Mac Pro 5,1 newbie - AMD vs NVidia

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by damiadotno, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. damiadotno macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #1
    I have a bit of a newbie question.

    In a few days, I will be getting a Mac Pro 5,1 with dual Xeon 3.46Gb, 64 Gb of RAM and an Nvidia 1050 Ti. GPU. As far as I know, I will need to upgrade the Nvidia drivers if I wanted to upgrade the OS from Sierra (already installed) to High Sierra. I have been reading that drivers for AMD GPUs are already built into the system and I was thinking of replacing the 1050 Ti with an RX 580.

    Is my assumption correct, that I won't need to worry about installing updated drivers with the AMD GPU?
     
  2. StuAff macrumors regular

    StuAff

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    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #2
    AMD Drivers are in the OS, no separate downloads required or even available. Simple kext edit with iHex if you want the card name to show up in system profiles rather than 'AMD R9 xxx'.
     
  3. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

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    Oct 28, 2017
    #3
    Thank you for confirming my assumptions!
     
  4. Naimfan macrumors 601

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #4
    I just replaced a 1050Ti with an RX-580 (with thanks to those who nudged me that way!).

    Works well. Do make sure you have or order a dual 6 pin mini to 8 pin cable.
     
  5. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

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    Oct 28, 2017
    #5
    Thank you for the feedback! Did you buy that cable online? I seem to have a hard time finding one where I live.
     
  6. StuAff macrumors regular

    StuAff

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    Portsmouth, UK
    #6
  7. Squuiid macrumors 65816

    Squuiid

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #7
    Or buy a Sapphire RX 580 PULSE 8GB and you won’t need to edit a thing. Runs out of the box and displays name correctly.
    This model is used in Apple’s eGPU dev kit and hence more supported than others.
     
  8. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

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    Oct 28, 2017
    #8
    I was actually undecided between MSI and Sapphire. Given that the price difference between them is minimal, I might as well get the Sapphire.
     
  9. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

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    Oct 28, 2017
    #9
    Do you know if the Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ be equally supported as the Pulse?
     
  10. Squuiid macrumors 65816

    Squuiid

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #10
    It is not.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
    #11
    Nitro+ will also work in MacOS. It won't identify itself correctly (pure cosmetic), HOWEVER, the real challenge is the Nitro+ is a 6+8pin card, PULSE is a 8pin card. It may be a bit more challenging to power the Nitro+ "correctly". However, by considering that config is mainly for OC. You can actually safely power the Nitro+'s 6+8 pin by just the 2x mini 6pin from the logic board, but you need to get the correct cable to do so.
     
  12. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

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    Oct 28, 2017
    #12
    Thanks everybody for the help. At this point, I think I will go with the Sapphire RX 580 Pulse, if I can find it, or with the MSI RX 580. Both of them are 8-pin boards and I was finally ablee to get a hold of a dual 6-pin to 8-pin adapter. I know that it is technically possible to use a single 6-pin to 8-pin, but I believe it isn't really advisable.
     
  13. pierrox macrumors regular

    pierrox

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    Jun 19, 2015
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #13
    If you can get one!
    It seems that Sapphire no longer produces it - several shops list it as "no longer part of our catalog" here in France. And on Amazon, it's listed as "available soon we'll let you know when".
    Or Apple bought them all to have spares...
     
  14. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

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    Oct 28, 2017
    #14
    It's actually proving to be quite difficult here in Singapore, as well! I find a used, 4Gb version on a local classifieds website, but I am not even sure if the 4Gb is supported out of the box like the 8Gb version (and I would prefer to get something new). I will probably end up getting the MSI.
     
  15. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
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    #15
    Yes, 4GB card also supported OOTB, but not that highly recommended. There is only one reason to use the PULSE because it's the exact Apple developer kit card, able to properly identify itself. However, this advantage ONLY exist on the PULSE 8GB card. The PULSE 4GB card has no difference than other 4GB card. It will work OOTB, but no extra benefit.
     
  16. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

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    Oct 28, 2017
    #16
    In that case, I'll just get the MSI. It'd be nice to see the correct card's name, but it isn't something I am overly concerned about.
     
  17. h9826790, Oct 29, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017

    h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #17
    You won't see the card's name generally unless you intentionally to call out something like the "About my Mac". It won't affect anything for real daily use.

    Anyway, Some info on that "About my Mac" page is editable at OS level. As you can see, I can make it display my Mac but not the Sierra picture. Make it display that I am using a 84" 4K TV, also make it display I am using a HD7950 + R9 280 Crossfire... This is just cosmetic. IMO, not bad to do that for fun, but not quite worth to pay significantly more money just for an identification which is editable. About my Mac - image corrected.jpg
    I am now waiting for my new monitor (Samsung CHG90), once it arrive, I will get a Nitro+ 8GB card as well (unless I suddenly want to try Vega56). I choose this because I will flash the ROM to make it run at lower voltage in MacOS. And Nitro+ has dual ROM design, much much more safe for ROM flashing. Once I get the monitor, my card, and my cables. I will try to edit the ROM and make MacOS identify the Nitro+ same as the PULSE card. I am not sure if it can work, but worth a try, and it won't break anything anyway.

    If that works, I will post the procedure how to make any RX580 (technically) to ident itself correctly in MacOS.
     
  18. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #18
    It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. I have tinkered with quite a bit of hardware in the past, but I don't think I want to trying flashing the ROM on a GPU... yet :) If you post a guide on how to do it, I will likely be tempted to try.

    Talking about monitors, I just got (two days ago) an Acer XR382CQK. I was also thinking about the Samsung CHG90, but decided against it as I wasn't too happy with the Samsung S34E790C I had before. The monitor worked fine, but I couldn't get the fonts to look smooth, no matter what settings I tried. The problem was only with macOS, by the way, as I tried it with a Windows PC and the text was very clear. In the end, I replaced the Samsung with a Dell U3415W, which worked much better - I got the Acer monitor only because it's bigger. Both the Dell U3415W and the Acer XR382CQK use LG panels and I must say that I like them much better than the Samsung.
     
  19. h9826790, Oct 29, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017

    h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
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    Hong Kong
    #19
    Thanks for the info. I am looking for a new monitor for quite a bit of time already, but still no attractable one.

    I don't really need 4K monitor. I have a 4K TV already. If I need to do anything in high resolution. I can use the TV.

    I used the 24" ACD before I switch to the 27". I believe it will be more comfortable. However, it's the other way around. Because the higher resolution, everything looks smaller, eventually I need to sit closer to the monitor, hard to sit back, release, and use my Mac.

    So, this time, I look for other resolution / size options. Initially, I look for the 4K monitor, but if I go for the 27 4K monitor, and use 1440P HiDPI, then I am actually facing the same situation as my 27 ACD.

    If I use it in 1080P, then there will be much less space to use.

    So, I look for the new 21:9 options, 3440x1440 doesn't looks worth to me. I still have to face that 1440P "too small problem", and 1440 is definitely not good for scaling to 1080. I tried that before, everything looks blur. Those 38" 3840x1600 model looks OK to me, I assume it will be OK to use in 1080 HiDPI. But when I was doing more study, I found this CHG90. It fit perfectly into my computer corner. Since it's literally 2x 27" 1080P monitor joining together. It's exactly what I want. I prefer the 1080P resolution on a 27" monitor in my setup, so that even I lay back, I can still easily read everything on the monitor. And it has exactly 2x 1080P working space for me. Sounds worth a try.

    I know it's a gaming monitor, not a working monitor. But I don't really need any professional stuff. I use my computer for fun, for leisure, and some times for gaming. Money is not a big issue for me luckily. So, I try a gaming monitor this time. Hopefully it will perform as I expected. The review seems not too bad at this moment. And TBH, I never use any Samsung final product (I know lots of my electronic stuff's parts are provided by Samsung, but I never use their brand's phone, TV, monitor, etc). I own LG products, and I am very happy with them (including my 84" 4K TV), but too bad that LG do not have any competitive model in this particular area. If they release a OLED 49" 3840x1080 monitor now, I am sure I will get that without think twice.
     
  20. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #20
    Just get the new monitor today. It's a Samsung CHG90, 32:9, 3840x1080, 144Hz. I quite like it. It's super wide, lots of room to work. The best thing is that without any gap. Now I can place 3 different sizes Windows side by side. Therefore, I can put the most important one right in front of me, make it a bit bigger, and the other 2 a bit smaller, and put them on the side as the assist windows. Very flexible, and very comfortable to use.
    SuperWide no seiral.jpg

    I also quite like the back light from the monitor. Now I can work / play comfortably with all other lights off, but can still easily read the keyboard.
    IMG_3111.jpg

    However, what surprise me is that MacOS has very good support on this thing but not Windows. In MacOS, it's totally plug and play. Not really able to achieve, but 120Hz, native 3840x1080 without any issues.

    But when I boot to Windows. Display port unable to display anything. I can get some image via the HDMI port, but the picture is wrong. It's stretched 1920x1080 picture, looks really bad. From the Windows setting, I can see that Windows actually able to detect the Display port input, however, in a ridiculous small resolution, and actually nothing can be display via display port.

    I tried a clean Windows 10 installation, same thing. Wrong picture all the way from installation start until AMD driver installed. So, I will delay my RX580 purchase, until I figure out how to make this thing work in Windows properly.
     
  21. damiadotno thread starter macrumors newbie

    damiadotno

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    #21
    Sorry to hear about the problems with the monitor. Honestly, I would have expected more issues with macOS than with Windows. In my case, I am not using Windows at all and I will try to install the RX 580 once the dual 6-pin to 8-pin cable comes in the mail. I just got my Mac Pro today and it's working very well with the 1050Ti (I almost feel bad for changing it, given how small and power efficient it is).
     
  22. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #22
    Same here, I expect I may need SwitchResX in MacOS, but natively supported in Windows 10. In the end, it's totally the other way around, really Strange.

    In fact, I am now tends to believe it's the GPU's problem. But may take another 1-2 weeks to do more test before I decide if I still want to get a new GPU for that.

    The bottom line is it works flawlessly on the MacOS side. That's all I need. Gaming in Windows is just optional. I will play with my XB1X soon anyway.
     
  23. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #23
    I wonder if the monitor is sending the correct EDID or maybe the EDID is getting corrupt. This can be fixed if you get an .INF file that properly described the monitor's capabilities. It would be great if Samsung provided one for download somewhere.

    Alternatively, assuming EDID is the problem, then you could use Custom Resolution Utility to modify it manually.

    By the way, sweet monitor!
     
  24. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #24
    Thanks for the info. Is this the firmware job to send the EDID to the computer?

    I may check if there is any firmware upgrade for the monitor
     
  25. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #25
    EDID is just temporary information that the monitor sends to the computer that describes the monitor's capabilities so that the computer knows what the monitor can handle. EDID is often wrong or corrupt, especially on OSX, but it happens in Windows too.

    A monitor's INF file is a little bit more permanent, acting sort of like a Windows driver for the monitor.

    I'm not sure what Custom Resolution Utility does, but I speculate that it is either temporarily overriding the EDID or it is doing what a monitor INF file does.

    So a firmware isn't really involved in any of these. But it is possible if this is a new monitor model that there could be problems with the monitor's early firmware and perhaps there will be a fix. I've never heard of that for a monitor though.
     

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