Friday, 11 May 2012

PC Nvidia Graphics cards in a Mac Pro UPDATED




One of my computers is a Mac Pro, which I've been very happy with, except for the restriction of using "Mac" versions of Pci-e Graphics cards, which are typically more expensive than their PC counterparts.

I had been running the machine with an Nvidia GT8800, which was a fairly powerful card, but was dismayed to see all the new cards coming out for the PC which were faster and cheaper.

There are ways to "hack" OSX to get it to accept a non-Mac graphics card but I was loathe to mess around with a working machine.

So I was very curious to read that in Mac OSX Lion (from 10.7.2 I believe), you can install a standard PC graphics card and a driver from Nvidia, and it just works :-)



I thought I would give it a try. I first installed the Nvidia driver for OSX 10.7.3 from here. I then installed an Nvidia GTX550ti graphics card. I chose the GTX550ti as it has a lower power requirement than some of the faster cards and I didn't want to overstress the power supply in my Mac Pro.

I crossed my fingers and powered up...

There were a few moments of doubt as there is no boot screen or spinning icon as the machine starts, but then the desktop appeared and everything was working!!

I also run Windows via boot camp and rebooting into windows I got the "found new hardware" message and the drivers for the graphics card were updated.

I haven't had a chance to run any serious benchmarks yet but I'll have a play with the system this weekend and see how it's running. First impressions are very good, the system seems happy and the graphics performance is definitely better. The GTX550ti only cost me €150 :-)

NB: Apple updated Lion to OSX 10.7.4 which broke the Nvidia driver, but Nvidia released a new driver here which apparently works. I haven't tested it personally. I'll wait until any other issues with 10.7.4 have been identified.

UPDATE: Last night I took the plunge and updated my Mac Pro to Mountain Lion 10.8
The GTX550ti is supported as standard, without installing any drivers from Nvidia, in fact the drivers installed by OSX show as driver version 295 which is newer than the 270 drivers for Lion.

Apparently Mountain Lion will support GTX 500 and 600 series cards natively but watch out for power consumption issues with the higher spec cards.

UPDATE 2nd August. I have had some instances of graphics corruption in Mountain Lion which I didn't have in Lion. I will keep an eye on the Nvidia site to see if they release updated drivers for Mountain Lion. The built in driver has a release number of 295 so it is behind the 300 series drivers that are current for other platforms.

UPDATE: It seems the GTX550ti has problems in Mountain Lion relating to sleep and recovery. For the moment I recommend you do NOT use the GTX550ti in Mountain Lion.

UPDATE 29th August. I have ordered a GTX660ti and will put up a new post with my experiences with that.
I have also found a cheap source of Mac Pro GPU power cables, you can order them from ebay here. I ordered two and they arrived the next day!

This post is getting quite old now, please see my other posts for more recent information.

125 comments:

  1. Is there a list of other cards which work? Will this "hack" work with a MacPro1,1 (1st Generation)?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Julian,

    The Nvidia drivers are only supposed to be for the Mac Pro 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1 but if you look here there may be a way round that.
    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,1897.0.html
    I don't know which Nvidia cards will work but be careful not to overload the power supply or you'll get all sorts of problems.
    I accept no responsibility for your Mac Pro tearing a hole in the space/time continuum :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've installed the driver successfully with editing the .dist-file - and I will order your mentioned GTX550ti for my macro :) i hope the best...

    Did you use the 2GB-model from EVGA like in the image? (there are some other models from 768MB up to 3GB...) do you have some comparison-facts between the GTX550ti and the 8800GT (which i still use)? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julian,

      I have a MacPro 1.1but my programming skill is bad. Would you mind to tell me how to edit the .dist file?

      Thanks in advance.

      Delete
    2. Hi Clive,

      just open it with "TextEdit". You'll find a "list" which looks a bit like this:
      ["MacPro3,1","MacPro4,1","MacPro5,1"]

      Now just add "MacPro1,1" to the list and save the file back to the .pkg - now you should be able to install the driver :)

      Delete
    3. Hi Julian,

      Thanks for your help, I installed the driver successfully in my MP ; )

      Delete
  4. Hi Julian,

    Yes I used the 2GB EVGA model. I didn't want to spend too much as I wasn't sure it was going to work :-)

    I might now go for the 560ti or a 570, but will need to acquire another Mac Graphics card power cable.

    I haven't had a chance to really benchmark the machine but it certainly seems to be a lot faster.

    One caveat, I haven't tried the HDMI port and have heard that maybe this will not work in the Mac.

    Good luck, let me know how it goes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it works! :)

      well, mostly - the MP only recognizes 1GB of the 2GBs :/ (or only shows 1GB in the system profiler...)... but the power compared to the 8800GT is awesome :)

      Delete
    2. Does anybody know if it actually just uses 1Gb? if I get the 1Gb model will it show 500 only? I have a MP 3,1 8core and looking to upgrade to a faster card. Julian, are all of your ports working? HDMI?

      Thanks a lot guys!

      Delete
  5. Hi Neil
    I have 2 macpros and have upgraded one to an HD6870, works fine with now extra tweaks.
    I tried the card in my mackintosh but couldn't get it to work. The second macpro has just done it's 8800Gt and I think I'll try the GTX560ti. Did you use a PCIe Y-Splitter or buy a second mac graphics card power cable?
    Cheer
    Jon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jon,
      The GTX550ti only needs one power connector so I just used the existing one. That and low power consumption were two of the reasons I chose it.
      If I was putting a card in that needed two power cables I would use a second Mac graphics power cable, so as not to overload any of the lines on the motherboard.
      Let me know how you get on, Cheers, Neil

      Delete
  6. Here is my report :

    EVGA has no stock so I bought a Galaxy GTX 500Ti but no luck, system does not recognize my card... : (

    Clive

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Clive,
      Are you running OSX 10.7.3 and the new Nvidia drivers?
      What happens when you boot your Mac Pro?

      Delete
    2. Hi Neil,

      Thanks for your reply, my system is running 10.7.4 and the newest driver (2012.05.10 ver.). I plugged the card in two situations.

      1. Plug both 550Ti and original 7300GT, cannot find any information in system information after reboot, neither in "PCI cards" and "Graphic/Display" sections.

      2. Plug only 550Ti, my monitor seemed had no signal after reboot, I waited for 3 minutes but still cannot see anything.

      Thanks,
      Clive

      Delete
    3. Hmmmm...
      Your system should at least see the card when it is paired with the 7300GT.
      Did you connect a six pin auxiliary power cable to the GTX550ti?
      You won't have had one connected to the 7300GT so I don't know if you have one.
      The GTX550ti will not run without the extra power cable.
      Cheers

      Neil

      Delete
    4. Thanks for your help, finally system shows this card after I removed and re-installed the driver : )

      However I find system information just only recognizes 512MB of 1GB, just like Julian mentioned before.

      As there is no boot screen or spinning icon as the machine starts, may I know how can you choose a startup drive when startup with holding option button? Its really a problem for me.

      On the other hand, system is getting hang every time when I play Diablo 3 after 5 minutes .

      Cheers,
      Clive

      Delete
  7. If you need to switch between Mac and windows you can choose "startup disc" in mac preferences to boot to Windows or use boot camp control panel in windows to choose boot from Mac OSX
    Hope that helps
    Cheers
    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi there,

    how to these power cables look? Haven't seen one.
    Also, do you guys think my olde MacPro1,1 will handle a GTX 560?

    Cheers
    ICBM

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Niel,

    Just to clarify your Mac Pro is a 1,1 variant?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dexter,
      My Mac Pro is the 3,1 variant from 2008

      I'm not sure Mountain Lion would install on the 1,1 version

      Delete
    2. Ooooh. Here's a hack to get Mountain Lion on your MP 1,1.

      http://www.ijailbreak.com/how-to/install-os-x-10-8-mountain-lion-mac-pro-32-bit/

      Delete
  10. Hi Niel
    Do you still lose your boot screen with the gtx550ti and Mountain lion

    Martin

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Martin,

    Yes, and I have had a few instances of Graphics corruption.
    I'm checking the Nvidia site to see if they release a driver for Mountain Lion

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Martin,
    I am to buy the 550ti after reading your article with a MacPro 3.1 and Lion 10.7.x. only.

    You said that your card use only ONE power connector to the motherboard, is it right?

    I ask because all the picture I see has one connector to the card and it split in two to the motherboard.

    Can you show or find a link to your exact type of card.

    Regards

    Jeff (Canada)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Jeff,
    The GTX550ti from EVGA as pictured uses one power cable like this:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Apple/9227128/
    Make sure you have one of these to install the card in your Mac Pro
    Best regards
    Neil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much
      Jeff

      Delete
  14. Hi Neil,

    Any new cud drivers for 560ti.

    cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sam, the latest CUDA drivers for OSX are 5.0.17
      Link http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/cuda-mac-driver-uk.html

      Delete
  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Neil,
    Excellent blog topic. Please keep us updated on your success or stability issues. I have Mac Pro 3,1 and one thing that has always bothered me about the Mac was their graphic cards. They are always 2 years behind PC and so much more expensive. I've subscribed so keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  17. wait so i have GTX 285 Mac edition... it seems Nvidia GTX550ti is a downgrade for me... am i incorrect?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Goose,
    Thanks for your post.
    The GTX285 has more CUDA cores than the GTX550ti but has slower memory bandwidth. Swings and roundabouts.
    You might want to try the GTX570 or even the GTX670.
    I'm looking at those but waiting for prices to drop :-)
    Let me know how you get on.
    Cheers
    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just out of curiosity, is there any news on native support for AMD/ATi cards in Mountain Lion as well? The Radeon 7970 seems to be a very good contender for the GTX670/680.

    Interesting post, I'll keep an eye out in case you update with a GTX670 :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Morten, Thanks for your post.
      I've seen reports of the AMD 6950 and 6970 working in Mountain Lion but it seems the AMD 7970 is no go at the moment.
      I personally prefer the Nvidia cards for CUDA acceleration in Adobe and Resolve.
      I'm watching the prices on the GTX670, not sure if it will need an extra power supply too. :)
      Cheers,
      Neil

      Delete
    2. Thanks Neil. I google a bit about the power supply, and I don't think you would need extra power. This forum post http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1019577 suggests that it has a 980W power supply, which would be suffient to run the GTX670. Also, since you can configure the Mac Pro with two Radeon 5770, power shouldn't be a problem IMO.
      But as you mention there appears to be problems with GTX670 in Mountain Lion :/

      Delete
    3. Oh one question. I have a friend who just bought a computer with a GTX670. If I ask kindly I may be able to borrow it. I'm running Mountain Lion, so I should *NOT* install the nVidia Driver 270.00.00, right?

      Should I do anything to prepare my Mac Pro before installing the graphics card?

      Delete
    4. Hi Morten,
      That's right, you don't need the Nvidia drivers, the version in Mountain Lion is newer.

      You will need 2 Apple GPU power cables (see here: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Apple/9227128/ )

      Let me know how you get on :-)
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
    5. Unfortunately I couldn't lend the card, but I have spoken with some guys from barefeats.com about the whole gfx card situation, and I got the following reply I thought I would share:

      "I've heard reports that some NVIDIA cards work with OS X Mountain Lion but have not confirmed that in our lab. All the ones we've tested recently under Lion and Mt. Lion -- including the GeForce GTX 570 and 580 -- require some firmware changes to boot -- and driver patch to support OpenCL.

      We tried the Radeon HD 7970 under Lion but it would not boot. We no longer have it but I doubt it will under Mountain Lion without some tweaking or amending of the firmware.

      We are continually experimenting with alternate GPUs. If we find one that boots and functions correctly without patching of firmware or drivers, we will definitely post an article about it. Also, we know of a couple of mad scientists that work these cards to make them function seamlessly under OS X. They will also inform us if they find such a GPU."

      Delete
    6. Thanks Morten,
      My GTX550ti boots with a black screen until the login screen and has some problems with sleep mode. Apart from that it's fine and it runs faster than my 8800GT.
      There is a guy who sells cards on ebay with flashed firmware, search for macvidcards.
      Thanks
      Neil

      Delete
  20. Hi Neil,

    I'm on a Mac Pro 3,1 (early 2008) running 10.7.4 and I'm trying to run an EVGA Geforce GT640. Ive installed the latest NVIDIA drivers (and CUDA driver) but to no avail. I'm about to update to Mountain Lion on the off chance that it helps. Any idea if this card should work even in theory? Or should I give up and buy something else?

    Thanks!

    Jordan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jordan,
      I can confirm the GT640 should work in Mountain Lion. You do not need to load any drivers, the native drivers in Mountain Lion will work fine.
      I have no idea why it didn't work in Lion.
      Let me know how you get on.
      Neil

      Delete
    2. Right you are! Updated to Mountain Lion and the GT640 works like a charm. Had to update a very simple text file ("cuda_supported_cards") within Premiere Pro 5.5 package contents in order to enable the Mercury Playback Engine. Works great too! I have yet to try running a 3rd monitor via the mini-HDMI port.

      One warning for anyone with Apple Cinema Displays- the DVI ports on the GT640 are too close together connect two Cinema Displays. Had to pick up a slimmer DVI extension cable for one of them.

      Thanks again!

      Delete
  21. I've been reading up on some other sites and from what i've read, it seems that these cards, even if they work, are not using the full capability of the PCIX 2.0 and only going half that unless the cards themselves are modded to work with PCIX 2.0. Any validity to this?

    It just seems so exhausting that I almost just want to keep my GTX 285 for stability.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Goose,
      Your GTX 285 is a pretty good card, I would stick with that until the situation settles down.
      I now have my eye on the GTX 660 ti, I'll post if I get it :-)
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  22. I just installed an EVGA 2GB GTX 550 ti on my Mac Pro 1,1 upgraded with quad 3.0 processors.

    I didnt's connected any monitor yet. It's an second card (the first is ATI 5770) and it's for Cuda aceleration for CS6 and DaVInci.

    System report shows the card's name but Premiere and After Effects didnt recognized it even editing the supported card text. GPUSniffer don't even see it. :-(

    Any idea? thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andre,
      Which version of OSX are you running?
      Did you load the Nvidia drivers?
      What happens if you take out the ATI card?
      Thanks
      Neil

      Delete
    2. Hi Neil,

      Boots without EFI boot. System recognizes only 1gb of video memory.

      Davinci Resolve doesn't open. 2 errors messages (no cuda and no 64 bits).

      Tried on Windows8 - Davinci plays at 24 smoothly

      On mac Davinci works only with ATI playing at +-12 fps

      Thanks

      Delete
    3. Hello again Andre, You still did not tell me which version of OSX you are running...
      I'm not sure if you can run the 64 bit kernel on a Mac Pro 1,1 :-(
      Best regards,
      Neil

      Delete
  23. Hi Neil, got a GTX 660 Ti on my Mac Pro 3,1 for a few days, may be we could compare some result.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you using After Effects or Premiere CS6? Just about to buy this card, but I'm unsure if it give me faster rendering in AE/PR.
      Does this card work "out of the box" ?

      Delete
    2. Hi John,
      I have now installed an EVGA 660ti
      It works "out of the box" in Mountain Lion.
      You do need to enable the card for CS6 (see my other post for instructions)
      Premiere works beautifully, I haven't tried AE yet.
      I'm away for a week at a trade show but will do some more testing when I get back.
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
    3. Great, thanks!

      Delete
    4. Hi Goonraz,
      Please see my reply to John
      Cheers

      Neil

      Delete
  24. Hi Neil, I'm thinking of getting a EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) (2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card) for my MacPro 3,1.
    Do you know if the Mountain Lion GTX 550ti 2Gb sleep problem has been resolved?

    Cheers,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lars,
      As far as I know it has not. I have now installed a GTX 660ti in my machine but when I had the GTX 550ti I just disabled sleep to avoid the problem :-)
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  25. Can you post a picture of how your power cables are configured for the 660ti?

    ReplyDelete
  26. I can confirm that Nvidia Quadro works out of the box on MacPro 1,1 (1st gen)with minor issues in full screen games (screen static) but professional apps work fine as well as OpenCL benchmarks. This card is not new but realtively cheap professional card, look at Ebay for PC cards like this one.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Nvidia Quadro FX 4600 760MB that is.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Just dropped a Galaxy GT 640 in a mac pro 3,1, so far works great, and compared to the Radeon 2600 that was in it it is just amazing....

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello Neil,

    I'm thinking about replacing my old 8800GT in my MacPro 3,1 running 10.8.2 now. How is it going with your new GTX 660Ti ? did you need extra cable (power) or not? is everything fine with sleep etc. ?

    Thanks for your feedback,
    Eric

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Eric,
      The 660ti seems to work fine except I have had occasional lock ups when pushing it hard. I think it is overheating and I am investigating solutions. It may just be the current drivers.
      Sleep works fine and in normal use it flies.
      I did need to buy an extra power cable, I found a cheap source on ebay. I'll post a link.
      Cheers, let me know how you get on,
      Neil

      Delete
    2. Link to cheap power cables on ebay uk
      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-Mac-Pro-mini-pci-e-6pin-pci-e-6pin-video-power-cable-922-7128-922-8446-/290761755723

      Delete
    3. Hi Neil,

      I have read through your post, and find it quite inspiring.
      At the moment I am discussing a subject on Macrumors and Netkas, that I find relevant to the existing debate going on on this thread at your website. I would like to share it with you guys:

      Will an Nvidia GT630 DDR3 work with OSX 10.7.4 Lion on a Mac Pro 1.1?
      The card in question is based on the Fermi chip (not the Kepler), and is said to be a rebrand of the GT440 which works OOTB in 10.7.4 on a Pro 1.1.

      For now it seems the answer lies in buying the card and testing it. That is what I am going to do - but before i do so, I thought I would pose the question to you and other brilliant minds debating on your website.

      Best regards
      Kristian Thomsen

      Delete
    4. Hi Kristian, Sorry to take so long to reply.
      It's very difficult to get definite information. The GT630 certainly looks like a rebadged GT440 except for the memory clock.
      I would expect it to work but I think the only way to find out is to try it :-)
      Buy the card from somewhere that will let you take it back.
      What sort of applications do you want to run?
      Both those cards only have 96 CUDA cores.
      Good luck, let me know how you get on,
      Neil

      Delete
    5. Hi Neil,
      Thank you very much - I appreciate your help.
      And good point regarding buying the card in a store that accepts returns.

      I will return with the results of my testing, when possible.

      //Kristian

      Delete
    6. Hi Niel,
      I have carried out a test of installing an Nvidia Geforce GT630 in my Mac Pro 1.1, and want to supply you with my results.
      Before plugging the card in, I installed the Nvidia drivers for 10.7.4 Lion. Booting up the system with the new card in the machine worked like a charm. My 27" and my 23" display both lid up as Lion loaded to the desktop.

      In system profiler the card reads as an "NVIDIA Chip Model 256 MB".
      To test the performance of the newly installed card, I launched Unreal Tournament 2004. With every graphic setting on the very highest everything runs lightning fast and flawless. When operating the OS everything seems very fast as well.

      My old card is the passively cooled 7300GT. This i have kept in the machine. The GT630 is installed in lane 1, and the 7300GT has been moved to lane 4. The first time Lion boots with both cards installed, the user is allowed to alter the allocation of bandwidth for each lane.

      I've got Windows 7 installed on the machine as well, with Boot Camp.
      In Windows everything is working like a charm too! Both cards in the machine, both recognized, both outputting full resolutions properly. And games executed by the GT630 seem to run amazingly well. As examples I tested Sniper Elite V2 and F.E.A.R. 3. Both games run smoothly at an HD resolution of 1280x720 with details on high.

      To summ up:
      The GT630 in my Mac Pro 1.1 runs very well in both 10.7.4 Lion and Windows 7 (64 bit ultimate).
      With both the original 7300GT and the new card in the machine, both cards are recognized and fully functional, under both operating systems.

      The exact card i bought and installed is: ASUS GT630-2GD3 - 2GB
      Product number 90-C1CSE1-S0UAN0BZ

      What is furthermore worth mentioning: The 7300GT outputs the grey Apple boot screen (installed in lane 4, with the GT630 in lane 1).

      Best regards
      Kristian Thomsen

      Delete
    7. That's great to hear Kristian,
      Thanks for posting,
      Neil

      Delete
  30. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for your help, i will buy the 660ti, all the people is talking good about this card.
    wich one is better for the mac pro 3.1 EVGA GTX660Ti 2GB GDRR5 or EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti SuperClocked+ 3GB Graphics Video Card??
    Does the gtx 670 consume more energy than gtx660?

    wow im really excited lol...im goint to play with legos :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Ernesto,

    I would go for the 2GB version, there are some issues with cards over 2GB.
    The GTX670 is rated at 170W whilst the GTX660ti is rated at 150W, so there is not much difference in power consumption. However the GTX670 is a lot more expensive, but has the same amount of CUDA cores as the GTX660ti.
    Good luck,
    Enjoy your legos :-)
    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great information!, I have Some Mac Pro 3,1 and 4, 1 Models that i want to upgrade the video card in, I saw mention of the 660TI, what is the best Nividia card that can run on 10.7.4 or mountain Lion with little issues or a driver installation? and where is the link to such a driver? Thanks a lot! this info may help get a few years out of these systems and save alot of money!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Forgot to mention the Main reason for the upgrade is to use Adobe Premiere pro cs 6

      Delete
    2. would this card work in this situation? EVGA GeForce GTX 660Ti SUPERCLOCKED 2048MB GDDR5 DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI, DP, SLI Graphics Card (02G-P4-3662-KR) Graphics Cards 02G-P4-3662-KR

      Delete
    3. Hi Stubakka,
      I'm not sure I would go for the superclocked version but maybe it would be ok :-)
      Don't go for a board with more than 2gb of RAM. I have heard of issues with those.
      One of my other blog posts has the link to the Nvidia drivers, or look on Nvidias site for the drivers for the Quadro 4000 for Mac
      Good luck!
      Neil

      Delete
  33. Hi Neil,

    Great and interesting thread! Here's my situation:

    Currently I have a Mac Pro 3.1 with a Nvidia GT8800 / 512MB DDR | 12GB | 4 1TB HDD | I want to keep this card in my Mac for the boot screen an normal use in OSX.

    When shifting to video editing in OSX or gaming under Bootcamp in Windows I would like to use an additional graphics card like the GTX550/650-Ti for PC.

    Is it possible due to the PSU of 950Watt to have both cards installed in my Mac?

    Metering the Mac's consumption is about 375W normal use. When running games with GT 8800 its spurts to nearly 500W.

    Any thoughts or advice are much appreciated!

    Greetings



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,
      You could probably use the 8800GT with the GTX550 but you will need to get another Mac GPU power cable.
      Link to cheap power cables on ebay uk
      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-Mac-Pro-mini-pci-e-6pin-pci-e-6pin-video-power-cable-922-7128-922-8446-/290761755723
      For the GTX550 to run in OSX you will need to be running 10.7.2 or above and download the Mac drivers from Nvidia.
      See my other posts for details.
      Let me know how you get on,
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  34. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for your prompt reply!!!!

    I forgot to mention my OSX specs:

    MAC
    OSX 10.8.2 ML
    GPU Driver 1.3.4.0 (304.00.05f02)
    CUDA 5.0.37

    Cheers!







    ReplyDelete
  35. Thanks Neil,

    Just leaning towards the GTX660-Ti icw my GT8800. But it needs two 6 pin power cables to it. Can I use two Y-splitters and cross them to both cards. Due to the fact that the GT8800 only needs one I have one spare.

    LB 6-PIN #2 [Y-splitter]---GT8800 (PCi-E slot#2 x16)
    |---------- #1 GTX660-Ti (PCi-E slot#1 x16)

    |---------- #2 GTX660-Ti (PCi-E slot#1 x16)
    LB 6-PIN #1 [Y-splitter]---SPARE

    Cheers,
    Berend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Berend,
      That looks like it should work. Otherwise you could just take out the 8800GT
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  36. Hi Neal,

    Happy 2013!

    I have to keep my GT8800 for bootscreen! The GTX660-Ti is a PC card.

    Cheers,
    Berend

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Berend,
      The GTX660ti will work from the login screen.
      The only reason you need the boot screen is if you want to use "option" to choose the OS and you can easily use boot camp assistant in Win7 and Boot preferences in OSX to choose before you reboot.
      You can keep the 8800GT around in case you need to do some maintenance.
      Cheers,
      Neil

      Delete
  37. Hi Neil,

    Like buying a Ferrari with shielded windows ;-)

    No, serious, I'll give it a try....
    Thanks for your time and the replies!!!

    Cheers,
    Berend

    ReplyDelete
  38. Will the Geforce GTX 650 TI 1GB work????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see no reason why it shouldn't
      Regards
      Neil

      Delete
  39. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for your time and advice, installed a EVGA GTX 670 FTW 4GB in slot-2
    using 2 Y-split mini MAC to PC PCIe cables!

    LB 6-PIN #2 [Y-splitter]---GT8800 MAC (PCi-E slot#2 x16)
    |---------- #1 EVGA GTX 670 FTW 4GB (PCi-E slot#1 x16)

    |---------- #2 EVGA GTX 670 FTW 4GB (PCi-E slot#1 x16)
    LB 6-PIN #1 [Y-splitter]---SPARE

    WORKS GREAT HERE!!!!

    #1 NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT:
    Chipsetmodel: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    Sleuf: Slot-2
    Breedte PCIe-baan: x16
    VRAM (totaal): 512 MB
    SyncMaster:
    Resolutie: 1280 x 1024 @ 60 Hz
    Pixeldiepte: 32-bits kleur (ARGB8888)

    #2 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670:
    Chipsetmodel: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    Sleuf: Slot-1
    Breedte PCIe-baan: x16
    VRAM (totaal): 4096 MB
    HP LP2480zx:
    Resolutie: 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
    Pixeldiepte: 32-bits kleur (ARGB8888)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cool :-)

      Thanks for letting me know

      Neil

      Delete
  40. Hi Neil, you must have the patience of Job lol
    Hope it doesn't run out before you answer my question.
    I've been waiting for a post like yours for ages just hoping that someone will come up with a way to improve the MacPro's for gaming etc.

    I have a 4.1 MP running ML 10.8.2 and presently using a Nvidia GTX285 and my eyes are in desperate need of a clearer screen.
    So which card would you recommend that I get, I think the last card you had installed and working was the GTX 660ti. Are you still happy with it and would that be a good choice for me.
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jim,
      I think the GTX660ti gives the best "bang for the buck" but take a look at prices on the GTX670 and GTX680, there are always offers happening.
      You won't get the boot screen with a PC graphics card but you can still use boot camp and the boot disk selector in system preferences to choose which OS you want to boot to.
      You will need two GPU power cables but I think you have those already with your GTX285?
      Good luck and let me know how you get on,
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  41. Hi Neil, thanks for the reply.

    When you were saying that you don't get the boot screen with the GTX660ti or any of the PC cards, would that mean I would have to always start up holding the Option key and choose my drive.

    Is the GTX660ti that way also if so is there a way to keep my old GTX285 card in one of the slots and be able to start up normally.

    I took a look at the price of the GTX680 on Amazon and it's $460, a bit too steep for me I'm afraid.
    Thanks
    Cheers Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jim,
      With the GTX660ti installed you cannot hold the option key as the card does not display anything until the login screen.
      You have to choose the boot OS when you reboot, either from system preferences in OSX or from the boot camp assistant in windows.
      I personally don't have a problem with that but some people don't like it.
      I don't think you will be able to have the GTX285 and the GTX660ti as the power requirements would be too high.
      Good luck and let me know how you get on,
      Cheers,
      Neil

      Delete
  42. Hi Neil, I've gone ahead and ordered a GTX660ti from Amazon just wondering if I need to download any drivers for it or will the ones that come with the Mac Pro be ok.

    I noticed that there were various GTX660ti cards for sale, some were over clocked and some had two fans instead of one.
    I decided to stick with the basic card - the one fan and no over clocking.

    Cheers JIm

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Jim,
    The drivers in 10.8.2 will work but you may get better performance from the Nvidia Quadro 4000 drivers.
    Apple are going to release 10.8.3 soon, I expect there to be native support for the card in the release but Nvidia will also release 10.8.3 drivers, usually a few days later.
    Good luck and let me know how you get on,
    Cheers
    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi Neil Got the GTX660ti card coming today and just wanted to touch base with you about the drivers for the Windows side of my MacPro.

    I downloaded the Quadro 4000 drivers for the Mac side, but which drivers should I use for the Windows side.
    Also should I download them first before installing the card.
    Thanks
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jim,
      The card should come with windows drivers but I would check the Nvidia site anyway to see what the latest version is.
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  45. Hi Neil.
    Installed the card without any problem, the power cables that I had on my old gtx285 worked perfectly.
    Although a pair of them came with the card.

    I found an install link on a gaming site that proved very helpful so if anyone is planning on changing cards it might be worth their while to take a look at at this url.
    FAQ for Nvidia Video Driver
    It's called Proper Uninstall and Install of Nvidea Driver.

    I have one problem that I am trying to work out.
    When I connected my second display and restarted my computer only my primary display came on.
    The screen on showed what looked like my desktop picture of the Andromeda Galaxy except it only showed the stars and no galaxy. As though maybe a small portion of it had been blown up to fill the screen.
    Nothing else was visible on my desktop and the only way to shut it down was with the power switch.
    Cheers
    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jim,

      It sounds like your Mac has it's primary displays mixed up.
      Try using F7 to call up your display preferences or try cmd+F1

      I'm not sure why you're not seeing two displays though, which ports do you have the monitors connected to?

      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  46. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Hi Neil,
    I have my main monitor connected to the DVI-I port and the second monitor to the DVI-D port.
    Tried using those keystrokes but nothing happened, I went to the system preferences and unchecked them from their original Keyboard & Text settings but still nothing.

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jim,

      If you can get to system preferences take a look at your display settings, see what it shows under "arrangement"

      Cheers

      Neil

      Delete
  48. Hi Neil, I got them both working, I just switched the ports and that cleared it up. Don't know why that would make a difference but I'll take it.
    JIm

    ReplyDelete
  49. I have a mac pro 1.1, and im running 10.7.5 I've added macpro1,1 to the dlist with the correct formating but i get a "No Driver Update Needed" message that say this "No driver update is needed for this system. This system already has drivers which support this NVIDIA graphics solution." I got the 550 ti 2gb. it's working but im not seeing a crazy performance boost as i expected from a 120 gt. Anything i can do to make these driver install?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rob,
      Which driver are you trying to install?
      The latest Nvidia driver was for 10.8.2 only.
      Can you see which driver you have installed at the moment?
      Cheers,
      Neil

      Delete
  50. Hi Neil and everyone, So I'm still looking into upgrading my apple certified GTX 285 in my mac pro 3,1. It seems that the GTX 660ti or GTX 670 is worth the jump? Is there a better card? My question is what do I need to get it to work properly. I see people mentioning editing the Kext file but I have no idea where that is or what to do with it. Is there a step by step tutorial out there? Does the boot screen work with these cards yet? I saw a GTX 480 on eBay where they said the boot screen does work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Goose,
      Wait until 10.8.3 has been proved to work. You shouldn't need to edit any kext files. You won't get a boot screen unless you have another card like the GT120 as well.
      Do you need it?
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  51. I suppose I don't but I do use it often on boot when I'm switching between OS. So it would work natively if 10.8.3 proves to work? Or is there more that needs to be done? I hear mention of needing Netkas EFI hack although I have no idea how that works...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Goose,
      10.8.3 should support the card natively but without a boot screen.
      Are you switching between Mac and windows?
      If so you can use the system preferences to tell the Mac to boot into Windows and use boot camp control panel in windows to tell it to boot to OSX. Simple.
      Cheers
      Neil

      Delete
  52. If you have the money, Here's the answer! According to Newegg, it comes April 8!

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1565790

    ReplyDelete
  53. JUST WONDERFUL!! a buddy sold me a 2008 mac pro 3,1 for $350, I have a evga gtx super clocked 660ti 2gb ive taken out of my gaming pc which im now selling and wlll use it in the mac pro! this thread is great! ill be running bootcamp win7 64it for games and on the mac side for editing. thanks everyone for the info and time dedicated to this thread..

    ReplyDelete
  54. I just installed a gtx 660 sc in my MacPro(3.1 / 2008). Installed all drivers. The card has literally no difference to the ATI 6870 im currently running (davinci resolve 15 frames average). I hope I didn't do something wrong … but I don't think so. Slightly disappointing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andy,

      Take a look at the comments in my other post here:
      http://nrsotw.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/gtx-660ti-in-mac-pro-and-davinci.html
      There are a few things you can try to make sure Resolve is using the card correctly,
      Let me know how you get on,
      Cheers,
      Neil

      Delete
  55. Hey Neil,

    My 8800 in my MacPro is dying so I've decided to update to Mountain Lion and upgrade.

    I was thinking of using a 650ti boost since I don't need a ton of power(I have a gaming PC with a 680 for that). It's probably still a huge step up from the 8800

    I was just wondering if I'll run into any issues with it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tom,
      You should be fine with the 650ti boost although as always I would recommend buying it from somewhere that will let you return it if you have problems.
      It does not have as many CUDA cores as the 660ti (768 vs 1344) but if you are not using CUDA that shouldn't be an issue.
      Don't forget you will need to buy a Mac Pro compatible power cable as the one with the card will probably be Molex.
      Good luck and let us know how it goes,
      Cheers,
      Neil

      Delete
    2. Even with half the CUDA cores, the 650 ti boost is several rungs up the ladder from the old 8800 GT.

      But it is tempting. The 650 ti boost I was looking at is $169.99, no rebate. A similar 660 ti by the same manufacturer is $299.99, with a $20 rebate and a free game... so tempting...

      Delete
  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  57. hi..Im student from Informatics engineering, this article is very informative, thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hi Neil,

    thanks a lot for this very interesting article. Just bought a Geforce GTX 660 Oc version (should I change it to the Ti version?), and have a doubt with the power cable I need. The card comes with a single 6-pin PCIe for the 660 that splits into two for the PC. I don't know if this one will work as it's only one to one.
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Apple/9227128/
    Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      The Ti version has more CUDA cores than the 660, if you are using CUDA accelerated software I would go for that.

      The power cable is fine but you can find them cheaper on ebay :-)

      Good luck,

      Let me know how it goes,

      Neil

      Delete
  59. Hi Neil. I went with the 680 Mac Edition. So far so good. I run CS6 in Windows for now. How do you get CS6 to recognize the Cuda? I also have a 08 Mac Pro..can I run Davinci well on my system?

    ReplyDelete
  60. So Photoshop CC started not liking my Nvidia GTX660 and was wondering if you knew of any fixes, patches or tips on how to get it to recognize my card. Had no trouble all the way through PS CS6. About to check After Effects and Premiere.

    ReplyDelete
  61. Hi Tom, I have not tried the CC versions, I'm still running CS6. Have you got the latest Nvidia drivers? http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/68439/en-us
    There is also a new version of CUDA but it seems to be for Mavericks (I haven't upgraded to that either, too many stories of problems with Smoke and Adobe)
    Cheers

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  62. Thanks for the FANTASTIC post! This information is really good and thanks a ton for sharing it :-) I m looking forward desperately for the next post of yours..

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi,

    is there a way to use a EVGA GEFORCE GTX 680 MAC Edition in my Mac Pro 1.1?

    At moment he has a HD5870 and 2 Xeon Quadcore 64Bit CPU's

    Thx for Reply

    ReplyDelete
  64. A very good and informative article indeed. It helps me a lot to enhance my knowledge, I really like the way the writer presented his views.graphics cards south Africa 

    ReplyDelete
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  66. I read your article and found it very helpful for those who are looking graphics cards for Mac. Well, if someone is looking to buy the budget friendly graphics cards then I would like to suggest this list of best graphics cards for gaming under 200. I bet you will find the best one for your needs.

    ReplyDelete