Monday, February 23, 2015

AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB for Mac Pro 5,1

So I decided to upgrade my video card in my Mac Pro that's been rocking an AMD HD 5870 since day one. After reading through many articles, I decided to head on over to and grab the HD 7970.

The upgrade was uneventful and required no drivers, OS patches or other such non-sense (one of the reasons I selected this card, and this vendor). The cards from this vendor cost a bit more than average but you get what you pay for. The vendor flashes the card with the Mac-EFI so there are boot screens, next the card is modified to allow 5.0 GT/s of memory bandwidth rather than the default 2.5 GT/s. The advert. says the card is modified to work with the Mac's 2 six-pin PCIe power booster cables. I don't know if there was actually any modification done for the boosters but it apparently works fine OOTB. Next, the vendor thoroughly tests the card for problems before shipping.

The card arrived quickly and was very well packaged, it even i ncluded 2 surplus booster cables for older Macs that dont already have them. If you don't know how to install the card, complete instructions and photographs are on the store website.

After testing the card for several days, this feels like a very solid upgrade and a massive speed bump for users of FCPX. If you purchase a new Mac Pro cylinder and opt for the top of the line video cards (D700), you will have the same card (HD 7970) but in a different form factor. Also this card has a higher clock rate than the D700 cards.

I highly recommend this vendor and this card (especially if you use FCPX). It's a great upgrade at a fair price.