What is the difference between the nVidia 8800GT graphics cards for Mac Pro? March 7, 2015 13:27

A common questions we receive here at apple_cards is:

'which 8800GT do I need for my Mac Pro'

There are two versions of the 8800GT card that were produced which need to be matched with the correct Mac Pro tower in order to work correctly and show an EFI boot screen (the grey apple logo on startup) that allows for switching between boot drives should you need to.

One version contains a 32 Bit EFI and is designed for the 2006 & 2007 models (known as the 1,1 & 2,1 respectively) of the Mac Pro which are identifiable by either clicking on the apple icon in the top left corner and going to 'about this mac' or by simply looking at the way the ram risers fit into the machine (both should sit with the ram on top of the riser in these models). 

The other contains a 64 Bit EFI and is designed to be used in Mac Pro's that were built between 2008-2012 (3,1 - 4,1 & 5,1). These are identifiable in the same way as above by clicking 'about this mac' or by seeing the ram risers on the 2008 machines have the ram sticks facing each other when inserted into the machine or by the 2009 onwards models which have a separate pull out tray that contains both the processors and memory.

If you buy the wrong card it's not the end of the world as when the OS loads the drivers will kick in and you'll get the desktop as normal but getting these cards right in the first place saves any hassle of returning them as you will be missing the boot screen.

Other than that, both cards are identical in looks so it's worth taking a few moments to check over your Mac to see which card you need.

For the 2006-2007 machines (Mac Pro 1,1 & 2,1) you'll need the nVidia 8800GT Mac Pro Graphics Card 32 Bit EFI version and for a machine that is from 2008 onwards (Mac Pro 3,1 - 4,1 & 5,1) you'll need the nVidia 8800GT Mac Pro Graphics Card 64 Bit EFI version.

Hopefully this helps to clear up the difference.