Which Graphics card to get for 2006 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SACD02, May 4, 2009.

  1. SACD02 macrumors member

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    Dec 18, 2008
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    Toronto
    #1
    I have decided to upgrade the stock 7300GT on my Mac Pro. I have three choices:

    )ATI Radeon HD 2600XT
    )nVidia 8800GT
    )ATI Radeon 3870

    I'm going to be editing a lot of RAW files. I want my CS4 programs to be able to use the GPU as well; I also want this GPU to deliver good performance in those Apple softwares that use GPU. With advanced GPU processing coming in Snow Leopard, I want the card to deliver good performance and last me few years of good use. I dont play games and I dont do any 3D design. I just want a capable GPU for Photoshop, Lightroom and other Apple programs that take advantage of GPU

    Which should I get? Is the upcoming nVidia card compatible with the old Mac Pros?

    PS: I realize that the installation of 8800GT and 3870 require extra power connector. Is it difficult to do so since the cable doesnt exist in my mac yet?

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    Jun 29, 2006
    #2
    The 8800 GT comes with the necessary power cable - at least, if you buy it through Apple. I don't know about other sources. You may want to wait until 10.5.7 though, as the HD4870 should be fully compatible with 2006 Mac Pros once it's released, and it's better than all three aforementioned cards that you listed.
     
  3. SACD02 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    I'd definitely wait for 4870 if I knew it is going to be compatible with old Mac Pro. But I read somewhere that 4870 uses EFI-64 so it wont be backward compatible. Is it confirmed that this card will work with the older Mac Pros (2006 Model)?

    PS: I just checked Apple's website and it says that 4870 is only compatible with 2008 and new Mac Pro. Any hope for the older Mac Pros?
     
  4. Eithanius macrumors 65816

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    Nov 19, 2005
    #4
    The sad case is, both the 4870 and the upcoming nVidia GTX 285 will only support 2008/9 Mac Pros. You and I are pretty much stuck with paying a premium for old and outdated cards. :mad:

    4870 on an older Mac Pro like most people said it will work, it will work, but not on a straight-forward process, you will have to go round it. Flashing it, kext-ing it, hacking it to work...?
     
  5. SACD02 thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    It's really sad. I really like my Mac Pro and it is quiet fast for my needs. All it needs is a better GPU and the 8800GT is the only reasonable choice!

    Any hope that flashing a PC 4870 will be a success?
     
  6. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #6

    4870 works in all Mac Pro's. The GTX 280 will too, if Nvidia releases the card with EFI 32 on the firmware.



    No, they are flashing the 4870 PC version to work in a Mac. Because it is alot cheaper.
     
  7. Eithanius macrumors 65816

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    #7
    That's a Big IF.... right now 4870 working on all MP is still inconclusive.... so I would not put such a high hope on that. :mad:


    Isn't that what I meant, or did you fail to comprehend what I've said...? :p:p
     
  8. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    Jul 21, 2004
    #8
    I'm in the same boat. I got my MacPro free from Apple when my G5 died...but unfortunately I didn't have any say as to what I was getting, as even the stock MacPro was better than my old machine. So I got stuck with the 7300GT as well. Odds are I'll still have this machine for a couple years before I NEED to upgrade, so a new graphics card might be the fix I need.
     
  9. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #9

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=7286487&postcount=1

    ?


    So what did you mean?
     
  10. Eithanius macrumors 65816

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    #10
  11. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #11

    Did you read my link? It basically states that the 4870 is plug and play in older macs.
     
  12. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

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    #12
    Only after an update comes out with the drivers in it. :cool:
     
  13. Eithanius macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Did you ever care to read properly....? Rob took out his drive from and Nehalem Mac Pro and stuff it into his Clovertown, before plugging in the 4870 and booted from there. The drivers are already in that drive. Tell me, how would an ordinary older Mac Pro owners get their hands on a Nehalem MP drive, unless they're crazy enough to get one. Is that still plug and play...? :p:p

    Please do not "copy and paste" before reading and understanding further... :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  14. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    Denmark
    #14
    You could actually just download the package including the 4800 series drivers now and install the graphic card.

    It isn't harder than installing an ordinary application :)
     
  15. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    Jun 29, 2006
    #15
    It is if you're determined to make everything as difficult as possible, as some people in this topic are doing. ;)

    The 4870 has been flashed to run with success in 2006 Mac Pros. And when the drivers are available (presumably with 10.5.7) the 4870 you can buy off of Apple's website will also work. SACD02, yes, there's hope, and Eithanius, flashing isn't the impossible process your posts make it sound like.
     
  16. kakarothusain macrumors newbie

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    May 5, 2009
    #16
    i think that nVidia one is the best graphic card for your mac pro since its graphic quality is the best as compared to others..[​IMG]
     
  17. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #17

    I did read properly. But drivers are a matter of copy-paste or double-click. If that is too hard for you, then don't bother.
     
  18. LOZER macrumors member

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    Jan 12, 2008
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    #18
    I can't wait this is all such good news. I have an 1,1 Mac Pro 2.66 7300 GT I bought in march of 07'. I have been so irritated with the video card selection. Im glad I haven't upgraded yet. Hopefully there will be some good news on here when the update comes up. :D
     
  19. SACD02 thread starter macrumors member

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    Toronto
    #19
    So I guess my best option is to wait till GTX285 comes out and see how things turn out

    Also for 4870, if I understand correctly, it needs the 10.5.7 update to include the drivers. Am I correct?

    PS: I just checked GTX285's price (the PC version) and I realized it's too expensive for me since I dont play any games. I just need a GPU with good performance in Applications (especially the pro Apps). So should I wait for 10.5.7 to come out to see if 4870 is compatible with 1st gen Mac Pro? Also does Photoshop CS4 support 4870? Is 100$ more worth spending for 4870 over 8800GT?

    Thank you all in advance
     
  20. giffut macrumors 6502

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    Apr 28, 2003
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    Germany
    #20
    Any ...

    ... "Open GL" capable card will Photoshop let use it. But the implementation is still kind of buggy - and the speed increase pathetic, sometimes neglectible.

    You will definitely see a huge boost when using Apple Pro applications, like Motion or FInal Cut. For those workloads ATI cards are preferrable, as Apples ATI drivers are much more optimized compared to the NVIDIA ones.

    I would try to grap a cheap ATI 4870 PC card and flash it. YOu probably save 75% off Apples ridiculous charge.
     
  21. SACD02 thread starter macrumors member

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    #21
    How difficult is it to flash the PC version of 4870? What brand shoud I get if I decide to to so? And what is the chance of card being incompatible with the Mac Pro?
     
  22. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 6, 2006
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    UK
    #22
    There's a whole thread about the process on this very forum.

    Here is a tutorial that uses an XFX 1GB video card:

    http://web.me.com/jacobcroft/4870Flash/4870Flash.html

    If you follow the instructions carefully, there's not much that can go wrong. Eithanius is over-exaggerating the difficulty of getting it to work, for some reason. Flash it and install the drivers, that's it. Once 10.5.7 comes out, you'll just need to flash. It's not much different from flashing a BIOS on a PC, if you've ever done that.

    Alternatively, just wait for 10.5.7 to come out and buy the card direct from Apple (for a price). Upgrade OS X, insert card - et voila!
     
  23. SACD02 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 18, 2008
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    Toronto
    #23
    Thank you so much for your help. It seems like a straightforward process. I have done BIOS updates on PCs before although I have never flashed a Graphics Card

    By the way, does it work with any brand of 4870? My retailer doesnt have any XFX in stock but it does have Sapphire (512MB and 1024MB). Does this model work (Sapphire 1024)?
     
  24. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #24
    Please go read parts of my LONG thread.

    To get many of the 4870s working, you need to have a ROM specific to the card.

    The XFX ROM isn't going to work on a Saphire. Good news is that there is a Saphire ROM written for the 1Gb cards. Maybe skim through the thread and just read the posts with attachments until you find the Saphire ROM and info.
     
  25. Eithanius macrumors 65816

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    Nov 19, 2005
    #25
    Wow...! I didn't know my term of "going around it" meant over-exaggeration for some ppl. :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     

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