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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

ONE CARD, THREE MACS:
Radeon HD 5870 running 3D apps
in a 2008, 2009, and 2010 Mac Pro

Posted Wednesday, August 25th, 2010, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

We stated in our preliminary analysis that the Radeon HD 5870 (and 5770) sold with the 2010 Mac Pros were compatible with all Mac Pros. We were able to test a 5870 in the 2008 and 2009 recently.

NEWS FLASH: Radeon HD 5870 kit status became "Ships: Within 24hrs" on November 12th, 2010, on Apple Store USA.

We ran the following games at 2560x1600 with the High Quality settings and 4X Multisampling (Anti-Aliasing). The only exception is X-Plane which was run at 2x AA. Fastest average FPS is in RED.

2008 Mac Pro
8-Core 3.2GHz

2009 Mac Pro
8-core 2.93GHz

2010 Mac Pro
6-core 3.3GHz

Portal First Slice

138 FPS

136 FPS

138 FPS

ET:QW

109 FPS

105 FPS

109 FPS

CoD4

55 FPS

45 FPS

53 FPS

WoW

114 FPS

99 FPS

110 FPS

X-Plane

105 FPS

144 FPS

173 FPS

Halo

178 FPS

179 FPS

188 FPS

Doom 3

123 FPS

130 FPS

186 FPS

This second table is with 1920x1200 with the High Quality settings and 4X Multisampling (Anti-Aliasing). The only exception is X-Plane which was run at no AA. Fastest average FPS is in RED.

2008 Mac Pro
8-Core 3.2GHz

2009 Mac Pro
8-core 2.93GHz

2010 Mac Pro
6-core 3.3GHz

Portal First Slice

250 FPS

254 FPS

233 FPS

ET:QW

134 FPS

147 FPS

157 FPS

CoD4

60 FPS

56 FPS

70 FPS

WoW

153 FPS

125 FPS

140 FPS

X-Plane 9.61

109 FPS

155 FPS

194 FPS

Halo UB

212 FPS

226 FPS

245 FPS

Doom 3

145 FPS

165 FPS

217 FPS

ATI Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or Early 2009)

(click graphic to order the kit from Apple)

INSIGHTS
The Radeon HD 5870 is an exciting for owners of 2008 and 2009 Mac Pros who are satisfied with their CPU's performance but want more "oomph" from their GPU. To see how the Radeon HD 5870 compares to other GPUs, we are are still working on that article. Here's your appetizer, though.

One concern we had was the existence of the two Mini DisplayPorts in addition to one DVI port. We can confirm that the 2008 and 2009 were able to drive our 23" Cinema displays with the Mini DisplayPorts (using Apple's Mini DisplayPort to DVI adapter). I'm confident that the 24" LED Cinema display and soon-to-be-shipping 27" LED Cinema display will work fine as well. As for our 30" Cinema display, we used the DVI port while testing the 3G game listed above.

FLASH! We tried the Radeon HD 5870 on a 2006 Mac Pro. It works! Read our report.

We plan to test the Radeon HD 5770 as soon as we get one. (Ours is back ordered but we're trying to get a loaner sooner.) For many users it's a good choice. It's just as fast or faster than the Radeon HD 4870, uses only one power feed, is only one slot wide, and costs only $249.


Have any comments or questions? Send them to
, mad scientist.
Follow me on Twitter @barefeats

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copyright 2010 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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