Mac Pro GPU Upgrade


#1

At work we’ve got one of the last tower Mac Pro’s before the trash can version came out. I’ve been asked to check into GPU upgrades for it and I’m coming up short. Does anyone know if these Mac Pro’s will support any old GPU or if it has to be a specific make/model?


#2

Hello, you will find all the info you need here:


Cheers


#3

I’m asking about GPU not CPU. Graphics cards. Thanks though.


#4

I found this: https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/nvidia-releases-alternate-graphics-drivers-for-macos-high-sierra-10-13-1-378-10-10-10-20.236101/#post-1618734

So seems the modern Nvidia cards will work on High Sierra, but now I need to find out whether the mid-2010 Mac Pro will power them sufficiently.


#5

If you want to be sure it’ll work, and work well with OS upgrades etc., look for an EVGA GTX680 2GB card, with 2x 6-pin power. Must be exactly that card.

I have bought two of these off Gumtree in recent months for my Mac Pro 4,1 and a mate’s. If you can find a windows machine, simply flash the firmware to the original Mac firmware and they work PERFECTLY on the Mac Pro (including providing boot screen etc.) and need no drivers etc.

Here are my notes from when I did it.

The Flashing Process
You need to do this in windows, as all the GPU flashing tools are PC only.

The NVIDIA GPU flash utility required is called NVFLASH.

Note: must be version 5.163.0.1 which can be downloaded from here: http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/nvflash-download.html

The Mac GTX680 firmware is available here http://sugarway.com/gtx680mac.rom. (Right click and ‘Download linked File as’ – This version is already unzipped and ready for flashing).

Download both of these files whilst booted into windows, place the unzipped and renamed gtx680mac.rom file in the same folder as the NVFLASH application.

Launch the NVFlash app by opening the folder it is in, then holding shift, right clicking in the window and choosing ‘Open Command Window here‘ from the popup menu. In the command line that appears type the following:

nvflash -b "mygpubackup.rom”

(NOTE: mygpubackup.rom can be any name you want followed by .rom – This backs up your original firmware to disk, just in case you need to restore a corrupt card like me!)

Now is the scary bit, updating the card with Mac firmware. Type the following command into the command line window;

nvflash -4 -5 -6 gtx680mac.rom

08-620x321

You will usually have to confirm a couple of items with a ‘Y’ or ‘Yes’ don’t worry this is normal!

Once the process has finished you will get a confirmation and are now ready to reboot into OSX with a fully working MacEdition GTX680.


#6

P.S. Yes, other cards are supported using the Nvidia Web Driver, but as you noticed already, it can be hard to find a decent card that works with 2x 6-pin power or less (as that’s all the Mac Pro has). The GTX 680 is a great card, and my machine is really fast with one in it. :slight_smile:


#7

I have a 4,1 and 5,1 Mac Pro.

I have a flashed Nvidia 680 gtx as per above. Runs fine with built in Apple drivers. I’ve installed Nvidia web drivers but I find them to be a bit flaky.

The other machine I bought a Sapphire Pulse 8GB 580. This was new from Amazon Uk for $100 Australian about 6 months ago.

I don’t game and I don’t push them too hard.
The Sapphire card works with built in Apple drivers but it isn’t EFI flashed so you can’t see a boot selection screen if you need to get into bootcamp. You can’t upgrade the Macs firmware with it either - you need to install a card with a Mac EFI.