Radeon HD 5850 in a Mac Pro - the Gaming/Work-station.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by donjao, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. donjao macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2008
    Just received Sapphire HD 5850. Well, it did not work on my Mac Pro early 2008 in Snow Leopard. I was using GeForece 8800 GT for running SL. Having 2 card from different manufacturers on Windows 7 made none of them usable. So, I had to switch 8800 GT with Radeon HD 2600 Mac edition, to make it work.

    Lesseons i've learned:

    1) Do NOT mixt nVidia card with ATI car, none of them will work under windows.
    2) Unsupported HD 5850 sounds VERY loud ( according to iPhone's 1G DBmeter ~50 DB when case is closed ) in SL as it's cooler running at full speed and you cannot control it unless removed from MB.
    3) If you use Apple Cinema Display, prepare to swap DVI on your cards every time you boot for play. If you have a monitor with multiple DVI inputs - you should be ok.
    4) If you leave HD 5850 alone in your Mac Pro - you won't see anything, not even a boot screen.
    5) No chance to soft-disable the HD 5850 from Snow Leopard
    6) You need 2 power cables for the HD 5850. They are included in the box, but you actually cannot plug them into the slots that Apple made for graphic cards. Luckily I had 1 on me. But for other one I had to make an 4-pin extension cable, that I connected with power cable that was powering the CD-Drive (tat cable has 2 jacks).

    So whoever wanted a Gaming/Work-station combo like me, this info probably will be helpful.

    Have fun gaming.
  2. Matrixfan macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Some people here had luck with 5870 and 5970 cards running quietly in 2009 MP-s. I am beginning to fear the tendency that we are screwed with our 2008 machines regarding Windows gaming. :(
  3. donjao thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2008
    Well, it's theoretically possible to disassemble the card's cooling system, and attach fan's power cord to external voltage controller/switch. That will give the possibility to tune/switch off the fan, when the Mac is running the SL. However, it's not know if the card will give you an error and there's gonna be another cord sticking out of a Mac Pro.
  4. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    1. You can, actually. For months I ran an HD2600 XT and 7300 GT together under Windows XP. I believe it's only Vista that has trouble with that.

    2. That's because OS X can't manage the fan speed.

    3. No ACD, so I can't comment here.

    4. OS X doesn't have drivers. Were you expecting something else? ;)

    5. See #4

    6. Rarely will a PC GPU come with the PCIe power cords you need. You can buy them from ATI (or make them), or you can do as you did, using the optical drive power. Before I got my cable I powered my 4890 in that manner.
  5. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    And you're... sure you were using Windows 7? Sounds like Vista to me.
  6. donjao thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2008
    Yep, the 8800 GT did not work with HD 5850 under Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Have no experience with other cards. No matter what I did with it. I tried disabling 8800 GT in device manager, installing/uninstalling numerous amount of drivers, tried to keep only one driver at a time nVidia's or ATI's - nothing helped. The problem was that I couldn't get the output image from the HD 5850, just blank screen. HD 5850 paired successfully only with HD 2600 XT.

    thanks for explanation. However, the reason that I posted this thread is that I already figured that out myself. :) Just wanted to share my experience with others, so they could have less questions left towards buying a video card.
  7. Quantum3 macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2010
    Hi, I just bought an ATI HD 5850 and it works like a charm (no boot screen though). There are a couple of things I don't get, so if anyone can give me a hand, I would appreciate it.

    Under Lion OSX 10.7.2:

    1. Magic Mouse is not detected.
    2. I just see 2 boot disks when I have 3 (Lion; Snow Leopard; Bootcamp with Win7). This is visible when going to system preferences.

    Under Snow Leopard:

    1. Magic Mouse works.
    2. I can see all the boot disks.

    So, for going into Bootcamp if I'm in Lion, I have to:

    1. Select booting from Snow Leopard.
    2. Once there, select booting from Windows.

    Any idea why I'm having these issues on Lion?

    I've tested a few games on Bootcamp and one on Lion.

    1680x1050 with all configuration in full.

    Lion: Assassin's Creed 2 all configs at max (however, scrolling around with mouse is quite steppy, like when using the GeForce 8800 GT, so I think it's a game's problem).

    Bootcamp Win7 64 bits:

    · Bullets Storm, max settings = Perfect but with a very little delay when looking around. Not bothering at all.

    · Men of War (latest version), max settings = It works okay.

    · Mass Effect 2, max settings = PERFECT, no delay of any kind.

    · Blur, max settings = Almost Perfect. A little bit of delay but nothing notorious.

    Okay... Would love to hear some answers about why the Magic Mouse cannot be detected and why I cannot see the other boot partitions on Lion.

    Thanks in advance!

    Ø3 :)

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