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View Full Version : Crossfire and Physics Accel on an '08 Mac Pro




Ikyo
Jul 7, 2008, 01:01 PM
Has anyone put in 2 of the 3870's and also left in their 2600 to use it as a physics accelator? I am thinking about getting 2x3870's to replace my 8800GT, but not sure it is worth the money yet.



Apple Ink
Jul 7, 2008, 01:06 PM
Er.... Just one question!!!
Does Mac Pro (If thats what you are talking about) support crossfire?

If it does, you better see this:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-cards,1965-6.html

Tallest Skil
Jul 7, 2008, 01:08 PM
The Mac Pro does support CrossFire. Every board supports CrossFire.

Apple Ink
Jul 7, 2008, 01:11 PM
The Mac Pro does support CrossFire. Every board supports CrossFire.

What exactly do you mean by "Every board supports CrossFire" ?

Ikyo
Jul 7, 2008, 01:18 PM
It supports Crossfire and that list is accurate in that the 8800GT solo is better then a single 3870, but not dual.

indiochano
Jul 7, 2008, 02:04 PM
The Mac Pro does support CrossFire. Every board supports CrossFire.

OS X doesnt support crossfire... hell have to use crossfire under windows.

Ikyo
Jul 7, 2008, 02:13 PM
Yes, I would use it to play games under Windows. The 3870 would be more then enough to support everything I do in OSX.

Tallest Skil
Jul 7, 2008, 02:15 PM
What exactly do you mean by "Every board supports CrossFire" ?

Every motherboard supports CrossFire. It's not like SLI where nVidia dictates what board (Skulltrail) works.

zmttoxics
Jul 7, 2008, 02:25 PM
The Mac Pro does support CrossFire. Every board supports CrossFire.

Motherboards with nVidia chipsets do not support CrossFire, much like intel / ati chipsets do not supplort SLi.

Spanky Deluxe
Jul 7, 2008, 08:43 PM
It supports Crossfire and that list is accurate in that the 8800GT solo is better then a single 3870, but not dual.

And not to forget, the 3870 is vastly superior to the 8800 GT in Core Image apps (i.e. half of the 'Pro' suite).

Apple Ink
Jul 8, 2008, 12:38 AM
Every motherboard supports CrossFire. It's not like SLI where nVidia dictates what board (Skulltrail) works.


No MoBo with Nvidia chipset (eg: 680i, 790i, nforce 4, etc) supports CrossFire.

How Sure am I? 1000% cuz I myself am currently using an Nvidia 790i MoBo!

Spanky Deluxe
Jul 8, 2008, 05:34 AM
No MoBo with Nvidia chipset (eg: 680i, 790i, nforce 4, etc) supports CrossFire.

How Sure am I? 1000% cuz I myself am currently using an Nvidia 790i MoBo!

Yeah, unfortunately that's true. While there's no hardware reason that SLI/Crossfire should work on any motherboard, the drivers artificially limit it to only Intel/non-nVidia motherboards for Crossfire and nVidia boards for SLI. I swear I heard that from someone that this was illegal and violated anti-trust laws or something. :confused:

Apple Ink
Jul 8, 2008, 06:13 AM
Yeah, unfortunately that's true. While there's no hardware reason that SLI/Crossfire should work on any motherboard, the drivers artificially limit it to only Intel/non-nVidia motherboards for Crossfire and nVidia boards for SLI. I swear I heard that from someone that this was illegal and violated anti-trust laws or something. :confused:

I dont think so dude cuz if it did, Mac OS would be running on millions of PCs in the same way!

Spanky Deluxe
Jul 8, 2008, 06:16 AM
I dont think so dude cuz if it did, Mac OS would be running on millions of PCs in the same way!

Yeah you're right. Its a shame they don't try force us into using particular boards. :( This does make me not want to buy an nVidia card again for my Mac. I've got SLI working on two 7300 GTs at the moment through hacked drivers but other than that there's not much I can do. I feel much safer in buying one 3870 now than an 8800 GT because I know I have the option of picking up another one if I want more gaming power in Windows.

Apple Ink
Jul 8, 2008, 08:08 AM
Yeah you're right. Its a shame they don't try force us into using particular boards. :( This does make me not want to buy an nVidia card again for my Mac. I've got SLI working on two 7300 GTs at the moment through hacked drivers but other than that there's not much I can do. I feel much safer in buying one 3870 now than an 8800 GT because I know I have the option of picking up another one if I want more gaming power in Windows.

I badly wanted to run 2 4850s in crossfire in my gaming PC but cuz of this ******** monopoly, I'll have to stick with the monstrously expensive GTX 260 and wait for some more time saving!!! :mad:

8corePRO
Jan 13, 2010, 02:17 PM
The Mac Pro does support CrossFire. Every board supports CrossFire.

that is the most uneducated statement i've ever read. Only CrossFire-compliant motherboards support Crossfire. IE Intel chipsets or (rarely seen) AMD/ATI chipset.

Crossfire is not supported by apple yet in OSX, as many probably know by now. Hopefully we get some support sometime in the next decade. Pretty pathetic we don't have it yet

Radeon HD 3870 mac edition works great in OSX. If you have a version only for PC you can get that working also, however it requires some patched kernel extensions from the OSX86 community

zmttoxics
Jan 13, 2010, 02:23 PM
Thanks for reviving a year old thread to insult someone and repeat what has already been said.

Edit: Better yet, to insult someone who was banned from the forums.

Cindori
Jan 13, 2010, 03:15 PM
lol Ski was banned???

nanofrog
Jan 13, 2010, 07:24 PM
lol Ski was banned???
Last activity reported is Aug 29, 2009, so it's been awhile. ;) I'm not sure what happened, but oh well...

ildondeigiocchi
Jan 14, 2010, 10:37 AM
Last activity reported is Aug 29, 2009, so it's been awhile. ;) I'm not sure what happened, but oh well...

Pitty he got banned... he was a helpful user. Anyways, back to the OP question Mac Pros do support crossfire. Someone successfully reported crossfire success in their 09' Mac Pro with 2 Apple 4870's with ATI Catalyst 9.12 drivers.

nanofrog
Jan 14, 2010, 10:44 AM
Anyways, back to the OP question Mac Pros do support crossfire. Someone successfully reported crossfire success in their 09' Mac Pro with 2 Apple 4870's with ATI Catalyst 9.12 drivers.
Yes, but with a stipulation. ;) Windows ONLY. :p

Spanky Deluxe
Jan 14, 2010, 11:33 AM
Pitty he got banned... he was a helpful user. Anyways, back to the OP question Mac Pros do support crossfire. Someone successfully reported crossfire success in their 09' Mac Pro with 2 Apple 4870's with ATI Catalyst 9.12 drivers.

I thought Apple's 4870s turned out to actually be hardware modified so as to stop crossfire from working. That's what turned up in the first few months of the 4870 ROM thread at least. Maybe it changed since.

I had crossfire working on first a 3870 Mac Edition paired with a 3870 standard PC card and then two flashed XFX 1GB 4870s. Windows only of course. This was on a 2006 Mac Pro.

nanofrog
Jan 14, 2010, 02:01 PM
I thought Apple's 4870s turned out to actually be hardware modified so as to stop crossfire from working. That's what turned up in the first few months of the 4870 ROM thread at least. Maybe it changed since.

I had crossfire working on first a 3870 Mac Edition paired with a 3870 standard PC card and then two flashed XFX 1GB 4870s. Windows only of course. This was on a 2006 Mac Pro.
It's my understanding it's in the drivers, not the hardware, as the boards don't need anything special. Unlike nVidia, which started with driver support, then required hardware support (chip on the main/logic board).

AlexMaximus
Jan 14, 2010, 03:33 PM
Has anyone put in 2 of the 3870's and also left in their 2600 to use it as a physics accelator? I am thinking about getting 2x3870's to replace my 8800GT, but not sure it is worth the money yet.

I was exactly looking for a solution what just mentioned.

This guy here did what me and you are looking for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NQ-YGkx5JQ

:apple:

Spanky Deluxe
Jan 14, 2010, 05:14 PM
It's my understanding it's in the drivers, not the hardware, as the boards don't need anything special. Unlike nVidia, which started with driver support, then required hardware support (chip on the main/logic board).

I seem to remember dual apple 4870s with a crossfire link simply not working with crossfire - even when they'd been reflashed with a non Apple ROM. Although ATI's 9.11 Catalyst drivers allowed them to work in Crossfire, bypassing Apple's hardware lockdown. Although, why bother spending all that money on two Apple 4870s? Two Apple 4870 512MB cards = $698. Two PC 4870 1024MB cards = ~$400. Apple's pricing is insane. Why bother getting a pair of year old cards that had half the memory compared to most of its PC counterparts at the time when for $650 you can now get a PC 5970??

I was exactly looking for a solution what just mentioned.

This guy here did what me and you are looking for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NQ-YGkx5JQ

:apple:

I did that too a month or two after this thread originally started. Why bother with 2x3870s when you can use a single 4870 which would give the same power. Or two 4870s. As far as keeping a third graphics card in for physics calculations, it's debateable if it's worth it. I originally had 7300GTs not 2600s.

nanofrog
Jan 14, 2010, 05:20 PM
I seem to remember dual apple 4870s with a crossfire link simply not working with crossfire - even when they'd been reflashed with a non Apple ROM. Although ATI's 9.11 Catalyst drivers allowed them to work in Crossfire, bypassing Apple's hardware lockdown. Although, why bother spending all that money on two Apple 4870s? Two Apple 4870 512MB cards = $698. Two PC 4870 1024MB cards = ~$400. Apple's pricing is insane. Why bother getting a pair of year old cards that had half the memory compared to most of its PC counterparts at the time when for $650 you can now get a PC 5970??
I agee, that a pair of Apple cards is a waste. If a user was too afraid of flashing or using an injector, then one Apple version and one PC version should suffice, and save $$$ in the process.

And like you say, if someone is going to go to the trouble, go for the newer card and run it under Windows if there's no way to get it working under OS X. Just keep the stock graphics card in the system (or upgrade if more than the basic model is needed on the OS X side). At least cards (manufacturers) can be mixed under Windows 7 (as I recall Vista not working that way).

Spanky Deluxe
Jan 14, 2010, 05:23 PM
I agee, that a pair of Apple cards is a waste. If a user was too afraid of flashing or using an injector, then one Apple version and one PC version should suffice, and save $$$ in the process.

And like you say, if someone is going to go to the trouble, go for the newer card and run it under Windows if there's no way to get it working under OS X. Just keep the stock graphics card in the system (or upgrade if more than the basic model is needed on the OS X side). At least cards (manufacturers) can be mixed under Windows 7 (as I recall Vista not working that way).

Yeah. Chances are 5xxx series will come to OS X within the next six months tops if not sooner anyway.

nanofrog
Jan 14, 2010, 08:55 PM
Yeah. Chances are 5xxx series will come to OS X within the next six months tops if not sooner anyway.
I'm thinking it will show as well, but not so sure on the date. Likely within 6 mo., but not certain. It always feels odd predicting those dates, as it's not always coincided with the release of a new MP line (in general, as the GTX285 didn't IIRC).

What I do hope, is that it will work in the EFI32 systems as the 4870 does (granted it won't be very useful for GPGPU calculations <single precision only in those systems>, but that's not what most need anyway).

Spanky Deluxe
Jan 14, 2010, 10:33 PM
I'm thinking it will show as well, but not so sure on the date. Likely within 6 mo., but not certain. It always feels odd predicting those dates, as it's not always coincided with the release of a new MP line (in general, as the GTX285 didn't IIRC).

What I do hope, is that it will work in the EFI32 systems as the 4870 does (granted it won't be very useful for GPGPU calculations <single precision only in those systems>, but that's not what most need anyway).

Yeah but the GTX285 isn't made by Apple, it's made by EVGA. Provided the sales of the 285 were good, EVGA will probably release a Fermi based card within a few months of general release.

The Mac Pro is overdue a refresh now and the GPU is already over a year and a half old. When a refresh does come it will most likely have a next gen graphics card. So probably either a 5870 1GB card or whatever nVidia has to offer if they ever actually get round to releasing their vaporware next gen chips. Although Apple is strongly favouring ATI in all their machines right now (apart from the necessity to keep the 9400m for the time being), probably because of nVidia burning Apple's hands with all those faulty chips, nVidia cards are better at OpenCL type stuff thanks to far better drivers in those regards. If Apple updates the MP line before March then it'll probably be a 5870. Afterwards, it could be either. Then again, they could just add an even faster CPU speed and charge an even higher price for it and leave everything else untouched for another six months.

nanofrog
Jan 15, 2010, 12:39 AM
Yeah but the GTX285 isn't made by Apple, it's made by EVGA. Provided the sales of the 285 were good, EVGA will probably release a Fermi based card within a few months of general release.
I know it's 3rd party, as is the Quadro FX4800 Mac Edition (PNY), but both are available directly from Apple. They just aren't offered as options for BTO systems, and are separate purchases only.

Unfortunately, graphics card choices have always been lean, and it doesn't appear it's going to change much in the near future. I guess MP users should consider themselves lucky to have 4 available ATM. :rolleyes: :p

The Mac Pro is overdue a refresh now and the GPU is already over a year and a half old. When a refresh does come it will most likely have a next gen graphics card. So probably either a 5870 1GB card or whatever nVidia has to offer if they ever actually get round to releasing their vaporware next gen chips. Although Apple is strongly favouring ATI in all their machines right now (apart from the necessity to keep the 9400m for the time being), probably because of nVidia burning Apple's hands with all those faulty chips, nVidia cards are better at OpenCL type stuff thanks to far better drivers in those regards. If Apple updates the MP line before March then it'll probably be a 5870. Afterwards, it could be either. Then again, they could just add an even faster CPU speed and charge an even higher price for it and leave everything else untouched for another six months.
The 2010's won't be too long, and I'd think the 5870 will be a BTO option (and separate part for upgrades), given the ATI cards work well (decent drivers, especially compared to those for the nVidia cards). Even if it releases later than the new MP's.

I'm not sure how long nVidia's going to be able to hold out, TBH. The next few products will either save or sink them IMO (as they've had bad products in their chipset offerings as well). Given their track record, and the complexity of the 300 series of GPU's, I'm not sure it's going to go well for them. It's an uphill battle anyway, and would take a major shift in how they do things.