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AMD partner Sapphire has Radeon HD 7950 coming to Mac Pro

New GPU card for Mac Pros appears at CeBit and AMD Confirms with Architosh


Yesterday the news of the upcoming Radeon HD 7950 Mac Pro Edition hit the Internet news waves. Our AMD contacts actually spoke to us a few days before about the upcoming card with great excitement for the Pro markets, which we cover here at Architosh. In our call about the new GPU–which we are hoping to review and test out with Pro apps–not all the details of the card were focused on.

We knew for instance that the Radeon HD 7950 MPE (Mac Pro Edition) has 3 GB of GDDR5 memory and packs a 800 plus MHz engine clock speed. But that was about as far as we went with the details in the call. We look forward to official information when we receive more directly from AMD or Sapphire.

Gathering Details

At CeBIT in Europe AMD Partner Sapphire was on exhibit and was showing off this new graphics card. (see image below). What we were told by AMD is that it will be available soon. Support for the AMD 7000 series was discovered in the OS X 10.8.3 beta by Netkas.

01 - Upcoming AMD Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition will bring best-in-class graphics to current Mac Pros. (image courtesy of PCGames

While we anxiously await more official detailed information on this card what we can do is extrapolate a bit from the PC version currently shipping. Here are the basics:

  • GPU runs at 850Mhz with Boost to 925 Mhz (core clock)
  • 28 nm chip design
  • 1792 x stream processors
  • 3 GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 384-bit memory interface
  • 2x Slot PCI-E with CrossFire Bridge Interconnect Cable
  • 240 GB/s memory bandwidth

The fastest shipping Radeon card currently configurable in the Apple Store for the Mac Pro is the ATI Radeon HD 5870 with a 256-bit memory interface, 1 GB of GDDR 5 memory (not 3 GB), 1600 x stream processors and a 153.6 GB/s memory bandwidth.

The fastest shipping Nvidia Quadro card for the Mac Pro is the Nvidia Quadro 4000 with a 256-bit memory interface, 2 GB of GDDR5 memory and 89.6 GB/s memory bandwidth. However, you can order the Nvidia Quadro K5000 for Mac with a 256-bit memory interface, 4 GB of GDDR5 memory and 173 GB/s memory bandwidth, from others other than Apple as we did not see it available within the Apple Store as of this writing.

Excellent for CAD/DCC

Based on the stats above we see this new Sapphire Radeon being a hit with the Pro market for Mac users with Mac Pros. It looks like it will outperform the much more expensive Nvidia Quadro 4000 and K5000 cards which are presently available but much more expensive than the target price (sub 500.USD) for this new Radeon.

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