2007 Mac Pro - 4870/4890 graphics card upgrade - advice needed!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sumimasen, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. Sumimasen macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2009
    Hi guys,

    I had a graphics card failure recently (8800GT 2 weeks out of warranty), and bought an ATI 2600 off eBay to keep me going, but as I do a lot of freelance 3D work, the open gl power of this card just isn't cutting it, and the upgrade that I thought was a few months off is now slightly more urgent...

    I have a few choices of cards, but I would very much like advice on any pros and cons that I have missed.

    Here are some of my requirements - I need to run 2 screens (20" dells), and the card would need to work in both OSX and Windows.

    1. Apple Radeon 4870 - this would seem to be the perfect card, but for the price (Ouch!) and the fact that it comes with only one DVI connector.

    I have a couple of options - first, buy a MDC to DVI adaptor (which I hear only gives a single link connection), or leave the 2600 in another PCI slot to power the second (less stressed) monitor.

    How would either of these options work? What are the limitations of a single link DVI connection?

    2. Buy a PC Radeon 4870X2 or 4890 and run using Netkas injectors (although all the evidence I have seen suggests that two monitors do not work running a PC card in this way).

    I would need to buy the extra power cable (I still have one from my dead 8800), but I was wondering if running the 2600 + PC 48x0 here would bypass the dual screen issue?

    Does anyone have a 4870X2 running in their mac pro, and if so, how well does it run? are there any issues that I should be aware of, or are there any limitations (besides only getting one 4870 core running under OSX)?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, and detailed experiences with any of these set-ups would be very nice to have.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    4890 gives you the best performance in OSX.

    I am using dual display with my 4890 to first display and Nvidia 7300GT to the second.
  3. Sumimasen thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2009
    Yes, I'd imagine that's right, but I use Modo for 3D, and the windows version is now 64 bit, whereas the Mac version is 32 bit for the foreseeable future. If I start using Windows to do most of my 3D, then the 4870X2 would be better.

    Also, I guess you can't boot in windows successfully, as I hear that it doesn't like 2 cards by different manufacturers installed.

    Also, I play games, but only in windows, so again, the 4870X2 would be the better choice I think.

    I tried looking through the main 4870 thread for some info, but that thing is a beast! :) If someone could tell me if a 4870X2 works, which model is best to buy and what the limitations are, then that would be great.

    Also, a definite list of what to install to get this working would help, as everywhere I look the info is different.

  4. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    you work in windows... and play in windows... get a pc?

    netkas.org is all you need
  5. Sumimasen thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2009
    That's massively oversimplifying things! :)

    I OCCASIONALLY work in windows. In fact, up till now I have worked solely in OSX, but I will work in windows while no 64 bit version of my 3D app is available for OSX. Everything else I use is in OSX, and, tbh, if I wanted a PC, I would have bought one.

    All I'm saying is that I would like a card that can boot happily in both, and run 2 monitors.

    I did see netkas.org, but there are no confirmations that the 4870X2 or the 4890 work as I would like them to. As a last resort I can use my 2600 to drive the second screen, but I'd rather have it all running on one card. Netkas is undoubtedly a very clever guy (gal?), and I will no doubt be using his injectors to run whatever I buy (I've pretty much talked myself out of paying for the Apple 4870) - I'd just like some reassurance that it will work before I lay down the cash.
  6. Sumimasen thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 5, 2009
    Well I've now bought a XFX 4870 X2 2GB, so I'll know for sure if this will work shortly! :)

    I also got a couple of pretty heavy duty PCI-e power cables from eBay, so I can feed the power straight from the main board, and not from the drive bays.

    Should know for sure by the weekend, so I'll report back then.

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