Need Help! Need Upgrade on Video Card. (Mac Pro Early 2009)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 266QuadCore, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. 266QuadCore, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011

    266QuadCore macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #1
    I was at the apple store today, and I was shocked they weren't any help finding an upgrade for me. Also, did some searching online and came up with 2 options, but I wanted to make sure this is the right buy.

    My system
    Early 2009 Mac Pro
    Version 10.5.8
    2.66 quad core
    16gig ram
    Currently using the GeForce 512 MB card.

    Yesterday I purchased:
    Link to the product: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121374

    Product Desription: ASUS EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

    Did I buy the wrong card!?
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
  3. 266QuadCore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the fast response. I was hoping to "future proof" my computer, hence the 16gigs ram, so was considering that 2gb video card.

    I noticed prices are a little high on apple.com, are there any other retailers that you can recommend for the 5870 1gb or 2gb?

    Thanks
     
  4. AngryRedTicTac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    #4
    The Apple store cards are plug and play, and work perfectly out of the box. Any other ATI cards you buy will probably work with a little fiddling and 10.6.7 and may or may not continue working in the future.

    If the price of the Apple cards isn't too much to bear it's the easy way to go.
     
  5. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #5
    read golden guide in my signature for info of mac cards vs pc cards
     
  6. Another1 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    For the ATI 5770 or 5870 you'll have to update to Snow Leopard (imho 10.6.4 at least), Leopard doesn't support them.
     
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
  8. 266QuadCore thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2011
    #8
    Ok, so I bought the ASUS 5780 from NewEgg.com, but you're saying I'll have to upgrade to Snow Leopard before using it and then "fiddle" with it? What do you mean by that?

    I've not built a computer since we were overclocking 333Mhz celeron processors years ago. haha


    Link to the product: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121374

    Product Desription: ASUS EAH5870/2DIS/1GD5/V2 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
     
  9. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #9
    In order to work in your Mac Pro, the card needs to have Apple-supported firmware installed which is the main reason that you can't just go out and buy a Windows PC card and put it in a Mac Pro. It just won't be recognised. As Cindori pointed out, there is a guide to flashing the firmware so that it will (mainly) work. In addition, you need Snow Leopard ($29) to even use the official Apple 5870 card.
     
  10. 266QuadCore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    #10
    What do you mean by "mainly work", is there any kind of performance difference between an apple approved/sold 5780 card, and a flash'd 5780?
     
  11. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #11
    Apple uses EFI, normal video cards only support BIOS.
     
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #12
    You didn't buy a Mac card. You're going to do some hacking to get it working like a Mac card.

    Macs and PCs use different graphics cards (for now.) You can't just buy a PC card and stick it into a Mac.
     
  13. ActionableMango, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #13
    With a non-Apple card:
    You'll have to solve the power cable mismatch. You'll have to flash the firmware with an Apple firmware. All of the output ports won't work right. The fans might operate differently. Future OS X updates may break compatibility with your card at any time. The screen is not active until the login screen; no boot screen means you can't see: verbose mode, firmware update progress bar, the boot drive selection to boot from a CD or an alternate OS, and maybe other things I've forgotten.

    With an Apple card:
    You pay more.

    Either way:
    You have to get Snow Leopard.

    BTW - you overpaid for a non-Apple 5870. Here's one for $210 or $180 after MIR.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125316&cm_re=5870-_-14-125-316-_-Product
     
  14. 266QuadCore thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2011
    #14
    I returned the PC ASUS 5870 and bought the one from Apple.com at the hefty price tag of $480 after tax. :eek:

    I saw that card in the link you provided but I had never heard of it. All the reviews I found for the the ATI Raideon 5870 for regular use or overclocking said to stick with ASUS or Sapphire, and that other brands were on the unreliable side. :(
     
  15. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #15
    The Flash method works but needs effort.

    I flashed a Sapphire HD 5870 1 GB Vapor-X card using info from Netkas.org, it works very well other than not showing the boot screen till the log in window appears, and not supporting MDP ports. I don't care only 1 screen and that is DVI.

    Much cheaper than an Apple one but you do need Snow Leopard and to modify the ROM as instructed.

    Here is a 2nd hand one for cheaper: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ATI-Radeon-Sapphire-HD-5870-Vapour-X-1GB-HDMI-/170621835486?pt=UK_Computing_Computer_Components_Graphics_Video_TV_Cards_TW&hash=item27b9da98de

    Alternatively wait till Lion is properly released and see how 6870s are placed in the Apple firmament.

    Even cheaper:http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/RADEON-HD-6870-VAPOR-X-PCI-1GB-EXPRESS-VIDEO-CARD-/270719585699?pt=UK_Computing_Computer_Components_Graphics_Video_TV_Cards_TW&hash=item3f08250da3

    I love the Vapor-X ones as they are cooler and quieter than standard cards.
     
  16. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #16
    In addition to a firmware flash, you need Snow Leopard (with the proper system updates) to make any 5770/5870 work because Leopard lacks the necessary drivers for the cards.

    But the upgrade to Snow Leopard from Leopard is only $29; not a significant expense.
     

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