Mac OS X 10.5.7 adds Radeon HD 4870 support

Peter Cohen, Macworld
15 May, 2009
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Among the many changes in Mac OS X 10.5.7, released Tuesday, is one sure to please Mac Pro owners — support for ATI’s Radeon HD 4870 card.

The Radeon HD 4870 graphics card has been a configure-to-order option for new Mac Pro buyers since the Mac Pro was refreshed in March. At nearly the same time, Apple introduced a $699 Radeon HD 4870 kit for users of Mac Pros manufactured since 2008. The card promises a significant speed improvement over the other offerings for those Mac Pro models, along with support for the Mini DisplayPort interface found on Apple’s 24-inch Cinema LED Display.

Since then, it’s largely been a waiting game for customers who pre-ordered the card on its own, though it appears that some cards were delivered earlier than expected, within the last week or so: early recipients of the Radeon HD 4870 either saw their delivery intercepted by Apple or were advised by Apple to refrain from installing the card until a driver update was made available.

Mac OS X 10.5.7 contains that driver update.

Some Apple Store customers who have pre-ordered the card report that their shipping status has changed, to shipping within 24 hours, further suggesting that the hold up was related to 10.5.7’s release. [ed. -- Apple Store Australia shows the cards currently shipping within 24 hours so supply should no longer be an issue]

The 10.5.7 update includes support for extensions to OpenGL, Apple’s 3D graphics Application Programming Interface (API) needed to support the Radeon HD 4870, according to a recent post made by an ATI representative subscribed to the Mac_OpenGL mailing list, a listserv hosted by Apple for the benefit of programmers working with OpenGL code.

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