Finally an affordable GPU upgrade for MacPro 1,1 owners?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zorinlynx, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    #1
    The new Mac Pro was announced as having the ATI Radeon HD 5770 as the baseline video card.

    Historically ATI has made all their cards fully compatible with both EFI32 and EFI64.

    Does this mean that us Mac Pro 1,1 owners will finally have an affordable GPU upgrade/replacement? I'm surely hoping so, and that ATI has kept up their tradition of keeping all their cards EFI32 compatible.

    Only time will tell when these cards start showing up in the wild, as Apple is unlikely to tell us they're compatible!

    -Z
     
  2. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #2
    im very interested in the 5870 but knowing apple it will cost a fortune
     
  3. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #3
  4. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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  5. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #5
    hey Cindori .. you think it would be possible to run dual 5870s ?
     
  6. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #6
    i belive not, it looks like the 2010 macpro motherboard is identical to 2009
    (this basically means that the core difference between a 2009 macpro and 2010 mac pro is just a couple of bytes of data on the efi chip to support new cpu's...)

    and that means that you have only 2 PCIE power ports on the mobo, giving enough power for only one 5870


    i'm starting to think about flashing 2009 mac pro with 2010 EFI to enable support for new CPU's.
    the tool to flash EFI is actually extractable from a former firmware update, so in theory it would work.
    but, i do not know of any way to extract the 2010 efi.
    however, when apple releases a firmware update for 2010 macpro (maybe 6 months from now) to fix maybe a bug or something, one could theoretically use that efi to flash on a 2009 mac pro and essentially turn it into a 2010 mac pro.

    i will look more into this when time and tools are given to me, right now my only computer is my fathers 2007 mac mini.
     
  7. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #7
    how about getting power from the second optical bay connector ? just curious
     
  8. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #8

    800 cores (HD4870) v 1600 cores (HD5870)

    Simple isn't it?
     
  9. Caviar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #9
    I am concerned about the same thing.

    I'm currently using the Early 2008 Mac Pro and was wondering if Apple would provide HD5870 separately for previous Mac Pro owners.
    I'm afraid that even if they made the HD5870 available for previous Mac Pros,
    they would drop support for the 1st Gen and 2008 Mac Pros.

    Do you guys think that Apple would release HD5870 separately for previous Mac Pro owners?
     
  10. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 19, 2008
    #10
    Here are some more interesting benchmarks of the 5770...

    Something interesting is that the 2010 MP will support up to two 5770s, each driving up to 3 displays each.

    As Cindori already pointed out, performance is practically the same as the 4870, but power consumption and temperature are lower, and memory is faster/bigger... hence the 5770 is more efficient... so I'd say this is a fair upgrade vs the previous configuration and options. I recently got a GT120 to run along my original 4870 to run a 3rd display. SO far its working OK, but I wish this card was an option for my 2009 Quad, so I could run all 3 off the same card, with lower power and lower temperature.

    Two questions:

    a) does anybody know of these new cards will be supported in previous MPs?

    b) any news about audio support via MDP/HDMI?
     
  11. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    But HD5770 have DirectX 11 support and lower power consumption (18W instead of 90W !!!). HD5870 is also great only 27W in idle !
     
  12. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

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    #12
    I'm hoping that at least one of these cards works in a MacPro 1,1. My ATI 1900XT finally gave up the ghost a couple of weeks back and I've been waiting for this refresh in the hope that one of the new options will work, rather than having to pay a fortune for an already outdated card.

    However I don't see either of the new cards in the apple store yet. Do they usually take a few days to show up as parts? Presumably people with '09 mac pros would be able to run these no problem, so I'd hope they will sell them as parts...
     
  13. Mikey7c8 macrumors regular

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    #13
    Yeah power consumption on the 5770 is definitely a main draw card.

    Personally, I don't get the whining about the 5770 as the base card - for the price it's a fantastic card, can drive 3 screens, and so long as you're using your mac pro for work (ahem!) then it's perfect.

    I'd certainly buy one for a mid-level pc build were I doing one right now.
     
  14. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    #14
    Oh but you can hook up 3 monitors to it! Aren't you lucky!
     
  15. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    OMG... the huge difference in power between the 4870 and the 5770... makes me think the 4870 is a crappy card. The 4870's heat is really annoying when the computer sits under a closed desk. The 3 displays are a great thing, as the ability of running fullHD. About DirectX11, I really didn't know my 4870 didn't supported it, or that I needed it for that matter... is seems to be a windows/gaming thing... but does OS X need it?

    Any idea when the 5770 would be available as a spare card for 2009 MPs?

    I wish I had held my recent GT120 purchase for my 3rd display just a little longer...
     
  16. theBigD23 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 13, 2008
    #16
    Is there a definitive answer that an early Mac Pro 2008 can support the new video cards?

    I don't like my GT120 and having dual displayport is a great option for me. Thanks.
     
  17. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #17
    There is not a single thing stopping a 2008 or 2009 Mac Pro from using any of these upcoming GPUs.

    Will Apple advertise the GPU's as compatible with old Mac Pro's? I'm guessing no.
     
  18. theBigD23 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    That would the same as the GT 120 which is not advertised to work with the 2008 but is. However, will the new cards be plug and play or will there need to be a flash or something?
     
  19. zorinlynx thread starter macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    #19
    It is completely up to whether the cards support the EFI on the machine's motherboard.

    All Mac OS X installations of a particular build (note BUILD, not version) are identical. The reason for this is that you can move an OS X installation from any Mac to any other Mac without having driver problems and incompatibilities.

    Therefore, once 10.6.5 hits, all Macs will support the new ATI cards... in Mac OS X. The problem is EFI, which initializes the card at boot. Different Mac Pros have different EFI versions. The biggest division is EFI32 and EFI64; the very first Mac Pro models use EFI32. Nvidia has been lacking in support for EFI32 in all Mac cards they've manufactured since the first Mac Pro.

    ATI on the other hand has supported both EFI32 and EFI64 in all their card revisions. This is why you can use the Apple branded ATI 2xxx, 3xxx, and 4xxx cards in every Mac Pro ever made. The question here is whether ATI will continue this for the 5xxx series.
     
  20. pipep macrumors member

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    Dec 18, 2007
    #20
    5870 added to my wishlist as well. Hope it works on my 1,1 mac pro
     
  21. theBigD23 macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 13, 2008
    #21
    Thanks for the great explanation. I guess we have to wait until the card is available separately to be sure.
     
  22. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #22
    Big change for Apple on the iMac and Mac Pro... as far as marketing.

    Gone are the real low power GPU cards for the Mac Pro that don't require a power connector.

    And for the iMac, welcome back CPU confusion where speeds and CPU names should create as much confusion as model names did shopping for Performas. ;)

    Wonder if the GT120 will stay in the store or a new card that works in both the Pro and XServe with show.
     
  23. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    #23
    hey Cindori, did you just say that your only box atm is a mac mini? what happened to your hackintosh? ;)
     
  24. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    #24
    He sold it months ago.
     
  25. zorinlynx thread starter macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    #25
    All these people (including myself) hoping that these new cards work in our Mac Pro 1,1 systems just shows what a good buy that machine was back in 2006.

    It may have been expensive, but we're still using them four years later, and for many of us they are still more than fast enough. I know mine still feels like it screams when it comes to performance.

    If the new cards DO work in the new Mac Pros it will just underscore what an excellent buy these were. A new Radeon 5xxx will likely extend the lifetime of my machine another two years. Of course, Apple probably doesn't want this, even if they DO end up actually selling me the 5xxx!
     

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