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Installing a Video Card in Mac Pro

Posted on 2013-11-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
Hi;

We are trying to change a Video Card in a Mac Pro. It presently has in a NVidea Geforce 7300 which is flickering and pixelating among other issues. The client bought another NVidea Geforce although I am not yet clear of the exact model, we are trying to get this.

The second card is detected when installed with the first but it does not show so output is only through the old card. The machine fails to boot from the new card alone.

I am not very familiar with Mac so your help is appreciated.
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Question by:mavcom
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3 Comments
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 39680194
The MacPro and OSX only support specific models of NVidia cards.

It would help if you indicated the model of MacPro and version of OSX as this will have a bearing on the compatible models also.

This article reviews performance of MacPro (2010 model) compatible cards
http://www.barefeats.com/rogue02.html

Did your client buy the video card from Apple or confirm it was compatible?

If it is a non-supported card all is not lost as it seems that you need to bypass the boot screen and apple hardware check and install the OSX drivers
http://www.nvidia.com/object/macosx-270.00.00f01-driver.html

As far as I remember there is an app called Pandora which allows you to change the bootloader to bypass the hardware check but this is in effect what you'd need to do
http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/files/file/11-pandoraapp/

To be honest if its not an Apple-approved/supported GPU you're into "hacking" the Mac to get it to work.  You're stepping into a different area of expertise and I'd recommend opening another question for this.
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Author Comment

by:mavcom
ID: 39680673
The card is NVidia GeForce 8800GT, and it is a Mac Pro running OS/X 10.6. I need a way to switch to this new card. The machine detects it, but when I plug the display into it, there is no response on the screen. When I place it back into the original one, it displays. When I remove the original card, and use the 8800GT only, there is no response on the screen.
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Accepted Solution

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Davis McCarn earned 500 total points
ID: 39680761
Apple writes special firmware into their video cards so, if it is not specifically an Apple card, it won't work unless you learn how to write the correct firmware.  What flames me on this is that the $175 Apple card is $65 for exactly the same board that works in a PC!
You have a 2007 Mac Pro which is the vintage that came with the 7300GT (and the GT is important).
Here is a listing of the video cards which work in that model:  http://www.welovemacs.com/apmacproqu2m5.html
And, here is an 8800GT for $181: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-1st-Gen-Mac-Pro-nVidia-GeForce-8800GT-661-4724-661-4911-512MB-Video-Card-/250971363288?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item3a6f0f17d8#ht_4238wt_1141
If you don't already have onr, you'll need a power cable, too: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Apple-Mac-Pro-Tower-PCIe-Video-Card-Power-Cable-For-5870-5770-580-480-285-/271113230222?pt=US_Power_Cables_Connectors&hash=item3f1f9b978e#ht_1661wt_904
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