Apple ATI Radeon HD 4870 Graphics Card Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Macintosh Sauce, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. Macintosh Sauce macrumors 6502

    Macintosh Sauce

    Nov 25, 2006
    Woohoo! I am one very happy person right now...

    I can confirm that this new graphics card upgrade is working in a MacPro1,1 - that is, the original Mac Pro with PCIe 1.0. The graphics card is PCIe 2.0 but it is most definitely downward compatible with 1.0. Apple doesn't tell you this so you upgrade to a new Mac Pro because you think you cannot upgrade the video card anymore on this older Mac Pro.

    After installing it I turned on my Mac Pro and she automatically recognized the card upon startup. You have to be running Mac OS X 10.5.7 or greater - I am running 10.6.1. Note: There are two power cables and I found the other power connector on the motherboard right beside the one that was leading to the X1900 XT card. Too easy. Warning: It is a tight fight if you have somewhat large hands like I do.

    This video card is quiet compared to my ATI Radeon X1900 XT w/512 MB RAM. You hear it spin up when booting the Mac Pro but after that it is very quiet.

    Here is the information from System Profiler...

    ATI Radeon HD 4870:

    Chipset Model: ATI Radeon HD 4870
    Type: GPU
    Bus: PCIe
    Slot: Slot-1
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 512 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x9440
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-B7710C-176
    EFI Driver Version: 01.00.318

    My system is once again quiet - the way I like it.
  2. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    I'm pretty sure I recall this being discussed before, but it's always good to know. :) And somebody new may not have seen any of the older topics.
  3. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Congrats on your lovely card! :)

    Got the same running in the MacPro3,1 aka Mac Pro '08.
    I had the same issues getting the two power cords connected.... my fingers are just not sleek and agile enough... :eek:
  4. Macintosh Sauce thread starter macrumors 6502

    Macintosh Sauce

    Nov 25, 2006
    Thanks. The 4870 card gives my MacPro1,1 a whole new life, and what a change from the X1900 XT card. It seems like everything is running more smoothly graphically in Snow Leopard. I hear it spin up upon boot up and then after a few seconds it quiets down. I can hear it but it is not annoying like the previous card was. Now I am able to listen to music or watch TV on my Mac Pro without being distracted.

    While I was inside my Mac Pro I found the two SATA connectors behind the fan assembly. Sometime in the near future I am going to get that two port eSATA expander from OWC and add that.
  5. Macintosh Sauce thread starter macrumors 6502

    Macintosh Sauce

    Nov 25, 2006

    I didn't see anything in a search so I posted it - hope it helps those people that have the MacPro1,1. After 24 hours this card is working like a charm and it is now enjoyable to listen to music on my Mac Pro without having my own personal wind tunnel start up. LOL

    The ambient temperature in the Mac Pro is now no more than 74 degrees. Also, I replaced two 1 TB Samsung HDs with two 2 TB WD GreenPower HDs. What a difference in temperatures too! I am tempted to take the heatsinks off of the Xeons and lap the copper on them and also clean the processors and put Arctic Silver on them. That would help tremendously I think - it could lower the ambient temperature up to 10 degrees more.

    I never thought that PCIe 2.0 was downward compatible with PCIe 1.0. It never occurred to me. Never too old to learn something IMHO! :D

Share This Page