Friday, June 13th 2008

AMD Intros ATI Radeon HD 3870 for Mac

AMD today announced the new ATI Radeon HD 3870 for Mac & PC Edition, delivering the power to go beyond high-definition visual computing for work and play. Optimized exclusively for Apple Mac Pro systems, the ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC edition can help drive productivity with built-in 256-bit 512MB GDDR4 frame buffer memory and 320 stream processors to deliver maximum performance for graphics-intensive applications such as 3D modeling, animation and games. Users also can expand visual workspace using twin dual-link DVI ports to connect two 30” Apple Cinema HD displays.


“AMD is introducing the ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition to enhance the Mac experience to maximum levels of 3D gaming and HD performance,” said Matt Skynner, vice president of marketing, Graphics Products Group, AMD. “Mac users demand the best when it comes to HD graphics performance, and the ATI Radeon 3870 Mac & PC Edition is designed to meet and exceed that need by delivering The Ultimate Visual Experience to our customers’ displays.”

Delivers More Power for Professional Applications
Superior performance and visual quality make the ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition ideal for creative and professional applications on Apple Mac Pro systems, including Aperture, Motion and Final Cut Studio. Users can take advantage of the latest graphics features and drive productivity at an extraordinary price.

Advance to the Next Generation of HD Gaming
ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition takes HD gaming to a whole new level by delivering a superior immersive gaming environment while enhancing overall image quality. The Unified Shader Architecture provides the ultimate in realistic game play experience. With PCI Express 2.0 support, users are now ready for games that demand blisteringly fast throughput. Ultimately, with ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition, Mac users can enjoy a more complete next-generation gaming experience.

Experience Break-through Efficiency
ATI Radeon HD 3800 Series graphics processors have break-through efficiency, with up to twice the processing performance-per-watt compared to previous generations of high-end AMD graphics processors2. AMD also has added its patented ATI PowerPlay technology to the ATI Radeon HD 3800 series to provide increased control over the graphics processor in multiple power states. With PowerPlay technology, users benefit from dynamic adjustment of clocks and voltages depending on their usage scenario, which allows for a cool and quiet user experience.

With a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of USD $219, the ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition is scheduled to be available late June at leading Mac retailers world-wide.Source: AMD
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42 Comments on AMD Intros ATI Radeon HD 3870 for Mac

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
So how different are these "Mac" cards from PC cards? They look familiar PC-AT sized expansion cards, this one looks like the single-slot (non-Vapor Chamber) made by Sapphire.
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#2
spud107
so mac retailers can charge double?
edit - the one in pic looks exactly like mine:D
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#3
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
http://spherule.com/media/video/switch_parody/switch_dg.mov

Sorry, I just had to. I really don't see what the big deal is really. It is the exact same card as the standard PC version, it just has a special BIOS flashed on it to allow it to work with a Mac, oh and of course the price will be at least double that of a regular HD3870.
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#5
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: [I.R.A]_FBi
so buy regular and flash ftw?
If a mac is all you have, it's FTL, besides, you need a PowerMac. The Mac Desktop won't do.
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#6
UnkAsn93
Mac's have to be confusing and hard as hell for upgrading. Why apple, why?

Mac hardware ftl
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#7
robodude666
by: btarunr
If a mac is all you have, it's FTL, besides, you need a PowerMac. The Mac Desktop won't do.
Don't you mean Mac Pro? A PowerMac won't work because they are AGP and PCI-X.

Release a PowerMac G5 version! My 9600XT is OLD! I can't even play free unity games on max settings!
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#8
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: robodude666
Don't you mean Mac Pro? A PowerMac won't work because they are AGP and PCI-X.

Release a PowerMac G5 version! My 9600XT is OLD! I can't even play free unity games on max settings!
My bad :o

Yes, I was referring to Mac Pro, the x86 tower Mac. The only thing that keeps it away from being a PC is its TPM. :laugh:
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#9
thebeephaha
Wow bash on Apple a little more guys... :shadedshu Mac Bashers FTL

Remember Apple is not really for gaming, it is usually for A/V creation and 3D work. This is a nice upgrade for Mac users who need a bit more in those areas but also for those who may want a better card for the occasional Mac game or for those running Boot Camp.

Also the reason it is hard to flash a regular one is regular cards don't support EFI which the Mac Pro requires as it does not use conventional BIOS.
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#10
robodude666
by: thebeephaha
Also the reason it is hard to flash a regular one is regular cards don't support EFI which the Mac Pro requires as it does not use conventional BIOS.
Isn't that the excuse Apple gave for not supporting Windows? Then a group of h4x0rz made it work.
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#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
If it's going to sell for $300+, you can actually make money out of it. All you need is a mobo with two x16 slots, the mac card's BIOS. Buy that Sapphire card for $150~$160, flash, sell for {insert reasonable price below $300 here} and make some cash. Just peel off that Sapphire sticker :laugh:

jk
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#12
Ravenas
Lol, people who buy prebuilt desktops (the majority) don't know the difference. Nor does the majority know what the term "flash" means.
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#13
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
They needn't. You just flash PC cards, sell them as mac cards. Afterall, mac video-cards are sold as units too.
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#14
Conti027
by: thebeephaha
Wow bash on Apple a little more guys... :shadedshu Mac Bashers FTL

Remember Apple is not really for gaming, it is usually for A/V creation and 3D work. This is a nice upgrade for Mac users who need a bit more in those areas but also for those who may want a better card for the occasional Mac game or for those running Boot Camp.

Also the reason it is hard to flash a regular one is regular cards don't support EFI which the Mac Pro requires as it does not use conventional BIOS.
It also for the peeps that what to be "Kool" :cool: :shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#15
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: btarunr
If it's going to sell for $300+, you can actually make money out of it. All you need is a mobo with two x16 slots, the mac card's BIOS. Buy that Sapphire card for $150~$160, flash, sell for {insert reasonable price below $300 here} and make some cash. Just peel off that Sapphire sticker :laugh:

jk
That isn't really that far off, people used to do that all the time back in the 9800Pro days.
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#16
timta2
Yes, the only bad thing about flashing cards to Mac versions is that it lowers demand and profit for ATI. This will make it less likely for Mac versions of cards, which in turn is a bad thing for Mac users. ATI claims (essentially) that the price difference is because they have to write a custom bios for the card that will sell in a lot lower volume than the PC counterpart. I'm not sure how much truth there is in that or how much money they have to put into it. It is nice to see ATI and Nvida releasing more modern Mac cards. Its really hard to beat a Mac Pro running XP with a nice video card these days, if you have the money anyway.
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#17
DaedalusHelios
by: thebeephaha
Wow bash on Apple a little more guys... :shadedshu Mac Bashers FTL

Remember Apple is not really for gaming, it is usually for A/V creation and 3D work. This is a nice upgrade for Mac users who need a bit more in those areas but also for those who may want a better card for the occasional Mac game or for those running Boot Camp.

Also the reason it is hard to flash a regular one is regular cards don't support EFI which the Mac Pro requires as it does not use conventional BIOS.
Well since Adobe products won't be x64 for ages due to the lack of completed code offered to them by Apple....... yes macs will soon lack in that department aswell. (Creative department)
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#18
DaedalusHelios
by: timta2
Yes, the only bad thing about flashing cards to Mac versions is that it lowers demand and profit for ATI. This will make it less likely for Mac versions of cards, which in turn is a bad thing for Mac users. ATI claims (essentially) that the price difference is because they have to write a custom bios for the card that will sell in a lot lower volume than the PC counterpart. I'm not sure how much truth there is in that or how much money they have to put into it. It is nice to see ATI and Nvida releasing more modern Mac cards. Its really hard to beat a Mac Pro running XP with a nice video card these days, if you have the money anyway.
I have a feeling they have to pay some sort of licensing. :(
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#19
jbizzler
Apple releasing cards specific for their machines is just a way of controlling the Mac world. It's a different business model from PCs, and is both a strength and weakness. It allows them to only have to support a handful of hardware, and support it REAL well.

I agree, it shouldn't be priced much higher, but it's simply a supply/demand thing. I was hoping they'd lay off the 3870 and wait a few weeks for the 4870.
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#20
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: btarunr
If it's going to sell for $300+, you can actually make money out of it. All you need is a mobo with two x16 slots, the mac card's BIOS. Buy that Sapphire card for $150~$160, flash, sell for {insert reasonable price below $300 here} and make some cash. Just peel off that Sapphire sticker :laugh:

jk
i'm going to do it if i can find the mac BIOS and its the same size cause that was the issue in the old days the mac BIOS was bigger and you had to do something to get it to work idr what
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#21
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
50 bucks says that if you buy a mac with this card, install vmware and install xp you get higher FPS in a game like COD4 then if you just install COD4 on an PC running XP with the same settings.
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#22
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: Easy Rhino
50 bucks says that if you buy a mac with this card, install vmware and install xp you get higher FPS in a game like COD4 then if you just install COD4 on an PC running XP with the same settings.
i strongly doubt it running a virtual machine will degrade performance and all a mac is now is an overpriced dell with OSX installed on it
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#23
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: cdawall
i strongly doubt it running a virtual machine will degrade performance and all a mac is now is an overpriced dell with OSX installed on it
most people doubt it. however, i ran a similiar test on a macbook pro. it had vmware installed and running windows xp and i got better 3d rendering doing that then on a laptop with the same specs and just running xp.
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#24
robodude666
by: Easy Rhino
50 bucks says that if you buy a mac with this card, install vmware and install xp you get higher FPS in a game like COD4 then if you just install COD4 on an PC running XP with the same settings.
I just made $50.

When running VMWare Fusion you use a 32-64MB virtual video card which can't handle the basic of games. You are probably thinking of Boot camp which allows you to install and run Windows natively on a Mac.
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#25
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: Easy Rhino
most people doubt it. however, i ran a similiar test on a macbook pro. it had vmware installed and running windows xp and i got better 3d rendering doing that then on a laptop with the same specs and just running xp.
:slap: well more power to you thats crazy and makes no sense but hey why not
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