With the Mac Pro update launched in early March, Apple brought in a new optional top-of-the-line GPU for gaming and professional video editing and graphics, the ATI Radeon 4870. The new card not only offers much higher performance that of the old NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT but also supports the new LED Cinema Display, no longer being exclusive to the new MacBooks with Mini DisplayPort.
With the arrival of Mac OS X 10.5.7 that week, this card has had its support extended to all Macs Pro manufactured by Apple in the past 18 months. Although there has already been an upgrade kit for these customers since the launch of the new model, Apple warned the first to purchase it that it could not be installed until an update to the system drivers was released.
Those who bought the new Mac Pro could use this card normally, as the version of Mac OS X 10.5.6 installed on it already had extensions in the OpenGL programming interface – intended for processing 3D graphics in the system – necessary for the system to recognize it operational. This was addressed by one of the ATI engineers on Apple's developer forums some time ago, since the elements generated in a new Radeon during the compilation of an application could not be run on any Mac, which would make it difficult to distribute games and other products developed on Macs Pro with it installed.
Mac OS X 10.5.7 brings these extensions, so anyone who has used a Mac Pro made in the last 18 months for advanced video editing or other tasks that rely heavily on graphics can now consider purchasing the ATI Radeon 4870 and thus achieving greater performance, that can mean a lot in your work. In order to avoid some problems, we recommend that you download the Combo package directly from the Apple website (729MB).