Looking to upgrade vid card from GT 120: Radeon 5770 or 7950?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by HXGuy, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    #1
    I'm getting stuttering/lag on my Mac Pro when using Mission Control and I believe it's due to the video card as the rest of the system is pretty solid.

    To my surprise, the Mac version of popular video cards are pretty pricey but I dont want to go through flashing a PC version, so I'm going to buy the Mac version.

    Looks like the choices I've found online are the Radeon 5770 for $210 or the Radeon 7950 for $418. Is the 7950 worth the extra $200+?

    Computer is strictly used for graphic design (Photoshop, QuarkXpress, Illustrator).

    [​IMG]
     
  2. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #2
    I have a Gigabyte GTX570 already modified and flashed by MacVidCards for sale in the MarketPlace section of this forum. Form rules prohibit me from linking it to this post.

    About your question, yes the Sapphire Radeon HD7950 is a stronger card than the Apple Radeon HD5770. However, with the Sapphire version, you don't have Apple support. It really is a flashed card, but the flashing is done by the Manufacturer who packages the AMD GPU into the graphics card.

    Lou
     
  3. Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

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    Feb 17, 2013
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    United States
    #3
    You don't have to flash the PC cards. Many of them will work fine in your Mac Pro as driver support is built into OS X.
    You just have to find a way to live without the Apple Boot Menu.

    The 5770 is a solid choice but is an old GPU. The 7950 has been disappointing to many. Perhaps the drivers aren't that good yet.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    You missed the official Apple 5870 and the eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition.
     
  5. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Mar 25, 2010
    #5
    The 5870 is practically the same price as the 7950 which is why I didn't include it, want to decide between two differently priced ones.

    Sounds like the 5770 will do the job though and the 7950 is not worth the price difference, is that the general consensus?
     
  6. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #6
    Ok, just wanted to make sure you knew about those two.

    The 5770 is fine for the job you mention.

    That being said, Apple officially states the 5770 is for the 5,1 only so if you want a supported solution, the 5770 doesn't really count. You can see this on the Apple Store website where the 5770 compatibility list only shows the 5,1 (whereas the 5870 lists 4,1 and 5,1).

    Also, many 4,1 users, but not all, have found the 5770 to have fan speed problems and have to resort to tricks such as moving the card to slot 2 or running a graphics-intensive program immediately after the OS boots, in order to get the fan speed back down to normal levels.
     
  7. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #7
    Get cheaper one. For above kind of usage 5770 is enough. 7950 is an overkill for that.
     
  8. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Mar 25, 2010
    #8
    Found that the 5870 is only $160 more than the 5770...would that be worth it for the tasks I need it for?
     
  9. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #9
    As mostly PS, AI, ID user I'd say no. But if $160 is "only" to you - go for it. Will be a bit quicker in some GPU accelerated tasks such as Liquify, Tilt/Shift or 3D.
     
  10. HXGuy thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Mar 25, 2010
    #10
    How about for Lightroom and photo processing? Would the video cards affect that much?
     
  11. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #11
    Your Machine is a 4,1 Mac Pro.

    The upgrade from the GT 120 is the ATI Radeon 4870 which you can find on eBay. The 512MB version was the version Apple sold as an upgrade to the original 4,1 2009 Mac Pro models. You will want the official Apple card, not a flashed one.
     
  12. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    Sep 6, 2009
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    #12
    If you can get a Radeon 5870HD Mac edition with your budget that would help for your MPro 4.1. I've used Nvidia GT120, GTX285 1Gb, Radeon 5770 and 5870 on my 2009 Mac Pro. One time I was editing a big Illustrator file with about 21 layers of artwork. Somehow the Radeon 5770HD is a bit slow in "catching up" to form the pixels whenever I scroll or move objects. The GTX285 and 5870HD are able to handle the artwork well and smoother. Another info I read is that the 5870Hd is only 188 watts in power, a bit lesser in watts with the GTX285.

    I read somewhere, that the 5770hd is almost just the same with the 4870 performance even though the vram of the 5770hd is higher. I could not recall the URL of that review.
     
  13. dawser macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2011
    #13
    I have an Asus DCU2 7950, no flash, for OpenCL development, and it works great. They are now on offer everywhere, under $300.
     
  14. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816

    N19h7m4r3

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #14
    I take it, your only issue is no Boot screen?

    I need a card for OpenCL, and FCPX ( openCL again) along with OpenGL.

    My GTX660 is great for openGL, but its OpenCL is extremely lacking, plus AMD's current R9 290 series due, but no word on OS X drivers or power requirements yet.
     
  15. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 17, 2012
    #15
    If you have issues with your 4,1 and a 5770, you can always make your 4,1 into a 5,1 with an EFI upgrade. My 5770 works perfectly in my faux 5,1.
     
  16. dawser macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    #16
    Yes, the only problem is I don't get a boot screen, but frankly, I don't care. The card is very silent, fast at OpenCL (several times more than the 5770 I had), and I paid less than $290 for it. With the new 2XX series coming out, these cards are on sale. It also draws less than the 225W limit. It's a great upgrade if you only care about OpenCL.
     
  17. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816

    N19h7m4r3

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #17
    Sadly they're already disappearing in Ireland and the UK, I could have gotten a 7950 for around £170 last week. Instead I decided to wait and see what the new 280's, and then 290's are like.

    Now the 7950's are already creeping up over £220 in places.

    Even the Mac 7950 which was available for £275 last week, has now sold out and new stock is between £340-380. :/
     
  18. Fastsavage macrumors member

    Fastsavage

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch New Zealand
    #18
    I have a 4.1 x 2.26 that I flashed to 5.1 but still having fan problems (Expansion fan at 1100rpm) with HD5770, what are your fan speeds DPUser?
     
  19. Studio K, Oct 12, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013

    Studio K macrumors 6502

    Studio K

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    Feb 17, 2013
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    #19
    Flashing to the 5,1 boot rom firmware will not likely cure fan speed anomalies. The fans, to the best of my knowledge, are controlled by the SMC. The firmware for the SMC is separate from the boot rom firmware and cannot be flashed (again, to the best of my knowledge).

    One may have a 4,1 that's been 'upgraded' to a 5,1, but your SMC version is still that of a 4,1 (SMC firmware is different for 2010 Mac pro).
    Consequently, an Apple 5770 (which is not officially supported in 4,1 Mac Pros) may exhibit odd fan behaviors....much like any other unsupported card.

    Did you try placing the 5770 in slot 2? (*Actionable Mango mentioned this earlier I've just noticed).
    Because Slot 1 yields PCI fan fluctuations, I've placed my GTX 650 in Slot 2 and my PCI fan now remains at 799 rpms. If I stress it, the fans speed increases, but then settles back to 799 when stressing stops.
     
  20. Fastsavage macrumors member

    Fastsavage

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    Christchurch New Zealand
    #20
    Yes - tried all the tricks as above, have it in slot 2 - swapped power connector sockets, runs at ~1100rpm - stressing will not bring it down.... however way better than in slot 1 - I have a few things to try this week - like a good clean, but doesn't look dirty - put the old GT120 back in a see what normal is...

    I am using a thunderbolt to HDMI adapter (from my old MBP) to connect to my Philips 27" monitor but I will swap to DVI cable - I post my findings.

    Cheers
     

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