Today we are looking at the new graphics card from Sapphire, The HD7950 MAC Edition. As the name would suggest this discrete solution has been designed specifically for Apple computers, namely the flagship Mac Pro Desktop. Until today the most powerful AMD graphics card that you could get for the Macintosh platform has been the 1GB HD5870 – no doubt a killer card, but two generations behind current hardware.
When it comes to getting access to the latest AAA titles, the Apple OSX platform is light years behind Windows. That said, according to the latest STEAM statistics Mac game sales are very healthy, so there is likely a fairly wide audience anticipating this new model from Sapphire.
Additionally, companies such as Blizzard never neglect the Macintosh audience, with AAA titles such as Starcraft: Heart Of the Swarm released at the same time as the Windows version.
The Sapphire HD7950 MAC Edition is equipped with 3GB of GDDR5 memory and the Dual Asynchronous Compute Engines (ACE) deliver up to 2.87 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power. The card provides hardware support for Open GL 4.2 and Open CL 1.2, as well as AMD HD3D and APP acceleration.
The Sapphire HD7950 MAC Edition is compatible with Apple Mac Pro models from 2010 and later which have an available PCI-Express x16 slot. The card demands two six pin power cables.
Interestingly, Sapphire have included a dual bios setup on the card, so it can be used on both the Windows and Macintosh platform. While it would be easy enough to test this card running on Windows 7/8, today we are using a dual Xeon CPU Mac Pro desktop, running the latest V10.8 Mountain Lion OS. No point testing a ‘Mac Edition’ graphics card on Windows, is there?
Sapphire HD7950 MAC Edition Specifications.
|Output||1 x HDMI (with 3D)
2 x Mini-DisplayPort
1 x Dual-Link DVI-I
|GPU||800 MHz Core Clock
28 nm Chip
1792 x Stream Processors
|Video Memory||3072 MB Size
384 -bit GDDR5
5000 MHz Effective
|Dimension||279(L)x110(W)x35(H) mm Size.
2 x slot
|Software||Driver CD for Mac®
Driver CD for Windows®
|Accessory||DVI to VGA Adapter
Mini-DP to DP Cable
2 x 6 pin power cable for MAC (250MM)