...I dont mind doing work if its needed.. flashing an EFI or whatever, but I dont want to have to constantly edit Ktexts or worry about my machine not working because of an update....
I have been meaning to write up my experience (I asked a lot of questions, read a lot of stuff, worried and worried... ) which was, thanks to MacRumors and NetKas, easy enough to amaze (I was expecting a serious brain press!) and disappoint (a hobby has to use time and mental effort to be relaxing LOL!)! However, that is going to have to wait until I do the CPU upgrade this coming week (I am using what amounts to disposable but lidded processors with the expectation that all the bugs and controversies that seem to surround the process will be resolved in either success or informative --though, hopefully, not spectacular-- failure)... I suspect, this, will be an adventure worth the story!
I was looking for something other than the $$$ stuff like the "Mac ready out of the box" 7950 and I have a bias from experience towards ATI when it comes to actual work (I will stipulate that consumer level cards from Nvidia are great for gaming) so I was looking for something like a FirePro but for less than a new computer!
Even though h9826790
has had an R9-280x running for some time (as far as I know, still does) without issue, I was concerned that the R9-280x would demand too much power and either fry the motherboard or the power supply -I might not have the best luck-- so I opted for the R9-280 (this is a good review of the version I finally ended up with http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/62...80-dual-x-3gb-oc-video-card-review/index.html
). At first, I was mostly concerned about temperature and voltage so I looked for something mild and a build that was all about cooling and HIS ICE-Q seemed like it would work but they took forever to answer any tech questions (about a month after it was all over!) and it had to come from Hong Kong and it was backordered! Asked some more questions... the Sapphire version (which has a mild overclock) was on sale for $200 at MicroCenter and I could drive to one rather than wait so.... The voltage concern came up again when I went to the store because a few more $$ and I could have had a FirePro they had on sale! I didn't risk it.
I told you that whole story because had the installation been any easier, it would have been plug and play and the story would be boring LOL! There is one resistor to break (R17) and that is only to get the full 5 GT of speed available from the card (the resistors are labeled well enough but I took a photo, magnified it, followed three different lines to the resistor (marking it with a sharpie each time), clipped it, plugged it in, and that would have been it if I did not want the Apple welcome screen etc... You have to be in Windows to flash the rom but it really isn't bad and there are some great write-ups on that.
It has been more than year without a hitch. The voltage demand is well within specs, the temperature is actually better than it was with the OEM GT120. Even though sometimes I wish I had gone for the extra power supply and the FirePro, for $200 and some sweat equity, I could not be happier. Interestingly, the card is basically the low end FirePro with half the ram so, if a problem with software demanded it, that rom could be flashed on one side but I haven't had any problem with software looking for the FirePro and being unhappy with my "7950".