Video Upgrade 2008 Mac Pro Questions

Inutopia

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 8, 2009
273
70
South of Heaven
Hi all,

I have the rig in the sig at the moment and I'm starting to notice that the 8800GT is getting a bit slow for gaming. Specifically I play a LOT of L4D2 and this card can not max the game with the frame rates i need. It was fine for L4D 1.

I play at 1920x1200 btw and need 60+ FPS at all times for competitive play.

So, on to the questions!

The way I see it my options are, along with their problems;

Apple Approved Cards:

4870 512Mb (Marginal upgrade for too much cash)
GTX 285 1Gb (Far too much cash)

PC Cards:

4870 1Gb (Well supported it seems, but a marginal upgrade?)
4890 1Gb (Problems with power warnings and flickering screen on boot)
GTX 285 1GB ? (not sure of flashing options, pretty expensive so it would need to be seamless)

Is this synopsis correct?

If it is that would leave me with either the PC 4870 or the PC 4890


Is it possible to get either of these working without ANY problems that will taint my Mac experience and stability?


I am fine with flashing cards etc but I will not have my experienced compromised day to day just to get a cheaper card in the machine!

What say you? is this possible with very careful card selection or should i just pony up for a supported card?

EDIT: It looks like I can sell the 8800GT for about £130 on ebay so the cost of a 4890 would be negligible at this point, however, this would leave me with the flashed 4890 and only a 2600XT as backup. so would a well flashed 4890 be reliable enough for this set up?
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
490
17
Chicagoland
If you can find a "golden 4870", aka the reference model cards (especially from XFX), then you can flash with no issues and the card will work perfectly.

See the MEGA thread (near the end) for discussions on which models work best. It's now VERY hard to find a reference model 4870, as the manufacturers are playing "musical components" and changing their cards every 5 minutes (it seems).

My 1GB XFX 4870 works GREAT, I love it. Can turn MW2 all the way up with no issues, same goes for Batman, Dragon Age: Origins, etc. Don't have L4D2 yet.
 

Inutopia

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 8, 2009
273
70
South of Heaven
Been searching all day for the specific models mentioned in the ROM pack from the 4890 thread and i came upon this:

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/179869

Now, this looks like an ATI branded 4890 for a good price, would I be correct in thinking that this will probably be 100% reference?

I did search about the forum and couldn't find anyone talking about using an ATI branded card, although it is a tricky term to search for
 

TheSpaz

macrumors 604
Jun 20, 2005
7,033
1
If you can find a "golden 4870", aka the reference model cards (especially from XFX), then you can flash with no issues and the card will work perfectly.

See the MEGA thread (near the end) for discussions on which models work best. It's now VERY hard to find a reference model 4870, as the manufacturers are playing "musical components" and changing their cards every 5 minutes (it seems).

My 1GB XFX 4870 works GREAT, I love it. Can turn MW2 all the way up with no issues, same goes for Batman, Dragon Age: Origins, etc. Don't have L4D2 yet.
I just bought the XFX ATI 4890 1GB last night for my first gen Mac Pro at Best Buy. I flashed it with ATI Flash Tool and it worked perfectly. For some reason the injector didn't work, but the card started working perfectly after actually flashing it.

By the way: I play Left 4 Dead 2 and Modern Warfare 2 too! What's your steam ID? Mine is "justspaztik".

EDIT: This is the exact card I bought: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/XFX+-+A...6025.p?id=1218125775469&skuId=9566025&st=4890
 

Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
3,615
58
I have an HIS 4890, and I have no power warnings or flickering boot screens. This is the card I bought - currently deactivated, but it goes in and out of stock - I had to wait a week to buy mine. :)

Check out the ATI Radeon 4890 Compatibility List to see a list of 4890s that can be flashed for OS X.

Also, my 4890 is extremely reliable. Currently the only card in my machine, and I use it for both OS X and Windows 7. :)
 

Inutopia

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 8, 2009
273
70
South of Heaven
So your 4890 is exactly the same as if it were a supported card, with the exception of needing to patch the device ID every point update?

Thats good news!

As far as the compatibility thread goes, the selection of cards here in the UK is not quite as good, and its very hard to be sure exactly what gpu you are buying.

anyone any thoughts on the ATI branded 4890 i mentioned above?
 

lannister80

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2009
490
17
Chicagoland
I just bought the XFX ATI 4890 1GB last night for my first gen Mac Pro at Best Buy. I flashed it with ATI Flash Tool and it worked perfectly. For some reason the injector didn't work, but the card started working perfectly after actually flashing it.

By the way: I play Left 4 Dead 2 and Modern Warfare 2 too! What's your steam ID? Mine is "justspaztik".

EDIT: This is the exact card I bought: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/XFX+-+A...6025.p?id=1218125775469&skuId=9566025&st=4890
And you CAN use the card (with no other cards in your machine) to boot into OS X, right?
 

TheSpaz

macrumors 604
Jun 20, 2005
7,033
1
And you CAN use the card (with no other cards in your machine) to boot into OS X, right?
YES! I was using it last night to play the Mac version of Call of Duty 4 in Mac OS X and it runs better than the official Apple 4870.
 

supercooled

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2007
737
1
Aologies to OP for piggybacking on the thread but I'm curious to know if it's possible to injet Natit or patch through another machine. I suspect my stocked 2600xt is dead as I can not get any video to display. I concocted a thought that may be I could boot the desktop's OS through tarket disk on my notebook and install/inject it that way. Would this work?
 

Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
3,615
58
And you CAN use the card (with no other cards in your machine) to boot into OS X, right?
That's the whole point of the exercise. :) I had a 7300 GT before (which allowed me to flash the card without Natit) but removed it once the 4890 was up and running.

Aologies to OP for piggybacking on the thread but I'm curious to know if it's possible to injet Natit or patch through another machine. I suspect my stocked 2600xt is dead as I can not get any video to display. I concocted a thought that may be I could boot the desktop's OS through tarket disk on my notebook and install/inject it that way. Would this work?
With another Mac Pro, sure. I don't know if you can flash it while in Target Disk Mode, Cindori or Peloche (or one of the others) might be able to shed more light on this.

So your 4890 is exactly the same as if it were a supported card, with the exception of needing to patch the device ID every point update?

Thats good news!

As far as the compatibility thread goes, the selection of cards here in the UK is not quite as good, and its very hard to be sure exactly what gpu you are buying.

anyone any thoughts on the ATI branded 4890 i mentioned above?
Exactly. All I have to do when updating is run a patch for QE/CI, which is painless.

Ah, I see. That card looks good - it's best to have a reference card, and if the picture is close to the reality then you shouldn't have too much trouble. Definitely read Cindori's 'Ultimate Thread' though, you'll find good information in there about Natit and his ATI Flash tool (and more).
 

Similar threads

Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.