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Radeon HD 4870 X2 in the Mac Pro


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#21 Eric5h5

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 08:16 PM

View PostThe Mail Man, on October 8th 2008, 09:40 PM, said:

Apple jacks up the costs like crazy.

ATI tends to release Mac cards on their own, so if the prices are jacked up like crazy, it's not Apple's fault (in this case... ;) ).  Anyway, they released the 3870 Mac & PC Edition for around $200 retail (as far as I know there is no Mac-only version) so I don't see why the 4870 would be treated any differently.

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The only difference between a PC and a Mac video card is the ROM. Us Mac users from was back used to flash PC cards so we could use the more latest GPUs for cheap.....hint hint.  ;)

Unfortunately that doesn't work so well if the size of the code you need to flash doesn't fit in the flashROM, which happens.  In that case you have to do physical work on the card to install larger flashROM chips, which isn't for the faint of heart.  Also, that's not necessarily the only difference--my X800 Mac edition has different ports on the back than any of the PC versions.  That would only matter depending on what kind of displays you have, of course.

--Eric

#22 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 03:55 PM

Well ATI released the 2 GB 4850x2 which would be a tasty card for the Mac Pro. Here's hoping that's released.



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#23 teflon

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 04:32 PM

yeah, a 4850x2 is quite nice, but when youve got a Mac Pro which is pretty much the bleeding edge in terms of tech and cost, you expect to be able to kit it out with the very best GPU... In that case it would be the 4870, 4870x2, or a NV GTX280.
That Apple havent managed to put enough leverage and support in place in order to get a more middle of the road (though still very competent) 4850 for the MP, let alone a 4870, 4870x2, GTX280 or whatever just goes to show...

The blame here lies in three places. ATI and NVidia, but mainly Apple. Theyre the driving force behind the drivers and integration of a GPU into the OS and are consistently failing to deliver.
Things are admittedly better on the laptop side of things, where Apple are amongst the first to adopt the latest generation of GPU. But they are seriously lagging with desktops.

I mean come on, its been 5 months since the 4870 came out, why is there still nothing to show for it?
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#24 Greg Grant

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 06:10 PM

All sixteen of us Mac Pro owners eagerly await a 4870!
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#25 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:34 PM

Is the next Mac Pro update gonna be in January? If Apple were to support crossfire there could a a stellar gaming computer with the new Core i7 stuff, and then the goodies from ATI (assuming the 4850 and 70 are released then, the 4850 being the stock card). What would be an ultra ghey move from apple would be if the new card was the 9800 GT, I'm somewhat surprised they haven't started calling the 8800 we have now the 9800 just to stay "on the bleeding edge" of GPU's  ;)

January Expectations:
- Core i7
- 4670 or 9600 GT as stock card (would much prefer the 9600), option for either the GTX 260 or the 4870 depending on which company Apple goes with for the high end card
- DDR3 RAM
- gazillion $$ price


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#26 bobbob

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 07:31 PM

View PostEric5h5, on October 8th 2008, 08:16 PM, said:

Unfortunately that doesn't work so well if the size of the code you need to flash doesn't fit in the flashROM, which happens.
That's still quite the crock. The drivers should be written to run the code already on the cards. Much of it's ATI's own interpreted language, in the ones made in the last few years, with a bit of X86 that can even be run in a VM on PPC Macs. Someone's even gotten it working in open-source Linux and X drivers, for a few cards. ATI and Apple know what cards they support, so they could even ship the ROMs with the drivers, if writing better drivers isn't in the cards.

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my X800 Mac edition has different ports on the back than any of the PC versions
Is that old enough to be ADC? That sucks. Anything after that should be DVI, and now DisplayPort, which is obviously a non-issue. The mini DP->HDMI and ->DVI adapters are obviously very cheap in bulk, since they just rearrange pins, if only Apple wasn't quite so miserly they could ship one per output and help customers use older displays. Or they could charge $19 :(

View Postteflon, on December 8th 2008, 04:32 PM, said:

I mean come on, its been 5 months since the 4870 came out, why is there still nothing to show for it?
I'm actually more interested in a 4830. Cheaper and still fast enough for low resolutions.

#27 ltcommander.data

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 12:00 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on December 8th 2008, 08:34 PM, said:

Is the next Mac Pro update gonna be in January? If Apple were to support crossfire there could a a stellar gaming computer with the new Core i7 stuff, and then the goodies from ATI (assuming the 4850 and 70 are released then, the 4850 being the stock card). What would be an ultra ghey move from apple would be if the new card was the 9800 GT, I'm somewhat surprised they haven't started calling the 8800 we have now the 9800 just to stay "on the bleeding edge" of GPU's  ;)

January Expectations:
- Core i7
- 4670 or 9600 GT as stock card (would much prefer the 9600), option for either the GTX 260 or the 4870 depending on which company Apple goes with for the high end card
- DDR3 RAM
- gazillion $$ price
-Snake
Well since these are Mac Pro's it won't be Core i7, but the dual processor Xeon equivalent.

I actually hope Apple chooses ATI GPUs. Out of nVidia's offerings, only the GTX260 and GXT280 support 64-bit double precision floats for GPGPU operation for OpenCL. nVidia's 8xxx and 9xxx series only support 32-bit floats which is what is needed for graphics, but higher precision is useful for general computation work which Apple is pushing for. That's why I wasn't overly enthused with the choice of 9400M and 9600M GT for the notebook refresh since it's just perpetuating a lower feature set and will have to continue to be supported in the future holding everything back. In comparison, ATI has supported 64-bit floats as part of their DX10.1 GPUs, so both the HD3xxx and HD4xxx series. Which is why I hope Apple goes with the HD4670 or the HD4830 as the low-end GPU option. And to through nVidia a bone, let them have the GTX260 in the high-end if the 55nm shrink is available, otherwise go with the HD4870 or HD4850 X2.

#28 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 08:57 PM

Well I hear snow leopard is showing support for the GTX 200 series cards, just what I heard. However, if that's true its bad news for the 4850/70 ever coming. Perhaps we'll  get SLI support in mac for dual GTX 295's, since that would be farely cheap ;)


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#29 digt

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 04:09 AM

The tea leaves do seem to be saying that most of the support for high end graphics cards in the next year will be for nVidia cards. A lot of the newer and high end cards for Mac lately have been nVidia including the dual GeForce solution in laptops (didn't nVidia already try that on the Windows side to save energy? and don't they no longer offer it?).

Too bad because I was hoping for the single card 4870x2 as well. :(

#30 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 02:08 PM

Any "x2" variety card is unlikely from Apple no matter which company they go with. The super-high end of gaming cards really is a niche market within an already niche market, and you could stick one more "niche" on there if it was in the Apple world. Serious pros have the serious pro cards available, and Apple couldn't care less about how anyone's Mac Pro handles Bioshock.
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#31 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 02:34 PM

Either way, the 260 or 280 (assuming its one of those 2 cards, most likely the 260) will blow every other GPU we have available at the moment out of the water. I hope that the stock card will be the 9600 GT, or 4670 if they continue with ATi for the stock graphics.

Unfortunately, I've building myself a hackintosh at the moment, so its really to little, to late for this GPU upgrade for me.


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#32 Tetsuya

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Posted 29 January 2009 - 08:20 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on January 23rd 2009, 01:34 PM, said:

Either way, the 260 or 280 (assuming its one of those 2 cards, most likely the 260) will blow every other GPU we have available at the moment out of the water. I hope that the stock card will be the 9600 GT, or 4670 if they continue with ATi for the stock graphics.

Unfortunately, I've building myself a hackintosh at the moment, so its really to little, to late for this GPU upgrade for me.
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um... have fun with your Hackin-cripple?

#33 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 08:17 PM

View PostTetsuya, on January 29th 2009, 09:20 AM, said:

um... have fun with your Hackin-cripple?

Actually I scrapped the hackintosh idea, and just have Vista. I am having fun with all of my extra cash though

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