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MP 1,1-5,1 Mac Pro 5.1 GPU upgrade/OS compatibility query

Markco

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 8, 2020
4
0
Hi guys,

I have a quad-core Mac Pro 5.1 (2010) running El Capitan and unfortunately my GPU (radeon 5770) died (monitor has no signal but I could still listen to video playing).

GPU selection with Mac Pro compatibility is fairly non existant where I live right now, and since I do no graphic-intensive work apart from moderate photoshop editing, zero gaming, and video viewing limited to youtube, I'd like to keep GPU costs low since my 5770 was more than adequate for the past 10 years.

I've narrowed down my choice to a Sapphire Radeon RX 560 4GB Pulse (11267-18), which after enough forum reserach looks like it's compatible OOB.

My question is: can I replace my dead 5770 with the RX 560 while running El Capitan, which doesn't support polaris, and still be able to upgrade to high sierra, or will I still get no signal to my monitor unless I buy a GPU supported by El Capitan?

I appreciate any help with this and sorry for the long post.
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,354
8,867
Hi guys,

I have a quad-core Mac Pro 5.1 (2010) running El Capitan and unfortunately my GPU (radeon 5770) died (monitor has no signal but I could still listen to video playing).

GPU selection with Mac Pro compatibility is fairly non existant where I live right now, and since I do no graphic-intensive work apart from moderate photoshop editing, zero gaming, and video viewing limited to youtube, I'd like to keep GPU costs low since my 5770 was more than adequate for the past 10 years.

I've narrowed down my choice to a Sapphire Radeon RX 560 4GB Pulse (11267-18), which after enough forum reserach looks like it's compatible OOB.

My question is: can I replace my dead 5770 with the RX 560 while running El Capitan, which doesn't support polaris, and still be able to upgrade to high sierra, or will I still get no signal to my monitor unless I buy a GPU supported by El Capitan?

I appreciate any help with this and sorry for the long post.
Installing a Polaris GPU on a El Capitan Mac will not work AT ALL, no display. First macOS release that have Polaris support is 10.12.6 and it's buggier as it can be.

Second thing, you will not install HighSierra or Mojave if you don't have at least MP51.0089.B00 as your BootROM. If you have any earlier release you will need an AppleOEM GPU to upgrade to it first. Read the first post of the stickie:

MP5,1: What you have to do to upgrade to Mojave (BootROM upgrade instructions thread)
 
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Markco

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 8, 2020
4
0
Installing a Polaris GPU on a El Capitan Mac will not work AT ALL, no display. First macOS release that have Polaris support is 10.12.6 and it's buggier as it can be.

Second thing, you will not install HighSierra or Mojave if you don't have at least MP51.0089.B00 as your BootROM. If you have any earlier release you will need an AppleOEM GPU to upgrade to it first. Read the first post of the stickie:

MP5,1: What you have to do to upgrade to Mojave (BootROM upgrade instructions thread)

Hi Alex; I appreciate the quick response.

From what I understand, since I can't install a new Polaris card, my only choice is to order another Mac Edition GPU like the 5770, 5870, or R9 280, which are natively compatible with El Capitan in order to upgrade my BootROM and eventually be able to install High Sierra.

My last question is if it's possible to install an Nvidia GPU instead like an MSI GT 710 or a Zotac GT 730, which are available locally, since my primary concern is to just quickly resolve the issue regardless of what OS I'm running. If neither of these cards are compatible with El Capitan, I'll simply follow your advice and order a Mac Edition GPU.

Once again, thank you for your help.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,354
8,867
Hi Alex; I appreciate the quick response.

From what I understand, since I can't install a new Polaris card, my only choice is to order another Mac Edition GPU like the 5770, 5870, or R9 280, which are natively compatible with El Capitan in order to upgrade my BootROM and eventually be able to install High Sierra.

My last question is if it's possible to install an Nvidia GPU instead like an MSI GT 710 or a Zotac GT 730, which are available locally, since my primary concern is to just quickly resolve the issue regardless of what OS I'm running. If neither of these cards are compatible with El Capitan, I'll simply follow your advice and order a Mac Edition GPU.

Once again, thank you for your help.
From what you posted above, seems that you didn't fully understand the requirements. There are several requirements for firmware upgrades and High Sierra and Mojave have very different ones, an AppleOEM GPU is a requirement of the firmware upgrade process until you have MP51.0089.B00.

You can buy/borrow an Apple GT120 for the High Sierra firmware upgrade. Please fully read the post that I linked, I'm not going to write it again here.
 
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Markco

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 8, 2020
4
0
I admittedly replied in haste after only partially skimming through some of the linked post.

I wasn't even planning about upgrading my OS, I just thought it was a requirement in order to install a Polaris-based GPU, which I could simply buy tomorrow from a local shop.

What I really want is a card that's compatible with El Capitan that would give my an operational machine tomorrow without having to wait for a delivery period.

Apologies for wasting your time and thank you for all the information you've provided.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,354
8,867
I admittedly replied in haste after only partially skimming through some of the linked post.

I wasn't even planning about upgrading my OS, I just thought it was a requirement in order to install a Polaris-based GPU, which I could simply buy tomorrow from a local shop.

What I really want is a card that's compatible with El Capitan that would give my an operational machine tomorrow without having to wait for a delivery period.

Apologies for wasting your time and thank you for all the information you've provided.
El Capitan support is limited to Mac Pro compatible AMD GPUs from HD 2600XT, HD 4870, HD 5770/5870, HD7950 to R9-280x. NVIDIA from 8800GT/GT120 to GTX 680. From both ranges there are lot's of AMD and NVIDIA GPUs that are not supported by the drivers and won't work at all, so do you research before buying something, there is a thread stickie about GPUs.

I wouldn't keep using El Capitan as my macOS release, Apple removed security updates support long ago and now current browsers don't even work. Since Apple supports the current release and the two previous ones, even High Sierra has a just month or two of support and then will be declared obsolete.
 
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Melbourne Park

macrumors 6502
Mar 5, 2012
324
40
Seems like you'll have to buy a used factory Mac Pro card, there are plenty around, and they are cheap. At the same time, I would buy a new cable for the card to the monitor. That may have failed. If you can borrow one, I'd check that before buying a replacement card. Does the card spin up, and is it shown in the "About this Mac" hardware checks?

It might also be time to open your computer case and clean the dust from your Mac Pro.

And also make sure you have good back up, doing so these days is quite cheap.

Eventually all 5,1 Mac Pros will not be protected from virus issues etc. due to Apple no longer supporting the platform. Perhaps there is 3rd party protection for security?
 
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yurc

macrumors 6502a
Aug 12, 2016
667
718
inside your DSDT
I gave up my El Capitan installation eventually, after nearly used four years since it was introduced due limited support from third party software no longer supporting OSX 10.11 anymore.

I think you should upgrade at least to Mojave for better security and newer firmware, but if you insist for El Capitan, just snatch OOB Kepler based NVIDIA cards, GTX 680 / 770 are still decent performer.

Alternatively Maxwell based card is also works, but it required additional homework searching compatible web driver matching with OSX build number.

Since it was outdated OS, just keep it less exposed with internet and you'll fine.
 
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Markco

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 8, 2020
4
0
Thank you all for the responses. I'll make sure I find a Mac Pro card compatible with El Capitan in order to resolve my current issue, and then try to upgrade to a newer OS with a newer card after going through the instructions thread.
 
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