Flashed GPUs IMMUNE to 10.6.3/4 update issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacVidCards, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    I am sensing a sentiment that we have walked too far out on the branch of our Apple tree and it has snapped.

    That we "got what we deserved" wit our card flashing since MANY 4870/90 folks have had to ditch their cards and put back in their 7300GT/X1900XT/2600XT and patiently wait for Netkas to "deliver us from darkness". (literally, huh?)

    I would like to create this thread to showcase the flashed GPUs which have been updated to 10.6.3 and 10.6.4 with NO ADDITIONAL HACKING OR PATCHING needed. I am starting with the card I have long advocated, the XFX 4870 1 Gig cards that came BEFORE the ZWxx series. There were at least 4 different cards, but all either used the EXACT reference fan of 4870, or a slightly slimmed down version. I just tested it in 10.6.3 and both single and Dual Display DVI work without a hitch. I am downloading the 10.6.4 Combo update and will edit this post to report results but I expect it to still be A-OK.
    Who has a flashed 4870 512 Meg using reference fan? I am willing to wager $10 that those are all A-OK as well.

    To be clear, I am hopeful that people running flashed GPUs of any sort that have updated to 10.6.3/4 WITHOUT any scripts or patches that still work exactly as before will report here. Please include pix of card and System Profiler. Please report whether you tested with Dual DVI or if you have just 1 display.

    I have included pix of both styles of XFX 4870 1 Gig cards that have been A-OK since 10.5.7. These were only 1 Gig cards that had Dual DVI pre-SL and have remained hassle free since.

    UPDATE : I have tried with 10.6.4, the XFX is still a champ. Single or Dual DVI, no issues at all.

    Attached Files:

  2. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    Here's my GPU details:

    XFX HD 4870 ZDFC

    Don't have a second monitor to test dual monitor support unfortunately, but no problems since the last update so keeping my fingers crossed.

    I know there's no definite answer, but given that this is a reference 4870 card, all things being equal is it safe to presume that it should be OK for future updates as well?


    Attached Files:

  3. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    ANY flashed card running NON MODIFIED ROM will be update immune. Otherwise, all "Apple branded" cards would be affected as well.
  4. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    That sounds promising. I just wonder if Apple are going to be difficult about things and start to actively try excluding flashed cards somehow. I imagine the fact that my card has 1024 MB of memory in makes it possible to determine it's not an Apple endorsed model.

    I'm guessing it's unlikely they'd go to that extreme as it would be spiting their own customer base which wouldn't be a smart business move.

    If they'd just offer decent card options at decent prices and stop being in such a hurry to stop supporting owners of older Mac Pro's then there wouldn't be any need for the modding / flashing malarkey.
  5. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I don't think so. The only way cards would be "excluded" is if a new graphics driver coincidentally messed it up somehow. Since Apple almost never updates their drivers (read: laziness), we'll probably be safe into 10.7... unless they actively and arbitrarily exclude old Mac Pros from working with it (something they ARE known to do).
  6. Gomff macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    Fingers crossed then. I'm hoping for an OS X version of the 5870 so that I can either buy or flash one for my next upgrade.
  7. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    This is in fact what has happened.

    Apple has updated the ketxs which are an integral part of the "drivers".

    To clarify further, there are 2 separate and distinct issues that everybody is waiting for Netkas to fix.

    1. Framebuffer issue: When we first started flashing 4870s, most could not do Dual DVI, they would cause a forced restart when 2nd display detected. This issue did not effect the 512 Meg reference versions, or the XFX 1 Gig versions. ALL OTHER 4870s had single DVI ONLY in 10.5.8. This issue was fixed in SL. Suddenly, nearly ALL flashed 4870s had working Dual DVI ability.
    This held out until 10.6.3 where Apple mysteriously UNFIXED it. Now, many flashed 4870s are having Dual Display issues, or single display issues. This was being fixed in 10.6.3 with a patch, or frequently a DVI to VGA adapter on 2nd port did it. So, the drivers have changed for the WORSE for flashed cards. Many now have issues that weren't there in 10.6-10.6.2. Fix in 10.6.3 was to use the 10.6.2 framebuffer. It seems that this isn't as simple as before to implement.

    2. 4890 issue: Apple never meant for 4890s to run in OSX. So they didn't bother to include the device id in the places it needs to be for proper operation. Without being listed as "supported", the Mac runs, but uses Software Rendering on the CPU instead of GPU. This is "QE/CI" part. There are simple obvious places to fix this, but both Cindori and I were unable to complete this. Only Netkas figured out correct fix.

    So, there you have it. Some 4870s are having issues. ALL of the 4890s are having issues. Some 4890s are probably suffering from BOTH issues. Only the 4870 512 Reference cards, and the XFX 1 Gig cards have been immune to ALL issues since 10.5.7. If someone else knows of a 1 Gig card that has been trouble free, please tell us.

    There is a 3rd thing that is actually more of an annoyance, though perhaps may be feeding in to the mix. That is the "power Not Connected" warning. If the Mac actually thinks power isn't connected it doesn't allow QE/CI or a 2nd display, so it is possible that 10.6.4 has intensified this Power message and made it part of problem. BTW...I have a theory on Power warning, but it is based on a small sample so is flawed. Would be great to get feedback. Basically, I noticed that the XFX cards worked GREAT until the ZWFx series came out. When tried in Leopard, these had same single DVI issue other brands did. They also were the first XFX cards to give that lovely power warning. It makes sense that in race to make cards ever cheaper, the power regulation circuits changed enough that Apple drivers thought Power not connected. I noticed that the XFX boards had the power connectors physically apart on the ZW cards with the warning. On the ZH and ZF cards that were warning free, the power connectors are snugly together, as on reference boards. I am curious if the spacing of Power connectors is a way to predict Power warning? If someone has a flashed 4870 with plugs touching and HAS the Power warning please speak up. And if there is somebody who has a flashed 4870 with approx 1cm between the plugs and DOESN'T get the "Power Cable warning", also please report.

    The ZW "pwer warning" board is on right, the ZH card with no warning is on left/ Note the "Easy Bake" cheapy caps on the ZW. It was never meant to last as long as the earlier cards.

    Attached Files:

  8. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    My Sapphire 100259-1GL 1GB 4870 works pretty much flawlessly. Like those earlier XFX cards, I think it's closer to the reference design.

    It didn't have dual DVI before 10.6, but it gained it with Snow Leopard and hasn't failed on me yet. Runs like a champ.

    Here's the now-defunct NewEgg link to it. Like the other such cards, they stopped making it a long time ago.

  9. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Thanks for the update !!!

    Can you try removing one DVI from it and see how it does with just one connected?

    I have an Asus 4870 here that works GREAT in 10.6.3 and 10.6.4 but ONLY running Dual Monitors.

    Disconnect one and the other quits. The DUal DVI fix does the trick on it, or plugging in a DVI to VGA adapter. Oddly, a DVI to HDMI doesn't.

    I think I'm going to make a "Partial and Complete 4870/90 Failures" thread to detail the sorta working vs the NOT working.
  10. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    Seems to operate just fine with only one DVI connection. What I can't test is dual-link DVI functionality, because I just don't own a 30" (or a new 27") monitor with which to test it. Nor do I know anybody nearby from whom I could borrow one. I'm reasonably certain, though, that it will behave just like those XFX cards.
  11. v0n macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2009
    I have two different Sapphire 512's
    1 x P/N 188-01E85-001SA SKU 11133-00-20R
    1 x P/N 288-1-E85-030SA SKU 11133-03-20R

    Both flashed with usual method and rom modded with overclock Toxic model values ie: memory frequency is 1000Mhz etc. Used with one monitor per card. Not an issue with any upgrade, including 10.6.4
  12. g4monsterau macrumors newbie

    May 16, 2010
    Sapphire HD 4870 512mb & 1gb works with 10.6.4 no hacks

    I too would like to share my success with two flashed video cards I have.
    They are both Sapphire HD4870's, One with 512mb & one with 1GB.

    Both appear to be the same ati original reference with a new silent cooling option.

    Both work perfectly in 10.6.4 without any hacking what so ever. Dual display as well.

    Both look like this one

  13. Pummers macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2010
    Replaced ZWFC with ZDDC

    My 512MB XFX 4870 (ZWFC, egg shaped cooler) didn't take to the 10.6.4 update, needing to replace the drivers with 10.6.3 (All the drivers since I have a 2600 on there as well).

    I pulled the ZWFC and used a 1GB XFX 4870 XXX (ZDDC, found on kijiji) and flashed that and now everything is working without needing any hacks.
  14. johnwillsey macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2009
    Thanks for the update. BTW, the YDDC is apparently the same card with 512 instead of 1GB. Can anyone validate that it is immune so far as well?
  15. 21ce macrumors member

    Oct 17, 2009
    Flashed XFX HD 4890 1GB Part No.: HD-489A-ZDF7 Successfully updated to 10.6.4 with No hacks. Just ran Netkas' 10.6.4 package. Dual monitor fully supported as well.

    Attached Files:

  16. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2009
    Flashed HIS Radeon HD4870 H487FN512P 512MB. Works without any problems under Leopard up to 10.5.8 and Snow Leopard up to 10.6.4 !

    No hacks needed !


  17. johnwillsey macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2009
    Which Rom did you use on the ZDDC? THX!
  18. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2009
  19. johnwillsey macrumors newbie

    Dec 31, 2009
    XFX ATI Radeon HD 4870 512 MB HD-487A-YDDC

    Got a XFX ATI Radeon HD 4870 512 MB HD-487A-YDDC off E-Bay and flashed with the original Apple ROM. Works Great! Bootcamp as well.
  20. RoeIncarnate macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2008
    johnwillsey where did you get the ROM from, do you have a download link for it?

    I've found a HD-487A-YDDC locally and my 1900XT is dying (again), so want to get it.
  21. chych macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010

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