Can I put 2 of these 5870 graphic cards in my mac pro instead of two 5770 standard graphic cards in the newest mac pro.

Like, I am wondering if I can, in the build-to-order for newest mac pro, just choose the 5870 graphics card and come over here and buy another 5870 graphics card and have the 2 5870's running simultaneously instead of 2 5770 standard graphics cards.

  • Asked by Hayden V from Hernando
  • 06/12/2010
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro (Mid 2010 or Early 2009)

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

Product No Longer Available

3 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    Yes you can install 2 x 5870's into a modern Mac Pro however there is a small hardware change you need to make. The Mac Pro only comes with 2 x 6pin PCIe (PCI Expess) power cables and the 5870 cards require two each for a total of four. To get around this you can install a Y cable PCIe splitter on each of the standard PCIe cables giving you the four required. I did this and it worked just fine and this solution gives you a very powerful graphics workstation supporting 4x Mini display ports and 2 x DVI. You should make sure that you cross the Y cable connectors over so that each original PCIe cable is powering ½ of each card not the whole of one card to keep power requirements spread out as much a possible.

    That said however the 5870’s are placed very close together and the lower card does not have much room to breathe and while I did not see any problems I would worry about it over heating if placed under load for long periods of time. One solution to this and what I have ended up doing is to have a mix of cards, a 5870 on the bottom running my main screen which requires all the Horse Power (for games, video editting etc) and a 5770 on the top slot which runs my other two screens still with plenty of power to spare. The 5770 is a shorter card and it nicely has an opening right where the lower 5870 has its cooling fan so this is a very elegant and powerful solution for those wanting more power than just 2 x 5770 cards. This solution also requires only 1 x Y splitter as the total PCIe inputs are only 3.

    Please note I have a the 12 x Core 2.93GHz Xeon MacPro with full drive bays and max 32GB RAM so this should be the maximum power requirements config and it all still works just fine.

    Hope this is helpful.

    • Answered by Nicholas M from Sunnyvale
    • 08/12/2010
  • No. The 5870 requires 2 power cables from the motherboard for each card. The computer only has 2 total power cables. The 5770 requires one per card, resulting in the ability to install two cards. NVidia offers the 130 and 120 that do not have need for another power cord and you can install 4 total cards if you need up to 8 monitors.

    • Answered by Jay C from New Orleans
    • 01/02/2011
  • No (or at least not easily); the 5870 requires two 6-pin connections as well as the PCI-e slot, and the Mac Pro only has two 6-pin connections in total. The 5770 requires one 6-pin connection as well as the PCI-e slot, and so two cards can be used, each one making use of one of the 6-pin connections.

    There may be a way to get around this if you provide your own extra power supply, but this will require more effort.

    • Answered by Rob H
    • 07/12/2010