Just Received the ATi 3870 X2

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mercuric Oxide, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Mercuric Oxide macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Hey guys,

    So my 3870 X2 finally arrived today. Good news and bad news.

    In Vista/XP, both the 3870 X2 and 2600 work together fine, no loud fan issues or anything (the 3870 X2 is actually almost as quiet as the 2600 when idle, gets a little loud under load though). I have the 2600 in slot 3, and the 3870 X2 in slot 1. The system sees them both and has no issues, as they use the same driver suite.

    Unfortunately, in OSX, the 3870 X2 has it fans go near full blast constantly (it's not as loud as the 2600 full blast, but it's annoying).

    So if you constantly switch back and forth between OSX and Windows, this card may not be for you and you should just get the 8800. If you switch back every few days, you only need to set aside 5 mins to unhook/hook the 3870 X2 each time. I think that's a small price to pay to be at the top of PC gaming.

    The 3870 X2 works very well coupled with the Mac Pro. In most quad core gaming PCs with the X2, people can only load Crysis at resolution 1280 x 1024, All High, and No AA at around 30 fps. I'm happy to report that with the Mac Pro, I am able to run it at DX10, 1440 x 900, All Very High, and 4x AA, and get those same 30+ fps easily (I'll post youtube videos later).

    I don't care about using the X2 in OSX, but I do wonder if OSX having the 3870 kexts could at least solve the fan problem, as the X2 is two 3870's slapped together... I'll leave it to the hacking gods.
     
  2. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #2
    comparison pics

    Some pics to show how massive this card is. You could probably bludgeon someone with it...
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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  4. ungraphic macrumors 6502a

    ungraphic

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  5. Blogger macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I don't think so. What an incredible pain in the a** just to boast high frame rates in games that frankly make me wonder why people waste their time "playing" them. I have yet to come across a PC game that is visually appealing, has an actual plot, or is not so bloody repetitive that only a sleep deprived monkey would find interesting. YMMV.

    There are better uses for Mac Pros than gaming. Gaming is basically a game writing corporation saying that you should behave this way, and you saying "Yes!, yes!, and I'm so good at doing that I must be wonderful."

    Pretty sad really.
     
  6. Elandrion macrumors newbie

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    Jan 13, 2008
    #6
    Looks like a early 2008 MacPro, as can be seen on the third picture. The top RAM Riser card is upside down in the new MacPros.
     
  7. booksacool1 macrumors 6502

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    Australia
    #7
    As the OP said, its not such an issue if you mainly (only) use windows. If you need OSX for something, you just need to remove the side, unplug/take card out. Probably only one or two screws holding it in.

    But, as the OP said, if this really bugs you just get the 8800.
     
  8. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #8
    What's that got to do with the topic? Care to tell us your hobbies so we can bitch about them?
     
  9. SuperGrobi macrumors member

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    Feb 16, 2008
    #9
    I use my Mac Pro for serious work (science) AND gaming :rolleyes: and I am very happy to do this. If you think games are useless then don't play 'em - it is as simple as that ;)
     
  10. giantrobot macrumors member

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #10
    Is this an off the shelf card that is being used or does mac sell a kit? Is OSX using just the 2600 when it boots up or does it access both?

    I can live with only being able to utilize a high end card like this or the 8800 in bootcamp so long as I dont have to keep taking the card out everytime I switch to OSX. We know that off the shelf cards will generally work in bootcamp but I wonder if keeping an OSX compliant card like the 2600 or even the 7300 in the box along with the PC card will allow you to boot into OSX without taking out the better card, even if OSX cannot utilize the better card.
     
  11. Blogger macrumors 6502

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    #11
    chaosbunny, how perceptive of you! My hobby is unnecessary and unappreciated bitching on this forum whilst severely inebriated and temporarily unrestrained before they put me back in the padded room.

    SuperGrobi, you've got me beat there. When not using it to post off-topic nonsense on this forum, I keep my Mac Pro on the coffee table and gaze at it adoringly from the small window in my padded room.
     
  12. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    It's annoying, but as I said in my original post, just get the 8800 if you don't like it.

    If I were the blind gamer you're trying to write me off as, I would not offer that advice nor would I admit that the fan blast in OSX is annoying. I would say that it's totally worth the high frames and everyone should suck it up. Instead, I wrote this post to caution the other users here.

    I don't mind taking 5 mins to unhook the card (you loosen two screws and pull, that's it), so I am happy with my purchase.

    Also, I mainly use my Mac Pro for Maya, which I have for both Windows and OSX. So my new GPU allows me to play the latest games as well as continue doing my work. So no, this purchase did not further the enslavement to gaming that you think I have.

    I also like how you ended your post with "Pretty sad really". In fact, when you said that, you were not showing how sad gamers are, but how sad it is for you to come into this thread and attack me and the potential posters. Everything you wrote in your post was an attack on immature computer users - which you summed yourself up to be.

    Pretty embarrassing, really.
     
  13. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Thank you, and thanks to the other posters here who actually read the first post. ;)
     
  14. Blogger macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Mercuric Oxide, I was drunk and stupid last night, and I have nothing against you or gaming (or changing cards in mid stream). And nothing else to offer in my defense. Sorry for wasting everybody's time.
     
  15. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

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    #15
    I've been playing with a Radeon HD 3870 X2 in my Mac Pro 3.2GHz under Vista. It's a an awesome card. I'm testing it against four other cards. Check out these numbers:

    Prey at 1920x1200 "High Quality":
    Radeon HD 2600 XT = 50 fps
    GeForce 8800 GT = 145 fps
    Quadro FX 5600 = 141 fps
    GeForce 8800 GTX = 166 fps
    Radeon HD 3870 X2 = 201 fps

    3DMark SM2.0 rating
    Radeon HD 2600 XT = 1582
    GeForce 8800 GT = 5184
    Quadro FX 5600 = 5021
    GeForce 8800 GTX = 5480
    Radeon HD 3870 X2 = 6345

    3DMark SM3.0 rating
    Radeon HD 2600 XT = 1923
    GeForce 8800 GT = 4928
    Quadro FX 5600 = 5153
    GeForce 8800 GTX = 5716
    Radeon HD 3870 X2 = 7797
     
  16. Blogger macrumors 6502

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    #16
    That's pretty impressive.
     
  17. tacniturne macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2008
    #17
    I'v have also the HD3870HDX2 but its not working on my mac pro.
    I have windows as boot up. but wenn i turn the mac pro on, the card runs at full speed and nothing happens on display just a black screen.
    I hooked the 6 to 4 pin cable (which came with card) to the connector from the optical drive....
     
  18. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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  19. SuperGrobi macrumors member

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    #19
    Is there another graphics card running in the Mac Pro at the same time? Which slot did you place it?
     
  20. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I also wanted to let you guys know that so far, the 3870 X2 actually only functions as a souped up 3870. It has internal crossfire, which will not be enabled until sometime next week with ATi's catalyst 8.3 suite.

    So the amazing results that I and Barefeats got are from a modified 3870. When crossfire is enabled with the new drivers, we will get an 80%+ increase in performance (even in Crysis).

    Go here to see:

    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3232&p=3

    From the graphs, 1 GPU = one 3870, and 2 GPUs = two 3870's or one 3870 X2.

    For the X2, crossfire can be enabled on any motherboard.

    Also, two 2600XT's work in crossfire on the Mac Pro, so I'd assume that two 3870 X2's would as well (for Quad Crossfire :D).

    I'm not gonna blow another $400 on a GPU, but maybe a person like Barefeats will get another one to test for us ::nudge nudge::
     
  21. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 9, 2008
    #21
    So, I guess it sounds like the card has no throttle at all in OS X.... and the fans speeds are tied to the clocks? Maybe ATIccelerator II will eventually support Intel Macs and newer video cards... right now it only supports PPC and up to the Radeon X1900, I believe. Then perhaps you'd be able to clock it down under OS X and it'd run quieter. That is too bad though, though at least you're happy with it. Nice framerates in Crysis ;)

    Question, though: couldn't you just pull the power to the card so it wouldn't run rather than having to remove it all the time? Or does that not work? Or does it not even have a cable for extra power? Sorry, I'm really not up on the Mac Pro and how it powers video cards. Just a thought.

    Edit: Dude, it looks like, according to what you just posted, scaling is piss-poor after two GPUs... if that doesn't change, I don't see a real reason to get more ;)
     
  22. Mercuric Oxide thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Yeah, 3870X2 alone, or 3870X2 +3870 is the best configuration (bar Crysis).

    About the fan issue and the power cord (it has 2), I guess I will try. Although, with most video cards, when it doesn't have enough power (ex. only plugging in one of the two cords), it sounds an extremely loud and frightening alarm. However, if I pull both cords and it has no power, I'm wondering if the card would just not function, I mean, that should happen...

    I could easily test it, I'm just scared that the alarm will sound.
     
  23. SuperGrobi macrumors member

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    Feb 16, 2008
    #23
    Are you sure about that? Where did you get that information? I always read that for now a maximum of two cards in Crossfire is supported (see 2xHD2600XT in Mac Pro). It is new to me that the internal Crossfire of the HD3870x2 is not working right now ... wasn't the new Catalyst software supposed to provide support for Crossfire using more that 2 GPUs???
    :confused:
     
  24. tacniturne macrumors newbie

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    Mar 1, 2008
    #24

    in Slot 1
     
  25. slackpacker macrumors 6502a

    slackpacker

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    #25
    Arg sorry to hear that.... I posted about this problem in the 8800 ROM thread about 2 weeks ago... sorry you did not see it.
     

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