ATI HD3870x2 in Mac Pro anyone?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SuperGrobi, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. SuperGrobi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #1
    Hello everybody.
    Now that people starting to use PC 8800GTs in their new Mac Pros I was wondering if anybody already tried the ATI HD3870x2 card in their mac pro? I assume it will run in Bootcamp and thought I will give it a try ... I was not so happy with a PC 8800GT in the second PCI slot since the fan made a constant 100% speed noise in Mac OS X. Will the ATI card behave the same? For a short time Apole listed the HD3870 as option for the Mac Pro ... anybody knows something about the Bios / EFI? I heard that at least Crossfire could work in the new Mac Pro. Does it make sense to connect the HD3870x2 to the stock card HD2600XT in the Mac Pro???
    Thanks for help and suggestions.
     
  2. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #2
    Crossfire works I think, but you need two cards of the same model.
     
  3. SuperGrobi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #3
    Thanks, ... I heard that HD3850 and 3870 work together - but of course they are very similar cards! Love the idea having a dual (quad-core) HD3870x2 Crossfire Mac Pro ;)

    I am crazy enough to buy one HD3870x2 just to see how my Mac behaves when I put it into the 2nd slot! (only Bootcamp, of course)
     
  4. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #4
  5. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philly
    #5
    I know that the $450 3870x2 beats the $800 Ultra by less than 10 FPS in all of those Tom's benchmarks, so from a price point perspective it's a better buy. But my arguement isn't that the Ultra is better (Though one G80 core apparently STILL kicks the poo out of a single R680). I'm just saying that the 9800GX2 should be better for the same price (It's estimated to be about $450 also). And it doesn't shut down and go home when AA is involved :p

    Anyway, of course you can put a 3870x2 into a Mac Pro and use it under windows.

    Don't expect it to be MADE for the thing though, everyone thought the same thing with the 2900XT. Apple is not looking for the fanciest gaming card available from the company or they would have used the 8800GTS 512.

    As far as the X1900 from last last generation, that was the ATI high end card, so I don't have an explanation for that. WTF APPLE :D
     
  6. giantsfan1975 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    #6
    So the 3870X2 will not boot into OSX? If I have it in slot #2 and a 8800 (Flashed) in slot one, will the system work in harmony?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  7. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #7
    I have a Radeon HD 3870 X2 and a GeForce 8800 GTX. I tried both on the Mac Pro 3.2GHz under Vista 64.

    Prey at 1920x1200 High Quality (8X aniso, dynamic shadows on):
    Radeon 3870 X2 (standard clocking) = 201 fps
    Geforce 8800 GTX (overclocked) = 166 fps
     
  8. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #8
    That is truly amazing.
    I am looking forward to see what you can do with an overclocked 9800 GTX.
     
  9. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #9
    The Radeon HD 3870 X2 does not work under Mac OS X as a boot screen or as a "slave" second display adapter for extended desktop. It would require a Mac compatible ROM including the EFI 64 bit driver to work that way, as I understand it.
     
  10. SuperGrobi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #10
    Most people state that the ATI HD3870x2 is crap compared to Nvidia 8800 cards, however it is obvious from elaborate tests that the ATi and Nvidia cards perform very different when looking at different games.

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/HIS/HD_3870_X2/1.html

    Games which fully support the internal Crossfire technology of the HD3870x2 (and thus both CPUs) show that it is not that simple to compare the cards. If ATI would improve the drivers and more games would support its technology the HD3870x2 would be a real alternative to 8800GT/GTX/GTS/Ultra cards ... of course, the EFI ROM for OS X would help a lot to be more popular for Mac enthusiasts ... :rolleyes:
     
  11. knome macrumors 6502

    knome

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #11
    And that is why i am ditching ATI even though there is a better ATI card for my computer. I'm sick and tired of ATI's crappy drivers that breaks something every time they come out.
     
  12. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #12
    Crappy drivers

    In the Mac OS X realm, ATI seems to have an edge on drivers.

    And I don't mean just 3D gaming. When you compare an nVidia GeForce to a comparable ATI Radeon, the ATI wins hands down rendering Core Image effects in pro apps like Motion, iMaginator, and Aperture.

    And if ATI were to release a Mac compatible 3870 X2, I'd sell my GeForce 8800 GT pounce on it.
     
  13. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #13
    Isn't one of these ATIs fanless? That is really what interests me.
     
  14. knome macrumors 6502

    knome

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    #14
    The reason ATI cards have gone down the drain is because when AMD bought them they took all their engineers to build integrated graphics chips.

    I would relegate them to the average user's cheap graphics card. a 3870 is around 149 bucks now.
     
  15. SuperGrobi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #15
    You really think Nvidia will develop cheap and powerful cards in the future without any competition? ... you don't need to go to business school to understand that ... oh well
     
  16. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #16
    That is a good thing, as it is forcing Intel to actually look into competing in the iGPU (<-- :D) market. What is sad is the most widely sold GPU is the GMA950, but nothing actually takes advantage of it due to it's slowness.

    Here's to hoping Larabee show up sooner rather than later!
     
  17. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #17
    PPC vs. Intel war tunred into ATi vs nVidia war. :D

    Ha... good to see there still is a war going on! It will be a sad, sad day if Intel were the only PC CPU supplier, and nVidia the only GPU manufacturer.
     
  18. SuperGrobi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #18
    I fully agree ;)

    Maybe I should add a comment to all these "ATI haters":

    Myself, I have a XFX 8800GT running in the Mac Pro and I am very happy with it. However, after managing that installation I was thinking how to improve my system even more. SLI will not work in the near future (or maybe never) on the Mac Pro board but I have some hope left for Crossfire. This is why I am interested in the HD3870x2 because I was dreaming of a "quad-system" with two HD3870x2 in Crossfire :rolleyes:
    I love to play aroung with my computer´s setup and get bored quickly if everything is working fine ;)
    I am very thankful for all the "productive" comments of some people in this threat (especially the ones telling me all day how crappy ATI cards are ... huh) but that is just not the point of this thread. If you have, however, useful information on how to use the HD3870x2 in a new Mac pro I am happy for every good comment and experience :)

    Also, I remember a time some years ago when I met a lot of people telling me how slow and crappy those Macintosh computers are and how stupid I must be to stick with Apple. Well, I prefer to have my own opinion and love to swim against the stream :)
     
  19. SuperGrobi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #19
    So taken together I so far understand that the card can be used in Bootcamp (as expected) but, although the Mac OS drivers support the 3870 GPU chip, no EFI ROM was ever released for ATI 3850, 3870 or 3870x2 cards, correct? Also so far there are no drivers that permit running two HD3870x2 in Crossfire using Bootcamp ("Quad-core" so to speak) - apparently those are expected to be released in April.
     
  20. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    #20
    Pretty much!
     
  21. SuperGrobi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #21
    I see. Well, if there would be a small chance to run the HD3870x2 in Mac OS one day (at least one of the two GPUs) I would give the card a try in Bootcamp. I am curious how things develop :rolleyes:
     
  22. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #22
    Keep it civil please, insults will not be tolerated.
     
  23. SuperGrobi thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
  24. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #24
    Notice this thread got a lot shorter?

    The question was:

    Has anyone tried an ATI HD3870x2 in Mac Pro?

    All extraneous discussion and arguments about the merits of ATI versus nVidia, or different models of ATI in comparison to models of nVidia, or different models of nVidia against themselves, are just that.. Extraneous.

    Wanna battle it out? Start yourselves a new thread and keep it civil.
     
  25. Blogger macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Local
    #25
    Yes, you're right to delete my post. My apologies if feelings were hurt. In my defense, there was no animosity intended, it was just a feeble attempt at humor.

    Cheers!
     

Share This Page