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Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?

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Allan Speers
Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 4, 2016 at 10:12:08 pm
Last Edited By Allan Speers on Sep 4, 2016 at 10:26:57 pm

Hey, folks.

The 5770 graphics card in my late-2012 Mac Pro just died. Since I use final Cut Prox, I want to upgrade to a Radeon 7950. I am VERY cash-poor right now, but this is an emergency, so....

I have been reading a ton, and it seems I can use the Windows version of this card, either stock (living with no boot screen?) or I can also somehow modify the rom. Being so poor, the latter is my only option, but I am very confused on exactly how to proceed. If anyone has a complet, pillar-to-post solution available, I sure could use it. Otherwise, here are my questions:


1: With the stock card boot my Mac, enough that I can then do the other mods? Is this the case with ANY version of this card?

2: How do I flash the rom?


3: There is supposedly a resistor that must be moved, if I want full PCIe 2.0 performance. Where can I find this info, and again does it work with ANY version of this card?


4: I don't play games, nor do I play 4K video in real time. I mostly concerned with rendering speed in FCPx. Id also prefer less fan noise and less heat. Since I am thus mostly concerned with the GPU power, do I still "want" to find a "saphire" card, or an OC card, or will any old 7950 be just as good?
-----------------

For future reference:

5:   I know that running two cards (even if one has no LCD connected) gives a great performance boost, but they must be two of the same card.  Can this be done with one Mac-Edition 795 and one Windows 7950?  (using the Mac version for video & to boot, of course.)

Can it be done with the 2 cards running at slightly different clock speeds?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 12:47:56 am

[Allan Speers] "I want to upgrade to a Radeon 7950. I am VERY cash-poor right now, but this is an emergency, so.... "

Do you own the card already? If not, why waste your time with a Windows card? You can get a Sapphire 7950 Mac card for about the same cost. That's the Mac version of the card.

[Allan Speers] "5:   I know that running two cards (even if one has no LCD connected) gives a great performance boost, but they must be two of the same card.  Can this be done with one Mac-Edition 795 and one Windows 7950?  (using the Mac version for video & to boot, of course.)"

This has no effect for FCPX. Only one card will be utilized.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Allan Speers
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 4:00:29 am

Oliver, you are dead wrong on both points, but thanks for playing.


"You can get a Sapphire 7950 Mac card for about the same cost"
- On what planet? New or used, the difference is about $200, typically more.


"This has no effect for FCPX. Only one card will be utilized."
- Contrary to everything written on the subject, on every forum & every benchmark test one can find.



OK then .....


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John Rofrano
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 5:40:14 am

[Allan Speers] "2: How do I flash the rom?"
Modding a graphics card for Mac is not trivial. How do you flash the ROM indeed? You need to have a patched BIOS for your exact card or you need to patch your own. You should probably send the card to someone who does this sort of work. Most people who do it can also sell you the card. Try eBay. There are a lot of them on eBay already flashed.
[Allan Speers] "Can this be done with one Mac-Edition 795 and one Windows 7950?  (using the Mac version for video & to boot, of course.)"
You can't have two Radeon 7950's in a Mac Pro because the Power Supply doesn't support it. Each card needs two GPU power cables and the 2012 Mac Pro only has two GPU power cables total. The PSU simply can't drive both cards.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Allan Speers
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 6:17:49 am

Thanks, John.

yeah it's a pretty arcane process. It should be reasonably do-able, if all the needed stuff was available in one place, but I've lost 2 days trying to find all the data & such, and some of it seems to be no longer even available. I'm hoping someone might come through here, but if not then I will indeed buy one pre modded. Most lose a port or two, but that doesn't is actually somewhat common.
--------------------

But as for running two of them, of course you can! (and the performance boost is supposedly dramatic.)
You have 2 choices:

1: Use power cable y-splitters, and live on the cutting edge of your psu. (They only draw 190 watts if fully maxed out, which evidently requires running two big monitors. ) Many folks have gotten away with this.

2: Install a second PSU into your spare optical bay. It doesn't have to be an expensive psu, and you only need a 400 watt model is literally overkill. I have a few on the shelf right now, so ....


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John Rofrano
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 1:19:56 pm

Yes, you can buy an additional PSU and run 2 of them. Unless, of course, you already have a drive in your bottom bay. I was referring to keeping everything stock but you seem to have a handle on it. I've never seen splitter cables but I would not attempt to use them especially if you already have 4 hard drives as that would be pushing the PSU beyond it's capacity.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Oliver Peters
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 1:45:58 pm

[Allan Speers] "Oliver, you are dead wrong on both points, but thanks for playing."

Thanks for the attitude.

[Allan Speers] "New or used, the difference is about $200, typically more"

You are correct. Then maybe you should just find another 5770 card used to replace the one that died. The Mac 7950 is $500.

[Allan Speers] "Contrary to everything written on the subject, on every forum & every benchmark test one can find. "

Care to point to anything that says FCPX runs better with two GPU cards in an old Mac tower? To my knowledge this only applies to Resolve Studio.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 1:48:56 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Care to point to anything that says FCPX runs better with two GPU cards in an old Mac tower?"

PS: This link would indicate some bump, but it's minimal.

http://barefeats.com/tube02.html

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Allan Speers
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 9:30:45 pm

http://barefeats.com/tube05.html

FCP gausian blur test:
One 5770: 38.2 seconds. Two 5770's 20.2 seconds.

FCP Water Pane FX render:
One 5770: 52.4 seconds. Two 5770's 3-.8 seconds.

This is an insignificant gain to you?
---------------

Other reports (including the BryceX benchmark) indicate that results with two 7950's are similarly dramatic. Another test showed that two 5770's blows away a single 7950. FCPx was optimized (not too long ago) SPECIFICALLY to take advantage of two open CL graphics cards.


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Allan Speers
Re: Radeon 7950 - Modding a Windows version for Mac use?
on Sep 5, 2016 at 9:33:06 pm

Mistake above, and I don't see how to edit my post, so:



FCP Water Pane FX render:
One 5770: 52.4 seconds. Two 5770's 3-.8 seconds.


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