5770 vs. 2 x 5770 vs. 5870

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by -BigMac-, Apr 16, 2011.

  1. -BigMac- macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi guys,
    I'm upgrading from my current MBP 15" i7 to a Mac Pro next week. Reason being, i am an Aerospace Engineering student and will start using CAD programs next semester, which apparently push the computers pretty hard. Also, i play a decent amount of games, from F1 2010 to Bad Company 2.

    I am kinda picky about the quality/resolution of the images.. so i would prefer to play native res at high settings for nearly all the current games.

    So, here is my question..
    Seeing as i have my mind set on the Mac Pro (am not considering iMacs due to limited expandability etc.), i am wondering whether it would be better to get the 2.8 quad core with:
    - 5770
    - 5870 (and wait 8-10 days for delivery from China/Singapore.. )
    - 2 x 5770 (same delivery time)
    - OR.. wait for the new Mac Pros to come out (whenever that is..), and buy 'seperately' the newest and best graphics card which will be available in that and install it myself into the Mac Pro.

    Which one would offer me the best value for money? Is it worth spending the money now on a 5870 to see it get replaced with a 6870 in a few months?

    Thanks a lot for all your help :)
  2. Etherz10 macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2008
    United Kingdom
    i would say keep 5770 and wait till 6*** series come out and then upgrade
  3. -BigMac- thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Say the new Mac Pros come out in like 6 months.. what kind of performance would i be likely to get in my conditions with the 5770 in the mean time?
  4. Rustus Maximus macrumors 6502

    Rustus Maximus

    Jan 15, 2003
    The 5770 is a solid card...low power...good performance. The 5870 has more horsepower obviously, it is better than the 5770 but it's more money. As for where the Mac Pros will be in 6 months only Apple knows that. Never try to "future proof", it's a losing game. Get the most powerful Mac you can afford that will meet your needs now, remember, you will never stop upgrading...ever.


    Did i say ever?
  5. minifridge1138, Apr 16, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011

    minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    Guessing when the new Mac Pro will come out is kind of like betting on the stock market. You might get lucky.

    Some stats on the 5770:
    800 processing cores
    1 gig ram

    Some stats on the 5870:
    1600 processing cores
    1 gig ram

    How many monitors are you wanting to use? Since there is no crossfire support, all of the monitors on a card share the resources on that card. They can not get more from the other card.
    So if you're using 1 monitor, then there is no purpose in having a 2nd 5770. It will be completely useless.

    If you're using 2 monitors, then having 2 5770 (1 per monitor) would be about the same as having 2 monitors on a single 5870.

    If you're using 3 monitors, then 2 5770 might be the way to go.

    A suggestion:

    Buy the Mac Pro with the 5770. Use it. Enjoy it. If it meets your needs, then leave it alone.

    If it doesn't...

    OSX Lion is supposed to be out soon. People with advanced copies are reporting that they can use non-flashed, straight out of the box PC graphics cards. Several have reported luck with the 6870 (which is the same as the 5870 just with a different number).

    If the production version of lion still supports non-flashed cards, then buy one and save a few hundred dollars.

    If the production version of lion does not support non-flashed cards, then go to an apple store and buy 5870.
  6. -BigMac- thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    I will be using 2 27" ACD's at first, and then possibly start using a 3rd in the near future. I don't think that will be for about 6-8 months though..

    What is likely to be the most powerful card (non-flashed) which will fit into the Mac Pro out of the 6***? Could any of the 69** fit inside of it?

    Thank you :)
  7. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    The only one better than a 5870 for gaming is the 6970. It is a toss up between the 6950 and the 5870 and the 6800 series is not a REAL performance upgrade at all. A die shrink to tame the temps but offers lower performance across the board against 5870. You use less power but only a little less. Go check out Toms Hardware or anantech or similar and you'll get the idea. AMD's numbering system is again off track to consumers.
  8. -BigMac- thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 15, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    i thought we're prosumers ;)
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    What is your native resolution?

    5770 does me just fine but on the very latest games I cannot play max settings at full resolution. 5870 will.

    5770x2 will not help you at all unless you are using lots of monitors for your CAD program. Crossfire does not work in OS X and it is finicky in Windows.

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