5870 or 5770? Decision for ordering new MP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Chenier, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. Chenier macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    #1
    Forgive me, as I know there are many posts on the topic of the new graphics cards, but I'm having trouble figuring out whether I should upgrade to the 5870 or not. I'm about to buy the new quad core 3.2ghz, and I've already ordered a 27" NEC that supports 2560 x 1440. I'll mainly be using CS5, and while I don't currently do any video or 3D work, I don't want to rule those options out. I don't necessarily mind spending the extra $ for the 5870 upgrade, but wasn't sure if I would actually feel the advantage for my usage.

    (my first post, many thanks!)
     
  2. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #2
    The 5870 is a fairly inexpensive upgrade when ordering new.

    Price is crazy expensive when ordered as a stand-alone part.

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  3. Chenier thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2010
    #3
    Thanks, I was thinking along the same lines, but still am not sure if I'd benefit noticeably from this upgrade.
     
  4. studiox macrumors regular

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    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Stockholm / Sweden
    #4
    The 5770 would fit your needs. If you feel in the future you want extra power you could always get an extra card.
     
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #5
    The 5870 Mac is actually fairly decently priced. The absolute lowest I can find a 5870 for on the Windows side is $350, with about $400 being the average.
     
  6. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #6
    Apple = overprice, like always. :eek:

    Might as well just buy a 5870 from somewhere else and just flash the bios to EFI.

    edit: If it's possible, I'd spend a little more for a 5970 if it can be flashed, since a 5970 are basically 2 x 5870 :p
     
  7. telequest macrumors regular

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    Feb 1, 2010
    Location:
    NJ
    #7
    Upgrade worthwhile for FCS and CS5?

    As a Final Cut Studio and CS5 user, I'm wondering if the upgrade to 5870 is really worth it or not. I realize that in some circumstances the 5870 has double the power ... but will that make a real difference with any of my apps? Motion, perhaps? After Effects? Final Cut?

    Specs are here:
    http://www.apple.com/macpro/features/graphics.html

    Will the 5870 draw a lot more power? According to the specs, it requires 2 power cables instead of just one. Will it make those fans run with a lot more noise? I really prefer a quieter workstation when I'm doing video so I can hear the audio tracks over the rush of fans.

    But if the beefier card will really speed things noticeably, I'll consider it.

    Advice? Thanks.
     
  8. iRobertM macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle WA.
    #8
    Just my opinion, not having to go through the trouble of flashing and having it be under Apple care is worth the extra price in my book.
     
  9. iRobertM macrumors regular

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle WA.
    #9
    I can only speak to this card in my Windows gaming machine. I have two in crossfire and I don't even hear the fans. Although I have a high end Lien-Li case that keeps things cool. Have a Mac Pro on order though, once it comes in I can let you know. But waiting sucks.
     
  10. adjuster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #10
    I have a 2008 MP, 4-core, with an ATI 2600 card. Tried an ATI 4870 card and got a 10% improvement in rendering in Final Cut. Not worth the $350 cost.

    However, I need another MP and will probably get the upgraded card. For $200, a probable 10% improvement will be cost effective. The good news is that this one will be in my office where I don't pay for electricity rather than at home where I do.

    According to Tomshardware review, the 5870 is twice as fast as the 5779, which is the same as the 4870. Apple says it is only 70% faster. Obviously, this does not translate to 70% improvement in speed when running software because so many other factors in the computer come into play.

    My understanding is that only the 3D programs rely on a graphics card speeds. However, who knows what will be the case in a few years.

    Best way is to wait for Barefeats reviews.
     
  11. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    Only one cores of the 5970 work in OSX meaning it's basically just a 5870 with 5850 clock speeds in OSX unless you've flashed the BIOS with a permanent overclock (which is what the 5970 was designed for).

    While flashing will be possible it's not really worth it imo. The 5970 is only a $200 upgrade if going for a BTO machine and at $449 in kit form, that's only $59 more than the cheapest PC 5870 on Newegg and bare in mind you'd still have to buy two special Mac six pin cables to power the card which aren't that cheap and then you still have to bother with the flash and lack of warranty. You'd probably end up saving only about $20 by buying a PC card yet you'd lose a fair bit of time and all of the warranty on the card.
     
  12. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    Isn't the 5970 too big to fit in a Mac Pro anyway?
     
  13. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #13
    Anyone know how much power the 5870 uses under different load conditions?

    thanks
    JohnG
     
  14. dissolve macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 23, 2009
    #14
  15. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Texas
    #15
    If it fit, it would probably cover all other PCIe slots its so big haha
     
  16. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    #16
  17. colorkite macrumors newbie

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    Oct 11, 2009
    #17
    People...

    Here's the deal: All of CS5 apps and Apple's pro apps are explicitly improved by a better GPU. CS5 has so much OpenGL acceleration built into it (yes, even Photoshop) you'd be quite stupefied to not get the upgrade.

    While Final Cut Pro and most other NLE video editors will only see modest improvement, any use of GL effects in the timeline will be 2x faster or more with the 5870.

    If you are a pro user - get the 5870 upgrade. It's a tiny cost for often 200% performance in many pro apps. It's one upgrade you wont regret.

    For those of you who say apple charges premiums - well yes - but not in this case. :apple: is hardly charging a premium on this card
     
  18. Chenier thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2010
    #18
    Now I've heard the case made for both ways: 5870 wouldn't matter much for my use, AND 5870 upgrade is a no-brainer. I really want to be sure CS5 runs as well as I can make it run (especially InDesign). I've ordered the 3.2 quad with the 5770. Anyone else see cause to change my order and upgrade to the 5870?
     
  19. sboerup macrumors 6502

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #19
    Get the 5870, you won't regret wishing you had bought the 5770. On all paper stats it is at least 200% better for a small price increase.
     
  20. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    London, UK
    #20
    A 5970 fits into a Mac Pro 2006/7 case for sure and looking at the size of Apple's 5xxx series cards I'd expect it to fit into any Mac Pro.
     
  21. darwin022 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    Location:
    DC
    #21
    I'm also debating this and it's all that's still left to be decided before I place my MP 2010 order. my 2008 MP has 2x 8800GT cards and they really struggle. The setup has 3x NEC 2490's and a 1080p TV. What I've been running into is that as soon as any window or video gets split and passed between the cards, things get choppy. It's to be expected though.

    Because of this experience, I'm hesitant to go with the lower end 5770 card or a pair of them. I know that either way these cards are far superior to the old 8800GT and it shouldn't be an issue, but the concern is still there. I've got a 5850 in my gaming rig and it's great with Eyefinity. I called Apple to clarify whether or not the Mac Pro would support eyefinity and of course got an "I don't know" answer. The tech tried to convince me that it SHOULD. After I explained to him that Apple flaunts features and specs, and that usually a lack of any mention of a feature is a big "NO" and not a "pleasantly surprising hidden feature", he agreed. However, it's all software so they could roll it out in an OS update. The interesting thing is that it appears that the 5770's DO support eyefinity now (in March, it seemed to only be the 5800's and up)

    So the two options I can think of right now are:
    - Get the 5870 for the 3 main displays and a USB -> DVI adapter for the 4th display when I want to use it.
    - Get two 5770's and have enough outputs for the 4 displays I have and be able to put 2 more on. But that gets back to the horsepower question.

    Primary use for the machine is as a general workstation, video playback station, some gaming, and occasionally photo editing.

    Any thoughts or other options?
     
  22. Chenier thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2010
    #22
    Mac Pro order can't be changed

    Looks like I'll be giving the 5770 a test drive. As I got to thinking about whether to upgrade to the 5870, I noticed on my order status page there was no option to modify the order. Chatted with a rep who confirmed I could NOT change my order. I guess that could mean the MPs will start shipping sooner rather than later...
     
  23. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #23
    If you're running four screens then two 5770s will be far better than any setup with a USB to DVI adapter. Gaming in OSX will only be able to use the power of one 5770 and won't have Eyefinity support in OSX (since it's not in the drivers). Windowed mode could get around this if you wanted. In theory two 5770s should be Crossfire-able in Windows provided that Apple doesn't manually disable this themselves as they did the 4870s for some unknown reason (although ATI fixed it with a later driver update). I don't think Eyefinity supports Crossfire in Windows anyway at the moment apart from with a 5970 card.

    The 5770s are leagues ahead of your old 9800s.
     
  24. GoogleFish macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2010
    #24
    Please post your impressions on the noise level of the card once you get it. Very interested, as are many!! :cool:
     
  25. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #25
    As I told another member, a good bet might be to go for a 5870 driving your important displays, and a GT 120 or two for driving secondary displays. The GT 120's are about as powerful as the 8800 GT's, but they require no power connector so you can load them in alongside the 5870. This is what I do in my Mac Pro.

    The 5870 does use a lot of power, but you should be able to scoot in a few GT 120s alongside it.
     

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