Can the new Mac Pro run with a single working GPU?

in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014

One of the nice things about my MP1,1 is that if the GPU goes I can swap it out with one of my old ones while I wait for a new replacement. Maybe no gaming, but at least I'm running.


What about the new MP? If one of the two GPUs dies, is the system down? I'd hate to lose my whole machine in that case.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,273moderator
    If it was a component like the power supply, the machine would be down in either case. The GPUs in the new one are both stuck to the heatsink with thermal paste so while you probably can remove one and run the machine without it, it's not the best idea if you want it fixed under warranty.

    A better backup would be to have a spare machine like a quad-i7 Mini if it gets a PCIe SSD slot. You can then just pop out the Mac Pro SSD into the Mini and keep going while it's fixed. That covers you for a PSU failure too.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    I have not seen any official statements regarding this question, or any attempted 3rd-party tests, so I can't really say.

    As the SSD card is mounted to a socket that is unique to one of the GPU cards, the SSD would not be usable with that card removed. Assuming the machine can function with only one GPU, you may also need a bootable external drive in that case.

    However, I am also wondering if this is a realistic concern. While some MacBook Pros have had GPU issues, they don't seem to be because GPUs are a problem, but rather the specific design seems to have a weak point. Beyond that, I have not heard of GPUs being a problematic component. In my experience, power suppliers are much more problematic.

    That said, I would love to see a consumer-oriented version of the Mac Pro, with a quad-core i7, single GPU, and internal HDD with Fusion Drive, at a much lower cost. For headless Macs, there is a massive gap between the Mini and the Pro!
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