7970 vs 7950 vs 680 vs 670 in Boot Camp?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by LEOMODE, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. LEOMODE macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    So let's say if I were to only run it for Boot Camp in my Mac Pro, I would still need some kind of OSX installed in my drive so I can setup the Boot Camp partition...I know that but my question is:

    Without any power/fry issue, it looks like 7950 released for Mac Pro is still kind of waste of money, because with the similar amount I can get the PC version of 7970, 680, or 670.

    Out of those 3, the best should be 7970 and 680. (Please note I'm only talking about Boot Camp gaming performances here).

    So if I were to just buy 7970 or 680, they won't have EFI boot screen...so I need to setup the default boot as Mac OSX...

    Question 1: Do 7970 or 680 have any risk of frying my computer?
    Question 2: Do 7970 and 680 both run without any issue in 10.8.3 without any flashing requirements?
    Question 3: 7970 or 680? I saw the benchmark in Barefeats but it looks like 680 is slightly better. But at the same time 7970 does not need any flashing even using PC card. Is this correct? Then is 7970 the best way to go GPU?

    Thanks.

    ----------

    My ultimate concern is that if 7970 and 680 both have 1) no issue frying Mac Pro, 2) no issue with looking at HDD choice screens if I were to press OPTION button in the boot screen (as far as I know, I just won't see the Apple screen?), lastly 3) no issue running on Mac OSX also (Boot Camp won't be a problem cuz it was PC GPU in the first place as far as I know).

    Thanks..
     
  2. bsbeamer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #2
    You need a card with a modded or custom EFI in order to see a boot screen - the grey screen with icons to choose which drive to boot to. If you can get away without that need, then it would open up the world of PC card based options to you. Many people use BootChamp to get around this.

    That's why the official "Mac" cards are a significant step forward for the mass public - (in theory) offer an out of the box solution for those looking to upgrade. Read the reviews though, they're mixed so far...

    Or get a modded EFI card and it would solve this part of the equation.
     
  3. lewdvig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    South Pole
    #3
  4. LEOMODE thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4

    Thanks. I actually do have 2010 mac pro with 6core 3.33ghz, same as barefeats with 16gb ram and 5870.

    Because my 5870 lacks in a lot of cases in gaming under even boot camp, i wanted an upgrade.... If not double the power that of 5870, then at least 1.5x.

    I play SC2 D3 battlefield3 and so forth but it lags a lot in high/ultra settings. So im hoping to buy one that can last as 5870.

    Oh and boot screen i do kind of need it because i reinstall OSX/windows a lot and get into that apple logo screen a lot because i have a lot of harddrives...so i guess i need flashed gpu if going for pc gpu..
     
  5. bsbeamer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #5
    hang onto the 5870 and swap it in when NEEDING the boot menu support. not ideal, but would be a cheaper workaround...
     
  6. Derpage macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #6
    My personal favorite ghetto-fab card is Galaxy's 670 with 4Gb of ram. I've got two on my peecee and they work great.
     
  7. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #7
    You'll only get a bootscreen when using a dedicated Mac card, or a MacVidCard.

    However, you can put the recovery partition on a USB stick, and if/when you need the bootmenu, boot off this USB stick, and use disk utility to select the next boot disc. Works fine, since the recovery partition program actually utilises it's own very basic graphics driver...

    The 680 is perfectly safe to use, as long as you find one of the 2x6-pin power cards, NOT the 8-pin versions!
     
  8. Sinx2oic macrumors regular

    Sinx2oic

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    #8
    680

    I have a EVGA GeForce GTX 680 SC Signature NVIDIA with 2Gb ram in my 2009 MacPro. I didn't need any external power but I did have to buy a Startech PCI Express 6 pin to 8 pin Power Adapter Cable. Wow its so fast compared with the 5870, then just download an app like bootchamp.

    Its an expensive card but I would really recommend it. :)
     
  9. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #9
    I would recommend looking at the MSI 680 4Gb twin-frozr cards as they have 2x 6-pin and a nice cooler.
     
  10. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #10
    If you decide to use 6->8-pin adapters you really playing with fire. There is a real chance your graphics card pull more than the designed 75w from that connector, and that can fry the MoBo.

    The cards need to be <225w cards (75w from PCIe + 2x75w from onboard PCI power). An 8-pin connector usually pulls 150w...
     
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #11
    This site has a nice little compare thingy where you can compare the specs of two cards.

    http://www.hwcompare.com

    Sometimes the two cards share lots of tests and the comparisons are rich and sometimes they don't and they only compare raw specs. But all in all either way, it seems like a useful bit of info.
     
  12. jenzjen macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    #12
    Unsure why lots of people make a big deal about boot screens; I just use the startup setting in OS X or the boot camp control panel in Win to tell the machine to boot into the other OS. Restart, 30s later other OS.
     
  13. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #13
    It is more of an issue if you have multiple OS installations, say Snow Leopard, Mountain Lion and Windows or Linux. And there is the need to choose the Recovery partition occasionally which you can do via a USB drive.

    Personally, I want a card that will work at PCIE 2.0 in Bootcamp so am looking at EFI cards such as the 7950 but I am in no particular hurry.
     
  14. MidKnight44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    #14
    I thought I read somewhere that the nvidia cards do run at 2.0 speeds in Bootcamp - is that not the case? Is the Sapphire Mac ver the only card that does?
     
  15. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #15
    I understand most people can get by without it. It's just nice to have the computer 100% functional at boot time. Here are other benefits I can think of off the top of my head, beyond just switching between OS X and Windows at boot time:
    • PCIe2.0 bus speed
    • I suspect Apple could deny warranty service if you didn't have a proper card installed
    • Recovery Partition in event of OS failure--this exact problem has come up in this forum
    • Any boot discs without card-specific drivers that assume VGA mode is working
      (two that I use are Memtest and Clonezilla)
    • Alternative boot methods like rEFIt
    • Verbose mode to troubleshoot boot problems
    • Apple Hardware Test
    • Target Disk Mode
    • Using an OS that doesn't have a convenient choose-partition-to-boot-from-next switcher utility (Linux?)
    Some people solve these problems by keeping their default card just in case. In my case, that would be my Apple 5770. Not only is swapping cards a hassle, but this blows the whole value equation out of the water...

    Let's say I buy a PC 7950 for $300. The Apple 5770 sells for about $180-$190 on Ebay. If I sold it, that makes up for the price difference of the Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition exactly, in which case I could have my boot screens in the main card anyway and my wallet isn't hurt one bit.

    Anyway, to each his or her own, but I see your question from time to time, and it's not just about switching between OS X and Windows.
     
  16. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #16
    I too was unsure about that until I was corrected.

    Recently the nVidia cards started working at PCIE 2.0 in OSX but not in Bootcamp. I believe that question is covered in the FAQ in the first post in this thread.
     
  17. MidKnight44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    #17
    So is there ANY card that runs 2.0 in Bootcamp?
     
  18. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #18
    Yes. The Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition and any cards from Apple such as the official 5770/5870.
     
  19. MidKnight44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    #19
    Ah right so the Sapphire will work at 2.0 in windows through Bootcamp where as stock 680 will not mmmm so cannot make my mind up on which card to go for - a 2gb 680 or the Sapphire 7950 Mac - I want good performance in software like After Effects and Avid when in OSX but want great gaming performance in Windows too......:confused::confused:
     
  20. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #20
    Someone shared this Anandtech article elsewhere. Basically it shows that PCI bandwidth was not even remotely important in 8 out of the 9 games they tested.

    The following charts from the article show PCIE3.0. For the purposes of the MP, I believe PCIE2.0 in a 16x slot would be equivalent to the green bar and PCIE1.0 in a 16x slot would be equivalent to the purple bar.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #21
    They were only testing at 1680x1050 resolution. Many MP gamers will be looking for results at 2560x1440 which provides a lot more work for the card.
     
  22. MidKnight44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    #22
    Still confused - I guess the safest option is the Sapphire but I just cannot help feeling I will get more bang for my buck with the same priced 680 - which is the more powerful card
     
  23. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #23
    The are also only testing with games that specially target PCI-e v2.0 and tweaked for SLI/Crossfire ( less that 16x bandwidth per card) split bandwidth.

    Games target backwards hardware requirements in order to sell the most units. That makes them a relatively imprecise instrument of evaluating future/latent potential in new interfaces. Very similar graphs pop up at all AGP/PCI/PCI-e transition points. The older stuff works just fine... because the software is optimized for the older stuff. That includes the drivers which initially are oriented to "working" (reducing bug count) as opposed to optimized.

    You'd need software that was kneecapped by the current hardware to see large significant jumps at a transition point when the bottleneck is uncorked. (e.g., single threaded apps on a 6 processor... nothing particularly interesting happens. )
     
  24. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #24
    Every single MacVidCard card runs 2.0 in either OS.

    We will likely have GTX670/680 offerings soon as well, but that is at least a week or two away. Still lots to figure out.
     
  25. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #25
    A lot more "work" does not necessarily mean a lot more PCIe bandwidth. From the article they specifically chose that resolution because, according to them, higher frame rates affect PCIe bandwidth more than higher resolutions:
    In other words, they tweaked the scenario specifically to emphasize PCIe bandwidth differences, and still there was little difference.
     

Share This Page