Jump to content


Order a GeForce 8800 GT kit for your "old" Mac Pro


  • Please log in to reply
171 replies to this topic

#141 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 19 April 2008 - 08:53 AM

well if the ROM on the chip doesnt support the mobo's firmware, as is the case here with Apple using EFI on the 2007 boards and EFI-64 on the 2008 boards and you therefore needing two ROMs to do one job, then you need either a larger ROM chip or two separate cards. Apple stupidly went with the latter.

the drivers will be the same for both, seeing as there isnt a related graphics update to OSX.
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#142 rob_ART

rob_ART

    Bare Feats

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 792 posts
  • Location:Portland, OR

Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:02 AM

View Postbobbob, on April 19th 2008, 07:13 AM, said:

But they don't need different hardware to get the card to work, just some good drivers.

Not true. My sources confirmed that there wasn't room in the existing ROM to fit both EFI drivers. Apple had a choice, either retrofit all cards with a bigger ROM with room for both drivers or create two versions of the card. They chose the latter.
rob-ART morgan
mad scientist
BareFeats.com

#143 bobbob

bobbob

    Uberspewer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3367 posts

Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:14 AM

View Postrob_ART, on April 19th 2008, 09:02 AM, said:

Not true
You say that yet Windows on the same box can use stock PC hardware, so a driver is obviously enough. Even if Apple just had to go out of their way to make it an expensive PITA, having an EFI64 vs. EFI32 ROM is probably easier to handle than that. In the worst case the drivers need an emulator to run it like the option in X window.

#144 mattw

mattw

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 867 posts

Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:49 AM

View Postbobbob, on April 19th 2008, 06:14 PM, said:

You say that yet Windows on the same box can use stock PC hardware, so a driver is obviously enough. Even if Apple just had to go out of their way to make it an expensive PITA, having an EFI64 vs. EFI32 ROM is probably easier to handle than that. In the worst case the drivers need an emulator to run it like the option in X window.

My understanding is that Windows can use any PCI-Express card in a Mac Pro as it just looks for a BIOS ROM on the graphics card (all common PC cards have this). Mac OS X doesn't have any support for legacy X86 technologies so it looks for a card with an EFI ROM when booting. All Apple supplied cards have this.

The issue with the 8800GT was because Apple changed from a 32-bit version of EFI Firmware on the 2006 Mac Pro logic board to 64-bit EFI Firmware on the new Mac Pro early 2008 logic board. The ATI cards (2600XT & 1900XT) had an EFI ROM with 32-bit and 64-bit compatibility - the 8800GT Firmware only had the 64-bit version. The new version of the card will have a 32-bit EFI compatible EFI ROM. If the ROM chip on the existing card was large enough to fit both versions Apple could have put out a ROM update to patch the existing card instead of going to the expense of a separate card.

64-bit EFI is likely to be current for a while so going forward we shouldn't have this kind of issue again anytime soon. When PC manufacturers final abandon BIOS and move to EFI for Firmware on their motherboards it should be a 64-bit version hopefully as well. In which case graphics cards are likely to start using EFI ROMs and should boot an early 2008 Mac Pro or later Mac. Of course suitable software drivers will still be required to give OpenGL support etc.
Mac Pro 09 (now a 5.1, 2 x 3.06GHz Xeon X5675, 24GB, RX580 8GB, 480SSD, 16TB HD, MacOS 10.13.6

#145 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 19 April 2008 - 07:43 PM

mattw is completely correct

View Postrob_ART, on April 19th 2008, 05:02 PM, said:

Not true. My sources confirmed that there wasn't room in the existing ROM to fit both EFI drivers. Apple had a choice, either retrofit all cards with a bigger ROM with room for both drivers or create two versions of the card. They chose the latter.

only one problem with what you said there, and its a technicality.
the ROM chip on the card doesnt contain the drivers. The ROM chip contains the ROMs. Drivers are software and not hardware while the ROM is effectively hardware cos of being on the actual GPU card itself. However, a ROM is updatable. So, Apple created the cards with only the 64-bit EFI ROM, and would have required to perform a ROM chip replacement on all cards if they wanted to make them back compatible because the NV ROMs presumably take up over 64K but less than 128K (im assuming 128K is the size of the ROM chip, it usually is). Meaning that they wouldve needed to put a 256K chip on instead to accommodate both ROMs...

poor planning on Apple's part, it definitely didnt require two separate cards, but admittedly couldnt be fixed without performing surgery on all the cards.
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#146 bobbob

bobbob

    Uberspewer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3367 posts

Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:44 PM

View Postteflon, on April 19th 2008, 06:43 PM, said:

So, Apple created the cards with only the 64-bit EFI ROM, and would have required to perform a ROM chip replacement on all cards if they wanted to make them back compatible because the NV ROMs presumably take up over 64K but less than 128K (im assuming 128K is the size of the ROM chip, it usually is). Meaning that they wouldve needed to put a 256K chip on instead to accommodate both ROMs...
So, even ignoring the fact that they could make the drivers work with the EFI64 ROM, or have made them compatible with PC cards from the start, flashing an EFI32-only firmware over the EFI64 one is now too major to do? AppleUpdate updates firmwares all the time. This firmware excuse has been a crock of bullpopsnizzle from the start, when it was PPC vs. X86. Now it's just retardedly stupid not just blatantly untrue.

#147 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 20 April 2008 - 02:20 PM

but could they make the drivers work? its a firmware thing. EFI 32 cant talk to EFI 64, and as I said, the drivers arent changed, so it cant be a driver issue. firmware through and through.

well, yes they could offer a flash from one to the other (and im sure that someone will manage to do this fairly soon), but that complicates things for the end user.

you buy one card, but then if youve got an older computer have to flash it before itll work. Not to mention that youll have to run two GPUs to be able to see whats going on (and preferably a GPU from ATI and not NV like the 8800 to make sure nothing goes awry there).

and the reason why they havent replaced the other one is cos then theyd face a law suit within 24 hours.

yes, its stupidity, but this is the best solution none the less.
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#148 bobbob

bobbob

    Uberspewer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3367 posts

Posted 20 April 2008 - 04:46 PM

View Postteflon, on April 20th 2008, 01:20 PM, said:

but could they make the drivers work? its a firmware thing. EFI 32 cant talk to EFI 64, and as I said, the drivers arent changed, so it cant be a driver issue. firmware through and through.
Yes, they could. When it was straight X86 code in the BIOS format X Window could emulate it under X86 and PPC. Now that it's standardized EFI bytecode it should be even more of a sure thing.

Quote

you buy one card, but then if youve got an older computer have to flash it before itll work
The OSX drivers could probably manage VESA to show stuff until the FS loads, at which point the drivers could check the card and flash it, but that is indeed kind of counterproductive when the drivers could just work with the EFI64 that's there. Whatever.

Quote

yes, its stupidity, but this is the best solution none the less.
No, the best option would have been to make drivers compatible with stock PC hardware and to ship stock PC hardware. How is this better?

#149 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 21 April 2008 - 12:51 AM

i meant the best solution given thats its apple and they cant admit that they screwed up...

your other points make an element of sense, but im not entirely sure if theyre right.

ill take your word for it :P
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#150 mattw

mattw

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 867 posts

Posted 21 April 2008 - 11:35 AM

View Postbobbob, on April 20th 2008, 11:46 PM, said:

No, the best option would have been to make drivers compatible with stock PC hardware and to ship stock PC hardware. How is this better?

I know it would be nice to have a larger selection of Graphics cards for the Mac but at present that would mean having Macs using BIOS for their Firmware (1980's technology) rather than the modern EFI. Apple are looking to the future they don't want to make a step backwards. BIOS doesn't support things like the Firmware graphical boot picker and FireWire Target disk mode. As Mac users we expect these kind of features after having Open Firmware on PowerPC Hardware in the past. I can't see many Mac users thinking VGA text BIOS screens and BIOS tweaks as a move forward.

The problem is the mass of legacy support that the PC OEM are afraid to let go of. Parallel, Serial, PS/2 and BIOS need removing for the industry to move forward cleanly. When they finally abandon BIOS and use EFI thinks will be much simpler as a driver should be the only thing required.
Mac Pro 09 (now a 5.1, 2 x 3.06GHz Xeon X5675, 24GB, RX580 8GB, 480SSD, 16TB HD, MacOS 10.13.6

#151 bobbob

bobbob

    Uberspewer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3367 posts

Posted 21 April 2008 - 11:56 AM

View Postmattw, on April 21st 2008, 10:35 AM, said:

that would mean having Macs using BIOS for their Firmware (1980's technology) rather than the modern EFI
Who cares? Really? It's a tiny bit of code that has little effect on anything else.

Edit: you do realise we're talking about the graphics card firmware, not the motherboard's, right? The Mac's EFI has a BIOS emulation layer for bootcamp already, so there goes your clean break.

Quote

BIOS doesn't support things like the Firmware graphical boot picker and FireWire Target disk mode
You're kidding, right? It's some X86 code that runs at startup, and you think it's somehow limited? Some motherboards ship with a web browser in the BIOS, ffs.

#152 jgwdoc

jgwdoc

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1004 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 23 April 2008 - 02:22 PM

A minor installation question for you mavens: when you remove the rather large Radeon 1900, that leaves 2 of the Port  Access Covers gone as the upper cover is removed to leave room for the large Radeon 1900 fan assembly. The 8800GT is much lower profile, and leaves the upper access cover open  to the world (the lower cover is where the 8800 has its ports). So, since the original  Radeon was installed at the factory, I don't have that upper access cover, leaving kind  of a  hole into my computer. Is this a problem viz dirt/dust, or is it an advantage for cooling? Does it matter? Should I try to get one of those covers from Apple?
Travel: MacbookPro 2.9GHz Quadcore i7/16GB RAM/1TB SSD/Radeon Pro560 with 4GB VRAM/High Sierra/Windows 10
Home: iMac 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo-boost to 3.9GHz/16GB RAM/High Sierra/Windows10/GeForce GTX 780M 4GB

#153 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 23 April 2008 - 03:35 PM

by all rights, the 8800GT should be offered with a two slot fan. itd run at lower speeds, be far more efficient, and just generally gooder.

Id wander down to an Apple store or something with proof of purchase, explain yourself and youll no doubt get one.
or, just cannibalise a cover from an old windows machine or something. probably cost you, oh, around $.50
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#154 jgwdoc

jgwdoc

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1004 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 23 April 2008 - 04:36 PM

View Postteflon, on April 23rd 2008, 02:35 PM, said:

by all rights, the 8800GT should be offered with a two slot fan. itd run at lower speeds, be far more efficient, and just generally gooder.

Id wander down to an Apple store or something with proof of purchase, explain yourself and youll no doubt get one.
or, just cannibalise a cover from an old windows machine or something. probably cost you, oh, around $.50


Thanks teflon, I guess I'll just stop at an Apple store one of these days. I was wondering why this "high-powered" card has no fan, but I've just been playing Max Payne 2 for the last 3 hours, and my machine is actually noticeably cooler to the touch than it was after similar playing with the Radeon.
Travel: MacbookPro 2.9GHz Quadcore i7/16GB RAM/1TB SSD/Radeon Pro560 with 4GB VRAM/High Sierra/Windows 10
Home: iMac 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo-boost to 3.9GHz/16GB RAM/High Sierra/Windows10/GeForce GTX 780M 4GB

#155 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 23 April 2008 - 04:49 PM

oh, its got a fan, its just its low profile (read, single slot), and so wont be pushing hot air out of the case, but simply around in circles a bit. Of course, it wont be doing any harm, but Id almost always go for the dual slot design even if only for less noise.

and for the slot plate, just ask around if you cant be bothered the trek. im sure that someone you know has added a USB PCI card or a wireless card or something. its a standard feature, and you could ask practically anyone thats done something to a computer in the last 10 years. Im sure tBC or someone on the forums has got one or two knocking around...
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#156 jgwdoc

jgwdoc

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1004 posts
  • Location:New York, NY

Posted 23 April 2008 - 05:33 PM

View Postteflon, on April 23rd 2008, 03:49 PM, said:

oh, its got a fan, its just its low profile (read, single slot), and so wont be pushing hot air out of the case, but simply around in circles a bit. Of course, it wont be doing any harm, but Id almost always go for the dual slot design even if only for less noise.


Yeah, I can see the fan, it's just so tiny compared to the old one. And Cesna vs. 747 on the noise front. By the  way, Apple says (?) the port covers are model-specific and not available??? And then they told me not to worry about it anyway. Whatever. Maybe I was just being obsessive.
Travel: MacbookPro 2.9GHz Quadcore i7/16GB RAM/1TB SSD/Radeon Pro560 with 4GB VRAM/High Sierra/Windows 10
Home: iMac 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo-boost to 3.9GHz/16GB RAM/High Sierra/Windows10/GeForce GTX 780M 4GB

#157 Dark_Archon

Dark_Archon

    Master Blaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1792 posts
  • Location:Rochester, NY

Posted 23 April 2008 - 06:16 PM

It isn't really a big deal. More dust will get in through the cheese grater than through the small slot in the back. What they said at the Apple store doesn't make sense. They are standard PCI slot covers.
Mac Pro 2.66 Ghz NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 7 GB RAM SONY DW-D150A SuperDrive

#158 teflon

teflon

    Bastard of the Popeye Analogy

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9589 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 24 April 2008 - 03:47 AM

haha... proprietary slot covers?? how amusing!

why not take in a slot cover from your MP and a PC desktop and ask them to pick out which is which. whatever they say, deny it and say its the other way round..

then sue.
Polytetrafluoroethylene to my friends.

Macbook Pro - C2D 2.4Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Geforce 8600M GT 256Mb / 15.4"
Cube - G4 1.7Ghz 7448 / 1.5GB RAM / Samsung Spinpoint 250GB / Geforce 6200 256Mb
Self-built PC - C2Q Q8300 2.5Ghz / 4GB RAM / Samsung 830 256GB SSD / Radeon 7850 OC 1GB / W7 x64
and a beautiful HP LP2475w 24" H-IPS monitor

#159 rob_ART

rob_ART

    Bare Feats

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 792 posts
  • Location:Portland, OR

Posted 24 April 2008 - 07:48 AM

I received my legacy "gen 1" GeForce 8800 GT yesterday. I ran my suite of 3D Games on the 2007 Mac Pro 8-core 3GHz test unit.

I'm getting results slightly slower than the GeForce 8800 GT on the "early 2008" Mac Pro 8-core 3.2GHz. But that could be explained away by various varying factors (memory speed, FSB speed, core speed, and PCIe bus differences). It is certainly faster than the X1900 XT which it replaces at least where 3D gaming is concerned.

I'll post my full report either later today or early tomorrow.
rob-ART morgan
mad scientist
BareFeats.com

#160 ikir

ikir

    Legendary

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 880 posts
  • Steam Name:ikir
  • Location:In front of my Mac

Posted 24 April 2008 - 11:19 AM

@rob_ART

Coool! I will check the forum and BareFeats in the next days :-)
ikir's personal page
MacBook Pro 13 Touch Bar 2017 i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB SSD
Mantiz Venus eGPU Radeon Nitro+ RX 580 8GB
LG 34 34UC88 Ultrawide Display
Steelseries Rival 700, Steelseries Siberia v3Prism