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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Can I use PC Hardware in a Mac Pro?

Can I use PC Hardware in a Mac Pro?
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Aug 23, 2007, 12:24 AM
 
I've been a MS user for some decades now. My wife has a macbook pro and I got to liking the BSD style OS without the hassles of linux that usually comes with it. I was thinking about getting a mac pro but am somewhat concerned about hardware support. I understand Apples marketing strategy, but for me Im not sure if its the right solution.

Apart from general web and email stuff I like to play games. I was thinkintg I could bootcamp into a Directx OS for games and do other stuff in MacOS.

But Apple seems really slow on hardware support. Like you still cant plug in an 8800GTX cos no EFI support has been written?

What is the balanced view of how upgradable the mac pros are? Seems like a basic thing of upgrading the video card is all too hard.

Ideally I had in mind to wait until Penryn, and go a raid 5 sata, with two 8800gtxs or one G92 depending on when it is actually released to market. What do people know about a new mac pro supporting this stuff?
     
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Aug 23, 2007, 06:37 PM
 
The only video cards that will work in OS X are the ones with a Mac compatible EFI firmware; I think there are some EFI-compatible cards for Itanium systems or something out there that won't work in a Mac. That means you're limited to the cards Apple offers for now, and I think that's unlikely to change. You can use a random card off the shelf, like an 8800GTX, under Windows in the Mac Pro.

The CPUs are as upgradeable as any other Xeon system; the newer quad core Xeons all work fine. The RAM is also upgradeable, but you need to buy memory with oversized heatsinks designed for the Mac Pro. Hard drives and optical drives are upgradeable with any off-the-shelf drive, although OSX lacks software support for the high def optical formats.

A Mac Pro update has been overdue for several months and it's really a mystery to most why Apple hasn't done anything. CPU/HDD/RAM prices are down and very easy upgrades. A new video card would take more development effort. Bluray drives are cheap (<$500). Another big CPU upgrade is coming in November, which puts those of us making predictions in a funny spot: will Apple do one upgrade now just to do another in 3 months or are they really going to stretch out the upgrade cycle to 16 months?
     
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Aug 24, 2007, 08:38 AM
 
Thanks mate

Thats right Penryn is here soon. Mmmmm

Shame about Apple being so slow with good hardware support. I mean, dam G92 isnt far away from being released and the mac pro is numerous generations behind in the video area. I really dont understand why Apple doesnt comission new gpus to keep up with the times.

I'll keep my eye out for the new Mac Pro - like you say the current design really is dated.

And, the x64 vista in SP1 supports EFI Dont know what the interopability deal is this though yet.
     
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Aug 24, 2007, 05:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Bathrone View Post
Shame about Apple being so slow with good hardware support. I mean, dam G92 isnt far away from being released and the mac pro is numerous generations behind in the video area. I really dont understand why Apple doesnt comission new gpus to keep up with the times.

And, the x64 vista in SP1 supports EFI Dont know what the interopability deal is this though yet.
They're only 1 generation behind on graphics card (X1xxx/7xxx to HD2xxx/8xxx), but it is a pretty big performance gap (over 100%).

EFI support in Vista (x86 and x64) is such a clusterf$%k that even I can't keep track of it. Even if x64 supports EFI, there's no pressing reason to use it, and of course you get all the other x64 headaches (random apps/drivers that don't work).
     
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Aug 24, 2007, 08:56 PM
 
Some people have had success at flashing PC GPUs to run on Mac Pros: Welcome to The Mac Elite
17" MBP C2D 2.33/3 GB RAM/500 GB 7200 rpm/Glossy Display|-|
17" iMac CD|-|15" PB G4 1.25 GHz|-|iBook g4 1Ghz|-|Pismo
     
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Aug 25, 2007, 06:50 AM
 
Please try to use more appropriate / less vague thread titles
we don't have time to stop for gas
     
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Aug 25, 2007, 12:30 PM
 
Why is this thread in the MBP/PB forum?
     
   
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