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dosit 05-14-2011 01:52 PM

Graphics Card Upgrade for Mac Pro 1,1
 
Hi all,

I recently acquired an old Mac Pro 1,1 with a GeForce7300 GT, and I'm looking to upgrade the card as I do lots of work with After Effects, Final Cut etc. I've heard rumors about video card conflicts in the older Mac Pros, and was wondering if anyone had a recommendation for an upgrade in mind. I've heard good things about the ATI Radeon 5770 1GB, but I'm a layman at this and I'm wondering if there's another card that would work well in approximately the same price range.

Thanks!

pigoo3 05-14-2011 02:34 PM

I don't think that you can do any better than the 5770 (price & performance) in a 1st gen. Mac Pro.

And you can even get it at the Apple Store...brand new $249.

- Nick

harryb2448 05-14-2011 06:55 PM

The link quoted requires PCI 2.0 which Mac Pro 1.1 do not have. If you look on eBay you will see any number of 4870 and 5770 advertised that have been flashed from PC to Masc. In most you lose the ability to boot in single user mode.

Here is an eBay link to a flashed card and note it works with all Mac Pros and has lost the single user mode booting capability:-


http://cgi.ebay.com/Mac-Pro-Graphics...-/310267013467

pigoo3 05-14-2011 11:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harryb2448 (Post 1235700)
The link quoted requires PCI 2.0 which Mac Pro 1.1 do not have. If you look on eBay you will see any number of 4870 and 5770 advertised that have been flashed from PC to Masc. In most you lose the ability to boot in single user mode.

Here is an eBay link to a flashed card and note it works with all Mac Pros and has lost the single user mode booting capability:-


Mac Pro Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB PCIe Video Card | eBay

Harry...you're right...there are quite a few flashed 5770's on e-Bay...and I for one steer way clear of them. But according to "Barefeets.com" and "OWC"...the 5770 is compatible with 2006 1st generation Mac Pro's (1, 1):

Radeon 5870 and 5770 on 2006 Mac Pro

Apple MC742ZM/A ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade... in stock at OWC
http://blog.macsales.com/6856-owc-re...-2009-mac-pros
5770 | Other World Computing Blog

This is why I'm recommending that the Radeon 5770 is probably the best choice from a cost/performance standpoint for a 2006 Mac Pro...and probably some other Mac Pro models as well.:)

- Nick

harryb2448 05-15-2011 06:22 PM

Nick OWC's description call for PCI Express 2.0:-

Apple MC742ZM/A ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade... in stock at OWC

Whilst it may well work in a Mac Pro 1.1 one would lose a lot of performance lacking the PCI Express version 2.0, going down from 32 bit to 16 bit.

pigoo3 05-15-2011 09:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harryb2448 (Post 1236129)
Nick OWC's description call for PCI Express 2.0:-

Apple MC742ZM/A ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade... in stock at OWC

Whilst it may well work in a Mac Pro 1.1 one would lose a lot of performance lacking the PCI Express version 2.0, going down from 32 bit to 16 bit.

I know what you're saying about the lack of PCI 2.0 in 2006 Mac Pro 1,1's...but if you go to OWC's page where they sell the 5770...they don't mention any sort of limitations. They just say that you need OS 10.6.4 & a PCI Express Slot (no mention of needing PCI 2.0 to allow it to run):

Apple MC742ZM/A ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade... in stock at OWC

Here are some benchmarks for the 5770 from Barefeats.com (including a 2006 4-core Mac Pro). The numbers look pretty darn good:

Radeon 5770 and 5870 on various Mac Pro models

Remember that the 2006 Mac Pro in the chart is only a 4-core...and all the other computers are 6 or 8 cores...so that and faster logic board architectures may effect the scores (and may not be due to not having PCI 2.0 in the 2006 Mac Pro). At only $249 brand new at the Apple store...I would certainly get one if I still had my 2006 Mac Pro!:)

- Nick

dosit 05-16-2011 07:24 PM

Thanks for the input everyone! I suppose I'll pick up a flashed 5770, if only for the extra DVI input...

Forgive my ignorance, but will one of these flashed video cards still work if I run Windows in Bootcamp also?

pigoo3 05-16-2011 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dosit (Post 1236842)
Thanks for the input everyone! I suppose I'll pick up a flashed 5770, if only for the extra DVI input...

Forgive my ignorance, but will one of these flashed video cards still work if I run Windows in Bootcamp also?

For fullest compatibility...I would recommend getting a genuine 5770. I've seen flashed ones selling for $175-$275 on e-Bay...when you can get a brand new 100% genuine one from the Apple for $249.

- Nick

harryb2448 05-17-2011 01:50 AM

Wonder if there is any Barefeats or Benchtest of the card in PCI-E 2.0 against PCI-E 1.0? How much of the boost would be lost in th earlier Mac Pros like mine?

pigoo3 05-17-2011 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harryb2448 (Post 1237016)
Wonder if there is any Barefeats or Benchtest of the card in PCI-E 2.0 against PCI-E 1.0? How much of the boost would be lost in th earlier Mac Pros like mine?

I would have to imagine that's what you're seeing in this test:

Radeon 5770 and 5870 on various Mac Pro models

...the 4-core 2006 model would have the PCI 1.0, and most of the rest of the Mac Pros would be PCI 2.0.

The problem is...the 2006 Mac Pro 1,1 is a 4-core...and the others are 6 & 8-core. So the scores for the 5770 6 & 8 core Mac Pros are probably better because:

- they have more cores (6 & 8 cores vs. 4 cores in the 2006)
- faster logic board architectures
- faster PCI bus (1.0 vs. 2.0)

I think that the important things for the 2006 Mac Pro are:

1. That the 5770 is compatible with 2006 Mac Pro's
2. How does the Radeon 5770 compare to the GeForce 8800 (I seem to remember you have the 8800). Here's a comparison (5770 vs. 8800):

Radeon 5870 and 5770 on 2008 Mac Pro

These scores aren't from a 2006 Mac Pro...but the similar relationship should still exist. As you can see...the 5770 scores significantly higher than the 8800 in all tests with scores.:)

Here's a quote from the article:

"Both cards ( 5870 & 5770) make the GeForce 8800 GT and Radeon HD 2600 XT look sickly by comparison."

- Nick

harryb2448 05-17-2011 06:25 PM

Shame the test was not done on a 1.1 Mac Pro rather than the 2008 model. If one wanted the card have to purchase it OWC or similar as Apple Australia charge much more, even though the AU$ is much stronger than the greenback.

pigoo3 05-17-2011 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by harryb2448 (Post 1237474)
Shame the test was not done on a 1.1 Mac Pro rather than the 2008 model. If one wanted the card have to purchase it OWC or similar as Apple Australia charge much more, even though the AU$ is much stronger than the greenback.

Yeah...I see what you mean. The 5770 is A$ 279.00 (Australia Apple Store)...which converts to $296US...versus the $249US Apple Store price.

Seems like a great upgrade (now or in the future) for a 1st generation Mac Pro. I would definitely be getting one for my Mac Pro 1,1 if I had not sold it.

I'm almost 99% sure I'm going to get one for my 2009 Mac Pro.:)

- Nick


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