Radeon HD 5870 for windows use only?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hasen, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. hasen macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #1
    I've been scouring the web and these forums for information about a pc version Radeon HD 5870 in a '08 Mac pro as well as reading about 'flashing' which is all totally new to me and I must confess I'm still not 100% clear on everything. My Mac has an Nvidia Geforce 8800 GT in it currently so I'm wondering the following things:

    1. Can I add a 5870 in there as well as my current card? I mean, will my Mac have enough power to run both cards at once?

    2. Will I be able to easily connect a power lead to the 5870?

    3. If I can't get my head around this 'flashing' business then will the 5870 work in pc boot camp mode with no problems as is leaving my 8800 GT for whenever I boot into Mac mode? Since I only really want the card for gaming in windows mode this would make sense anyway.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #2
    Yes and no. They both have two power connectors and the Mac Pro only has two. You should be able to run them both if you took the power from SuperDrive or used some splitters, someone else may be able to help you with that.

    You would need to unplug the display cable everytime you switched the OS or get a video switch. Depending on your monitor, they may cost up to hundreds.

    Why aren't you waiting and getting the Mac version of 5870? No display or power hassle and in the end, it will cost the same or even be cheaper if you add the cost of power splitters and video switches.
     
  3. hasen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #3
    Well the question is, when are they going to be released? The mac version 5870 seems to be in the Apple store but unavailable. That suggests its been released and either run out of stock or they've deliberately made it unavailable in an attempt to sell more new Mac pros that come equipped with the card. The only reason I won't have power problems with the mac version of the 5870 is because I'll obviously remove my 8800 GT, otherwise it would need the same power since its the same card, right?

    So what you're saying is as long as I can power it it would work in pc mode without flashing but of course would not be detected at all in OS X mode?
     
  4. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #4
    I would wait for the Mac 5870. It'll likely become available in the next few weeks, unless there is a total emergency requiring you to upgrade.

    Works in both OS's, and it's less hassle. And the price is extremely fair.
     
  5. hasen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #5
    I think you're being optimistic. If you look at the Apple store it clearly states how many weeks before other graphics cards will be available but it says nothing on the 5870. Besides, I've heard from a source that it will be 4 months. Also if you look at the UK Apple store it states 3-4 months for the 4870 so why if its only a matter of weeks would they not write that for the 5870? I think it must be because its going to be 4 months or more.
     
  6. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #6
    It's not going to be 4 months. They're already shipping with the Mac Pros. At the very least, they have to become available for service reasons. We're likely looking at them shipping very soon.

    The 4870 isn't hard to figure out. Likely it's on the verge of being discontinued. They can't be in good supply any more, likely in worse supply than the 5870.

    If I had a nickel for every person on this forum with a "source" that's had a date that's been wrong, I'd have a new Mac Pro by now.
     
  7. hasen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #7
    Of course they're available, I don't think that's the issue. Its Apple's marketing strategy to be in short supply of everything. Plus they need to keep plenty of 5870's on standby to fit in the latest Mac pros. The more they make us wait for a 5870 to put in our current Mac pros, they more likely we are to buy the new Mac pros.

    I hope I'm wrong but I think it would be very silly for Apple to make the 5870 cards available before Christmas since it would surely hurt their sales of new Mac pros quite a lot over the holiday period.
     
  8. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    Aug 16, 2010
    #8
    I have to say I really doubt apple is waiting on making the 5870s available to get people to buy up to a new MP. The idea that anyone is sitting there going "well, I want the $450 card for my current $3k machine, but since i can't buy it yet I'll spend $2500-$3k over the card cost and just buy a new machine" would be a *very* optimistic marketing campaign. What people are more likely to do (as evidenced by some posts here) is say "screw it, the 5770 is good enough, I'll just buy it and pocket the $200" (the point I'm nearly at now btw).

    It's more likely that apple doesnt have enough (maybe low 5870 yield from AMD?) to meet both demand for the new MPs customized with the 5870 and people who just want the card as an upgrade, and they're prioritizing the new machines first.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #9
    It would work but have you thought about the switch issue? You would either have to unplug the cable everytime you switch OS or buy more or less expensive switch that does it for you. If your Mac Pro's back is hardly accessible, a switch is needed and cheaper switches can only provide single-link resolutions so if you have big monitor, it might be an issue.

    If your current GPU works, then I would wait. Maybe some lucky day it will just change to ships in 24 hours, nobody knows.
     
  10. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Jan 17, 2008
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    #10
    yes, especially considering that apple's 5870 are custom built (2dps) so that probably does not help.
     
  11. hasen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #11
    I hope you're all right, you're certainly optimistic. But consider that Apple always seem to be out or low on stock of everything. Either they're extremely dumb when it comes to getting stock ready or its a marketing ploy.

    Whenever they decide to release the 5870's they'll sell loads. That's guaranteed 'cos its the fastest graphics card available on Mac and probably still will be well into next year. So if they hold off and get a few more of the latest Mac pros sold over the Christmas period, not to mention a few of the 5770's as well then all the better.

    It may just change tomorrow, who knows. Its unlikely though since for example the 5770 said 4-6 weeks to ship a few weeks ago and now it says 1-2 weeks.
     
  12. ovrlrd macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

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    Aug 29, 2009
    #12
    To me that makes it more likely if anything, not less. It means they are starting to catch up with demand on selling Mac Pros. I think the reason Apple held off on the 5870 was to make sure it didn't delay shipments of Mac Pros. Now that demand is slowing down a bit, hopefully they can release it and not have to worry about running out of cards. They will still prioritize new Mac Pro orders, but once they feel comfortable splitting supply a bit then they will make it available.

    I really hope it happens soon! :(
     
  13. hasen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #13
    What I meant by that was is that they have a clear 'timer' on all the graphics cards in the apple store except the 5870 and they're counting down as time goes by. The longest timer I have seen on a graphics card was 3-4 months. So I would guess from that that the 5870 is longer than 3-4 months since they have no timer whatsoever on it. By the workings of their website, that's the most logical conclusion. They may suddenly add a timer of 24 hours some day next week of course but I think its unlikely they're so unaware of the time schedule availability of their products.
     
  14. VG3TV macrumors newbie

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    Sep 15, 2010
    #14
    I have to agree with Hasen

    Barefeats.com just released some benchmarks comparing the current MacPros with 2008 and 2009 versions. He installed the 5870 in all machines the older models held up nicely and even beat the current 8 cores in some real-world tests.

    Apple's problem this time around is that they are not offering an 8 core machine that is faster than 2.4Ghz. I know that processor speed isn't the only variable that contributes to the overall speed of the machine but there is definitely diminishing returns with the slight performance bump vs the cost of buying a new tower.

    Since the resale value of the Mac is so good I usually upgrade every 2-3 years and sell my old machine on Craigs list. After all is said a done a new MacPro usually costs me between $1500-$2000 and the performance bump is worth the cost. Not this time however.
    Putting a $500 5870 into a 3 year old computer that brings it up to current benchmarks is a very valid option.

    The main question is where to get the 5870? Can we install a Gigabyte version into a MacPro without much trouble? My gut tells me they will work since the boards are usually based on a standard set by ATI and the chipsets are all the same.
     
  15. nekonoko macrumors newbie

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #15
    You can. I've been running a flashed XFX HD5870 in my MacPro1,1 for a couple weeks now; works fine in Mac OS X and Windows 7. The only issue is that the early boot screen (EFI; Apple logo w/progress spinner) doesn't show up unless you have a DVI->VGA adapted monitor attached. Once the OS loads, all attached monitors work though.
     
  16. VG3TV macrumors newbie

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    Sep 15, 2010
    #16
    Cool Nekonko

    How did you do the flashing?
    what is your monitor setup?
     
  17. nekonoko macrumors newbie

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #17
    The netkas forum has the ROMs and flashing instructions. I use two 24" DVI monitors, but all the card ports work (2xDVI, HDMI and DP).
     
  18. hasen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2010
    #18
    So there's no port for an Apple display and the cost of a converter from DVI is costly right? That's why most people want to wait for the 'real' 5870?
     

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