I’ve just completed upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro with the EVGA Geforce GTX 680 Mac Edition. The old ATI card was starting to make a clicking noise which was becoming frustrating when recording voice work. I’ve had 3 prior mac pro card die on me so I wanted to get it sorted BEFORE I was left with an unusable machine this time. I’m now outside my AppleCare warranty, so this made it an even higher priority.
I purchased the card from OWC. There are a couple of places in Australia selling the card, but it’s stupidly expensive. Over $1000 for a card that is a few years old is a bit much. It was about $700 after shipping. Still not pleasant, but better than +$1K.
The install process itself was pretty straightforward, but I’ll post the details of my experience in case it helps anyone in a similar situation.
- Shutdown the computer
- Remove the cables plugged into the old graphics card. In my case this was three monitors.
- Remove the side of the case and lay the machine horizontally on the floor.
- Unscrew the two thumb screws holding the PCI cards in. This was a bit fiddly.
- Remove the bracket. This again was a bit fiddly.
- Remove the 2 power cables from the old graphics card. The new card ships with 2 power cables, but they appear identical to the current card (an ATI Radeon HD 5870). You will need the extra power cable if you had a lower end card to begin with.
- This took me a moment to figure out. There is a metal bar near the motherboard/logic-board that helps hold the card in place. The old card also has a plastic extension to lock it into the front fan. There is a little button on the side of the fan housing which you push toward the front of the case. This moves the bar, and allows the plastic extension to come free.
- Gently left the old card out. It’s a big one and it’s a tight fit, but it does come out after some wiggling.
- Install USB 3 card. (Just kidding, I also got a USB 3 card (NewerTech MAXPower USB/eSATA 2×2 Host Adapter) with my order so I installed this while there was more room).
- Install the new Geforce GTX 680 card.
- Push the fan housing back to where it should be.
- Plug in the two power cords.
- Put the PCI securing plate back on and screw into place.
- Plug in your monitors again and re-orientate the mac pro.
- Power up with your fingers crossed. Mine seemed to work first go which I wasn’t really expecting. Hooray!
Thet pretty much sums it up. I’m hopeful this will give me another couple of years before I need to upgrade to the new Mac Pro. Doing the maths, it would cost me about $8000 to get the right spec machine for my video/photography needs. This would be the 8-core, 2xD700 and 64GB (aftermarket) RAM. Also a thunderbolt storage array to have decent disk speeds.
I figure this sub-thousand dollar upgrade will give my machine a good bump. I also have RAIDed SSD boot drives, RAIDed data drives, RAIDed scratch SSD drives etc, so the performance is still decent. It’s not new Mac Pro good, but for 7 grand it’s close enough for a year or two.