Which Graphics card for 1,1 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nightfly13, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #1
    I have two issues with my present X1900: it's not going to be OpenGL compliant come September, and more pressingly on a day to day basis, for some reason Eve Online, the game I'm rather addicted to, doesn't like me using two video cards - a stock GeForce 7300 and the Radeon.

    I haven't been able to troubleshoot my way to confirming why I have the issue (and I've posted on Eve online forums - no one else seems to have the issue) but I get really odd graphics glitches when I have more than 2 screens 'detected'. Rather, when I have screens on more than 1 video card. I think it has to do with an ATI/nVidia conflict while running a Mac port of the Linux Port of Eve.

    So I was hoping to get the 8800 perhaps, but they're getting pretty hard to find. Any other suggestions? Performance-wise I've been happy with the X1900, don't really *need* to upgrade, but I'd like to maximize OpenGL and solve this confilct issue so I'm not constantly climbing in behind my desk to unplug and replug DVI cables - I now run 3x monitors and a projector.

    Price counts for me, I'd like to keep this upgrade as cheap as possible - don't use 'Pro' apps. I'm not afraid to flash a PC card if there's decent instructions around somewhere. This is actually a PC X1900 with a custom fan/heatsink fitted (Xcellero X2 or something? It's been a while).

    Input appreciated.
     
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #2
    For many of the reasons you listed, I decided last week to upgrade to the Radeon 4870 from apple. I know I could've flashed a PC card but having read through a great many of the posts, I decided in the long run that the headaches involved with getting it to work and keeping it working were just not worth the hassle. Don't pay any attention to the fact that apple says the 4870 is incompatible with the 1,1 mac pro, because I assure you it works flawlessly. It is very quiet (I can't detect any audible difference in fan noise, coming from a fan-less 7300GT and SMCfancontrol running at 900rpm all around). It is very fast. It is ready to keep my Mac Pro Classic a viable machine for at least a few more years, and that's saying something significant seeing that I've already had the machine for 2 years!
     
  3. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Ranchi, India
    #3
    I appreciate the thoughts. I'd really prefer not to spend $350 - especially when I'm not dissatisfied with my present video/gaming performance.

    I'm already planning to purchase a SSD for OS/Apps in my Pro. I live outside of the US and return to the US to visit for a month out of every year. That's when I do the shopping. New MBP and SSD were the 'toys' I planned to spend money on - but now that I just got a third monitor - and I still want to play Eve - I need to reconsider. The other problem is my tower lives in India, so whatever card I buy, I can't really test that my issue has been resolved.

    I tend to play open Eve kinda all the time, like 5-6x per day, so I really need to figure this issue out.
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    I'm not so sure how SL will go but with Leopard the ATI HD3870 Mac&PC Edition is doing very nicely for me. I used the same trick as you did with the X1900XT and fitted an Akasa Vortexx Neo cooler which trades at 19$ and makes the card inaudible. I baught the card at ebay and got it for 70€. It was a great deal.
     
  5. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    Jul 17, 2008
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  6. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #6
    You have to take that list with a grain of salt. Apple never issued a 3870 but ATI did and so far the compatibility is excellent without any modifications. I'm hoping that ATI will support the card in SL as well, but one never knows. The good thing is that ATI are much better than Apple in terms of supporting multiple firmware, so based on past performance it is not unreasonable to hope.

    I have also baught an XFX4870 but to the day there is no suitable ROM that would fit my requirements.
     
  7. ezmac1964 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #7
    bad news

    for mac pro 2006/2007 you have only a solution to run onpenCL in snow leopard: a 8800 GT... ATI cards did not have drivers to boost SIMD ( single instruction multiple data ).. ATI told about 6 months or a year to write thoses drivers..
     
  8. Syonidism macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Turkey
    #8
    I'm thinking of getting my 1,1mac pro a pc version 4890 1Gb and then flash it.

    There has been a lot fo talk about Nvidia 285's working on 1,1 mac Pro's however the 4890 and the 285 have little (if none) difference between them according to the benchmarks.

    May wait for Snow leopard to actually make my purchase however i don't know how long my ALREADY flawed+buggy and continuously dying 1900XTX can take it...

    I hate 1900XTX... It really made me hate ati but...they still make great video cards. if 285's price was somewhere near the 4890 i'd definately buy that one.
     
  9. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #9
    I'm in the same boat here. I decided to go with the 3870 Mac & PC edition (got one used for $100) for now and wait and see if it ever gets Open GL compatibility. If it doesn't, I'll see if Open GL proves to make a real world advantage worth spending an additional $300 on a 4870. I'm done with Nvidia cards, I've had nothing but issues with every Nvidia card I've owned over the years, and none with my ATI cards, so no 8800 for me.
     
  10. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #10
    What are you missing from a flashed XFX 4870? I picked up one from newegg for $149 and it works great for me.
     
  11. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #11
    I need a VGA 1920x1080 @ 59.9 Hz for my 46" Samsung HDTV to run in pixel mapping mode. I got one of those local dimming LCDs and it blows everything away that I ever had for movies. I also use it for satellite 1080p HDTV with EyeTV for recording. The quality is sensational. Some of these h.264 streams go up to 50Mbit/s. Its Blu-Ray quality. With DVI/HDMI I never get the 1:1 mapping because it will always over or under scan.

    The XFX4870 is somewhat screwed with VGA and the frequency parameters I need. I have not managed to get it working. I get VGA 1920x1080 @ 60 Hz on a Dell 21" but that does not satisfy me.

    The 3870 is without problems though. Only needs an 2 slot cooler.
     
  12. Syonidism macrumors regular

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  13. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #13
    Where did you get that info? I've read all over the place that the ATI 4870 supports OpenCL, and can run in 2006/2007 MPs.
     
  14. Syonidism macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2009
    Location:
    Turkey
    #14
    i second that. 4890 also supports openCL afaik.

    He is correct though... back in 2008 that is.
     
  15. Harry322 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #15
    Can someone who has run it in Snow Leopard confirm that the 4890 supports openCL?

    For that matter, will a 4870 support OpenCL, even in the "unsupported" 2006 Mac Pro?
     
  16. JPamplin macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #16
    I'm running the 10.6 SL beta build 402 with an ATI 3870 - where can I find out whether it's being used for OpenCL?

    JP
     
  17. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #17
    I don't see why not. The whole reason the 4870s were going to be unsupported in the 2006 MPs was because of 32bit vs 64bit EFI boot code...

    But the Apple OEM 4870s work just fine in 2006 MPs, because they have both the 32b and 64b EFI code. Did I get that right? I'm pretty sure I read reports of Apple OEM 4870s working in 2006 MPs...
     
  18. Harry322 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    Yeah, they certainly work in the 2006 MPs, but I'm wondering if Snow Leopard recognizes them as being able to support OpenCL. In other words, does the OS prevent the "unsupported" card from taking advantage of OpenCL?

    Likewise, would the OS prevent a flashed or "injected" 4870 from taking advantage of OpenCL? Since it's not an "official" Apple card, is there any reason why it won't be recognized?
     
  19. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #19
    Do you all just look for things to worry about?

    Once it is up and running, a flashed 4870 is seen by system as having same ROM id and device id as OEM card.

    Unless Apple has hidden Webcams in the chassis to visually id the cards, the computer has NO IDEA which card it is.

    Quit wringing your hands in anxious desperation and enjoy your computers.
     
  20. Harry322 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #20

    That answers my question I guess. :eek:

    Does the injector accomplish the same task? Would an injected 4870 or 4890 be seen as an OEM card?
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #21
    It's a sofware solution, but basically, yes.

    Theoretically, Apple could deliberately attempt to break injectors, but they can be changed/adapted fairly quickly. So I've not noticed the deliberate attempt to do so. Perhaps others who do this often can chime in more information though. :)
     
  22. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #22
    Don't really see this happening, since the injector-users are like 0.0.1% of the Mac Pro owner base, and the Mac Pro makes 0.0.1% of total Macs. We are already small enough to be ignored for upgrades (EFI 64 anyone?)
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #23
    I haven't any idea of statistics, but given the hackintosh community's been around for awhile, Apple's left it alone (individuals). :)

    Psystar is another matter, and one I don't want to see take over the thread. ;) :p
     

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