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Race to dump the 4870 ROM, Who's first?

MacVidCards

Suspended
Original poster
Nov 17, 2008
6,096
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Hollywood, CA
Let's get these figured out.

Let's see that ROM

EDIT----LINK TO CONDENSED INSTRUCTIONS TO SAVE YOU SOME READING:

https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/7473867/

All good, but I would leave out Natit.

Link to Pipomolo42's ROM writing instructions:

https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/7297669/

Link to Fan Speed modifying instructions:

https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/7808671/

Link to buy power cable:

http://shop.ati.com/product.asp?sku=3280778

ATI Part# 6110024100G

(you need 2)

Link to Cable Making Instructions:

https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/9207709/

NOTE: Be sure to use Molex part #0455590002 for "big" end if you decide to make from scratch rather than use the premade bits from Newegg.
 

mackmack

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2009
67
0
Wherever it comes from, it's probably going to be from someone who has ordered a new mac pro with it installed. I've got the mac 4870 on order but it's 5-6 weeks out. Hopefully someone will have the rom out by then. Then I can cancel the order instead of getting it and giving the rom to other people. :p
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
Wherever it comes from, it's probably going to be from someone who has ordered a new mac pro with it installed. I've got the mac 4870 on order but it's 5-6 weeks out. Hopefully someone will have the rom out by then. Then I can cancel the order instead of getting it and giving the rom to other people. :p
If it happens to be you, it would be appreciated by many I should think. :D Hopefully, such kindness will be returned three fold. :)
 

mackmack

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2009
67
0
If it happens to be you, it would be appreciated by many I should think. :D Hopefully, such kindness will be returned three fold. :)

Oh there's no doubt I'll try my best to get the rom off the card when I get it. I just think it'll happen sooner seeing as how new mac pros configured with the card ship within 4 days.

Where's the love apple?
 

Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,101
351
Denmark
Well, in theory you can just grab the graphic kexts from the 10.5.7 build and install one, like right now :)
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
Well, you can in theory just grab the graphic kexts from the 10.5.7 build and install one, like right now :)
LMAO! :D Yeah Right....I'd like to see that one happen...:p

Two months later, and he/she's totally bald...:eek:
 

macz1

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2007
315
5
I am very very interested in what happens if the mac ROM is flashed to the 1GB version of the HD 4870...

beacuse it
...has twice the RAM
...costs much less than the Apple 512Mb one
...1GB could be useful for large OpenCL calculations (if the whole OpenCL stuff actually becomes true...)
...and for memory hungry games like GTA IV when bootcamping, of course

And because I do not want to be ripped off by Apple. There must be a way to tell Apple that we are very happy that this card finally has become available for us BUT at this price... a couple of days after AMD announces a 50$ price drop on this card... nah.

An insane premium to pay for a video port which I dont want... I would prefer 2 DVI ports and a DVI to Displayport adapter rather than this Apple dictature.

Well, now I ranted enough for today
 

JollyRogers

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2008
247
0
Virginia
I guess you are referring to:

http://netkas.org/?p=84

Which I think is for OSX86 folk....but I'm gonna find out.

Having a Craigslister deliver a 4870 this evening.

Will try this method on the Mac Pro 1,1 and report.

That is for BIOS machines only --OSX PCs -- We need an EFI rom for our video cards to work or a way to emulate EFI so OSX will boot. I have heard rumors that 10.6 may change all this... but only rumors.

I am going on travel for a month, so I will be standing by and watching all this closely. No one that I have found has reported success with the 3870 ROM, and that worries me regarding the 4870. 350 for this card is crazy, but you know a lot of people will pay it, just like a lot of peeps will be getting that new 8 core MP.
 

MacVidCards

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Craigslist guy is supposed to be here within the hour....fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, I noticed something interesting in the netkas screenshots....the ROM and EFI version are EXACTLY those of a 2600XT.

And the System Profiler seems to indicate that there is another "DISPLAY" card in.

I have attached the screenshot he showed, plus ones from my 2600XT and a flashed 3870 I had lying around.

Seems odd that a kext could make the 4870 show up with a 2600 ROm number and EFI revision, but it does give one hope and adds to the excitement. If he made up the whole thing, then he went to alot of trouble to make up all those comments as well.
 

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JollyRogers

macrumors regular
Mar 12, 2008
247
0
Virginia
Netkas didn't make anything up, that I am sure of. He is a steadfast in the OSX86 community and the recent OSX86 progress would be lost without him.

Good luck as I am interested in results also. If anything, I would think if you had your 3870 (BTW, you mention it is flashed...care to share cause I have missed this somewhere along the way) in or your 2600 installed along side the 4870 AND have the new kext, I bet you will be in business. If your display has two inputs, hook them both up to a card and use the monitor to select which to use. The EFI 2600 or 3870 would allow OSX to boot, and then with the new kext, the 4870 will also be recognized and have the needed driver to work in OSX. Switch over to the other input to the monitor.

Oh and my 1 month travel is to the SoCal area. San Diego to be sure. Rominator, I am interested in what you have "Rom'd"...
 

MacVidCards

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4870 in Mac Pro 1,1 with the 10.5.7 kexts

No good news I'm afraid.

I have tried the 4870 with both the 3870 and the 2600XT....no dice. When I try to boot from 10.5.6 with the linked 10.5.7 kexts, it freezes on spinning Apple. This is with or without the Crossfire Cables connected.

WHen I try from a 10.5.5 boot disk with no trick kexts, it will boot from the 2600 or 3870 but the 4870 is just a "display" card with no kext loaded.

I just tried from a 8800GT....same lockup in 10.5.6 w/.7 kexts.

I'm putting a X1900XT I have back together to try with it, but I haven't much hope.

I think the key is in the "natit" kexts that he used...something must poke the values of EFI ROM for 2600 in the appropriate registers to allow boot in OSX86.

Card is running fine in Bootcamp/Vista 64...so all those saying that PCIE 2 vs. 1.1 is the issue can be silenced.

I got 9800GTX and 9800GX2 to work in OSX using this guys tricks before...so I am hopeful. (GX2 only uses 1 core....in effect a 8800GT)

Gonna do a Crysis benchie
 

grue

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2003
1,233
37
Somewhere.
No good news I'm afraid.

I have tried the 4870 with both the 3870 and the 2600XT....no dice. When I try to boot from 10.5.6 with the linked 10.5.7 kexts, it freezes on spinning Apple. This is with or without the Crossfire Cables connected.

WHen I try from a 10.5.5 boot disk with no trick kexts, it will boot from the 2600 or 3870 but the 4870 is just a "display" card with no kext loaded.

I just tried from a 8800GT....same lockup in 10.5.6 w/.7 kexts.

I'm putting a X1900XT I have back together to try with it, but I haven't much hope.

I think the key is in the "natit" kexts that he used...something must poke the values of EFI ROM for 2600 in the appropriate registers to allow boot in OSX86.

Card is running fine in Bootcamp/Vista 64...so all those saying that PCIE 2 vs. 1.1 is the issue can be silenced.

I got 9800GTX and 9800GX2 to work in OSX using this guys tricks before...so I am hopeful. (GX2 only uses 1 core....in effect a 8800GT)

Gonna do a Crysis benchie

Did you force the kexts to be recached?
 

grue

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2003
1,233
37
Somewhere.
Oh whoops, probably should have told you how to do that:

sudo touch /System/Library/Extensions/

reboot, have sexy times.
 

MacVidCards

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4870 Update

So,I discovered that the drivers pacjkage linked to in the thread at Netkas actually installs Natit kext as well as replaces several ATI ones.

Tried the above terminal command as well.

When I remove the Natit one, it will complete booting, but 4870 is just a "VGA Compatable Display" with id of 9440.

I looked at infoplist of one of those extensions and there was no 9440 as a device id to match too, so I added. Still no dice.

Does anyone have a different link to 10.5.7 kexts or maybe a beta updater?

Better still....the Holy Grail....the 4870 ROM?

Please?
 

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MacVidCards

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4870 ROM size....256K?

I'm still getting ready to flash a 4870.

I now realize that I may need to order some 256K chips.

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/152

I downloaded a couple of the PC BIOS for the card...already 128K.

So by the time the Mac EFI is added, it seems likely to be in need of a still larger chip.

The 4870 I have here has a 128K chip on it, while every PC 3870 I have seen has been 64K.

It will also be important that whoever tries to dump the ROM gets it all...this may be part of the "anti-flashing" roadblocks we have to face....will be first GPU with ROM larger than 128K....ATIFlash may not know how to deal with it.
 

mackmack

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2009
67
0
How did you find out your 4870 had a 128k chip? What brand is it?

Is the EFI firmware separate from the BIOS section on the chip?
 

macz1

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2007
315
5
The HD 4870 is known to have a 128K chip, as apparently additional code is required for the control of GDDR5 memory. Because of this unusual ROM size (for PC cards) there has been some trouble for people who modified their BIOS in order to tweak it...
But the application GPU-Z has been updated to version 0.2.5 and is now able to handle this ROM size. If the ROM of the mac version does not exceed this size, it should be possible to dump it whitout too many problems using the new version of this tool...
 

MacVidCards

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Whoa !!

My 4870 is a Saphire brand PC version.

I just want to be prepared for when the Mac 4870s start arriving TOMORROW so that I may start work on this.

I hope that GPU-Z is able to pull the ROM from Windows, but I wouldn't bet on it.

I hope that someone who gets one tomorrow has a DOS disk handy and can run ATIFlash, as WIndows based programs will have no precedent to be able to "see" this ROM.

I am just worried that if PC BIOS requires 128K, then the Mac card will have to have an even larger ROM chip...and a look at Mouser didn't show any SP8 chips with 256K pages. (2Mb chip with 8 pages of 256K)

Ideally this ROM chip would eed to be in same family as existing chips from STMicro or SST or Atmel.
 

mackmack

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2009
67
0
Are we looking at a hard soldered bios chip here? I didn't see a removable one when I was putting the waterblocks on mine.
 

macz1

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2007
315
5
Perhaps the PC rom is only slightly too large (something like 75K) and simply does not fit into a 64K chip anymore. I don't think that it's much larger than that because the HD 4850 (the same card as the 4870 except GDDR3 instead of GDDR5 memory and lower clock speeds) has a 64K rom and I cannot imagine the GDDR5 microcode to take a large amount of memory. But we will soon see how large the entire mac ROM is...
 

macz1

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2007
315
5
Are we looking at a hard soldered bios chip here? I didn't see a removable one when I was putting the waterblocks on mine.


Yes, we are talking about one of the numerous small black chips soldered onto the card. One of them holds the program code needed during the boot process of the computer, which does differ between (EFI-based) macs and standard PCs and causes the PC version of a graphics card to be unusable when booting OS X. This is not a driver issue.
Besides the contents of this ROM chip (which can be read and written), the mac and the PC version of a graphics card are almost identical in most of the cases. This makes a conversion of cheap cards (better: cards whitout Apple premium) from PC (to Mac&PC) possible
 
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