Dual RX 480s in Mac Pro 5,1 running MacOS (w/ How-to)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by theitsage, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. theitsage, Jul 23, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016

    theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 28, 2005
    #1
    I found an open-box RX 480 8GB at Micro Center this morning and gave it a shot. Installed in my mac pro 5,1 which is running MacOS Beta 3, it can boot to the Desktop without any modification.

    I recall reading there's built-in driver for this GPU but ID is not matched. Anything I should try?

    Summary: RX 470 and RX 480 both work with acceleration and Metal support in macOS after adding PCI ID 0x67DF1002 to AMDRadeonX4100.kext. Other than no Boot Screen, you'll see UI during system update and in Recovery Mode. Kext editing needed after each OS update to reenable acceleration and Metal support.

    amd-radeon-rx-480-macos-sierra.png

    Update 1: Installed GM macOS Sierra build 16A319 today (9/8/16). While the RX 480 still works after the kext mod, OpenGL crashes remain an issue. The RX 470 on the other hand is fully functional without boot screen.

    Update 2: Installed 10.12.1 Beta tonight (9/21/16). Polaris support is definitely getting better. The Baffin personality which was in AMDRadeon4000.kext now has its own kext, AMDRadeon4100.kext. RX 480 is not crashing OpenGL apps anymore. This is the first time in nearly 2 months owning these RX 480 GPUs I was able to finish Unigine benchmarks.

    Update 3: I received PMs for instructions so I wrote this Mac Pro Radeon RX 480 How-to.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. h9826790 macrumors 603

    h9826790

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    #2
    Luxmark and Unigine Heaven show be a very good way to test the performance and stability.
     
  3. theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Unigine Heaven and Valley are crashing. I was only able to run Luxmark.

    luxmark-rx480.png
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 603

    h9826790

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    #4
    Thanks for the test. So, it seems the support still very limited.

    OpenGL crash.

    And OpenCL only perform a little bit better than a single 7950 at stock frequency. (It seems the clock speed has indication error. Yours should be 1260MHz, and mine should be 800MHz.)
    Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 02.07.58.jpg
     
  5. theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    The driver definitely needs more work. I put my R9 280X back in to compare just now.

    luxmark-r9280x.png
     
  6. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68030

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #6
    How is interface speed or full screen video playback?
     
  7. theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Simply plug and play, it was choppy. I modified AMDRadeonX4000.kext by adding the RX 480 ID 0x67df1002 and all is well. Interface speed and video playback is what you'd expect on a Mac with Metal running.

    Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 1.33.02 AM.png
     
  8. Fl0r!an, Jul 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016

    Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Can you run OpenGL apps now after modifying X4000? E.g. Unigine? Would be interesting to see if the support has improved compared to DP1.
     
  9. theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Unfortunately no improvement on OpenGL.
     
  10. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #11
    Thanks for testing and taking the time to report here.
     
  11. Xanix macrumors member

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    Oct 10, 2011
    #12
    Hello. Finely, my Mac Pro from 2010 is not limited, to Windows 8.1 ;)
    R9 nano running on macOS beta… some glitches here and there but; it’s working!

    No boot screen of corse. Is there a way to edit the bios; create/change the UEFI?

    *Well, is better then nothing. I just hope they don’t remove the support for the R9’s...


    Regards to all,

    Xanix
     

    Attached Files:

  12. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68030

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #13
    Can you run all Luxmark and Furmark tests?
     
  13. theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    After more than a day using this RX 480, I have more good news to share. The GPU runs very quiet and cool (compared to my flashed R9 280x). No interface lag, power, or sleep issue at all.

    No boot screen but booting into recovery mode works well when I needed to disable and enable SIP.

    I will be getting another RX 480 when it's more widely available and try crossfire w/o external power source.
     
  14. h9826790 macrumors 603

    h9826790

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    #15
    you mean you can access recovery partition without EFI? It's a very very good news.

    But... how it works? I think there is no driver loaded in recovery partition and totally rely on EFI to provide display. Sierra changed it?
     
  15. theitsage, Jul 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016

    theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Command R at boot took me right into Recovery mode. Didn't see the initial boot screen but I saw the very last stage of boot where the Apple logo and progress bar showed up briefly. This has worked right out the box, plug and play.
     
  16. h9826790, Jul 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors 603

    h9826790

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    #17
    Interesting, I didn't know that. I thought no boot screen means can't see anything in recovery partition as well. If this work, then the new PC graphic cards are really attractive (e.g. the RX 480), I just want to keep the ability to use recovery partition. (e.g. I need it to disable SIP). If a non EFI card can do that, then I have no real reason require EFI.
     
  17. theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I was able to run all Luxmark tests. Furmark tests refused to run.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 26, 2016 ---
    It's almost fully functional for my day to day use of this Mac Pro. I connected a monitor to its 3 DisplayPorts, and a TV to the HDMI port. They all work. HDMI audio is not working yet (I tried the kext patch).

    I'm very excited to see full support once Sierra GM is released!
     
  18. vasuvasu macrumors newbie

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    Aug 8, 2011
    #19
    That's really impressive at this point in Sierra. Does it feel like things that should be accelerated are accelerated? I'm looking for an upgrade from my GTX570 in my 5,1 and not having to worry about drivers would be nice
     
  19. theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Yes, full acceleration after modifying AMDRadeonX4000.kext.
     
  20. Xanix macrumors member

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    Oct 10, 2011
    #21
    Hello. Sorry for the late reply. I couldn't do any test. Tried Luxmark, but, OpenCL is not working... when opening the app (GPU option), it can't find OpenCL!

    Let's hope for better news on the next, beta release...


    Regards,
    Xanix
     
  21. buster84 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2013
    #22
    Have you tried installing a boot menu like refit? I'm considering buying this card, but I use Windows and Mac and from what I've read you can't see the boot menu which means no holding control to see the hard drive and select it. I was just wondering if a boot menu was visible since it technically boots after the boot screen?
     
  22. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 14, 2007
    #23
    There's little point to care about a boot screen as long as Apple doesn't offer proper drivers for this card...

    Beside that, rEFIt won't work either, since that's "pre-OS" like Apples own boot loader. You'll need an EFI display driver to enable that.
    Clover, however, is able to create a generic display driver for PC cards. You'd have to make it auto-boot because you won't see anything before it has loaded, not sure how practicable that is.
     
  23. vasuvasu macrumors newbie

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    #24
    <waits fo ongnoi to see if there are improvements in beta 4>
     
  24. theitsage thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I'll do this tonight and report back. First thing after beta 4 update is OpenGL tests.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 1, 2016 ---
    You can use BootChamp for this purpose.
     

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