AMD Polaris & Vega GPU High Sierra Support

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MisterAndrew, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. MisterAndrew, Nov 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

    MisterAndrew macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #1
    This thread is about compatibility of Polaris & Vega graphics cards with the Mac Pro. In general Sapphire Pulse GPUs have the best compatibility. Please help others in the community by sharing your experiences with these cards. Also, if you can identify any of the unknown cards listed below please let us know.

    All of these cards are Metal-capable and should have good support in macOS Mojave. However, none of these cards support the boot screen on a Mac, FreeSync in MacOS, or the ability to apply firmware updates. But they do support Recovery Mode. For Boot Camp without a boot screen see this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/how-to-boot-windows-without-a-boot-screen.2114788/

    GPUs with the following Polaris GPU device IDs are supported in macOS 10.13.4 & 10.13.5:

    -0x67C0: Radeon Pro WX 7100 (Mobile)
    -0x67C1: Unknown
    -0x67C2: Unknown
    -0x67C4: Radeon Pro WX 7100
    -0x67C7: Radeon Pro WX 5100
    -0x67DF: Radeon RX 470, 480, 570, & 580
    -67D0: Unknown
    -67C8: Unknown
    -67C9: Unknown
    -67CA: Unknown
    -67CC: Unknown
    -67CF: Unknown
    -67E0: Unknown
    -67E3: Radeon Pro WX 4100
    -67E8: Unknown
    -67EB: Unknown
    -67EF: Radeon RX 460 & 560
    -67FF: Radeon RX 550 (Sapphire Pulse) & 560
    -67E1: Unknown
    -67E7: Unknown
    -67E9: Unknown

    Note: GPUs that do not have one of the above Device IDs are not supported. For example, an RX 550 with Device ID 699F is not supported.

    The following Polaris graphics cards are properly identified in About This Mac and System Information:

    -Radeon RX 580
    -Radeon Pro WX 7100
    -Radeon Pro WX 5100
    -Radeon RX 570
    -Radeon RX 480
    -Radeon RX 470
    -Radeon Pro WX 4100
    -Radeon RX 460
    -Radeon RX 560
    -Radeon RX 550
    -Radeon Pro 580 (In 10.13.6 & 10.14 beta. Model 113-C94002A1XTA. New custom Apple card for MP5,1?)

    GPUs with the following Vega GPU device IDs are supported in macOS 10.13.4 & 10.13.5:

    -6860: Radeon Pro Vega 64 in iMac Pro
    -6861: Radeon Pro WX 9100
    -6862: Unknown (Could be Radeon Pro SSG)
    -6863: Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
    -6864: Unknown
    -6867: Radeon Pro Vega 56 in iMac Pro
    -6868: Unknown (Could be unreleased Radeon Pro WX 8100)
    -6869: Unknown
    -686A: Unknown
    -686B: Unknown
    -686C: Unknown (Could be Radeon Instinct MI25 (machine intelligence accelerator))
    -687F: Radeon RX Vega 56 & 64
    -69A0: Unknown (Vega 12) (Could be 6-core/12 thread Intel APU)
    -69AF: Unknown (Vega 12)

    Additional Vega GPUs with the following device IDs are supported in macOS 10.14 beta:
    -686D: Unknown
    -686E: Unknown
    -69A1: Unknown (Vega 12)
    -69A2: Unknown (Vega 12)
    -69A3: Unknown (Vega 12)
    -66A0: Unknown (Vega 20)
    -66A1: Unknown (Vega 20)
    -66A2: Unknown (Vega 20)
    -66A3: Unknown (Vega 20)
    -66A7: Unknown (Vega 20)
    -66AF: Unknown (Vega 20)

    The following Vega graphics cards are properly identified in About This Mac and System Information:
    -Radeon Pro WX 9100
    -Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
    -Radeon RX Vega 64
    -Radeon RX Vega 56

    Current issues for PC graphics cards:

    -Vega graphics cards' power requirements exceed cMP specs. Solutions: Pixlas Mod or separate power supply.

    -Most Vega graphics cards have high idle fan speed when installed inside a cMP, but not when installed in an eGPU enclosure. See Vega High Fan Speed Issue section below for more information.

    -eGPU connected over TB2 to Mac Pro 6,1 does not work. Solution: Patch available here.

    -These cards have a link speed of PCIe 1.1 rather than 2.0 when installed in cMP's slot 1 or 2. However, this does not reduce performance in realistic scenarios.

    Vega High Fan Speed Issue

    The following cards have been tested by myself and/or by others. You are encouraged to test additional cards. Note that this issue only applies to cards installed internally in a cMP.

    Issue present:
    -Reference RX Vega 56 & 64
    -Radeon Vega Frontier Edition
    -Radeon Pro WX 9100
    -XFX Double Edition RX Vega 56 & 64
    -Gigabyte RX Vega 56 & 64 Gaming OC
    -ASUS ROG STRIX RX Vega 56 & 64
    -MSI RX Vega 56 & 64 Air Boost

    Issue not present:
    -Sapphire Pulse RX Vega 56 (model 11276-02)
    -PowerColor Red Dragon RX Vega 56 (model AXRX VEGA 56 8GBHBM2-2D2HD/OC)
    -Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 56 (model 11276-01) Note (!): The Nitro+ card is too long for the cMP unless the PCIe case fan is removed (not recommended).
    -Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64 (model 11275-03) Note (!): The Nitro+ card is too long for the cMP unless the PCIe case fan is removed (not recommended).

    Unknown/untested:
    -PowerColor Red Devil RX Vega 56 & 64

    Solution for RX Vega 56 and 64 that have this issue: Use Sapphire Pulse, Sapphire Nitro+, or PowerColor Red Dragon BIOS. In most cases it's perfectly safe for the card, but of course do this at your own risk. See BIOS compatibility section below. Note that an RX Vega BIOS cannot be flashed to a Frontier Edition or WX 9100.

    These combinations have been tested and appear to be working normally:
    -Reference RX Vega 56 with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 56 secondary BIOS

    Alternate solution (for all Vega cards): Modify kext (driver) to change fan speed. Instructions linked here. Note: This solution is not recommended because the Kext Signing and Filesystem Protections of System Integrity Protection (SIP) must be disabled in order for the modified driver to load which may leave your system vulnerable. It must also be performed each time there is a macOS software update.

    RX Vega BIOS Compatibility

    There are 2 main variants of the RX Vega PCB, standard (full size) and nano. To be safe I recommend only flashing a nano card with a nano BIOS. This is because the VRMs are smaller and must not exceed 105 °C. Standard PCB bioses often have a VRM target temp of 115 °C or more. The standard card can be safely flashed with either another standard BIOS or a nano BIOS.

    Nano PCB:
    -Sapphire Pulse RX Vega 56 & 64
    -PowerColor Red Dragon RX Vega 56 & 64
    -XFX Double Edition RX Vega 56 & 64

    Standard (full size) PCB:
    -Reference RX Vega 56 & 64
    -Gigabyte RX Vega 56 & 64 Gaming OC
    -ASUS ROG STRIX RX Vega 56 & 64
    -MSI RX Vega 56 & 64 Air Boost
    -PowerColor Red Devil RX Vega 56 & 64
    -Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 56 & 64

    To flash a different BIOS to your card it must be done using Command Prompt in Windows ran as an Administrator. The following commands will force flash a different BIOS:
    AtiFlash.exe -f -p 0 path-to-new-vbios.rom (with single card installed)
    Note: It appears atiflash starts the slot position count at the top. For example, if you had 2 cards installed with one in slot 3 that would be 0 and one installed in slot 1 that would be 1. So then if you wanted to flash the card in slot 1 with 2 cards installed you would type, "AtiFlash.exe -f -p 1 path-to-new-vbios.rom". If you accidentally flashed the wrong card then quickly flash it again with the correct bios before restarting the computer.

    If you put the new BIOS in the same directory then you just need to type the name of the new BIOS file (replace "path-to-new-vbios.rom" with the name of your rom). A new BIOS can be found online such as TechPowerUp’s VGA Bios Collection. Note that some BIOSes such as for the Pulse and Nitro+ are found under unverified uploads (the verified Nitro+ on their website is for the limited edition card and should not be used on a card that does not have 3 power connectors). Note that using a different BIOS on your card may void the manufacturer’s warranty (if you weren’t able to restore the original BIOS). Always backup your original BIOS using a program like GPU-Z.

    Note that it doesn’t seem to make any difference if a card has Samsung or Hynix memory for a Vega BIOS. The BIOS will autodetect the memory type.

    Some people feel an open-air cooled card BIOS should not be used on a blower cooled card due to concerns about temperature. It is up to you to monitor temperatures. The BIOSes have the same target temps for both types of cards so this concern may be unwarranted.

    If you flashed a BIOS to your card that didn’t work then shut down the computer and flip the BIOS switch on the card. Then start Windows and while the computer is still running flip the BIOS switch back. Then you can proceed to flash over the failed BIOS.

    "No fan issue" BIOS list:
    -Sapphire Pulse RX Vega 56 (nano PCB): 113-376XL-UO1 (primary), 113-376XL-U43 (secondary)
    -PowerColor Red Dragon RX Vega 56 (nano PCB): J8320JAD.ROM (primary)
    -Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 56 (standard PCB): 113-D0500310-O01 (primary), 113-D0500310-S01 (secondary)
    -Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64 (standard PCB): 113-D0500110-O01 (primary), 113-D0500110-S01 (secondary)

    Andrew’s cMP Graphics Card Recommendations

    Here are my recommendations for cards that have a good balance of performance & power consumption and have good compatibility.

    Basic 2D cards:

    Radeon Pro WX 4100
    Pros: Low power consumption (50W), good for 2D workloads (CAD), single slot width
    Cons: Not good for 3D workloads or gaming

    Mid-level cards:

    Sapphire Pulse RX 580
    Pros: Very good compatibility (the Apple eGPU Dev Kit card), 2 slot width
    Cons: Less powerful than Vega except in certain apps, relatively poor efficiency for performance (225W)
    Other considerations: Can use the cMP’s existing power connections (with dual mini 6-pin to single 8-pin cable).

    Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580 (both standard and limited edition)
    Pros: 2 slot width, can be used with single 8-pin power connector (the 6-pin is optional)
    Cons: Less powerful than Vega except in certain apps, poor efficiency for performance (235W for standard and 250W for limited edition)
    Other considerations: Can use the cMP’s existing power connections (with dual mini 6-pin to single 8-pin cable).

    High-end cards:

    Sapphire Pulse RX Vega 56
    -Pros: Powerful, very efficient for Vega (180W), quiet, low temperatures
    -Cons: 2.5 slot width blocks second PCIe slot
    -Other considerations: This card usually has Samsung HBM2, which is often good for overclocking. Dual 8-pin power connectors require Pixlas mod or separate PS.

    PowerColor Red Dragon RX Vega 56
    -Pros: Powerful, very efficient for Vega (180W), quiet, low temperatures, 2 slot width
    -Other considerations: This card usually has Hynix HBM2, which doesn't usually overclock as well as Samsung HBM2. 8-pin + 6-pin power connectors require Pixlas mod or separate PS.

    Official Apple support page for supported GPUs (as external graphics for TB3 Macs): https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544
     
  2. MisterAndrew, Nov 1, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017

    MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #2
    OpenGL issues appear to be resolved with RX Vega 56 GPU. Google Chrome now works well with hardware acceleration and WebGL enabled.

    Preview no longer crashes when attempting to crop a photo.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 1, 2017 ---
    The LuxMark v3.1 luxball score increased by 2531, from 20251 (on 10.13.1 beta build 17B25c) to 22782.

    LuxMark 10.13.2 17C60c.jpeg
    --- Post Merged, Nov 1, 2017 ---
    Also, on previous builds sometimes a window would flash solid red when minimized or the section of the screen would be solid red where a crashed window was. So far that no longer occurs.
     
  3. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #3
    Looks like drivers are improving for Vega cards!
     
  4. PowerMike G5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #4
    Thanks. This looks promising. How are you powering the card? dual mini 6pins to 8pins?
     
  5. MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #5
    Pixlas mod. #213
    --- Post Merged, Nov 2, 2017 ---
    If they don't fix the fan speed issue I may have to switch to the liquid cooled 64. Something to keep in mind if you haven't upgraded yet. Everything else so far appears to be perfect.
     
  6. krakman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #6
    may I enquire if you have tried a PRAM and SMC reset to see if that stops the fans from spinning all the time?
     
  7. MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #7
    I haven't tried that yet because that will reset SIP and I need it disabled to run Boot Champ. I'll see if I can boot into Recovery mode. On previous builds it would boot into it but only show a grey screen.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 2, 2017 ---
    Recovery mode works now. Resetting SMC and PRAM did not fix the fan speed issue.
     
  8. krakman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #8
    thanks for the update. What brand of card are you using? I am looking to buy a Sapphire Vega 54 and hope the fans get fixed in the next update.
     
  9. MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

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    Portland, Oregon
  10. vinste macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    #10
    Little chance for this... In 10.13.1, at idle, reference vega frequency already throttle because of the heat.
    10.13.2 first beta brings better heat handling, and the card is far cooler now at idle: it allows higher frequencies (I got 15% geekbench compute score increase), at the detriment of fan speed and noise.
     
  11. AndreeOnline macrumors 6502

    AndreeOnline

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Zürich
    #11
    Admittedly, this isn't very scientific, but I've had situations where my fans (RX480) kept going after startup. I learned that if I started a benchmark like 'Heaven', that in turn would trigger 'full fan mode' after a while. But once I exited Heaven and the card cooled down, the fans would go quiet as well.

    Can't say when it began or if it was fixed permanently, but if I hear the fans after reboot, I start Heaven and let it run for a bit. Then I exit and the fans go quiet. That "trick" has never failed me.

    Might be worth a shot.
     
  12. MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #12
    The fan should not be running that fast at idle. A geekbench benchmark does not run at idle. It puts a load on the card and in that scenario the fan should run faster.

    Thanks for the tip. I tried it. It didn't work.

    Heaven Medium 10.13.2 beta 1.jpeg
     
  13. AndreeOnline macrumors 6502

    AndreeOnline

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    Zürich
    #13
    Sorry to hear that. My card is an MSI Gaming X, for what it's worth.
     
  14. MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

    Joined:
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    Portland, Oregon
    #14
    Here's another issue. The Mac does not wake from sleep and the graphics card fan continues to run at full speed when it's sleeping.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 5, 2017 ---
    I've reported these issues to Apple using Feedback Assistant.
     
  15. MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

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    #15
    I installed the second beta (17C67b) today and the fan issue persists.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 7, 2017 ---
    The Payloads folder in the root directory that the first beta created is now gone after the second beta update.
     
  16. vinste macrumors newbie

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    Oct 13, 2017
    Location:
    Lyon, France
    #16
    Is wake from sleep still an issue?
     
  17. usna92 macrumors member

    usna92

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle
    #17
    On my MacPro with a RX-480 and a 5770 wake from sleep is definitely an issue. Started with 10.13.2 beta 2.
     
  18. MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

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  19. itdk92 macrumors 6502

    itdk92

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    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #19
    Interesting, haven't had any issues with other VEGA 56, but haven't tried the Sapphire as well. Will buy one and report
     
  20. MisterAndrew, Nov 10, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

    MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

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    #20
    Are you using 10.13.2 beta? Since these are AMD reference cards they should all have the exact same vendor ID, device ID, subsystem vendor ID, and subsystem ID so MacOS should be treating them the same. I know those all match between the XFX and Sapphire cards. And since they are the same cards you don't have to buy another one. You should be able to flash the Sapphire BIOS onto one of your existing cards.

    Vendor ID: 0x1002

    Device ID: 0x687f

    Subsystem Vendor ID: 0x1002

    Subsystem ID: 0x6b76

    Revision ID: 0x00c3
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2017 ---
    This is the BIOS on my card. I verified that with the GPU-Z app and it said this is it.

    https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/194718/sapphire-rxvega56-8176-170730
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2017 ---
    It looks like you wouldn't actually have to flash the BIOS because according to Techpowerup, they have the exact same BIOS. Version 016.001.001.000.008766. Therefore, no difference at all between these cards.

    Same Bios: AMD RX Vega 56, Gigabyte RX Vega 56, MSI RX Vega 56, Powercolor RX Vega 56, XFX RX Vega 56

    There is another BIOS, but I've just verified that is the secondary BIOS. Version 016.001.001.000.008767: https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/194756/sapphire-rxvega56-8176-170730-1.
     
  21. MisterAndrew, Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017

    MisterAndrew thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MisterAndrew

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    #21
    The fan and sleep issues were not fixed in the 3rd beta (17C76a).
     
  22. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #22
    It's hard to believe this will stay broken. For the iMac Pro... maybe they have a custom power controller firmware or something else custom.

    But for eGPUs... that would be using stock PCIe cards. So I hope we get fan and sleep fixes because Vega as a PCIe option looks pretty nice.
     
  23. h9826790 macrumors G3

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #23
    Even I have no plan to go Vega at this moment. I still wish Apple can fix it to leave us more practically usable GPU option.

    However, the iMac Pro will not coming with the Vega chip at standard setting with the reference cooler. There is no need for the driver to handle that.

    And Apple officially only support the Sapphire PULSE RX580 8GB as the eGPU. I don’t think they really care if Vega can’t work properly as an eGPU.
     
  24. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #24
    There have been a lot of hints out there for Apple and partners that Vega will be supported as an eGPU.

    RX580 is just the hardware that was out at the time of the beta eGPU program. It won't be the end of the supported hardware.

    It's even likely post-beta Apple will roll out official support for third party eGPU drivers.
     
  25. h9826790 macrumors G3

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #25
    I am sure lots of eGPU work, just like my 1080Ti never ever officially supported by Apple. But it works flawlessly in my cMP now.

    However, it work doesn’t mean that’s supported. As long as it’s not officially supported by Apple, anything can happen.
     

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