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OWC Reveals Which Radeon Video Cards Work With 2006-2009 Mac Pros

Our blog has been buzzin’ with questions as to whether or not the new Radeon 5870 and 5770 video cards found in the new Mid 2010 Mac Pros work with earlier model year Mac Pros. When first asked about this, we referred to the Apple display page that conspicuously left out any model except 2009-2010 Mac Pros

Fanning the flames of desire for more knowledge/information on this subject was Rob-ART at BareFeats who did confirm a day or so ago that the Radeon 5870 does work with 2008-2010 Mac Pros.

So we dove in deeper to give all inquiring minds a full blown investigation you have come to expect from us. Here’s the breakdown:

2006-2007 Mac Pro:

  • Sorry to say it, but the 5870 is not…repeat…NOT compatible.
  • The 5770 is compatible, but only with the DVI connection.

2008 Mac Pro:

  • Both the 5870 and 5770 cards work with both the DVI and MiniDisplay Port connections in any combination of two displays. So, you can have two displays with MiniDisplay connections, or one with a DVI connection and one with a MiniDisplay connection.
  • Adding a third display will override the DVI connection, causing it to deactivate.

2009-2010 Mac Pro:

  • Both the 5870 and 5770 cards work with both the DVI and MiniDisplay Port connections in any combination of two displays. So, you can have two displays with MiniDisplay connections, or one with a DVI connection and one with a MiniDisplay connection.
  • Adding a third display will override the DVI connection, causing it to deactivate.

We have also confirmed that all NewerTech Mini DVI and MiniDisplay Port video adapter cables are compatible with all Mac Pro models. And that’s a good thing as they offer thicker cabling and better shielding for the highest quality, interference-free display output.

Speaking of adapters…you are familiar with the NewerTech USB to DVI/HDMI/VGA to Video Display Adapter? You know, the one that lets you add up to four additional monitors to your Mac? A very cool gadget that’s bus powered so its ideal for mobile presentation use as well.

So there you have it…what cards you can add to your existing Mac Pro…what cables you use for a higher quality display…and more display space overall. A visual trifecta!


UPDATE 8/27/10 Well, a bit clarification on certain issues and reiteration of others…here’s what we discovered after additonal testing (and yes, some of your feedback):

  • Despite using a boot drive from a Mac Pro 2010 model, we still could not get the 5870 to work with a 2006-2007 machines. We tried both 1,1 and 2,1 machines with most up to date boot ROM and SMC versions. And were running 10.6.4 with all current Apple (AAPL) updates installed.
  • The 5770 in the 2006-2007 is compatible using the newest build of 10.6.4 which is included with the new Mid 2010 Mac Pros and allows you to take advantage of all three display outputs on the 5770.
  • The 5870 and 5770 are fully compatible with 2008 Mac Pros using the newest build of 10.6.4 (which again is included with the new Mid 2010 Mac Pros) and allows you to take advantage of all three display outputs on both video cards.
  • We incorrectly stated that you could only use two displays on the 2009-2010 Mac Pros. In reality, all three display connectors can be utilized simultaneously so you can drive three displays.

We will continue to investigate all these issues (esp. the 2006-2007 models) and update the findings here accordingly. Thanks for your patience while we sorted this out! Now, we gotta get back to making some eSATA equipped iMacs and the OWC SSDs going into them as well ;-)

Rocket Yard Contributor
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  • I purchased a 2009 Mac Pro with a Radeon 4870. I would like to update the firmware on the Mac Pro to 5,1. Will this Radeon 4870 work in the updated Mac Pro firmware?

  • Mac Pro 1,1 with Radeon 5770 1gb w/ 2 DVI ports – one DVI connected to 30″ Apple Display works great under Snow Leopard after boot. But no option boot screens??
    Is there a fix to get boot screens??

  • ATI Radeon 5770 works just fine on 2006 Mac Pro with both DVI and MiniDisplay connections. I ran a 30″ monitor via a dual-link DVI-Thunderbolt adapter and used the second port for 24Bit/192kHz sound output into a receiver via a Thunderbolt/HDMI cable

  • do you have that graphic card for my mac pro 3.1 2008
    and if not would you advise me how to find it?
    millions thanks

  • ASUS Radeon EAH6850 DirectCu v2 2U gpu works with 2006 Mac Pro on OS X 10.7. Some apps don’t launch though.


  • In case anyone is still interested in this, my 2,1 Mac Pro works with a 5870, running Snow Leopard (10.6.8). I do, however, now have intermittent problems with it coming back out of sleep mode. The screen appears, the mouse/cursor moves, but it’s nonresponsive, have to hard boot.

  • I think this out-dated info concerning the functionality of the 5870 and 5770.
    I have both 5870 and the 5770. and running multiple monitors with DVI and displayport.

  • I occasionally get GPU hangs with the 5870 running on my 2008 Mac Pro under both Lion and Mountain Lion. They system then gets stuck trying to reboot the GPU but can’t.

  • I have a 2007 Mac Pro 2,1 – Wanted to replace the old ATI Radeon X1900XT card with the 5770. Found one on ebay that was pulled out of a 2012 Mac Pro. After installing, I cannot get the card to work. The fans spin and the system boots, but all I get is a black screen (DVI Cinema Display). Tried everything I can think of to troubleshoot.

    So… Does anyone know if there are slight differences between the stock 5770 and the cards that comes in the “upgrade kit” that Apple sells? Any ideas why this isn’t working?

  • I have just replaced my dying X1900 with an official Apple 5770 in my MacPro 1,1 I’m running 10.7.3

    I’d read reports that is worked fine on the Apple website. It runs the finder, etc fine, but video and sound doesn’t seem to work at all. Even Final Cut X doesn’t seem to play nicely with video. It will run, load video clips, etc, but won’t play them.

    Can anyone offer any suggestions?


  • I have a Mac pro 2.66 quad core 2007 – newest Os – can you say if a thunderbolt display would run on it with the 5770? just the display functionality? thanks…

    • Thunderbolt display only works with Thunderbolt equipped Macs… not even the display portion works via video only connection. No go for 2007 MacPro regardless of video card. Thank you Apple.

  • The picture above shows 2 units, each with what appears to be a DVI and 2 mini-DVI ports. Every vendor of this item(s) also shows 2 units. Also, the 2 units don’t appear to be the same, one with a longer body and smaller “hoop” (for lack of a better word), so obviously the camera wasn’t shaken when the photo was taken. What exactly am I looking at? Do both of these function as a pair or am I seeing 2 dissimilar but equal pieces of hardware?

    • What you’re looking at at are two similar, though different, video cards – the RADEON 5870 and the RADEON 5770. While most of the specs are similar (VRAM, number of ports, etc.) the GPU’s processing power of the 5870 is a little higher than the 5770, giving it an edge, especially in gaming. While we don’t have hard data here, a quick Google search of “5770 vs 5870” should turn up several discussions about which is better for which uses.

      • mayhaps, though they wont be very accurate unless they are compared/tested on a MAC and not a PC (most reviews/benchmarking is done on PCs)
        You have to take into consideration that the CPU handles most of the video rendering on a MAC, as opposed to the GPU handling it on a PC.

  • It’s great news if the Radeon 5770 works with my MacPro 1,1 and according to UPDATE 8/27/10 with all three display outputs (with later Snow Leopard). But “work with” doesn’t always mean full compatibility. There’s a report by jabroni5 in mac-forums that with his MacPro 1,1 (with later Snow Leopard) the 5770 gives a blacked out screen until the boot begins. There’s also a warning in the AppleMacanix ad that “the gray Apple logo boot screen will not display” with their flashed card, although the ad implies that it will appear with the official Apple firmware. Blacked out pre-boot makes it impossible to choose among boot drives (with Option) or to run AppleJack (with Command + s), etc. Different pre-boot actions requiring display are important to different users. What did the compatibility tests find happening pre-boot for MacPro 1,1 + Radeon 5770 + late Snow Leopard?

    • I have the same problem. I have a Mac Pro 1,1 Radeon 5770 1gb 2 dvi 1 hdmi 1 display adaptor
      1st dvi port hooked to my 30″ apple display
      All works great post boot but no pre-boot option screens

      Bummer! Help

  • This is just a long shot but anyone knows if I can run dual 5770 om a Mac pro 2.1 and let them work together to get more graphic power. I’m mostly interested in tuning that configuration under windows 7.

    I have one 5770 intalled at the moment and it runs perfect.

  • I have a Mac Pro 1,1 w/ a 30″ Cinema Display via DVI running 10.7.1 and an ATI Radeon HD 5770. After a while the monitor starts to show thousands of little white sparkles, but only when there is a dark background either on a webpage/desktop. It’s not heat related as I keep the Mac Pro, the video card and the room very cool. I also had the problem when I was using Snow Leopard. Reboots sometimes work but only for a while. I hope there is some kind of fix for this. I noticed that even 2010 Mac Pro’s which ship w/ this card are having similar problems:

    Thank you in advance for your help.

  • Here is my desired setup and wish to know if it will work? Pac Pro 2008 3.1 with OSX 10.6.8. One 24″ 1920×1200 monitor on the DVI port, 1 of the new 27″ Apple displays with Thunderbolt on one of the Mini display ports and another new 27″ Apple displays with Thunderbolt on the 2nd mini display port. With both of those running full resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels. All with separate content as one big virtual desktop.

    • The ATI cards are NOT Thunderbolt ports, they are Mini Displayports. You need to purchase the 24″ or 27″ LED Mini Display Port version or it will not work.

  • hi there i have 2006 1.1 any one know if the 5870 work on 10.7 yet still on Gt 7300 i like get some thing better

    any help be nice

  • hello alltogether. i have a mac pro 1,1 with 2 2-core 2m66 ghz (2006) – the 5870 works fine with the latest graphics update of mac os x snow leopard. all display ports work. benchmarks can be found here:

    • I can confirm. I also have the 5870 in a MacPro 1,1 and working fine with 2x 27″ LED Mini Displayport Monitors and 1x 30″ Cinema Display.

      • Gents, to those of you that have a 5870 running on a 1,1. Are any of you running a stock 10.7.2 installation? Do you see the boot screen etc?

  • I have a 2006 Mac Pro 2.66GHz running OS X 10.6.8.
    I installed the Radeon 5770 and have so far noticed no video issues.
    I have not tried adding other displays, though.

  • I have the Mac Pro 2.1 2007 running the OSX 10.6.7 so that is no problemos.

    Ok it works in OSX but if i Run Bootcamp and booting in windows that should work there to right?

    Is the card need any extra power by a cable?
    When I was looking at it early on to get the 5770 i was looking at the apple website and what I understand there no extra power cable comes with it. But I can se a cable here at OWC.


    been stuck for the whole evening on this. my MP1,1 running 10.6.4 would not put out anything on the 5770.

    installed the snow leopard graphics update and boom all is up and running!!

    heres this snow leoprad graphics update:

    thanks for all helpful comment that got me back on track!

  • Using a 5770 in a MacPro3,1 (2008) driving two monitors, one DVI, one with MiniDisplay port-DVI converter with SL 10.6.6. Everything except OpenGL hardware accelerated apps work fine. OpenGL content creation apps exhibit various artifacts, jitter, etc., even though the drivers pass GLview tests up to OpenGL 2.1 100%. I think it is most likely that the ATI drivers are immature, possibly a bad card. Apple thinks it is a problem with compatibility; according to people we spoke to, the 5770 is only supported in a 2010 edition MacPro! I am typing this while on hold for AppleCare customer relations to see if they will exchange the card.

  • Hello guys , 1 gen mac pro(2006) my card die 2 years ago , freez and then black ( input not supo..) i bought the the ati from apple 5770 , and the snow upgrade , BUT how i install the snowleopard with a black monitor???? pleaseeee !

  • Richard, you need a MDP -> Dual Link DVI adapter (active, costs between $75-$99 depending on which brand you get and where you buy it from) or a Dual Link DVI cable. You appear to be using a single link DVI cable or a regular MDP -> DVI adapter (passive).

  • I just put an apple 5770 in my Mac Pro 2008, I get video etc, but no Quartz Extreme. I have upgraded to 10.6.6 and still nothing. Is there something else that I have to do? It seems that the driver is not loading, or is missing.

    Thanks so much.


  • I have a question, my 8800 gt is hanging on by a thread, I can run my machine for a minute or two before the graphics are lost (2008 mac pro). So I’m thinking of buying the 5770, and my question is (since 10.6.4 is required), is my mac going to recognize the card running 10.5.x? If it’s not it’s gonna be pretty hard to upgrade to 10.6.4?


  • I have a OWC 5770 in my Pro 2,1 under 10.6.6 with MP21.007F.B06/1.15f3 driving a 30″ Cinema through the DVI. And ugly vertical stripes. No other cards. No other monitors.

    Any suggestions?

  • Jeff, what other PCIe cards do you have, and what slot are you trying to install the card into? It *must* go into Slot 1 (the bottom when the computer is standing up). The only time the card won’t work in x16 mode is if you are using an x8 or two x4 cards simultaneously.

  • Hey everyone, I’m running a MacPro1,1 2.66 quad with OSX 10.6.5. just bought a ATI 5770 to drop in. problem is my computer will only recognize the card and output anything if the PCI-e lane is set to x8 in the Expansion utility (utility also tells me that the card is a x16 and wont be used to full potential). in x16 the card is not seen and no output available though. i see users with similar specs running at x16. did i just get a lemon? or is my older system only able to run the card at x8? my old 7300 GT was recognized and worked at x16 so i dont think its the slot or board.

  • I have my display (HDTV) connected via the MiniDisplay port via the NewerTech MiniDisplayPort -> HDMI adapter. It passes audio through *in Windows*, but OS X does not see the video card’s audio controller under any circumstances so far, so I can’t get audio out there.

    It’s being blocked. The problem is figuring out where, and how to bypass the block.

  • Squishy Tia – I don’t suppose you tried the Mini Display Support to see if that worked? I just ordered a 5870 to try in my 2006 1,1 MacPro. If I can get the 5870 to work with HDMI on my Dell 24″ I might take the next step and try a 24″ or 27″ Apple LCD.

  • Just curious if anyone has successfully installed a 5870 to run with a GT 120 in the same MP to support 4 displays? If so is there a particular slot placement? Thnx

  • Dude, that sounds awesome! Was hoping you were working on something. I love your SSD drives and didn’t really want to buy from Apricorn anyway. Do you know if they’ll be bootable?

    • That’s all we can say at this time on that PCI SSD…still hoping for Q1…but latter part for sure. Lot’s of other goodies to get ready for CES, Macworld, etc.

  • Next topic to conquer is testing your OWC SSD drives in the new Apricorn PCI mac array, or to get you guys to make your own PCI ssd array for that much needed speed boost.

  • yes it is Grant. Just installed 5770 in MP 2,1 and it’s working great. As for my question before about the 3 displays, I ucked out cause my 20″ ACDs don’t require dual linl adapters, just the regular MDP to DVI adapter. So all 3 displays running for an additional $40 on MDP to DVI cables. Pretty sweet.

  • Thanks squishy tia for all the info you’ve provided. Keep up the good work with the testing, it really is a help to everyone..

  • My only remaining question with these cards is what EXACT files are needed to enable the MDP audio output. I have perfectly functioning MDP audio in Windows XP w/ the current ATI HDMI Audio Driver, but no luck thus far in OS X.

  • A 5770 can easily power three displays, but you’re going to have to shell out some dough dor that. If all three of your displays use MDP, then you’re good (you’ll need a Dual Link DVI -> MDP adapter for the DVI connection though). Otherwise if ANY display connected to an MDP connector is not MDP/DP native, you must use a MDP-> DUAL LINK DVI adapter (those range from $80-100).

    This is unfortunately non-negotiable thanks to MDP’s spec being a royal clusterfsck. And yes, I did use a *nix pun. GG.

  • That’s what I figured, thanks! One last question, to power 3 displays (1 30″ ACD and 2 20″ ACD) is it better to install 2 5770 or one 5870? IYHO

  • It’s time for you to update to 10.6.4 w/ Snow Leopard Graphics Update or better. The 5770 has no 3D or sleep support in 10.5.x and will function ONLY as a 2D raster device.

    There’s no way around it – you need to update your OS for proper 5770/5870 functionality.

  • I’m having a different experience with a new 5770, and I can’t seem to find anyone else who has the same problem. I have 1 30″ connected to the 5770 and another 30″ connected to older GT 120 on 2010 MP 4,1 OS 10.5.8. The display connected to the 5770 will not turn off when the machine is put to sleep, however the 30″ connected to the GT 120 will. Any thoughts?

  • Here’s my specs:

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
    Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 2
    Total Number Of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
    Memory: 7 GB
    Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz
    Boot ROM Version: MP11.005C.B08
    SMC Version (system): 1.7f10

    ATI Radeon HD 5870:

    Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 5870
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    Slot: Slot-1
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 1024 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x6898
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-C0780C-194
    EFI Driver Version: 01.00.436
    Resolution: 1600 x 900 @ 60 Hz
    Pixel Depth: 32-Bit Color (ARGB8888)
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Rotation: Supported
    Television: Yes
    Display Connector:
    Status: No Display Connected
    Display Connector:
    Status: No Display Connected

  • Squishy Tia,

    This is great news! However, the community still needs to be sure of the Boot Rom. Would you might looking at System Profiler and letting us know which BOOT ROM your Mac Pro is running?

  • And the verdict on the 5870 in a 2006 Mac Pro is….:


    Zero problems upgrading from my 5770 other than breaking the PCIe clip tab trying to remove the 5770 (this HAS to be fairly common – there’s just no wiggle room there with ATI HS/F shrouds).

    Still no audio support. I’d kill to get my hands on a Mac Pro 2010 install disc so I could dig the audio drivers out from it. There *has* to be a way to get audio out via the MDPs. I’m even using NewerTech’s MDP to HDMI adapter which is DP 1.2 compliant and no joy.

    But the video ….oooooooooh. WoW at 60 FPS in Grizzly Hills. On ULTRA (minus Ultra shadows – shadows brings all cards to their knees due to poor coding ATM).

    So yes, the 5870s will work in the Mac Pro 1,1 models, and in fact ALL Mac Pros.

  • Hi,

    I have a very special problem. I haven’t found anywhere if the nVidia 8800 (mac edition) which I have in my Mac Pro (early 2008) will still work with ATI 5870 or 5770 together. Does anyone knows if it’s compatible to work in my Mac Pro together? And is enough to buy ATI HD 5770 or 5870 with non flashed firmware for Mac Pro (early 2008)? Thanks.

  • Will the HD5870 on a Mac Pro 1.1 with OSX 10.6.5 work?
    Or is the HD5770 the only working option?

    • Unfortunately what the post had is what still stands unless someone else weighs in with other finding:

      2006-2007 Mac Pro:

      * Sorry to say it, but the 5870 is not…repeat…NOT compatible.
      * The 5770 is compatible, but only with the DVI connection.

  • Neil,

    You did not state what your OS or Machine model is. That makes a HUGE difference. It also makes a difference in whether ot not you installed the power connector to the card. ATI cards do tend to boot up to a grey screen when no power connector is installed.

  • I installed the ATI 5770 last night and my computer would not completely USB and the screens would not operate. Moving the screens back to my original card also installled resulted only in the secondary screen showing grey. It was a no-go. I removed all peripherals and it made no difference. My early 2008 did not accept this card. I wasted an evening on this and I have no clue why my install went so badly wrong. I have pulled it and am back to square one and very disappointed in the whole tihng and out a lot of money for this fun. I should have accepted the Apple webpage in this regard.

    • Hi Neil and sorry to hear of your experience…you did see our note about needing the newest build of 10.6.4 (included with the new Mid 2010 Mac Pros)?

  • Thanks Squishy Tia. I installed the SL Graphics Update after the OS upgrade, before my old NEC died. It did seem to help with the numerous crashes. But that CRT NEC died soon after the SL upgrade. All those panics may have hastened its death.

    The 4870 was heralded by Mac Pro users as the quietest card compared to other offerings when I was first researching all of this earlier in 2010. Do you know the 5770 is “much, much quieter than the 4870” because you’ve used both or from other reports?

    The PA241W NEC is DVI and presently connected to the GeForce’s DVI port. Does the 5770 have one DVI & two MDP? I don’t need dual monitors. I don’t play games and don’t anticipate the need to connect to a TV. Still, with the cost of these cards, I desire to have its features/capabilities work properly should such a need arise. Is the audio out non-function only an issue from MDP for connecting to HDTV/AVR?

  • I have the 5770 installed in my Mac Pro 1,1 (2006), and can tell you the following:

    1) It works as a 2D renderer without acceleration in 10.5.8 (a relief).

    2) It will unaccelerated (2D only, native resolution only) in vanilla 10.6.4. Full 3D and resolution support are added in the Snow Leopard Graphics Update (Required).

    3) It is a marked improvement over the HD 3870, even in a 1,1 Mac Pro.

    4) There is an issue in 3D games where on TVs supporting 1080p (1920×1080@60 Hz; progressive scan) when launching the game, even if you are currently at 1080p60, the game will force the screen into a very blurry 1080i60 resolution. No known workaround exists. For 16:9 monitors/TVs, it is suggested you use 1600×900 instead of 1920×1080 until this is fixed.

    5) Audio out via the Mini Displayports is not functioning. Despite these being DP1.2 compliant and the fact that there *is* an audio controller onboard the 5770 (AMD’s ATI HDMI Audio Driver installs perfectly for this card, but no audio out in Windows either), OS X does not see au audio output device when a HDTV or AVR is connected to the MDP (port 1 or 2 doesn’t matter).

    6) The 5770 is much, much quieter than the 4870. This is a relief as Mac Pros are very quiet as is and any audible noise from a fan is extremely irritating.

  • I have a Mac Pro 1,1 running 10.6.4 on a new hard drive upgrade and a new NEC Multisync PA241W display. I ordered from Apple an ATI Radeon 4870 card, but delivery has been delayed until December. I’m considering canceling that order and buying the 5770 or 5870. I’ve read that the 4870 is more capable than the 5770, but that the 5870 is better still. Some say the 5870 does and some say it doesn’t work with the Mac Pro 1,1. I feel a bit stuck.

    I am having wake issues and other crashes with the 10.6.4/NEC display/GeForce7300GT combination, which I believe are at least in part related to that threesome. NEC tech support said they had no reports of the GeForce card being a problem. Who knows? Want to be sure I’m getting the best card for best color output and stability from the display – for graphic design work – and that these panics and crashes will stop.


  • Installed a 5770 in my 1st gen Mac Pro a couple of days ago. Works perfectly with the 2006 Apple 20″ Cinema Display.

  • I went ahead and installed the Apple version of the ATI Radeon HD 5770 in my MacPro1,1 (2006, first generation). It’s driving an NEC PA271W monitor via the Mini DisplayPort. This combination is working fine for me, except for two issues.

    Occasionally, after the Mac wakes up from sleep, the monitor does not light up. Power cycling the monitor, or detaching and reattaching the video cable, restores normal operation. NEC claims that they are getting many reports on this, and that it is due to DisplayPort cables which are not built to spec. But I am using the cable that they provided with the monitor, which they claim should work, plus a Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter. I do not see the wake-from-sleep problem if I use a DVI cable.

    The other issue is that I am not getting 10-bit per color channel displays on the monitor, even though NEC tech support confirms that all components in my data path should be 10-bit capable: Photoshop CS5 (set to use Open GL advanced mode), ATI 5770, Mac OS X 10.6.4, DisplayPort, and PA271W. There are similar reports from other users on Adobe’s Photoshop Mac user forum, and one of the Adobe engineers claims that they are discussing this with Apple. There may be a problem in Apple’s driver for the ATI 5*** cards.

    Hopefully, both of these glitches will be addressed in future software updates.

  • tried 5770 on 30″ with 10.5.8….video glitchy and audio out of sync. any help?? does it HAVE to be 10.6??

  • This for me is a bit like some say yes and some say no on certain cards for certain model Mac Pros.

    Would it be possible to get a clean list for 2006,2007 Mac Pros of cards that do work that can be acquired easily?

    A List might be something akin to

    2006,2007 – SL only – ATI xxxx – works as is
    2007 only – SL or L – ATI xxxx – works as is
    2006,2007 – SL or L – ATI xxxx – requires flashing
    2006,2007 – SL only – NVidia XXXX – works as is

    and so forth…

    Thanks in advance and if OWC carries one that is appealing, I’ll be shopping pronto with them.

    This would be very helpful.

  • I am looking for a cheap way to hang a small third monitor on my MacPro1,1. I have a RadeonX1900 in the 16x slot driving twin 30″ monitors. I just want a single slot 8x card that isn’t going to ding me for $200. Is there such an animal out there? If so I haven’t been able to find it. What other options are there?

  • Thanks to OWC Grant for the quick reply. But I’m still unclear on whether the first gen Mac Pro is fully compatible with the Mini DisplayPort in 5770. I had a private email exchange with Rob-ART at BareFeats, in which he reported that, when mounted in that computer, the card sometimes fails to recognize a monitor. To get the monitor to light up, he has to unseat and reseat the Mini DisplayPort connector. My Mac Pro is in a location that would make this very inconvenient. Rob-ART speculated that the bug might be fixed with a firmware or driver update. but I’m leery about buying the card on that assumption. Does OWC sell the Apple-compatible version of the 5770? If so, is the card returnable if it does not work for me?

  • I’m a bit confused by the statement in the UPDATE 8/27/10. If I install the 5770 in my MacPro1,1 (2006 quad core 2.66GHz), will I be able to use the Mini DisplayPort output on the card? Or are you still claiming that only the DVI output will work?

    My reason for buying the card would be to get the DisplayPort, which carries 10-bit per channel color. DVI only carries 8-bit per channel. Are there any other cards which run in the first generation MacPro and have DisplayPort output?

    • Hi Julian…that update noted “The 5770 in the 2006-2007 is compatible using the newest build of 10.6.4 which is included with the new Mid 2010 Mac Pros and allows you to take advantage of all three display outputs on the 5770.”
      Those three display outputs are of course DVI, HDMI, and Mini DisplayPort.
      SO…if you are running 10.6.4, then yes, you will be able to use the Mini DisplayPort.

      there was a follow up to that article with additional information:

      Not familiar if any other cards for 1st Gen MPs have DisplayPort output….

  • My nvidia 8800GT just died on me. So this is a interesting story.
    What I’m really wanna know is IF the 8570 or the 5770 will work on a mac pro 1.1 WITHOUT booting from a 2010 disk.
    It’s only usable for us if we can just switch the video card.
    I’m willing to do a new installation and upgrade to snow leopard if necessary.

  • Has anyone tried installed the 5770 video card in an early Mac Pro running OS X 10.5.8 or some version of 10.5?

  • What is an upgrade kit from Apple? and where can I get it?
    I did not see it on the apple site.


  • @Scott

    Just a generic 5770? If so, it won’t work. You need the 5770 upgrade kit from Apple.

  • Hi,
    I just put a radeon HD5770 into a MacPro1,1 (Quad Core 3.0ghz) (late 2006) running OS X 10.6.4, and got no response from the video card at all. My EFI Boot ROM version and SMC version are up to date (according to:
    So my question is: what are folks doing to make this work?
    I desperately need a new video card, and would love to make this happen. Any advice would be highly appreciated.
    With thanks in advance.

  • @Stephen
    Bare Feats has been using the boot drive from a 2010 Mac Pro, instead of using a 1,1MP with straight 10.6.4. That might explain some of the difference, which should hopefully be erased with the 10.6.5 update.

    Also, my 1,1MP is showing a MP11.005D.B00 boot ROM, which you would think is newer than MP11.005C.B08. I had my logic board replaced a couple of months ago.

  • Does this mean, that a 2006-2007 Mac Pro will only be able to run one monitor at a time with the 5770? Or is it possible to run 2 monitors with the right adapter from Newertech?

  • OWC, is it possible to get in touch with Rob-ART and work out the differences between your 2006 Mac Pros and the way the 5870 has been installed?

    1) Which model is it? 1,1 (quad-core) or 2,1 (8-core)?
    2) Which Boot ROM and SMC versions? The latest for the 1,1 is MP11.005C.B08 (EFI 1.2) and 1.7f10 (SMC 1.1) respectively, while the latest for the 2,1 is MP21.007F.B06 (EFI 1.2) and 1.15f3 (SMC 1.1) respectively. Refer to for more information.
    3) Which OS X version? I’m assuming all test systems are running 10.6.4 with the Snow Leopard Graphics Update installed.
    4) It shouldn’t make a difference, but I assume the tests have been performed with only a 5870 installed in Slot 1 and no other card in any of the other slots? Also, /System/Library/CoreServices/Expansion Slot has been configured such that Slot 1 is running at maximum bandwidth (16x)?
    5) Also, is it safe to assume that both power leads are connected to the 5870?

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  • One thing I miss from your old web site was the page where you could pick your Mac tower and it would show all of the available video/drive/usb/firewire/etc cards available for that tower.

    Sometimes I’m not looking for a specific card, I just want to browse and see everything that is available from OWC for the tower I have on 1 page.

    In the past for my PowerMac G4 MMD, I did do an “impulse” buy only because I happened to be browsing the list of cards you had for that tower. :-) I didn’t go to the site looking for that particular product.

  • Apple says:
    “And with support for two ATI Radeon HD 5770 cards in the Mac Pro, you can connect more displays — up to six total.” (

    “Connecting more than three displays requires installation of two ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics cards.” (

    But your testing seems to indicate only 2 displays per card is supported.

    Can you explain the difference in Apple’s claims and your testing results?

  • Just to clarify:

    I have a Mac Pro 1,1 2.66GHz model. You’re saying the 5770 is compatible, but only with a single DVI connection? Considering this upgrade is a full $100 less than the 4870 in the Apple store I may spring and get it. But it really is compatible, with no ROM hacking, voodoo rituals, etc?