2009/2010 Mac Pro + 6870 Questions

Avenger

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
683
102
I've read a few threads about upgrading a Mac Pro with a ATI 6870 card and flashing it. I have a few lingering questions.

1. What current bugs and issues are there with a flashed 6870 on a 2009/2010 Mac Pro (assume 2009 was updated with 2010 EFI). I initially read about steam issues, dvd player not working, etc.. But it seems flashing the card fixes most of these problems. What are the issues remaining on the OS X and Windows 7 side of things?

2. On a 2010 Mac Pro, does Audio over HDMI work in both Mac OS X and Windows 7 with the 6870 card? I know it works for 5770 and 5870. Does it still work with a 6870?
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
The top DVI port doesn't work after flashing and in my 2009 Mac Pro, both the Sapphire 6870 and the XFX 6870 Dual Fan cause the PCI-E fan (the fan in the card area, not the fan on the graphics card) to spin at high rpm, making my Mac Pro very noisy. However, as soon as you stress the card the fan speed will slow down to normal speeds.

It's quite annoying, but I avoid it by always putting my Mac Pro to sleep. It will only rev up on a clean boot.
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
Let me explain what happens and what does not happen with the fan:

- On a power up (clean boot), the PCI-E fan will rev to up around 1500 rpm, making it quite noisy.
- The fan will stay noisy and will not slow down by itself, you'll have to stress the machine in some way or another.
- The fan will slow down slowly once it reaches around 2000 rpm (that's why you'll need to stress the machine).
- After/during a reboot, the fan will stay quiet.
- Booting into Windows will keep the fan quiet and rebooting back to Mac OS X also keeps it quiet.
- Putting you Mac to sleep and waking it up will also keep it quiet.

:)
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
May 5, 2003
1,596
45
Québec
Hello,

Thanks for the details.

Two more questions: are you running 10.6, or 10.7 on the Mac side?

And would putting the Mac immediately to sleep after power up slow down the fans?

Thanks

Loa
 
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Avenger

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
683
102
Besides the fan issue, are you guys experiencing any software related problems since you upgraded (crashing, hanging, etc. on any applications)?
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
Hello,

Thanks for the details.

Two more questions: are you running 10.6, or 10.7 on the Mac side?

And would putting the Mac immediately to sleep after power up slow down the fans?

Thanks

Loa
10.6.8 right now, but it also happens in Lion. But if you put the Mac to sleep while the fan is making noise, it will be noisy again upon wakeup. You will have to stress the machine first to get rid of the fan noise.

@Avenger;
I have no problems with my flashed 6870, everything works fine. :)
 

Avenger

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
683
102
@Avenger;
I have no problems with my flashed 6870, everything works fine. :)
Thanks for the info. You didn't happen to upgrade your 2009's EFI firmware to the 2010? I'm still trying to find out if audio over mdp and HDMI is supported with the 6970 on the 2010 mac pro.
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
Nope, sorry haven't upgraded my firmware. I also don't use HDMI so I can't comment on that either.
 

Pörsödil

macrumors newbie
Jan 9, 2012
6
0
Would I still have to flash the card even if I run Windows 7 through Boot Camp on my Mac Pro?
 

Avenger

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
683
102
Would I still have to flash the card even if I run Windows 7 through Boot Camp on my Mac Pro?
I don't think you have to flash it if you only use bootcamp. The main bugs before flashing have to do with OS X applications. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

Question to all about bootcamp 6870 drivers. Can you use the full drivers from the ATI site or do you have to use the ones that come with bootcamp? Thanks...
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
The Catalyst drivers from the AMD website work great, use those. I don't think my 6870 was working with only the Boot Camp drivers.
 

Avenger

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2007
683
102
The Catalyst drivers from the AMD website work great, use those. I don't think my 6870 was working with only the Boot Camp drivers.
Did you follow a similar workflow to this one in order to modify the firmware on the card?:

1. Windows - Backup firmware with gpu-z
2. OS X- Use Zeus 2.8 to add EFI to firmware file.
3. Windows - Use ATI win flash to flash the modified firmware back to the card.

Or did you use another tool? Thanks...
 

G-Force

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2006
657
20
1. Yes, I've made a backup of the rom with GPU-Z in Windows.
2. I had to use command line commands which you can find on Netkas' forums, neither Zeus or Netkas' tool worked for my XFX card.
3. Yes, flash in Windows using ATI Winflash, worked great.

:)
 

10k300

macrumors newbie
Oct 10, 2010
27
0
Guys with the fan noise, I just posted a thread about this with a jerry rigged solution, but it works. I didn't see this thread before I posted but it's good that there's a solution (silly albeit) but it works
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,511
6,692
Thanks for the info. You didn't happen to upgrade your 2009's EFI firmware to the 2010? I'm still trying to find out if audio over mdp and HDMI is supported with the 6970 on the 2010 mac pro.
I would be really surprised if that worked. The 6970 in OS X is loaded with problems.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,105
234
Does anyone know if HDMI audio works in the 6870? If so, is that with or without flash?