ATI 4870 vs. 5770 in my "new" Mac Pro 4,1 (2009)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Fangio, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Fangio macrumors 6502

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    #1
    After 6 years with my trusty Mac Pro 1,1, an awesome deal for a newer machine showed up on ebay, even with local pickup and so I've bought it last weekend. It's a 2009 MP 4,1 8-core with 2x 2.93GHz (X5570). And it's a BTO machine, came with lots of goodies – 16GB RAM, 2 Superdrives, Magic Mouse, original Apple Raid card, 4x 2TB HD's, and so on.

    It also came with an ATI 4870 bought from Apple. My 1,1 already has a 5770 in it, original upgrade kit. So the question is, which one to choose for the 4,1 machine. Should I put the 5770 into the 4,1 and sell the 4870? Maybe with the 1,1? Which is better, regarding power consumption? Which has more power, does the 4870 start to really shine in a 4,1 where it wouldn't so much in a 1,1? 1 vs. 2 power cables? What do the experts here think the pros and cons are?

    Thanks.
     
  2. SDAVE macrumors 68040

    SDAVE

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    #2
    Yeah you should switch and sell the old one. 5770 is a good card, pretty old, but still good.

    Power consumption is negligent.
     
  3. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

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    #3
  4. Fangio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Sorry I forgot that. In first place, I'm a layouter doing mostly 2D with Adobes CS for a living. Not so much 3D but that might increase soon. I'm also parttime admin on a freelancer basis for several smaller ad agencies' & publishers networks and do tests of software and installation routines at home before I apply them to machines at my clients.

    I also use the machine for video watching at YT and others of course. And once in a while for trying out games news, but I'm certainly not a hardcore gambler.
     
  5. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

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    #5
    Okay, so I'm also a GD, but I also do things like creating animations with AE.
    You have a huge improvement with the GTX570 there.

    For PS and AI and InDesign, you really don't need a strong GPU.
    I would keep the 5770 and sell the 4870 together with the MP1.1.
    Then go and get a SSD, that will speed things up like crazy!
     
  6. Fangio, Aug 6, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012

    Fangio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Yep a SSD is on the to-do-list. Have a 256GB Samsung 830 in my MBP and I'm quite happy with it, will probably buy the same model again for the 4,1 to put it into the lower optical bay (and even pay less for it than what I did last winter). Also RAM is way cheaper compared to the FB-DIMMs in the 1,1. 24 or 32 will soon replace the 8x2 DDR3s that it came with.

    Reading through the threads on just the first 2-3 pages in this section here tells me that there a several newer options for cards available in the meantime. Maybe I should sell them both, and get a current model. The nvidias are interesting, what would be my best options from AMD – 6870, probably?
     
  7. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

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    #7
    The 6870 is just slightley better than yours. The only big advantage is its 2GB VRAM. And while doing Adobe CS, you won't use more than 200MB.
    I got myself a GTX570 to replace my GT120, lets see how it will do.
    You better go with a Nvidia model. There is no support for newer AMDs.
    But unless you play games or do lots of 3D stuff or Video Cutting/editing, you won't feel a big difference.

    I bought myself a 128GB Samsung 830 (it was a damaged one, the new one will arrive tomorrow). I'm pretty curious to see how it performs.
    I think about buying a OCZ Vertex 2 240GB for my MacBook...
     
  8. lixuelai macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    It is a toss up between the HD4870 and the HD5770 in terms of performance. The HD4870 is a bit faster in games but lacks some features the HD5770 has (though I can't think of one that actually works in OSX). The HD5770 is much more efficient in power usage however. If you are looking to upgrade to another ATI card the best bet would be a HD5870 as it is faster than the HD6870.
     
  9. Fangio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    OK thanks. So I swapped them yesterday, plug & play without any issues so far, in both machines. Did a benchmark run before and will compare again today, with Cinebench & Geekbench when I have time. And I've read more, indeed 6870 doesn't seem to be such a step forward that it is worth it.

    Hmm.. actually I wanted to, to recover some of the 4,1 costs, but OTOH I don't need to. Payed only 2/3 of what it is worth anyway, equipped as it is. And right now I don't feel like selling the 1,1.. it has grown dear to my heart :) still a capable machine, and there are still some challenges waiting, like the 150€ 8-core upgrade, or to get ML running on it. I'm following the progress at Netkas.
    Weren't there traces suggesting support of ATI 79xx cards in future, in the early Mountain Lion DP's?
     
  10. Fangio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    So, the dream will come true now with 10.8.3. :)

    I'm one of those who always tended to prefer ATI over Nvidia. The 5770 is nice, but now I'm looking at the new options. Which 7xxx card would have 6pin connectors for plug & play in the 4,1? And which one offers the best price/performance ratio?

    Thanks in advance for any hints.
     
  11. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

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    #11
    The 7xxx support is fairly new, I'd wait some weeks to see which cards performs the best.
     
  12. Fangio thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Sure, will have to. But how about some speculating which ones will be popular, based on the specs? ;)
     
  13. El Awesome macrumors 6502

    El Awesome

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    #13
    Well, the 7970 has one 6pin and one 8pin, I'm sure some guys will use an adapter cable (but then the card has 25W less on max use), but the 7950 has two 6pins. I'm sure the 7950 will be the most popular one, based on specs.
    Although a GTX680 is stronger and fits just into the power management of the Mac Pro.
     
  14. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    Nov 23, 2012
    #14
    I had always been an ATI (now AMD) fan too. Never had anything but, until now. My current machine, a 3,1 came with an ATI 2600XT, a couple years later I upgraded to a an Apple branded 4870. Next I went with a 6870 that I flashed myself from information garnered from Netkis. However, it appears to me that Nvidia's software support for Macintosh is far superior to AMD (They issue their own Cuda and driver updates and have a Cuda preferences panal for the Mac) AMD has zip. ATI in the early days provided software drivers and a control panel. At one time, ATI even made a universal Radeon 3870 that would work in a Mac or PC. I tried one, and kept it less than a week, the noise was terrible from that card. Anyway, a couple of months ago I went with Nvidia. I bought a Gigabyte GTX570 (my 6870 was also a Gigabyte card and I liked the 3 fan cooler and the fact that it ran silently). I picked the card with 1.25 GB of RAM because I didn't want the open CL hassle that some folks have experienced. I then sent it off to MacVidCards for flashing. It's been working great for me, PCIE 2.0 speeds and a genuine Apple boot screen. The card was reasonably priced as was MacVidCards. I'm happy I made the switch.

    Lou
     
  15. gpzjock, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    4870 vs 5770, take the 4870, 256 bit bandwidth vs. 128 bit bandwidth.
    The 4870 should be better at most things, only the power consumption goes against it.

    Better than either is a Macvidcards GTX570 if you have the money to spend or flash a 5870 if you can find one 2nd hand.

    If the new beta drivers for 7xxx stay in the release version of 10.8.3 then a 7770 will be the sweet spot for price/performance for your machine. 7950 cards are overkill for your needs and about 2.5 times the cost.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ASUS-HD-7770-2GB-AMD-RADEON-GRAPHICS-CARD-NEW-/251189519892?pt=UK_Computing_Computer_Components_Graphics_Video_TV_Cards_TW&hash=item3a7c0fe614
     

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