Is RX480 best choice now?

mpta

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 17, 2013
41
8
Hello,

I know there is a lot of topics about it but still it's confusing. I have now quadro4000 and I am looking for a replacement. I would like to have something as much OOTB as possible and low power consuming would be great. Before I will order I need to ask you some questions:

1. With latest MacOS Sierra and RX480 I don't need to change anything to get fully working RX480 except the bootscreen?

2. I need the bootscreen to install fresh system right? So it's not only for dual boot?

3. Is it a good choice if I am using cMP for Nuke, Photoshop, Blender (I don't need CUDA)?

4. Is is possible that in the future it will be possible to flash this card to get boot screen?

5. Is there a chance after some of the updates it will stop working so the kext modification will be necessary?

Thanks!
 

Squuiid

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2006
1,476
742
Hello,

I know there is a lot of topics about it but still it's confusing. I have now quadro4000 and I am looking for a replacement. I would like to have something as much OOTB as possible and low power consuming would be great. Before I will order I need to ask you some questions:

1. With latest MacOS Sierra and RX480 I don't need to change anything to get fully working RX480 except the bootscreen?

2. I need the bootscreen to install fresh system right? So it's not only for dual boot?

3. Is it a good choice if I am using cMP for Nuke, Photoshop, Blender (I don't need CUDA)?

4. Is is possible that in the future it will be possible to flash this card to get boot screen?

5. Is there a chance after some of the updates it will stop working so the kext modification will be necessary?

Thanks!
The RX 580 below is the best, without a shadow of a doubt.
This specific card is the one included in Apple's eGPU dev kit and for which they have made the edits for already. This model correctly displays in About this Mac. It also does uses native macOS drivers from 10.12.6 onwards. No need to download any drivers or hack .kext files. It just works out of the box.
SAPPHIRE Pulse Radeon RX 580 8G GDDR5 Dual HDMI/DVI-D/Dual DP Graphics Card - Black

See here for details: #470
 
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mpta

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 17, 2013
41
8
Thank you Squuiid.
Yeah but if I don't need the fastest option the 480 will be fine? :)
 
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Squuiid

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2006
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Thank you Squuiid.
Yeah but if I don't need the fastest option the 480 will be fine right? :)
If you don't need the fastest option I'd personally go for the RX560 instead. These are found in the new 2017 iMacs and so, unlike the 480, it's a GPU Apple actually use.
 
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h9826790

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Apr 3, 2014
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1) AFAIK, not the current MacOS Sierra (10.12.5), but most likely the next update will include the driver for RX580 (and RX480).

2) No. Definitely no need. Any card that support OOTB can access recovery partition. And from there, you can easily install OS onto any drive. Also, if you already have a working OS, you can install OS onto any other drive from there.

3) If you don't need the fastest. Most likely good enough

4) At this moment, really can't see it can happen in foreseeable future.

5) Yes. Therefore, I highly recommend that Sapphire RX580. Since Apple sell them in the developer kit. The driver should be always there. 2nd choice will be any other reference card with the same device ID as that RX580, most likely they can work, but still no guarantee. For any other card that Apple never use / license, no one knows when the driver will disappear. And more chance of having bad driver support (e.g. buggy).
 
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throAU

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Feb 13, 2012
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If you don't need the fastest option I'd personally go for the RX560 instead. These are found in the new 2017 iMacs and so, unlike the 480, it's a GPU Apple actually use.
rx560 is just a gimped 480 with half the shaders disabled and less vram...

drivers and thus software support are identical
 

cube

macrumors P6
May 10, 2004
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sure.

it's still a gimped 480 with about half the shaders, less VRAM and running the exact same driver.

the only reason you'd buy one instead of a 470,480,570,580 is price.

they use the same driver.
I just would not call it gimped because the chip is less expensive to fabricate.

I also chose an RX 460 without additional power input which could fit in my Thunderbolt case.
 

Squuiid

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2006
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rx560 is just a gimped 480 with half the shaders disabled and less vram...

drivers and thus software support are identical
LOL. Yeah, it's a cheaper chip.
The RX460, RX560 and RX580 are all used in Apple hardware, be it iMacs or MacBook Pros.
The RX480 is not.
As I stated, the best option is the following RX580, as this exact model identifier is in use in Apple's shipping eGPU dev kit. It is easily the best natively supported GPU available currently for the cMP.
SAPPHIRE Pulse Radeon RX 580 8G GDDR5 Dual HDMI/DVI-D/Dual DP Graphics Card - Black
If you want higher performance then you will have to go NVIDIA, but that brings with it a variety of video driver quirks.
 
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cube

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May 10, 2004
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LOL. Yeah, it's a cheaper chip. It also doesn't require .kext file edits to get it to work natively in macOS.
It did require edits for eGPU passthrough when I was trying the RX 460 last year.
 

Squuiid

macrumors 65816
Oct 31, 2006
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It did require edits for eGPU passthrough when I was trying the RX 460 last year.
You won't have needed edits for non-eGPU cards since Apple shipped the Late 2016 MBP and subsequently released 10.12.4 with native drivers for the RX460 cards.

Native support for the RX560 and RX580 is coming in 10.12.6 in a few weeks. (available in beta currently)

Native eGPU support is coming to High Sierra in a few months. In Sierra you will need to do the edits you mention.
 
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mpta

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 17, 2013
41
8
Ok it's more clear now. Thank you guys.
So I guess it is a good idea to wait for non beta macOS version and go for
560 (more $, less performance) or 580 (less performance, more $ but also more native support).
Thanks
 
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throAU

macrumors 603
Feb 13, 2012
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Perth, Western Australia
Ok it's more clear now. Thank you guys.
So I guess it is a good idea to wait for non beta macOS version and go for
560 (more $, less performance) or 580 (less performance, more $ but also more native support).
Thanks
Or if you have a bigger budget, Vega RX is coming soon.

But may be too long for you to wait (2-3 months maybe).

There's a lot of performance speculation about (based on unfinished drivers that don't do any power management and have a bunch of features disabled) but Apple have announced they will use Vega in the iMac Pro, and the on-paper floating point performance is massive.

2x the RX480/580 in FP32
4x the RX480/580 in FP16
 
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tuxon86

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May 22, 2012
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Or if you have a bigger budget, Vega RX is coming soon.

But may be too long for you to wait (2-3 months maybe).

There's a lot of performance speculation about (based on unfinished drivers that don't do any power management and have a bunch of features disabled) but Apple have announced they will use Vega in the iMac Pro, and the on-paper floating point performance is massive.

2x the RX480/580 in FP32
4x the RX480/580 in FP16
Let's hope, also, that the Vega RX draw less power than the FE version. If not, I wonder if the PSU presently offered in the eGPU options will be enough...