MP 1,1-5,1 MP5,1: Boot screens/UGA/GOP/HEVC GPU support and GPU SMC problems discussion

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tsialex

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Let's talk about Mac Pro 5,1 boot screens/UGA/GOP/HEVC GPU support and SMC issues with current GPUs here.

We can talk about this without cluttering the BootROM thread. It's a wiki post, let's use this first post to summarise things.
 
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tsialex

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I copied my answer to @PianoPro post in the BootROM thread, to start up here.

Seems like the original NVMe boot support topic ceased to be an issue with the release of the 140 FW.

So if this thread is now morphing into what else can Apple do to the BootROM to help the cMP then I think the issue of whether adding universal boot-screen support is a reasonable request fits perfectly as one of those topics. Is it something Apple could do with a BootROM firmware upgrade to empower all reasonably current video cards?
That is a tricky question since we don't know what Apple thinks about this or the way they going with MP51 support from now on. I don't think they will implement GOP with MP5,1, but they can address SMC issues with current GPUs.

Would such a BootROM solution fit in the available firmware space?
MP5,1 SPI-flash is only 32Mbit, didn't had enough space to implement Internet Recovery, but I think that a GOP/UGA translation/initialisation shim could be made within the available space existent if Apple really wanted to support 3rd party generic GPUs.

One ex-firmware engineer got in contact with me sometime ago talked about this and showed me some breadcrumbs.

Or would it be better to leave it to the video card manufacturers to add to future cards only as Nvidia has apparently done with the RTX 2080?
That's the best course of action in my opinion. NVIDIA showed that is possible and works nicely.
 
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crjackson2134

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So, I see three things that seem to be of primary concern where preboot video screens are wanted by most users.

1 - BootPicker

2 - Verbose boot output for troubleshooting

3 - FileVault access...

For my part, BootPicker has become unnecessary. If Windows is your concern, we can now apply a newer bootcamp driver in windows, and select out APFS / HFS+ drives for booting back to macOS, and it works very well for me. I haven’t investigated Linux installs yet, but I have a pretty good idea how to make that work too.

Verbose output would be really useful. I needed it just this week in fact. I installed my old EFI card for that purpose. However, I believe that you can boot into verbose mode without EFI. You won’t see the screen output, but if booting is successful, the verbose output may be sent to the BOOTLOG file contained in the EFI disk partition. I’m not certain on this, but I encourage others to investigate. I will do the same when time permits.

Boot Screen output won’t help much with FileVault right now since it’s disabled in Mojave w/cMP, perhaps Apple will do something here. To me, this is the most valid request.

Just my 2¢
 
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startergo

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So, I see three things that seem to be of primary concern where preboot video screens are wanted by most users.

1 - BootPicker

2 - Verbose boot output for troubleshooting

3 - FileVault access...

For my part, BootPicker has become unnecessary, if Windows is your concern. We can now apply a newer bootcamp driver in windows, and select out APFS / HFS+ drives for booting back to macOS, and it works very well for me. I haven’t investigated Linux installs yet, but I have a pretty good idea how to make that work too.

Verbose output would be really useful. I needed it just this week in fact. I installed my old EFI card for that purpose. However, I believe that you can boot into verbose mode without EFI. You won’t see the screen output, but if booting is successful, the verbose output may be sent to the BOOTLOG file contained in the EFI disk partition. I’m not certain on this, but I encourage others to investigate. I will do the same when time permits.

Boot Screen output won’t help much with FileVault right now since it’s disabled in Mojave w/cMP, perhaps Apple will do something here. To me, this is the most valid request.

Just my 2¢
Driving in the same lane I just wanted to expand on:
2 - Verbose boot output for troubleshooting
AHT is not supported without the boot screen, right?
 

tsialex

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Driving in the same lane I just wanted to expand on:
2 - Verbose boot output for troubleshooting
AHT is not supported without the boot screen, right?
Nope, unless Apple shows us how to use the serial terminal…
 
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ObiJuan2080

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Aug 2, 2012
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I'm guessing now this is the better thread to ask this.

Here is my dilemma: I have the Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010), BOOTRom MP51.0089.B00, running High Sierra 10.13.5 .

1. I have PCIe SSD (four of them Raided to read as one drive...sorry I'm not all that tech savvy. Please bare with me). I can't upgrade to 10.13.6 because it keeps telling me that it doesn't recognize the raid...something or other. So I would always take it elsewhere for almost every update. It's a pain not to be able to update the regular way, in the comfort of my own home. How can I go about this because I'm tired of the back and forth from home to the center, the almost two day wait (I have projects to complete), then back home afterwards. Keep in mind, I'm willing to do clean installs because my projects, my life, is all on externals. I always leave the internal drives to only work the applications and OS.

2. My graphics card is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4096 MB . After I get 10.13.6 in, with this card, can I upgrade to Mojave then? Or am I stuck at 10.13.6?

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

startergo

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I'm guessing now this is the better thread to ask this.

Here is my dilemma: I have the Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010), BOOTRom MP51.0089.B00, running High Sierra 10.13.5 .

1. I have PCIe SSD (four of them Raided to read as one drive...sorry I'm not all that tech savvy. Please bare with me). I can't upgrade to 10.13.6 because it keeps telling me that it doesn't recognize the raid...something or other. So I would always take it elsewhere for almost every update. It's a pain not to be able to update the regular way, in the comfort of my own home. How can I go about this because I'm tired of the back and forth from home to the center, the almost two day wait (I have projects to complete), then back home afterwards. Keep in mind, I'm willing to do clean installs because my projects, my life, is all on externals. I always leave the internal drives to only work the applications and OS.

2. My graphics card is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4096 MB . After I get 10.13.6 in, with this card, can I upgrade to Mojave then? Or am I stuck at 10.13.6?

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mp5-1-bootrom-thread-mojave-10-14-1-bootrom-140-0-0-0-0-has-native-nvme-support.2132317/page-94#post-26747888
 

Kubat

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Jan 10, 2006
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I’m going to bug apple until they re enable hevc. Join me. There was no need to remove it!
Well the enabling didn't work for me. FCPX diplayed black screen and conversion was only via 3rd party apps - so the problem IMO was software compatibilty with certain type of GPUs eg: on Radeon 7950 FCPX diplayed HEVC files corectly on RX 580 not... after the 10.14.1 update its back to "normal" (I can see the video but very laggy)
I'll wait with next uprgrade for reports how's it handling HEVC
 

h9826790

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Well the enabling didn't work for me. FCPX diplayed black screen and conversion was only via 3rd party apps - so the problem IMO was software compatibilty with certain type of GPUs eg: on Radeon 7950 FCPX diplayed HEVC files corectly on RX 580 not... after the 10.14.1 update its back to "normal" (I can see the video but very laggy)
I'll wait with next uprgrade for reports how's it handling HEVC
Apple engineer told me in the bug report that they have no plan to active the HEVC hardware support for RX580. The hardware decode in 10.14.0 (QuickTime or IINA etc) sounds like an “accident” to me.

So, don’t expect apple will automatically enable that for us in short future. If you want it, tell them (e.g. via submitting bug reports).
 

thomasthegps

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Sep 23, 2015
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Apple engineer told me in the bug report that they have no plan to active the HEVC hardware support for RX580. The hardware decode in 10.14.0 (QuickTime or IINA etc) sounds like an “accident” to me.

So, don’t expect apple will automatically enable that for us in short future. If you want it, tell them (e.g. via submitting bug reports).

As you say it was an "accident". What happened is that apple has purposefully removed a feature that was already working... Whether apple had planed for HW HEVC decode or not, clearly the work for HEVC hw decode is already done (since it was working in 10.14.0) so why remove it ?

I honestly do not understand apple's excuse for removing it.

Let's all make an effort and ask apple to Re enable it. I already asked them to re enable HEVC decoding but I'm not sure that if I'm the only one voicing my opinion that anything will change. HEVC decode is something a lot of us where looking forward to having in Mojave...

Do I have to create a Youtube video to get apple's attention?? LOL
Apple has got to stop with these mindless shenanigans... I'm hoping that apple will re enable it...
 
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David403

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As you say it was an "accident". What happened is that apple has purposefully removed a feature that was already working... Whether apple had planed for HW HEVC decode or not, clearly the work for HEVC hw decode is already done (since it was working in 10.14.0) so why remove it ?

I honestly do not understand apple's excuse for removing it.

Let's all make an effort and ask apple to Re enable it. I already asked them to re enable HEVC decoding but I'm not sure that if I'm the only one voicing my opinion that anything will change. HEVC decode is something a lot of us where looking forward to having in Mojave...

Do I have to create a Youtube video to get apple's attention?? LOL
Apple has got to stop with these mindless shenanigans... I'm hoping that apple will re enable it...
I have sent an error report asking Apple to reenable HEVC decoding for their recommended Sapphire Radeon RX 580

I'll post: IF I get any response
 
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fhturner

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As you say it was an "accident". What happened is that apple has purposefully removed a feature that was already working...
I think he meant that they didn't intend to give us working HEVC decode in the first place...it probably got inadvertently enabled by some other method (I'd guess as a spillover from iMac Pro's Vega decoding), and when we started submitting bug reports to hopefully improve the implementation, they went "Oops", and removed the function.
 

startergo

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What I think is they try to keep us alive (cMP) users, with minimum effort, and minimum enhancements just barely over water so we don't leave the sinking ship until/when/if mMP is seen on the Horizon, so that we don't switch ships in between.
 

Earl Urley

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Nov 10, 2014
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I get the feeling they want to only offer HEVC transcoding support for T2 based Macs.

They emphasized the T2 in both the new Air and Minis as providing "30X faster" HEVC decode. 30X faster than software-only decoders, I'd wager.

Here's one fellow claiming he gets super fast HEVC encoding via QuickTime Player on his 2018 rMBP on 10.13.6:

http://austinmann.com/trek/macbook-pro-2018-review

However that Mac does have a Radeon Pro 560X as its GPU
 

h9826790

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Apr 3, 2014
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As you say it was an "accident". What happened is that apple has purposefully removed a feature that was already working... Whether apple had planed for HW HEVC decode or not, clearly the work for HEVC hw decode is already done (since it was working in 10.14.0) so why remove it ?

I honestly do not understand apple's excuse for removing it.

Let's all make an effort and ask apple to Re enable it. I already asked them to re enable HEVC decoding but I'm not sure that if I'm the only one voicing my opinion that anything will change. HEVC decode is something a lot of us where looking forward to having in Mojave...

Do I have to create a Youtube video to get apple's attention?? LOL
Apple has got to stop with these mindless shenanigans... I'm hoping that apple will re enable it...
Becasue it’s just “can work”, but “buggy”.

E.g. each software can only do one HEVC hardware decoding, then must fully quit and re-open the software to play 2nd HEVC video.

For QuickTime / IINA / VLC. The work around is simple. But for preview, that’s a much bigger problem.

Also, this HEVC hardware decoding is not working in FCPX, not even the first playback, it simply hang the whole FCPX. Therefore, Apple choose to remove that but not fix it.
 
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edgerider

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hi there!

yeah, i think Apple is pushing the pro to the existing T2 HVEC machine and cluster computing...
with 10gbe you actually can have a very efficient cluster .
the way I see it is that they will eventually do a „tower mac-pro“ with 10gbe and 2 or 3 pcie slot, a xeon socket and upgradable ram.

then if you need more power you just stack inexpensive mac mini behind this.

a top of the line hpZ dual xeon is 30k$
with a 12 core xeon „macpro7.1“ at 5-6000$ and 10 macmini with high end I7
you end up with 52 cores, plenty of ram, and 10 T2 chips... that is a lot of processing power.

now if you have a production house or a film company, then instead of having to buy several 10-20k editing station, you can just buy 3000$ imac 5k and a cluster of mac mini with egpu and call it a day...

this is what happened with storage when I started using raid array... people would just buy larger hard drive...

now evrybody have a nas or some kind of shared raid array...

I definitely think they are going the distributed computing way...

want more power? just ad more computer.

and if mac mini are not strong/fast enough for a particular task, then you put 5 of the “macpro7.1” in a server room and for 50K$ you have 60 xeon core 5 powerful gpu and almost 1tb of ram... witch is the price of a top of the line machine from dell or HP...
 
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Squuiid

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Whether apple had planed for HW HEVC decode or not, clearly the work for HEVC hw decode is already done (since it was working in 10.14.0) so why remove it ?
Hang on, what?! I'd missed this. So Apple removed RX 580 HEVC decode in 10.14.1?! Seriously?
It was definitely working in 10.14.0 as you say. Encode was not but HW decode worked fine.
That p*sses me off. It was a big part of my buying decision for the 580.
 

thomasthegps

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Sep 23, 2015
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Hang on, what?! I'd missed this. So Apple removed RX 580 HEVC decode in 10.14.1?! Seriously?
It was definitely working in 10.14.0 as you say. Encode was not but HW decode worked fine.
That p*sses me off. It was a big part of my buying decision for the 580.
exactly! I am also pissed.
 

fhturner

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Nov 7, 2007
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Hang on, what?! I'd missed this. So Apple removed RX 580 HEVC decode in 10.14.1?! Seriously?
It was definitely working in 10.14.0 as you say. Encode was not but HW decode worked fine.
That p*sses me off. It was a big part of my buying decision for the 580.
I wouldn't say it "worked fine", but it did work. We had a pretty good discussion about it over here:

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/hdr-4k-video-support-macos-vs-windows.2130924/#post-26328150

The RX 580 still does a good job for everything else, including FCPX, it just doesn't have hardware accel turned on for HEVC (or H.264). Kinda pitiful really, when you consider that Windows has it, according to h98...
 

PowerMac84

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Sep 16, 2016
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Anybody have an idea how to hack the system to enable HEVC decoding on 580/Vega?

I‘m editing footage from the Panasonic EVA1-camera which is HEVC (4:2:2 at 25p) and it even runs better on my Macbook Pro from 2017 with RX560x than on my cMP (12c 3,46 GHz with Vega-56). It‘s a pity. It‘s awful in FCPX.
 

fhturner

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Nov 7, 2007
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Anybody have an idea how to hack the system to enable HEVC decoding on 580/Vega?

I‘m editing footage from the Panasonic EVA1-camera which is HEVC (4:2:2 at 25p) and it even runs better on my Macbook Pro from 2017 with RX560x than on my cMP (12c 3,46 GHz with Vega-56). It‘s a pity. It‘s awful in FCPX.
Check the thread I linked. h98 sent me some instructions from the Hackintosh realm that I tried, but did not help me. Feel free to give it a try and see if it helps you, although I believe that was actually taking some components from the Vega "X5000" driver and pasting into the RX "X4000" driver (h98, correct me if I'm wrong).

As far as your workflow, depending on how much editing you'll be doing, it might behoove you anyway to transcode the footage w/in FCPX to Optimized ProRes. Even with hardware acceleration for HEVC, the transcoded footage will give you smoother scrubbing and more streams (such as for Multicam).
 
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