Best gaming GPU for a 2012 cMP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cycom, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Cycom macrumors 6502

    Cycom

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    I'm getting a 2012 cMP (4-core) and am looking to see what viable GPU upgrade options there are.

    Looking to dual boot windows for some Steam gaming. Basically, looking for a modern-ish card that is as close to plug and play as possible on the MacOS side. Don't want to deal with flashing cards.

    Any advice?
     
  2. Marhowl macrumors member

    Marhowl

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    #2
  3. Cycom thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cycom

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    #3
    Thanks! I've looked at them, but their prices seem very high and they don't offer any Radeon options.

    I realize that their cards are flashed, but really I'm just looking to install a stock card and have it be compatible with MacOS (either El Cap or Sierra) with minimal fuss.
     
  4. h9826790, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors G3

    h9826790

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    #4
    The Maxwell card is far from plug and play in OSX. Even though they are good gaming card, it doesn't sounds like what you want. Even a flashed Maxwell card still required Nvidia web driver to work proerply in OSX. And it's been tested that even a flashed Maxwell card won't display anything in the MacOS Sierra's recovery partition.

    IMO, the situation hasn't changed for quite a few years already. The most plug and play best gaming GPU in cMP is the GTX680, a 4G card may be a good choice now.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 4, 2016 ---
    Why you want to go for Radeon for gaming?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 4, 2016 ---
    I am running dual 7950 on my cMP now. It deliver very good OpenCL performance for apps like FCPX.

    And the crossfire gaming performance in Windows is good as well. However, it all depends on if crossfire can work properly. So, I won't recommend that if you want a painless gaming experence.
     
  5. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    What you want doesn't really exist, unless you're content with a GTX 680 or a 7950.

    Nvidia 7xx and 9xx series require a driver, break when the os build version changes so you'll have to wait, have no boot screens and no access to Recovery HD.

    Nvidia 10xx series are not supported currently, though this may change. If it does, see above.

    Any Radeons you want to get working will at minimum require SIP being disabled and a KEXT altering (RX 4xx series) R9 Nano may well work too, though these are very hard to find these days.

    The Radeon 7950s are another choice, although for gaming (in my opinion) that 680 would be better. Again, you'll also get no boot screen or access to Recovery HD.

    The RX 4xx series are actually reported to work very well with Sierra; boot screens and access to Recovery HD, though again this requires altering one KEXT. But there's no guarantee that this support will always be around for macOS.

    None of those is exactly plug and play as you can see.
     
  6. h9826790 macrumors G3

    h9826790

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    #6
    Both 7950 and 680 now can access Sierra's recovery partition WITHOUT flashing. I test the 7950 by myself. Quite sure same on the Nvidia side. The requirement to access recovery partition in Sierra now is changed to the GPU that MUST have native Apple driver support.
     
  7. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #8
    Going with your requirements, the best stock card from Apple was 5870.

    The last official Mac-compatible cards are the EVGA GTX680 Mac Edition and Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition.

    Anything better than that and you'll need a PC card, flashed or otherwise.
     
  9. Cycom thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cycom

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    #9
    Ok thanks. So if I purchase a 680, I can plug in, restart, and MacOS will boot and function normally without need of editing KEXT or the like?
     
  10. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #10
    Just stay away from GeForce. The drivers are painfully buggy and a pain to update whenever the OS has to update.

    We have no idea right now what will happen once Metal becomes common on macOS. GeForce cards may collapse into a pile of bugs and crashes.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors G3

    h9826790

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    #11
    Correct, for MacOS Sierra (only Sierra), you can't use boot manager with a PC 680 (hold option during boot to choose boot drive), but the loading screen (apple logo with loading bar still avail), and recovery partition (hold command + R during boot) also works.

    For other OSX, all boot manager, loading screen and recovery partition not avail for PC non-flashed GPU. The screen will stay back until load to desktop. But once you get the display, everything will work normally without any hack / kext edit.
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #12
    Yes, a genuine Mac Edition GTX680 or a flashed PC equivalent would boot and function normally. All you need to do is insert the card and connect power.

    In fact for OS X I would definitely stick with the stock Apple drivers and not go out of your way to install the Nvidia web drivers. (On the Windows side you will want the Nvidia drivers as is typical.)

    An unflashed PC equivalent will mostly work but have some quirks as h9826790 mentioned.
     
  13. Cycom thread starter macrumors 6502

    Cycom

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    #13
    Excellent. Thanks.

    Now to hunt for a Mac edition 680 at a good price!
     

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