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


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#41 Obocop

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:16 PM

View Postrob_ART, on April 29th 2008, 07:58 PM, said:

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.

Wow Rob, Thanks for sharing your inside scoop. My 8800gt has arrived at the Apple Store, but i am very tempted to wait and see what Barefeats and others say about the 3870. It is well understood that the 8800gt has better gaming performance in Windows but I use my Mac Pro for both gaming and pro apps. If I were able to crossfire this card in my 2006 Mac Pro, I would have the best of both worlds right? Does the 2006 MP have the correct motherboard etc to do this?

Also, Barefeats had some good tests for both pro apps and opengl games, showing that the 8800gt for faster for the latter. Does this also translate to other, non-core image apps that use opengl like After Effects and Maya?

P.S. It's getting awfully close to the end of May, does your source say these 3870s are still on track?

#42 bobbob

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:26 PM

View PostObocop, on May 26th 2008, 05:16 PM, said:

P.S. It's getting awfully close to the end of May, does your source say these 3870s are still on track?
It must be delayed, since the 4870 is coming out in June and ATI would never ship a Mac card before the next generation comes out. Jobs would cut them off at the knees if they did that.

#43 rob_ART

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 09:46 AM

View Postbobbob, on May 26th 2008, 05:26 PM, said:

It must be delayed, since the 4870 is coming out in June and ATI would never ship a Mac card before the next generation comes out. Jobs would cut them off at the knees if they did that.

I don't know. I'm supposed to receive two Mac Edition test cards this week (3870). As far as I know they are still on track for "end of May" shipping.

I'll ask about the 4870 to see what their plans might be.

As for OpenGL 3D performance, the GeForce advantage should translate to Maya, though I can't confirm that since they no longer send me eval licenses. I do have After Effects. The only test I've run is to render the Total Benchmark from Total Training, which is uses all 8 cores and all 16G of memory in my Mac Pro. I need to research how to do an OpenGL intensive benchmark in AE before I can comment on if it benefits from the GeForce over the Radeons.
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#44 bobbob

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 11:26 AM

View PostTetsuya, on May 1st 2008, 06:35 AM, said:

no one has addressed my question yet:

since there will now be a ROM for the Radeon 3870-series that will boot OSX/EFI and Windows (from the new mac card), would it be possible to get a PC 3870X2, flash it with the new ROM, and have it:

function in OSX as a single 3870

and

function in Windows as a 3870X2?

if so, that seems like it may be an idea situation.  you get the improved performance in OSX of having a 3870, and in windows you get a 3870 X2
ATI's new cards use an interpreted language (AtomBIOS) instead of straight X86 code, so it would be much easier for Apple's ATI drivers to just use AMD's open-source interpreter. Wanting a 3870X2 when the 4870's and 4870X2's are coming out and cheaper is just insane, as is hoping for some hackneyed Apple-priced solution. It's not helping Mac gaming to hang all over every scrap of info some third-party can wring out of ATI's Mac division.

#45 Obocop

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 10:56 PM

View Postrob_ART, on May 27th 2008, 09:46 AM, said:

I'll ask about the 4870 to see what their plans might be.

Thanks for the reply Rob. Yeah, It does seem a little crazy that they wouldn't just put the effort into a 4870 for mac rather than the 3870. Imagine a mac card being released the same time as it's PC counterpart. It would sell like hotcakes.

#46 The Liberator

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 06:09 AM

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I would really want to know also. I would really hope something, at least like that comes about. I am not a Mac Pro owner (by looking at my signature), but I am really interested in where all of this stuff is going though, extremely interested.

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#47 Tetsuya

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 06:59 PM

View Postbobbob, on May 27th 2008, 10:26 AM, said:

ATI's new cards use an interpreted language (AtomBIOS) instead of straight X86 code, so it would be much easier for Apple's ATI drivers to just use AMD's open-source interpreter. Wanting a 3870X2 when the 4870's and 4870X2's are coming out and cheaper is just insane, as is hoping for some hackneyed Apple-priced solution. It's not helping Mac gaming to hang all over every scrap of info some third-party can wring out of ATI's Mac division.

attitude alert, bucko

good job quoting a post that is *weeks* old; something from before the general public was even aware the newer cards were coming.

Boardwarrior away, though.  

Your arrogance is showing.

#48 bobbob

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 08:17 PM

View PostTetsuya, on May 28th 2008, 05:59 PM, said:

Your arrogance is showing
I'm just frustrated with the lack of effort shown by ATI. They don't deserve a rumour mill and a fanclub fighting for table scraps. The fact that there are only rumours and even influential people can't get a lick of timely news out of them, yet they trumpet routine and regular model updates on the PC side is just sad. I need a hug :(

#49 the Battle Cat

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:37 AM

View Postbobbob, on May 28th 2008, 07:17 PM, said:

I need a hug :(
::tBC hugs bobbob::

::then gropes his butt::
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#50 Tesseract

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 08:54 AM

View Postbobbob, on May 29th 2008, 12:17 PM, said:

I'm just frustrated with the lack of effort shown by ATI. They don't deserve a rumour mill and a fanclub fighting for table scraps. The fact that there are only rumours and even influential people can't get a lick of timely news out of them, yet they trumpet routine and regular model updates on the PC side is just sad. I need a hug :(
I know what you mean. Sadly though, pretending to have no interest in better video cards isn't going to help Mac gaming either.

#51 QuantaCat

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 01:22 AM

Unless the gaming market improves (by selling more), the video card people won't be as interested, since the applications for such cards aren't necessary for video/music/multimedia people.

(yes I know some core applications use them more/better, but necessary it isn't)
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#52 Greg Grant

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 02:27 AM

Quanta, Video compositing makes plenty o' use of a graphics card, see motion :)


Anyhow, what's the status on the HD3870? Shipping date? VRAM (512 or 1 GB?)  Cost?

Reason I ask is I'll probably ordering a Mac Pro (It'll be 4th tower, and my 6th Mac since 1999... habitual spender I am) on Monday, just a standard 2.8 GHz and I'm not sure if I should hold out for a ATI Radeon 3870 or go with the 8800GT and pray for better Core Image drivers.

The 8800 GT essentially costs $150 more to the initial cost. I suppose I could always get the 8800 GT and ebay it once the HD3870 is released as it runs for about $280 and the average going price is about $200 for the 3870 on the PC. I assume the Mac version will be a little pricier.  I live and die by Motion graphics in Combustion, Motion and After Effects so really its the most important to me.

/unrelated new computer excitement/
I'm amped, I'll have 8 cores of glory to replace the 3 and half year old dually 2Ghz G5. I have a few PC gamer friends who'll probably gawk at it in awe and ask about the frame rates it puts up and I'll be like, "Hell if I know, but damn if it doesn't render projects fast and never ever gets bogged down by Cubase!" I might even buy a game or two... for the Mac. Windows is neat but I won't really ever use windows outside of VMware.
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#53 timewaster

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 11:30 AM

Well, end of May is here, no 3870 for the Mac. My ATI X1900 is dying a slow death in my 1st gen Mac Pro. I can work all day in Excel and Mail, but it seems to start glitching about 5 minutes into a game, with polygonal gray artifacts and freezes. Dusting did not help.

I was about to buy the NVidia 8800GT, but I read that it does not run Call of Duty 2 particularly well, which is my addiction. Pro apps are occasional use not a big performance issue for me. I am hoping to pick up the 3870 card and find that it works well for COD2 (and COD4 when it is finally released in July).

Any new news on a release date? Video cards have advanced considerably. Please don't tell me I have to spend $400 buying the exact same card (X1900) that came with my computer nearly two years ago. Wahhh!

#54 ozzy

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 11:43 AM

I'm having the same problem timewaster.  I installed smcfancontrol (google it) and crank up all my fans to at least 1500 RPMs before playing any games.  This has eliminated artifacts for now, and though it will continue to get worse, this will hopefully tide me over until the 3870 is released.  Also, you could always try calling Apple.  I've heard a few reports of people getting their original x1900's replaced out of warranty for free.  There's a long thread about this on the blizzard boards, and there's apparently an internal apple knowledge base id in that thread that you can tell the support person to look at.

#55 rob_ART

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 12:29 PM

Looks like the ship date for the 3870 slipped to mid June.

Hopefully I'll have some game benchmark results before then -- maybe as early as next week.

Meanwhile, I wanted to mention that Mac OS X 10.5.3 does speed up the GeForce 8800 when it's running Core Image intensive apps like Motion and Aperture. However, in most cases, it's only catching up to the Radeon 2600 in that regard.
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#56 QuantaCat

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 01:02 PM

View PostGreg Gant, on May 30th 2008, 10:27 AM, said:

Quanta, Video compositing makes plenty o' use of a graphics card, see motion :)

Yes I know motion does. But Motion is also the only one I don't use. Shake, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut, Compressor, yes. Motion, no. After effects all the way, baby. (and as far as I know, it still uses CPU power only, or atleast mostly)
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#57 Obocop

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 05:17 PM

View Posttimewaster, on May 30th 2008, 11:30 AM, said:

Well, end of May is here, no 3870 for the Mac. My ATI X1900 is dying a slow death in my 1st gen Mac Pro. I can work all day in Excel and Mail, but it seems to start glitching about 5 minutes into a game, with polygonal gray artifacts and freezes. Dusting did not help.

I was about to buy the NVidia 8800GT, but I read that it does not run Call of Duty 2 particularly well, which is my addiction. Pro apps are occasional use not a big performance issue for me. I am hoping to pick up the 3870 card and find that it works well for COD2 (and COD4 when it is finally released in July).

Any new news on a release date? Video cards have advanced considerably. Please don't tell me I have to spend $400 buying the exact same card (X1900) that came with my computer nearly two years ago. Wahhh!

Dude, I'm in exactly the same position. Dusted, still getting the artifacts and freezing. WAH is correct.

View PostQuantaCat, on May 30th 2008, 01:02 PM, said:

Yes I know motion does. But Motion is also the only one I don't use. Shake, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut, Compressor, yes. Motion, no. After effects all the way, baby. (and as far as I know, it still uses CPU power only, or atleast mostly)

I use those apps too. There's an option in the AE preferences that enables open GL rendering to help speed things up. So really, the 8800gt 'should' kick ass in AE with this option turned on.

View Postrob_ART, on May 30th 2008, 12:29 PM, said:

Looks like the ship date for the 3870 slipped to mid June.

Hopefully I'll have some game benchmark results before then -- maybe as early as next week.

Meanwhile, I wanted to mention that Mac OS X 10.5.3 does speed up the GeForce 8800 when it's running Core Image intensive apps like Motion and Aperture. However, in most cases, it's only catching up to the Radeon 2600 in that regard.

Thanks for your hard work Rob-ART (Barefeats rocks btw). Notch one up for Nvidia because I can't wait any longer for the 3870. I just pray, like others, that optimisation for the 8800gt is not complete with 10.5.3. and that a graphics update is on the way. However, there seems to be some confusion as to whether it's a driver or architecture issue.
Any more peeps from ATI regarding 4870 before I take the plunge?

#58 Greg Grant

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Posted 30 May 2008 - 05:19 PM

View PostQuantaCat, on May 30th 2008, 12:02 PM, said:

Yes I know motion does. But Motion is also the only one I don't use. Shake, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut, Compressor, yes. Motion, no. After effects all the way, baby. (and as far as I know, it still uses CPU power only, or atleast mostly)

Motion is so blissfully easy, I generally reach for it first for just about everything because of its the best UI can name to an app, its quick and to the point. I'm waiting for the Motion/shake combo app as it'll probably take the cake as the best in Motion graphics. Shake honestly was rather shoddy, the assembly system for filters (borrowed from Maya) is much better executed by Combustion (Seeing as its autodesk, surprise surprise).


Anyhow, I guess I'll go nVidia this card is potentially vaporware and there's no speed gains to be had with the 2600.
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#59 rob_ART

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 04:55 AM

View PostQuantaCat, on May 30th 2008, 12:02 PM, said:

Yes I know motion does. But Motion is also the only one I don't use. Shake, DVD Studio Pro, Final Cut, Compressor, yes. Motion, no. After effects all the way, baby. (and as far as I know, it still uses CPU power only, or atleast mostly)

Final Cut (iMovie), DVD Studio Pro (iDVD)), and Aperture do render Core Image Effects (in addition to Motion). Any time you are either applying effects and rendering thumbnails, the GPU is utilized. And in those instances, with 10.5.3, the GeForce 8800 is no longer slower than the Radeon 2600 -- but it's not faster. That's where the Radeon 3870 comes in. It will be faster than the 8800 for Apple Pro apps.

However, I expect it to be slightly slower than the GeForce 8800 when it comes to OpenGL 3D (gaming). I plan to do testing of both games and pro apps with the Geforce 8800 vs Radeon 3870 next week. Then you can decide which card meets your particular needs.

As for a Mac Edition of the Radeon 4800 series, ATI won't comment on it. But I consider that a non-denial denial. I'm betting there will be a Mac Edition.
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#60 The Liberator

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 05:39 AM

Hey Rob, I was looking at your website today. You just said that the 8800 GT is basically on par with the 2600 yes? So, would that mean the 8800GS is nearly on par or what? I am very curious about what is happening with all of this core imaging, gaming graphics card stuff. So yeah, I would just want to know, and clarify about everything.

By the way, because ATI are saying that the 3870 will be coming to the mac in around mid–June, and you are saying that we might be getting the 4870 to the mac some day, I was just thinking that I might be better in the long run to try and get the 4870 out as quickly as they could to the Mac platform, on the reasoning that the 3870 is already late and it might just be better to wait for the next card from ATI.

Thanks, Liberator. :)

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