generic vs from apple: graphics card question

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by BabaG, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. BabaG macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    #1
    been thinking about a different graphics card, an ati 4870 to be specific. i
    was in a local computer (pc place, not an apple-specific store) and they had
    the 4870 on the shelf.

    is there any difference between the 4870 i might find in any generic pc store
    and the 4870 i find from apple or at an apple certified retailer? do they do
    anything to change firmware or anything like that that might make it work,
    whereas the generically bought one would not?

    enquiring minds want to know,
    BabaG
    (thanks)
     
  2. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #2
    Enquiring minds should have started with a search. There are probably >40 threads on this subject alone.

    hyram
     
  3. BabaG thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    #3
    thanks for that helpful post hyram. much appreciated. especially the part wher you didn't tell me how you managed to narrow the search parameters to something concise.

    ok. searched 'generic' and 'apple' and got a lot of iphone and itunes stuff.

    searched 'firmware' and got rocketraid.

    what are you using for terms that are producing answers here?
     
  4. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #4
    There is actually a couple threads on the 4870, for a non-apple 4870 card, it will need to be flashed. Since you are having trouble doing simple tasks such as searching, I'd just get the apple 4870, no offense meant.
     
  5. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #5
    Yup, search for EFI and Flash or Flashing + video or a card specific number.

    Also some people say this works better: http://mroogle.*************/ for searching here at MR.
     
  6. BabaG thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    #6
    thanks, tesselator, for the most direct answer. how i'd have known to
    look for efi or flashing without a tip, i don't know. seems one would
    first have to know some details of the boot process and its interaction
    with graphics. i've encountered efi, but only briefly in dealing with
    incompatibilities with a linux installation. didn't know anything about
    how it works with regard to graphics cards. don't know why i should
    have to.

    all of this kind of nonsense seems nothing but a nuisance
    to me. pretty much made install of linux and its use with some of my
    outboard gear impossible. required arcane imaging processes and the
    like just to get it installed. the people at apple seem intent on tweaking
    their machines specifically so they'll be made incompatible with the
    rest of the world and then jacking their prices up, something like $80
    for the flashing of a rom. this for a card that, otherwise, seems to be an
    off-the-shelf, third-party item.

    so.. i guess the short answer would be: yes, there is a difference in the
    cards. they have to be flashed.

    thanks again,
    BabaG
     
  7. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #7
    Yeah pretty much... but the EPROM chip on the Mac editions are slightly bigger. Other than that, they're identical but that's what you get when you choose Apple. Don't hold your breath, it's not something that will change overnight, especially since it's something Apple has been doing for decades... and it's users has just accepted it.
     
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #8
    It's not that Apple "seems" to be doing this. It IS exactly what they ARE doing. :)


    Also it seems that with some cards you may not have to flash at all - and can just use something called "injector" (another search for ya. ;))
     
  9. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #9
    from my searches, the ati 4890 doesn't require a flash, just an "injection." That is the card I will probably go with, since it has been claimed to be 15% faster than the 4870, and 50% cheaper. Mainly because I don't want to mess with flashing a card.
     
  10. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #10
    Ya, probably good. For me I'm drawn. I don't think I want any of the new cards at all. They all are going to cost me $30 to $50 a month in electrical bills and I'm kinda, like, Mmm. Ya know? I've had my eye on a card that was named after a co-quake-player I play with for a long time now. Maybe I'll get that. The XFX GeForce 8800 GTS - Fatal1ty Edition. I bet I can find it used for $30 or something and I'm pretty sure it'll kick my 7300GT's butt all over the place. :D

    I'm in no hurry to upgrade tho so I'll find something eventually.
     
  11. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #11
    Holy smokes, are you kidding about the price of the electrical bill? :eek:

    Anyway, have you done an injection to a video card Tess?
     
  12. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #12
    Yeah. Not kidding.

    24x30=720 hours in a month.
    The new cards are about 200 watts.
    That's 144,000 watt/hours or 144 kwh (kilowatt/hours)
    I pay 25 cents 1 kwh so 144x25=$36.00 (every month)
    And yeah, I run the machine pretty much 24/7 x 365. :D
    My MP now only consumes about 200W to 250W so this would double it.

    No. Not yet anyway. I'm not exactly sure but it seems like one of the members here wrote it. That's kinda kewl huh?!?! Anyway, so, the information on using it should be findable. :)
     
  13. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #13
    Wow, that is scary energy costs... Gotta keep that in mind.

    Cindori wrote a tutorial for the 4890, I will most likely get that card and follow his thread. Will probably get the accelero cooler like he has got too!

    With your understanding, injection is a lot more simple and fool-prove that flashing a card?
     
  14. poobah macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    #14
    Have to consider the delta between the current video card and the new one, and a single 4870 doesn't draw 200w on its own:

    7300GT measured power draw 13w - 29w
    4870 measured power draw 65w - 130w

    so idling, costs you 52w, about $9 a month, which is still pretty expensive.
     
  15. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #15
    Maybe we need to run our Mac Pros off solar energy..
     
  16. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #16
    That some expensive electricity you've got there. I pay 5.525¢/kWh in central IL (Ameren CILCO).
     
  17. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #17
    Honestly? I have no understanding. :D It's of course simpler (usually) to install some startup app than it is to flash something. But I have no idea which is more fool-proof.

    130W isn't too bad I guess. Hmm... I must have been confusing it with the 4870 X2 which is 88W - 262W. But even with the plain 4870 I guess I would still averaging about 100 to 110. There's always a movie, a video game or a 3D pro App playing (unless I'm typing to you good folks) and I like 3D or video based screen savers while sleeping. :p

    I have looked into that. I even messed around with HHO. :D


    Wow! That's one fifth what I pay here in Japan! Dang!
    Mine is actually ¥24.73 which today translates to 25.6¢
     
  18. SolidGun macrumors 6502

    SolidGun

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2004
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #18
    I wish you hadn't mentioned the cost of power as I was aware of it, but once you see the dollar figures, the reality hits.

    I have 3 units with 750W power supplies chugging along almost 24x7. I will have to do something about this very very soon.
     
  19. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #19
    Such as a homegrown nuclear power plant?

    I'll shut up.
     
  20. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #20
    WOW yours is cheap!! :eek:

    Maybe I should consider downsizing my graphic card capabilities? So what's the most energy efficient dual head videocard that's capable of run dual 30" and has PCIe interface?

    Hmm.. and to think "au" just released a SolarPowered Keitai!!
    Why can't Apple think about a SolarPowered MacPro??? :D
     
  21. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #21
    Yikes! And my monthly power bill here is around $190 a month; I'd die if it were $1000 per month. :eek:
     
  22. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #22
    A solar powered mac. Hehehehe... How about a Steorn motion assisted magnet powered generator. :D That might actually even work! :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFGiWiXMHn0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0Y2xzjty3U

    As to which cards consume more or less power have a look here:
    http://archive.atomicmpc.com.au/forums.asp?s=2&c=7&t=9354&p=0


    LOL! You probably just consume like 8 times more than me but my power bill here is usually $150.00 ±25.
     
  23. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #23
    Being Green - some info on energy draw ...

    Here's a link to going "GREEN" with certain video graphic cards ...

    Source: Xlr8yourmac

    p.s. Yep, I'm also concern of my electrical tariffs, thus I've not added extras which I do not really need.
     
  24. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #24
    The ATI 3870 Mac&PC is a pretty good compromise in terms of capabilities and energy bill. You do get two dual-link DVI ports capable of running 30" cinema screens. It will also give you VGA, HDMI, HDCP, AVIVO, H.264 support, Crossfire in Bootcamp and high definition sound included. It works on all Mac Pros without any mod and is traded at 100$ used. The only issue with Leopard is noise. You need to fit a dual slot after market cooler (Akasa Vortexx Neo 19$). It is also unclear how that card will be supported under Snow Leopard.
     
  25. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #25
    Wow:

    ATI 4870: Avg 168W -Idle at OS X Desktop
    ATI 4870: Appx 292W -Quake 4 (idle at menu)
    ATI 4870: Apps 338W ~ 370W -During Quake 4 gameplay (not intense)

    :eek:
     

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