Flashed 5870 vs 5770 - Does it matter?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Loyalty4Life, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. Loyalty4Life macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    #1
    I am going to buy one of these three video cards from eBay. I know NOTHING about flashing and don't want to do it. I am happy to buy the card from someone on eBay.

    5870 ($320)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mac-ATI-5870-1-...eo_TV_Cards&hash=item35af9543d6#ht_2591wt_963


    5770 ($209)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Mac-Pro-ATI...eo_TV_Cards&hash=item1e5f686903#ht_3123wt_963


    5770 single slot (more quiet video card) ($219)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=130446904745#ht_2959wt_963



    Based on these three, which one would you recommend for me? I'm looking at the these three main things in the card, in order:

    1) Graphics power
    2) Price
    3) Ease of installing card
    4) Quiet card



    These are just my guidelines. If you have a personal recommendation out of these three, I would be greatly appreciative to hear what you would recommend. I have a late 2006 Mac Pro.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/296?vs=294

    5870 is roughly twice as fast as 5770. For only 53% more $, the 5870 sounds like a better deal. Obviously, 5870 is a bit louder as seen in AT's benchmarks but that's only when it is under load.
     
  3. Loyalty4Life thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    The auction for the 5870 says it comes with a Crossfire cable for Windows. Am I going to need to install that with the Mac Pro? What exactly is that? Is it hard to install? I use Boot Camp and also VMware Fusion.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    CrossFire lets you "combine" two GPUs in order to get better performance. You need to connect the GPUs with the cable. You are not going to need that unless you are going to run a CF setup, but sounds like you are not.
     
  5. Loyalty4Life thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    #5
    Okay. So I won't need the CF cable as I'll only be using this one card.

    Many thanks for your help!
     
  6. Loyalty4Life thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    #6
    Okay - one more question. And thanks for your help!

    What is "5.0 GT/sec Link Speed"? Evidently I'll only get 2.5 GT/sec with my 2006 machine.

    What does this mean, and how does it affect me?
     
  7. dimme macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Location:
    SF, CA
    #7
    I would spend the extra few dollars and get a "real" ATI card from Apple. You don't know what you will run into in the future.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #8
    That's the speed of the PCIe. Your Mac Pro has PCIe 1.1 which can deliver 250MB/s per lane while that and all today's cards use PCIe 2.x which can provide up to 500MB/s per lane.

    It may affect the performance a little but 5870 is still faster. There are some benches in Barefeats

    http://www.barefeats.com/wst10g3.html

    That extra few dollars is 130$.
     
  9. aliot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    #9
    I perfer pay $230 for a xfx 5870 and flash it myself.Pay 80 bucks for labour fee just not so smart for me.
     
  10. Loyalty4Life thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    #10
    The 5870 card on eBay has two DVI ports and an HDMI port, which seem much more friendly than the Apple proprietary MiniDisplay ports.

    How hard is it for a noob like me to update the ROM if/when it's updated, and what's involved in doing so?
     
  11. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #11
  12. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #12
    Updating the rom is not hard assuming:
    1) You can find a new rom that will make your card work with the new version of OSX
    2) You didn't upgrade the OS and end up with a graphics card that no longer works.

    2 is not such a problem as long as you remember to image your hard drive to an extra, bootable drive before you do an OS upgrade. Then if there's a problem you can go to the backup drive.
     

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