Early '08 Mac Pro 3,1...absolute best video card I can get?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fs454, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. fs454 macrumors 68000

    Dec 7, 2007
    Los Angeles / Boston
    Alright, Christmas time has come and I'm finally going to get a video card for my MP. I've decided that I'd like to do some gaming beyond what the 2600XT can do(before this and having lots of video work, I used to build PCs for gaming), so I'm wondering what's out there, or should I wait?

    Obviously there's the nVidia GTX 285 straight from Apple, but being 8+ months old suggests I have, or may have, a better route to take.

    Then there's the 4890 topic, suggesting to flash a 4890 with EFI. Another seemingly great option, but there are people talking about flashing the 5xxx series now. I'm not a "if you need it buy it now" kinda guy, I'm willing to wait a month or two for cutting edge, but what are the chances of either Apple releasing yet another card with direct compatibility or a newer high end card being flashed?

    I'm definitely willing to get down and dirty and flash cards and stuff.

  2. mfka macrumors regular


    Oct 20, 2009
    Well, we are all waiting for ATI 5xxx series, we just hope it will come with macpro 2010, however nothing is guaranteed.

    IMO, at the moment, the best choice is 4890.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I don't think there's any new cards to surface between now and Christmas. If you want to wait, maybe there'll be an HD5870 Mac edition. As it stands, OTB Mac compliant, the HD4870 and GTX285 are all that's available.

    Since you're willing to deal with making a PC card work, that opens you up to other cards. Since you're interested in gaming, I'll assume that's going to be the greatest strain on the card, and run under Windows. So let Windows gaming be your guide as to what's the best choice to make. It seems that the HD5870 is working under OS X, and is far better under Windows (no kext files AFAIK, so the 4870 files are being used, which would reduce the performance it's capable of).

    You can even run a PC card next to the OEM card (use it for OS X) for Windows only use (i.e. gaming).
  4. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    If you game under windows, the non apple 48xx series are able to use crossfire. Apple disabled this in there 4870.

    A user reported that snow leopard or some update enabled crossfire using apples card, but I haven't heard anyone back up that claim.
  5. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    it was latest catalyst that enabled cf on apple 4870
  6. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007

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