Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition; how is it?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cubemmal, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #1
    I hear mixed reviews. I have a Mac Pro 4,1 (2.66GHz, early 2009) and this review

    Amazon 4,1 review

    says it doesn't work. Others say it does. Any ideas?

    Otherwise how is the card?
     
  2. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816

    N19h7m4r3

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #2
    Have a look here where they compare it to other Mac, and non Mac graphics cards.

    http://barefeats.com/gputitan.html

    Also just search the forum, and you'll get plenty of threads about the 7950.
     
  3. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #3
    Thanks for the link. Yeah I did search the forum, I was really interested in 4,1 compatibility specifically.
     
  4. flowrider, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013

    flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #4
    ^^^^It's really not so much about machine compatibility as it is about OS compatibility. GPU Performance should be pretty equal between a 4,1 and a 5,1 Mac Pro. Performance differences are far more related the the drivers.

    Below is verbiage taken directly from Sapphire's Website:

    "Mac Pro with Mac OS X 10.7.5
    CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive for installing software
    Mac Pro with Mac OS X 10.8.2 or later
    2 GB RAM, Early 2009 Mac Pro (MacPro4,1)"


    http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1157&pid=1777&lid=1#

    That negative review at Amazon is bogus.

    And, I know of folks who are using that card on 3,1 Mac Pros.

    Lou
     
  5. MacsRgr8, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013

    MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #5
    Like me.
    I have that card in my Mac Pro '08 a couple of months now as a replacement of the also "unsupported" Apple-branded 5870.

    Installation was easy (especially as the 5870 already needed the two power cables), booted the Mac... but I didn't get the boot-screen. You want the boot-screen otherwise I would have flashed a 7950 myself...

    After toying a bit, it seemed the dip-switch on the side of the card (a switch between Mac-EFI-mode and or PC-mode) was set to "PC-BIOS". In the manual it stated that the dip-switch was set default to Mac-EFI, but alas....

    So, just adjusting the switch gave me my boot-screen! :)

    I am very, very happy with it. The 3 GB VRAM is a *MUST* if you enjoy X-Plane 10 like I do. The 680 is a quicker card, but... alas... only 2 GB VRAM. That really is not enough for X-Plane 10.

    Running Mountain Lion the my screen flickers every 10 mins or so... very strange. But running Windows 7 or Mavericks, I have no problems at all... :confused:

    As I run Mavericks more than Mountain Lion on this Mac, I am very, very pleased with it!
     
  6. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #6
    Other people here have noted that the switch is, by default, in the wrong position. I wonder if the bad reviews on Amazon come from that.
     
  7. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #7
    You can get the 680 4Gb cards of course but yes, the 3Gb VRAM is great in games such as Skyrim too.

    I too get the flickering every 10 mins and I am using a PC 7950 which I have EFI flashed. It is interesting to hear that it might be fixed in Mavericks as I suspected it was a drivers issue.
     
  8. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #8
    I have a Mac Pro 4,1 (2.93GHz, early 2009) and I haven't had any issues with the 7950 Mac edition. The Mac Pro 4,1 isn't supported so they will not guarantee everything will run correctly (i.e. the card works with a Mac Pro 4,1 but no guarantees that all software will run correctly).

    I still had the original video card so it was a nice upgrade.

    ----------

    I very occasionally see a little flickering in my screen and I'm running 10.8. Every 10 minutes sounds excessive but maybe I'm not noticing it.

    ----------

    The instruction sheet tells you to look at the switch position so maybe people are just putting the card in without reading the documentation that came with it ? I don't remember what they said the default was.
     
  9. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #9
    It should be MAC-EFI straight from the factory. Nothing else makes sense for a "MAC Edition" card! :)

    I suppose there might be one or two nutbars out there that spend the extra dough and then put the card into a PC. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Cubemmal, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013

    Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #10
    OK, I ordered one. I've got a 5770 in there now that I'd like to keep for the side monitors (2x24" Cinema and 1x27" Cinema), can I put that in a different slot and power it with a Y connector? I don't care about performance, just want to keep the 24" monitors off the main card.

    Any links to somebody who sells a Y connector?
     
  11. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #11
    You won't be able to power both cards at once without an external PSU.

    The 5770 needs 1x6-pin and the 7950 needs 2x6-pin. You only have two.
     
  12. mostafiz28 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    #12
    Okay then, I've asked this in another thread but didn't receive any reply so I'm asking this once more here. The 5770 requires one six pin and 7850 requires just one as well. So can I use a 7850 as a second card. Its a pc card hence I suppose I'd need to flash it. If I can fit it in, which slot should it go into. Please help. My PCIE slot 1 (bottom most one) has 5770 in it.
     
  13. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #13
    Either of the two lower slots will take a graphics card - they are the x16 slots.
     
  14. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    #14
    Right, but I've heard rumors that a Y connector will do the trick, since the power supply is 1kW. There have been other dark hints however that the traces can't take that much current, so I'm not sure what the status is.
     
  15. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #15
    The ultimate status is really that it's your MP and you can attempt to break it any way you like.

    You are aware of the supplied power from your two 6-pin cables. You are aware of what you want to do with your MP. It is up to you to decide what risks to take.
     
  16. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    somewhere
    #16
    I am looking for a new gpu for my mac pro .. currently has a gt120 in it :( Always wanted nvidia for gaming even though I dont play a lot of games. Dont really use adobe products besides photoshop .. use fcpx for editing .. so I guess nvidia would be a bad choice ?
     
  17. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816

    N19h7m4r3

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #17
    Not at all! I recently installed an EVGA GTX 660 SC+ 3GB and it's worked perfectly. It only needed 1 6pin power cables as well.

    I replaced my GT120 with it.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=17908956&postcount=1049
     
  18. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    somewhere
    #18
  19. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #19
    I had a 7950 Mac edition for a few days and while it did have a nice performance increase in games it had no performance increase for my 3D applications.

    I since switched to an nvidia k5000 and its been fantastic for 3D apps (although it sucks for games which is to be expected).
     
  20. cledet macrumors regular

    cledet

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #20
    I purchased the Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition for my Mac Pro (Early 2009). The screen would flicker when I installed it. It was often enough to annoy me. I got two replacements to see if I kept getting a bad card but it turns out, it's only compatible with the Mac Pro 5,1.

    Definitely not recommended if you don't have the latest Mac Pro.
     
  21. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #21
    Based on the earlier posts reporting no flicker under Mavericks and Windows, I suspect this post may be inaccurate. If some one wants to experiment, any 4,1 can be turned into a 5,1 with the Netkas EFI flash...

    As for the occasional flicker, I experienced this with an ATI5770 on my 4,1>5,1 flashed MP. I drive three monitors: two DP and one VGA. I discovered that if I power on the monitors prior to booting my Mac, the flicker does not occur.
     
  22. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816

    N19h7m4r3

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    #22
    Do you have a specific need of OpenCL performance? If not, the NVIDIA cards have native OS X drivers from 10.8.3 and up. It's just plug and play really.

    They also don't have that screen flicker issue, and bad compute performance of the 7950.
     
  23. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    somewhere
    #23
    then maybe ill get a 4gb 680gtx or go all out and get a 780gtx
     
  24. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #24
    The GTX680 4GB is so incredibly easy to flash for boot screens and full speed PCIe (and works so well afterwards) that I wholeheartedly recommend it. Here is a thread with all the files you'll need and step-by-step instructions.

    The 2GB model is also easy to flash.
     
  25. jetjaguar, Sep 17, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013

    jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    somewhere
    #25
    thanks

    sorry for the thread hijack:p
     

Share This Page