Upgraded Radeon 4870 to 5870 (Mac Pro '08)

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Original poster
Sep 8, 2002
7,847
1,159
The Netherlands
Well, I couldn't resist....

1) The long wait for a new Mac Pro
2) X-Plane 10 being quite demanding
3) Got a discount on a 5870

So, I still have a Mac Pro '08, 8 x 2.8 GHz, 8 GB RAM.

I want to wait for an all new Mac Pro, hoping for a gr8 config with a Radeon 7970.
But, since I could get a nice deal on getting a new Radeon HD 5870 (Mac edition), I wanted to try it out and see if the nearly 4 year old Mac would get a nice boost in gaming.
Got the Mac originally with the nVidia GeForce 8800. Upgraded the grfx card to an ATi Radeon 4870 a year later. The difference then was very noticeable.

So, how about going from a Radeon HD 4870 to a Radeon 5870?
Officially, the Mac Pro '08 is not noted as supported, but placing the 5870 was very easy. The same power cables as the 4870 could be used. Zapped NVRAM, and all was working immediately.

Fired up X-Plane 10....
Huge difference! I can increase all settings, and manage better FPS!
Gone from "high" to "very high" texture resolution, more could puffs, etc.

TBO, I thought that the CPU of my Mac Pro would be more of a bottleneck and that the 5870 wouldn't be "pushed" enough by the rest of the system, but plainly I was wrong.
Inserting the 5870 inside an '08 Mac Pro has been the best thing I've done this year :)p).

Must admit that for most Mac-gaming the 4870 was good enough (HL2, Dirt 2, etc.) to be able to play those games at the highest settings, but X-Plane 10 (and 9 BTW..) definitely deserve the extra 3D horsepower of a 5870. Supported Mac Pro or not...

Me happy. :)
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Original poster
Sep 8, 2002
7,847
1,159
The Netherlands
What do you mean by 'Zapped NVRAM'?
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1379

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1895#

Your Mac stores certain settings in a special memory area even if it is turned off (unless there is a battery issue as described below). On Intel-based Macs, this is stored in memory known as NVRAM; on PowerPC-based Macs, this is stored in memory known as PRAM. Information stored in NVRAM or PRAM may include:

Speaker volume
Screen resolution
Startup disk selection
You may need to reset the NVRAM or PRAM if you experience issues related to these functions. For example, if your Mac starts up from a startup disk other than the one you've specified in Startup Disk preferences, or if a "question mark" icon appears briefly when your Mac starts up, resetting NVRAM or PRAM may help.
 
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