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Jayson A

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Sep 16, 2014
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Just installed an RX 580 in our Mac Pros at work last week and honestly can't even tell a difference. Scrolling still stutters, animations still stutter. Illustrator and Photoshop are still just as fast as before. What do I have to do to notice a difference with this card vs the old Radeon 5770?

I ran GeekBench and got a super high score. I went from about 10,000 points on the 5770 to 130,000 points on the 580 but that's literally the only place I could tell a difference.

I thought at least scrolling and general UI snappiness would be improved like moving windows around, resizing windows, scrolling and minimizing/maximizing windows, but everything still stutters just as much as before.

Anyways, what can I do to see a noticeable difference vs my old 5770 1GB?

I've tried both macOS Sierra and High Sierra and it was the same on both. No noticeable difference.

One last thing, even playing 4K youtube videos stutter at 60fps.
 

teagls

macrumors regular
May 16, 2013
202
101
CPU bound? GeekBench by design is supposed to benchmark just the GPU. Make sense you'd get a higher score, but outside of that might be limited by older CPU.
 

fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
629
413
Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
One last thing, even playing 4K youtube videos stutter at 60fps.
On the video end of things, first, I'd go to Mojave and implement @h9826790's OpenCore-based H.264/HEVC hardware acceleration found here. That will make playing back a lot of 4K stuff better. That said, it will not help 4K YouTube stuff. This is because YouTube insists on using the VP9 codec for anything over 1080p, which means only software acceleration for us (thanks, YouTube!). And given the decade-old CPUs in the Mac Pros, that's a real challenge. But the HW accel works gloriously otherwise (even doing way better on 4k60 HEVC than my MBP15 2015).

You didn't mention specs of the Mac Pros you're using. If you haven't already, you can help yourself a bit by upgrading the CPUs to Xeon X5690 (ultimate option 6-core @ 3.46GHz) or X5680 (next best at half the cost but still 3.33GHz 6-core). That higher clock speed can improve software playback and general system responsiveness, although it may not eliminate ALL choppiness.
 

Jayson A

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Sep 16, 2014
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On the video end of things, first, I'd go to Mojave and implement @h9826790's OpenCore-based H.264/HEVC hardware acceleration found here. That will make playing back a lot of 4K stuff better. That said, it will not help 4K YouTube stuff. This is because YouTube insists on using the VP9 codec for anything over 1080p, which means only software acceleration for us (thanks, YouTube!). And given the decade-old CPUs in the Mac Pros, that's a real challenge. But the HW accel works gloriously otherwise (even doing way better on 4k60 HEVC than my MBP15 2015).

You didn't mention specs of the Mac Pros you're using. If you haven't already, you can help yourself a bit by upgrading the CPUs to Xeon X5690 (ultimate option 6-core @ 3.46GHz) or X5680 (next best at half the cost but still 3.33GHz 6-core). That higher clock speed can improve software playback and general system responsiveness, although it may not eliminate ALL choppiness.

I thought the UI for macOS was all hardware accelerated by the GPU. The video thing isn't a big deal. I was just expecting a huge bump in general graphics performance by going to such a big card, especially in Illustrator and Photoshop because they have GPU acceleration built in.
 

teagls

macrumors regular
May 16, 2013
202
101
I thought the UI for macOS was all hardware accelerated by the GPU. The video thing isn't a big deal. I was just expecting a huge bump in general graphics performance by going to such a big card, especially in Illustrator and Photoshop because they have GPU acceleration built in.

The rendering is done on the GPU, but those commands to render the UI are made by the CPU. Slow / older CPU arch less snappy UI.
 

fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
629
413
Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
I thought the UI for macOS was all hardware accelerated by the GPU. The video thing isn't a big deal. I was just expecting a huge bump in general graphics performance by going to such a big card, especially in Illustrator and Photoshop because they have GPU acceleration built in.
I dunno. I have been quite pleased w/ system responsiveness on my Mac Pros w/ RX 580s. I don't use Illustrator or Photoshop on them though. But I do edit and view video on dual displays. Perhaps if you provided more specifics about your configurations and what symptoms in particular you're noticing, someone here can help you figure out if there's anything else you need to do.

Regarding UI acceleration, I would think it is w/ your High Sierra system, too, but I'm certain that it is in Mojave, as the UI is based on Metal and Metal-capable cards such as the RX 580 are required. So, you might want to create a test partition on one of your machines, upgrade it to Mojave, and see if it makes a difference. Again, though, if you can provide specifics about your systems, there might be other things we can spot and advise you on.
 
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Jayson A

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Sep 16, 2014
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I dunno. I have been quite pleased w/ system responsiveness on my Mac Pros w/ RX 580s. I don't use Illustrator or Photoshop on them though. But I do edit and view video on dual displays. Perhaps if you provided more specifics about your configurations and what symptoms in particular you're noticing, someone here can help you figure out if there's anything else you need to do.

Regarding UI acceleration, I would think it is w/ your High Sierra system, too, but I'm certain that it is in Mojave, as the UI is based on Metal and Metal-capable cards such as the RX 580 are required. So, you might want to create a test partition on one of your machines, upgrade it to Mojave, and see if it makes a difference. Again, though, if you can provide specifics about your systems, there might be other things we can spot and advise you on.

Mac Pro 5,1 Quad-Core W3565 Xeon at 3.2GHz
16GB of RAM 1066MHz DDR3
Currently running macOS Sierra and cannot upgrade past High Sierra because of the software we need to use for work.
We're basically stuck on Illustrator CC2015 because of specific plugins for industrial software.
Obviously not gaming, so we're not doing 3D graphics or anything, but I thought with hardware GPU acceleration we'd see a noticeable difference in general responsiveness, but there's literally no difference between the 580 and the 5770.
 

teagls

macrumors regular
May 16, 2013
202
101
Regarding UI acceleration, I would think it is w/ your High Sierra system, too, but I'm certain that it is in Mojave, as the UI is based on Metal and Metal-capable cards such as the RX 580 are required. So, you might want to create a test partition on one of your machines, upgrade it to Mojave, and see if it makes a difference. Again, though, if you can provide specifics about your systems, there might be other things we can spot and advise you on.

High Sierra does contain the Metal version of Window Server. So it's fully metal enabled.
 

fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
629
413
Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
Mac Pro 5,1 Quad-Core W3565 Xeon at 3.2GHz
16GB of RAM 1066MHz DDR3
Currently running macOS Sierra and cannot upgrade past High Sierra because of the software we need to use for work.
We're basically stuck on Illustrator CC2015 because of specific plugins for industrial software.
Obviously not gaming, so we're not doing 3D graphics or anything, but I thought with hardware GPU acceleration we'd see a noticeable difference in general responsiveness, but there's literally no difference between the 580 and the 5770.
Ah, I see. Clock speed is not bad— only 266MHz below max— so that helps single-core performance. Obviously more cores would be nice. The biggest problem may be the Sierra limitation. The RX 580 _is_ supported in 10.12.6, but I'm not sure how well those drivers work. I feel like I've heard @tsialex mention at some point that 10.12.6 works, but the drivers for 10.13.6 and 10.14.x work better.

Also, it's worth considering that Adobe CC 2015 might not be very well optimized (LOL...Adobe and "optimized" in the same sentence) for any improvements to the UI/HW acceleration that would come along w/ an RX 580. In 2015, Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan would have just been released, so a version or 2 before good support of a newer RX 580-type card.
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High Sierra does contain the Metal version of Window Server. So it's fully metal enabled.
Okay, thanks. Any chance that Mojave having Metal as a requirement (and the UI being horrendously slow w/o it) means its UI is better optimized for it? Not that it makes a difference for the OP in this case w/ 10.12 Sierra...
 

teagls

macrumors regular
May 16, 2013
202
101
Ah, I see. Clock speed is not bad— only 266MHz below max— so that helps single-core performance. Obviously more cores would be nice. The biggest problem may be the Sierra limitation. The RX 580 _is_ supported in 10.12.6, but I'm not sure how well those drivers work. I feel like I've heard @tsialex mention at some point that 10.12.6 works, but the drivers for 10.13.6 and 10.14.x work better.

Okay, thanks. Any chance that Mojave having Metal as a requirement (and the UI being horrendously slow w/o it) means its UI is better optimized for it? Not that it makes a difference for the OP in this case w/ 10.12 Sierra...

He got a good score on GeekBench with the 580. Which would indicate to me the drivers are good enough.

I can't give you a hard answer on Mojave metal requirement. My guess is Apple had to maintain some compatibility with OpenGL while they transitioned to deprecating it in Mojave. Might be some optimization on the Metal side, but I think it was just the transition to deprecating OpenGL.
 

Jayson A

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Sep 16, 2014
2,671
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Ah, I see. Clock speed is not bad— only 266MHz below max— so that helps single-core performance. Obviously more cores would be nice. The biggest problem may be the Sierra limitation. The RX 580 _is_ supported in 10.12.6, but I'm not sure how well those drivers work. I feel like I've heard @tsialex mention at some point that 10.12.6 works, but the drivers for 10.13.6 and 10.14.x work better.

Also, it's worth considering that Adobe CC 2015 might not be very well optimized (LOL...Adobe and "optimized" in the same sentence) for any improvements to the UI/HW acceleration that would come along w/ an RX 580. In 2015, Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan would have just been released, so a version or 2 before good support of a newer RX 580-type card.
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Okay, thanks. Any chance that Mojave having Metal as a requirement (and the UI being horrendously slow w/o it) means its UI is better optimized for it? Not that it makes a difference for the OP in this case w/ 10.12 Sierra...

Yeah I don't notice any difference in High Sierra 10.13.6 either. To me, it's exactly the same as Sierra 10.12.6 so in which case, we didn't even update to High Sierra.
 

fhturner

macrumors 6502a
Nov 7, 2007
629
413
Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
Yeah I don't notice any difference in High Sierra 10.13.6 either. To me, it's exactly the same as Sierra 10.12.6 so in which case, we didn't even update to High Sierra.
Okay. I'm obviously reaching a bit to try to explain why you're not seeing an improvement, but there may not be an answer. What you're doing may simply not be improved by a new GPU. The more testing and comparing you can do, the better, I would say. If you can do that test partition and maybe also install a trial of Illustrator and Photoshop CC 2020, you can compare how the most current software runs vs. what your production setup is. That'll either tell you it is improved w/ newer components, or it's the same. Then you'll know if you should push for updated plugins (if any are available) and newer versions for production.
 

Jayson A

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Sep 16, 2014
2,671
1,935
This is most likely your issue ... too low.

I bet I would notice a way bigger difference in Windows from 5770 to RX 580 and I'm not talking about gaming. Just general UI fluidity.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,425
737
In my experience, for general use running Sierra with a GT120 and 8GB on a SATA SSD saw no real improvement with a processor bump (W3560 to X5680), RX580, NVMe SSD, and 32GB RAM. That is, general web browsing, boot times etc - no real difference. Editing video? From unworkable to butter. HD was sort of OK. But now I drive with 2 or 3 screens (1x4K). Can play demanding 4K videos, and edit 4K 150Mbps footage. When applying effects, there is a momentarily lag before resuming, like sub second. Note that I am running the first attempt at AMD hardware acceleration - accelerates h264 en/decode and h265 decode. The OpenCore method recommended above is good, but I am not there, yet.

I think it is important to consider that one's work environment is complex. How the app developer uses system resources, what resources you make available, and so on. Apple makes comprehensive use of available GPU resources in FCPX, at least in my experience. With other developers it varies. I notice no GPU being used in CS6 apps, even with hardware acceleration enabled. Apparently CS6 apps are primarily CPU driven.

Back to your situation: Have you used Activity Monitor to bring up CPU and GPU loads? Have you tested the SSD to make sure it's doing as good as it can (probably 500 MB/sec or so for SATA ?II connection)? From the looks of it you're 10%-ish off optimal with processor and memory, where optimal would be a x5690 and 1333 memory. Is your workspace SSD or an HDD? Is there a cache disk? My thinking is you shouldn't be getting stuttering - something is holding it back.

As cMP fades into the sunset, the RX580 was the choice for me. It was reasonably priced, Apple recommended and supported in the apps I use, and more importantly helped it move past HS to Mojave, perhaps a couple of more releases.
 

eicca

Suspended
Oct 23, 2014
1,773
3,600
My RX580 runs wonderfully in Mojave with only 12GB of whatever RAM came stock in this computer. The general system UI is very fluid. There are some places where the lag still happens like you say, namely resizing windows and things because that's also very much CPU based. I have dual 2.4ghz quad cores. It is, at the end of the day, an ancient computer.

That said, the RX580 is best enjoyed with a Windows Bootcamp setup. All my games in macOS still run terrible because nobody wants to take the time to port stuff to Metal. Same games in Windows run amazing. I can play CoD Warzone at medium-high graphics at 60fps. Comparatively, Cod 4 Modern Warfare (that's right, the 2007 one) gets as low as 30fps in macOS thanks to terrible OpenGL implementation.
 
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Andrew Montreal

macrumors member
Jul 24, 2022
51
5
Hi all,

To the OP… did you find a solution?

I have been having the same issue and it is painful. I spent a month researching graphic cards and OS’s and testing 4k screens. I thought all was good. When I came back a month later after dealing with other non-computer related stuff, I tried working in Logic Pro and it is horrible. As in it takes three seconds for the record button to activate once I click it. If I move a region it takes four seconds to actually move.

I did move from a PCIe card audio interface to a USB 2.0 interface. Perhaps that is the issue?

My setup:

Mac Pro 5,1 (2010 I believe)
Mojave
3.33GHz Hexacore
24GB RAM (the original speed)
RX 580 (with proper powering from two cables)
SSD for OS drive
SSD for separate audio drive
Logic Pro (the latest one that works with Mojave)
Audio Interface connected via USB 2.0
Dell U2322 4k connected via HDMI


Any way to make this work? When I put back my older OS SSD drive, original video card, and 1080p screen, all is fine.

Andrew
 

Andrew Montreal

macrumors member
Jul 24, 2022
51
5
Just installed an RX 580 in our Mac Pros at work last week and honestly can't even tell a difference. Scrolling still stutters, animations still stutter. Illustrator and Photoshop are still just as fast as before. What do I have to do to notice a difference with this card vs the old Radeon 5770?

I ran GeekBench and got a super high score. I went from about 10,000 points on the 5770 to 130,000 points on the 580 but that's literally the only place I could tell a difference.

I thought at least scrolling and general UI snappiness would be improved like moving windows around, resizing windows, scrolling and minimizing/maximizing windows, but everything still stutters just as much as before.

Anyways, what can I do to see a noticeable difference vs my old 5770 1GB?

I've tried both macOS Sierra and High Sierra and it was the same on both. No noticeable difference.

One last thing, even playing 4K youtube videos stutter at 60fps.
Were you ever able to make it run smoothly?
 

Andrew Montreal

macrumors member
Jul 24, 2022
51
5
Try it on Display Port.
I never use HDMI if possible.
Sadly the Display Port was just as slow. Any other suggestions?

This is quite the disappointment. I spent a good month doing my research and testing. Bought a really lovely screen. At this point it seems for naught. Anyone?

Thanks in advance.
 
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