Best graphics card for 2010 Mac Pro that is supported out of box

xWhiplash

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So I have not had very good luck with my GTX 980 the last few updates and with High Sierra. I am getting way too many glitches to where I do not want to mess with it anymore. I still have my ATI Radeon HD 5850 that came with it.

What is the best video card to get that will be supported out of the box (with boot display too if possible)? Thanks guys!
 

h9826790

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Apr 3, 2014
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With boot screen, basically only 5 options

1) The 7950 Mac Edition card as the above stated
2) The GTX680 Mac Edition card which only exist in used market now
3) Go to macvidcards.com and pick one
4) Get a flashed card from an unknown source (e.g. ebay)
5) flash a card by yourself.

Since you said OOTB, so option 5 is ruled out.

IMO, option 4 is never a good option.

Option 1 and 2 most likely way overprice (if compare to the non Mac Edition card)

MVC's GPU is almost the only option. His card still more expensive than the PC equivalent, but at least the price difference won't be so ridiculous like the PC 7950 vs Mac 7950. Also, to develop the Mac EFI and flash a Nvidia card can be much much more work then you can imagine. So, you can pick one from him (up to GTX780 Rev A). Then it will be fully OOTB and boot screen available.

Avoid anything above GTX780, all Maxwell and Pascal card require Nvidia web driver to work, even with boot screen available, they are not OOTB solution (not even close IMO).

Of course, if you don't mind to pay more, get less. Or you want proper warranty. Or your card will be mainly use in FCPX etc (OpenCL performance is more important). Then Option 1 may be your best choice.

For me, I will definitely get a 7950 (R9 280) or 7970 (R9 280X) and flash it by myself. A reference 79xx card comes with dual ROM, virtually flash proof. All after market coolers are better than that Mac Edition card's reference cooler, and most of the 7950 out there are about 80% cheaper then OWC asking for. But if you want 100% OOTB solution with boot screen. Then you have to pay for it accordingly.

If boot screen is optional. Then RX580 should be the best choice for High Sierra. Any reference RX580 should work, but if you want a more specific card. The Sapphire PULSE RX580 8GB card is definitely OOTB because that's the only card officially supported by Apple eGPU developer kit.

For video editing, RX580 should be a pretty good choice as well.
 
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nigelbb

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The OP doesn't mention what applications they are using but if they are better suited to Nvidia & CUDA rather than ATI Radeon then flashing a GTX680 is simple & it then becomes a GTX680 Mac Edition card with boot screen full support & no need for installing drivers.
 

Naimfan

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I bought a RX 580 and it worked out of the box. It was a Powercolor Red Dragon with 8 GB.

Running Sierra , 10.12.6.
 
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ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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Best first-party (Apple) supported card:
Apple HD5870

Best cards supported by third party companies:
Sapphire HD7950 Mac Edition
EVGA GTX680 Mac Edition

Some of the other recommendations in this thread are the exact opposite of what you are asking for. They may be "luckily compatible" but that's where you already are. They are not at all "supported" and in at least one case it doesn't have boot screens either.

Note - "Supported" won't guarantee a glitch-free experience. Supported cards, even the Apple one, can cause the fan glitch. Also I seem to remember a thread recently that Apple's High Sierra 680 drivers were broken--don't know if it's been fixed yet.
 

xWhiplash

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Thanks for the info guys.

What would your recommendation be? The 5850 that came with the system does not perform too well with video playback and two large monitors which is why I would like to get a better card. A headless mac would be nice for general use, iTunes playback, support for two or three 1440p monitors with no issues.

My 2016 Macbook Pro performs very well for a clamshell system. However, I will hear the fans very loudly when I have multiple tabs open and have a video playing back from VLC on another monitor.
 

Naimfan

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Go for an AMD RX-580. I have one that dropped right in to my 5,1 (updated from 4,1) and works perfectly on Sierra.
 

fendersrule

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Owning an RX 580 and GTX 1070 I found zero difference in MacOS compatibility. Both were the exact-same glitch-free experience.

Except the GTX 1070 spanked the RX 580 hard in games, so I put my RX 580 in my PC. :)
 

Naimfan

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Owning an RX 580 and GTX 1070 I found zero difference in MacOS compatibility. Both were the exact-same glitch-free experience.

Except the GTX 1070 spanked the RX 580 hard in games, so I put my RX 580 in my PC. :)
Sure, but you DID have to install the nVidia web driver, n'est-ce pas? No such effort with the AMD. And less glitchy than the GTX 1080 I tried.
 
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drfreud

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I use a rx480, on a 4,1 macpro updated to 5,1. No boot screen but I memorized the disc order to select the boot disc if needed, and still keep the oem hd5770 just in case. Very happy with it.

I am running high sierra, and it was plug and play OOTB.
 

h9826790

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Thanks for the info guys.

What would your recommendation be? The 5850 that came with the system does not perform too well with video playback and two large monitors which is why I would like to get a better card. A headless mac would be nice for general use, iTunes playback, support for two or three 1440p monitors with no issues.

My 2016 Macbook Pro performs very well for a clamshell system. However, I will hear the fans very loudly when I have multiple tabs open and have a video playing back from VLC on another monitor.
I guess you want to say HD5870, there is no Mac Pro shipped with 5850.

The monitor size won’t affect the GPU performance. Resolution will, if in 3D environment etc. But for video play back, that’s almost nothing to do with the GPU performance in MacOS. It’s hard to believe that the 5870 can’t play a normal full HD video smoothly. But if you play something like 4k H265, then it’s the CPU’s job to decode, no matter which GPU you use, MacOS won’t use it’s hardware decode ability. If your video playback is choppy now, that may be still choppy even you upgrade to a TitanX.

IMO, the only bet now is Vega. Since the coming iMac Pro will ship with the Xeon that I believe has no iGPU (no Intel QuickSync), and I don’t think Apple can afford the iMac Pro looks stupidly slow in the video encoding test etc. Therefore, they may activate Vega’s dGPU hardware encode / decode ability. For Apple’s style, there is a high chance that we need a Vega has identical Device ID as the iMac Pro’s Vega (or even need some hack) in order to benefit from it. However, it’s still just my guess. Since Apple may only care how the iMac looks but not how it perform, there may be no hardware encode / decode ability at all for the iMac Pro.

Anyway, for video playback, try IINA. In my experience, that’s better than VLC in MacOS.

For GPU commendation, you really need to tell us do you require boot screen. If that’s just preferred, and you have a stock Apple GPU on hand now. The recommendation can be very different.
 
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xWhiplash

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I guess you want to say HD5870, there is no Mac Pro shipped with 5850.

The monitor size won’t affect the GPU performance. Resolution will, if in 3D environment etc. But for video play back, that’s almost nothing to do with the GPU performance in MacOS. It’s hard to believe that the 5870 can’t play a normal full HD video smoothly. But if you play something like 4k H265, then it’s the CPU’s job to decode, no matter which GPU you use, MacOS won’t use it’s hardware decode ability. If your video playback is choppy now, that may be still choppy even you upgrade to a TitanX.

IMO, the only bet now is Vega. Since the coming iMac Pro will ship with the Xeon that I believe has no iGPU (no Intel QuickSync), and I don’t think Apple can afford the iMac Pro looks stupidly slow in the video encoding test etc. Therefore, they may activate Vega’s dGPU hardware encode / decode ability. For Apple’s style, there is a high chance that we need a Vega has identical Device ID as the iMac Pro’s Vega (or even need some hack) in order to benefit from it. However, it’s still just my guess. Since Apple may only care how the iMac looks but not how it perform, there may be no hardware encode / decode ability at all for the iMac Pro.

Anyway, for video playback, try IINA. In my experience, that’s better than VLC in MacOS.

For GPU commendation, you really need to tell us do you require boot screen. If that’s just preferred, and you have a stock Apple GPU on hand now. The recommendation can be very different.
Ah yeah, I meant the 5870. I was referring to higher resolution when I was mentioning larger monitors. It is just very sluggish with UI when I have two 2560x1440 monitors hooked up to the 5870. For some reason, iTunes video playback is sluggish too, even though as you said it shouldn't use the GPU.

I will give IINA a try!
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Go for an AMD RX-580. I have one that dropped right in to my 5,1 (updated from 4,1) and works perfectly on Sierra.
Got any recommendations? It appears AMD does not do reference cards like NVIDIA does with their Founder's Edition (getting it directly from NVIDIA and not EVGA or some other company).
 

Naimfan

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Got any recommendations? It appears AMD does not do reference cards like NVIDIA does with their Founder's Edition (getting it directly from NVIDIA and not EVGA or some other company).
I bought a Powercolor Red Dragon, with 8 GB VRAM, mainly because it was $199. So far, so good! A rather dramatic advance over the GT120 and 5770 I have on hand.

I'm far from a "pro" with FCPX, but it runs noticeably faster with the 580 than with the GTX 1060 I tried.
 

xWhiplash

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I can only vouch for this one. Check eBay for prices, I paid $280 (still too much for a rx580) + tax).

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G5RA1990&cm_re=msi_rx_580-_-14-137-135-_-Product

The cooler is excellent. It's quieter than my 1070 FE.

Not sure if MSI turns the fan off at idle, but at idle there is no noise for the GPU. The Mac Pros fans are audible, not the GPU.
Thanks! I don't mind getting it from Newegg or Amazon even if it is a little more expensive. Is this what I need for an 8-pin connector? https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-2-Pack-6-Pin-Adapter/dp/B01DV1Z32Y/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1511627678&sr=8-3&keywords=pci+express+6+pin+to+8+pin
 

h9826790

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xWhiplash

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NO. You need DUAL mini 6pin -> single 8pin.

Or DUAL FEMALE 6pin -> single 8pin. And use this cable in conjunction with your existing 2x mini 6pin -> 6pin.
What is the issue with the one I linked? I cannot find dual 6 pin to single 8 pin. I can find single 6 pin to dual 8 pins for some reason.
 

fendersrule

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0749DQ3VX/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Sure, but you DID have to install the nVidia web driver, n'est-ce pas? No such effort with the AMD. And less glitchy than the GTX 1080 I tried.
I think this gets way too much mental effort around here for what it's worth. Yes, I did spend the 3 minutes downloading and installing the nVidia web drivers on my AMD card so that they are enabled and ready to go for whenever I need to swap in an nVidia card.

Easy as cake. Glitch free. Superior for games, even with the nVidia web driver enabled for an RX 580! It may as well be apart of MacOS at that point.

Zero glitches using a Reference GTX 1070 here, other than the PCi-E info tab error (which the RX 580 non-pulse will do), which is barely worth mentioning about anyways. I keep asking in my other thread for people to tell me how to get it to glitch out, but no one has told me yet. Maybe it's just a false perception, but I feel like MacOS has never ran as good as it does with nVidia's web driver. I was very suprised

I did a search for RX 580, and it seems like the prices are still inflated and stock is typically out. Looks like you guys still gotta play the waiting game. :(

Regarding nVidia or AMD, the solution is still the same: you still should keep your 5770, or the GT120, so that you have full access to boot screens if you need them.

It's still nuts that in late 2017, prices for the GTX 1060 6GB/RX 580 8GB are touching $300. These should be budget cards by now.
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You'd have to do some research on that one. I think it's fugly, personally. I'm not sure why MSI produces that one, and also produces the reference design. Not sure what the difference is. The specs seem identical.
 
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mikas

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What do you do as your profession?

I'd like to use RX 570/580, because I have measured that they perform better with OpenGL-programs. like ArchiCAD. And probably others too.

Cinema 4D does not support nVidia with AMD ProRender. It's an experimental real time renderer, and it's only with AMD today.

On the other hand, my Asus GTX 1060 does support Dell P-series 4K monitor much better than my Asus AMD RX 570 does.

Our gear is the glitch, we have to admit that much. Apple is gonna be of no help, you can be pretty sure of that fact. We are on our selves now with these, no official Apple help will come to rescue us, not ever.
 
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h9826790

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What is the issue with the one I linked? I cannot find dual 6 pin to single 8 pin. I can find single 6 pin to dual 8 pins for some reason.
The issue is, a RX580 can easily pull way more than 100W from the 8pin. If you only feed it by a single mini 6pin. Your Mac Pro will shut itself down as soon as you stress the GPU. There is a shutdown protection to avoid damage. The mini 6pin only rated up to 75W. Even though it can practically deliver up to ~120W (before the self protection kicks in), but there is no way it can deliver something like 150W.

And since you have 2x mini 6pin output, if you join them together to feed the 8pin. Then 75+75=150 is perfectly fit (8pin is rated up to 150W).

As I said, if you can't find any dual mini 6pin cable with reasonable price. You can go for dual female 6pin to 8pin. I tried Amazon, and I got this result within a minute.

https://www.amazon.com/GutsParker-Premium-Braided-6-Pin-Female/dp/B0721R2SR7/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511640589&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=dual+mini+6pin+to+8pin

You may search harder for a lower price cable. But if that's pretty much the cheapest you can get, than I will prefer to buy this one.

https://www.moddiy.com/products/Apple-Dual-Mini-PCI%2dE-6%2dPin-to-Standard-PCI%2dE-8%2dPin-Video-Card-Cable.html
 

xWhiplash

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The issue is, a RX580 can easily pull way more than 100W from the 8pin. If you only feed it by a single mini 6pin. Your Mac Pro will shut itself down as soon as you stress the GPU. There is a shutdown protection to avoid damage. The mini 6pin only rated up to 75W. Even though it can practically deliver up to ~120W (before the self protection kicks in), but there is no way it can deliver something like 150W.

And since you have 2x mini 6pin output, if you join them together to feed the 8pin. Then 75+75=150 is perfectly fit (8pin is rated up to 150W).

As I said, if you can't find any dual mini 6pin cable with reasonable price. You can go for dual female 6pin to 8pin. I tried Amazon, and I got this result within a minute.

https://www.amazon.com/GutsParker-Premium-Braided-6-Pin-Female/dp/B0721R2SR7/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511640589&sr=8-1-fkmr2&keywords=dual+mini+6pin+to+8pin

You may search harder for a lower price cable. But if that's pretty much the cheapest you can get, than I will prefer to buy this one.

https://www.moddiy.com/products/Apple-Dual-Mini-PCI%2dE-6%2dPin-to-Standard-PCI%2dE-8%2dPin-Video-Card-Cable.html
Strange, I was not able to come up with that product in my searches. So I just connect the existing PCIe power cables to that, and that to the video card right?

Thanks!