Upgrading GPU on Mac Pro 4,1 Cheese Grater
Hi All, I've tried searching the forums but didn't find an answer to my question: Will an EVGA Nvidia GTX 980 Ti work in my 2009 MacPro 4,1? I've heard that by downloading the latest Nvidia drivers for Mac OS, that there isn't any problems with the GPU being recognized despite being a PC card.
Is anyone else doing this with their Cheese Grater towers? I simply can't afford a whole new iMac 5k + Thunderbolt at this point. I'm also using Yosemite since everything I have works: Adobe CC 2017, ProTools, etc.
[Caio Simbula] "I've tried searching the forums but didn't find an answer to my question: Will an EVGA Nvidia GTX 980 Ti work in my 2009 MacPro 4,1? "Try searching YouTube (lol): 😉
GTX 980 Ti Install in Mac Pro 2009 Tower
As you can see from the video it is not plug-n-play because your 2009 Mac Pro doesn't have enough power to satisfy the cards power requirements with just the stock cables, but it is doable with some workarounds shown in the video.
Here are some things to consider:
Would you put a Ferrari engine in a Toyota and expect it to handle like a Ferrari?
I make this analogy because computer systems are a finely balance set of components. The key word here is balanced. Adding components that offset the balance and you create a bottleneck and don't get the full benefit. Here is what I know:
The Nvidia GTX 980 Ti is a PCI Express 3.0 x16 card and the 2009 Mac Pro only has PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots. So don't expect the card to perform at it's peak because... (you guessed it... you are putting a Ferrari engine in a Toyota!) 😉 It will still perform great but not as good as a computer with PCI Express 3.0. (I have the same problem with my Radeon HD 7950 which is also PCI Express 3.0)
The PC based card will not show you a boot screen (i.e., no Apple logo). You won't see anything until the operating system loads the graphics drivers so you will not be able to (for example) hold down the option key and boot from another hard drive because the screen will be black while booting. That is true for all graphics cards that are for PC and not Mac compliant.
As you an see in the video, the Nvidia GTX 980 Ti requires two power adapters, one with 6-pins and one with 8-pins. the Mac Pro only has 6-pin adapters. The 6-pin Mac connector is rated for 75 watt max, and the 8-pin is usually 150 watt so if the card trys to draw 150 through it then there is a risk of damage to the mac's logic board. I would strongly recommend that you follow the advice in that video and find an alternate power source to make sure that the card is getting the full power it requires for maximum overall system stability.