Need GPU Advice

Kyahx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 21, 2011
27
0
I need some advice regarding GPUs. I picked up a used MacPro4,1 about 6 months ago and it came with the ATI 4870 card. I figured I would be fine until the next round of GPUs from Apple and like many I was expecting something new on Monday.

So now I'm not sure what to do. Should I just eat the extra cost and buy the 5870 for $404 (edu discount) for a no-hassle card, or should I try to find a PC card that would work? If I go with a non-Apple card, what is the sweet spot between high performance and minimal hassle?

I would prefer to avoid messing with any kexts or firmware hacks, thats the reason I got rid of my Hackintosh and got a real Mac Pro in the first place! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,510
6,744
If I go with a non-Apple card, what is the sweet spot between high performance and minimal hassle?
With 10.6.8 or later, a PC 6870 will reportedly work out of box once booted up (no boot screen). I have not done this myself.

If you want a boot screen too without doing any work, buy a pre-flashed card on ebay.

This post pretty much covers it.
 

Kyahx

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 21, 2011
27
0
Admittedly I'm not using this for true Pro tasks, the heaviest use is gaming (hence the desire for a better GPU).

I dual boot fairly often so having something that shows the EFI boot screen is important. I'm not opposed to flashing custom firmware if it's a one time thing, but I don't want to use ATY_inject type kexts and have to worry about OS updates breaking something.

Would the performance between a PC 6870 and the Apple 5870 be very noticeable? Also are there any particular Nvidia cards that are well supported by OS X out of the box? Still weighing my options.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,510
6,744
If you want 100% future proof, you have to get the Apple card. Nobody can guarantee that an US update won't break compatibility with unsupported cards.

In fact, history has shown that even some unsupported cards thought to have rock solid compatibility ended up breaking with an OS update.
 
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