Mac Pro 3,1 2008 Mojave GPU verdict?

fhturner

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Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
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Hey Everyone—

I have been searching but cannot find a "complete" answer or recommendation on this (there's a 10.13 HS thread, but not 10.14 Mojave): I need to get a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 upgraded (via @dosdude1's patched installer) to macOS 10.14 Mojave. So I need a Metal-capable GPU. To recap what I know as far as current limitations (please correct or elaborate as you see fit):

  1. Anything AMD newer than R9 280X requires drivers that require SSE4.2 extensions in the CPU, which rules those out.
  2. Nvidia and Apple are doing their best to screw over anybody who owns or would like to use a GTX 9xx or 10xx or later card in Mojave by not releasing/allowing drivers.
  3. Existing/older AMD cards like the subject machine's HD2600, or a commonly available HD5770/5780 will not work due to no Metal support.

So....what's the best course of action here? Does not have to be the absolute best for gaming or video editing or whatever (altho feel free to specify those sorts of things), just need the machine to run Mojave w/ functional graphics. Given the age of the system, cost-effectiveness would be nice in this case.

Would a GTX 680 Mac edition or PC edition flashed to Mac be the ideal choice? Or would an R9 280X be better/easier? Or something else entirely? If all else is roughly equal as far as cost and performance between a pair of options, I'd prefer the choice that requires the least amount of add'l hacking/patching. Also, what about the 7950 Mac edition...does that require SSE4.2 driver support? That one may not be so cost-effective from what I've seen.

Thanks for any advice and/or "reference-grade" info about the constraints and requirements here.

Fred
 
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fhturner

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Any AMD GCN card requires SSE4.2, so any HD 7xxx or newer card won’t work with a MP3,1.
Thanks, Alex. Can you elaborate for a dummy like me :D about the nomenclature and progression of the AMD cards? What is GCN (yes, off to Google search it...), and am I correct that the R9 280X** is older than 7950 and therefore "safe"?

Any recommendations out of what remains after all the exclusions?
 
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tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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Thanks, Alex. Can you elaborate for a dummy like me :D about the nomenclature and progression of the AMD cards? What is GCN (yes, off to Google search it...), and am I correct that the R9 280X is older than 7950 and therefore "safe"?

Any recommendations out of what remains after all the exclusions?
No, the correct order:

HD 6xxx
HD 7xxx
R5/R7/R9 2xx
R9 3xx
RX-4xx
RX-5xx
VEGA

No AMD card works with Mojave and a MP3,1.

With a MP3,1 you have to use Nvidia Kepler cards.
 
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fhturner

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Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
** = quoting you from a similar thread (but for 10.13):

No AMD GPU past R9-280X works with MP3,1 Xeons and 10.13, driver needs SSE4.2. You can install NVIDIA GPUs and run it almost unpatched and without problems, if you use 10.13.6.
So does that include the R9 280X or exclude it? "Past" would suggest inclusion, but the Graphics Core Next wiki would suggest the R9s are GCN, so excluded...
[doublepost=1545076154][/doublepost]
No, the correct order:

HD 6xxx
HD 7xxx
R5/R7/R9 2xx
R9 3xx
RX-4xx
RX-5xx
VEGA
Okay, so, are there any non-GCN AMD cards that support Metal (and therefore Mojave) then? Or is the ONLY option to go Nvidia?
 

dosdude1

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Feb 16, 2012
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Hey Everyone—

I have been searching but cannot find a "complete" answer or recommendation on this (there's a 10.13 HS thread, but not 10.14 Mojave): I need to get a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 upgraded (via @dosdude1's patched installer) to macOS 10.14 Mojave. So I need a Metal-capable GPU. To recap what I know as far as current limitations (please correct or elaborate as you see fit):

  1. Anything AMD newer than R9 280X requires drivers that require SSE4.2 extensions in the CPU, which rules those out.
  2. Nvidia and Apple are doing their best to screw over anybody who owns or would like to use a GTX 9xx or 10xx or later card in Mojave by not releasing/allowing drivers.
  3. Existing/older AMD cards like the subject machine's HD2600, or a commonly available HD5770/5780 will not work due to no Metal support.

So....what's the best course of action here? Does not have to be the absolute best for gaming or video editing or whatever (altho feel free to specify those sorts of things), just need the machine to run Mojave w/ functional graphics. Given the age of the system, cost-effectiveness would be nice in this case.

Would a GTX 680 Mac edition or PC edition flashed to Mac be the ideal choice? Or would an R9 280X be better/easier? Or something else entirely? If all else is roughly equal as far as cost and performance between a pair of options, I'd prefer the choice that requires the least amount of add'l hacking/patching. Also, what about the 7950 Mac edition...does that require SSE4.2 driver support? That one may not be so cost-effective from what I've seen.

Thanks for any advice and/or "reference-grade" info about the constraints and requirements here.

Fred
A few bits of incorrect info here. First off, any AMD GPU that's a Radeon HD 5xxx series or newer GPU will NOT work under Mojave on the Mac Pro 3,1. This includes Radeon HD 5xxx, 6xxx, 7xxx, and all Rx and Vega cards.

Secondly, AMD Radeon HD 4xxx series and older WILL work under Mojave on the Mac Pro 3,1, if the Legacy Video Card patch is applied along with the other patches when running the post-install tool of my Mojave Patcher (even though these cards do not support Metal).

So, due to nVidia not having released Web Drivers for the nVidia Maxwell-based and newer cards, your ONLY Metal-compatible GPU upgrade options on the Mac Pro 3,1 at this time are the Kepler-based nVidia cards, being the GT(X) 6xx series cards and the GTX770 and 780.
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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** = quoting you from a similar thread (but for 10.13):



So does that include the R9 280X or exclude it? "Past" would suggest inclusion, but the Graphics Core Next wiki would suggest the R9s are GCN, so excluded...
[doublepost=1545076154][/doublepost]

Okay, so, are there any non-GCN AMD cards that support Metal (and therefore Mojave) then? Or is the ONLY option to go Nvidia?
That applies if you use 10.13 with Sierra hacked drivers, not with Mojave.
[doublepost=1545076519][/doublepost]
Okay, so, are there any non-GCN AMD cards that support Metal (and therefore Mojave) then? Or is the ONLY option to go Nvidia?
No. With MP3,1 and Mojave, only Nvidia Kepler GPUs, until Nvidia release Mojave web drivers.
 

fhturner

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Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
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Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
Great, thanks for the info and correcting me, @dosdude1!

Secondly, AMD Radeon HD 4xxx series and older WILL work under Mojave on the Mac Pro 3,1, if the Legacy Video Card patch is applied along with the other patches when running the post-install tool of my Mojave Patcher (even though these cards do not support Metal).
Will it then be atrocious to use, though, interface-wise? I have booted a MP5,1 into Mojave w/ an HD5770 and it was an expectedly poor experience.

Reviewing my info, I realize the MP3,1 in question has a GeForce 8800GT. Does the Legacy Video Card patch support it and does that work acceptably in Mojave? I'm assuming a newer GTX 6xx/7xx would be the best path, but maybe I'm overcomplicating it and can just use what the machine already has?

So, due to nVidia not having released Web Drivers for the nVidia Maxwell-based and newer cards, your ONLY Metal-compatible GPU upgrade options on the Mac Pro 3,1 at this time are the Kepler-based nVidia cards, being the GT(X) 6xx series cards and the GTX770 and 780.
Any caveats w/ these cards, and any reason to choose one flavor over the other?
[doublepost=1545076682][/doublepost]
That applies if you use 10.13 with Sierra hacked drivers, not with Mojave.
[doublepost=1545076519][/doublepost]
No. With MP3,1 and Mojave, only Nvidia Kepler GPUs, until Nvidia release Mojave web drivers.
Ah, ok, got it now. That was with patched/older drivers. Thanks for the clarification!
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
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Great, thanks for the info and correcting me, @dosdude1!



Will it then be atrocious to use, though, interface-wise? I have booted a MP5,1 into Mojave w/ an HD5770 and it was an expectedly poor experience.

Reviewing my info, I realize the MP3,1 in question has a GeForce 8800GT. Does the Legacy Video Card patch support it and does that work acceptably in Mojave? I'm assuming a newer GTX 6xx/7xx would be the best path, but maybe I'm overcomplicating it and can just use what the machine already has?



Any caveats w/ these cards, and any reason to choose one flavor over the other?
[doublepost=1545076682][/doublepost]

Ah, ok, got it now. That was with patched/older drivers. Thanks for the clarification!
Mojave with older GPUs “works” but when I was testing I couldn’t even use Netflix, maybe now is better.

I opted to buy a Kepler GPU to prolong the usable span of my 3,1.
 

dosdude1

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Feb 16, 2012
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Great, thanks for the info and correcting me, @dosdude1!



Will it then be atrocious to use, though, interface-wise? I have booted a MP5,1 into Mojave w/ an HD5770 and it was an expectedly poor experience.

Reviewing my info, I realize the MP3,1 in question has a GeForce 8800GT. Does the Legacy Video Card patch support it and does that work acceptably in Mojave? I'm assuming a newer GTX 6xx/7xx would be the best path, but maybe I'm overcomplicating it and can just use what the machine already has?



Any caveats w/ these cards, and any reason to choose one flavor over the other?
[doublepost=1545076682][/doublepost]

Ah, ok, got it now. That was with patched/older drivers. Thanks for the clarification!
With the Legacy Video Card Patch applied, the user interface will run perfectly fine, and you'll have full graphics acceleration with Radeon HD 4xxx series and older cards. Same applies for all non-Metal nVidia cards and Intel HD Graphics. With your 8800GT installed and the Legacy Video Card Patch applied, you will have full graphics acceleration and the system will run perfectly fast. Only caveat is a weird colored menu bar in light mode.
 

fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Nov 7, 2007
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Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
Okay, thanks for the enlightenment, guys! :)

With the Legacy Video Card Patch applied, the user interface will run perfectly fine, and you'll have full graphics acceleration with Radeon HD 4xxx series and older cards. Same applies for all non-Metal nVidia cards and Intel HD Graphics. With your 8800GT installed and the Legacy Video Card Patch applied, you will have full graphics acceleration and the system will run perfectly fast. Only caveat is a weird colored menu bar in light mode.
Perfect. Given this bit of info, I think I'll recommend (for a client machine) we just stick w/ the 8800GT for now and see how we do w/ that. Double thanks for the OS patcher and the Legacy Video Card Patch as well!

Mojave with older GPUs “works” but when I was testing I couldn’t even use Netflix, maybe now is better. I opted to buy a Kepler GPU to prolong the usable span of my 3,1.
[In case we wind up needing something more powerful] Which Kepler card did you opt to buy and why? Did you flash it?
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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Okay, thanks for the enlightenment, guys! :)



Perfect. Given this bit of info, I think I'll recommend (for a client machine) we just stick w/ the 8800GT for now and see how we do w/ that. Double thanks for the OS patcher and the Legacy Video Card Patch as well!



[In case we wind up needing something more powerful] Which Kepler card did you opt to buy and why? Did you flash it?
eVGA GTX 680, works perfectly (if you don’t mind the every now and then black rectangle into file names in Finder file lists, this happens to every NVIDIA Kepler GPU since Sierra).

GTX 680 is the only flash yourself Nvidia GPU and if you don’t have rush, you can find good deals with PC versions.
 

Project Alice

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Jul 13, 2008
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I had a GT 740 for a few years, it was a NON-flashed PC card. 4GB SC EVGA variant. I recently traded it for a PowerBook G4. But, the card supported metal under High Sierra. It was a surprisingly capable little card. Only took up one slot and was even smaller than the factory HD 2600 XT. I don't see any reason it wouldn't work in mojave. I upgraded to a GTX 1060.. So obviously I'm stuck at HS until/IF we ever get nvidia drivers.
 

Roman78

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2018
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I can tell you why. The GT740 uses a Kepler GK107 Chip and the GT730 uses the GK208 chip, at leats min does. The GK208 chip is not supported by OSX. But i suspect that the GK107 is. There are a couple of GT730 whit a GF108 Chip so a Fermi chip. Don't know if they are working. I specially looked for the Kepler version because it uses half the Power of the Fermi GT730.

About Fermi: A GT610 GF119 Chip ist working right out of the box on the Mac.

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_700_series
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_600_series

So... having the same card identifier does not mean it is the same chip and will work out of the box. Alway look at the code name of the chip itself.

/edit: why did i start about the GT730... Cross post i think... Well i had it and it did not worked without the Webdrivers. And on the MP3.1 it hat glitches. On the Hackintosh it worked fine using the Webdrivers.
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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I can tell you why. The GT740 uses a Kepler GK107 Chip and the GT730 uses the GK208 chip, at leats min does. The GK208 chip is not supported by OSX. But i suspect that the GK107 is. There are a couple of GT730 whit a GF108 Chip so a Fermi chip. Don't know if they are working. I specially looked for the Kepler version because it uses half the Power of the Fermi GT730.

About Fermi: A GT610 GF119 Chip ist working right out of the box on the Mac.

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_700_series
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_600_series

So... having the same card identifier does not mean it is the same chip and will work out of the box. Alway look at the code name of the chip itself.
Since only Kepler GPUs have Mojave support, Fermi ones are a no-go.
 

Project Alice

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Well, my kepler GT 740 was definitely supported in OS X without any web drivers. It worked from 10.7.5 (in my xserve 1,1) and when I got my 3,1 MP I put it in there and it worked with HS, and was metal supported as well.

Curious, not to thread jack or anything. But its on-topic so;
Would a Kepler original GTX Titan work? They're fairly cheap, and almost my 3GB 1060's equal. If I got one of those for my MP I could just stick the 1060 in my PC and not worry about web drivers.
 

tsialex

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Would a Kepler original GTX Titan work? They're fairly cheap, and almost my 3GB 1060's equal. If I got one of those for my MP I could just stick the 1060 in my PC and not worry about web drivers.
Yes, Nvidia Titan Kepler cards work with Mojave. Some users here have it, but read this: #2529.

Edit:

This fix is only valid for MP5,1 and the corrective procedure is not applicable or even possible with a MP3,1 since Apple split MP3,1 BootROM with two flash memories and AFAIK, it's not possible to reconstruct a MP3,1 BootROM correctly with the current tools available outside Apple.

For future reference, MP3,1 have two flash memories for the BootROM:
  1. a TSOP-32 Firmware HUB memory (FWB) with the permanent part of the BootROM,
  2. a SOIC-8 SPI flash with the dynamic part of the BootROM, the NVRAM.
This BootROM split makes the MP3,1 the easiest Mac to brick and because the FWB memory is a TSOP-32, it's the most difficult Mac to unbrick, since it's extremely difficult and costly to remove and reprogram TSOP-32 flash memory with the usual tools available to non-professionals.
 
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Ben888

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The MP4,1>5,1/5,1 NVRAM problem, probably won't happen with MP3,1, but since people will search the question Titan Kepler + Mojave in the future, I linked to the post.
So, if I bought a GTX 670 it would work with the native driver in Mojave on my 3,1. Is this correct? No boot screens unless I buy the expensive MacVidCards version, but I have a mac 8800 GT that I can plug in if I need a boot screen so I will take the inconvenience over the expense.

I know that I can use the 8800 Gt with dosdude's legacy cards patch, but the performance of the GTX 670 will almost assuredly be better and I can offload the GT 1030 I was using with web drivers in High Sierra.

By the way, I can confirm that AMD cards won't work. Before I learned this, I ordered an RX 560. No dice.
Would work if I had a 4,1 or 5,1.
[doublepost=1546827144][/doublepost]
eVGA GTX 680, works perfectly (if you don’t mind the every now and then black rectangle into file names in Finder file lists, this happens to every NVIDIA Kepler GPU since Sierra).

GTX 680 is the only flash yourself Nvidia GPU and if you don’t have rush, you can find good deals with PC versions.
I flashed a GTX 680 2GB for a friend once, super easy and he says the card works great.
 

tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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So, if I bought a GTX 670 it would work with the native driver in Mojave on my 3,1. Is this correct? No boot screens unless I buy the expensive MacVidCards version, but I have a mac 8800 GT that I can plug in if I need a boot screen so I will take the inconvenience over the expense.

I know that I can use the 8800 Gt with dosdude's legacy cards patch, but the performance of the GTX 670 will almost assuredly be better and I can offload the GT 1030 I was using with web drivers in High Sierra.

By the way, I can confirm that AMD cards won't work. Before I learned this, I ordered an RX 560. No dice.
Would work if I had a 4,1 or 5,1.
[doublepost=1546827144][/doublepost]

I flashed a GTX 680 2GB for a friend once, super easy and he says the card works great.
It's not all GTX 670 that works perfectly like the GTX 680, but yes a compatible card will work with Apple native Kepler drivers of Mojave.
 

Ben888

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Jul 23, 2017
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Newberg, Oregon
It's not all GTX 670 that works perfectly like the GTX 680, but yes a compatible card will work with Apple native Kepler drivers of Mojave.
but a reference model card should be fine. I know that some manufacturers make alterations to the design which will require a different driver not available in Mac OS. The card that I want to try is a reference design, so should theoretically work.
 

dosdude1

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but a reference model card should be fine. I know that some manufacturers make alterations to the design which will require a different driver not available in Mac OS. The card that I want to try is a reference design, so should theoretically work.
No, any card will work just fine, regardless of board design/manufacturer. The only thing that matters is the chipset, which of course will be the same on all cards of that model.
 

tsialex

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No, any card will work just fine, regardless of board design/manufacturer. The only thing that matters is the chipset, which of course will be the same on all cards of that model.
Some GTX 670 have very weird port mappings and have outputs that don't work - unlike GTX 680 where almost all cards have the same port mappings and all outputs work with macOS.
 
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