Apple Outlines Metal-Capable Cards Compatible With macOS Mojave on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro Models

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Delta-NC macrumors member


    Apr 22, 2008
    Scotland, European Union
    I popped down to my local second hand shop yesterday and got myself an NVIDIA GeForce 710 GT 1GB for €15.

    It’s not powerful, but it’s passively cooled, requires no power cables, has metal support, and works with Mojave without requiring drivers.

    Easiest upgrade in the world No boot screens however which is the only downside.
  2. watakoola macrumors newbie


    Aug 23, 2010
    So... when Apple says the "MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDDR5" and the "SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB GDDR5" cards are Metal-capable, does that mean they are 'generic' cards, not 'flashed' or whatever is done for the other 3 "Mac Edition" cards?
  3. Sasparilla macrumors 65816

    Jul 6, 2012
    I remember talk before that using a 3rd party card you wouldn't see the boot process (Apple screen etc.), if you got one of these cards would it just be a dark screen till the desktop login screen appears?

    This is nice - however before dropping the $$$ on a video card one has to ask do I want to buy a video card if this is going to be the last OS version the Cheese Grater Pro's will get? (its about time they dropped support for them I think - saying that as a 2012 Pro Owner)
  4. Morpheo macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2014
    Yes, these are not "mac edition" cards, so no boot screens, which may or may not be an issue (for me it's not). I got an RX 560, worked out of the box, drivers are included in 10.13.6 and Mojave. The 560 is perfect for my needs, doesn't need power, and is very cheap. :)

    Screen Shot 2018-09-25 at 9.17.38 AM.png
  5. Defthand macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2010
    Apple wants us to believe that a product’s quality is the sum of its parts. More often, a tech product is only as good as its weakest part.
  6. MisterAndrew macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2015
    Portland, Oregon
    Why are you defending Nvidia? They’re a hostile non-competitive company. I won’t buy a new Nvidia product and I’m glad Apple won’t either.
  7. theFATangel macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2005
    I'm not advocating anyone try this themselves with their mission critical system, but I ran a test by installing 10.14.0 using my macbookpro11,5 on an external usb drive. I then shut it down, connected it to my macpro5,1 and booted to it without issue. I notice some graphics artifacts in Safari (with Dark Mode configured) when hovering over tabs, but otherwise system seems to run normal.

    I was actually testing for the ability to install Mojave on an APFS partition on a GPT partitioned external USB hard drive (not an SSD). This worked well.

    Mojave AMD 5770.png
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    If one does want boot screens, there are vendors who sell a pretty good selection of cards that WILL give them.

    Unfortunately, one such vendor was banned from this site, so I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention them. I know that running a card from that vendor in my MP 1,1 and have been very happy with it.
  9. Morpheo macrumors 65816


    Feb 26, 2014
    I know who it is. Except for the 7950, 7970 and their variants, the Mojave-compatible cards cannot be modified to have boot screens. At least that’s what I’ve read.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 25, 2018 ---
    You’re running Mojave with a 5770???
  10. kactus macrumors newbie

    Jan 23, 2005
    I bought an MSI Gaming RX 560 AERO ITX 4GB from Amazon for about $135. I installed the card and works like a charm. Metal is supported, and WoW runs with no complaints. I also installed an old NVIDIA GT-120, so I get boot screens if I attach a monitor to it!
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The first step is Apple is allowing plain Jane PC cards, my hypothesis is the next Mac Pro will support all PC graphics cards (well AMD card by default, Nvidia by web drivers). Video will be routed through PCIe slot to USB-C/Thunderbolt ports on the Mac Pro motherboard. The boot screen will be run by a variant of the A-series chip (like a T1 or something), so no EFI graphics card needed.
  12. TomDfrog macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2018
    Wondering, has anyone tried leaving an old nonMETAL card in for secondary displays? I have multiple displays and I am wondering if I need to upgrade ALL cards or just the main one? I am not finding any threads on the web about machines with multiple video cards and the Mojave Metal Requirement.
    Something tells me I am going to end up digging my heals in at 10.13 and staying put! Wait to do any upgrades until after the TrashCan MacPro replacement materializes. Though, after several years of saying its coming...I no longer really think it is.
    Time for a BIOS upgrade which includes generic graphics code (like PCs have) so at least a rudimentary boot screen appears no matter what graphics card is installed.
  13. Ishayu macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2012
    Careful! Current NVIDIA has not released a web driver for MacOS Mojave, so even though it says Metal is supported (because it is) you still cannot use it with MacOS Mojave. Do NOT upgrade anything past NVIDIA 9xx series!
  14. Pkavicky macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2017
    I’m running a Mac Pro 4.1, flashed to 5.1. Mojave is currently installed. Current video card is a Saphire HD 7950 Mac edition. It’s hooked up to a Samsung 4K monitor.

    It works, but with two caveats. One is that I’m not seeing the boot screen. Two is that I have found 2560x1440 to be a great resolution for my work, but it only seems to be output at a 24 hertz refresh rate with the option to change that grayed out. I am coming from the mDP via an adapter so I note I can run much higher resolutions at a much smoother 60 hertz, but my preferred resolution runs at a much lower refresh rate and that’s not great.

    My application is audio production work, so my needs are fairly modest wrt memory and power (compared to gamers).

    So my current situation definitely works, but is missing those two elements that I used to have with the GT120. That card was solid as a rock but only went up to 1080 and I’d prefer 1440p at 60. I’m running a single monitor.

    Is there any card out there for a Mac Pro 5.1 that can show the boot screens and run 1440p solidly? Even better if no special drivers are required.

    The card I have is on the supported list and works fine, but I would prefer to improve my situation with the boot screen and slow refresh rate at 2560x1440. Any recommended cards so that I can keep trucking along with this Mac as happily as possible? Researching the forums has left me with as many questions as answers and I presume you’d know the answer. If there is a good working card that does this is like to know about it.
  15. Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, CA

    It's so nice to read a thread by prosumers who actually know what they're typing about. It's obvious who the casual consumers are when they instantly defend Apple's nonsensical strategies of neglecting the Mac, then bash us by typing, "in before the negative comments."
  16. watakoola macrumors newbie


    Aug 23, 2010
    Okay! My RX 580 arrived today, as did a separately ordered Dual Mini 6 Pin Male to 8 Pin Male cable.
    I had previously updated my firmware in preparation for Mojave, but once I installed the card and hit 'install' it decided it wanted to do the firmware update again. Who was I to argue?

    A couple of hours later - inclusive of some software updates for Mojave compatibility - I'm up and running again. As my Mid-2012 Mac Pro started life with the 1Gb ATi 5770 (stock) card and now has as 8Gb RX 580, there is a considerable difference in speed and, tellingly, fan-quietness and overall cooler temperatures.

    It's crazy! The fans often slow down to virtually nothing as the RX 580 seems so thermal-efficient. My old, 5770 card was always throwing up heaps of iStats alerts that PCI slot 1 has “exceeded 75 degrees (Celsius) for over 10 seconds”. This occurred whenever a re-draw was happening - even when opening finder windows with lots of files!

    I suppose 8Gb of memory (as opposed to 1Mb) makes a massive difference to load.

    Thanks for those folks here who offered advice and assistance - the whole process ended up up being quite painless. My ol' Mac Pro is a beast again!
  17. JCHStudio macrumors newbie


    Oct 31, 2018
    So if I have 2 graphics cards do I need to replace them both? And which on the list is recommended since there are so many? I'm capable of changes parts and doing maintenance on my rig, but I"m not knowledgable about this stuff. Some help would be great. Thanks -Super frustrating to even have to do this :/ Screen Shot 2018-10-31 at 12.06.48 PM.png
  18. kelobro macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2018
    Why would I do that? I just run a firepro w7000 card. Works for everything so far. If it doesn't work for Mojave, I'll move to a WX7100. Nvidia web drivers suck and they are always late.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 4, 2018 ---
    They work out of the box. No need for flashing anymore.
  19. theFATangel macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2005
    I was able to boot up and use Mojave with the stock 5770 that came with my MacPro5,1 Quad 2.8GHz. The caveat was that I had to install on an external USB drive on my MacBookPro11,5 that has a Metal supported GPU built in (*This model has dual graphics processors -- an AMD Radeon R9 M370X with 2 GB of dedicated GDDR5 SDRAM and an Intel Iris Pro 5200 with 128 MB of "Crystalwell" embedded DRAM (and shared system memory). -

    Once the installation completed I shut everything down and then booted my MP to the external USB drive. I actually was testing for the ability to install Mojave on and boot off of an external APFS volume on a spinnng magnetic hard drive (as opposed to an SSD). This was not possible with APFS in High Sierra that I know of or was able to figure out. It seems this approach was necessary to circumnavigate the restrictions present in the Mojave installer.

    I ended up buying an XFX Radeon RX 580 Black Edition 8GB for $220 to see how that worked with Mojave. I ran into two challenges (and then a firmware update) before I got the Mojave installer to let me install on my MP.

    Firstly, I left the stock Radeon 5770 installed and I got the complaint that “ALL installed video cards must be Metal [2] capable,” which the 5770 is not Metal 2 capable. So I unplugged and removed it and had to perform a firmware update before it would let me install Mojave. The RX 580 is not a Mac edition so it does not show the boot screen, making it difficult to choose another volume to boot to when option-booting my MP. So after successfully installing Mojave, I reinstalled and plugged in my 5770 (so I could use that for option-booting) and had no complaints from the already installed Mojave system. It seems as if the installer is the gate keeper, but once installed no one is getting kicked out of the party! That was one challenge plus firmware update.

    The other challenge was Apple’s issue with RGB versus YCbCr color spaces. Throughout the installation above all the colors were wrong and seemed washed out in a lavender/pink sort of bleached way (see attached photo). I actually thought the 580 was faulty or incompatible until I found out about the color space bug Apple hasn’t addressed in years. I even returned one card as faulty, brought home a replacement and had the exact same issue. Basically a display tells the macOS the color spaces it is compatible with and then the OS decides to send it the appropriate color space, except that macOS wasn’t sending the correct one in my case. I’m no expert on this but, I believe monitors prefer RGB whereas HDTVs prefer YCbCr but can work with both.

    The fix required downloading a ruby script called patch-edit.rb, running it to generate an override file forcing macOS to use the RGB color space on my HDTV, and then booting into recovery mode and then using terminal to copy the generated override file into the Overrides directory in the macOS System folder. See this link for a detailed process. Now I have both the stock 5770 and my new RX 580 running simultaneously in Mojave!

    Attached Files:

  20. rtdarling1 macrumors newbie

    Dec 1, 2018
    I am confused/have 2 questions regarding "Metal Capable" GPUs for Mac Pro 5,1s:

    Question #1) Can I utilize any of the cards on Apple's list (i.e:
    • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDRR5
    • SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB GDDR5
    • SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition
    • NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition
    • AMD Radeon RX 560
    • AMD Radeon RX 570
    • AMD Radeon RX 580
    • AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
    • AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
    • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
    • AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100
    • AMD Radeon Frontier Edition

      Out of the box (i.e: PC versions/not flashed), or must some (or all) of these cards be flashed/altered in some/any way to work in my Mac Pro 5,1 (actually it is a 4,1, which has been upgraded w/5,1 firmware) ?
    Question #2) If the answer to question #1 is yes (i.e: I can utilize the PC/non-flashed version of any of the cards on the above list in my Mac Pro 5,1), then from what I understand/gather, some (or all ?) of the cards on the list will not show "boot screens". If this statement is accurate/correct, then what exactly does this mean ?

    Any help/assistance that anyone can provide me, would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you
  21. theFATangel macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2005
    Answer #1) Not only can you use any of the Apple recommended cards on the list, but many more they don’t mention. I was successfull in using a card not on the list, the XFX Radeon RX 580 Black Edition 8GB, a Metal 2 capable card that works with Mojave on my true MacPro5,1 from 2010 (not a MacPro4,1 flashed to a MacPro5,1).

    Answer #2) The boot screens on Macs are visible only on the actual graphics cards shipped in Apple products or “Mac Edition” graphics cards that have a special firmware that supports Apple’s EFI booting.

    If you continuously hold down the option key before the startup chime on most Macs, you’ll get a boot option menu letting you temporarily boot to another bootable volume. Also, when applying firmware updates, the Apple logo with progress bar are part of the boot screen process. These would not be available on the supported cards listed by Apple, or any other cards not listed that would still support Metal 2 unless they are “Mac Edition” graphics cards with firmware support for Apple’s EFI boot process.

    I’m not sure if single user mode (continuously holding command+S through the startup chime) is dependent on “Mac Edition” support in graphics cards to be visible. Actually I’m not even sure single user mode is even available anymore...
  22. BradMacPro macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2005
    I tried Mojave on a patched 2008 Mac Pro. It's non-metal capable video card will only drive one monitor, so if you are running more than one monitor, you need a second non-metal video card or upgrade to a metal capable card.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 3, 2018 ---
    I have a flashed AMD Radeon R9 280x card that is metal capable, shows boot screen and runs every resolution smoothly on my LG 31.5" 4K display. I'd call it the next step up from your card. Maybe you need SwitchResX to get a proper refresh rate out of your monitor.
  23. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2004
    I'm also curious about this. There are times I want to see the boot screen (single user, verbose boot, select startup volume)

    I'm trying to decide what to do with my mid-2010 MP. It works fine as is. But at some point I'd like to be able to update to mojave, and I'd benefit from more memory (have 16, 32 would be enough, but would probably go to 48). This means about $500 investment.

    Does anybody know if the next OS X will continue to support our old computers? If it does, or might, then perhaps it makes sense to put a few more dollars into one . . .

  24. Pkavicky macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2017
    I ended up selecting this-

    • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDRR5.
    Pretty cheap and absolutely rock solid. Happy camper here.

  25. agranov macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2007
    When you say "rock solid", how is it doing with system memory?

    I happened to already have the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 when I decided to upgrade to Mojave. While it is functional, Apple is not letting NVidia release an updated native driver and what I'm finding is that GPU-intensive apps, like browsers, are all of a sudden eating way too much RAM - to the point that apps are being killed by the Swap daemon by the end of each day. So I would NOT call the GTX 680 rock solid by any means.

    I do software development so yes, I do have lots of apps open, but that's also why I have 24GB of RAM on the box.

    Anyone with any other reviews of supported cards and how they're functioning?

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