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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Graphics card for Mac Pro 3.1 (2008 I think)


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glaaaasman

 
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Hi folks

I need some advice on an appropriate graphics card for my brother's Mac Pro 3.1 (2008 vintage I think, it has the Quad Core 2.8GHz Xeon and 320GB drives). It is the server for his vet clinic so it basically just sits in the corner (getting dusty :-( ) and chugs away. It only ever has a screen attached to it when I need to go in and check something out, maybe ten times a year. So basically a pretty basic, bullet-proof graphics card that can handle getting dusty. It currently has an ATI Radeon HD 2600, well it did have. :-) It is revving like a jet engine and causing lots of kernel panics at the moment so it has to go.

Any help will be much appreciated.

Warren
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harryb2448

 
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Maybe a nVidia 8800GT, but make sure it is for the 3.1 Mac Pro. there are two versions, a single channel for 1.1's, and dual for later models. No fan installed gfx cards will handle dust. The fans race and die when clogged. If things are real dusty perhaps a 7700 which is fan less may be the go.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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glaaaasman

 
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Thanks for that, I'll check them both out. I think the fanless option is the way to go because the card is used so infrequently that overheating is not likely to be an issue.

Btw, you don't happen to know whether I can just whack something like a GeForce 210 in it (some versions of the Mac Pro have come with this card), even if it is a PC one. The research I have done suggests it will work but I won't get full functionality, no boot screen etc. But, given that it will only ever use it's graphics to run a screen, I'm happy with that.

Thanks again.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glaaaasman View Post
Btw, you don't happen to know whether I can just whack something like a GeForce 210 in it (some versions of the Mac Pro have come with this card)
I believe you mean "GeForce GT 120". As far as the GT120's compatibility with a 2008 Mac Pro. This article says that it is:

New Mac Pro Graphics Cards… In Older Mac Pros | Other World Computing Blog

In addition to Harry's suggestions...I would also add this (ATI 5770):

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

And if you have more money (ATI Radeon 5870):

Apple MC743ZM/A ATI Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Upgrade... in stock at OWC

HTH,

- Nick

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glaaaasman

 
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Hiya Nick

You are dead right, I did mean the GeForce 120 but not the Mac one. I knew that there was a GeForce 120 for Mac which is why I was wondering if the PC one might give me the basic functionality I need. Something like this

Asus GeForce 210 512MB DDR2, PCI-E 2.0, 1 x DVI, 1 x VGA, 1x HDMI, Silent Fanless Edition, LOW PROFILE - nVidia - Video Cards - Parts

The HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade looks good but it's going to sit around 99% of the time doing nothing at all. All I need is something that will support a screen for the 5 times a year I need to hook one up and have a nosy at something. I'm even thinking I can leave the HD2600 XT in as well for when I need to boot up in anyother mode than normal.

Regards

Warren
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glaaaasman View Post
Hiya Nick

You are dead right, I did mean the GeForce 120 but not the Mac one. I knew that there was a GeForce 120 for Mac which is why I was wondering if the PC one might give me the basic functionality I need. Something like this...
Personally I like to stick with official Macintosh video cards when I can. I know some folks have had success using "flashed" Windows video cards...but sometimes there can be issues (now or in the future).

Regarding the GT 120. This really is a low end card...and would probably be fine for your needs. I have 2 of them in my 2009 Mac Pro...I bought the 2nd one used off e-Bay for about $45US. So at that price...there's really not a strong need to buy the Windows version.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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glaaaasman

 
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Thanks again for your reply, Nick.


Quote:
Personally I like to stick with official Macintosh video cards when I can. I know some folks have had success using "flashed" Windows video cards...but sometimes there can be issues (now or in the future).
I wasn't actually going to flash it. :-) I have read somewhere that the PC version of the 120 will work plug and play in the Mac Pro, you just lose your boot screen. I can live without that or even leave the old card in the other slot for when I need the boot screen. It still boots up from it, it just gets all funny once you start to use the mouse etc.

Quote:
Regarding the GT 120. This really is a low end card...and would probably be fine for your needs. I have 2 of them in my 2009 Mac Pro...I bought the 2nd one used off e-Bay for about $45US. So at that price...there's really not a strong need to buy the Windows version.
Low end but probably still much more than I need. I'm actually pretty keen to get a card without a fan. I think that is what knackered this one. It sat around gathering dust, doing nothing for ages and the suddenly had to do a fair amount of work cos the server crashed and needed a lot of attention. Where did you get your secondhand one?

Thanks again.

Warren
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