6870 in mac pro

6870 in mac pro
March 24, 2011 Oskar


UPDATED:
http://www.cindori.org/?p=431


Apparently PC 6870 works just fine in Mac Pro – without flashing

All you need is updated drivers pulled from Macbook Pro OSX 10.6.7 build

Drivers here:
Download

No boot screen though.

Perhaps this means we will have much easier use of PC graphic cards in next OSX, Lion.

as for QECI for 4890 for 10.6.7, it will come when it comes, don’t update yet if QECI is important to you. as soon as it’s out, zeus will be updated with it.

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59 Comments

  1. Planter 7 years ago

    okok , my nvidea8800 just burned out. What your saying is, i can go down to the local pc hw store and buy a 6870, pop it in my mac pro 3.1 , turn it on and it will work? As plain and simple as that?
    …sorry im asking, but this does sound a little too good to be true, though id climax if it were, considering i can get a 6870 cheaper than apples 5870. Thanx for confirming.

  2. Cindori 7 years ago

    Yes, you can, if you install the drivers before.

    You wont get boot screen though.

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  3. Planter 7 years ago

    just to clear my brain out completly… (and Cindori Thanx ALOT) … this is not the case with 5870 …just the 6870 …correct?
    (asking cuz i got the drivers installed through screenshare and im pretty much off to get a card)
    Thnx for dealing with noob btw. Its VERY appreciated+

  4. Cindori 7 years ago

    Yeah just the 6870.

    I should note though that although this is possible now, there is no telling if maybe in Lion, the drivers will not be able to run PC cards without flashing.

  5. Planter 7 years ago

    i wont start the whole ” Why are you practicing these pathetics on us apple?”
    Well , im off to get the card being that i simply cant get myself to pay 1500dkr more for apple 5870. Just makes me hurt..think of the beer i can buy you for that cash XD

    Well Cindori, Thanx for bein informed and thanx for sharing… info & people like you sharing theyre knowledge to noobs like me is simply what makes google worthwhile using.

    ofc ill Gladly give any updates or any info you could possibly use off my mac while running this card…. other than my creditcard info ofc.

    Again…thank you very kindly for sharing and spending some time responding me also!

    Much much respekts and regards+

  6. Planter 7 years ago

    dude…out of the box…works like a charm.

    the hdmi doesnt ofc…but thats to be expected i guess. Isnt seeming just as fast as my brothers apple 5870, but thats also to be expected i guess.

    In any case…i have a 6870 running in my macpro 2008…and You sir….Rock!
    btw im now running 10.7 developer…no issues.

    Thanx again! ..wheres that button XD

  7. Planter 7 years ago

    update : online games..i mean geekbench & steam..dont work. Otherwise still not “really” reporting any issues.

    oh shit , btw this is your personal blog!, hell , lol, ill stop hoggin it.
    ty for the help again 🙂

  8. Cindori 7 years ago

    nah not personal, 95% about mac
    yeah I heard that steam games dont work, and dvd player app also doesnt

    if anyone would take a pic of 6870 in macpro, ill post it, this blog needs more graphics of gfx 😀

  9. Planter 7 years ago

    haha OH DAMN! when i saw my brothers 5870 benched better than my card, i brought it back before i saw you asked for a pic…im dumbass…would you need a picture of a 5870 in a mp ? thats what i put in it now.

  10. TimDE 7 years ago

    Wow.
    Is it really so simple?
    1) Install new Driver
    2) Install the 6870
    3) Boot up and have Fun?

    Its a dream – isnt it?

    Just for my little Brain.
    Are all 6870 do this dream?
    Or do i have to by the ATI Version?
    I want to test this with the:
    “Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 1024MB DDR5 PCIe 2xDVI/HDMI/2xminiDP – FullRetail”
    Its 199Eur here in Store an much cheaper than the 5870 on Appl Store.

    Make my dream come true and give me a “+” that i can install this card 🙂

    Regards – Tim

  11. Richard 7 years ago

    @Planter,

    Does the 5870 perform better than the 6870???? And also installs/works like you described above? Same issues (games/hdmi) like 6870.

    I’m changing this weekend my vidcard, any update would be welcome!

    Thanks

  12. Planter 7 years ago

    @ richard. im finding that it “taste” , the 5870 has an army of roms from the pro at netkas..if your up for flashing a card, then im finding more beef on a flashed 5870 sappfire vortex… however its LOUD, not sure if its a driver issue.. in any case my brother traded his in for a 6870 same day (dumb i know we could have just traded).. Much much more silent. Bare in mind the 6870 is NOT the upgrade to a 5870, rather theyre more equals (the upgrade for the 5870 would be the 6970 — which isnt quite functioning yet it seems.

    you know what…im just passing info on ive learned from Cindoris posts and the netkas forums. 😉 …im just a user n abuser man XD have fun ( i promise pix soon)

  13. Planter 7 years ago

    maybe cindori will correct my spelling junk and delete this last post 😛 ?

  14. ChrisJ 7 years ago

    In the light of hearing that DVD Player and other GPU dependent games and video editing stuff don’t work,

    Anyway I think I will hold off on buying this (as tempting as it is) until we find out more about whats going wrong here.

    And more to the point, WHY these made for PC/BIOS cards are working out of the box in MacPro’s… And will it STAY that way??

    Maybe it is some clever trick that AMD has done in their firmware?? Since Im scared of buying the card, I don’t have it to test anything and maybe find out why this is the way is. if it is the work of AMD, good on em for this, And it will probably continue to work. After all, Apple has just refreshed their MacBook Pros, and they use this series card (6xxx).

  15. TimDE 7 years ago

    So i´m back 😉
    Yesterday my XFX ATI Radeon HD6870 1GB (ZNFC) has arrived.
    It should replace my old HD2600 in a mac pro 1,1.

    Before i installed the 3 extensions from ATI.
    Unbox the 6870 – plug the 2 Cable – close cover – boot up….
    …OMG it works 😀
    Tested these PRG so far:
    Itunes = OK
    Quicktime = OK
    Photoshop = OK
    Illustrator = OK
    Browser (Safari/Firefox/Opera) = OK
    World of Warcraft = OK (Stormwind 8PM 120FPS)
    4×4 Evo 2 = OK

    In 2d Mode the card is very silent, but in WoW (3d) it´s getting louder.
    If u log in to WoW the Fan goes up in speed.
    For me i think the Fan outlet in the rear side is very hot.
    (May it´s normal – and the 6870 is so hot in stream?)

    For me the Radeon is a very good update.

  16. Nanang Riyadi 7 years ago

    Thank for all information about ati 6870 in Macpro. Thank to Chidori you are good guys.

    I found more usefull information from this discussion.

  17. TimDE 6 years ago

    Hi there.
    Here is an PRG Update.
    IMovie = OK
    IDVD = OK
    VirtualDJ Home = OK
    VLC = OK

    FYI:
    The temperature in 3D mode the 6870 goes very hot.
    You can reduce this if you install SMC Fan Controll.
    The normal Fanspeed by system 599-599-499-499 (dispayed in IstatPro)
    I changed the speed to: 755-905-905-700
    This isnt much louder, but the temps from the 6870 stay also in 3d “normal”.

    If i have new updates, i will post it here.

  18. lhl 6 years ago

    This is great news. Finally swapped out my ancient 8800GT on my Mac Pro 3,1 with an Asus EAH6870 and it works great. (the non-reference design is supposedly cooler and comes oc’d, but due to bottom heatsink, doesn’t fit in Slot 1 – you may lose one or more PCIe slots…)

    I needed to buy an extra 6-pin PCI power cable separately.

    Has anyone figured out a way to get signal on boot-up? The one issue I have is that i use rEFIt for multi-boot. Is a bit inconvenient flying blind…

  19. Planter 6 years ago

    @ Ihl

    no not for dvi …not yet (it seems) .. i use bootcamp for reboots. For the goodness the 6870 gives… i find its an irrelevant “price” to pay.

    oh yea…i do see boot on vga though.

    @Richard

    tbh imho , at this point, my hand would reach out and grab a 6870 off the shelf before a 5870, for a macpro running 10.6.7 or Lion, without even hesitating a single second. But then, thats just me, i like it silent simple n easy…. Ofc we may have to flash some day, but by then I (meaning my researching brother) should be more equipped = have more knowledge in the flashing field, which again is really just ripped off the netkas forums. I dig giving credit where its deserved…..but yea…. that.

  20. virgilio 6 years ago

    Where to buy this card?

    And wich one, there are lots of 6870..

    thx

  21. virgilio 6 years ago

    seems the 6870 is not better than the 5870

    http://www.visualdreamers.com/news/amd-radeon-hd-6870-vs-5870/

  22. Cindori 6 years ago

    ofc it is not, 6870 is not a successor to 5870, 6970 is

    you can buy any manufacturer of 6870 for this purpose 🙂

  23. vir 6 years ago


    Cindori:

    ofc it is not, 6870 is not a successor to 5870, 6970 is
    you can buy any manufacturer of 6870 for this purpose

    But the post talk about 6870 works perfect in macosx, not about 6970. So whats the big deal between 6870 and 5870?

  24. Cindori 6 years ago

    because 6870 is a really great card for like $187.99, and if it does not need flashing to work in OSX, it’s a very ideal choice for many ppl.

    however I would recommend to not buy any GPU before Lion release as we will

    a. See what final Lion drivers will bring support for
    b. See what final Lion drivers will kill support for
    c. Perhaps see GPU updates from Apple for Mac Pro for the release

  25. vir 6 years ago


    Cindori:

    because 6870 is a really great card for like $187.99, and if it does not need flashing to work in OSX, it’s a very ideal choice for many ppl.
    however I would recommend to not buy any GPU before Lion release as we will
    a. See what final Lion drivers will bring support for
    b. See what final Lion drivers will kill support for
    c. Perhaps see GPU updates from Apple for Mac Pro for the release

    Hope Lion give us new drivers for less expensive video cards. I dont want to spend 459$ for an old video card like the ati 5870.
    How and when we will know if Lion support new drivers?

    Thx

  26. planter 6 years ago

    u know the info i gather; all comes from the dudes at the netkas.org forums. Those guys are; leading the knowledge pot of macpros & gpu´s … just cuz u asked.

  27. Tom 6 years ago

    Thank you for this website and your post Cindori – would not have found this info without it! I bought a Sapphire HD6870 and it works out of the box in my Mac Pro (Early 2008). I installed the drivers before popping in the card of course.

    I noticed on the first start, expose and some other graphical stuff such as the sliding dock (I guess all core image related?) were REALLY slow. I was kind of scared but then reliefed when it went to normal after a second reboot – maybe OSX had some driver related stuff to do after the first boot?

    I also noticed that the card is recognized under a different name in OSX. Something like “ATI HD NII” or “ATI N4” – not sure though atm as not at my computer but it definately wasn’t the correct name of the card. Runs on 16x speed though.

    I got some questions, in case anyone knows.

    1. What would have happened if I wouldn’t have installed the drivers before first boot? Black screen?
    2. Is it true that the boot menu (for bootcamp-windows) can’t be accessed nor controlled? I first though I might be able to control it even with no monitor signal but it seems it is not even loaded. So does the (Apple) EFI normaly contain the entire boot menu also? I guess the computer hangs in some kind of “no efi” state, when I press alt, as it is not controlable any more.

    As this will probably affect future installations I will be keeping my feshly baked 8800 for sure.

  28. Tom 6 years ago

    I just noticed that also “Ableton Live” does crash under OSX. Any clues why some applications won’t run or if this can/will somehow be patched?

  29. Jul 6 years ago


    Tom:

    Thank you for this website and your post Cindori – would not have found this info without it! I bought a Sapphire HD6870 and it works out of the box in my Mac Pro (Early 2008). I installed the drivers before popping in the card of course.
    I noticed on the first start, expose and some other graphical stuff such as the sliding dock (I guess all core image related?) were REALLY slow. I was kind of scared but then reliefed when it went to normal after a second reboot – maybe OSX had some driver related stuff to do after the first boot?
    I also noticed that the card is recognized under a different name in OSX. Something like “ATI HD NII” or “ATI N4″ – not sure though atm as not at my computer but it definately wasn’t the correct name of the card. Runs on 16x speed though.
    I got some questions, in case anyone knows.
    1. What would have happened if I wouldn’t have installed the drivers before first boot? Black screen?
    2. Is it true that the boot menu (for bootcamp-windows) can’t be accessed nor controlled? I first though I might be able to control it even with no monitor signal but it seems it is not even loaded. So does the (Apple) EFI normaly contain the entire boot menu also? I guess the computer hangs in some kind of “no efi” state, when I press alt, as it is not controlable any more.
    As this will probably affect future installations I will be keeping my feshly baked 8800 for sure.


    Tom:

    Thank you for this website and your post Cindori – would not have found this info without it! I bought a Sapphire HD6870 and it works out of the box in my Mac Pro (Early 2008). I installed the drivers before popping in the card of course.
    I noticed on the first start, expose and some other graphical stuff such as the sliding dock (I guess all core image related?) were REALLY slow. I was kind of scared but then reliefed when it went to normal after a second reboot – maybe OSX had some driver related stuff to do after the first boot?
    I also noticed that the card is recognized under a different name in OSX. Something like “ATI HD NII” or “ATI N4″ – not sure though atm as not at my computer but it definately wasn’t the correct name of the card. Runs on 16x speed though.
    I got some questions, in case anyone knows.
    1. What would have happened if I wouldn’t have installed the drivers before first boot? Black screen?
    2. Is it true that the boot menu (for bootcamp-windows) can’t be accessed nor controlled? I first though I might be able to control it even with no monitor signal but it seems it is not even loaded. So does the (Apple) EFI normaly contain the entire boot menu also? I guess the computer hangs in some kind of “no efi” state, when I press alt, as it is not controlable any more.
    As this will probably affect future installations I will be keeping my feshly baked 8800 for sure.

    This problem hapend with 5870 flashed cards. You need to have a vga monitor conected to the 1º port. And then you can see the boot menu.
    I will buy a 6870 and i´ll test in my Mac (2006). I will buy it on a shop i can retur it if it don`t works well. It´s more expensive but It´guive me secrurity.

  30. Jul 6 years ago

    Tested. The saphire 6870 runs on my mac pro 1,1 (2006).
    Final cut, motion, etc aparently runs ok.
    Warkraft an X3 runs full.

  31. TimDE 6 years ago

    another update.
    AfterEffects CS 5.5 works fine here 🙂

  32. neem' 6 years ago

    This is great, but the lack of Steam games and Boot Camp kills it for me as that’s what I want it for. Well, sort of, obviously I want it for my work too but my 4870 is doing all that fine. Thing is, I’d ideally like a card that is current gen and will play Battlefield 3 at high settings, but I don’t want to pay loads for it, and if the 6870 is cheaper than the 5870 was for PC users, I can’t imagine how much cheaper it’ll be than what Apple want for the 5870! £300 on a card that’s already obsolete, no thank you. I guess I have to wait, or spend £300 on something I don’t absolutely need…

  33. mxpwr03 6 years ago

    Neem’, from what I’ve read Boot Camp still works, you just have to select the startup disk before restarting, as holding down the alt key during bootup will not work.

    I’m going to order one of these today and install it into my 2009 Mac Pro and see how it goes.

  34. shongohan 6 years ago

    Actually you can control the boot with REFit utility…
    obiously you can not see anything during boot BUT…
    you can switch on the LED in your keyboard when boot until you see that led is switched off then you are in refit and in my case boot windows is move the right key 4 times and ENTER then I have selected windows without enter in Mac os.

  35. KB 6 years ago

    Well, I just ordered the XFX Radeon HD6870 and it should be here in a day or two. I’m happy to get a high-grade card at a good price and hopefully Lion won’t kill it.

    Has anyone updated to 10.6.8 ??

  36. mxpwr03 6 years ago

    KB,

    Hey I just got in my XFX Radeon HD 6870 and installed it. Works fine. Just install the driver that is listed on this page and you’re good to go. I have the OS X Snow Leopard running 10.6.8. YES!

  37. John 6 years ago

    Just installed the drivers and a Sapphire 6870. Biggest problem was power cables. The included ones where able to feed the card (2 cables necessary or the card wont start!) via the cd-drive compartment cabling but as it needs 2, the my cd drive needed to be disconnected. Not possible to close the cabinet in this mode. I got micro Molex connectors and cut the off the connectors on the cables supplied and soldered the new one instead. All good – no splash screen as described. Very nice!

  38. John 6 years ago

    10.6.8 upgrade worked fine!


    John:

    Just installed the drivers and a Sapphire 6870. Biggest problem wa …..!

  39. KB 6 years ago

    I just got it and there are no power cables in the box. None.

    I have no idea what I need. I about to run down to Best Buy and see what they have but I don’t even know how to connect them up once I get the cables.

    I see two ports which look the same as the power ports on the 6870 that are marked “HDD_SNS”

    Any help or directions to a site with info would be appreciated!

  40. Cindori 6 years ago

    KB, please use the new post at the front page.

    For power options, see Power section of the golden guide:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=877441

    short story, mac uses special gpu power cables, they are called

    G5 Graphic Power Cable

    won’t be sold on normal pc store, google for shops,, try searching macrumors forums too

    if you have 06 – 07 – 08 mac pro, you can use molex, see golden guide

  41. KB 6 years ago

    Screwed. Best buy doesn’t carry them.

    Called apple store and PC place near me and they don’t either.

    Figures. Now I have to reinstall my old one order the cables and wait days for them to come.

  42. KB 6 years ago

    I’ve got a Mac Pro 1,1

    The power connector on the cd/DVD drive is a rectangle one with the four circular pin connectors.

    Should there be some molex in there as well?

  43. Cindori 6 years ago

    you should have researched more.

    yup thats the molex.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=418279

  44. KB 6 years ago

    Sorry, got confused about which was the molex connector.

    I found the proper cables at OWC so I’ll just order them and not have to search for molex adapters.

    Thanks for the help.

  45. Tom 6 years ago

    Just in case somebody from Germany wants to buy the power-cable (it’s hard to find here) you can get it here:

    http://www.amazon.de/Grafikkarte-Stromkabel-Strom-Kabel-Adapter-6-polig-Stecker/dp/B004F7RU6G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309364875&sr=8-1

    Got mine there and it works just fine.

  46. KB 6 years ago

    picked up a Molex to 6 pin adapter and ran the power from the CD bay down to the card and fired it up.

    Installed the new drivers, rebooted and SHAZAMM! worked right away although the first boot up took forever. Rebooted and much better.

    Trying to find some free benchmarking software to test it out.

  47. Cindori 6 years ago

    OpenGL Extension viewer is a good benchmark for gpu

  48. KB 6 years ago

    I just found that— I ran Cinebench and the results were pretty disappointing. Only 18.x

    Does anyone know of what sort of results I should be expecting from OpenGL Extension Viewers tests?

    Thanks again, Cindori, for all the work putting this info together for us!

  49. Cindori 6 years ago

    hm don’t know cinebench too well

    here are some opengl extension viewer benches

    http://www.barefeats.com/wst10g4.html

    but they look wierd, 5770 gets way lower then 4870, even though it’s the same GPU (5770 is just cooler and lower power consume).

    when testing with opengl extension viewer dont forget to tick Benchmark box nad 8x AA atleast.

    if I were u I would make a topic on netkas forums asking for ppls benchmark with 5870 or 6870 to compare with.

    bear in mind that 6870 is not a successor to 5870, it is to 5850 I believe. so 6870 is slower then 5870.

    also drivers are beta, not even release officially. expect better support in Lion release.

  50. KB 6 years ago

    I must be doing something wrong… LOL!

    I’m running the same test as them but at 1280x1024x32 and I’m getting 1959 FPS in OpenGL 2.0 where they are getting 62-147 FPS

  51. Cindori 6 years ago

    theres a plenty big difference between 1280×1024 and 2500×1600. also, remember to tick following settings:

    4x MSAA, 8x Aniso, Fog, Transparency.

    I believe there has released a new open gl extension viewer since that test, maybe it gives higher score too.

  52. KB 6 years ago

    yeah, I figured having the higher res would knock it down significantly but still —- and yeah, I had all those settings exactly like that.

    I should have done some practical tests in motion and stuff before I installed the new card but didn’t .

  53. TimDE 6 years ago

    Hi there again.
    Has any one build in the xfx 6870 Blackedition?
    (HD-687A-ZNBC)
    Will this card work also like the “normal” xfx 6870?

    Regards – Tim.

  54. Kyle 6 years ago

    Did this work without any problems in Lion?

  55. off the map 5 years ago

    I just got the r6870 for my mac pro tower went here to download the driver pack, and the link is not longer working, does anyone have an updated link>?

  56. Tim 5 years ago

    Hier is a link from Netkas Forum.. this u can install to run the 6870.. i hope this is the last one, i installed also here on 3 MPros..
    http://www.mediafire.com/?p70i0f5pqqtwlzt

    keep in mind that the screen will be black till login screen.. and pls read all about this workaround to run the card!!!

  57. JUN FUKUSHIMA 3 years ago

    I DON'T HAVE WEBSITE.
    I REACHED HERE FOR USE Radeon HD 6870 Video Card ONMAC PRO.

    • JUN FUKUSHIMA 3 years ago

      I DON’T HAVE WEBSITE.
      I REACHED HERE FOR USE Radeon HD 6870 Video Card ONMAC PRO.