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  1. #1
    decryption's Avatar decryption is offline Kenny Powders

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    Default Flashing PC Graphics Cards for Mac Pro?

    Anyone got a good source of info for flashing PC graphics cards for use in a Mac Pro? I'd like an ATI Radeon 4870 in a Mac Pro, but when I can get a PC one for $180 vs $699 for the "official" Mac one - I think I'll take some time to flash a PC one (if it's possible).

  2. #2
    bartron's Avatar bartron is offline mmmm...cookies

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    and thus we come full circle....the reason I joined MacTalk (appletalk it was) was for a geforce 5200 flashing article..

    anyway...some light reading here may be useful to you
    Race to dump the 4870 ROM, Who's first? - Mac Forums
    This opinion intentionally left blank.

  3. #3

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    Netkas has terse but understandable instructions for it:
    netkas.org Flashing 4870 to work in MacPro

    God bless him and his os x wizardry!

  4. #4
    decryption's Avatar decryption is offline Kenny Powders

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    Thanks dudes - is there a particular card I should go for? MSY sell HIS, Powercolor, Gigabyte and ASUS.

    Also, the guides I found mention 10.5.7 - anyone know if flashing works in 10.6?

  5. #5

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    Buy a card that looks as much like this as possible:


    Apart from that, all brands use the same basic chips, but sometimes differ in terms of warranty.

    Funnily enough I just now found an "EZ Mode" guide on another site!
    This solution is so simple it will blow your mind away. Twice.

    I have tested it on my 2006 Mac Pro, using a Sapphire 4870 with 512MB VRAM (early model, based on ATI's reference design). The machine is running Snow Leopard 10.6.1.

    The test might be a little biased, as I originally installed Snow Leopard using the 4870 card. I only reflashed it with its original non-EFI BIOS for the purpose of this test.

    You'll need the iMac Graphics Update 1.0.2 and Pacifist.

    First, mount the graphics update image and use Pacifist to open it. You'll need to extract two files from here, using administrator privileges: ATIROMFlasher.kext and ATIFacelessFlash.app.

    After extracting them, we'll first need to make sure the kext is able to load. Open a Terminal, and run "sudo kextutil -nt ATIROMFlasher.kext" to check whatever problems it might have.

    On my system, it complained about authentication failures, and also showed a few warnings. The warnings can be ignored, but the auth issues have to be fixed, using those two commands: "sudo chown -R root:wheel ATIROMFlasher.kext" and "sudo chmod -R 644 ATIROMFlasher.kext".

    Then, we'll remove the iMac firmwares from the archive: "sudo rm ATIFacelessFlash.app/Contents/Resources/*IMG" and add the correct firmware to the flash utility: "sudo cp 4870.ROM ATIFacelessFlash.app/Contents/Resources/".

    Note: removing the other firmwares is only important if you have other ATI cards in your mac. When ran, the ATIFacelessFlash application looks for all files in the Resources directory, tries to find a match in your PCI devices, and when one is found, initiates the flashing. So it could "harm" one of your other ATI cards. And I don't know how it behaves with a 4870X2 card, *IF* it is seen by the system as two cards with the same ID, *BUT* each need a different firmware for the card to work fine. From a quick disassembly, I'd say that only the first one would be flashed.

    Now, time to plug the PC 4870 card in your machine. I had it in the 1st PCI Excodess slot, with no display connected, and the 7300 GT that originally came with my Mac in the 3rd PCI Excodess slot, driving my display. I don't know if MacOS X can boot without any graphics card, but if it does, you could also use ssh instead of a second card, if you have a second machine available.

    Restart your mac, and flash the card: "sudo kextload ATIROMFlasher.kext" (loads the interface to the card), "sudo open ATIFacelessFlash.app" (flashes the card. The app should appear in your Dock, wait for it to complete), "sudo kextunload ATIROMFlasher.kext" (unloads the interface).

    Then reboot once more, and voilą, your 4870 is now a Mac card. No need to boot a FreeDOS CD, no need to create a FAT partition on your disks.
    Link: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish - Alexandre Boeglin's Web Page - How to flash a PC 4870 for a Mac Pro, using only Mac OS X

  6. #6
    decryption's Avatar decryption is offline Kenny Powders

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    Very nice ~Coxy
    Will buy one soon and let everyone know how I go.

  7. #7
    Brains's Avatar Brains is offline Still stuck in 1984

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    Powercolor tend to follow a GPU-maker's reference design as much as possible, and tend to be a good candidate for flashing. Avoid HIS, their cards don't last. Asus and Gigabyte cards might be better built than the other two brands, but there's no guarantee that they haven't deviated away from the reference design (sometimes they do, sometimes they don't) so they can be pot luck.

  8. #8

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    Get a xfx zdfc or zdhc 4870 card.

    Flash in osx or create a bootable disk as mentioned in the links provided.

    Avoid XFX ZWFC model cards. They are rubbish. Fans blow the heat back into the Mac.

    I have the ZDFC 1GB 4870.

    Good luck
    Last edited by PurpleLogix; 5th October 2009 at 09:33 PM. Reason: extra info
    Mac Pro1,1 4x2.66 (octocore), 10GB ram & ATI 4870 1GB.

  9. #9

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    How to Flash an ATI Radeon HD 4870 Graphics Card PC Version To work in an Apple Mac Pro

    Nice and easy walk through.

    Ps. You can flash with one card in Mac Pro.
    Mac Pro1,1 4x2.66 (octocore), 10GB ram & ATI 4870 1GB.

  10. #10

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    so updates anyone? how did we go with this?
    Know me before you judge me...

  11. #11

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    I have flashed mine. Simple and quick to do. No problems so far.
    Mac Pro1,1 4x2.66 (octocore), 10GB ram & ATI 4870 1GB.

  12. #12
    decryption's Avatar decryption is offline Kenny Powders

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    so updates anyone? how did we go with this?
    I didn't end up buying a Mac Pro, heh

    But the process seems straightforward enough - just make sure you get the right kind of card.

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