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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > New graphics card for Mac Pro 2009?

New graphics card for Mac Pro 2009?
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Mac Elite
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Jan 17, 2014, 06:34 AM
 
Hey!

A friend of mine is looking into buying a new graphics card for a 2009 Mac Pro. Aims: Driving a 30" Cinema Display, and gaming.

Any ideas? What options are there? What's most expensive? What's the fastest to go with?

Greetings,
Pete
     
P
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Jan 17, 2014, 08:23 AM
 
Official cards? For those goals, this one:

http://www.evga.com/products/pdf/02G-P4-3682.pdf

The other gaming option, the Radeon 7950 from Sapphire, appears to only work with a 2010 and newer.

But of course there is the fully unsupported route of getting a PC card, adding whatever wires you need to feed it from the PSU, checking which OS you need for driver support, chasing unreleased drivers, possibly reflashing with a new BIOS etc. It is cheaper, though.

Netkas is a good place to start if you want to do that. Also, some detective work on what GPUs are used by Apple can help. For instance, the top iMac uses a GTX 780M, which is based on an nVidia chip called GK104. That same chip is used in Geforce GTX 660 Ti, 670, 680, 760 and 770, so those cards are all likely to have driver support.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 17, 2014, 07:31 PM
 
Are there more officially supported cards?
     
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Jan 18, 2014, 03:04 AM
 
Apple Cinema Display - Apple Bildschirm - Apple Store (Deutschland)

Then, as P pointed out, you have the cute Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition, (links to some German website) but P would give you a better advice on it than I ever will.

Sapphire website lists Early 2009 Mac Pro (MacPro4,1) as requirement.
SAPPHIRE HD 7950 3GB GDDR5 MAC Edition

( Last edited by angelmb; Jan 18, 2014 at 03:53 AM. )
     
P
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Jan 18, 2014, 05:53 AM
 
If the Sapphire card works, then that's an option, but all other options are workstation-class (FirePro and Quadro). Those are more expensive and have less gaming performance.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 18, 2014, 12:05 PM
 
Alright. Cool. And the unofficial ones? Is there a list with a good overview of which cards work unofficially? Do all cards work?
     
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Jan 18, 2014, 06:56 PM
 
Hey P,
read here, I have a cool idea for a new signature text, look:

"Sometimes Siri finds the new Mac Pro looks like a trash can. The other day she thought it looked like rocket science. Maybe I should ask her again."

Pete
     
P
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Jan 18, 2014, 07:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
Alright. Cool. And the unofficial ones? Is there a list with a good overview of which cards work unofficially? Do all cards work?
That's where you need to start googling, and no, not all cards work. You need card firmware that works, and you need a driver that works. If you stick to cards similar to what Apple uses, driver support will be there in recent versions of the OS - that's what I meant with the GK104 example above. Right now Apple seems to be in bed with nVidia except for the new MP, so support for those cards should be better.

Whether a cards has firmware support for Macs or if you need to flash it depends on the card. This is where Google is your friend.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
P
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Jan 18, 2014, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by PeterParker View Post
Hey P,
read here, I have a cool idea for a new signature text, look:

"Sometimes Siri finds the new Mac Pro looks like a trash can. The other day she thought it looked like rocket science. Maybe I should ask her again."

Pete
Not bad, not bad. I'll think about. Really would like something shorter than my current sig though.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Mac Elite
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Jan 19, 2014, 10:53 AM
 
"Sometimes Siri finds the Mac Pro looks like a trash can. We talk it out, though."
     
   
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