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Tony3d
02-12-2012, 10:43 AM
If I buy an ATI 5870 for my Mac Pro 3.1 2.8 gig dual quad, does it matter which power supply plug I use, or do I need to use both, and if so does it matter which wire goes where? Also, will it be plug in play, or are there any modifications, or drivers to load? I will be running 10.6.8, but will later update to lion. This setup will be for my son, I'm getting the Mac Pro 12 core base unit with the 5870 card. Thanks.

rsfd
02-13-2012, 04:59 AM
It shouldn't make a difference which plug you use.
You will only need to connect one cord, Apple uses the lower plug by default (if only one graphics card is installed - the second one would be for a second expansion card with the need of additional power supply).
10.6.8 should contain the drivers, so if you install the official Apple Upgrade Kit, it would be a plug-and-play experience.
(Wouldn't rush with upgrading to Lion btw…)

Tony3d
02-13-2012, 06:04 AM
It shouldn't make a difference which plug you use.
You will only need to connect one cord, Apple uses the lower plug by default (if only one graphics card is installed - the second one would be for a second expansion card with the need of additional power supply).
10.6.8 should contain the drivers, so if you install the official Apple Upgrade Kit, it would be a plug-and-play experience.
(Wouldn't rush with upgrading to Lion btw…)

Will the card not work properly in Lion? I thought the 5870 came with two power cords. I may be wrong.

rsfd
02-13-2012, 09:19 AM
No, you are right ;)
the 5870 in deed comes with two power cords.
If both are *needed* to connect, I honestly don't know (but I would expect some info in it's documentation).
Probably both cords are only needed in multiple screen environments, but that's just a guess on my side.
It will only be an issue, if you are using further expansion cards with external power supply needed, so you would run out of plugs.

As for Lion: the card should work fine in Lion, but I was referring to issues that *I* have with Lion (major issues with input devices {mouse/tablet}), that make Lion an OS version that I wouldn't recommend at this time. Had waited until 10.7.3 before upgrading, but find myself the first time in a situation where I think about reverting to a previous OS version (aka SnowLeopard). Seems, Apple has done a bit too much of "iOS feature implementation" into a desktop system, or Lion is probably much more tested on MacBooks instead of MacPro…

Tony3d
02-13-2012, 09:46 PM
I do have another question. Since my son wants to run games on this machine, if he installs windows 7 will windows recognize the ATI 5870 if we install the Mac version, or will he need the windows version?

eblu
02-13-2012, 10:33 PM
No, you are right ;)
(major issues with input devices {mouse/tablet})

do tell. I have both, don't see issues. I'm curious (sorry to hijack the thread. perfectly happy to pick up in a new one.)

JonW
02-14-2012, 12:23 AM
Get your son a cheap PC, it's not worth having your work machine buggered up with his problems.

Tony3d
02-14-2012, 05:23 AM
Get your son a cheap PC, it's not worth having your work machine buggered up with his problems.

I'm giving him my Mac Pro, and I'm getting a new 12 core.

rsfd
02-14-2012, 09:51 AM
@Tony3d
from the hardward side, you only have the choice to install the Mac version (unless you start flashing PC cards and use some hacked enablers to run it on the Mac side…).
Windows shouldn't have issues with the card. This will be handled by Apple's BootCamp drivers and/or a virtual machine (if convenience is more important than performance).
[edit]
your son will need to install at least Windows 7 Professional, if he wants/needs both CPU on the Windows side:
all Windows versions below "Professional" are only licensed for one single physical CPU (no limitation on cores, though), so your son would only get "Quad-core" performance on the Windows side.

and now to something completely different…
@eblu
Lion seems to have severe issues here recognizing clicks/dbl-clicks/triple-clicks which is a huge pain (e.g. if Lion interprets a single click as dbl-click, constantly opening documents, that just should have been selected, selecting layers in PS and getting layer styles instead aso.).
Cursor jumps from time to time or clicks aren't recognized at all (or with a huge delay).
This happens with 3 different 3rd party mice with default OS drivers, so shouldn't be a hardware issue.
It feels, as if Lion has some sort of timing issue while interpreting the incoming device data or that Lion connects separated inputs, that should have stayed separated.
Had the hope, that it would be an interfering issue with the Wacom drivers, but newer drivers had unfortunately no effect on these issues. Will investigate further, but if I don't get around this in the nearer future, I'll just put in another hard drive and install SnowLeopard again (and get rid of the "Auto-safe" and "Auto-restore" feature, that I also don't really like…)

Tony3d
02-14-2012, 09:09 PM
Thanks everyone your help has been invaluable. My son ended up ordering the ATI 5770. If we get Windows 7 pro it should make for a decent gaming machine. I on the other hand still can't make up my mind on which Mac Pro to get. I'm really wondering if the single 6 core maxed out at 3.33 wouldn't be the best choice here. The 12 core is simply to expensive, and I'm just not sure how fast the 2.4 gig dual quad would be over my 2.8 dual quad(2008). I wish people with these machines could run the ray trace Lightwave scene so I can get an idea how my old machine would fair. I will be getting the ATI 5870 no matter what computer I decide to get. Any input here would be great. I just can't see dropping from a 2.8 gig dual quad down to a 2.4 as a step up. Maybe it is, but is it worth it? One other thought. Once my sons 5770 is installed in my old computer, how does one go about reinstalling OS 10.6.8 if 10.6.4 is the minimum required for that card?

JonW
02-14-2012, 09:56 PM
Passmark performance:
2 x E5645 (2.4GHz) 14,030
1 x W3680 (3.33GHz) 10,023

A render on a pair of E5645 CPU will render in roughly 71% of the time as a single W3680.

The difference other than for critical rendering deadlines I don't think is worth worrying about. & you get the single core high performance on a W3680 of 3.6GHz with turbo. I would get an SSD to go with it!

http://ark.intel.com/products/47917/Intel-Xeon-Processor-W3680-(12M-Cache-3_33-GHz-6_40-GTs-Intel-QPI)

rsfd
02-15-2012, 03:37 AM
@Tony3d
Geekbench rates the 3,1 Mac Pro ("Harpertown") @2×2.8 with 7685 points,
the Mac Pro 5,1 @3,33 14183 points and the 5,1 @2,4 achieves 12942 points.
The 12-core @2.93 makes 22510 points.
Anyway, this only gives a theoretical value.
If you really don't want to wait what Apple is showing us as successor of the current Mac Pro machines and if you can afford the 6-core, it is usually the best choice.
It will offer you the best performance on "not so multi-threading aware" software and won't be that much behind the 12-core on rendering when scenes aren't too complex.
On the other hand, keep in mind that a single CPU Mac Pro only has 4 RAM slots, while the dual CPU offers 8 slots.
To make it even more complicated: a used or refurbished Mac Pro 4,1 ("Early 2009") @2×2,93 would slightly beat the 3,33 6-core in some situations…

Barefeats and Arstechnica hold some articles with "real-world" results, btw:
http://barefeats.com/wst10.html for Cinebench and Geekbench results
http://barefeats.com/wst10c.html for AE, Compressor and Motion
http://barefeats.com/macs11_01.html compared to other Macs with various applications
http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2010/10/tri-screen-cpu-monitor-ars-reviews-the-12-core-2010-mac-pro.ars an article about the 12-core and the lack of mult-threading aware software

as for the graphics card / OS issue:
if you want to do a clean install, erasing the HD and installing SnowLeopard form the original DVD (most likely holding a pre-10.6.4 version), you would have two choices:
- install with the original card, upgrade to latest OS (Combo-Update) and then replace the card, or
- install the card, install SL and upgrades
OSX would fall back to some sort of "basic graphics support", resulting in a lower screen resolution, lesser colors probably until the needed driver is installed.

(The first solution would be the more convenient I would say)