PDA

View Full Version : CrossFire or SLI on MacPro




hajime
Jul 4, 2008, 10:14 AM
In the PC world, most latest motherboards support either SLI or CrossFire. How about the MacPro's motherboard?



Tallest Skil
Jul 4, 2008, 10:16 AM
Nope. Well, CrossFire, yes, in Windows, and SLI with hacked drivers with the 7300 in Windows...

Not OS X, though.

m1stake
Jul 4, 2008, 11:08 AM
Go buy some GTX 280s and report back.

ZeelessOne
Jul 4, 2008, 11:12 AM
He's kidding about the 280s.

Anyway, SLI is supposed to only work on NVIDIA chipsets. A while back, though, they supported it on a few Intel workstation boards with Geforce 7-series. So, there are old drivers out there that will make the 7300s work on a Mac Pro in SLI, but it's only those old drivers with those old, wimpy cards.

For ATI to compete, they allow Crossfire on an chipset, including the one found in the Mac Pro.

Of course, both of these work only under Windows on a Mac Pro.

hajime
Jul 4, 2008, 06:41 PM
He's kidding about the 280s.

Anyway, SLI is supposed to only work on NVIDIA chipsets. A while back, though, they supported it on a few Intel workstation boards with Geforce 7-series. So, there are old drivers out there that will make the 7300s work on a Mac Pro in SLI, but it's only those old drivers with those old, wimpy cards.

For ATI to compete, they allow Crossfire on an chipset, including the one found in the Mac Pro.

Of course, both of these work only under Windows on a Mac Pro.

Thanks for the info. So, I can install two ATI HD 4870 and crossfire them. If I choose the Nvidia 260GTX or 280GTX, I can only use one card. Am I right?

Tallest Skil
Jul 4, 2008, 06:44 PM
Thanks for the info. So, I can install two ATI HD 4870 and crossfire them. If I choose the Nvidia 260GTX or 280GTX, I can only use one card. Am I right?

Pretty much so, yeah. Well... There isn't enough power for two 4870s. You need two cards with only one external power connector each.

Sun Baked
Jul 4, 2008, 06:52 PM
Apple decided not to use the chips for the Intel D5400XS board, which would have had onboard support for both in HW.

I guess if you really want that support, a hackintosh skulltrail board might fit.

ZeelessOne
Jul 4, 2008, 07:57 PM
The Skulltrail motherboard achieves SLI by including 2 NVIDIA MCPs. It'd be kind of silly for Apple to have included these just for Windows.

Sun Baked
Jul 4, 2008, 10:17 PM
The Skulltrail motherboard achieves SLI by including 2 NVIDIA MCPs. It'd be kind of silly for Apple to have included these just for Windows.

Who said just for windows? People want OS X support for SLI and crossfire.

m1stake
Jul 4, 2008, 11:22 PM
then we could play C&C3 and Halo. great.

it would be nice, but if you want to actually have fun playing, you use Windows.

Also since SLI and Crossfire mileages vary from game to game and driver to driver, it's safer to have one powerful card instead of two, unless you have an XHD monitor, which few people use because cards have a lot of trouble rendering that much, so you don't get playable frame rates.

Umbongo
Jul 5, 2008, 06:13 AM
Who said just for windows? People want OS X support for SLI and crossfire.

It's a very small minority though which is why it will probably remain unsupported by Apple.

ray_uk
Jul 5, 2008, 09:43 AM
I have seen benchmarks of a 2008 mac pro running with two 2600xt graphic cards and being able to utilize them in crossfire, it worked in about 5 out of 6 games with Crysis being the odd one out, all of the other games COD4 UT3 and forgot the others showed a near doubling of the frames per second, so would imagine 2 x 3870's should function similarly.

Lord Blackadder
Jul 5, 2008, 09:55 AM
Someday Apple and ATI/NVIDIA will support CrossFire/SLI in the Mac Pro, but it won't be soon (I'd be happy to be proven wrong, of course).

Even if Apple chose a chipset that supported SLI (and even though CrossFire doesn't need it), they'd still need to do all the driver work - and as the PC world has demonstrated getting two cards to work together can be tricky. Apple would have the luxury of coding drivers designed to work on just one motherboard/chipset though, so that would be an advantage.

CrossFire/SLI is an attractive proposition for OS X users because video card releases don't happen often, so anything that can be used to increase GPU performance is desirable.

I'm not holding my breath though.

kabunaru
Jul 5, 2008, 09:57 AM
Be thankful that CrossFire works in Windows on the Mac Pro at least...

Lord Blackadder
Jul 5, 2008, 10:08 AM
Be thankful that CrossFire works in Windows on the Mac Pro at least...

In spite of Apple and ATI, unfortunately.

Bubba Satori
Jul 5, 2008, 02:12 PM
Who said just for windows? People want OS X support for SLI and crossfire.

No, you don't need it. No no no. No Blu-ray. You don't need it. No no no. No full selection of the latest generation video cards available. You don't need them. No no no. No updated ACDs. You don't need them. No no no. :D