1st Generation mac pro video upgrade?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Trekkie, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Trekkie macrumors 6502a

    Trekkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Location:
    Wake Forest, NC
    #1
    I'm trying to decide if the 3 year old Mac Pro I have now has got another year in it if I update the video card. I've started to notice a bit of lag when it comes to some of the newer games I'm playing but the CPU isn't what is overworked, it's more of a video thing. It appears my 2.66GHz Dual cores + 8GB of RAM perform ok everywhere else, just in heavy graphics it drags down.

    I currently have the 1900xl, and I'm looking at the 3870 as a decent investment. I know I only have PCIe 1.0 on my board so I'm wondering if I'll get enough of a boost out of it. I checked BareFeats, and it looks like the 8 core PCI-E system does fairly well (http://www.barefeats.com/nehal05.html) with the 4870 but there aren't many 3870 benchmarks to show how it performs. I'm looking for another year or so out of the machine because a new nehalem machine configured with enough RAM for what I want is a significant investment. What really is odd is they only let you order it with one ATi and give you 5 or so of the GeForce cards which appear to perform worse in this area.

    (number of cards would be nice to increase as I like multiple monitors)
     
  2. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Kreplakistan
    #2

    I think other peeps might have a better say but the 3870 might be the worst possible upgrade. The bang for buck is not that good and it does not support openCL under snowleopard either.And probably never will be.
    I just updated my MP1.1 to (apples) 4870 and havent been nothing but happy. Fast and quiet. Proapps work without hickups (knocks wood) and casual gaming under xp has been a nice experience...
    Played Risen with max settings and 2560x1600,no probs.
     
  3. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #3
    not even 5870 is bottlenecked by PCI 1.0 so no worry.

    if you're gonna keep the x1900 you won't be able to power a second card without doing some ghettomodding, see my 8800 thread on that.

    I have a flashed 4890 in my MP 1.1 and it's doing great.
     
  4. forester54 macrumors member

    forester54

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Washington
    #4
    How do you like the card? I have been reading your thread on that card and it sounds like it works pretty damn well. I am thinking of adding it because I have the x1900 as well. Can I leave the 1900 and just add the 4890 or just take it out and add the 4890?
     
  5. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #5
    I've not had any problems yet, it rocks in WoW on OSX side and smokes in Crysis in Windows.

    I quote myself:

    if you only need 2 ports I guess a single 4890 is fine. Only gives dual dvi under snow leopard though.
     
  6. Trekkie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Trekkie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Location:
    Wake Forest, NC
    #6
    So I'm a nut and I play this game called EvE. I've been running the Mac Client for a year or more on it and usually run four or even five clients simultaneously.

    With in the last year, they've updated the graphics enough that it's causing performance issues on my machine with it's current setup. I'm guessing the little ATI 1900XL is getting over-run, the CPU utilization per iStat is <20% on all four cores and the fan on the 1900XL goes into full mode.

    Is the 4870 a drop in if I remove the 1900XL? If I bought the 4870 I could support my 23" ACD + add a new 24" ACD with the mini display port right?

    I have the 2xWoodcrest 2.66GHz version with 8GB of RAM. Applecare just expired which always makes me nervous but the thing has been rock solid so I see no reason to replace it just yet.
     
  7. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Kreplakistan
    #7

    Are you asking about the apple 4870 or thinking of flashing a pc card?
    Apple 4870 is a pure drop in.
    With the pc version the more exotic versions (cards with minidisplay ports) have afaik been really bitchy. Only the vanilla 4870 with dual dvis behave well. And for those you need to get the dvi-minidisplay adapter.
     
  8. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #8

    yup with the apple one, go for it.
     

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