Workstation Extended Video Cards, Whats out there?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by POLOgt, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. POLOgt macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    So I came across this ebay:
    Item 180335532697
    With this picture:

    They are ATI 3870's and I am guessing they are from a Dell workstation,

    I was very temped to purchase it and flash them for my Mac Pro, to replace my two 2600 cards for a step in performance.
    I could not make a decision if it would be worth it with the 4870 hitting the market. Then I realized that the Mac 4870 only has one DVI :(

    I would really like to have this "extended" style of video card, just like the X1900, in my Mac Pro with a large, dual slot heatsink and fan!
    I have heard that the 3870 was a noisy card and I believe these would of made them quieter and I really like how the extension would fit in my Mac Pro.
    The extension would help support the cards extra weight (because of the larger heatsinks).

    What is the name for this style of card?
    Where do I find more of this style of cards?
    Does the 4870 come in this style?
    Any links would be greatly appreciated.

    I had no luck googling, I must not be using the correct keywords.

    Thank you for your help,
  2. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Those are too long and won't fit in Mac.

    It may be possible to machine them down...but certainly not an easy thing.

    The frames are made of cast aluminum...and not especially good stuff, I have seen one break already when it was packed improperly (corner to corner in a box)

    Aside from the physical logistics....the 3870s have a 64K chip on them....and the Mac ROM is 128K.

    There are other roadblocks as well. I would consider another path.
  3. POLOgt thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    Are they longer then the Mac X1900?


    I installed one of those in my fathers Quad 2.66Ghz, and it fit great.

    I could not use the 3870 ROM from the Mac edition card: Technologies/100435928/
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    As for the Flash ROM, do you have the tools and skills to desolder the existing part, and solder in a larger ROM?

    If not, The Rominator's right. They're going to be useless to you for OS X. :(
  5. POLOgt thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    I could, but it is not worth risk.
    I replaced memory on an xbox in the past, it was definitely not fun and I trashed one motherboard (by messing up just one of the feet).

    I still haven't found a link or good article on where/why these cards are developed this way yet.. :(
    Just my curiosity, and would be a nice read.

    Thanks guys,
  6. barefeats macrumors 65816


    Jul 6, 2000
    The new Mac compatible Radeon HD 4870 is an extended card with a very well designed, efficient, quiet heatsink/fan. I'm glad I ordered it with my Nehalem.

    However, I am curious why Apple has dropped the Quadro FX 5600 option, a full length card with 1.5G of VRAM - a true workstation level card. A friend is loaning me his to test in the Nehalem.

    I'll let you know what I learn.
  7. POLOgt thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 27, 2009
    Great! Thank you,

    I was seriously looking into flashing a PNY FX5600 for my Mac Pro just a couple months ago, but I found myself again with too many questions...
    and suppliers that would not try to flash it for me,

    Are there other suppliers of the ATI 4870 extended with the dual DVI?

    I would prefer the ATI version of the reference board over a third party greatly,
  8. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    As for flashing Netkas has made a method to flash a 4870 for the Mac Pro.

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