For around $300 can I find something better than Apple's ATI Radeon HD 5770

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sngraphics, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. sngraphics macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    I am looking to upgrade the ATI Radeon HD 4870 that came with my 2009 MacPro.
    I got the OK to spend around $300 for the upgrade. (would have to sell the 4870 afterwards though)
    Primarily I am looking to run my three 24" displays running at 1920x1200 each.
    Not interested in gaming just Graphics work. Mainly Photoshop. (Large Files)

    I was looking at the ATI Radeon HD 5770 on Apple's website.
    It looks like this would do the job.
    BUT, I thought I would try to get some advice to see if there are any other options.
    I would need something that would install/work just as easily as the 5770, have 3 ports (preferably DP or MDP) and cost around $300.
    Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Baunkjaer macrumors 6502


    Feb 20, 2009
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    Also check the big sticky thread in this forum if you can do without the boot screen. There are some suitable nVidia cards mentioned there that can be slotted straight into a Mac Pro within certain power and OS X constraints.
  4. sngraphics thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    No boot screen?

    Apologies for some ignorance but what happens at startup if there is no boot screen?

    Also I forgot to mention that I am currently running 10.6.8.
    Not sure if that matters when choosing a graphics card.
  5. Baunkjaer macrumors 6502


    Feb 20, 2009
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Your screen stays black, until desktop/log-in.
    You need Lion, if you give the GTX series a shot. Mountain Lion should be even better.
    Suggest you take at look at the thread, which I linked to in my first reply.
  6. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    This will be an issue..

    I have the apple 5770, I replaced a 4870 with it...

    Is it a power house NO, Is it cool and quiet with less power draw YES

    No boot screen means the display stays black until your at your desk top. It doesn't bother most people here but when I was in that situation it bothered me quite a bit. My 4870 will pay for the better part of if not all of the 5770 so for say 50 euro I got a warrantied card that draws less power and produces less heat.

    You can consider flashing, a 5770 goes for $99 on newegg 5870's a bit more.
  7. sngraphics thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    ATI or Nvidia

    ATI or Nvidia?
    One thing I really wanted to find out is which brand is better for graphics work?
    Primarily Adobe CS6 and especially Photoshop.

    Also does the type of graphics card make any difference in overall system performance? Not just games and Photoshop.
  8. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    The vast mayority.....

    of CUDA enabled cards come from nVidia. So, if using Adobe software, you can get a benefit from them.

  9. MacPoulet macrumors regular


    Dec 11, 2012
    I don't think Nvidia cards run more than two displays. The OP has three. I guess that means AMD only?
  10. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Either the newer or higher end does 3. I had a 670 in hackintosh with 3 monitors
  11. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    My GTX570 doesn't give you three monitors even though there are two DVI & one HDMI sockets. You can have any two out of those three working but no more. I had to add a GT120 for my third monitor. The advantage is that it also gives me a boot screen but does use up one of the scarce PCIe slots.
  12. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2006
    This is the corrent answer.
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    The GTX470 and GTX480 with EFI give you boot screens and can enable Adobe CS6 acceleration.

    They also can work in 10.6.8
  14. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    Will one of these cards drive three 1920x1200 monitors as requested by the OP?
  15. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    NVidia. (period)

    No, not really. OS X (non-application performance) as well as applications which don't utilize 3D acceleration, CUDA and etc., won't see any noticeable speed increases over your current 4870.

    IMO it's worth getting an NVidia card in your machine. It's not very debatable. As a member-developer of a major 3D application myself, I can only scratch my head at folks "upgrading" to an AMD card. <shrug>


    I think not. Others will know more. But you should really upgrade to the newest version. 10.7.5 is much much faster and smoother than 10.6.8. And ML adds slightly to that as well. Very worthwhile upgrade!
  16. Asgorath macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2012
    Kepler cards (i.e. GTX 6xx) run 4 displays just fine, but they require Mountain Lion.

    And yeah, not sure if that comment about the "vast majority" of CUDA-supporting cards coming from NVIDIA was a joke or not. CUDA is NVIDIA only, obviously.
  17. dndlnx, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013

    dndlnx macrumors 6502


    Dec 9, 2010
  18. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    I know that the GTX570 is quoted as being the fastest CUDA card available but this can only drive two monitors. Does anyone have a link (or personal experience) of just how much better for CUDA a GTX570 is than a GTX6xx. If it's just a question of 10% then I would be happy to give that up in exchange for being able to use three monitors. At present I have a GT120 as my 3rd monitor but I would rather use the PCIe slot for a Velocity Solo X2. The other two slots are taken up with a USB3 card & a eSATA card.
  19. bsbeamer macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2012
    Can you get a USB3/eSATA combo card to save one PCIe slot, or are you in need of every single port the two separately can offer?
  20. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    My USB3 card & eSATA card each only have 2 ports so theoretically I could but AFAIK the only one available is the CalDigit card for which I have heard mixed reviews. However another alternative apparently is to use a four port USB3 card & then a USB3->eSATA adapter.
  21. Kyahx macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2011
    I bought a brand new Apple 5870 about 6 months ago, but wound up replacing it with a GTX 680 last week (I know I know, waste of money, but it seemed like a good deal at the time :p) I still have the original packaging and receipt for the 5870, so it should still be covered by Apple (if that means anything to you).

    I was hoping to sell the the card for $350 on Amazon, but I'd drop the price if you want to buy it direct. I know its still way more expensive than a flashed card, but if you don't want to deal with that its a decent card (way better than the 4870).
  22. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Nov 25, 2012
    This link and the attached benchmark chart may help you a little with your decisions.
  23. nigelbb macrumors 65816

    Dec 22, 2012
    That's very interesting as the according to those results the GTX670 performs about 5% better than the GTX570 while the received wisdom on this forum claims the GTX570 as the fastest.
  24. sngraphics thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    I wanted to thank everyone for all the replies.

    The 670 looks pretty good. But a little out of my price range.
    Primarily I need a card to run 3 displays.
    Still running 10.6.8 but will be moving to 10.8 as soon as I make sure all of my graphics and color management apps are OK in 10.8.
    I was mainly looking at ATI but if Nvidia can provide a boost to Photoshop and in general Adobe apps that would be a nice bonus.

    One note, all three of my displays have DP and I would have loved to run them all on DP/MDP if I could but not necessary.

    I have been looking at various 7950's from different manufacturers selling on Amazon for around $300.
    I see that the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition is out now.
    What's the difference between the Mac edition and all these other ones?
    Just the price?

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