MP 1,1-5,1 GPU Compatibility List for cMP

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Pentaxer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2018
107
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Russia
GPUs.jpg

Content:
1. Summary
2. Information on common GPUs that can be used in cMP
3. GPU power consumption
4. Color compatibility
5. Flashing nuances
6. What to choose?
7. Useful links.



1. Summary

1.1. There are 50+ GPU types that are compatible with cMP (classic MacPro = Mac Pro 1.1-5.1/ 2006-2012). They are very different in performance, power consumption, features.

1.2. There are:
  • "mac edition" GPUs (were officially made to work in cMP) which are fully compatible with cMP out of the box;
  • GPUs which are compatible with cMP out of the box with some nuances;
  • GPUs which can be easily flashed to be fully compatible with cMP;
  • GPUs which can be easily flashed to be compatible with cMP with some nuances;
  • GPUs which can be flashed by special hardware to be compatible with cMP;
  • GPUs which are not compatible with cMP at all.
1.3. What you may know to choose the right GPU:
  • most modern GPU are compatible with cMP, some of them - with nuances (for example - without Boot Screen);
  • AMD/ATI GPUs are better supported by modern macOS versions;
  • Nvidia GPUs are more power efficient;
  • several GPUs are compatible not with all cMP (for example - only with 1.1/2.1);
  • there are difficulties with powering GPUs (special cables, cable adapters, PSU mods);
  • as usual GPU performance in macOS is lower than in Windows;
  • original "mac edition" cards are much expensive than PC version. And in many cases the only difference is special firmware, which can be easily flashed to the PC version.
No GPU besides original Apple Mac Pro GPUs from 2008 to 2012 (HD 2600XT, 8800GT, Quadro FX 5600, GT120, HD 4870/5770/5870) or 3rd party Mac EFI cards like Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition, eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition, NVIDIA Quadro 4000/K5000 or self-flashed/MVC flashed cards have what are usually called boot screens - this is not the correct term and the correct denomination is pre-boot configuration support.

Mac Pro 1,1 to 5,1 supports UGA and a GPU that has UGA pre-boot configuration support has:

  • Single user support,
  • Verbose boot,
  • Startup Manager, the new name for the BootPicker/BootSelector,
  • FileVault support (for macOS versions before Mojave),
  • EFI shell support,
  • GPU OK backplane diagnostic with Apple OEM GPUs,
  • AHT and ASD support.

Any card that has native macOS drivers has Recovery support, no one has Internet Recovery - only Mac Pro late-2013 has Internet Recovery (MP6,1 has GOP pre-boot configuration support).

Nvidia cards that need web drivers don't have any pre-boot configuration support, Recovery support or createinstallmedia USB installer support.

AMD cards that have native macOS drivers don't have pre-boot configuration support but have Recovery and createinstallmedia USB installer support and work after the drivers are loaded by Recovery or USB installer.

The link.



2. Information on common GPUs that can be used in cMP

The GPUs are placed due to their RPI performance - lower number means slower GPU.
The Relative Performance Index/Info - RPI - shows the difference between an average card performance and the performance of ATI Radeon HD 7970 = 100%. For example, 50% means that the card is two times slower than ATI Radeon HD 7970 (100%/2=50%).
The measures are based on average performance in mix typical apps in macOS and Windows: use information of barefeats.com, gpu.userbenchmark.com and the author own experience.
If the card is much stronger / weaker in special app - it is worth to note.

PS:
1. It’s a very hard and funny challenge to compare cards from different worlds: Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT 256 Mb and AMD Radeon VEGA 64 8 Gb. If the RPI is 4+ times different, it doesn't mean that an app works 4x faster on the newer card. Highly likely:
  • NEW apps can’t work on the older card at all (different API, memory amount and so on);
  • OLD apps can’t use all newer card benefits.
2. cMP are very different. Example: one has 4 Clowertown cores at 2 GHz and runs 10.4.x, the other - 12 Westmere cores at 3,46 GHz and runs 10.14.x. It also affected the RPI measurement accuracy.

1. Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT 256 Mb
Performance: 8% RPI. The slowest card.​
Power consumption: from PCIE slot only. Has passive cooling system, very hot.​
Outs: DL-DVI + DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 9.0c, OpenGL 2.1, macOS 10.4 - 10.7.​
Other: 32 bit EFI only, occupies 1 slot. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; no information about flashing possibility.​

2. Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 512 Mb
Performance: 12% RPI.
Power consumption: 6 pins.​
Outs: two DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 9.0, OpenGL 2.0. macOS 10.4 - 10.7.​
Other: 32 bit EFI only, occupies 2 slots. There is "mac edition" of cards​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; no information about flashing possibility.​

3. ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 Mb
Performance: 17% RPI. macOS GUI in FullHD works bad.​
Power consumption: from PCIE slot only.​
Outs: two DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 9.0, OpenGL 2.0. macOS 10.5.1 - 10.11.x.​
Other: occupies 1 slot. There is "mac edition" of cards​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; no information about flashing possibility.​

4. Nvidia Geforce GT 120 512 Mb
Performance: 28% RPI. macOS GUI in FullHD works bad.​
Power consumption: from PCIE slot only.​
Outs: DL-DVI + mDP.​
Compatibility: DirectX 10.0, OpenGL 3.0, CUDA 1.0. macOS 10.5.6 - 10.11.x (very bad performance in 10.12.x - 10.13.x).​
Other: occupies 1 slot, looks good. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; no information about flashing possibility.​

5. ATI Radeon x1900XT 512 Mb
Performance: 31% RPI.
Power consumption: 6 pins, very noisy blower.​
Outs: two DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 9.0c, OpenGL 2.0.​
Other: 32 bit EFI only, occupies 2 slots. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; can be flashed.​

6. Nvidia Quadro FX 5600 1,5 Gb
Performance: 44% RPI. Has o lot of memory with a weak chip - is slower then p.6 in low resolution, and faster in high.​
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins.​
Outs: two DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 11.0, OpenGL 4.0.​
Other: 32 bit EFI only, occupies 2 slots. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; no information about flashing possibility.​

7. Nvidia Geforce 8800GT 512 Mb
Performance: 44% RPI.
Power consumption: 6 pins, very hot.​
Outs: two DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 10.0, OpenGL 3.3, CUDA 1.0. MACos 10.5.2 - 10.11.x.​
Other: 32 bit or 64 bit EFI, occupies 1 slot. The first in time mac card that support CUDA. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; can be flashed.​

8. ATI Radeon RX 550 4 Gb
Performance: 44% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: from PCIE slot only. It's the coolest card with Mojave support - 50W only.
Outs: DL-DVI, DP, HDMI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal 2.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. There are much models with different frequencies.​
Unflashed (PC version): works out of the box.​

9. ATI Radeon HD 4870 1 Gb
Performance: 48% RPI. Significantly faster than Nvidia Geforce 8800GT in high resolution.​
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins.​
Outs: two DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 3.3. macOS 10.5.7 - 10.11.x.​
Other: 32 bit EFI only, occupies 2 slots. There is 4890 version with higher frequencies. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; can be flashed.​

10. ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 Gb
Performance: 58% RPI.
Power consumption: 6 pins.​
Outs: DL-DVI + two mDP.​
Other: occupies 2 slots. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; can be flashed.​

11. AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB
Performance: 68% RPI.
Power consumption: from PCIE slot only.​
Outs: DL-DVI-D + DP + HDMI (analog output is not possible with passive adapters).​
Other: reference model occupies 2 slots. There was no "original" mac version card. There are a lot of different variants of the card: different frequencies, amount of memory, cooling system, power requirements (there are cards with 6 pins connector).​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen. The card can be flashed with RX 560 firmware to support Metal 2.​

12. ATI Radeon HD 5870 1 Gb
Performance: 69% RPI. The chip's characteristics look like to have 2x power of HD 5770, but in ordinary use is only ~ 20% faster.​
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins.​
Outs: DL-DVI + two mDP.​
Other: occupies 2 slots. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; can be flashed.​

13. ATI Radeon HD 6870 1 Gb
Performance: 72% RPI.
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins.​
Outs: two DL-DVI + two mDP + HDMI.​
Other: occupies 2 slots. There is no "mac edition" of the card.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed with some issues (Boot Screen only on one DL-DVI).​
Unflashed (PC version): additional information is needed.

14. Nvidia Quadro 4000 2 Gb
Performance: 71% RPI. Has PRO positioning.​
Power consumption: 6 pins.​
Outs: DL-DVI + two mDP.​
Other: occupies 1 slot. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): additional information is needed.

15. AMD Radeon RX 560 4 Gb
Performance: 71% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: from PCIE slot only.​
Outs: as usual has DL-DVI + DP + HDMI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal 2.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. There are much models with different frequencies. That card is recommended by Apple for Mojave (MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-бит 4 ГБ GDRR5).​
Unflashed (PC version): works out of the box (version with 128 bit 4 Gb memory).​

16. Radeon HD 7850 / 7870 / 270 / 270x
Performance: 72% RPI (61%-82% for different versions). Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins.​
Outs: as usual two DL-DVI + DP + HDMI.​
Other: occupies 2 slots. There are o lot versions of these card, the differences are in cooling system, frequencies. There is no "mac edition" of the card.​
Unflashed (PC version): additional information is needed. Can be flashed using HD 7950 ROM, but loose HDMI support. Several cards can't work in Mojave (black screen).

17. Nvidia Quadro K4200 4 Gb
Performance: 73% RPI. Has PRO positioning. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 6 pins.​
Outs: DL-DVI + two DP.​
Other: occupies 1 slot. There is no "mac edition" of the card.​
Unflashed (PC version): works out of the box without the BootScreen.​

18. Nvidia Quadro K5000 4 Gb
Performance: 75% RPI. Has PRO positioning. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 6 pins.​
Outs: two DL-DVI + two DP.​
Other: occupies 2 slots. There is "mac edition" of cards.​
Unflashed (PC version): additional information is needed.

19. ATI Radeon HD 7950 3 Gb
Performance: 86% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins.​
Outs: DL-DVI + two mDP + HDMI.​
Other: occupies 2 slots. There is "mac edition" of cards with DUAL BIOS (mac / PC).​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen, can be flashed.​

20. Nvidia Geforce GTX 680 2 Gb
Performance: 91% RPI. A very good card for power / price / performance ratio. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
OS Compatibility: 10.8.3+​
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins.​
Outs: original card has two DL-DVI + DP + HDMI.​
Other: as usual occupies 2 slots, but there are models that occupy 2+ slots. There is "mac edition" of cards. There are card with different cooling system.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen, can be flashed.​

21. Nvidia Geforce GTX 680 4 Gb
Performance: 95% RPI. A bit faster than GTX 680 2 Gb due to higher frequencies and more memory. Support Metal 2 (Mojave).​
OS Compatibility: 10.8.3+​
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins or 6 pins + 8 pins.​
Outs: original card has two DL-DVI + DP + HDMI.​
Other: as usual occupies 2 slots, but there are models that occupy 2+ slots. There are card with different cooling system.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen, can be flashed.​

22. AMD Radeon HD 7970 / R9 280X 3 Gb
Performance: 100% RPI. A very good card for power / price / performance ratio. ~ 10% faster than GTX 680 2 Gb, has more memory. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 6 pins + 8 pins. Additional power is recommended, as minimum - from SATA port. Possible scheme: 6 pins -> 8 pins and 6 pins + SATA -> 8 pins via dual 6 pins to 8 pins adapter).​
Outs: as usual card has DL-DVI + two mDP + HDMI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal 2.​
Other: as usual occupies 2 slots. There are Gigabyte and Sapphire versions that have two slots brackets but don't block the nearest PCIE slot. There are cards with dual BIOS (mac / PC). There are cards with different cooling system. There is an overclocked version AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHZ which is ~ 7% faster.​
Unflashed (PC version): additional information is needed, can be flashed.​

23. Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 4 GB
Performance: 104% RPI.
Metal Compatibility: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4.​
OS Compatibility: 10.10.5 - 10.13.6​
Power consumption: 6 pins + 6 pins.​
Outs: Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI 2.0, 3x DisplayPort 1.2.​
Other: can be flashed only by MVC, occupies 2 slots (standard). There was no "original" mac version card.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC.​

24. Nvidia Geforce GTX 780 3 GB / 6GB
Performance: 110% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Metal Compatibility: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4.​
OS Compatibility: 10.8.3+ for the 3GB and 10.9.5+ for the 6GB version.​
Power consumption: 6 pins + 8 pins.​
Outs: DVI-I + DVI-D + DP + HDMI​
Other: can be flashed only by MVC, occupies 2 slots (standard). There was no "original" mac version card.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC which adds boot screen support from all ports on non-4K monitors. 6 GB version recommended for multi-4K displays.​

25. Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan 6GB
Performance: 115% RPI. Has 384 more CUDA cores/shaders than GTX 780.​
Metal Compatibility: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4​
OS Compatibility: 10.9.5+​
Power consumption: 6 pins + 8 pins.​
Outs: DVI-I + DVI-D + DP + HDMI.​
Other: occupies 2 slots (standard). There was no "original" mac version card.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC (NOT X editions).​
26. AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB
Performance: 115% RPI.
Power consumption: 6 pins or 8 pins.​
Outs: three DP + HDMI (no DVI, analog output is not possible with passive adapters).​
Other: reference model occupies 2 slots. There was no "original" mac version card. There are a lot of different variants of the card: different frequencies, amount of memory, cooling system, power connectors.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen. The card can be flashed with RX 580 firmware to support Metal 2.​
27. Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan Black 6GB
Performance: 117% RPI. Has 576 more CUDA cores/shaders and faster memory than GTX 780.​
Metal Compatibility: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4​
OS Compatibility: 10.9.5+​
Power consumption: 6 pins + 8 pins.​
Outs: DVI-I + DVI-D + DP + HDMI.​
Other: occupies 2 slots (standard). There was no "original" mac version card.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC (NOT X editions).​

28. Nvidia Geforce GTX 780 Ti 3 GB
Performance: 120% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Metal Compatibility: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4.​
OS Compatibility: 10.8.3+.​
Power consumption: 6 pins + 8 pins.​
Outs: DVI-I + DVI-D + DP + HDMI​
Other: occupies 2 slots (standard). There was no "original" mac version card.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC.​

29. AMD Radeon RX 580 8 GB
Performance: 120% RPI. ~ 20% faster than HD 7970, but has much more memory. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 8 pins or 8 pins + 6 pins. Most cards does't work if mac 6 pins cable is plugged in 8 pins socket, the converter 6 pins - 8 pins is needed. Additional power is recommended, as minimum - from SATA port.​
Outs: as usual has DL-DVI + two DP + two HDMI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal 2.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. There are much models with different frequencies. That card is recommended by Apple for Mojave (SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8 ГБ GDDR5).​
Unflashed (PC version): works out of the box. Can be flashed by MVC.​

30. AMD Radeon RX 590 8 GB
Performance: 130% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 8 pins or 8 pins + 6 pins. Most cards does't work if mac 6 pins cable is plugged in 8 pins socket, the converter 6 pins - 8 pins is needed. Additional power is recommended, as minimum - from SATA port.​
Outs: as usual has DL-DVI + two DP + two HDMI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal 2.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. There are much models with different frequencies. macOS fully supports the card from 10.14.6.​
Unflashed (PC version): works out of the box.​

31. Nvidia Geforce GTX 980 4 GB
Performance: 120% RPI. Additional information is needed.
OS Compatibility: 10.10.5 - 10.13.6​
Power consumption: 2 x 6 pins.​
Outs: as usual has DL-DVI + three DP + HDMI.​
Other: occupies 2 slots. There was no "original" mac version card. macOS 10.5 - 10.13.​

32. NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1070 8GB Founders Edition (FE)
Performance: 200% RPI.
Power consumption: 8 pins.​
Outs: 3 x DP, HDMI, DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal GPUFamily1v4. macOS 10.12.x - 10.13.6.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. NVIDIA chipset - Pascal. NVIDIA CUDA cores - 1920.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC.​

33. NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB Founders Edition (FE)
Performance: 225% RPI.
Power consumption: 8 pins.​
Outs: 3 x DP, HDMI, DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal GPUFamily1v4. macOS 10.12.x - 10.13.6.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. NVIDIA chipset - Pascal. NVIDIA CUDA cores - 2432.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC.​

34. AMD Radeon VEGA 56 8 GB
Performance: 225% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 8 pins + 8 pins. Additional power is required (PIXLAS mod or, for some card or frequencies, from SATA port).​
Outs: as usual has three DP + HDMI (no DVI, analog output is not possible with passive adapters).​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal 2.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. Many models have problem with fan speed - flashing is needed.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen.​

35. NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition (FE)
Performance: 250% RPI.
Power consumption: 8 pins (dual mac 6 pins to 8 pins adapter is required).​
Outs: 3 x DP, HDMI, DL-DVI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal GPUFamily1v4. macOS 10.12.x - 10.13.6.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. NVIDIA chipset - Pascal. NVIDIA CUDA cores - 2560. User guide.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC.​

36. AMD Radeon VEGA 64 8 GB
Performance: 260% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 8 pins + 8 pins. Additional power is required (PIXLAS mod; dual mac 6 pins to 8 pins adapter).
Outs: as usual has three DP + HDMI (no DVI, analog output is not possible with passive adapters).​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal 2.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. Many models have problem with fan speed - flashing is needed. There is a model with Liquid Cooling, a model with higher frequencies and 16 Gb.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen.​

37. AMD Radeon VII 16 GB
Performance: 290% RPI. Supports Metal 2 (Mojave).​
Power consumption: 8 pins + 8 pins. Additional power is required (PIXLAS mod; dual mac 6 pins to 8 pins adapter).​
Outs: three DP + HDMI (no DVI, analog output is not possible with passive adapters).​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal 2. macOS 10.14.5+.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen.​
38. Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Founders Edition (FE)
Performance: 300% RPI.
Power consumption: 8 pins + 6 pins. Additional power is recommended, as minimum - from SATA port. Possible scheme: 6 pins -> 8 pins and 6 pins + SATA -> 8 pins via dual 6 pins to 8 pins adapter).​
Outs: 3 x DP, HDMI.​
Compatibility: DirectX 12.0, OpenGL 4.6, Metal GPUFamily1v4. macOS 10.12.x - 10.13.6.​
Other: occupies 2 slots, no Boot Screen. NVIDIA chipset - Pascal. NVIDIA CUDA cores - 3584.​
Unflashed (PC version): works without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC.​



3. GPU power consumption

3.1. The GPU must be properly powered to work correctly.
The symptoms of power deficiency:
  • the card doesn't start at all (but the decorative LEDs may flash);
  • the cMP shuts down during high load on GPU;
  • the card makes strange noise (the power elements on PCB are "whistling").
3.2. By default cMP can power GPU with PCIE slot(75W) + two MicroFit 6 pins connectors, which are placed on the motherboard. There is no official information on how much power these connectors can provide.

3.3. MicroFit 6 pins connectors are unstandard - they are differ from ordinary PCIE 6 pins connectors. By default PCIE 6 pins connector has only two +12V lines and bigger pins; cMP's MicroFit 6 pins connector has three +12V lines and smaller pins.
There are two points of view
  • cMP's MicroFit 6 pins connector must be used as ordinary PCIE 6 pins connector - each of them can provide up to 75W. So, by default, cMP can provide to GPU 225W (PCIE slot 75W + 2x75W from dual MicroFit 6 pins connectors). This power consumption is 100% safe for cMP;
  • cMP's MicroFit 6 pins connector can be used as ordinary PCIE 8 pins connector - can provide more power, up to 150W (see the spoiler below). So, by default, cMP can provide to GPU 375W (PCIE slot 75W + 2x150W from dual MicroFit 6 pins connectors). Theoretically this power consumption can damage cMP.
NB: cMP has a protection from the overload of MicroFit 6 pins connectors. The system simply shuts down when it is overload.

1. The reason people say the mini six pins are designed to provide 75W is because they're falsely equating it to a standard 6 pin PCIE cable. Apple never said that, it's not documented anywhere what the actual rated power is, and per VESA standard any unspecified PCIE connection should provide 40w per powered cable, hence the 120W per mini six pin, and this has been empirically proven by dozens of people, including myself...One last note, no one has ever provided even the slightest shred of evidence that you can damage the traces on the backplane based on GPU choice, and it doesn't even make sense. A power connection cannot provide more than it's max, you can't make it supply more than 120W, thats what causes the shutdowns, if something needs more than 120W.
Links: one, two

2. The author tried to power VEGA 56 with two MicroFit 6 pins connectors only (with adapters to 8 pins) - the system shuted down due to overload of power lines.

Be careful! Your cMP can be damaged.

3.4. The GPU's TDP and power possibility of PCIE connectors are "approximate" values. Nvidia's TDP is not equal to AMD/ATI's TDP. The GPU can run out of TDP limits for a while during high load.

3.5. Cards use connectors of 2 types: 6 pins and 8 pins. 6 pins connector is called "PCIE 6 pins" and can provide up to 75W. 8 pins - "PCIE 8 pins" and up to 150 watts.
cMP's motherboards has non standard sockets - Micro-Fit 6 pins.

3.6. Some cards can't use all the power provided with the PCIE slot. For example AMD Radeon VEGA cards take less than 30W from the PCIE.

3.7. Mechanically standard PCIE 6 pins plug can be inserted in PCIE 8 pins socket. But some cards check what type of cable they are powered by, they don't start with 6 pins plug in 8 pins socket. For example: ATI Radeon VEGA series make the check; most ATI Radeon HD 7000 - don't.
If you gonna power 8 pins socket on GPU correctly, you may:
  • use one cable "dual MicroFit 6 pins -> PCIE 8 pins";
  • use two cables "MicroFit 6 pins -> PCIE 6 pins" plus a converter "dual PCIE 6 pins -> PCIE 6 pins".
3.8. Not all cables and adapters give the same profit. Strange "dual MicroFit 6 pins -> PCIE 8 pins" adapters were found. Each MicroFit 6 pins socket on the motherboard has three +12V lines = six lines in summary. PCIE 8 pins plug has three +12V lines. But those strange adapters don't use all available lines to power the plug - only 3 or 4 lines are connected to the plug.

3.9. Need more power for GPU? There are four ways!
3.9.1. Additional line from SATA port in DVD bay. It can provide 30-50W. This way is suitable for ATI Radeon HD 7970, overclocked Nvidia Geforce GTX 680 and other GPUs that need "some more power".
3.9.2. PIXLAS (or PIXLA's) mod. It can provide 150W+ (there are comments that somebody makes two additional PCIE 8 pins connectors, and on high load achieved ~ 300W of additional power). Note: cMP power supply is rated to 980W, so we can get additional power from it.
3.9.3. Connect additional PCIE 8 pins line(s) directly to power supply PCB.
3.9.4. And using of additional power supply - external or in DVD bay - is possible too.



4. Color compatibility

4.1. Color depth in macOS:
  • all Geforce GPUs - 8 bit color;
  • AMD/ATI GPUs - 10 bit color support from HD 7000 series.

4.2. HDR support in macOS:
  • all Nvidia GPUs - no native HDR support, only 8 bit dithered HDR in modern GPUs;
  • AMD/ATI GPUs - native HDR support from RX 500 series.


5. Flashing nuances

5.1. Choosing the right PC GPU to be flashed. The card must be maximum identical to “mac edition” or reference one which is recommended by Apple. Look at:
  • outputs;
  • amount of memory;
  • cooling system;
  • PCB design;
  • power connectors.
5.2. Some flashed GPU can show the BootScreen only on certain outputs (as usual - on DVI-I).

5.3. Backup original PC firmware.

5.4. Choose the capable firmware - 32/64 bits (important for old GPUs).



6. What to choose?

6.1. For MacPro 1.1 - 2.1: Radeon HD 7950 / R9 280x if using 10.8 or greater, Radeon HD 5770 or Nvidia Geforce 8800 GT otherwise.
Note: these cMP have 32 bit EFI and don’t show the Boot Screen on modern GPU with 64 bit EFI.

6.2. For MacPro 3.1: Nvidia Geforce GTX 680.
Note: that cMP doesn’t support SSE4.2 which is used in AMD/ATI modern GPU drivers.

6.3. For MacPro 4.1 - 5.1
The best price/performance/troubles ratio cards with Boot Screen:
  • for GUI and 2D - ATI Radeon 5770,
  • for 3D - Nvidia GTX 680, ATI Radeon HD 7970 / R9 280x.
The best price/performance/troubles ratio cards with Metal 2 (Mojave) support:
  • for GUI and 2D - ATI Radeon RX 560,
  • for 3D - ATI Radeon VEGA 56.



7. Useful links

7.1. cMP modern GPU compability list in the table form.

7.2. Apple's recomendation of GPU for macOS 10.14 Mojave.

7.3. Discussion "AMD Polaris & Vega GPU macOS Support".

7.4. Discussion on flashing Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 4 Gb.

7.5. Discussion on Nvidia Web-drivers.

7.6. PIXLAS mode - cook more power for your GPU.

7.7. Designing of MAGIC SATA - GPU power cable.


PS: at the beggining the thread was named "GPU ZOO for cMP".
 
Last edited by reukiodo:
Jul 4, 2015
4,488
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Does it really matter?
Most mac user use Metal only for Mojave GUI.
It will matter for apps and games for the same reasons Direct X version compatibility is important in Windows. The feature set is changing yearly and new applications will drop old versions of Metal. That will means some graphic cards that only support Metal v1 will no longer be supported.
 
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MarkC426

macrumors 65816
May 14, 2008
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Very useful list.
Don’t mean to pick, but the q4000 shouldn’t have the ‘k’ and it’s 2gb (mac edition).
The q5000 should have the ‘k’.
Maybe worth mentioning which ones are ‘mac editions’ also (a lot of people reading the thread may not be as savvy on the specs).
Good job though.
 

Pentaxer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2018
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It will matter for apps and games for the same reasons Direct X version compatibility is important in Windows. The feature set is changing yearly and new applications will drop old versions of Metal. That will means some graphic cards that only support Metal v1 will no longer be supported.
Ok. Going to add the information on DirectX, OpenGL, CUDA and Metal versions.


Very useful list.
Don’t mean to pick, but the q4000 shouldn’t have the ‘k’ and it’s 2gb (mac edition).
The q5000 should have the ‘k’.
You are right, thanks.
 

w1z

Contributor
Aug 20, 2013
572
398
You are missing the GTX 780 3GB/6GB and GTX Titan 6GB GPUs (Both require MVC flashing)
 

w1z

Contributor
Aug 20, 2013
572
398
Thanks.
I don't use them. Can you provide information on them?
Nvidia Geforce GTX 780 3 GB or 6GB
Performance: Best supported (OS) nvidia performance due to higher frequencies and more memory
Metal Compatibility: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4
OS Compatibility: 10.8.3+ for the 3GB and 10.9.5+ for the 6GB version
Power consumption: needs additional power (1 x 6 pin and 1 x 8 pin)
Outs: Card has DVI-I + DVI-D + DP + HDMI
Other: Requires flashing by MVC and occupies 2 slots (standard)

Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan 6GB (NOT BLACK OR X editions)
Performance:Best supported (OS) nvidia performance due to more shaders/cuda cores (384) than GTX 780 and more memory
Metal Compatibility: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4
OS Compatibility: 10.9.5+
Power consumption: needs additional power (1 x 6 pin and 1 x 8 pin).
Outs: Card has DVI-I + DVI-D + DP + HDMI
Other: Requires flashing by MVC and occupies 2 slots (standard)


Edit: Added statement on compatible Titan editions
 
Last edited:
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Pentaxer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2018
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Thanks!

1. Do they support but screen?
2. Do they work in Mojave?
3. They can be flashed only by MVC? (not by yourself?)
4. Do they need PIXLAS?
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,646
1,926
FYI, it may be easiest to make first post a Wiki if you want this to become a true reference database.
 
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w1z

Contributor
Aug 20, 2013
572
398
Thanks!

1. Do they support but screen?
2. Do they work in Mojave?
3. They can be flashed only by MVC? (not by yourself?)
4. Do they need PIXLAS?
1. Yes, after flashing
2. Yes, note the + after os versions
3. Only by MVC
4. No, they run without any modifications to the system
 

SolarisX

macrumors newbie
Nov 27, 2018
5
1
[QUOTE = "W1SS, Beitrag: 27211296, Mitglied: 838887"] Sie fehlen die GTX 780 3GB / 6GB- und GTX Titan 6GB-GPUs (beide erfordern ein MVC-Blinken) [/ QUOTE]


und

Nvidia Geforce GTX 780 Ti 3 GB
Leistung: Beste unterstützte (OS) nvidia-Leistung aufgrund höherer Frequenzen und mehr Speicherplatz
Metallkompatibilität: Unterstütztes Feature-Set macOS GPUFamily1 v4
Betriebssystemkompatibilität: 10.8.3+
Stromverbrauch: Benötigt zusätzliche Energie (1 x 6 Pin und 1 x 8 Pin)
Ausgänge: Karte hat DVI-I + DVI-D + DP + HDMI
Sonstiges: Erfordert Flashing durch MVC und belegt 2 Steckplätze (Standard)



etwas schneller als der GTX Titan
 
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startergo

macrumors 68020
Sep 20, 2018
2,212
881
You are missing the GTX 780 3GB/6GB and GTX Titan 6GB GPUs (Both require MVC flashing)
only for boot screens... BTW I have sent him my card a month ago and he only replied to one of my 10+ emails. I am not sure if I will get my card back
 

w1z

Contributor
Aug 20, 2013
572
398
only for boot screens... BTW I have sent him my card a month ago and he only replied to one of my 10+ emails. I am not sure if I will get my card back
Yeah, he lacks customer servicing skills. Email him on the email address listed in the PayPal receipt. I received mine back after 3 weeks.
 
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Pentaxer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2018
107
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Russia
Let's accumulate information on unflashed cards behavoir.

Examples:
  • Unflashed (PC version): doesn't work; can be flashed.
  • Unflashed (PC version): works but without Boot Screen; can be flashed only by MVC.
 

Pentaxer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2018
107
73
Russia
R9 270X can be flashed using 7950mac.efi in the Netkas script.
Thanks. Can you provide more information on it?
It's a very rare card in mac environment. Are there issues with it after flashing?
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,646
1,926
NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition (FE), Unflashed
NVIDIA chipset: Pascal
NVIDIA CUDA cores: 2560
Metal Compatibility: GPUFamily1v4
macOS Compatibility: through 10.13.6 with NVIDIA Web Drivers
Power consumption: standard single 8-pin on GPU, powered via dual mini 6-pin to standard 8-pin
Outs: 3 x DP, HDMI, DL-DVI
Additional: https://www.nvidia.com/content/geforce-gtx/GTX_1080_User_Guide.pdf
 
Last edited:
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tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
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Thanks. Can you provide more information on it?
It's a very rare card in mac environment. Are there issues with it after flashing?
HD 7850, HD 7870, R9-270 and R9-270x are all based on the same chip. Cards with the same ports as reference HD 7950 lose HDMI after flashing with Mac EFI.
 
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Pentaxer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2018
107
73
Russia
HD 7850, HD 7870, R9-270 and R9-270x are all based on the same chip. Cards with the same ports as reference HD 7950 lose HDMI after flashing with Mac EFI.
Thanks!
Do these cards work in macOS without flashing (without Boot Screen)?
 
Last edited:

w1z

Contributor
Aug 20, 2013
572
398
Who added the GTX 980? It requires web drivers by default and is not compatible with Mojave!

Also, what are the recommendations based on? The non-mac GTX 680 does not provide boot screen by default and needs to be flashed first and the GTX 780 and Titan run circles around all Mojave compatible Nvidia options.

I think it's best to narrow the scope of the list to Mojave supported GPUs on cMP only.
 
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Pentaxer

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 25, 2018
107
73
Russia
Who added the GTX 980? It requires web drivers by default and is not compatible with Mojave!

Also, what are the recommendations based on? The non-mac GTX 680 does not provide boot screen by default and needs to be flashed first and the GTX 780 and Titan run circles around all Mojave compatible Nvidia options.
Thanks for the reply. I’ll change the first post.
 
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The first post in this thread is a WikiPost, and can be edited by anyone with the appropriate permissions.
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