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Wet_Jimmy
19th November 2010, 10:42 AM
Hi folks,

I just received the official Apple 5870 graphics upgrade kit, and I intend to install it in a 2008 Mac Pro.

Has anyone come across a handy set of instructions showing how this might be achieved, and whether I need any extra cables other than the two power cables that come with the card?

Google isn't being particularly useful, so I'm asking this fine community! I'm happy to muddle my way through the process, but forewarned is forearmed, as they say.

Thanks in advance,

WJ.

Thrymr
19th November 2010, 10:53 AM
Has anyone come across a handy set of instructions showing how this might be achieved, and whether I need any extra cables other than the two power cables that come with the card?

Due to its size, you'll probably have to tilt the card to get it to fit in the box. Other than that, there's not much to it. Both power cables are required.

My recommendation would be to stick it in Slot 1, since it's double-wide, thus still giving you access to the other slots. If you're replacing another card in Slot 1, keep in mind that there's a latch attached to the slot that's designed to be lifted to ease removal of the card. A lot of people forget this and end up snapping the latch as they yank the card from the slot.

Before firing the machine up, ensure that the card is properly inserted and seated, and that it's kept secure by the slot panel screw.

Wet_Jimmy
19th November 2010, 11:11 AM
Thanks Thrymr!

I'm replacing the original 8800GT card, so I assume that'll be in Slot 1.

Do you know if I can shift the 8800GT to another slot and run it as a second video card and use it to independently drive my second monitor? Is there likely to be any benefit to doing so? Would any apps (Photoshop, etc) benefit from a second card?

I occasionally do some gaming in Windows 7 via Boot Camp - Could I use my 8800GT as a dedicated Physx card, do you think?

Please forgive any obvious technical blunders above - I'm a bit of a simpleton :)

Thrymr
19th November 2010, 11:30 AM
I'm replacing the original 8800GT card, so I assume that'll be in Slot 1.

Yep, that should be in Slot 1. Swap it with the 5870.


Do you know if I can shift the 8800GT to another slot and run it as a second video card and use it to independently drive my second monitor? Is there likely to be any benefit to doing so? Would any apps (Photoshop, etc) benefit from a second card?

Because the 8800 GT requires one 6-pin power connector, the official answer is no, since the Mac Pro only has two 6-pin power connectors, and the 5870 requires both. Unofficially, however, you can still install the 8800 GT if you have an unused Molex connector from one of the optical drive bays and connect a Molex-to-6-pin adapter, then route the cable up and over the motherboard to the 8800 GT. Not the most elegant of solutions, but it works.

Would it benefit you? Hard to say. It'd take a load off the 5870 in that it would then only have to drive one monitor, but the 5870 is a very capable card. Performance-wise, you may find that the 5870, while driving two monitors, is still on par or better in overall performance. I've also seen some funny issues with a Radeon and GeForce together in a Mac Pro, sometimes in Mac OS and sometimes in Windows.


I occasionally do some gaming in Windows 7 via Boot Camp - Could I use my 8800GT as a dedicated Physx card, do you think?

YMMV. I've seen varied levels of success with this sort of setup. At the end of the day, you'll only know for sure after giving it a shot. Be sure to install the latest drivers from AMD and NVIDIA, and/or install Boot Camp 3.2, which was just released today.

Wet_Jimmy
19th November 2010, 02:45 PM
Brilliant feedback! Thanks a lot. I'll report back over the weekend once I'm up and running, in case anyone else is looking to install one of these cards.

Wet_Jimmy
19th November 2010, 08:51 PM
Well, I'm happy to report that the 5870 is now installed and running as intended.

Installation was a breeze - the only difficulty was actually getting the card to fit in the chassis because it's so long! I haven't really taken a good look a modern video card, and was surprised when I opened the box this thing came in. You could club a bear to death with this thing, no joke :)

Looks like all the drivers are already in the OS, because my Mac booted just fine and didn't complain at all. I ran Software Update just in case, but no new drivers to be found.

Great jorb, Apple!

recd
21st November 2010, 04:12 PM
Well, I'm happy to report that the 5870 is now installed and running as intended.

Installation was a breeze - the only difficulty was actually getting the card to fit in the chassis because it's so long!

Great jorb, Apple!

Considering the same upgrade for 2008 mac pro.
What were the specific issues and solutions to get the card to fit ?

cheers

Thrymr
22nd November 2010, 12:41 PM
Considering the same upgrade for 2008 mac pro.
What were the specific issues and solutions to get the card to fit ?

It's a little longer than the space between the tower frame and the retention bar. The new Mac Pros solve this with a slide-able retention bar. For the older Mac Pros, you just have to tilt the card on an angle as you move it into the tower space, then level it out between the bracket wall and retention bar before you insert it into the slot.

maghemi
6th December 2010, 09:23 AM
How loud is this card? I'm going to be getting one of these in the new year, but am curious as to how loud they are?

Especially under load.

I've currently got the GTX 285 and it's good with just general use, but when it gets hot under load it can get quite loud (I must admit I'd never noticed it with my previous desk as it was hidden)

I've also tried the ATI 5770 (but returned it cos it was too slow) and it was damn near silent even under load.

So I'm very interested how the 5870 goes.

~Coxy
6th December 2010, 04:10 PM
They are quite loud at full tilt, but they only actually blow that hard for a brief period at startup.
Idle is quite soft and I haven't noticed it go up much from that level when gaming.