I am looking for recommendations for a video card for my Mac Pro version 2,1 circa spring 2007. It currently has the ATI 512MB card that Apple sold as an option at the time.

Are there new cards on the market that would work with this machine? My main reason for asking is that the current card is overheating and crashing the machine.

  • 2
    Stack Exchange tends to frown upon "shopping request" questions, and yours is borderline. If you rephrase the question to be along the lines of "the graphics card is crashing my Mac Pro" then later bring up that you're open to buying a new one but you aren't sure what to look for, you'll be more likely to get an answer quicker. – CajunLuke Feb 1 '11 at 23:57

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:

  1. Must provide more graphics power than the card it was replacing.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


Sounds like its a X1900. I know the 3870 that ATi later put out was compatible (it worked even with the originals.) Because they are the same architecture the 4870 will likely work as well. Also found this so it looks like the 8800 GT is an option.

Don't bother with the ATi 2600 as a replacement, it a piece-of-s@#$ card.

Be careful with whichever card you ultimately decide and make sure its confirmed to be working. More recent models of the Mac Pro did have gfx cards that weren't compatible with older models.

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