Best practices for upgrading Os X without bootscreens

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by paronga, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. paronga macrumors member

    paronga

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Melbourne
    #1
    Hi there,

    I'm looking for a bit of discussion about best practices when upgrading operating instals when you don't have boot screens. There are a few reasons you don't have boot screens. I don't have them because of my graphics card. I'm running a GeForce GTX 750ti on my 2008 mac pro running 10.10.3.

    My usual method is to reinsert the old X2100 or something when I need to update. I boot into the OS, run the update and install the latest NVidia drivers (which come out pretty quickly). I then swap in the 750ti and run it for a bit to make sure I can take out the old one. My old card is starting to die and the process is quite annoying every time there is a point release.

    I don't know if there are any better options for me, or perhaps people running AMD/ATI cards. I'd like to hear from people about how they go about it and maybe do a write of the option for the wiki/sticky thread. It's one area of upgrading the GFX card that I've really struggled to get my head around.

    A few silly questions:
    - Is there a software render mode I can use to bypass the GFX card while I update the OS?
    - Is there any auto-installer to install the drivers headless?
     
  2. VAGDesign macrumors 6502

    VAGDesign

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    #2
    Hello, if you decide to go with an AMD/ATI solution such is HD 7950, I've wrote a guide of how to flash it yourself, sometime ago, that might help you. You can read it here.
    With AMD/ATI card, you don't need updates in drivers on each OS X update. You flash it once and you're good to go on the supported OS X versions (10.8 and up for 7950/7970).

    Also, since you've got a 3,1 read here for something you need to do if you go to 7950/7970 path. The link came from this post here.

    I hope this helps ;)
     
  3. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #3
    There are a few different updating methods, I think most of them are described in the Nvidia sticky thread in this forum, but none of them is as easy as updating with a true native card.

    The problem isn't just the missing bootscreens boot also the incompatibility of Maxwell cards with OS X's stock Nvidia driver. Almost every other chipset beside Maxwell is better in terms of OS X compatibility.

    Yes, you'll get it with nv_disable=1. Works only with EFI-cards though, so unless you'll send your card to MVC for flashing this will still get you a black screen (without crash though).

    @VAGDesign: HD 7xxx's are easily flashable but will run like crap on a MP 3,1 without further mods to the system, so I wouldn't recommend them unless one doesn't care about performance or dirty hacks.
     
  4. VAGDesign macrumors 6502

    VAGDesign

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    #4
    Hehehe, I know, you didn't clicked the 2 last links I've provided huh? :p
    I've got this info from your replies on other threads, both are linked above!
     
  5. paronga thread starter macrumors member

    paronga

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Melbourne
    #5
    Right, so as I understand:

    - Os X has built in drivers for graphics chipsets it supplies in their product. That means that in a mac pro, there are some cards that have built in drivers.

    - Some cards have a BIOS system as opposed to an EFI system, OR, and incompatible EFI device. As a result, no boot screens are shown until the OS initialises the drivers.

    - For a card that works with the boot screens, the OS can run in a software mode that doesn't require drivers.

    I'm trying to understand what kinds of compatibility graphics cards/chipsets can have [Boot Screen/EFI | Built in Drivers | Vendor Drivers | PCIe 1.0/2.0/3.0 | Power Requirements | Flashable] and what range of cards fit into. I'm thinking of making a list soon.

    As an aside, with the upcoming 10.11 release, El Captain, with my current setup, how is it recommended that I preform the upgrade?

    Please note, I have nightly Time Machine backups :)

    The way that MVC flashes his cards, is that knowledge and toolset available to the public? What tools do I need to read and write card BIOS/EFI?
     
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #6
    Not just specific cards, chipsets.

    The video card needs Mac compatible EFI firmware to have boot screen.

    Correct.

    The following link has lots of info on which Nvidia cards work with Macs.

    Frequently Asked Questions About NVIDIA PC (non-EFI) Graphics Cards

    The following link has lots of info on flashing ATI/AMD cards to work with Macs.

    Race to dump the 4870 ROM, Who's first?

    Towards the end of the following thread, there is some information that may help lead you to creating your own EFI firmware.

    Confirmed and Possible Flashable GTX 680 Models
     
  7. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #7
    AMD cards: Yes (at netkas.org and here)
    Fermi- and Kepler-based Nvidia cards: Partially
    Maxwall based Nvidia cards: Nope

    AMD drivers are always built in while Nvidia drivers are available both as built-in (up to GTX 780/Titan) and Web Driver (supports virtually every Nvidia card).
    Many AMD 7xxx / R9 cards are flashable, but as I said they're a bad choice for a 3,1.
     
  8. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Im not shore what the problem is, iv got a GTX660 in my macpro 3.1.
    iv never pulled it for an update, iv got osx 10.8/9/10 instated on 3 partitions using the installer app all done with my gtx660 installed.
    iv not needed to pull it for any updates at all.
    i can even boot of USB installers for oex 10.8/9/10 and use the recover partition.

    do the gtx7xx cards require you to pull them for updates?

    are you thinking about the old osx10.6/7 days maybe with pc GPU's?
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #9
    750Ti is the same as the 9xx GPU, Maxwell base, unlike your 660, there is no native support from OSX for this card. After every OSX update, the GPU will become unusable until Nvidia web driver is installed and activated. So, figure out how to install and activate the driver with an inoperative GPU is the biggest problem for every OSX update.
     
  10. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    wow thats a pain are all the gtx7XX cards like that?

    might be worth getting a cheep second hand 6XX card that requires no power cable as a backup then? something like a gtx 630/640?
     
  11. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #11
    Nope most GTX 7xx are supported OOB, only the latest ones (GTX 780Ti) and Maxwell-based (GTX750(Ti) and all GTX 9xx) are missing in the stock drivers.
     
  12. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #12
  13. Zorn macrumors 6502a

    Zorn

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #13
    If I'm on GM candidate, and have the beta7 nvidia web driver installed, and do the upgrade to El Cap from App Store, will it turn off the nvidia web driver? Or will it stay enabled since it's compatible with the GM version?
     
  14. paronga thread starter macrumors member

    paronga

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Melbourne
    #14
    I did the update to to El Cap, with my original GFX card in. Everything went smooth, still a pain in my ass.

    One quick note, if I had my original GFX card in with my new GTX 750ti, and entered the recovery partition, the machine would kernel panic....
    Same with the installer, I had to actually remove the GTX, a bit frustrating.
     

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