Early 2008 Mac Pro Video Card Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by aj350z, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. aj350z macrumors member

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    Sep 17, 2008
    #1
    With 2 new Blizzard games (WoW Cataclysm and Starcraft 2) coming up i thought about upgrading my video card. Right now i have an ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT. It has been serving me well but i do have cuts in the FPS every now and then.

    I was wondering if i should get the ATI Radeon HD 4870 or Geforce 8800 GT?
     
  2. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #2
    I'd hold off just a while longer.

    Very likely that new GPU will be out in next 60 days. Could actually be any day, but likely whenever the "New" 2010 (2011 ?) Mac Pro comes out. Will drag a new GPU with it.

    And as you have EFI64. you will likely be able to use it no matter what.
     
  3. aj350z thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 17, 2008
    #3
    Sounds like a good idea.

    However 1 question. What is EFI64? I am thinking 64 Bit OS which i have no idea how that works still or if any programs i use are for that.
     
  4. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2010
    #4
    Efi64

    This is the latest firmware that is currently out starting with the 2008 mac pros.. what this means is that while the 1st and 2nd generation mac pros were 64-bit, they couldn't support booting snow leopard in 64-bit kernel mode.. they could only boot in 32-bit, though there is a hack out there to make the 64-bit kernel boot up.

    The only video cards that really won't work on the 1,1 and 2,1 mac pros are the nvidia series, such as gt120, gtx285, however someone on here claimed to have gotten the gtx485? to work in a 1st generation and 2nd generation mac pro..

    The 2008's have the EFI64 support to run ANY EFI64 only or EFI32/64 based video card.. so, yes.. i would wait for the radeon 5890.. I'd like to see the eyefinity with mini-display port run on the mac pro.. that would be a nice card to have, but its roughly around 600-1000 dollars.


     
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #5
    This has more to do with PCI 1.1 vs. PCI 2.0. You don't need to boot 64-bit kernel for graphics card use. Can a Macpro PSU even handle a 5890? Don't think so. Apple has never supported dual gpu's via Crossfire or SLI. Who is going to make this new supposed GPU? Apple? They only do it after Macpro refreshes. And given that the current GTX285 wont work in a 1,1 mac pro does not give me hope even newer ones will.
     
  6. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #6
    I would go with the Radeon 4870 Mac Edition for your computer...most bang for your buck there and it's 100% compatible.
     
  7. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #7
    Wrong. Has zero to do with PCI 1.0 or 2.0. They are compatible.

    You need 64 bit efi firmware to use 64bit efi graphic cards.

    The Mac Pro is 1000w. It could handle two 5970's easily.

    Crossfire works on mac pro in windows.

    Apple has never made a GPU. ATI however, does.

    Nvidia uses 64-bit efi on their GPU, but ATI uses universal EFI, allowing it to work in older Mac Pro.

    You can use the 285 GTX if you have another Nvidia card as EFI initializer.

    The new GPU could come out before a refresh considering Apple's stock of 4870 is empty.


    Your whole post is wrong......
     
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #8
    Exactly it works in Windows. Does crossfire work in OS X? No. I don't think they will port it. They do not do much we want.
    Nvidia does NOT use 64-bit efi as I use a GTX 285 in 32-bit Win. So why the 64-bit in OS X?
    Did not know the PSU was 1000W. That is nice. Usually they make em underpowered.
    No **** on Apple not making a GPU, btw.
    I just bought a 4870 yesterday for a user from Apple.
    Enjoy yourself.
     
  9. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #9
    There is a difference in 64-bit EFI and 64-bit operating systems. Two totally different things. You can run Snow Leopard, a 64-bit operating system on an EFI32 Mac. The current nVidia cards are all EFI64 and won't work on anything Mac Pro except for 2008 and 2009 models. The ATI current cards are both EFI32 and EFI64 and will work on older MacPro1,1 models which are EFI32. 32-bit Windows will run with an EFI64 nVidia card just fine.
     
  10. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #10
    All good info. Thanks. When did the video cards start using EFI? Is this the only firmware type they use these days, Win and Mac? It would be great as it would be so easy to hack as Cindori mentions:

    Maybe I am showing my computational age here. And I am starting to get a little exited on the money I will save by buying PC cards.
     
  11. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #11
    EFI is not equal to Kernel.


    Perhaps, maybe saying that the stock was empty is wrong, but the card is still listed as "discontinued" at certain Apple Stores.



    You can read more about EFI in "The Golden Guide" in my signature.
     
  12. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #12
    Well check you out. Thanks. Now for them to update the Pros.
     
  13. MythicFrost macrumors 68040

    MythicFrost

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    Australia
    #13
    I'd wait if possible for the update of the new Mac Pro's it's possible the GTX 480/70 or 5870 will be compatible with the 08 Mac Pro.

    Otherwise, I recommend a GTX 285 1GB.
     
  14. Snowshiro macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2008
    #14
    OS X on the new Mac Mini contained a driver for the Radeon 5870, while drivers for the GeForce 465, 470 and 480 have been leaked from an nvidia server, so it seems pretty likely that both will be coming fairly soon.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #15
    Apple already has enabled a Crossfire like system in OS X. It will even work between different brands of video cards. It's also all in software. Developers, however, need to write some code to use this feature. It's been demoed with a GTX 285 and a 4870 both working together.

    I don't think it's been written up in a guide, but I've seen demos of it from Apple in 10.6.
     
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #16
    I think you refer to OpenCl.

    And that Demo was nearly the last time it has been put to use.

    Still "right around the corner"
     
  17. goMac macrumors 603

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    #17
    No, I'm an OpenGL programmer, and I do most definitely mean OpenGL.

    Although, yes, I've done OpenCL on multiple GPU's as well. But the technical conversation was OpenGL, and the demo was most definitely OpenGL rendering over two cards at once.

    If you have access to the WWDC sessions it's in there. And it's available in the current release version of Mac OS X.
     
  18. MacVidCards Suspended

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    #18
    So, is there some System Preference I just need to "check" and then this fires up?

    Funny nobody mentioned that before.
     
  19. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #19
    The magic sauce is a special GL mode that developers can call that enables automatic resource synchronization between the cards. One you do that, you can do more in depth stuff like have one card do the shaders and another card doing the final rendering, or a simple SLI sort of setup where you have each card rendering half of each frame. OS X keeps the cards synced automatically.

    There is a developer session for WWDC 2010 where they gave code snippets, and also live demos. You can see it for more info. Pretty cool stuff (especially given that the demo was done on a Mac Pro with a 285 and a 4870). I passed it around to other engineers at work, actually. Sadly, I don't think the enhancement would carry over to Windows.
     
  20. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #20
    from what I gather..

    OS X does NOT support crossfire nor sli... you are wrong and mistaken.


     
  21. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    I am sorry..

    But, from what someone else told me crossfire is not supported under OS X.. Windows, yes.. it will work and always had worked in windows.. I don't think Apple is really interested in this, as the mac pro is not designed for hard core gaming, and NEVER will be.

    Your logic is flawed though. Windows? This is a different story.. take any pc flashed card(two if the same type) and yes, crossfire is supported.. but don't plan on using apple oem cards, as Apple has this DISABLED by default.

    In order to crossfire, you need two pc flashed cards which support the feature.. two 4870's or two gtx285's(don't like mix of nvidia and ati).


     
  22. Roman23 macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Don't listen to him..

    If Apple really wanted us to have crossfire, they would indicate that in the os x features.. this guy is a pc person and as such doesn't know what he's talking about.. Crossfire and or SLI will never be implemented on the mac pro under OS X, as Apple and Jobs don't believe in it.. afterall, the mac pro was never meant to be a replacement for gaming like a PC..

    Far greater advantages with gaming on a PC than a mac could ever give.. thanks to the closed architecture and limited use of certain cards.. While yes, under windows(you know this already) you can crossfire NON APPLE cards as Apple disabled it, and this would yield excellent results.. But, under OS X? Forget it.. its not going to happen.. regardless of what some hacker programmer tells you.. Apple does not support it.. EOS.



     
  23. goMac macrumors 603

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    #23
    Again, Apple has a WWDC session up on using multiple GPU's at once for OpenGL. Straight from the horses mouth. I can't link directly to it because there is a login page in the way, and technically the session is under NDA (even though it's info on a current version of OS X). But anyone with developer access can see it.

    If you won't believe Apple, then I don't know what to tell you.

    Edit: Also I've been programming for the Mac for 10 years, thank you very much.

    Edit 2: Again, I can't directly link anything, but here is a page that leaked the list of sessions. Session 422 is the one, and again, it does contain demos of multi GPU graphics.
    http://urumchi.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!4DF5F313A6F77684!671.entry
     
  24. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

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    Poland
    #24
    It's exactly 980W. Apple recommend up to total 300W on PCI-Express bus, so watch out ! You might burn your logic board.
     

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