Apple Radeon 5770/5870 in pre-2010 Mac Pro's: What We Know So Far

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DualShock, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    Ok, seeing as there's at least 3 threads on this topic, and I've been posting in all of them, I figured I'd create this thread to help consolidate the info we know so far.

    Please note, this is for *OFFICIAL* Apple Radeon 5770/5870 cards, NOT flashed cards.

    I'll also try to keep it updated with more info as it comes in.

    Also, feel free to chime in if something is wrong. Thanks!

    Here goes!


    - 5870 and 5770 work with no some issues in 2009 and 2008 Mac Pro's

    - UPDATE: Weepul pointed out that Rob-ART from Barefeats had some trouble with a 30" Cinema Display and a MDP --> dual link DVI adapter on 2008/09/10 models, though he thinks this may be due to a bad adapter

    - UPDATE 2: Rob-ART says OWC got a 30" working on MDP of 5870. (post)​

    - UPDATE 3: grey17 says the 5770 works in 2009 Mac Pro (link)​

    - 5870 and 5770 work in SOME 2006 Mac Pro's:

    - Rob-ART from Barefeats says it works.

    - OWC says the 5770 only works with DVI works flawlessly on 2006/2007 (MDP and DVI) (post) (confirmed by netkas), and the 5870 doesn't work at all. (link)

    - Those who got it to work apparently have some "undocumented" EFI version, MP11.005D.B00, though it's still unknown if that's the real reason. (post)​

    - UPDATE: 2006 Mac Pro firmware listing and compatibility, from Rob-ART:
    MP11.005C.B00 -- boots 5870 and 5770
    MP11.005C.B08*-- OWC has this one; they say it boots 5770 but not 5850 (5870?)
    MP11.005D.B00 -- boots 5870; will try 5770 Monday​

    - In order to drive 3 displays, two MDP --> dual link DVI adapters are required, regardless of whether those displays are single link or dual link DVI. This also applies to the 2010 Mac Pro. (thread) (Apple knowledgebase support doc)

    - MDP --> VGA adapter considered an "active" adapter, so that's another way to get 3 displays working. (post)​

    - UPDATE: Rob-ART says "Only 2 of the 3 displays light up -- the one on the DVI port and one on an MDP." (post)​

    - 5770 ship date for Canadian Apple online store = Sept 28 (post)

    - According to Rob-ART, CrossFire connector is present on the 5770. Dual GPU tests in Windows pending. (post)

    - UPDATE: And the 5870. (post)​

    - 5770's now shipping from Apple


    - "2007" (aka 8 core 2006) Mac Pro compatibility OWC says 2007 compatibility is the same as 2006 compatibility

    - audio over MDP and/or HDMI

    - Though it should work with no issues, no reports of Boot Camp functionality yet.

    - 5770 and 5870 reportedly available from starting Fri Sept 10 17, Tues Sept 21 from

    - "Active" single-link MDP --> DVI adapters are apparently coming soon for ~ $30 US. Might these be an alternative to the $99 US MDP --> dual link DVI adapters? (AnandTech)

    - Dave Baumann from ATI tweeted about active DisplayPort --> single link DVI adapter now available at MDP version soon?
  2. holyjohn macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Shipping date for 5770 at Canadian Apple Store:

    September 28
  3. Weepul macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    Rob-ART was having trouble getting an Apple 30" Cinema Display to work with a Dual-Link DVI adapter from a 5870 with even a 2010 Mac Pro (and also with the 2008, causing him to initially think Mini DP to DVI doesn't work in the 2008). The cause is still unknown, but it's something to keep an eye on when saying that it has "no issues".
  4. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    what I would like to know....

    I've asked this in the other threads, but nobody has given an answer...

    Does the 5770/5870's AUDIO over MDP/HDMI work on these MPs? specifically, on a 2009 MP?

    I would really appreciate is someone can try this,

  5. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
  6. svale macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2009
    OWC updated their post with new info.

    Notably, the 5770 works flawlessly in their 2006-2007 Mac Pros; DVI and MDP ports work.
  7. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    The 5770 is likely more in tune with the needs of all but the most hard core 2006-2007 owners.
    1. I predict that the 5770 is just as fast as the 5870 on the 2006-2007 (a theory I hope to prove by Monday when I do a second round of testing).
    2. It costs only $249.
    3. It draws less power (only one power feed required).
  8. xispec macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2010
  9. svale macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2009
    Really looking forward to your test results. I'm quite surprised by the mediocre performance of the 5870 in the 1,1. If the 5770 provides similar performance, then that's a saving of a couple hundred dollars. That, and at least we know it'll ship in a few weeks, unlike the 5870. ;)

    By the way, are you planning to perform any benchmark tests in Windows? I'm curious to know if the 5870 in the 1,1 is as crippled in Windows as it is in Mac OS X.

    Your guess is as good as anyone else's. Apple's remaining tight-lipped about it. I spoke to their retail team and all they could tell me is "it'll be available when it's available".
  10. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
  11. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    I strongly believe new 5000 cards works in ALL mac pros.
    there are just a ******** of confusion coming from people like barefeats and OWC having their head up their arses and not doing proper tests.

    "OMG 5870 DONT WORK IN 2006!1!1!!"

    maybe next time you read the manual for the product and you will notice stuff like it clearly says you need active DP cables for display to work, before causing uproars

    dude, wtf. are you barefeats or what? stop talking crap or get a new nick, before people start taking your advices.

    The 5770 is a 4870 with 512mb more video ram.
    And a little lower power consumption.
    BUt yes, IT PERFORMS LIKE A 4870 1GB

    I'm excited to see your proof of a 5770 performing like a 5870.

    It's not as if PCIE 1.0 is bottlenecking if that is what you thought.
  12. holyjohn macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    I don't know about 5870, but adr1974 said he ordered 5770 and it will ship on September 21 and delivered on the 24th. (link)
    Yes, this is for the US 5770 shipping date.
  13. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    In a nice place..
    Wow Cindori, what's up? I have been following this and the previous thread, and barefeats has been providing fantastic information and performing functional tests (along with tests people have been requesting). The only group who has indicated that they couldn't get the 5870 working in a 2006 was OWC, but we don't have the full info about that. (but it was at least worth mentioning so that all information was out there)

    Barefeats was using the proper adapter, per post #117 on the "So, who has tried their 5870 in a 2008 or 2006 Mac Pro?" thread. For some reason their 30" Apple LCD kept showing a blank screen. Possibly bad adapter / monitor?

    I have no reason to believe he isn't who his nick says he is. The test results of the 5870 on the 2006 were very interesting, and on Monday barefeats will have a 5770 to test with.

    What I find interesting is that the tests on the 4870 done on the 2006 MP ( show the FPS being higher on the same games being tested vs the 5890. (I didn't review to see if the tests were setup the same though)

  14. dermeister macrumors 6502


    Jan 19, 2003
    So, just to clarify: if I order a "5770 upgrade kit" from Apple, and plug it into my MacPro1,1 - it will work just fine on Mac OS X and Windows?
  15. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    In a nice place..
    OSX Yes, Windows is a "it should". I don't think anybody tested bootcamp yet.

  16. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004


    Can we get verification of this?

    Is there any way to change your bootROM via software?

    Can I get some valium?
  17. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    Triple display can also use an MDP to VGA adapter since they are active just like the dual link ones (despite the fact they don't use a USB cable). So if you have the compatible monitors then a DVI, mdp->single link DVI and mdp->VGA should work - it does on all PC 5xxx cards but is not spoken about much.
  18. DualShock thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
  19. jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    Wow, Cindori, chill out. Being an authority doesn't excuse the badmouthing and insinuations you posted here. Barefeats did test the mdp with proper adapters. So you should read reports properly before accusing others.

    And no, the 5870 won't probably make a difference in a 1.1 Mac Pro, only perhaps at very high resolution. With my 4870, all my 3D games are now CPU-bound and I basically get the same performance as those barefeats got on Doom 3 with the 5870 (highest settings).
  20. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    I hate bad information. I'm not an authority. People like owc and barefeats is, and because of inadequate testing and ignorance, they now have people think that the 5870 won't work in their mac pro.

    So now 4870 is teh ultimate gpu because? You are testing with crappy benchmarking?

    I'm gonna test my 7300GT with a crap benchmarking like xbench, OH i got the same score as a 5870! that makes my 7300 equal in power to the 5870! right!?

    a 5870 will give as much a boost in 2006 as in 2010 mac pro, with maybe 1-5 % saturation.

    and OFC it will work in bootcamp, any PC gpu in the world will.
  21. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Has anyone tested the 5770 in a '09 Pro with a triple screen setup yet?
  22. jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    Then be more specific about what they haven't done right. Because Barefeats did use the right adapter. :rolleyes:
    Don't put words in my mouth thanks. I use a variety of benchmarking tools, from cinebench to ID and Source games, as well as GLview under various settings, and I always monitor CPU usage. I can tell you that the "benchmark" checkbox in GLview renders it useless for a GPU benchmark on my system. It just tests my CPU.
    In Source games or Doom 3, I get the exact same fps at native resolution with maxed MSAA and AF as I get at the lowest screen res with no AA/AF. And this on every timedemo I tried. I also have plenty of free RAM. That should tell you something about a CPU bottleneck.
    Barefeats has shown that the 5870 gave much lower performance on a 2006 Mac Pro compared to a recent one, consistent with my observations. Also, I get 106 fps in Doom 3 with my 4870 while they only achieve 5fps more with the 5870. What do you conclude from this? That we should compare at higher resolution? Absolutely. But the fact remains that at Full HD resolution, the 5870 will marginally improve the gaming experience on a 2006 Mac Pro.

    Now, did I say anything about the raw processing power of the 5870 vs. the 4870 (openCL in particular), and did you miss the part where I mentioned possible improvements at higher resolution?
  23. Shadowkahn macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2009
    I'm curious about the 2007 8-core with the boot rom of MP21.007F.B06 being compatible with the 5870. Having succeeded in updating my ATI 1900 to the 4870, I seriously would love to be able to slap a 5870 into this system that I have upgraded to 32gb of ram.
  24. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2006
    And Doom 3 ran on the original xbox. So did Half Life 2. You're going to have to run Windows, and Crysis or something, because sure games in OS X are CPU bound, but anyone considering a 5870 would have Bootcamp installed for gaming.

    Saying an old game can't take advantage of a card doesn't mean none will (though I'm scarred about Crysis 2 since it's multiplatform, have t really been impressed so far).

Share This Page