Dropped a 7950 Mac edition into my 2008 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Surfheart, May 23, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    #1
    I replaced the 8800GT in my early 2008 3,1 Mac Pro yesterday with a 7950 Mac edition.

    Cant say it was really worth it for the differences I experienced in games.
    There were noticeable improvements in the games I tried and in the GUI but not enough that I think it justifies what I paid for this thing.

    I assume things are mostly CPU bound because games such as Starcraft 2 showed enormous gains where as Dirt 2 the difference was fairly minimal.

    It frustrates me so much that Apple seem disinclined to spend some time and money on improving the graphics subsystem in OS X, it really is quite poor.
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    #2
    This is very interesting and I'm glad you posted your results because I was looking at this card before I purchased the GTX 680. I actually based my decision off Bear Feats benchmarks and I'm glad I did. I'm having very good results with the 680. Hopefully you can send back the card and try something else.
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    sigh you shoulda just spent the extra $150 then
     
  4. Surfheart, May 23, 2013
    Last edited: May 23, 2013

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    #4
    I would have liked to, but the 680 is simply not available where I live.

    Looking at benchmarks for windows between the 680 and the 7950 there is very little in it between the two. The delta on the mac side is much larger.

    Edit: as you can see here: 7950 vs GTX 680

    The mac driver for the 7950 must be extremely poor.
     
  5. macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #5
    I also have a 2008 Mac Pro.

    Started out with the 8800 GT, then the Radeon 4870, Radeon 5870 and now the Radeon 7950.
    Each update gave a significant performance gain!

    The 7950 is by far the best grfx card. Tnx to the 3 GB VRAM my favourite game, X-Plane 10, does well.
    The 680 should be a quicker card but..:
    1. 2 GB VRAM is a handicap in X-Plane 10
    2. The nVidia OpenGL drives for OS X suck for gaming. AMD cards perform almost the same on Mac as Windows, the nVidia cards perform far less on Macs than Windows.

    It all depends what you expect from a grfx card. Most OS X-games run well enough on the 5870. X-Plane is the one which needs more horsepower.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #6
    It sounds like Dirt is more CPU bound? I saw extreme gains moving from a 8800 GT to a 5870, and a 7950 should be faster than that. Never played Dirt though.

    AMD writes the 7950 drivers, so it's not really Apple's thing...
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #7
    Stereoscopic 3D support

    According to the vendor's website, the HDMI port on this card has full 3D support. Has anyone actually tried this?
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #8
    The Barefeats results suggest otherwise, and in fact directly contradict what you're saying here. What games are you seeing this with?
     
  9. macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #9
    X-Plane 10.
    It seems to be the "normal" experience: Reboot the Mac in Windows and with nVidia cards the FPS can be doubled sometimes.
    AMD cards show far less difference. Close to none, actually.

    But, again, I focus on X-Plane 10. Other games will show different outcomes, I'm sure.

    I'm so happy with the 7950 in my 2008 Mac Pro. The perfect balance: 3 GB VRAM (yes... 2 GB is easily surpassed with lots of scenery) and "fast enough" to let the 5 year-old Xeon be the bottleneck. :eek:
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #10
    Right, so you probably should've said "the NVIDIA OpenGL drivers for OS X suck for X-Plane", not "gaming" in general. I tried running X-Plane 10 on my GTX 680 and it seems to run well, I haven't compared it to Windows yet though. There's a lot of talk about instancing support in X-Plane, but I ran some tests and instancing seems to work just fine on OS X with the latest NVIDIA drivers. Maybe this wasn't accelerated in older drivers and X-Plane is still disabling it today, even though it is accelerated now?
     
  11. macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #11
    I know of X-Plane, which leads me to assume that more games would suffer from worse OpenGL performance on nVidia cards than on Windows, while AMD performance seems more or less similar.

    About instancing:
    Take a look here:

     

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