GTA IV), but it still lacks a bit of integrity. I know I went through a whole discussion with some of you here, while trying to buy my 8800GT, but hopefully I will already have had most things cleared up.
     
  2. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #2
    Hi PowerMac G4MDD. The alternate card I could think of is the Genuine Mac OEM GPU Radeon 4870 512 mb vram.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-ATI-R...155?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a4fabbf6b

    The Mac OEM 5770HD still goes for around $200+. As far as I know the Radeon 4870HD is almost as fast as the 5770HD. There is also the Mac OEM 8800GT 512mb released specifically for the 2006 Mac Pro. Note that the 2nd gen 8800GT Mac OEM made for 2008-2012 Mac Pros does not work with 2006 Mac Pros.
     
  3. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #3
    I have an 8800GT with 1GB of video memory, though. Surely that other 8800GT isn't going to be better? I'll check the 4870 512MB VRAM, despite that small amount of memory. By the way, I own an HD Radeon 6450 2GB (not sure if that works in my 2006 Mac Pro), which is hopeless when it comes to GTA IV. I know it's not all about that, but what kind of performance should I expect from the 4870? --Thanks
     
  4. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #4
    I briefly used a Radeon 4870HD on a 2008 machine and for graphic design it was just as fast as the 5770 HD in terms of opening large images and saving. Another source of reference in benchmarks is the Barefeats test

    http://barefeats.com/wst10g4.html

    The 8800GT Mac OEM is just about the same as the 8800GT 1g you currently have. I only suggested this as an option as I thought one of your preferences is avoiding using VGA connection plus a lower price. :)
     
  5. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #5
    Thanks for sharing that link! The 4870HD seems pretty good on its own; I guess I'd get that 5870 if I felt like going extreme and spoiling myself. xD After all, I went through using PowerPC Macs up until 2012! An upgrade like this would be an even larger breath of fresh air.

    So I guess I've narrowed it down to those two cards. I'll now just have to decide whether I go under budget or a bit over... I guess I'll be back with the verdict. And again, thanks a lot for your everlasting help. I'm still a PowerPC guy with PowerPC knowledge.
     
  6. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #6
    The 8800GT he already has is significantly faster then the Apple one.

    Trust the guy who wrote the rom.

    There is a better 5870 rom out now that gives boot screens on DVI.
     
  7. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

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    #7
    Consider stretching another $40 for an AMD R9 280 and flash it yourself. It's basically a 2014 AMD 7950.

    It'd be much faster than anything mentioned in the thread.
     
  8. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #8
    I haven't flashed a GPU before. I suppose I could try... Dang, and there was a 5870 for $170, but it was just sold. :( I think I will try for one, though, since they are a nice upgrade.
     
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #9
    I'd vote with Zarniwoop

    But on a 1,1 that means 10.8.3 or later
     
  10. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #10
  11. bax2003 macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

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    #11
    You need to flash that card to have EFI Boot screen, but the card will work after login screen without any flashing.
     
  12. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

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    #12
    Just on a side tangent for a moment. Can someone please describe the tangible benefits someone would get from upgrading? I mean those you’d get on the ‘Seat-of-the-pants-o-meter’ as well as on the bench.
     
  13. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #13
    Ah, I see. What if I were to use a DV-VGA adapter? Would I then see a boot screen? I see listings for cards that say they work in the 1,1 Mac Pro--with a boot screen--if you use one of those adapters.
     
  14. bax2003 macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

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    #14
    You won't see EFI boot screen on any output without flashing. Those listed cards which can display boot screen on VGA ports are flashed. You can find more info on netkas forum:

    http://forum.netkas.org
     
  15. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #15
    Okay, thanks for the information. I am seeing nice deals on eBay pop up now and then. When it seems as though all hope is lost, someone posts a nice GPU, and so on. I'll eventually settle on something similar to what I've mentioned in the above.

    ----------

    I turned this Mac Pro into my main desktop and want to extend its life a bit. I probably won't get a brand new desktop computer for a long time, so this seems viable. My current card is okay, but it IS aging. I'm wanting something relatively powerful. I don't necessarily feel like settling for something lesser, as I've been a user of hand-me-down computers for a while. Heck, I didn't get an Intel computer until 2012. I had been on PowerPC (and still use PPC on the side, today).

    ----------

    I think I actually saw some 7950's (or something close) on eBay - flashed for Mac Pro 1,1+. Those, however, are a bit expensive.
     

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