Radeon 7950 Reference vs Sapphire RX 560

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tpivette89, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. tpivette89 macrumors regular

    tpivette89

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    Jan 1, 2018
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    Newark, DE
    #1
    Looking into getting a Metal capable card for the upcoming Mohave release and have been looking closely at these two cards. Both are around the $150 price range, albeit one being used (and 5 years old), VS the other being brand new.

    Id mainly be using the cards for video editing in FCPX, with some light photoshop work. I don't really game at all on my Mac Pro, so that is not a requirement. Anyone have any experience with these cards and could give some insight which would suit my needs better?
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #2
    IMO, 7950 is a better choice.

    It's old, it use more power. However, it has much more mature driver support. It can be flashed. And it's power demand still within the mini 6pin's supply envelope.

    The boot screen support make it has big advantage over the RX560 if price and performance are roughly the same.
     
  3. MIKX macrumors 6502a

    MIKX

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    #3
    I have an HIS 7950 .. . I absolutely love it, it's silent and faaast. Plenty of drivers for EFI boot and can als obe easily hacked to run at 5.0 GT/s in both Mac OS and Windows. Gigabyte 7950's are also easy.
     
  4. weckart macrumors 601

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #4
    They are easy to flash but Gigabyte makes funky cards and I have had no end of issues with mine.
     
  5. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

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    London UK
    #5
    on the contrary the Gigabyte 7950 that I have had since I was a rocking a MacPro1,1/2,1 has been rock solid for me, it also has a very beefy cooler which while a bit loud at times, keeps the GPUs temps in check, which is good because AMD GPUs from this time frame are not exactly known for their reliability sadly.

    I have a thread on flashing it here :) https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/write-up-on-flashing-a-gigabyte-amd-radeon-7950.2003414/
     
  6. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #6
    I have exactly the same card. Now, when I say exactly, I mean the box the card came in says that. The serial number on the box matches that of the card. The firmware on the card is definitely from the GV-R795WF3-3GD. However, the PCB of the card tells another story. It reads just above the PCIe pins R9-280X OC rev 2.0. That's right, a 7970 with 7950 firmware on it. From Gigabyte.
    When I check in GPU-Z it shows 2048 shaders rather than the 1792 expected. It has Elpida GDDR5 memory on board rather than the more common Hynix. The card requires 8+6 PCIe power rather than the 6+6 expected. I had to do a Pixlas mod to get enough juice to the card. It is definitely not a stock GV-R795WF3-3GD wrongly labelled.

    I wouldn't mind as it seems that I have an upgraded card but the card itself is unstable. If I try to run any benchmarking software on either Windows or Mac, like Unigine Heaven or Valley, my MP either reboots or freezes stone cold. The MP will not even boot up with the legacy BIOS switch, so I have no idea what is on that.

    I am tempted to try to force flash the R9-280x firmware on it and see if it behaves nicely but there may be a reason Gigabyte did what it did and I could overstrain the card killing it. The best place to ask would be at Netkas' site but registration isn't working there and hasn't for some time.
     
  7. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #7
    I don't have this card, but since it has dual ROM design, I will definitely try a R9 280X rom. If that works, then make a Mac EFI ROM base on that good ROM. If you have extra time, you may even downvolt or OC the ROM to make it run better.
     
  8. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

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    Nov 17, 2013
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    London UK
    #8
    Oh I know what might of happened

    I had to deal with this on a R9 280X (also Gigabyte) that @MacCubed bought for his MP1,1/2,1

    these cards where quite popular with crypto-currency miners

    and sometimes they would create a custom BIOS which increased their mining capability but it completely broke any sort of 3D.

    once I flashed his card with the Factory BIOS image (well Factory BIOS image plus Mac EFI) the card started to work fine and still does to this day AFAIK

    heres the link to your cards BIOS page https://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/GV-R928XOC-3GD-rev-20#support-dl-bios

    (I wonder if he has the same model of card as you do)
     
  9. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #9
    The cryptomining is an interesting theory but I don't think it has any custom firmware on it, unless the custom firmware happens to coincide with the revision number on Gigabyte's website.

    This is the box info:

    IMG_2142.JPG

    The firmware is here: https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/139011/gigabyte-hd7950-3072-130329

    I am just wondering whether the card failed batch testing and was downgraded to a 7950 because it couldn't handle the overclocking of the 7970 or Gigabyte produced too many of them and had a shortage of the GV-R795WF3-3GD.
     
  10. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

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    #10

    what is the Device ID of YOUR card specifically?

    the R9 280/7950 and R9 280X/7970/D700 have diffrent device IDs, the 679A vs 6798

    that should give us some idea on what the hell is going on LOL (although I dont know if the device ID is a soft or hard strap or both on these cards...)
     
  11. weckart, Jun 20, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018

    weckart macrumors 601

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    #11
  12. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    Charlotte, NC
    #12
    I've got an AMD Reference HD7970 3GB card with an MVC EFI Flash for boot screens on every port. It connects at 5GT/s and performs beautifully. It's fast, quiet, and smooth working.

    The only strange thing is this... And only since High Sierra OS... On shutdown, Just before the it completes, The lower right quadrant of the screen has dancing-pixels that spell out (in cursive writing) Wich, or Wick, or Wish. I can't quite tell which one.

    I believe this to be an issue with the OS rather than the card. Other than that, I think it's a great card for me.
     
  13. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors regular

    tpivette89

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    Newark, DE
    #13
    So it seems as though most here favor the 7950. I found one on ebay for what I consider to be a fair price, and while the photos (non-stock) show the reference design, the item specifics list it as an MSI brand twin frozr model. That could be because that was the closest listed offering in ebay’s dropdown description choices, or he just grabbed some random google photos to be misleading.

    I messaged the seller about this but have yet to recieve a response.
     
  14. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #14
    IMO, don’t jump into this kind of deal if in doubt.
     
  15. MIKX macrumors 6502a

    MIKX

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    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #15
    Early in 2017 I got my HIS Ice-Q HD 7950 3Gb here in Japan for ¥9,000 including sales tax ( US$ 81).
    I considered that a bargain.
    I EFI flashed it the same night and got it running at 5.0 GT/s only a short time later.
     
  16. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

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  17. tpivette89, Jun 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018

    tpivette89 thread starter macrumors regular

    tpivette89

    Joined:
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    #17
    Well, the seller responded. Apparently the card was the reference design as shown in the photos, but he must have pulled the ad to either edit the listing description, or someone else jumped on it before I did. It is no longer listed on ebay at this time. Bummer, as all the other reference models on ebay currently were at least $40 more.

    The Gigabyte brand seems to be popular, any other recommendations besides that one? The Sapphire brand seems to be compatible (RX 580 is one example), does the same hold true for the 7950 series? Another one is the HIS brand, which employs a reference model as well.

    Also, found a Visiontek 7970 locally on craigslist. Is this a flashable option? If so, what are you guys using to power the 6 pin/8 pin connectors on this card?
     
  18. tpivette89 thread starter macrumors regular

    tpivette89

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
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    Newark, DE
    #18
    So I purchased a Visiontek Radeon 7970 GPU locally through craigslist. At least it appeared to be a Visiontek...

    IMG_0607.jpg

    Looked good, until I started cleaning it. I noticed the stickers on the fan began to peel away...

    IMG_0608.jpg

    So was Visiontek just basically slapping their branded stickers on a Radeon reference card?
     

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