Getting decent graphics cards on Mac systems has always been hit and miss, and as far as I know the HD 5870 was the best graphics card you could get that was compatible with Mac. Sapphire’s newest product, the HD 7950 Mac Edition, will be the fastest AMD card supported on Mac OS X systems.
Sapphire have scored a pretty good deal in being able to get exclusive rights to sell the HD 7950 for Macs. There isn’t any need for me to bore you with any specifications of the HD 7950, you can find those on the AMD website here, but what is interesting is that this new HD 7950 Mac Edition from Sapphire absolutely destroys most other graphics cards that were available for the Mac OS – particularly the HD 5870 and 8800GT (which is believe it or not a very common GPU for Mac machines).
The Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition is equipped with 3 GB of the latest GDDR5 memory, and its Dual Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACE) deliver up to 2.87 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power. It provides hardware support for Open GL 4.2 and Open CL 1.2 as well as AMD HD3D technology and APP acceleration.
Other advantages of this new Mac card from Sapphire are that it supports up to 3840 by 2160 resolution displays through 3GHz HDMI 1.4a port and DisplayPort, or 2560 by 1600 resolution displays via Dual-link DVI port with HDCP.
Mac compatibility is with Apple Mac Pro models of 2010 or later with an available PCI Express X16 slot. Two six pin power cables and a Mac driver disc is included with the card. Mac OS X 10.7.5 (Lion) and 10.8.2 (Mountain Lion) or later are supported.
Sapphire’s dual BIOS switch means you can use it in non-UEFI compliant mode (supports Windows and Mac OS X) or UEFI hybrid mode (supports Windows only) and obviously the latest Windows drivers can be acquired from the AMD website.
Windows support means any “white fanatics” out there can use this with a Windows based operating system, but the reality is it will cost substantially more than a normal HD 7950. A “normal” HD 7950 currently sells for around $290 while this will cost $479 – a significant amount more and you won’t get any of the games from the AMD Never Settle Bundle. Retailers, Apple and Sapphire will tell you this extra cost is due to the certification process that needs to be conducted for the graphics card to work on the Mac OS, however the reason why the price is so high is because they all know Apple users will pay more and want to cash in on this fact.
What do you think of this new offering from Sapphire? Are there any Mac users out there that are willing to pay that much for what is a glorified white HD 7950? Let us know your thoughts.
Source: Press Release