ATI 4870 in 2006 Mac Pro with 10.5.7 Update?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by benborman, May 14, 2009.

  1. benborman macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #1
    So before the release of 10.5.7, there was much hopeful speculation that the Apple version of the ATI 4870 would work in the 2006 mac pro (Woodcrest Quad Xeon).

    I've been searching and searching, but I can't find confirmation that this does, in fact, work...

    I know Rob from Barefeats had it working with a boot drive pulled from a 2009 Mac Pro, but does anyone know if the drivers included in 10.5.7 allow the card to work in a 2006 Mac Pro out of the box?
     
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    Certainly does. I have two 4870s (flashed 1GB PC cards) in mine right now. Had them working in 10.5.6 with the drivers from a Nehalem Mac Pro for about a week prior too. :)
     
  3. benborman thread starter macrumors member

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    May 28, 2008
    #3
    PC Versions, Yes, but how about the Apple one with the Mini Display Port...? Or would that make a difference?
     
  4. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2007
    #4

    Would be good to know and any other cables needed?
     
  5. NickyD macrumors newbie

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    Mar 4, 2009
    #5
    I believe that there might be a communication break down here. If the original poster and I are thinking the same thing, the question might be better stated as:

    Can 2006 Mac Pro owners with the 10.5.7 update, purchase an Apple ATI 4870 and use it without any need to worry about drivers or rom flashing?
     
  6. benborman thread starter macrumors member

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    May 28, 2008
    #7
    Yep, thats exactly what I meant. Thanks NickyD.

    And thanks, Rominator, for your concise yet confident answer!
     
  7. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #8
    Is the 4870 available at the Apple retail stores?
     
  8. CrescentEdge macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #9
    I believe it is. I would call first, but as far as I know they carry it.


    Just to double check before I shell out 349 dollars for a new card. The HD 4870 will work in a 2006 1,1 Mac Pro without issue right? No flashing necessary?

    This card: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB999ZM/A?fnode=MTY1NDA5OQ&mco=NDE4NDMxOA

    In a 2006 Mac Pro.


    Also, just out of curiosity, how much of an upgrade will that be from a X1900 XT?

    I am trying to optimize my system for WoW. (Yeah, another addict, I know.)

    My Pro is a 2.66 Dual-Core Intel Xeon with 4 GB of RAM at 667 MHz. I'm curious how much of a graphical increase I would see with the 4870 over the X1900. Or perhaps the graphics card isn't the bottle neck.

    Any ideas?
     
  9. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #10
    Yup, the 4870 from Apple will work just fine. Does WoW max out your X1900? The 4870 is significantly more powerful than the 1900 XT, you're looking at about 2-3 times the power. While there aren't any WoW benchmarks here, it does give you a good idea. For the record though, the 3870 I had in my machine before could handle anything WoW could throw at it with everything fully maxxed at about 1900x1200 (I always played Windowed mode). The 4870 is about two times as powerful as the 3870 so I'd guess that it could handle anything in WoW at any detail levels at 2560x1600. I would check but then I haven't played WoW in about three months and if I started it up, I'd have to go and check out the new dual talent thing and then I might be tempted to do just one quick heroic and then I might be tempted to do another and oh, do this quest chain and...... before I know it, it'd be Monday morning! :p
     
  10. CrescentEdge macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #11
    Hey.

    I run WoW at 1680x1050. Right now I can hold a solid 30 fps most of the time. However, with all the settings jacked up, it can get a little slow from time to time. (Might dip to 20 or even 15 fps).

    I assume the graphics card is the weakest link, but I suppose processor power could be as well? My RAM is a little slow as well... I'm really not sure though.


    Also, do the older mac pros have PCI Express 2.0? I'm still confused why apple would say the 4870 only works with newer pros.
     
  11. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #12
    Chances are your graphics card is the weakest link. The 3870 I had before was quite a bit more powerful than the 1900XT. The rest of your system is no way going to be the bottleneck, its still plenty fast. The 2.66GHz Quad 2006 Mac Pro has been shown to be almost on a par with the new 2009 models in a lot of tests. WoW doesn't really need much to run on anyway since its basically still very old software. The only additions have been some graphical boosts and higher textures thrown in over the years.

    As far as PCI Express goes, you're right, the 2006 Mac Pro doesn't have PCIe 2.0 support - its only got PCIe 1.1 support. Honestly, though, you won't notice the difference. 4870s can't saturate a PCIe 1.1 16x slot most of the time. The times it can do so are in the most bandwidth hungry modelling software that constantly have to send data back and forth between the graphics card and the CPU (i.e. Mudbox). Games don't really do this, they load the textures up to the graphics card and then leave be until they have to be replaced.
     
  12. Maoltuile macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #13
    SD - sorry to belabour this, but can people asserting in the affirmative please elaborate a little more on what exactly it is they're affirming here?

    Needed: confirmation of no flashed ROMs (i.e. the proper Mac retail ATI 4870) and no messing about with drivers, just what comes with 10.5.7.

    Many thanks!
     
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #14
    I swear if I answer this one more time it will be a dozen.

    THE 4870 OEM FROM APPLE WORKS JUST FINE IN A FIRST GEN MAC PRO !!!!!!!!

    You can quit twisting your fingers into a worried knot and just order one.
     
  14. CrescentEdge macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #15
    I'm guessing you're right about the graphics card.


    So, it sounds like the HD 4870 will pretty much plug and play with a first gen mac. Are there any known issues? I saw some guy in another thread say something about a mouse issue, but it seems like that might have been pre 10.5.7.


    Also. Thanks for the confirmation Rominator. I think the reason people are so worried is that Apple explicitly states the card is compatible with the 2008/2009 models. I am still unsure why they would do that if the thing works fine in the older rigs.
     
  15. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #16
    Apple has explicitly stated a lot of things over the years - especially things like maximum RAM supported by systems, minimum hardware required for software etc.

    The only issues you might have would be the same anyone using a 4870 on a newer machine has. For what its worth, you convinced me to start up WoW yesterday. Everything was smooth as silk. I didn't really do much though, just wandered around Dalaran a bit and then sat in the Stormwind Cathedral and spent about two hours sorting out my talent points and getting that new dual spec thing going.
     
  16. CrescentEdge macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #17
    Oh man. Sorry about that. (And at the same time, I hope you enjoy playing) I am planning to use this summer to get my wow fix and then really lay the game to rest. As I'm sure you know, it is way too addicting to be healthy.

    That said, I love it.

    Just out of curiosity, what server do you play on. I know there is about a 1/250 chance we play on the same one, but it's worth a shot.



    Back on topic, given the stats for the machine I own, you think the graphics card is probably the bottleneck?

    Here's a slightly more detailed rundown.

    Processor: 2 x 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    Memory: 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 (4x 512 Sticks and 2 1GB sticks)
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X1900 XT Mac

    I assume those are the big three factors that affect gameplay. Aside from one's internet connection.

    With that hardware, the game runs fine. However, I often notice framerate hiccups or slight dips especially when flying, in cities, or fighting lots of enemies. I have it locked at 30 fps and it stays there 85% of the time. However, I'd love to be able to see it at least stay at 30 fps 100% of the time if not higher.

    I'm not in Northrend yet either. I did noticed, when I had a mage port me to Dalaran for some skill training, that the framerate stayed in the 25 fps range. That's what sparked this whole idea of getting a new card.

    As stated, I run the game at 1680x1050 with everything on max.
     
  17. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    London, UK
    #18
    I play on Bloodhoof EU. I've been playing it off and on for years now. I didn't enjoy Outland that much but Northrend was great. Once you hit 80 though the game changes quite a bit. I did all the instances on heroic but I can't really justify the time to do the raids. For stuff like that you usually have to be in a serious guild and be able to commit at least one solid night a week if not more and I refuse to get myself tied down to that kind of commitment because of a game. I've got enough commitments with my job and a fiancé already! Once I completed all the heroics, there wasn't that much more for me to do. Its a great game and I've had some great times playing it but for the time being I think I'm done. :(

    Your RAM and CPU will definitely not be a bottleneck of any form. I'm on a pretty much identical system, 4GB of RAM and it works just great. They recently introduced a higher detail setting for Northrend and that works great too. The 4870 is going to be as good as its going to get for you for the time being so you can be confident that you're maxxed out. The only other thing you could possibly change to get a smoother gameplay is to get a faster hard drive or maybe even an SSD. WoW's got a lot of data it pumps through as you play which is why it can stutter sometimes when porting to a different city etc.
     
  18. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #19
    I play Call of Duty 4 a lot. Would I notice a big increase in framerate with the 4870 on the same system as the original poster? Right now I'm running the 8800GT and I'm sick of nVidia.
     
  19. CrescentEdge macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #20
    Sounds good. Never thought about a faster HD. Not a bad idea and definitely something I will look into down the road. For now though, I think the GPU upgrade should hold me.

    I play on US-Dalvengyr. It's a descent server, but the economy is a little odd due to the transfer of a lot of high level characters from more mature servers. (We were an overflow server for Alleria, Hellscream and Whisperwind)


    I'm not that familiar with the 8800GT, but I know it's a better card than the X1900 XT.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=443513

    That post shows just how much better. I'll let someone answer your question, but it's certainly not going to be as big a step up as from a X1900 XT.
     
  20. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #21
    There is no comparison, the 4870 is much faster. Anywhere from 50% faster on the low-end, to 2x faster at the high-end (taken from PC-benchmarks).
     
  21. CrescentEdge macrumors member

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    Jul 26, 2007
    #22
    Also, what's the difference between the PC version of the 4870 and the mac version?
     
  22. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

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    Jul 14, 2008
    #23
    The Mac version has an EFI-compatible ROM and is insanely overpriced. It also has one of the DVI ports replaced with a Mini DisplayPort connector.

    Beyond that, I believe they are identical, even down to the sticker on the fan shroud.
     
  23. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #24
    There are a few other hardware differences such as a few moved capacitors I believe. The mac version's also underclocked I believe too.
     
  24. CrescentEdge macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #25
    Hmm. But I take it that to use the PC version one would need to flash the card? Or some other sort of modification?

    I have no experience with that sort of thing and quite frankly, I will probably just get the mac one because it will work.
     

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