Sapphire HD 7970 and 2009 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Tariqfilms, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Tariqfilms macrumors newbie


    Feb 16, 2016
    Hi All,

    I've just purchased a Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 from eBay and triple checking that it is compatible with my 2009 Early Mac Pro. I've been told by a Mac Facebook group that is is plug and play however the ebay seller said I need to buy a Mac specific one. There doesn't seem to be any definitive answer on this. I have a few hours till he posts it out so really need the help. He said it's a PC version and no mention of Mac. I am using the Latest El Capitan OS. Thank you.
  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    A PC version will work, but there won't be boot screens (you will have a black screen until the OS finishes loading the GFX drivers) and there are some other minor issues until/unless you flash it with a Mac EFI ROM.

    I definitely wouldn't call it plug and play. For one thing, the PC version won't come with the correct power cables for a Mac Pro.
  3. englishman macrumors 6502a


    Nov 6, 2006

    A couple of these should work to connect the power on the card to the Mac board. Depends on the model and whether there are 6 or 8 pins on the card but sometimes an adapter is supplied.

    It will work fine in Bootcamp if you are using it. But should work in OSX but you will miss the boot screens but many do without them. If you ever need them maybe keep the old GT120? card.

    Loads of videos to show you how to install too.

  4. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    I think almost all 7970 will work on the Mac Pro.

    For El Capitan, no additional driver required.

    The Mac card means it's flashed, you can do that easily by yourself. I have no knowledge about GPU, but still can flash my 7950 (exactly the same procedure as the 7970) after some study on this forum. The flashed card will provide the boot screen, therefore you can use the boot manager, access the recovery partition etc. Otherwise, as the others point out, you have to wait until boot to desktop, otherwise you won't see anything. Once you reach the desktop, the PC card should gives out the same performance as the flashed card, but just with some costamatic issue (e.g. The About my Mac will show 79xx rather then 7970) that won't affect the card's function.

    Both flashed and non flashed card can only run at PCIe 1.1, until you remove the R17 resistor. I doubt if the seller will do that for you.

    If you simply use the mini 6 to 8 pin cable to power the card, by running Furmark, the card can draw too much power which may force shutdown the machine (trigger the overload protection). So, you should know about this before purchase the card. For normal use (e.g. Video editing), should not be a problem. But be careful if you plan to use it to run high GPU demanding games in Windows.

    Anyway, if the seller said you must use the Mac specific 7970, don't buy from him. He is either lying, or he is lack of knowledge, both means the card may not be flashed properly.

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