"Silver Arrow" Radeon HD 3870 for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by barefeats, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. barefeats macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #1
    OWC is listing a Radeon HD 3870 with a monster heatsink/fan assembly that's being billed as "Apple OEM":
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI Technologies/630ATI3870/

    It's clocked just like the Retail "Mac and PC Edition" (i've confirmed this). The price is nice at $189.99 and the fan is reportedly whisper quiet.

    Caveats:
    1. It only works in 'late 2008' Mac Pros.
    2. There is no CrossFire connector.

    I'm dubbing it the "Silver Arrow" as an homage to the 1939 Auto Union Type D which recently was put up for auction by Christies then removed due to some question about its pedigree.
     
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #2
    :D Brilliant. Hopefully this name sticks!
     
  3. pwn247 macrumors 6502

    pwn247

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    West Virginia, USA
    #3
    This looks really promising. Plus, great pricetag for an Apple video card- even if it is OEM. :)

    Thanks for sharing! And I love the "Silver Arrow" dub.
     
  4. Eithanius macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    #4
    Sad case...! :(:(

    It just shows that for a $4K+ machine like mine, it's pretty much dead in the water a few months later....

    Welcome to the world of rotten Apple....!
     
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #5
    You can buy a working 3870 for your Mac Pro though so I think that is an unfair comment.
     
  6. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #6
  7. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #7
    "Late 2008"..? Wouldn't that be "Early 2008 Mac Pro"?
     
  8. barefeats thread starter macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #8
    Ooops

    I goofed. I meant 'Early 2008." (I've been doing a lot of articles on the new MBP and 'Late 2008' is etched in my psyche.)
     
  9. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #9
    And I'm glad you do all those articles over at Barefeats.com! Gr8 stuff!! :cool:
    Luckily there probably will be only one Mac Pro 2008... early or late... just "2008' will do.. :D
     
  10. barefeats thread starter macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #10
    I received my "Silver Arrow" on Wednesday. I'm getting similar 3D game benchmark numbers to the Retail Radeon 3870 "Mac and PC Edition." I say "similar" because some are slightly slower. Some are slightly faster.

    UPDATE: If you want a "Silver Arrow" OEM Radeon HD 3870, they are back in stock at OWC:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI Technologies/630ATI3870/

    The "OEM" heatsink/fan assembly is sexy looking but is thicker than it needs to be if you are thinking of adding a second card to your "early 08" Mac Pro.

    Also if you plan to jumper two 3870s for use in CrossFire mode under Windows, that isn't possible with the "OEM" -- no CrossFire connector.

    That leaves the main reason to choose the "OEM": The fan. It's silent. The Retail 3870's fan can get pretty noisy when the card is at 100% load.
     
  11. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #11
    I received this card yesterday and was impressed with the size of the fan and the massive alumnimum plate mounted to the card, hoping for better cooling. Installed all right, although it took some time. I fired up XP in bootcamp and played Spore at a high res for about 45 minutes before game freezed, sound started looping, screen then went black and had to press power button to shut down. My first guess is overheating, which is extremely disappointing considering I have the card at stock settings, no overclocking or anything like that. Barefeats, I know you've been running some tests on this same card, have you run into similar issues?
     
  12. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #12
    I just did the same test, rebooted in XP bootcamp, played Spore, this time in a window so that I could watch the cpuid program called hwmonitor. The video card temps lingered right around 76-79 degrees celcius. Exactly like last time, about 40 minutes into the game the screen goes black, sound repeats, and what I forgot to mention last time, the video card fan goes to full throttle. The system will sit there like that until I press the power button for a hard shutdown. My guess is that there is a setting somewhere that tells the computer to do this once the video card hits 80 degrees celcius. I never saw it reach that temp, but it was often at 79 and I'm wondering if as soon as it reaches 80 it does this "safety" freeze and puts the card fan at full speed. Either way, this is BS. It's practically freezing in my room, I can only imagine what this will be like in the summer time. I can see why Apple never released this card as an option. Any ideas? How can I fix it so the fan speed stays higher or better yet, where will I find the setting that tells the card to freeze everything and crank up the fan at 80 degrees celcius (if that is what is happening)?
     
  13. barefeats thread starter macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #13
    I haven't done any long runs. Just short benchmarks of six different games at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 High Quality. I can hear the fan speed up a little but nothing like the Retail card's fan speeds.

    No crashes or freezes or black screens so far.

    I would send it back for a refund or replacement if I were you.

    BTW, in my latest testing, the Retail card was faster in 5 out of 6 games even though they are clocked the same.

    And one more thing. OWC is sold out again.
     
  14. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #14
    Thanks for the info. If you catch what your temps are during games, I'd be real curious to know.
     
  15. Earl Urly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #15
    It's probably just as well they're sold out, why pay almost $200 for a card that only works on one model of the Mac Pro and which you'll never be able to replace or get service for if it breaks from the get-go..
     
  16. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #16
    Because this and the 8800GT (which costs...) are about the only options for high-end Mac Pro video cards....
     
  17. barefeats thread starter macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #17
    I just booted up Vista 64 (Boot Camp). I'm seeing 777MHz core clock and 1126MHz memory clock. I bumped them up to 825MHz and 1200MHz respectively using the OverDrive function. It tested OKAY. The starting temp is 56C. I'm going to run 3DMark06 and a series of 3D Game benchmarks to see if it runs okay. I'll report back on temps and on any other "events" that occur.

    I already have the Retail 3870. I ordered the "OEM" version because I knew it was an interesting "animal" that had "escaped." And man does it look slick inside the Mac Pro! Like it was meant for it. ;-)
     
  18. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #18
    Thanks for the update. It was right around the 40 minute mark for me both times. The games play fine up until that point. The CPUID hwmonitor program I mentioned worked great for monitoring temps at the same time, might be worth trying that as well. I just installed the ATI Catalyst in XP and also installed Rivatuner and set the fan to always run at 70%. I'll try gaming again later tonight see what happens. To be honest, I don't see this is a good solution since the main reason I bought the OEM version was for a big, silent fan, and 70% fan speed is louder than the machine was with the crappy 2600. You are right though, this card looks sweet inside the case :) Keep an eye on temps when gaming, I'm curious what happens when you get up around 79-80 degrees celcius.
     
  19. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    damn I wish I had jumped on this sooner. congrats to all who have one. You have the equivalent of picasso's brush. :)
     
  20. barefeats thread starter macrumors 65816

    barefeats

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2000
    #20
    I just ran various 3D game benchmarks on the OEM 3870 running under Vista 64 (Boot Camp). I ran UTIII, CoH, CoD4, Prey, ET:QW at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600 High Quality. I also ran 3DMark06 at defaults and at 2560x1600 with best settings. The max temp reported on the OEM 3870 by Catalyst Control Center was 64C (147F). It took me about two hours to run all the tests one after the other.

    No black screens or crashes or hangs.
     
  21. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #21
    Thank you for the info. I just went into Boot Camp again and this time I turned the fan speed all the way down using Rivatuner. I then logged into Spore again and watched temps in hwmonitor. I let the video card get up to the high 90's before turning the fan back up and there was no freeze or crash (only ran this test for a few minutes because temps climbed fast). I think that eliminates the card as the culprit. My obvious next question is what in Boot Camp and/or XP is causing the machine to do the black screen in gaming then? I'll post this another thread because I don't want to hijack this one...
     
  22. AdiosVista macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #22
    Barefeats, I do have one more question: did you do anything special for the card drivers? I just found another thread which stated:

    I never did this, I just unplugged the 2600 and installed the 3870.

    I'm back to thinking this could be a video card issue because last night I again fired up Spore, this time with the card fan fixed at 70%. Played for about an hour and a half, no issues. My guess is either having installed the ATI Catalyst driver fixed it (though I'm not sure why it would) or having the card run cooler because of the higher fan speed fixed. Too early to tell, I need to test more.
     
  23. iplops macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    #23
    Does anyone know if there are any drivers for this card? (there is nothing on the ATI website)

    I can only get the card working with my display if I boot in Safe mode.

    I followed the OWC installation and troubleshooting guide with no luck:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/tech_center/manuals/radeon/appleatiradeon3870.pdf

    My display is a Dell 2709W connected by DVI-DVI.
    Any suggestions would be great as I have contacted OWC via email several times with no response.
    Thanks
     
  24. liquid stereo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Saint Paul
    #24
    Late 2008

    There is no late 2008 MacPro.


     
  25. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #25
    Keep reading....

    "Late 2008
    There is no late 2008 MacPro."


    Perhaps one should read the ENTIRE thread before getting out the red pen?
     

Share This Page