Mojave on 2012 MacPro5.1 - bad idea?

JoeStrummer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 27, 2019
22
1
South Africa
I am on a single processor 'mid-2012' MacPro 5.1. I was running along reasonably happy on High Sierra then decided I needed to go to Mojave because of wanting some Photoshop plugs-in that will only run on Mojave. So I decided to throw some money at it.
Upgraded the CPU to a 6-core Xeon 3.46 ghz
Upgraded to GPU to Radeon R9 280X
Installed a new 500 g SSD as the boot drive
32 gb RAM
Fresh install of OS
Fresh install of Photoshop

But to my frustration it feels like a step backwards. I work mostly with large files in PS, and the new set-up is definitely slower. Saves take FOREVER! Generally much much slower and un-responsive. I spoke to a technician and he says he guesses the problem is that the new OS and the old motherboard are just not that compatible. The bus speeds on the motherboard are too slow for Mojave and he suggests going back to Sierra?

I was wondering what other peoples experience was like when running Mojave on MacPro5.1?
Any advice would be great!
Thanks
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2012
2,671
1,306
Which plugins are Mojave only?

What type of SSD? Brand/model? PCIe adapter or via SATA sled?

Authentic PS CC 2019?

Separate scratch SSD for PS or everything going to system drive?
 

t8er8

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2017
218
94
Quebec, Canada
If anything Mojave should be faster, it might be PS incompatibility with Mojave, a Photoshop reinstall could help or just make sure you’re up to date. If that doesn’t help try reinstalling Mojave, with could fix various installation issues.

Also I’ve heard stories of people running with pcie ssd’s and getting very slow speeds on Mojave. Also it depends on where your photoshop saves are going to
 

flaubert

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2015
258
41
Portland, Oregon
Since you mentioned file saves specifically as a slower operation, I’m betting that what you’re seeing is essentially the difference in speed between the file systems APFS and HFS+. APFS benchmarks as slower than HFS+.
 

Macdctr

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
615
294
Ocean State
When I upgraded my 5,1 MP to Mojave, I got a PCIe NVMe M.2 card and a 2TB Samsung 970 EVO M.2 drive.

My Mac has been responsive using this setup. I’m getting close to 1400 MB/s write speeds with this setup.

I have no complaints.
 

JoeStrummer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 27, 2019
22
1
South Africa
Thanks for all the replies!

"Which plugins are Mojave only?"
- Topaz A.I. Gigapixel
"What type of SSD? Brand/model? PCIe adapter or via SATA sled?"
- Currently I am booting to a Samsung 860 EVO 500g which is on a SATA sled.
"Authentic PS CC 2019?"
-Yes. And after installing OS I did a fresh install of PS direct from Adobe
"Separate scratch SSD for PS or everything going to system drive?"
- Crucial 256g SSD in the optical bay as scratch disk

I also tried a OWC 240g SSD on a PCIe sled but that actually felt worse?

Also, since installing the Radeon R9 280X I am getting a flickering screen. I have reseated the card a couple of times and the issue seems to have settled down but still happens occasionally. For example when opening a file in PS screen flashes, or at other random moments. I thought this might be a piece of software somewhere in the background trying to launch and creating a conflict but have looked but can't find anything?

The slower PS is frustrating. The APFS vs HFS+ file system as mentioned above as a possible cause is interesting and not something I had considered.

I am going to take machine in to my local tech next week and he is going to run hardware diagonistic and see if he can pick up anything. Maybe I didn't install the CPU correctly or something? If nothing shows up then I might just go back to High Sierra?

Thanks
 
Last edited:

bsbeamer

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Sep 19, 2012
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tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
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Brazil
Topaz is NOT Mojave only:
https://help.topazlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012811791-A-I-Gigapixel-Minimum-Requirements-and-Recommended-Hardware

Your GPU is technically not officially approved by Apple for use in Mojave. Also not 100% it works with Topaz in macOS, but that’s another issue. Would really suggest you look at an RX 560 or 580 8GB if using Mojave.

Also as an FYI, you cannot get official Adobe support until your machine is “qualified” to minimum specs.
Did you read about the official eGPU support for RX 560? I'm seriously thinking into not suggesting RX 560 GPUs anymore.

With all restrictions Apple are imposing to RX 560 GPUs, seems a bad fit from now on. I know that for now it's only for eGPU, but we know how Apple works with code sharing and I bet this will slowly mixup with PCIe drivers.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2012
2,671
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Did you read about the official eGPU support for RX 560? I'm seriously thinking into not suggesting RX 560 GPUs anymore.

With all restrictions Apple are imposing to RX 560 GPUs, seems a bad fit from now on. I know that for now it's only for eGPU, but we know how Apple works with code sharing and I bet this will slowly mixup with PCIe drivers.
Saw the “puck” 560 eGPU was finally (re)approved and it’s pretty clear it’s not the solution Apple wants moving forward with the restrictions in place. Seems they want high end only, especially with the newer Blackmagic Pro model.

I stick with RX 580. Also think the 560’s are underpowered for relative minor price difference, especially when I purchased.

...BUT I do realize not everyone’s budgets are the same. Added to the mix: the Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB are out of stock nearly everywhere right now. (Some of) the XFX and MSI models look close, but they’re not officially on the Apple approved list. Doubt that list will be expanded. (Do they likely work the same? Yes.)
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
12,990
5,867
Hong Kong
Also, since installing the Radeon R9 280X I am getting a flickering screen. I have reseated the card a couple of times and the issue seems to have settled down but still happens occasionally. For example when opening a file in PS screen flashes, or at other random moments. I thought this might be a piece of software somewhere in the background trying to launch and creating a conflict but have looked but can't find anything?
Sounds like the very old bug. If your monitor has 2nd input, try connect the 2nd input to the 280X as well. You can run it as mirror display. So, effectively still the same single monitor setup, but the GPU will believe it has two separated connected.

If the flickering disappear in any multi monitor setup (including this visual dual monitors mirror setup). Then it's an Apple driver bug. AFAIK, Apple never fix this bug since the HD7950 introduced.
 

JoeStrummer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 27, 2019
22
1
South Africa
Sounds like the very old bug. If your monitor has 2nd input, try connect the 2nd input to the 280X as well. You can run it as mirror display. So, effectively still the same single monitor setup, but the GPU will believe it has two separated connected.

If the flickering disappear in any multi monitor setup (including this visual dual monitors mirror setup). Then it's an Apple driver bug. AFAIK, Apple never fix this bug since the HD7950 introduced.
ok great thanks will try that
[doublepost=1550933238][/doublepost]
Test the SSD speed with a tool like Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and post the results.

Have Trim enabled ?
Only getting about 270MB/s read and write speeds on my system SSD
 

MVMNT

macrumors regular
Apr 28, 2010
110
66
I’m assuming you’ve tried running PS without the plugin?

Try a 2018/17 CC variant install without the plugin also.

Have you tried any other Adobe apps with similar results?
 

MevetS

macrumors newbie
Dec 27, 2018
29
11
Earth
I upgraded to Mojave just last night. My system is a 2010, 2.8 MHz processor, 32 GB RAM, Sapphire Pulse RX 580.

I have found the Photoshop saves are noticeably faster. Today I was saving 80+ MB TIFFs. I do not use the Topaz plugin.

As part of my upgrade to Mojave I had issues with a hard drive. You can read about it in this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/it-boots-it-doesnt-boot-it-boots-again.2168436/

That prompted me to research hard drives and the result was that I upgraded my boot drive from a 500 GB Crucial MX100 SSD to a 500 GB Crucial MX500 SSD. I also added a Seagate 2 TB FireCuda drive replacing the original 1 TB hard drive that came with the system; this drive holds my ingested image files. I save the files to an external Western Digital 8 TB USB3 hard drive.

I realize that it has only been one day, but Mojave seems snappier then High Sierra for me. I'm sure that the new Crucial and Seagate drives have something to do with this.

Good luck getting your setup sorted.
 
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JoeStrummer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 27, 2019
22
1
South Africa
Thanks to everyone who has offered advice and suggestions to my original post - some very helpful stuff
And sorry for delayed response been buried with work - and the machine in question is part of a busy production set-up.

As mentioned in my original post, I upgraded my mid2012 Mac Pro 5.1 to Mojave from High Sierra. At the same time. I installed a new CPU (3.46ghz 6-core Xeon) and a new GPU (R9 280X). Booting from a Samsung 860 evo 500gb SSD (via SATA sled).

I was disappointed and frustrated by the 'slowness' of the new system. I work mostly in PS with large (and sometimes huge) files. And the whole system felt sluggish. PS saves (and opening) of large files very slow - but also just basic thing like opening a brush tool in PS gives me a spinning beach ball for 3 to 5 seconds.

I was also experiencing screen flashes or flickers. Especially when opening files or programs the monitor 'flickers' or 'flashes'. I thought maybe there was some software in the background trying to launch, and problem did improve after doing a careful clean and deleting some old programs (especially i1Profilier Tray). h9826790 (above) suggested using the 2nd input on the monitor and attaching same monitor to GPU again, and running as a 'mirror' set up. This helped a lot, thanks! But not entirely.

It has been opined to me that the GPU (R9 280X) is 'below spec' and I really need something like a RX 580 8g and this might solve the flickering screen entirely (and speed up the whole system?).

What I have done is order a PCIe NVMe M.2 card (the Aquacomputer kryoM.2 evo) and a NVMe M.2 drive (the Samsung 970 Evo Pro 500g). I plan to instal the M.2 drive as my boot drive. I am hoping the the increase in read/write speeds will give me the system speed I need?

My understanding is that it is now possible in Mojave to boot from a NVMe drive?

I will then try and find/save the money to upgrade the GPU!

Thanks again for all the advice.
 
Last edited:

startergo

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2018
1,278
468
Thanks to everyone who has offered advice and suggestions to my original post - some very helpful stuff
And sorry for delayed response been buried with work - and the machine in question ( a Mac Pro5.1) is part of a busy production set-up.

As mentioned in my original post, I upgraded my mid2012 Mac Pro 5.1 to Mojave from High Sierra. At the same time. I installed a new CPU (3.46ghz 6-core Xeon) and a new GPU (R9 280X). Booting from a Samsung 860 evo 500gb SSD (via SATA sled).

I was disappointed and frustrated by the 'slowness' of the new system. I work mostly in PS with large (and sometimes huge) files. And the whole system felt sluggish. PS saves (and opening) of large files very slow - but also just basic thing like opening a brush tool in PS gives me a spinning beach ball for 3 to 5 seconds.

I was also experiencing screen flashes or flickers. Especially when opening files or programs the monitor 'flickers' or 'flashes'. I thought maybe there was some software in the background trying to launch, and problem did improve after doing a careful clean and deleting some old programs (especially i1Profilier Tray). h9826790 (above) suggested using the 2nd input on the monitor and attaching same monitor to GPU again, and running as a 'mirror' set up. This helped a lot, thanks! But not entirely.

It has been opined to me that the GPU (R9 280X) is 'below spec' and I really need something like a RX 580 8g and this might solve the flickering screen entirely (and speed up the whole system?).

What I have done is order a PCIe NVMe M.2 card (the Aquacomputer kryoM.2 evo) and a NVMe M.2 drive (the Samsung 970 Evo Pro 500g). I plan to instal the M.2 drive as my boot drive. I am hoping the the increase in read/write speeds will give me the system speed I need?

My understanding is that it is now possible in Mojave to boot from a NVMe drive?

I will then try and find/save the money to upgrade the GPU!

Thanks again for all the advice.
If you have 140 ROM you will be able to boot from NVME . You can expect 1500ish read speed on this drive with your setup . Of course it will not fix the flickering issue . Perhaps you have a bad card?
 

AlexMaximus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2006
845
247
A400M Base
Hey Joe,

The new AMD GPU cards are a lot better than the ones in the past, I can promise you that. It is hard to believe, but with the right configuration, you will be absolutely happy with Mojave. I am crafty, so it was fun to do the Pixla's mod for a Vega 64. (I do recommend it if you want to go all Vega) Don't underestimate the cMP, it still is and was the very best computer ever that Apple offered till this day.
Any new Mac Pro will have a very hard time to beat the reliability and durability of a 5.1 tower. With an NVMe and a newer GPU, you should be very happy on the Mojave MacOS.
 

Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,953
817
Saw the “puck” 560 eGPU was finally (re)approved and it’s pretty clear it’s not the solution Apple wants moving forward with the restrictions in place. Seems they want high end only, especially with the newer Blackmagic Pro model.

I stick with RX 580. Also think the 560’s are underpowered for relative minor price difference, especially when I purchased.

...BUT I do realize not everyone’s budgets are the same. Added to the mix: the Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB are out of stock nearly everywhere right now. (Some of) the XFX and MSI models look close, but they’re not officially on the Apple approved list. Doubt that list will be expanded. (Do they likely work the same? Yes.)
Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8 GB: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202278&Description=Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB&cm_re=Sapphire_Pulse_RX_580_8GB-_-14-202-278-_-Product

Avoid the RX 560, no support in macOS for HDCP-protected content from iTunes along with streaming services is DOA.
 

MIKX

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,291
478
Japan
1.
It has been opined to me that the GPU (R9 280X) is 'below spec' and I really need something like a RX 580 8g and this might solve the flickering screen entirely (and speed up the whole system?).

2.
What I have done is order a PCIe NVMe M.2 card (the Aquacomputer kryoM.2 evo) and a NVMe M.2 drive (the Samsung 970 Evo Pro 500g). I plan to instal the M.2 drive as my boot drive. I am hoping the the increase in read/write speeds will give me the system speed I need?

3.
My understanding is that it is now possible in Mojave to boot from a NVMe drive?
1.
I use an EFI flashed Sapphire Dual-X 3 gb which is what the R9 280X was upgraded from.
I power it with an EVGA Powerlink. Works great, never any flickering.
2.
I use ( currently for testing ) Mojave 10.14.3 on a HFS+ formatted Samsung EVO 960. M.2 NVMe blade. Mojave 10.14.3 runs very well on this blade.
( NOTE : I initially installed Mojave to an APFS formatted spare 960 EVO m.2 and then cloned it using Carbon Copy Cloner to the HSF+ formatted 960 EVO. it runs just fine in PCIe slot 2)

Samsung 960 EVO m.2 NVMe 250gb-DiskSpeedTest.png


3.
Yes, if your cMP's bootrom is 140.0.0.0 you can boot from an NVMe M.2 drive.

=========================================
Q : What is the brand of your R9 280X ( you stated "Radeon" but that is also the reference design that GPU companies use. )

Q : What is your current bootrom version ?

=========================================

A clean install is always better if your work is important.

I highly recommend the 500gb Samsung M.2 NVMe 970 Pro ( 250gb is slower ).
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
5,613
6,440
Brazil
1.
I use an EFI flashed Sapphire Dual-X 3 gb which is what the R9 280X was upgraded from.
I power it with an EVGA Powerlink. Works great, never any flickering.
2.
I use ( currently for testing ) Mojave 10.14.3 on a HFS+ formatted Samsung EVO 960. M.2 NVMe blade.
( NOTE : I initially installed Mojave to an APFS formatted spare 960 EVO m.2 and then cloned it using Carbon Copy Cloner to the HSF+ formatted 960 EVO. it runs just fine in PCIe slot 2

View attachment 824169

3.
Yes, if your cMP's bootrom is 140.0.0.0 you can boot from an NVMe M.2 drive.

=========================================
Q : What is the brand of your R9 280X ( you stated "Radeon" but that is also the reference design that GPU companies use. )

Q : What is your current bootrom version ?

=========================================

A clean install is always better if your work is important.

I highly recommend the 500gb Samsung M.2 NVMe 970 Pro ( 250gb is slower ).
You fully know that when Apple releases 10.14.4, you won't be updating to it since Mojave can't do updates when installed into a HFS+ filesystem?
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
5,566
1,977
What I have done is order a PCIe NVMe M.2 card (the Aquacomputer kryoM.2 evo) and a NVMe M.2 drive (the Samsung 970 Evo Pro 500g). I plan to instal the M.2 drive as my boot drive. I am hoping the the increase in read/write speeds will give me the system speed I need?
No such thing as an "Evo Pro", it's either a 970 Evo or a 970 Pro. Since it's 500GB, it would be a 970 Evo. Good choice on the adapter.

Lou
 

MIKX

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,291
478
Japan
You fully know that when Apple releases 10.14.4, you won't be updating to it since Mojave can't do updates when installed into a HFS+ filesystem?
Hi Alex

Yes, I initially installed Mojave to a spare APFS SSD .. then used CCC to clone that install to an hfs+ 960 EVO M.2.

I'm keeping the APFS SSD Mojave 10.14.3 install intact until Mojave goes GM.

Then I will CCC clone it again to the 960 EVO M.2