Jump to content
bigruss

Upgrading video card in my early 2008 Mac Pro

Recommended Posts

For the first time, I am trying to run a game, Deus Ex on my early 2008 Mac Pro and the video card is not supported. I currently have a

EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

I was thinking of going to a new card anyway, so what are my choices? I was thinking of doing a

PNY GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards VCGGTX660TXPB

but this card is PCI-Express 3.0 x16. The GeForce is a PCI Express 2.0 x16. What does the 3 vs 2 mean, and is this a good card for my computer? OK, perhaps a better question, what is the best card to install now in my MAC. I can spend up to $300 on a card. I need a pair of DVI-D connectors on the output to connect to my pair of Apple Cinema displays.

 

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this will come out entirely wrong. but what searches have you already done? so far ALL of your questions have been answered when I did searches on the simplest queries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to make SURE this video card will work for my MAC. I have done Google searches on the card and only come up with sites selling or reviewing the board. I suppose the only question should have been "OK, perhaps a better question, what is the best card to install now in my MAC" which is what I placed at the end of the post. Asking a question to people that are in the know is a whole lot easier than buying a board, taking the computer apart, installing it, fighting with it for 6 hours, and then returning the board. Been there, done that.

 

In closing, the best question to ask is what is the best Video card with dual DVI-D outputs for for my early 2008 Mac Pro? Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my posts. Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AH. that's a better question that I can help with. BRB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the math on an upgrade is not good. it's not good even if you factor in the original cost of the Mac and using it to offset the percentage that the new parts will cost. the reality of the fact that you have a 5 year old Mac remains. not that there is much difference between a NEW mac and that old one. USB2, Firewire 800 and SATA1 or SATA2 will be the basis of either. the good news is that you can upgrade to SATA3 and USB3 using a PCIe card for under a hundred bucks for both cards. good because IO is one of the major things that make any old machine seem slow.


the video card is not the big upgrade that everyone tells you it's going to be. I should know, I used to test and review GPUs for a long since gong magazine. my findings surprised me. I found that there was ZIP difference between a 3 year old card and a 3 month old card for the day to day. yes, scrolling was slightly faster on a 9 THOUSAND page document fill with text from random to look like words. and testing that involved a paper weight on the Page Down key. nobody uses a computer like that. and the result? it took the FAST card 7 minutes less time. meaning one test took 11 minutes and the other card needed 18 minutes. hardly the stuff of GTD worth it.


where a new GPU did make a difference was in games and in certain 3D programs. but never in what you think would make a difference. the edges of the model could be more antialias'd. or the lighting would be extra scary. or the frame rate got lowered to 30 with everything ON instead of lowered to 15. which makes a big difference… but WHO plays games on a workstation class computer? the Wii was 11 times more fun. play on that.


it's weird to me how the graphics people WANT their task to be "heavy lifting" requiring more POWER. because the truth is most it's not the speed of the tool but how you use it. for example most of the rework in Star Wars IV, V and VI the special edition was made on a PowerBook 240 using After Effects and ElectricImage. and photoshop speed doens't matter because mostly a HUMAN is driving it. and human is SLOW. besides Photoshop is mostly IO bound. so the faster your disks the faster it will seem. it does not hurt to have more RAM but old Photoshop smashed out at 2G. so having MORE didn't matter. and more mostly doesn't matter anyway because all extra RAM does is give you a longer history.


even Apple's MOTION isn't that much of a GPU killer. all the generated effects uses a tiny number of triangles. this allowed it to run on ALL the Macs because it made a good demo tool. and the only reason you needed more GPU RAM was for video. but why are you doing LONG segments in MOTION? think short. duh. and After Effects didn't even KNOW about GPUs until a few versions ago. and even those effects are simple. it focuses on where the GPU can make the most difference. so most of the speed ups you will never "feel". besides, repeat after me, After Effects in NOT a real time tool. After Effects in NOT a real time tool. After Effects in NOT…


so you spend $600 on a new GPU for your 6 year old computer because you want to feel good about typing faster. this is NOT the place to spend money. better to spend that on upgrading your DUOs to QUADSs or your QUADs to OCTOs. the real upgrade in ANY system will always be the CPU. the more more you can have the better. but WAIT…


what does upgrading a CPU get you? not much unless the task is intensive. I used to do video editing every day. and I found that a WHOLE NUTHER MAC was better than having a FASTER mac. that way when Mac ONE was rendering (a task that took 3 hours) I could work on another project. and when Mac TWO was rendering I had ANOTHER computer that let me work. in this case the old Mac and the not so old Mac were faster at doing work compare to having just one REALLY FAST mac.


my measure of time to find out if I upgrade was worth it if it would save me 20 minutes an hour. if it didn't then NOPE. I'll spend the money on other things. like more storage. or a faster internet.

Edited by johnfoster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW! incredible response! Actually, I am sort of surprised by my results. First of all, I use the computer to game with. But what I am surprised by, is my 2010 Power book meets the specks to play a game, Desux EX I think, but the work station will not. The work station has been fully loaded, so replacement is not a great option. Not out of the question, but not a great option. It is an 8 core 3mhz computer. The card I was thinking of was $275 on Amazon, but not a great buy if it doesn't work, or I loose the boot up screen. It is my lowly opinion that I can sink up to $300 in this machine, and run it for another 5 years. I love the dual screens, which allow me to use Windows on one and Mac on the other, and drag things from one system to the other. Everything I do on the computer works fine with the current VID card. However, the 1 year old game doesn't, and I imagine that more will follow. My only exit from work is my FPS games.

 

At any rate, if someone know of a current card that will work and be under the $300 limit I have on the replacement card, please let me know. John, thanks for the very informative and information packed response. I never expected anything like that. Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

×