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No launch-day Final Cut Pro X for me

Well, this was an unpleasant surprise:

Mac App Store rejects my purchase of Final Cut Pro X due to inadequate video card

I’ve never really given a lot of thought to my video card… I usually just get the default option for the Mac Pro when I buy it. It’s not like I do any gaming on my Mac (that’s what the Wii, PS2, iPhone, and iPad are for)

So here’s what System Profiler tells me I have:


ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT:

  Chipset Model:	ATI Radeon HD 2600
  Type:	GPU
  Bus:	PCIe
  Slot:	Slot-1
  PCIe Lane Width:	x16
  VRAM (Total):	256 MB
  Vendor:	ATI (0x1002)
  Device ID:	0x9588
  Revision ID:	0x0000
  ROM Revision:	113-B1480A-252
  EFI Driver Version:	01.00.252
  Displays:
SMEX2220:
  Resolution:	1920 x 1080 @ 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

Guess I’m in the market for a better video card for an Early 2008 Mac Pro… what should I get, given that all I need it for is FCP?

Comments (8)

  1. dotx3f

    Exactly the same here. Same 2008 Mac Pro, same video card = NO FCP X

    I hope this can be solved by a “simple” graphics card update. I bought a Mac Pro because I thought it’s upgradeable so I can keep it for longer than 3 years.

    Now I have no clue what new Open CL video card will be fully supported by drivers and hardware in an early 2008 Mac Pro. Please post your upgrade solution.

  2. It’s so weird to see Apple using the term “OpenCL-compatible” in front of end-users, since it’s a developer term that has zero awareness among normal people. Graphics cards certainly don’t advertise that they’re supported by OpenCL: Search for it on Amazon and nearly all the hits are programming books. And Apple’s support document only lists factory-installed graphics cards that don’t work with FCPX, not providing any guidance to any that do. Apple kind of dropped the ball with this one: confusing and unhelpful.

    I started a topic on discussions.apple.com and one of the followups has a list of compatible cards (it looks like it’s copied from the “Silverado” white paper on FCPx that was suggested to me on Twitter).

  3. dotx3f

    That’s very helpful. Thanks a lot. I agree Apples support page stinks. They want to sell you a new Mac.

    It looks like the ATI Radeon HD 5770 is an option. I can get it for EUR 129,- in a computer store in my town. At least a lot cheaper than buying a new Mac just to run FCP X.

  4. dotx3f

    Just found an ATI Radeon HD 5770 upgrade kit at the Apple Store: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC742ZM/A

    Read the second question and its answer.

  5. dotx3f: Yeah, I bet there’s going to be a run on those Apple-friendly Radeons. Also wondering about the GeForce GT 120 (also at Apple) which is also on the OpenCL-compatible list.

    Learning a lot from Twitter about the need to Flash non-Apple graphics cards, whose firmware is BIOS and not EFI (older guide here for background). Hassle of this may justify the cost of buying the Apple-blessed cards.

  6. dotx3f

    Without knowing about possible BIOS problems I already ordered the upgrade from the Apple Store. My reason was to minimize any risk. Now I’m extra glad I did. If you’re interested I’ll report my experience in a few days.

  7. dotx3f

    Ok here’s my promised report:

    The ATI Radeon HD 5770 from the Apple Store comes nicely packaged in a box with the Apple logo on it. A detailed instruction booklet is included. One positive side effect of opening the Mac Pro was beeing able to remove the dust that accumulated there over the years.

    The instructions are for the 2010 Mac Pro model though because in my early 2008 model there is no PCI slider and no button to press to move it. You have to connect a power cable between graphics card and mainboard. The socket location on the mainport is approximately as shown in the instructions. I removed the old card in slot 1 and replaced it with the new one. Pushing in the card was easy. So was restarting and purchasing FCP X.

    Upgrading to the ATI Radeon HD 5770 means you loose the second DVI port of the old card but gain two MiniDisplay ports instead. So maybe you also need to buy a MiniDisplay to DVI adapter from Apple if you use a second DVI monitor.
    All in all 249,- bought me a “new” computer but I’m afraid that upgrading in another three years will be impossible. I’m no “power user” and had I bought an iMac in 2008 and now a new one I would have spent less.

    Thank you again and good luck with your upgrade.

  8. dotx3f: Thanks for the report. Looks like that upgrade is in my near future.

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