Radeon 5870 works really well in Mac Pro 3.1

bax2003

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2011
903
139
Serbia
After half a year of using Mac Pro 3.1 with stock Radeon 2600 XT, it was a time for graphics card upgrade. Two DELL 2412M monitors were connected to 2600 XT and it really struggled especially when you are dealing with video, even with more than 5 windowses and expose in Lion (no OpenCL support, only 256MB of VRAM...).

So which card:
6870 - good price, good value....but no EFI boot (i need it), for complete solution you have to flash it, and there is always chance for fan speed and noise problems. Yes, i know there are tested models that are confirmed working fine but here where I live, i don't have lots brand and model choices.
For that reason alone i went for 100% working solution :)













http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/7208/appleradeonhd58708.jpg


One example of 2600 XT terribleness, of course for todays standards:





So, if you have any question, shoot ;)
 
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SDAVE

macrumors 68040
Jun 16, 2007
3,381
443
Nowhere
This card is so old, it's worth maybe $150-200 and Apple charges $400+.

Works fine, though, on my 2008 Mac Pro. My 880GT died and I had no choice but to get the 5770..
 

bax2003

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2011
903
139
Serbia
This card is so old, it's worth maybe $150-200 and Apple charges $400+.

Works fine, though, on my 2008 Mac Pro. My 880GT died and I had no choice but to get the 5770..
Yes, its "old", but it is faster then 6870 you can still buy today, and it is comparable to GeForce GTX 560 Ti, which is not bad at all.

----------

One question,I notice it has an apple logo on it,so apple provides the card?
Yes, it is Apple branded card, bought at Apple authorised reseller.

Money was no issue here. Important things for me are: stability, speed, and 100% compatibility with current software and future OS updates.
 

gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
How did you test them?

I was interested to see how my MP 3,1 with flashed Sapphire HD5870 compared to a genuine Apple 5870. I assumed the 2.5 GT/s speed hit from not having a "real" OS X card would be noticeable. Your card should be using the PCI-E 2.0 lane at 5.0 GT/s as opposed to my one only using 1.1 speeds.

I notice you used 2 different test objects; Cube and Iron Fist Boxing Kings, so I replicated both and attached them to this post.
My scores were wildly different to each other in 1.1 to 1.5 so I assume using 2 different images for 2 different cards would be unrepresentative. They also bear no similarity to your 5870 test scores, so I may be using different settings.
Can you tell me what settings you used in OpenGL Extensions Viewer for your tests, so I can more accurately replicate them on my rig please?

The Passmark scores for both cards indicate how much of an upgrade the 5870 is:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD+2600+XT
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD+5870
378 vs. 2752 :eek:
 

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bax2003

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2011
903
139
Serbia
I was interested to see how my MP 3,1 with flashed Sapphire HD5870 compared to a genuine Apple 5870. I assumed the 2.5 GT/s speed hit from not having a "real" OS X card would be noticeable. Your card should be using the PCI-E 2.0 lane at 5.0 GT/s as opposed to my one only using 1.1 speeds.

I notice you used 2 different test objects; Cube and Iron Fist Boxing Kings, so I replicated both and attached them to this post.
My scores were wildly different to each other in 1.1 to 1.5 so I assume using 2 different images for 2 different cards would be unrepresentative.
Can you tell me what settings you used in OpenGL Extensions Viewer for your tests, so I can more accurately replicate them on my rig please?

The Passmark scores for both cards indicate how much of an upgrade the 5870 is:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD+2600+XT
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD+5870
378 vs. 2752 :eek:
Can you do tests in Lion ? This is difference i can see. App I used was downloaded from app store, set up as on screenshot, and that is all.

If I find some time, I will do tests in Snow Leopard 10.6.4+.
 
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macbook pro i5

macrumors 65816
May 13, 2011
1,338
1
New Zealand
Yes, its "old", but it is faster then 6870 you can still buy today, and it is comparable to GeForce GTX 560 Ti, which is not bad at all.

----------



Yes, it is Apple branded card, bought at Apple authorised reseller.

Money was no issue here. Important things for me are: stability, speed, and 100% compatibility with current software and future OS updates.
How much did it cost? And do you think it was worth it?
 

bax2003

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2011
903
139
Serbia
How much did it cost? And do you think it was worth it?
Price:
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC743ZM/A

Do I think it was worth it? As a general piece of hardware there are faster graphics cards: Radeon 6950, GTX570....for GeForce and new nvidia drivers, you never know will there be new version for every OS X update, and for now you need to flash and choose cards that are confimed working to get them almost fully functional....

These are the facts, and another fact: i bought mac to get rid of patching, tweaking, searching for solutions on net, to enjoy mac os x, and so on.

I dont have time for playing with GPU BIOS, waiting for new drivers, tweaking plist files etc.


Do I think it was worth it?
Yes, I do.
 
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gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
Still need the test criteria m8.
Windowed or full screen, resolution and aspect, multisampling (FSAA).
Interesting, your FPS is better in SL on that test. 337 vs 419 under OpenGL 2.1.
Why are my FPS scores 5 times higher? Here is my fullscreen test at 1680 x 1050.
 

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bax2003

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2011
903
139
Serbia
Still need the test criteria m8.
Windowed or full screen, resolution and aspect, multisampling (FSAA).
Interesting, your FPS is better in SL on that test. 337 vs 419 under OpenGL 2.1.
Why are my FPS scores 5 times higher? Here is my fullscreen test at 1680 x 1050.
This is much better, full and non fullscreen:





You will not going to believe what was causing slowdown somehow: Team Viewer :mad:
I really do not know what happened, i had Team Viewer server installed in SL and in Lion, i need it very often, so i installed in SL after 10.6.8 combo. I would gladly test the card under SL again but I erased SL partition few minutes ago :(

Anyway it is clear that SL is faster under OpenGL than Lion for few percents.

Can you test GPU in Cinebench ?

6950 is barely faster and usually more pronounced in DX11 video games. Just so you feel better.
Exactly, this was just an example, but still, my point is very clear :) Thank you :)
 
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gpzjock

macrumors 6502a
May 4, 2009
798
33
That is more like it.

At last a decent score to compare my flashed card with. :)

Even with lazy Lion OpenGL drivers the full 5.0 GT/s link speed Apple card is about 25% faster than a 2.5 GT/s PCI-E 1.1 link speed one. Thanks for the comparison.
From your Team Viewer hobbled tests it looks like SL is about 25% faster again than Lion. What a shame you erased the SL partition before comparing properly.
 

bax2003

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 25, 2011
903
139
Serbia
At last a decent score to compare my flashed card with. :)

Even with lazy Lion OpenGL drivers the full 5.0 GT/s link speed Apple card is about 25% faster than a 2.5 GT/s PCI-E 1.1 link speed one. Thanks for the comparison.
From your Team Viewer hobbled tests it looks like SL is about 25% faster again than Lion. What a shame you erased the SL partition before comparing properly.
You are welcome. Can you test card in Cinebench in SL ?
 

derbothaus

macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
4,060
4
FWIW in Cinebench r11 my 5870 got:
35.01 OpenGL in 10.6.8
69.14 OpenGL in Windows 7

8.99 Multi-CPU and 1.20 Single.
Not the same Pro but maybe helpful anyway.
 
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