Apple Radeon HD 5870 works on 2006 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by barefeats, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    I borrowed a used 2006 Mac Pro from I installed the Radeon HD 5870 from our Westmere 6-core along with its boot drive. It booted up the first time no problemo.

    I tried the Mini DisplayPorts with and without the MDP to DVI adapter. Works fine. Right now I'm running game benchmarks on a 24" LED Cinema display plugged directly into the MDP.

    OWC techies have the 5770 running in their 2006 Mac Pro but could not get the 5870 to boot -- black screen. They are investigating what's different about their 2006 from the one I'm using.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Now we just need to Apple to start selling the darn things!
  3. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
  4. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
  5. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
  6. barefeats thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    We and OWC are constantly sharing info. We are on the same team. But if there is a beer summit, it should be in Portland OR, the microbrew capital.
  7. svale macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2009
    Thanks for the update, barefeats.

    Which 2006 Mac Pro did you test it in? There's the 1,1 (quad-core) and 2,1 (8-core)? On that note, which one is OWC testing the cards in as well?
  8. avkills macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2002
    I thought Denver was the microbrew capital. ;)

    It probably works because he moved the boot drive from the westmere over which means it had the latest video drivers from Apple.

  9. AnimeFunTv macrumors regular

    Nov 7, 2009
    San Antonio
    I think the reason OWC may have said that the 5870 did NOT work is because they where using a 1,1 MacPro that possibly did not have the drivers that the 2010 MacPro possibly has. Which would explain why barefeats 5870 try actually WORKED since he used the same HD off the 2010 MP and loaded it into a 1,1 MP. I think OWC is just saying at the moment its not going to work "out of the box" Usually each Mac has its own specific set of drivers that are loaded into its HD & Restore Disc. It probably wont be until the next major OSX update that all the drivers for the 5870 will be available via retail OSX Disc since that disc will have to carry all the drivers for basically all Mac's its compatible with.
  10. Weepul macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    This situation is way more confusing and mixed up than it really ought to be.

    Either something's being overlooked, or there's really something odd going on with these cards. Thank you, Rob-ART and OWC, for your efforts to figure it all out. May I suggest, though, holding off from making such confidently-titled threads (eg. this one, "Apple Radeon HD 5870 works on 2006 Mac Pro") until the tests are all in agreement and reproducible?
  11. svale macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2009
    Totally agree.

    Rob-ART, is it possible to get in touch with OWC and work out the differences between your 2006 Mac Pros and the way the 5870 has been installed?

    1) Which model is it? 1,1 (quad-core) or 2,1 (8-core)?
    2) Which Boot ROM and SMC versions? The latest for the 1,1 is MP11.005C.B08 (EFI 1.2) and 1.7f10 (SMC 1.1) respectively, while the latest for the 2,1 is MP21.007F.B06 (EFI 1.2) and 1.15f3 (SMC 1.1) respectively. Refer to for more information.
    3) Which OS X version? I'm assuming all test systems are running 10.6.4 with the Snow Leopard Graphics Update installed.
    4) It shouldn't make a difference, but I assume the tests have been performed with only a 5870 installed in Slot 1 and no other card in any of the other slots? Also, /System/Library/CoreServices/Expansion Slot has been configured such that Slot 1 is running at maximum bandwidth (16x)?
    5) Also, is it safe to assume that both power leads are connected to the 5870?

    Thanks for all your hard work!
  12. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    This is great news! I'm happy with my 3870 at the moment but it's nice to know there's an upgrade path, and even more importantly a replacement path if my 3870 dies, since the 3870s are nearly impossible to find.

    (I was lucky; a forum member here sold me his)

    Thanks for testing this out for us. :)
  13. proximity macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2006
    This is very true. Let me explain:

    When buying the brand new MacPro 2010, it ships with a unique build of 10.6.4. If you happen to have a old MacPro 2006 which you've updated to 10.6.4, it will not have the exact same OS ad the MacPro 2010. This is very usual for Apple, and is always resolved at the next update, in this case 10.6.5.

    So yes, this may be the reason barefeats got it working, and OWC didn't.
  14. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
  15. BentMyWookiee macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2010
    If the 5770 is running on a 2006 Mac Pro, is it safe to assume that it will run on a 2007 Mac Pro as well? Sorry for the noob question, i'm not too familiar with the differences between each year's model
  16. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    Following up on my post above.

    In this thread it's been confirmed that you need MDP --> dual link DVI adapters to drive 3 monitors, regardless of whether those monitors are single link or dual link DVI.

    Apple's support doc confirms it as well (see 2nd link above).
  17. holyjohn macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    Try looking into your OSX's menu's About This Mac.
    When you click on More Info button, a window will pop up.
    The Model Identifier will indicate whether yours is 1,1 or 2,1 or 3,1 or higher.

    2006 model is 1,1.
    I think 2007 model is 2,1...
    So in general, if 2006 works, 2007 will work, too.
  18. hyram macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    Ok... this is very interseting. Does this mean that the '06 booted into k64 as is the default for the '10?
  19. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    06 cant even boot k64

    people having trouble booting 06 / 07 with 5870 has nothing to do with EFI boot rom, just nabs
  20. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    What's a nab, and how do I get some?
    The B08 that OWC had supposedly didn't work.. can I fix?

    He didn't post a link to his article:

    If you ask me, THIS is a way more informative thread.
  21. hyram macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2009
    I know... but the '10 should load k64 by default, or so I've read. But what is being reported here is that the boot disk from a '10 is able to boot in a '06 "no problemo". I'd say we're missing some info on what is really being done here.

    Barefeets: please fill in some details here rather than just giving the highlights.
  22. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    Presumably the OS X install on the '10's hard drive scans the system or tries to boot to 64 bit, and when it encounters problems defaults to 32 bit.

    OS X installs are generally pretty good at booting up on systems that they weren't originally installed on, unlike windows which is far more picky.
  23. trauncher, Sep 29, 2010
    Last edited: May 17, 2012

    trauncher macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2010
    Anyone know if we can use "Real' 5870s? in the new Mac Pro 12 cores?

    Sitting here with 3 30" displays (HP not apple)., and my new 12 core 2.93ghz mac pro with a spankin new 64gb ram kit from OWC... and 4 512gb SSDs and two marginally useless MDC ports on the back of an ati5870...

    Does anyone know if I Can I just use a pair of REAL ati 5870s instead of the one that apple produces?
  24. svale macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2009
    You can use other 5870s, but you'll have to flash them first, and there's a chance you'll have limited success. Check
  25. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    There are a number of monitors that use DisplayPort, and there are a lot of GPUs coming out that have multiple mDP ports (it's not MDC, my friend). They're neither useless nor shameful.

    Try not to react so emotionally next time - didn't you know what you were spending your money on?

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