2006 Mac Pro - 4870 versus 8800GT - still unsure

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Chimpy, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Chimpy macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2007
    I have the Mac Pro 2006 1,1 model.

    I currently have a flashed 8800GT (512MB) in the machine.

    I have in my possession a Radeon 4870 (1GB) that I could flash and put in the machine.

    I've read through all of the threads on this board about the two cards and can't seem to find a straight answer, so please bear with me:

    How much of a real-world performance increase would I see from the 4870? Is it really worth the hassle of flashing or will the gains be negligible compared to my 8800GT?

    This machine is mainly used for photo editing (Lightroom, PS), very light video editing, surfing/music/movies, stuff like that. I don't use it for gaming.

    I have a PC gaming rig that I could drop the 4870 into, so unless it's worth it I'd rather not flash the card just for the hell of it.

    Any thoughts from people in the know?
  2. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    4870 has the edge on the 8800GT with pro apps and 8800GT has the edge on the 4870 in PC gaming. I'd throw the 8800GT in the PC and flash the 4870 for your work machine.
  3. mackmack macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2009
    Why would the 8800gt have the edge over the 4870 in gaming? The 4870 is a much faster card for gaming. 150% faster typically.
  4. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    You're right, sorry was thinking of the 3870. :eek:
  5. lannister80 macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2009
    I have a flashed 4870 in my MP and the thing is really, really fast. I've never had an 8800, but you won't be disappointed with a 4870.

    Turned up all the settings all the way in Crysis and it plays like silk (in WinXP32 under bootcamp).
  6. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    I've used both (mac versions, not flashed).

    For the uses you describe, I doubt you notice a difference. If you use aperture, you will likely see improvement with the 4870 vs. the 8800, but photoshop does not leverage that (yet).

    This may change with SL and increasing use of the GPU for overall system speed, but by then there will probably be even faster cards available.

    As an aside, personally the only games I play on the mac are cider ports and for those (BF2142 especially) the 8800 had absolutely absysmal performance compared with the 3870 or 4870.
  7. Chimpy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2007
    Thanks for all the replies!

    I only do gaming on my PC box - I hate having to reboot to get into Windows, so I keep a PC box around just for gaming. Thus, I don't really care about gaming performance.

    I use Photoshop and Lightroom mainly - it sounds like I won't see a big performance boost by flashing the card. I suspect I'll just throw it into the PC box unless I hear of big performance boosts with Snow Leopard and the 4870.

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