10 Replies Latest reply: Aug 15, 2011 1:34 PM by Ladislao
Benjamin Leatherman Level 1 Level 1

Hey all,


I have a 1st generation mac pro, and I currently have a flashed nVidia 8800GT 512 card installed.  I think it's about to die on me (getting hard crashes while gaming where the screen will lock and be covered in squiggly, colored lines), so I'm looking to buy a replacement.  I was just going to get another flashed 8800 gt, but they seem to be more expensive than I remember them being last time I bought one ($150 on ebay) so I just thought I'd ask if there were any comprable cards for less money or better cards in the same price range for 1st gen mac pros (running 10.6 btw).


Additionally, is there anywhere but ebay to buy these cards?  And if you do find one for less/better card for same money, a link to the site/auction would be great as an added bonus (but I will of course be perfectly happy with just the info about alternate buying sites and possible other cards =D  )


Thanks in advance!

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9

    You can try baking the 8800GT;


    Buy ATI 5770.

    ATI Radeon HD 5770 Mac Pro pre-2010


    Radeon 5870 5770 2006 Mac Pro

  • DPArt Level 3 Level 3

    Mac Pro Systems in San Jose sells from their website. They carry an 8800GTX for your machine which can run circles around the original 8800GT.


    A used 4870 would be cheaper than 5770 and slightly faster.


    DV warehouse in LA also has a website. They carry OEM cards for most part, they have 8800GT.


    We Love Macs does too but they tend to be overpriced.

  • Ladislao Level 1 Level 1

    Honestly, I know "We Love Macs does too but they tend to be overpriced." but you don't have to spend $300 to $500 for a 4 to 5 year old GPU that gets spanked by newer GPUs (like ATI's 6870 for $155 brand new). You can spend only $650 to $750 for regular PC parts, that includes a small attractive tower, along with the ATI 6870 GPU, install the proper Kext files needed to get Lion 10.7 working on your BRAND NEW machine that will run circles around a similar Mac Pro Tower that would cost you $4,000 or more. Plus, you can OC the core processor to make it perform better. That's half the fun because YOU are the one in control of your system now. Later, a year or two from now you can just take out the old processor and replace it with a better one and it would only cost $250 to $300 to do that and you'll have (again) a faster system (usually 30% to 40% faster). Isn't that awesome? I think so...


    Oh well, more and more people are choosing the route of Mac Hak Pros because it's much easier and you don't need proprietary systems like Mac Pros anymore because Apple's focus is iPhones anyway.


    Plus Mac Pros are nothing but PC parts to begin with; just 4 to 5 times more expensive. NOT WORTH IT !!! And this is coming from a guy who's owned enough Mac Pro Towers to better now... .

  • Ladislao Level 1 Level 1

    Chris & Benjamin:


    You see Chris you ARE correct to purchase those 2 cards, but one thing I overlooked, our man Benji here is playing video games on an OUTDATED card and if he gets anohter 8800, well the same thing is going to happen... CRASH !!!


    I would really consider getting this if you're going to keep this machine:


    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mac-ATI-4870-1-Gig-Radeon-HD4870-Mac-Pro-Video-Card-/3305999 44650?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item4cf94ad1ca#ht_1201wt_1398


    That's the cheapest 4870 on ebay and it includes the shipping. You already know what I would do (since I keep saying this throughout the forum posts here about going the route of a Mac Hak Pro), but if you're that stuck on keeping your Mac Tower then do yourself a big favor, get a better card that has AT LEAST 1 GB of RAM so you don't go through this again. Buying ANYTHING LESS (YES, even a 4870 w/512 MB WILL CAUSE YOU ISSUES). It MUST be 1GB NO LESS. I don't care what anybody on this forum says, especially if you're going to be using High End apps like Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, etc... and the major killer of those outdated cards... VIDEO GAMES... But again, the choice is up to you... Take it from a guy who finally woke up after 20 years of using Mac Pro Towers and tons of input... :-)

  • Chris J Witt Level 1 Level 1

    I fully agree that 1GB Card is probably the way to go in this case. A 4870 is probably the least problematic and easiest of the ATI cards.

  • Ladislao Level 1 Level 1

    BTW, the reason why I initially said "...you don't have to spend $300 to $500 for a 4 to 5 year old GPU..." is because most HARDLINE - "I'll ONLY buy Apple approved products..." (emphisis on the quoted statement with a "poshy" voice), will spend needless amount of cake for a GPU you can flash yourself, or get flashed that you can buy on Ebay for less than half that price.


    Which again proves the point that will always be constant that I needed to get through my head - you can do it for less and not have to overpay Apple for something a regular PC part can handle and more...


    So Benji, get to Ebay and enjoy the pickings !!! Oh, and ALWAYS communicate with your seller and make sure they are from the states and NOT overseas; like the link I provided above. Later...

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9

    Some people have had one DVI port on a flashed card or other issues, some don't way that.


    I chose to turn my Mac into a Windows-only, no issue and using off the shelf w/o flashing or anything else.


    ebay prices are not always realisitic and one or two sells were selling the 'wrong' firmware version 8800GT.


    Apple graphic cards - and drivers - have been a weak spot and disappointment.

    Apple charges $1199 for Quadro 4000 while same PNY on Amazon, for Mac Pro, is under $800.


    For $249 I'd prefer to see someone happy. Rather than cut corners and support. And $100 is not a big deal on a card. $450 for a 5870 and GTX 285 though ... which was why people flashed cards (PC versions dropped to $199 ). Or the lack of Nvidia. Apple wanted $349 for their 4870; $399 for X1900. Some cards were offered but never as BTO so always cost extra.


    You probably even mistake me of all things for hardliner. Hilarious. But this is Apple Community, too. I tend to send people to MacRumors and other sites that want flashed support.


    No one I saw was saying $300-500 so you are the only way creating that idea in anyone's mind. Just you.

  • Chris J Witt Level 1 Level 1

    The rule is typically that if the card follows Reference design or Apple's design, it will work regardless of updates. That applied moreso to 4870's and 8800's. Some GTX 260's and all GTX 285's as well. Never seen ref cards get broken yet.


    @ The hatter;

    Is there much point to using a Mac Pro as a Windows only machine, over selling it and buying a more powerful PC for what you get?

    Reason I ask is because I'm just curious because I have 2 Mac Pro 2009's, one is windows only running GTX 580 (At least, until Lion supports 580's under ATY_Init). I'm debating whether to switch out its processor board for a Single CPU board and giving it a W3690 when the price comes down, or if I should just sell it and build a PC. Not trying to hijack the post or anything.

  • Ladislao Level 1 Level 1

    I see that you put this question/request to "The Hatter" here, but you are definitely (IMHO) not "hijacking" this post. I believe this is a very relevent topic, in fact I think a new should be created to let everyone know that you can SAVE BIG $$$ building your own Mac Hak Pro. I really wouldn't call it a "Hak" as it should really be called a PC/Mac Pro. All you're really doing is getting the right PC parts (which are compatible for Mac OS X) then purchasing the parts and building it yourself.


    Now about you considering possibly selilng your current system and building a PC. You can do that and STILL run Mac OS X 10.7 ON a PC, and if you become a (free) registered user on www.tonymacx86.com here:


    http://www.tonymacx86.com/ucp.php?mode=register&sid=b1dd0c793f39b3fae3cd2d5257c4 3de6


    and read the forums, people like yourself went through the very same issues that you have (as anyone would have with a propritary system like a Mac Pro) and found solutions here at half the cost or even one third the cost and loving their new PC/Mac Pro Builds. Here's one post for example that is talking about the very issues of the GTX 4XX / 5XX card series:




    If you can't access it, it's because you need to register first then you'll have access to it. I'm a member so I don't know it you'll have that access or not since I'm already signed on. I know it's too late (since you have your 580 card already), but the GTX 480 is just as good and faster as ANY styled GTX 580. Just watch this vid and you'll see why:




    If you want to skip most of the video (you can but I would watch the whole thing) you can go to min marker 5:00 min. and see the difference when you water cool the GPU. You cut the heat load almost in half and it runs just as cool and even faster than a 580 when you OC the 480 to it's max of (875MHz @ 53C under continuos load). But of course water cooling is another topic altogether, but completely worth the effort and you'll have a screaming machine.


    You know, everything is work, no matter how you look at it. I really hope others out there start to catch on that they can use their existing Mac Pros while they build they're own Hackintosh on the side and have fun while doing it. It's no different than building a model toy car. And you have a teen that has put together his/her own PCs, have him/her do it for you and when they're done and you're done installing all the files needed to install Lion 10.7 then you can give him/her your old Mac Pro.


    Anyway I hope this helps and gives you some hope Chris Witt... Later...