AMD Radeon R9 Fury X in Mac Pro 5,1

theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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I've been busy with eGPU testings in the past few months and was not spending much time on the Mac Pro. Santa was very good to me with an R9 Fury X liquid cooling so I thought it's a perfect time to get back on the Mac Pro tower.

The Radeon R9 Fury X fits inside the Mac Pro tower like a glove. Power management was a bit of a challenge. I'd highly recommend the Pixlas mod to provide upto 400W this beast of a GPU may consume.

A big "Thank You!" to okrasit, Fl0r!an for discovering the CU unlock. These Fiji and Polaris GPUs are now running full speed in macOS. Goalque put together an automated script to enable this CU unlock for our convenience.

Here are some basic benchmarks I ran so far. This R9 Fury X is now an excellent value. You can find one on Newegg for about $300. The build quality is the best AMD GPU I've ever experienced. Get them while you can.

Radeon-R9-Fury-X-Mac-Pro-Tower.JPG


R9-Fury-X-Luxmark.png R9-Fury-X-Geekbench.png

R9-Fury-X-Valley.png R9-Fury-X-Heaven.png
 

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Draeconis

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
969
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I've been busy with eGPU testings in the past few months and was not spending much time on the Mac Pro. Santa was very good to me with an R9 Fury X liquid cooling so I thought it's a perfect time to get back on the Mac Pro tower.

The Radeon R9 Fury X fits inside the Mac Pro tower like a glove. Power management was a bit of a challenge. I'd highly recommend the Pixels mod to supply upto 400W this beast of a GPU may consume.

A big "Thank You!" to okrasit, Fl0r!an for discovering the CU unlock. These Fiji and Polaris GPUs are now running full speed in macOS. Goalque put together an automated script to enable this CU unlock for our convenience.

Here are some basic benchmarks I ran so far. This R9 Fury X is now an excellent value. You can find one on Newegg for about $300. The build quality is the best AMD GPU I've ever experienced. Get them while you can.

View attachment 680765

View attachment 680766 View attachment 680764

View attachment 680742 View attachment 680744
This is pretty cool, not sure what you mean by CUs? Compute Units I assume?

Is that fan attached to the Fury X rad set to push or pull? I'm sure you already know, but I assumed it was push, which might be a problem for the Mac Pro fan pushing air in the other direction.

I was going to go the R9 Nano route, but just as I got serious, it became much harder to source in the UK, and prices went up. Ended up converting to Windows for simplicity(!) and getting a 1080, which I'm very happy with.
 

theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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This is pretty cool, not sure what you mean by CUs? Compute Units I assume?

Is that fan attached to the Fury X rad set to push or pull? I'm sure you already know, but I assumed it was push, which might be a problem for the Mac Pro fan pushing air in the other direction.

I was going to go the R9 Nano route, but just as I got serious, it became much harder to source in the UK, and prices went up. Ended up converting to Windows for simplicity(!) and getting a 1080, which I'm very happy with.
Yes, it's Compute Units unlock discovered by okrasit helps enable these Fiji and Polaris cards to run full power in macOS.

The attached fan is push. I will remove the main Mac Pro fan to get the cooling properly. It's very cold here in MN and the card runs absolutely quiet and cool.
 

Draeconis

macrumors 6502a
May 6, 2008
969
264
Yes, it's Compute Units unlock discovered by okrasit helps enable these Fiji and Polaris cards to run full power in macOS.

The attached fan is push. I will remove the main Mac Pro fan to get the cooling properly. It's very cold here in MN and the card runs absolutely quiet and cool.
That's interesting, I assume before you run that script the OS assumes it's a 460 and treats it as such?

I wouldn't do that. If the Mac Pro fan controller doesn't see a fan attached that's it's expecting to be present, all of the fans will ramp up to 100%. Can't you just unscrew the fan and turn it around to pull instead?
 

davebean

macrumors newbie
Oct 13, 2016
11
3
In my research, I ran across the Radeon Pro Duo. It's basically 2 Fury X processes on one card. Now... I am getting visions of meglomania... will that card run with the same modifications as the RX480's??? Does OS X or FCPX or... Primere Pro handle two GPU's?

Evil Dave
 

theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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@davebean I believe macOS does not work with a dual-GPU in one card such as the Radeon Pro Duo. If you'd like multiple GPU setup, look at doing dual RX 480 or triple RX 470. https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ossfire-possible.1989458/page-3#post-23423238

This is prior to the CUs unlock - I no longer run this setup but would guess the score be in the range of 42,000 once all 36 CUs on each GPU are running.
https://forums.macrumors.com/attachments/3-way-xfire-png.646654/
https://forums.macrumors.com/attachments/3-way-rx-luxmark-png.651355/
https://forums.macrumors.com/attachments/3-polaris-gpu-mac-pro-jpg.675500/
 
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AndreeOnline

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
445
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Zürich
Just finding this today!

Alright, now we're talking.

With no help from Apple, but lots of help from this and other forums, my little RX 480 is blooming nicely. More than anything, that annoying feeling that my new card was 'worse' than my old 280X can be put to rest. Suddenly this $220 investment seems quite reasonable. Low power consumption, pretty much silent for me and 8GB or memory.

With these new developments I'll drop a second one in there for FCPX and Resolve.

These Luxmark scores are improved by roughly the following numbers compared to the old ones I had with the exact same card:

Light scene: 26% better
Medium scene: 44% better
Heavy scene: 61% better (!)


GM4.png LM3.1_Light.png LM3.1_Medium.png LM3.1_Heavy.png
 
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AndreeOnline

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
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Is macOS (Sierra) supporting dual RX 480? Or is it just using one card?
Not sure if this question is for me, but in my case I currently only have one MSI RX 480 8GB card. I'll drop another one in there soon. I'm kiiiiind of waiting to hear if we get a firm launch date for Vega in the next few weeks...

As theitsage has shown above, you can drop as many cards in there as you like, provided you have enough power.
 

Coyote2006

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2006
503
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Not sure if this question is for me, but in my case I currently only have one MSI RX 480 8GB card. I'll drop another one in there soon. I'm kiiiiind of waiting to hear if we get a firm launch date for Vega in the next few weeks...

As theitsage has shown above, you can drop as many cards in there as you like, provided you have enough power.
Thanks for your response. What else does adding a MSI RX 480 8GB card require? Other cables? Other power supply? What drivers are you using for Sierra? Did you have to edit Kext? If yes can you please give me some advice here?

p.s. Greetings from Basel :)
 

AndreeOnline

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
445
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Hi there =)

It takes an 8-pin connector. If you're only using one card you can combine the two 6-pins from the motherboard into one 8-pin to distribute the load. But these cards are not as power hungry as previous generations, so you could probably just convert one of the 6-pins into an 8-pin.

I have a custom solution since I've modded my Mac Pro and I'm using power directly from the PSU. But it isn't necessary for this card.

Once installed and hooked up to power you will need to do some .kext modding. But it's nice that at least my card (and other's too) boots to the desktop without modification—it's just that you get poor performance and tearing before the mod.

I could write a step by step guide, but it has already been done by others, like theitsage here from the forum.

Once that is done you can unlock all the Compute Units with additional editing.

I just did the dance just now, since I had updated to the latest beta. It takes around 5 minutes and 2-3 reboots. You will need to re-apply the mods after each MacOS update, but it's not necessary if you're just restarting the computer.
 

Coyote2006

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2006
503
230
Thanks for your support! I've just tested my GTX680 with Luxmark and your card seems to be 3x faster :).

I guess the RX 480 also supports 4K and 5K monitors?
 

AndreeOnline

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
445
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Zürich
OK! I'm not sure what to expect from the 680—I've never had one of those.

Just make sure to not focus too much on benchmarks. Make sure to find comparisons using the actual apps you're using. What do you want to use the card for? Video/compute or gaming? Just general boost?

It has to be said that since you find these cards from around $200 now, price/performance is good. I bought the 8GB version but in all honesty the 4GB should be good for pretty much anything.
 

Ivan Ebrahim

macrumors newbie
Sep 28, 2016
16
1
Hi all

sorry if these are questions that have been answered elsewhere, i have been trawling around.

I have the MSI RX 480 installed in my Mac Pro and would love to get a second in there, but with a AHCI boot drive in Slot-1 and a USB 3 card in Slot-2 i cant see how i would fit it!? Is there any way around this? Currently my 480 is in slot 4.

I also dont quite understand what im supposed to do with the CU script?

Finally, i have a problem as dont seem to be able to upgrade OSX beyond 10.12.1, but maybe i should post seperately about that...
 

AndreeOnline

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
445
264
Zürich
Just to be clear, the official naming of the PCI slots starts from the bottom (the double width x16) and goes up. Slot 4 is at the top, closest to the hard drive bays.

By not using hard drive bay 2,3 and 4 you can probably fit most cards in PCI slot 4. Then you can have one card in slot 1 and then use 2 and 3 for USB and PCIe SSD expansion.

If you rely heavily on HDD/SSDs you have the optical bays to work with.

Script:
  1. Open a Terminal window.
  2. Write chmod +x
  3. drag the script file from Finder into the Terminal window. This creates a file path automatically.
  4. Press Return
  5. write sudo
  6. drag the script file from Finder into the Terminal window. This creates a file path automatically.
  7. write fiji 64
  8. Press Return
  9. Enter your password when asked
  10. write sudo
  11. drag the script file from Finder into the Terminal window. This creates a file path automatically.
  12. write ellesmere 36
  13. press Return
  14. enter password when prompted
  15. Run kext Utility to repair permissions.
  16. Reboot
I'm not touching your last problem at this point. Too hard to say.
 
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Coyote2006

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2006
503
230
Just to be clear, the official naming of the PCI slots starts from the bottom (the double width x16) and goes up. Slot 4 is at the top, closest to the hard drive bays.

By not using hard drive bay 2,3 and 4 you can probably fit most cards in PCI slot 4. Then you can have one card in slot 1 and then use 2 and 3 for USB and PCIe SSD expansion.

If you rely heavily on HDD/SSDs you have the optical bays to work with.

Script:
  1. Open a Terminal window.
  2. Write chmod +x
  3. drag the script file from Finder into the Terminal window. This creates a file path automatically.
  4. Press Return
  5. write sudo
  6. drag the script file from Finder into the Terminal window. This creates a file path automatically.
  7. write fiji 64
  8. Press Return
  9. Enter your password when asked
  10. write sudo
  11. drag the script file from Finder into the Terminal window. This creates a file path automatically.
  12. write ellesmere 36
  13. press Return
  14. enter password when prompted
  15. Run kext Utility to repair permissions.
  16. Reboot
I'm not touching your last problem at this point. Too hard to say.
Are you referring to the "enable-baffin-CUs.sh" script mentioned above? But this script is only needed for using multiple cards right?
 
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