Looking for driver free Mojave compatible video card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by matthewpomar, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. matthewpomar macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2010
    I have 2009 Mac Pro, which has been upgraded / flashed, running High Sierra. I'm currently using an unflashed GTX 1070, but I want to upgrade to Mojave.

    I'm not gaming on this Mac, but I do have a 3440 x 1440 monitor running at 100Hz, so the card needs to be strong enough to support that resolution and refresh rate.

    My questions are:

    1. Can I upgrade from High Sierra to Mojave using my current GTX 1070?

    2. Is there a reasonably priced video card that macOS supports natively, is Mojave compatible, and runs at PCIe 2.0 (offering boot screen)?

    I read about the Radeon RX 580, but I haven't seen any version of that card that is "Mac edition", offering PCIe 2.0 support and boot screen support.
  2. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2012
  3. matthewpomar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2010
  4. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2012
    Not likely in that range. There are some projects with developers interested in getting boot screens with RX580's in the works, but the prices you're talking about will not be anywhere near the ballpark of paying for or contributing to their time.

    Your best bet is an Apple approved Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB powered internally via dual mini 6-pin to standard 8-pin. You will not get boot screens, but drivers are baked into the OS. You'll also need to be on the latest firmware ( to upgrade/update.

    Second to this, an official NVIDIA/EVGA GTX 680 2GB Mac Edition (02G-P4-3682-KR) should have boot screen support and has been reported in other threads. You can flash this yourself, but the official card is what is officially supported. For the vast majority, the tradeoff of boot screens for better performance with an RX580 is the choice made... but that decision is yours. It would be a major downgrade from 1070 > 680.

    Or stick with High Sierra using what you have.
  5. Partridge macrumors 6502

    Jul 28, 2007
    Are you definite that you need a boot screen? If not the lower spec Radeon works well with Mojave, doesn’t need drivers, and is pretty cheap.
  6. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    All cards run at PCIe 2.0 now (or register and list as) with the firmware update.

    The only cards which support bootscreen are things like the Mac Edition 680/7950 and flashed cards of that era. If you're ok with a significant performance drop, I'd pick up a 680/7950 (though Mac editions are expensive and flashing is risky), otherwise forget bootscreen and get an RX580 with little performance hit, it's the best choice IMO. The 2070/80 support bootscreen but there are currently no Mojave drivers for any nVidia card higher than a 680 (and I think 780).
  7. Bubalight macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2015
    You can also run a cheap GTX 650 which supports Metal, works with built in drivers and will allow you to install Mojave, and is as functional as a RX580, (no bootscreens but otherwise works) They are avalible for about $50.
  8. Photofish macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2014
    OWC.com is now offering a Gigabyte Radeon RX 580 graphic card for $368.88 featuring 8GB VRAN GPU that is advertised as having Metal supporting the Mac Pro for upgrading it to macOS 10.14.x Mojave. As far as I can see it works just fine 2011 single 3.46 GHz 6-Core 5,1 MacPro with Mojave. Everything is running as it should right from the start with both the telltale Apple chime and boot/log in screen, to running all my apps – Abobe CC Photoshop, Bridge, Acrobat, InDesign to Finial Cut Pro X. Hell, even Microsoft Office 2011 is working fine with no issues.
  9. crjackson2134 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    Why pay an extra $130 to OWC when you can just get this Apple Recommend card from Amazon?
  10. matthewpomar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2010
    Are you saying that one no longer has to "flash" a video card (such as the service available at macvidcards.com) in order to get the full PCIEe 2.0 speed?
  11. mattferg macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2013
    Yes, this is true in MacOS. Unsure about Windows.
  12. choreo macrumors regular


    Jan 10, 2008
    Midland, TX
    This card looks interesting, but have a few questions which someone here might have answers (I am WAY behind on video card jarjon):

    I currently have a 2012 Mac Pro 6-Core 5,1 currently running Sierra 10.12.6 with (2) Radeon 5770 cards installed - one 27" 2K NEC Monitor connected to one card and (2) 27" 2K NEC Monitors connected to the other card.

    I don't do gaming, mostly Adobe CC Apps, Capture One and FCP.

    (1) Could this card replace BOTH my 5770 cards and still successfully drive all (3) 27" monitors? Problems? What performance differences would I expect - better/worse?
    (2) Can I install this and continue to run Sierra with it for now until I make the jump to Mojave? If so, would I still get the boot screen in Sierra?
    (3) Photofish... am I to understand that you are currently using this card with Mojave and you still get the boot screen? How is that possible (from what I have read elsewhere)?
    (4) Pardon my ignorance, but what does the "Gigabyte" refer to?
    (5) Would this card draw more power or run hotter than the two cards I have now?

  13. orph, Dec 10, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018

    orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    @matthewpomar look in to VEGA cards or wait for nvidia to update drivers or new gpu gen to come out.
    MVC is the only way to get boot display but he will be waiting for the same driver as you.

    so a Vega 56 may be what you want to look in to, you will have to do the research

    or just try a RX 580, if your not doing any GPU tasks then i dont see why a pulse RX 580 8gb cant drive a desktop.

    1- yes but you may have to get some dongle's to match the display outs to the gpu.
    (this is a link to the one im using, different brand)
    1 x DVI-D
    2 x HDMI
    2 x DisplayPort 1.4
    you can drive a max of 4 displays i think (iv only had 3 plugged in at once)
    2- the RX 580 will work on osx 10.12 (Sierra) but it works better in osx10.13.
    it will work in osx Sierra but there may be some bugs (vary few i think)
    do check application compatibility
    3- there is no easy way to get boot display, keep one of your old cards (but check osx compatibility as osx10.14 is drooping support for some of the old ones)
    ie no boot display with any new card, i dont see the problem.
    4- brand of card
    5- less power id gess card seem's to use 30w when not used and 150w using luxmark to stress it.
    in normal use working in davinci resolve i think it's sub 100w most the time
    just checked about 60w when playing back video graded with some effects

    i did change the bios a tad and the fans are fairly quiet,

    if OWC provide support for the GPU they sell for OSX and your using the card for professional use then there worth looking at.
    i got a used card for 1/3 that but there's no support or warranty but if i have problems im wasting time fixing it so there is value id OWC provide support

    o and one RX 580 will be faster than the dual card setup

    ps if you buy from OWC check it comes with power cables
    i got mine used on ebay cheep so i had to order the power cables too

    found it, the bundle one has the correct power cables and has different ports to the one i linked.
    do check to see if they provide support or not for use in osx as it is only a PC card and they are charging extra over say amazon but if they give support then for pro use it ma be worth it.

    i got mine on ebay for £120 and paid £6 for the power cables (but no support or warranty)

    i dont know if drivers for nvidia are out but if so you can look at MVC for boot display on newer nvidia cards but in general AMD is better in osx unless you need CUDA
  14. Photofish macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2014
    Yes, that is the card ( https://eshop.macsales.com/item/GIGABYTE/MP1012R580V/ ) I purchased from OWC and installed in my 5,1 cMP.
    Yes, I am running Mojave 10.14.2 on it. And yes, when I restart the computer after a shut down I get the chime followed by the grey screen with the apple logo on it followed by the Mojave sand dune with the log in window, all just like it did before I started this venture.

    OWC has two different model Gigabyte RX 580 cards. The MP1012R580V (OWC SKU: OWCMP1012R580V), which is the one I got, and the GV-RX580GAMING-8GD (OWC SKU: GBYRX580GAMING8OWC) model that looks the same, but when I enquired about it, OWC said that one was not compatable with the Mac Pro and was meant only for use in a eGPU box.
  15. fatespawn macrumors regular


    Feb 22, 2009
    If you want a 5 minute install with full compatibility and a modern graphics card without a boot screen...

    buy this:

    and this:

    If you'd rather tinker around with trying to get a boot screen, or use an older graphics card, or spend MUCH more money, there are other options. I opted for the 5-minute upgrade.
  16. minifridge1138 macrumors 65816

    Jun 26, 2010
    It doesn't have a boot screen - at least according to the fine print at OWC:
    Are you saying you bought that card and out-of-the-box it had boot screens and a startup volume selector if you hold the 'option' key?
  17. Photofish macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2014
    What else can I say. The one I got "straight out of the box" I still get the chime followed by the grey screen with the apple logo on it followed by the Mojave sand dune with the log in window without doing anything more than pressing the power button and sitting back and watching do what it is supposed to do.
  18. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2012
    That is likely not the boot screen everyone is asking about. You likely cannot load (and see) the boot selector menu to boot from another drive or partition. Your display only activates when the GPU driver is loaded during startup.
  19. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    boot display will give you the "alt" startup display with all boot volume displayed, only MVC cards and older flashed ATI or Nvidia cards will give you that or the original apple GPU's

    no new AMD cards will give boot display
  20. matthewpomar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2010
    Decided to go with the RX580. One thing I'm working through is the card is thicker than the GTX 1070 and the fan hits the the heat sink on one of my blades installed in my Squid. Do I have to buy new NVMe blades as those heat sinks are permanent.
  21. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    ^^^^If I were you, and I guess in a way I am. I have an MVC flashed GTX 1080. And, believe that SOME DAY Apple and Nvidia will get their collective heads out of their butt and issue real drivers for Mojave. As such, I'm still on HS. The height problem you mention is a known deterrent with some RX 580s. I don't know what the answer is, short of leaving slot 2 MT. That is not an option for me and I assume not you.

    Edit - There are lower profile cards:


  22. matthewpomar thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 27, 2010
    I was planning to upgrade the blades anyways from the 951s to NVMe 970 Pros. I won't install a heat sink on those bottoms ones, so hopefully the blade post won't get into the fan blades when all is said in done, otherwise I will have to put the Squid where the video card is, and the video card where the Squid currently is, thus losing slot 3.
  23. crjackson2134 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2013
    Charlotte, NC
    Put the squid in slot 1, GPU in slot 2, empty slot 3, whatever you want in slot 4
  24. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    Why not keep both? I have an I/O Crest SI-PEX40129 on order that will contain 2 970 pros. This will be mounted in slot 2 currently occupied with my Apricorn Duo X2. My SM951 mounted in an AngelBird PX1 will remain in slot 4.

    No heatsink or cooling? I wouldn't recommend it.

    Did you see the edit to my original Post? There are lower profile RX 580s.

  25. mrdunderhead macrumors member


    Jun 14, 2015
    Actually yes you can update to mojave and you can install a new graphics card with a little more strength and no its not a flashed PC Card as well.

    Here is what you need.

    1. you will need to Mac Pro 2009-2010 firmware flasher tool

    2. you will then need the firmware update 1.5 from apple.

    3. open the firmware update 1.5 and don't run the pkg it won't work but leave the disk image mounted.

    4. run the firmware flasher from your desktop let it run its process then follow the on screen instructions.

    Part 2.

    1. there is a graphics card that can handle your needs however you won't be gaming from it.

    here is the link:


    this is the UEFI Support Sapphire card. it works on all 2010-2012 Mac pro's this is why you need the firmware update. it will convert your Mac Pro into a 2010 model and allow processor upgrades and even graphics card upgrades.

    2. you will then have to install mojave unsupported to do this download dosdudes mojave patcher just search google and download his tool in the menu select download mojave and give it a location to save.
    once finished use a usb thumb stick to create the patched drive.

    3. run the installer as usual booting from the usb thumb drive.

    4. run mojave installer.

    5. reboot hold down the option key on startup

    6. select the usb thumb drive again.

    7. run in the developers window in the lower corner of your screen Mac OS post install and select you model from the list and apply patch and check box force cache rebuild.

    8. restart computer shut down the computer.

    9. install new graphics card and enjoy.

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