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Replacement Video Cards

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I have a '09 2x2.93 Nahalem Mac Pro with the ATI HD 4870 video card. I see I can now upgrade it to the ATI HD 5870 from the apple store but what would keep me from just buying the PC version and using it instead?


Not sure why the pc version is more than $100 cheaper?


Anyone help?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Did want to give a followup on this topic.


I ended up getting a ATI HD 5870 for ~225 off eBay(selling new now for about $260 on Newegg since the 6 series is out). I reflashed the ROM and works without issue. One minor drawback is the apple logo while booting will not display so it goes from dim screen to login(assuming your mac is password protected). I am super disappointed that Apple still has this selling for $449, REALLY! I ended up selling my 4870 on eBay for $275, so I made money to do an upgrade!


I would consider the flashing pretty non eventful, no more work than jailbreaking an iPhone as an example.


As an example I went from ~26fps in Warcraft @1920x1200 max settings to ~85fps. Similar results in Starcraft as well, using games since they provide a good benchmark on actual GPU power.


I saw that ATI released the 68xx and 69xx series now, kinda of holding tight on this since I do not think there is a ROM to use it. Since they are no longer making the 58xx series and stock will dry up soon I'd expect a video upgrade to come in on the new MacPro's making the reflashed ones possible.

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