There are very few video cards that will work with the Mac Pro 2,1. When Steam was released in early 2010 and I realized that the stock video card did not have enough power to run Steam games, I searched for a replacement. I ended up purchasing the nVidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB Video Card from a vendor on eBay. It wasn't especially cheap; it cost me about $260.
My criteria were as follows:
- Must provide more graphics power than the card it was replacing.
- Must be a drop-in replacement for the stock card; I did not want to mess about with stuff like reflashing the ROM on a card that was intended for Windows machines, for example.
- Not obscenely expensive. The card that I bought really pushed the limit; I had originally wanted to spend no more than $150.
The 8800 GT provided enough power to run Steam games, and also improved screen redraws for everyday work, including my light-duty work in Photoshop and InDesign. Though the 8800 GT is a couple of generations back in terms of the hard-core gamer crowd, it should serve well as a more-powerful replacement for the stock card.
I'm pleased with the result, as it has allowed me to extend the operational life of my Mac Pro.