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m. alex Level 1 (0 points)

i recently accquired a late 2006 Xserve 2.0 (dual Xeon, woodcrests i believe.) and would like to install another graphics card. I am wondering if i have any other options BESIDES the apple ati radeon x1300 xt (apple part# 661-4194.) For instance, can i install another ati radeon x1300, a third party card using the radeon x1300 xt chipset?


any and all help is appreciated. thanks for looking



Xserve, Mac OS X (10.6.7)
  • beatle20359 Level 2 (290 points)

    Hi Alejandro,


    Welcome to the forum. What are you hoping to do with the Xserve. The ATI card is special card that plugs into the motherboard without taking up an expansion slot. Any other card you put in there will have to be a PCI-e card.


    You'll also be restricted to cards that don't need an extra power source as the Xserve lacks the connector and cable, cards that are compatible with a 2006/2007 Mac Pro.. So something like the Nvida 7300GT which is an entry level video card. I'm sure there are other ATI's that will work.


    All the best

  • m. alex Level 1 (0 points)

    hey beatle,



    Thanks for the welcome and prompt response.



    The XServe will likely be used as a cluster node with FCP, likely performing rendering or conversion tasks as well as capturing and quick edits on existing sequences. Basically a spare edit bay / network resource. However the onboard radeon x1300 does not contain the necessary vram to meet the minimum system requirements. We are well aware the xserve is not really meant for this type of thing but we obtained this box after-market for a nominal sum without license or ADU. We have installed a spare drive and installed 10.6 and everything is running smoothly.



    in our efforts to make it FCP ready we have tried a third-party radeon x1300 which did not clear POST. We also tried two third-party Nvidia 9400GTs which were only seen in profiler as a VGA-compatible controllers. i booted the 10.6 live cd to see if it contained any missing drivers and got the same result.



    can you point me towards a resource that might show me which cards are okay for use with the 06/07 mac pro? I'd prefer to use another ati radeon chipset so that multiple drivers are not being used… because i'm weird like that, you can yell at me for being paranoid if you like and i'll listen.



    again thanks for reading all that and for all the help!




  • beatle20359 Level 2 (290 points)

    Hi Alejandro,


    Don't worry I wont yell at you at all


    Basically you have the following options and anyone else here feel free to step in.


    NVIDIA 7300 GT or an ATI 2600 XT, although the ATI shipped with the 2008 Mac Pro it does contain the EFI 32 and EFI 64 roms so people have used them in the 2006/7 Mac Pro.



    Only problem is, the ATI has a fan on it so gets hot, the Xserve's form factor doesn't lend itself to cooling of what would be a reasonably large expansion card. Basically the fan would be blowing upwards to the case with minimal space for airflow which isn't ideal.. These cards still aren't that cheap, however you're only likely to damage the graphics card if it overheats. Make sure you get the Apple shipping card which looks like this one


    The reason the other cards don't work is they lack the firmware for the Mac.. It is possible to fix that but i'll have to leave you to google that one.


    So there you have it, your best bet is going to have to be the NVIDIA 7300GT unless you can afford to take a risk on the 2600XT. Also i'd remove the original x1300 from the xserve as well. It's 4 screws and lifts out.


    Good luck with it and let me know how you get on


  • dinoelio Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi. I have the very same late 2006 XServe, and want to upgrade the video card too. Do any of you know whether the GeForce GT120 would work in the XServe? If so would it perform as well or better than the internal ATI card, or for that matter, better or worse than either the 7300 GT or ATI 2600 XT, even if it did work in the XServe? The GT120 is available on Amazon for $130: cheaper than either of the other cards. And I know it has the EFI firmware. What do you think?

  • arcusak Level 1 (5 points)

    i have a Late 2006 Xserve with a dying mezzanine card (this is the second one of these models that have had this happen to). the mezzanines are getting a bit scarce and run close to (or over) $200 now.


    so i am looking for a replacement PCI-e card instead.


    has anyone actually tried any of these suggestions? looking for a specific model that people have used and had success with.



  • dinoelio Level 1 (0 points)

    I have purchased a Gt120 and put it into my Xserve. It is recognized only as a VGA-Compatible Controller, but no display (DVI, Minidisplay Port) will work, nor is recognized by the OS. I can still operate the machine through the MINI DVI port-connected display. I have rebooted with monitors connected only to the card to see if it would boot, but it won't. I have also noticed that when I boot with displays connected to the card, I can't always get in through screen sharing on another Mac. So something seems to be up with the driver. I am using Lion. Anything I should be considering? Any firmware updates I can apply? Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

  • Robert Brewer2 Level 1 (5 points)

    I also have a 2006 Xserve that appears to have a dying mezzanine video card. This system is used only as a server, so I am looking for the cheapest video card that will work. I found a replacement 64 MB mezzanine card for $149 ($89 if you return the non-working card):



    Anyone know of a cheaper solution? Can I connect via Apple Remote Desktop to an Xserve if I remove the video card?



  • YZFNYC Level 1 (10 points)

    Trying to bring back an old thread here.  Just got a 2006 Xserve Dual Xeon 2.66 with a dead video card for $75 bucks.  Looking for options on what to use as a replacement.  Might as well upgrade if I can.  I found an Apple GT120 Model#:MCC002ZM/A for $60.  If not I guess I will go with the Nvidia 7300GT but if someone chimes in that would be awesome.

  • Robert Brewer2 Level 1 (5 points)

    We ended up buying a replacement mezzanine card from here:



    It was $168.00 + shipping. The replacement is working fine. We have no need for improved graphics performance (it's a server), so we opted to stick to the tried in true replacement.

  • YZFNYC Level 1 (10 points)

    Thanks for the info Robert, Just can't see spending $168.00 on my Xserve when all I can get for it working is like $400 bucks on ebay.  Might as well sell it for parts at that point.  Looking for a Cheap PCI-E option.  I tried my old PCI 7000 Radeon but when I went to install noticed my Xserve had two PCI-E instead of 1 PCI and 1 PCI-X.  Anyone tried anything else?  Don't want to part this old girl out.

  • hydrostaticparadoxon Level 1 (5 points)

    I hate this to say, but it NOT TRUE, that the Gforce 7300 GT works in an Apple Xserve. I tried the following:


    I have an Xserve 2,1 (Early 2008) and ordered a Gforce 7300 GT and put it in the Xserve and removed the on board ATI 1300 Mezzanine card.


    The Xserve did NOT recognize the card. I've got NO video signals on neither of the two DVI ports, tried that with two different monitors.


    I then put the Gforce 7300 GT on the other PCIe Slot, but no success. I then built in the original ATI Mezzanine card again without removing the Gforce card, but no success. This card cannot be recognized by the Xserve 2,1 (Early 2008).


    The Gforce 7300 GT card is per definition for the Mac Pro only, NOT for the Xserve. That is what I found out after buying a card because I read here that it would work. It does NOT!


    Would be nice if someone has a hint what I can do that it finally works, but I don't believe so.

    so long!

  • beatle20359 Level 2 (290 points)

    The original post is for the 2006 Xserve not the 2008 but it might well work if you have the right card. Did you actually get a card with an Apple firmware on it, so one that came from a MacPro or was it a generic 7300? is someone else that has managed it on a 2006.

    I can test this out for you on the 2008 when I have some spare time.



  • hydrostaticparadoxon Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks for the reply. I've got a 7300 from a Mac Pro, used but tested, from ebay shop. I thought it would work, but it doesn't, actually. Is there anything I can do about that? I mean, if the Xserve does not recognise the card, I am lost I think.


    Hm would be great if you have an idea, as I have only one option: sending back the card....


    Best regards

  • beatle20359 Level 2 (290 points)

    I just checked and the 7300 only has a 32bit EFI compatible rom so wont work on the 2008 or above. This would leave you with the ATI 2600 XT, GT120 or one of the smaller Quadro Cards (as has also been reported). I'll test one of these for you when I can but that's the reason why you aren't having any luck.. As i'm sure you're aware you'd need a smaller form factor card and one that doesn't run too hot or need an external power connector to use it in the Xserve which severly limits your choices.





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