Thinking about a new graphics card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Washac, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Washac macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #1
    I know there has been a thread created regarding this recently but my question
    is different.

    I want to update my ATI Radeon HD4870

    I want a plug n play card, do not want the extra cable hassle etc, all recommendations will be looked into.

    Mac details below, it is a 2009 Model, if that helps.

    Thanks.
     
  2. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #2
    What do you want to update it to do?

    Also, I assume you have read the sticky thread at the top of this forum and not found an answer to your question?
     
  3. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #3
    Pretty much this, yeah. The NVIDIA cards are great options now, and the FAQ thread which has been stickied at the top of this forum covers all the various options and other need-to-know information.
     
  4. Washac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #4
    Sorry did not notice that sticky, but still at a loss as to which card is better to what I have already ??
     
  5. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #5
    Evga GTX 670 (2 GB) for zero plug and play hassles under 10.8.2 (except no boot screen).

    MVC's flashed 570 if you want the boot screen.

    I had the 4870 in an '09 Pro.. The difference between either is night and day.

    Do the CPU 4.1 to 5.1 and get a 3680 hex while you're at it. You won't regret it, except maybe the $$$. About 11 to 12 hundred USD for both.
     
  6. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #6
    There's a FAQ for exactly this question. In the current version:

    6) What GPU should I buy?

    All of the options, even a GTX 650, will be much better than your 4870.
     
  7. Washac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #7
    Just had a look through the sticky and those cards have the no EFI thing and the flashed one has bad reports.

    I run a triple booting Mac pro, choice at startup - SL 10.6.8 - Lion 10.7.5 and Windows, so I need the boot screen.
     
  8. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #8
    ?????????

    Hundreds of people have our EFI cards working problem free.

    Only one lone bozo in FR who couldn't figure it out.

    What "bad reports"?
     
  9. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #9
    You also need a driver, and since you're using 10.6.8 that rules out pretty much any modern GPU (e.g. Fermi and Kepler generation from NVIDIA).

    You could try something like this:

    http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gtx-285-for-mac

    if they still exist.
     
  10. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #10
    Using the Mac Quadro 4000 driver he can use a GTX470???
     
  11. Washac, Oct 29, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012

    Washac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #11
    OK, OK more confused now than before.

    Please can somebody recommend me a graphics card better than my
    ATI RADEON HD4870 that is plug n play that work across SL10.6.8, Lion10.7.5
    and Windows 7 under Bootcamp that gives me the bootscreen ?

    Looking for plug n play no extra cables required or flashing etc.
     
  12. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #12
    The difference in quality with the SnowLeopard Quadro 4000 and any version of Lion (or Mountain Lion) is like night and day, from what I've seen. I certainly wouldn't recommend using it unless you absolutely had to.

    There have been several recommendations. It's just not necessarily a simple question.

    1) Perhaps the safest option is to just buy a stock Apple card. You have choices like:

    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
    - AMD Radeon HD 5770 ($249)
    - AMD Radeon HD 5870 ($449)

    I see that the two AMD cards are still listed in the "Display & Graphics" section of the Mac store, but those prices are pretty high for the age of the GPU you're getting.

    2) Buy a flashed GTX 470 or similar card from MacVidCards, and live with whatever driver you get for SnowLeopard (and yes, this will require a driver download from www.nvidia.com to work).

    I guess the answer depends on a few questions for you:

    - Why do you need to run SnowLeopard?
    - Why do you want to upgrade the GPU in the first place? Gaming? Something else?

    If you don't want to deal with extra cables or non-standard drivers or flashed cards, then you could just buy a "new" card from Apple directly, since those will always be officially supported and will just work in all cases.
     
  13. Washac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #13
    Think I will look at the ones above, thanks for that.
     
  14. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #14
    Apple 5870. The other two listed aren't much of an upgrade, if at all.
     
  15. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #15
    And at $450 for technology from several generations ago, one has to ask whether it's even worth it.
     
  16. brentsg macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #16
    You'll still need 2 6 pin power cables in place for the 5870.
     
  17. Washac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #17

    I run Snow Leopard because there are retro games and retro gaming stuff, emulation etc, that
    will not run under Lion and I just prefer it.

    I was looking to upgrade for gaming.

    Seems whatever way I turn I will need extra cables etc so lets start again.

    I would want the simplest card to install that is better than my ATI RADEON HD4870
    and gives me the boot screen, and will run under Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and Lion 10.7.5 and up.
     
  18. avemestr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    #18
  19. gpzjock, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #19
    Snow Leopard paints you into a corner when you insist on a boot screen.
    The choice is GTX285 or HD5870 mac versions, the 5770 isn't much of an improvement over the 4870.
    If you were prepared to lose the boot screen and use something like Bootchamp you could choose a PC spec 6870 or 5870 and flash it, saving about $250 on the price of an Apple one!
    I run a flashed Sapphire Vapor-X 1GB HD5870 under Snowy and it works really well, about twice the grunt of my old 4870 (also a Sapphire Vapor-X).
    If I need a boot screen I have a 8800GT mac version in a box for emergencies.
     
  20. Washac, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    Washac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #20
    I like the idea of using bootchamp, but will that give me the option to boot into all three SL, Lion and Windows ?

    Would the holding of the alt key not give me my boot options with a non EFI card ?
     
  21. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #21
    Doesn't the 4870 already use 2x 6-pin cables? The official Apple 5870 also uses the 2x 6-pin power cables.
     
  22. Washac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #22
    No idea, just going on what somebody else advised.
     
  23. gpzjock, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #23
    They use the same number of cables no need to get more.

    If you can't see the boot screen when holding down the alt key you will have to use the Force, Luke. :D

    Best way to see how Bootchamp behaves with multiple boot folders is to download it and test.
     
  24. Washac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Washac

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #24
    Thanks for cable information :)

    Nope just finds Windows and boots it.
     
  25. brentsg macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #25
    Ah sorry, my 5770 only uses one.
     

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