After what has seemed like an eternity — especially in dog years, which is a fairly common unit of measure at the Deauxmayne — Apple has *finally* solved the dilemma of how an ’08 Mac Pro crosses the road to get to Mini DisplayPort monitors. The answer is in the cards.
Along with a gazillion hardware announcements, and more than a few software updates, Uncle Steve’s kids announced some love for my beloved Doc Oc. There is finally an option to hang a 24″ LED Apple display off my now-defunct Mac Pro.
The path is through an ATI Radeon HD 4870, which would dent your wallet to the tune of $349. From everything I’ve read, this card is very fast — much faster than the card currently in Doc Oc. However, it won’t ship for 5-7 weeks, and will only work with OS X 10.5.7 (any bets on when that might be released? 🙂 ).
The cool thing is that the card supports both DVI and Mini DisplayPort, which means I can tackle the upgrade in phases, rather than all at once. Buy the card and gain the speed upgrade (in some instances, anyway), and then upgrade the monitor.
Funniest thing about the description on the Apple store?
“ATI Radeon HD 4870 includes two video ports: one Mini DisplayPort and one dual-link DVI port. This allows you to connect both the 24-inch Apple LED Cinema Display or another Mini DisplayPort-based display, and a DVI-based display such as the 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display.”
Another Mini DisplayPort-based display? There ain’t but one out there, and that’s the aforementioned Apple 24-inch display. I guess that’s future-proofing, but in March of 2009, that reads like humor!
In the new Mac Pro machines, there’s another DVI/Mini DisplayPort card available — the NVidia GeForce GT 120 — but the Apple store doesn’t list that as an upgrade option for the ’08 Mac Pros. ‘Tis a shame, as that card is only $149. For folks wanting to upgrade monitors, but not really needing the extra speed, it seems like this would be a good option. These are also 5-7 weeks out, so maybe that’ll change between now and ship time.
In any case, I’m thrilled that my now-obsolete Doc Oc has been included in the the No Mac Pro Left Behind program in this round of annoucements!
CORRECTION: It looks like you only need OS X 10.5.6 to run the new cards, either on the new Mac Pros or old. I guess 10.5.7’s date is still a bit of a mystery. 🙂