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Mac Pro Graphics Card Upgrade – ATI Radeon HD 5770

This blog post has a geek rating of 5. It has explicit descriptions of computer parts and even the cultural references are aimed at those who believe anoraks are not just for rainy days.

After replacing the “panic locked” SSD drive  and restoring the system from Time Machine, my Mac Pro computer was working once again. On Facebook I happily stated that computer, printer and Photoshop were all in sync and I could get back to work. Then a few hours later there was a glitch in the matrix.

Graphics Card Death

Graphics Card Giving up the Ghost

Turning off the computer and turning it back on again didn’t help. My Nerd Herd friends Robert, Nate and Pietro were out of Okinawa so I’d have to work things out myself.

After a bit of research, I came to the conclusion it must be an issue with the graphics card. The issue being it was no more. It had ceased to be. It had expired and gone to meet its maker. My Mac Pro is a 2007 model 1,1 with a nVidia GeForce 7300GT graphics card with 256 MB of GDDR3 SDRAM. ( I warned you about this earlier on.) I considered looking for an identical graphics card, but they aren’t produced anymore. The latest Mac Pro computers come with an ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card with 1GB of GDDR5 memory, and the card can be purchased for mid 2010 Mac Pros as an upgrade. I presumed it would be incompatible with my 2007 computer.  However, the Mac store Q&A comments revealed that this card would work in a 1,1 model Mac Pro, and there was light at the end of the tunnel. I ordered one from Amazon Japan Friday night and it was here when I arrived back from my trip to Kyoto.

ATI Radeon hd 5770

ATI Radeon hd 5770

I’m not a tech guru. I have never coded, hacked or built my own computer. I had never really considered the importance of graphics cards believing that they were the concern of gamers who spent all their waking hours with people called Soap, Kozak, or John-117. I had no idea how you’d actually go about switching out the graphics cards in a computer.

Mac Pro with ATI Radeon HD 5770

Mac Pro with ATI Radeon HD 5770

Fortunately it turns out that Apple’s powerful workhorse computers are also the easiest to upgrade. I found a video on YouTube that took me through the entire process of replacing your graphics card in a Mac Pro. The video lasted for 3 minutes. If you can cope with Duplo, you can switch out hard drives, memory and graphics cards in a Mac Pro. I installed the new card, turned the computer on and everything is working again. Yippee-ki-yay!

The Mac Pro: “A chimpazee and two trainees could run her.”

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