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Sapphire's Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition Unleashed

Earlier, we showed you Sapphire's HD 7950 Mac Edition, and now we have learned more about it. This card is based on an ordinary HD 7950 and is entirely similar to it. Like the regular HD 7950, it carries 3 GB of GDDR5 memory.

The Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition is compatible with Mac Pros from 2010 or later, assuming that it has a free PCIe x16 slot and two 6-pin PCIe power connectors.

Conveniently, Sapphire has decided to compare the graphics card against the 8800 GT in performance so that users will be able to see a big jump in performance.

BenchmarkNvidia 8800 GTSapphire HD 7950 Mac EditionPerformance Jump
Xbench296.7 points381.3 points29%
Novabench213 points463 points117%
Cinebench24.54 FPS33.02 FPS35%
Heaven16.5 FPS64.7 FPS292%
Portal130 FPS490 FPS277%
Call of Duty15 FPS49 FPS227%

The HD 7950 Mac Edition is compatible not only with Macs, but with switchable firmware that will also work on Windows PCs. While this is less interesting, it does show that the main differences are in the firmware, meaning that we'll likely find enthusiasts who will flash the HD 7950's Mac Edition firmware to ordinary HD 7950's to make them work in their Mac Pros.

Sapphire's new HD 7950 Mac Edition will carry an MSRP of $450.

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Niels Broekhuijsen
Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware news on all components and peripherals.
  • wanderer11
    $450 for a 7950? Are we back in March 2012?
    Reply
  • blazorthon
    This makes me want to look for potential Mac 7950 customers, buy enough 7950s for them for around $300, flash them to Mac, and sell them at a *discount* of $400 instead of $450. It should be easy money if there are enough Mac users looking for 7950s.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    Imagine a Mac GTX Titan's price.
    Reply
  • halcyon
    Despite the price it's good to see a contemporary offering for the Mac Pros. I do often miss my 2010 Mac Pro. Now, Apple needs to update the Pro's a bit and pull the pricing from out of their @$$.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    EDIT: Interesting how on AMD's and Nividia's website, there are no drivers for a Mac OS.

    It's most likely that both companies considered programming a GPU driver for the Mac OS wouldn't be worth it, since the Mac desktop market is puny.

    It would make sense for AMD to charge more for a custom driver that wouldn't be used by many customers due to the small niche market.
    Reply
  • Estix
    Why stop at comparing it to the 8800 GT?

    Why not show us how it fares against the TNT2, or the ATI Rage 3D?
    Reply
  • larkspur
    blazorthon - You're too late. People have been doing that with Apple's previous "premium" offering of 5870 cards for $350 (which is $100 less than Apple wanted for the 'official' version). They are even still selling the 5870, looky here! Apple should seriously be ashamed, oh but look, Free Shipping! http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC743ZM/A/ati-radeon-hd-5870-graphics-upgrade-kit-for-mac-pro-%28mid-2010-or-early-2009%29
    Reply
  • internetlad
    You can tell it's for Mac because it's white.

    and why the hell is it vs an 8800 GT?
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    EstixWhy stop at comparing it to the 8800 GT?Why not show us how it fares against the TNT2, or the ATI Rage 3D?
    Because most 2010 pre-built desktops don't come with silly old GPUs like those.
    Reply
  • dramsey
    If you think there are no Mac drivers on NVIDIA's web site, you must not have looked very hard. Or, more likely, were blinded by ideology.

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/macosx-304.00.05f02-driver.html
    Reply