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ATI will ship Radeon HD 3870 for Mac by end of May


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#1 rob_ART

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 10:49 AM

I have received confirmation from a reliable source that ATI will definitely offer a retail version of the Radeon HD 3870 with 512MB DDR4 that will boot OS X on both current and legacy Mac Pros. It will be "on the shelves" by the end of May.

It will, of course, boot Windows XP or Vista in your Boot Camp partition. And, like the 2600, we expect it to support CrossFire mode under Windows if you have two installed and jumpered.

My source also confirmed that the Radeon 2600 (and 3870) drivers in Leopard 10.5.3 will provide surprising performance enhancements for 3D gamers. And just in case 10.5.3 gets delayed, they will ship the enhanced drivers with the card.
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#2 Dark_Archon

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 10:51 AM

Is it going to be a Radeon 3870 Mac & PC edition kind of thing, or will it be through Apple stores?
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#3 mattw

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 12:47 PM

View PostDark_Archon, on April 29th 2008, 05:51 PM, said:

Is it going to be a Radeon 3870 Mac & PC edition kind of thing, or will it be through Apple stores?

Even though I don't yet have a Mac Pro I really hope this sells well as I want them to keep offering cards for Mac users wanting to upgrade.
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#4 Charlie.naylor

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:16 PM

i find this surprising considering benchmarks i saw showed the 8800GT performing on par, if not better than the 3870.. whats the advantage of the 3870, i guess crossfire support, am i missing soemthing?

#5 Eric5h5

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 01:58 PM

View PostCharlie.naylor, on April 29th 2008, 03:16 PM, said:

whats the advantage of the 3870, i guess crossfire support, am i missing soemthing?

I think the primary advantage is that your money goes to AMD instead of nVidia.  Well, that's the advantage from AMD's viewpoint anyway.  ;)  I believe the word is "competition"....  More seriously, an actual advantage would be ATI Displays, since there's no nVidia equivalent on OS X, except that seems to have fallen by the wayside lately.  Maybe they'll get it going again.

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#6 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:20 PM

Driver support has traditionally been better on the ATI side with Macs, but I don't know if that's still the case. Other than that, choice is always good, especially for Mac users.
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#7 Tetsuya

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:41 PM

so.. when this card comes out, and the ROM gets dumped, how feasible is it to possibly see flashed 3870 HD X2's? There will be drivers in OSX for the card itself, (yes, under OSX its only "one" 3870) and it would allow you to have the "X2" working in Windows... a single slot solution if it's feasible

anyone more in the know of how this stuff works want to weigh in?

#8 Magnum

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 02:43 PM

View Postnobody, on April 29th 2008, 03:20 PM, said:

Driver support has traditionally been better on the ATI side with Macs, but I don't know if that's still the case. Other than that, choice is always good, especially for Mac users.

And with windows, since nVidia causes the most driver errors on windows than anything else.
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#9 rob_ART

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:20 PM

View PostDark_Archon, on April 29th 2008, 09:51 AM, said:

Is it going to be a Radeon 3870 Mac & PC edition kind of thing, or will it be through Apple stores?

It's going to be sold thru ATI online store, ATI dealers, and Apple Store.
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#10 rob_ART

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:28 PM

View PostCharlie.naylor, on April 29th 2008, 12:16 PM, said:

i find this surprising considering benchmarks i saw showed the 8800GT performing on par, if not better than the 3870.. whats the advantage of the 3870, i guess crossfire support, am i missing soemthing?

ADVANTAGES:
1. Runs Core Image Pro Apps faster than the 8800 GT. Our tests showed the Radeon 2600 faster than the GeForce 8800 GT running Motion and other Core Image based Pro Apps. The idea is that it runs 3D Games as fast as the 8800 GT and Pro Apps faster.

2. It boots on 2006, 2007, and 2008 Mac Pros. Buy one for your 2006 Mac Pro. Transfer it to your 2008 Mac Pro if you upgrade. Can't do that with the GeForce 8800 GT.

3. Supports CrossFire if you have two running under Windows. (SLI mode not supported for nVIDIA cards.) This should be of importance to hard core gamers that run both Mac and Windows games on the Mac Pro.
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#11 Charlie.naylor

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 05:14 PM

View Postrob_ART, on April 29th 2008, 11:28 PM, said:

ADVANTAGES:
1. Runs Core Image Pro Apps faster than the 8800 GT. Our tests showed the Radeon 2600 faster than the GeForce 8800 GT running Motion and other Core Image based Pro Apps. The idea is that it runs 3D Games as fast as the 8800 GT and Pro Apps faster.

2. It boots on 2006, 2007, and 2008 Mac Pros. Buy one for your 2006 Mac Pro. Transfer it to your 2008 Mac Pro if you upgrade. Can't do that with the GeForce 8800 GT.

3. Supports CrossFire if you have two running under Windows. (SLI mode not supported for nVIDIA cards.) This should be of importance to hard core gamers that run both Mac and Windows games on the Mac Pro.

Thanks for the info!
i may well wait for these to be a BTU option on before i buy a computer (was going to buy a macpro in the next few weeks)

im only interested in gaming performance so overlooked Core image stuff :)

#12 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 05:36 PM

Dang, wish I didn't order the 8800 with the MP. Any ideas on the price?



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#13 rob_ART

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 07:58 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on April 29th 2008, 04:36 PM, said:

Dang, wish I didn't order the 8800 with the MP. Any ideas on the price?
-Snake

I know. I tried to hint about this earlier but did not have permission to confirm it until now.

Let me confirm on cost but I think it's going to be cheaper than the 8800.
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#14 QuantaCat

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 12:52 AM

If it IS cheaper, then woohoo, people are going to be mad as a hat!
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#15 Dark_Archon

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 08:25 AM

View PostQuantaCat, on April 30th 2008, 02:52 AM, said:

If it IS cheaper, then woohoo, people are going to be mad as a hat!

Why? The 8800GT is faster.
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#16 Douglas

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 08:39 AM

View PostMagnum, on April 29th 2008, 01:43 PM, said:

And with windows, since nVidia causes the most driver errors on windows than anything else.

Huh, I found that to be just the opposite.  After installing updated official ATI drivers, half of my Windows games ceased to even boot and NOTHING I did could bring them back to life. Uninstalled the driver..nope. Reinstalled the original bootcamp driver...nope.  Reinstalled Direct X 9.0c...nope. When I finally replaced the Radeon X1900xt with my new Nvidia, magically ALL the games started working again.

I never plan on going back to ATI.

ATI = headaches + no support

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#17 Janichsan

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 08:47 AM

View PostDark_Archon, on April 30th 2008, 04:25 PM, said:

Why? The 8800GT is faster.
Is it? According to these benchmarks, that seems to depend strongly on the game. Some run faster with the 8800GT, some with the 3870.

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#18 Dark_Archon

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:14 AM

According to that benchmark, at the highest Settings:
8800GT wins: Company of Heroes, Crysis, ETQW, Far Cry, Fear, Prey, Splinter Cell 3, STALKER, Supreme Commander, Unreal Tournament 3, and X3.

HD 3870 wins: Quake 4

The HD 3870 picks up a few more wins at lower resolutions and settings, but the 8800GT is faster(significantly) for most games at high settings according to those benchmarks. The HD 3870 generally ranks between the 8800GT and the 8800GS.
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#19 Janichsan

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:37 AM

Oh, sorry, I seem to have been confused by the marked bars. You're right. Me bad. :blush:

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#20 rob_ART

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:43 AM

For pure, hard core gamers, the 8800 GT is the way to go. In fact, Windows PC is the way to go (or Boot Camp) and a GeForce 9800 GX2.

For someone wanting one card that's fast (if not fastest) for both games and Pro Apps under Mac OS X Leopard and compatible with Windows as well, the 3870 is the answer. I hope to make a stronger case for this as soon as I get my hands on the 3870 -- which might be sooner rather than later.
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